16 Tons Tour Europe/cancelled dates due to Toppers injury.

last updated 30 Dec 2008 -
added punters comments/correct date/ticket
updated Dec 2020 - added articles and photos
updated June 2021 added large poster
updated March 2024 added new photos

Audio 1 - Clash in Hamburg LP

Lot of mp3 compression - Sound 3.5 - time 49min - tracks 16

Clash City Rockers

Audio 2 - Clash in Hamburg LP

Lot of crackle from the vinyl - Sound 3.5 - time 49min - tracks 16

Clash City Rockers

upgrade wanted

Clash on Hamburg LP

The LP circulated widely in the early 80’s, always available in Camden market. The producers of the LP were obviously from the estimated 80 out of the 1000 audience, who were demonstrating against The Clash. The L of Clash is struck out on the cover and to make the point further the rear cover says schweine would not see a pfennig of the profits.

Whether because of their disgust at the musical sell-out as they saw it of London Calling, or not, 10 out of the 16 songs included on the LP are from 1977 with only 4 from London Calling period. It could also be of course that the set was so truncated by events on and off stage that the band did not play their usual longer set and more recent songs.

This is unlikely, there are a number of edits on the record and so its safe to assume that a number of songs were left off the album due to the playing time limitations of the LP format. We can only hope that one day the full master recording of this night will circulate. Visit the website for a comprehensive catalogue of unofficially released CD's and Vinyl.

Sound quality
The LP was mastered direct from the master audience recording, and has very good sound quality. All the instrumentation is clear and well defined, (although bass lacks some focus) with the vocals particularly good for an audience source. There is some stereo separation of the instruments, which makes it more enjoyable to listen to. There is significant surface noise at times emanating from probably a poor pressing. The sound has a slightly distant underground feel to it, although there is no distortion.

Bootleg details can be found here

Visit these websites for a comprehensive catalogue of unofficially released CD's and Vinyl (forever changing) or If Music Could Talk for all audio recordings

Discogs - PDF - webpage
Punky Gibbon -
PDF - webpage
Jeff Dove -
PDF - webpage
Ace Bootlegs -
PDF - webpage

For all recordings go to If Music Could Talk / Sound of Sinners

infamous riot show

This is the infamous riot show where there was mayhem in the audience and on the stage, riot police battling with fans outside, and Joe was arrested for seriously assaulting a ‘fan’ with his guitar. His actions shocked Joe, and had a lasting personal impact on him.

He would raise the incident in a number of interviews there after. Joe said, “I nearly murdered somebody, and it made me realise that you can’t face violence with violence. It doesn’t work”. There is information on the night from three sources; German newspaper reports from the time, an eyewitness account described in Last Gang In Town, and interviews with Joe.

Newspaper reports

... more Clash in Hamburg LP artwork

The Clash in Hamburg LP rear cover was made up of local press cuttings, including a picture of Joe’s ‘victim’ on a stretcher. Higher definition cuttings on the web [see photos] reveal (via translation) the following headlines and information; “Punk Terror! Punk rockers - 14 arrested again, lathe worker hurt by [assault] and battery, 16 cars demolished, slabs/bricks destroy flats and shopping parade, hell noise! Punk concert-police arrest singer! The punks - a mixture of anxiety and aggression” Under a picture of Joe being marched off by policemen; “The singer and guitarist Joe Strummer was arrested after the concert”. Under a photo of the band playing, “The audience was excited, but up to the third song The Clash were unhindered, then some punks wanted to storm the stage, and roadies tried to prevent them” An article says that out of 1000 in the audience 80 were rioting”

The press cuttings fail to confirm the exact date of the gig, usually credited as the 20th as this is the date on the LP rear cover. But this may well be the newspaper publication date. A poster for the gig has the 12th May on it [photo], whilst a press cutting says in a literal translation “today announced Clash concert in Markthalle is on 19 may transferred become”. German sites date the show as the 19th, so maybe the gig was postponed from the 12th to the 19th? Can anyone confirm?

