16 Tons Tour Europe - Festival Dell Unita
Supported by Whirlwind, Café Caracas

updated 5 March 2005
updated 8 Feb 2008
updated 7 July 2008 - another Bologna master that is POORER!
the best Bologna recording omits White Riot and is much clearer
updated 12 April 2011 added punters comments
updated July 2021 - added Rolling Stone book review, a book of the gig
updated August 2022 added photo and comments, adverty, fanzine
updated March 2024 added Italiian magazine, video and auido interviews

Audio 2

Sound 3 - time 1hr 30mins - gen? - tracks 28 - full version

Safe European Home

Audio 5

Sound 3.5 - time 1hr 30mins - low? - tracks 27
missing White Riot but best version

Safe European Home

Audio 7 - MIXER video version

Sound 3.5 - time 20mins - gen? Interviews and live edits

Safe European Home


Only an excerpt from the complete report broadcast by RAI (Italian state television) at the end of June 1980.

The YouTube video was taken from a Rai report from June this year, to remember one of the greatest Italian journalists who recently passed away, Gianni Minà.

The 2023 program was called "Gianni Minà, searcher of stories" and can be seen in the RAI online archives. You need to be registered to watch it, this is the link The Clash interview is in the final 5/6 minutes.

More info on If Music Could Talk

Italian TV live and interview MIXER TV Programme

video not circulating

The recording is from the Italian TV show MIXER . The popular journalist Gianni Minà interviewed the Clash. Translated interview below

Soundboard Sound Quality

Several tapes ciculate (Ive included the best above) but they all emintate from the same source. Some claim to be the master, but are in fact inferior. The best tape by far is a low generation soundboard recording which is complete except for an edit losing the last third of London’s Burning and all of White Riot. It does have several flaws though; its not mixed so guitars dominate with vocals a little too far back in the mix. There is some distortion too but this probably originates from the concert itself where the sound was reportedly distorted, rather than the recording.

But as it’s a soundboard source all the instrumentation is clear, including a good bass. There is a good range of sound and clarity. It is probably from a 1st or 2nd generation source, lesser quality recordings also circulate. The lesser tapes can be identified by edits between some songs whereas the best one has no between edits.

Check after Guns of Brixton where there should be 15 seconds of crowd and some guitar tuning. This is cut out on the lesser tapes. Also after Complete Control which should run for about 35 seconds between that and Armagideon Time. On the lesser tape it is cut and is about 5 seconds.

An upgrade to the master would make a significant improvement.

It is despite its faults a very enjoyable recording indeed capturing the power, intensity and distorted guitar dominating attack. Crank up the volume and relive this legendary concert!

TV Show

RAI (national Italian television) showed a 20-minute item on the concert with live footage and an interview with band members. A number of Italian contributors remember seeing the programme, which also included an item on Joe Jackson.

Other evidence that it was on TV item rather than radio is that the songs are not introduced like a radio announcer would and also Gabriele recognises the voice of the interviewer, as a famous Italian journalist Gianni Minà who always worked on TV. As the footage was never rebroadcast no video copies circulate. A great shame as the live footage would be explosive. The search for it continues with Evair pursuing contacts in the Italian media.

Audio Dub from the video

An audio dub from the show does circulate, suggesting that it must have been taken from a video recording. However it is more likely that it was recorded with a microphone held up to the TV during the actual broadcast in 1980. The recording would suggest this as the volume does fluctuate at times.

The sound quality is good though mainly left channel and must be from the master or very close to it. It is professionally mixed with the vocals high in the mix unlike the soundboard recording but has a thinner less engaging sound on the live material than the soundboard. The cleaner sound does not capture the intensity, the mayhem and the volume and distortion that the soundboard with its faults manages to convey.

It is definitely from the Bologna concert as the live adlibs match the soundboard source and both have Mick shouting at the end of Bored With The USA “Down with the USA and all imperialist scum!”

Free Open Air Concert

This one has everything! A free open air concert in front of 30,000 people for the Italian Communist Party in the historic and beautiful Piazza Maggiore. Add to that a missing Topper, a replacement drummer for 8 songs who had never played them before, inter band tensions, stage invasions and a ferocious aural assault dominated by lead guitar swamped in effects played by an inebriated Mick who managed to knock himself out with his guitar during the final chaotic climax of White Riot.

Italian Rockerilla magazine

This amazing night is documented by eyewitness accounts, a great 4 page Italian Rockerilla magazine article, an Italian TV show (audio dub only circulating at present sadly) and last but no means least a soundboard recording.

The good people of Bologna had never seen anything like it. The concert has legendary status in Italy; it inspired many new bands in Bologna and was cited by many Italian contributors to Joe’s obituaries as a life-changing event.

A big thanks...

A huge thank you to Ezio Fara (Evair), Gabriele Savioli, and Ferrucio Martinotti for their invaluable recollections of the gig and for translations of the Rockerilla article. The excellent Italian website radioclash.it has a review of the Bologna gig and a big thank you to them for allowing some of its content to be included here.