Last Gang In Town

One of the best things about the revised version of Marcus Gray’s book is that it at last answers what so many Clash fans have been wondering for 20 years; what were those people grabbing the microphone and shouting in German, actually saying! Gray includes an account from Adrian Whittaker who was at the gig; “Hamburg then had a strong, politicised, anarcho-punk scene with some very heavy squats in continual conflict with the Police.

It was these squatters who came to the gig en masse to crash the gig and berate the band for abandoning punk’s values. They tried to get in free, couldn’t, sat down in the main road outside and brought traffic to a standstill. Tempers frayed when cleared away by riot Police, besieging the door, although the show was sold out someone let them in. The dance floor was a seething pit of pogoing and fighting bodies.

There were sorties onto the stage during early numbers to grab the mikes and make speeches along the lines of “The Clash aren’t playing for revolution they’re playing for CBS!” Mikes and stands started disappearing from the stage, eventually leaving the 3 front men clustered around one mike”

“One particular guy was screaming at the crowd to have a go at Joe- according to the paper the next day he was shouting, “Kill him”- as well as hitting all and sundry around him. It was this guy who Joe walloped, and fairly understandably I reckon. It calmed down slightly then, but The Clash never really recovered their composure ”

Adrian says these were not as Joe there after maintained designer punks and 4 years behind the times, as Joe maintained but were the real thing They were not only displaying the attitudes but also living for real the lifestyle the Clash had promoted on their first 2 albums, a lifestyle which despite Joe’s insistence of encoring with White Riot the band apparently no longer wanted to be associated with.

It was a night that throws up in stark relief the realities and contradictions inherent in the stance The Clash put out in 1977, not least towards the issue of violence. Joe had said in 1977 that he wanted a “White Riot” every night and didn’t care if it meant he or the audience got injured, “I don’t care, as long as it’s out of control”.

By 1980 Joe’s views had changed and he had seen first hand violence in the audience and people getting hurt. The Clash by 1980 wanted to achieve change by changing hearts and minds, not by riot and thus inevitably violence to achieve it.

But in Hamburg many of these fans saw The Clash as having sold out both musically and ‘politically’, the “CBS schweine” To some extent The Clash were reaping what they sowed but to the bands credit, Mick announced mid gig that anyone could have their money back, they weren’t there to make money. Moreover Joe at the end of the gig says “Hope to see you in Hamburg doing it better than we did it in London, good luck with the future”

Joe interviews

Roy Carr in the NME, 1980 "I was emotionally shattered, completely disheartened to see what's happened to the seeds of what we've planted. If those pricks and kids like them are the fruits of our labours, then they're much worse than those people they were meant to replace."

Radio Hallam December 80 interview;

“I realised myself through personal experience its just futile to combat violence with violence” Talking of the 1980 European tour “There’s all these new punks in Europe just turned onto it and they just want to hear the sound of 76 and they’re willing to punch you down unless you give it to them. I didn’t realise because we hadn’t been to Europe for 2 years and before no one was interested. I myself went over the top at one show laying about me with a guitar neck, after that I realised that never again would I combat violence with violence” Interviewer says “I didn’t realise there was violence in Europe” Joe replies “We exported it!” He goes on in the interview to talk of his disagreement with Paul over the guns imagery Paul was into, and used in Guns of Brixton.

Early 2000 interview; "We'd go back for punch-ups with the noble citizens of Hamburg. We had the return annual match. I was actually arrested by the second year. They suddenly got into punk two years after the fact and they went at it with a vengeance to make up for lost time. We were seen as worse than the Eagles stylistically. They said, 'Right, we'll turn up and give 'em a good kicking.' We let 'em in the gig and then it was either have a pitched battle or attempt to play the set. In the end we had to get down and slug it out with them.

It was like being a professional wrestler. The band and crew got down on the dance floor with the punks and started to battle en masse. Meanwhile the innocent burghers of Hamburg were standing around the edges on little raised tiers, still watching. As the fight was going on I was thinking, 'this is ridiculous! One minute you're in a band and the next you're slugging it out.'

It seemed to make no difference to the people watching! I looked up and saw them standing there with the same expressions on their faces. I remember thinking, 'God! Where will this end?'

"The first time we went there this guy was undoing my Doc Martens all night as we played. About the fifth time I said, 'The next time you touch it I'll do you, 'cause I'm trying to sing.' He touched me again, so I kicked him in the head. After the show I was in the washroom and he was washing blood off his face. I said, 'Oh, I'm sorry about that.' 'It doesn't matter.' He was a little guy. The next time we went there, there was a real big riot.

While I was waiting to be arrested this giant came backstage and said, 'You! You are ze one who last year you kicked my face! This time you don't get away with it! You started that riot! I'm gonna tell the cops!' I went, 'Oh my fucking hell! It's you!' Two years before he'd been a little shrimp and here he was Nordic Man himself!" Joe roars with laughter. "I was thinking, 'This is like a stupid short story.'

"Luckily I was stone-cold sober when they arrested me. The chief of police came up to me in the cell and went, 'Is this the Englander who's accused of beating up punks?' They went, 'Yeah'. He came over to me and bent down and said 'Good for you, mate' Then he straightened up and walked away. There was a review of the gig in the paper the next day. Instead of a picture of someone singing, it was two men running with a bloke with a bandage on his head on a stretcher through this riot-strewn area. And it said, 'Last night the Clash played.'




Marthalle Hamburg

The Marthalle is still a regular music venue today; see photos, with a capacity of 1100 standing

The Markthalle is a popular music venue located at Klosterwall, Hammerbrook in the city of Hamburg, Germany. It was designed by the architect Fritz Schumacher and built in 1913. The main hall can hold up to 1,000 people ³.

The venue has hosted many other famous musicians over the years, including Phish, B.B. King, Nirvana, Guns N' Roses, U2, AC/DC, Dio, The Police, Alter Bridge, Thomas Mapfumo and Run–D.M.C. ³.

Four live albums have been recorded at the venue: Live in Hamburg by Roger Chapman (1979), The Hamburg Tapes by Gotthard (1996), No Holds Barred by Biohazard (1997) and Slip Stitch and Pass by Phish (1997) ³.

The Hamburg Messehalle, also known as the Hamburg Messe und Congress, is an exhibition hall and concert venue located in Hamburg, Germany. It was established in the early 20th century as an exhibition center for trade fairs and industrial expositions. Over the years, it has evolved into a multifunctional space, hosting a wide range of events, including concerts, trade shows, and cultural exhibitions. The venue's versatile infrastructure and central location have made it a popular choice for both local and international gatherings. The Hamburg Messehalle has undergone several renovations and expansions to meet the changing demands of the event industry. For historical images of the venue, it is recommended to explore local archives, historical websites, or contact the venue directly for access to their historical photo collection.

(1) Markthalle Hamburg - Wikipedia
Catering Markthalle
Markthalle Hamburg - Wikiwand

“If you’ve anything to say then say it”

The LP begins with Joe shouting an urgent “1-2-3-4” then its straight into Clash City Rockers. With the tension and violence in the hall it’s no surprise that this performance, and the others tonight are charged and edgy. The sound level fluctuates then settles down.

Joe adds mid song “If you’ve anything to say then say it”. Of course because of the language barrier The Clash were not clear what people were shouting. The violence and anger of a significant minority in the audience must have been both confusing and frightening for the band.

“And one thing more” shouts Joe before a burning Brand New Cadillac. There’s a gap before Safe European Home as the band witness the growing agitation in the hall, then Joe says ”Feeble it ain’t even rebellion its just feeble”. It’s an electric start, the performances charged and exciting, then things boil over as the newspaper reports said; after the 3rd song a minority try to storm the stage.

Joe shouts, “Coke adds life, wake up, wake up!” before Koka Kola the song breaks down and there’s no vocals. Both roadies and the band are trying to prevent a stage invasion (see photo on press cuttings) Joe shouts presumably about the guy he’s about to batter about the head with his guitar, “What about that guy there, first he punched a bloke, first he.. “ Topper ‘s drums interrupts crashing in the start of an extraordinary I Fought The Law.

Joe begins to sing then stops with Mick taking over, it’s presumably now that Joe’s assault takes place. Joe sounds crazed and upset as he begins singing again, then says as the music continues “Ain’t you ever seen blood, my God, you don’t know what you’re asking for”.

Things must have broken down completely now, as there is an edit then a snatch of the band playing a slow jam, used to cool things down in gigs when the violence got out of hand. There are slow handclaps and shouts of “Clash, Clash” from those wanting the band to continue.

At last Joe says “Hammersmith Palais”, then Mick says, “This one called..the words say think its funny turning rebellion into money, we’re not here for the money, we’re here to play, you can have your money back we don’t mind, you can have your money back if you want”. Some cheers from the audience, then into the song. It suffers from the shock that Joe and the band must have been feeling, Joe adlibs “just no cash”, rest is unclear.

“Tell you why I’m not putting on because it’s a lie, Oh it’s a lie, OK where in all of Hamburg, where is Hamburg’s son of rock’n’roll? Which of these is you, let’s hear it, you can take it to England, there’s gigs waiting there, let’s hear it” Then chants of “Punk is Dead, Punk is dead” a guy grabs the mike and shouts “that’s right punk is dead” with the rest in German and references to CBS. Joe of course not understanding says, “Right now, 48 Hours needs 48 Thrills”, and Mick’s guitar slams in. Joe again adlibs but the words are not clear.

Topper beats out the intro to Police and Thieves over which Joe says “Alright, I tell you that’s a challenge, you rock it next time, next year, don’t shout at me, you do it yourselves, so I can shout back” It’s certainly a pertinent song tonight with the riot cops outside, and Joe adlibs as the song builds to its climax.

Side 2 begins with “Yeah, something happened in London 4 years ago one of its rules was lets get rid of the prejudices, I’m not working for the Clampdown”. Joe sings over the intro like the recorded version, “ransack ..choppers descend”, most sadly is unclear. Joe’s guitar comes through and adlibs as usual over the final section “blood of the nation, coming down”. English Civil War and a rarity no stage interruptions! Mick’s guitar work is economical, but powerful, the band regaining their composure somewhat.

An edit next and from here on lead guitar becomes low in the sound mix. Perhaps stung by criticism that their music has mellowed out (as Joe said in interviews “One guy was in tears, saying his Grandmother liked parts of London Calling”) and to prove that although they’ve moved on musically they’re still the best punk band, The Clash blast through 4 punk anthems, including White Riot. But before hand there’s more shouts and tirades at the mike. Joe angry responds “fight about something, you let the Police just push you about outside”.

Cheers from some in audience, then a woman starts shouting again but Topper cuts in beating out the intro to Janie Jones. Its then straight into a charged London’s Burning. Joe shouts an impatient “USA, USA”, then they blast into I’m So Bored With The USA.

As the song ends Topper beats out an intro and the band charge into White Riot, Joe’s vocals fiery and passionate, he must have loved singing tonight “Are you going backwards are you going forwards” Sell out, what sell out! But some are still not convinced and a woman makes a speech, then a man full of anger. Finally Joe says calmly, “Danke and hope to see you in Hamburg doing it better than we did it in London, good luck with the future”

Things must have calmed down enough to do an encore, as the record continues with a snatch of reggae over the PA then cuts into Armagideon Time. It’s a long powerful performance with Joe’s vocals particularly strong. The record and presumably the gig ends with Complete Control. Mick’s guitar is still low in the mix but the intensity of Joe’s vocals ensures the power of the performance is not diminished. A shattered Joe Strummer is then arrested and led off to the cells, quite a night!

Did you go? What do you remember?

Info, articles, reviews, comments or photos welcome.
email blackmarketclash

Opening band was 'Ton, Steine, Scherben'

..Joe arrested for hitting a violent fan with his guitar...Hi, I think, that I have visited the Clash concert in Hamburg on 19. Mai 1980 not in the 'Markthalle', but in the much bigger 'Messehalle', a rather naked concrete hall. So also the foto of the 'Markthalle' is misleading. The opening band was 'Ton, Steine, Scherben' with vocalist Rio Reiser. Or do I remember a different concert on a different date? with kind regards, HeinrichDid the Clash play two nights in Hamburg?

Thank you very much for this labour of love

From: "Wilfried Lilie" <wannaget.records-at-t-online.de>
Date: 30 December 2008

Hi, having bought the 'Live at Shea Stadium' CD just before christmas and enjoying it very much, I thought I should google the internet for some Clash sites. I found your site and let me tell you that I liked it very much. Being a member of the audience in Hamburg in May 1980, I read your very deeply moving article on your site. Thank you very much for this labour of love. All the memories from this show came back to my mind and my brain produced some little films of what I have witnessed that day.

Anyway ..... I also read about the debate of the exact date of this show. I can 100% confirm that it was May 19, 1980. I know you need proof of that so I scanned my ticket and have attached it to this email. As you can see (and know) the original date was May 12. When I got the ticket, the date was corrected to 19th. The correction was not made by me but by the staff of the ticket agency where I bought my tickets from usually.

This should make history clear once and forever and I'm glad to help.
If you want, you can use the photo of the ticket wherever you like on your site. Would be nice if you give me credit for that.
Best regards - WILFRIED LILIE - LOHHEIDE/Germany

33x German Newspaper clippings - Old Punks

Including some from the Clash gig ...
PDF - very large 133mb

Crash bei Clash - Hamburg review

And in a time wasting moment a mocked up english translated version

Een Stoel op Je Smoel
Clash! Hamburg brennt nicht, aber es ruft

German Magazine Link

blurred / unreadable

Record Mirror - Beat on the Brat


Articles from the Clash in Hamburg LP cover ...


Photo by Ilse Ruppert - from Punk-and-Stuff
Waiting for the Clash

Photos from MusicPictures

Getty Images


Lisa Rupert photos

Hamburg Photos


The Clash attacked by angry German Punks

WE LOVE THE CLASH | The Clash attacked by angry German Punks during their infamous Markthalle gig in Hamburg in 1980 | Facebook

The Clash attacked by angry German Punks during their infamous Markthalle gig in Hamburg in 1980. they were seen as sellouts after signing a major record deal with CBS, plus the cost of tickets were twice the normal price. About 100 punks tried barricading the main entrance only to end up in front of the stage, spitting and shouting "Punk is Dead" at the end of each song and provoking The Clash by stealing a microphone and then challenging the band to come down and retrieve it. Joe Strummer finally had enough and smashed his guitar over a punks head. The gig ended with police handcuffing Joe while punks in the crowd started singing 'Police & Thieves' everything after that was a Riot.

Did joe did smash his guitar on the head of an unruly fan

THE CLASH ON PAROLE | so it did happen joe did smash his guitar on the head of an unruly fan 21st may 1980 hamburg | Facebook

The Clash Official | 43 years ago today | Facebook
The Clash Official | Facebook

More posters


Clash City Rockers
Brand New cadilac
Safe European Home
Koka Kola
I fought the Law
White Man
48 Hours
Police and thieves
English Civil War
Janie Jones
Londons Burning
Im so bored with the USA
White Riot
Armagideon Time
Complete Control

There are several sights that provide setlists but most mirror www.blackmarketclash.co.uk. They are worth checking.

from Setlist FM (cannot be relied on)

from Songkick (cannot be relied on)
... both have lists of people who say they went

& from the newer Concert Database and also Concert Archives

Also useful: Ultimate Music database, All Music, Clash books at DISCOGS

Articles, check 'Rocks Back Pages'

16 Tons Europe Tour


A collection of
- Tour previews
- Tour posters
- Interviews
- Features
- Articles
- Tour information

A collection of articles, interviews, reviews, posters, tour dates covering the period the 16 Tons tour of the Europe and the UK in May and June and any other articles through to the end of the year.


Video and audio footage from the tour including radio interviews.


Return of the Last Gang in Town,
Marcus Gray


Passion is a Fashion,
Pat Gilbert


Redemption Song,
Chris Salewicz


Joe Strummer and the legend of The Clash
Kris Needs


The Clash (official)
by The Clash (Author), Mal Peachey


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