The Italian Communist Party and The Clash

The free public concert (Ritmicita) was organised by the Bologna city council and local musical cooperatives. However as the council was run by the PCI (Partito Comunista Italiano) it was not unreasonably seen as part of the PCI’s campaign for the elections to be held a week later.

Italy at that period in particular was a land of strong political confrontations. Italy was a key outpost of the Cold War, because it bordered with Yugoslavia, is close to the Middle East, and had the most powerful and influential Communist Party in the Western Hemisphere (mainly because communists had led the armed Resistance and helped kick the Nazis out of the country).

Hidden powers of all sorts fought dirty wars in Italy after the fall of the Fascist regime. In 1948 the CIA and the Vatican did all they could to make the Christian Democrat Party win the national election, they even allegedly staged "appearances" of the Virgin Mary all across Southern Italy. It goes without saying that Our Lady warned people to vote against the People's Front [the coalition of socialists and communists]. That was the beginning of the so-called "K Factor", which meant the Italian Communist Party had to be kept out of national government, in spite of getting more than the 30% of votes (and keeping them well into the 1980's).

The PCI was not an uptight Stalinist party, it was a popular party that shared some features with North-European Social Democracy and based its politics upon "cultural hegemony", a concept devised by the party's founder Antonio Gramsci, one of the most brilliant and inspirational Marxist thinkers of the 20th Century, who died in a Fascist penitentiary in 1937. The PCI, unlike its brother parties in Western Europe, tugged sharply at the umbilical cord and got ever more independent of the USSR. This process started in the late 1960's and ended in 1982 with what became renowned as "lo Strappo", The Tearing. At least one third of the country, including the region Emilia Romagna, whose capital is Bologna - had communist local administrations. The biggest Italian trade union, CGIL [Italian General Federation of Labour, which still has a membership of 5 million workers], was very close to the PCI.

The Clash although drawn no doubt by the much needed cash fee for playing ($6000 was rumoured) were also surely attracted and fascinated by the political stance of this event. Certainly Joe talked in those terms in the Rockerilla interview and explained his political views and his attitude now to the Red Brigades and Red Army Faction that he had been previously both attracted and repelled by. The Clash in Bologna were now in the centre of all that tension, extreme right and left wing were very strong and concerts often hosted confrontations between young gangs, not only for political reasons. In 1980 a bomb in Bologna railway station killed 80 people.

The Clash played several more times for the PCI, in 1984 without Mick and Joe played for them again on the Earthquake Weather tour. The Clash became a symbol of the PCI, due to the fact they were one of a few rock bands at that time with left wing leanings and had songs of socio-political content. The Italian press started to refer to The Clash, as a political and leftist group. The Clash became very popular in Italy with the communist community, and the leftist opposition in general.

The wait, where’s Topper and who’s that?!

As is appropriate for events that have become legendary with the passing of time, accounts of the event differ particularly as to why Topper went missing and who stepped into the drum seat in his absence. It is fair to assume that relations within the band at the time were at best tense. Enjoying a few days off on the coast after their French dates they chose to travel separately by car to Bologna. It was apparent even to those watching the Bologna gig from the band member’s stage positions and interactions that all was not well.

The Rockerilla article paints an amusing picture of a stressed out CBS man exasperated at the band’s unorthodox approach to touring; no stretch limos for these rock stars! They all managed to get lost and all arrived after they were supposed to be on stage, first Joe, then Mick and Paul. In the bands defence it appears their performance had been scheduled a day later but due to the double booking of the PCI’s main speaker it was brought forward.

The eager audience of up to 30,000 people in the square, had seen the two support bands, Café Caracas (from Florence) and Whirlwind (English rockabilly band) come and go and were getting increasingly impatient. Rumours about the band’s whereabouts grew. Even today it’s not clear what happened to Topper. One account had him lost in Parma another that he was sick on seafood (in Bologna?!)

After nearly 2 hours of reggae playing through the PA the mood amongst the audience was getting ugly, stoked by the presence of anti-Clash young Bolognese Crass fans calling themselves the RAF Punks.

Joe, Mick and Paul decided they had better start the show using the drummer of a support band. Most accounts have him as the drummer from Whirlwind. Another account has him as the drummer from the other support band, Café Caracas. This would appear to be right as Joe name checks the batterista as Mr George but Whirlwind’s drummer was Phil ‘Foghorn’ Hardy and then in 1980 Gary Hassett (of course the singer of Whirlwind, Nigel Dixon became mates with Paul through their Clash support dates, later teaming up to form Havana 3AM). Also the photos from the concert in Rockerilla show (apart from one of Topper) a longhaired drummer, and it’s hard to believe that a rockabilly band like Whirlwind would have had a longhaired drummer.

Mr George played on the first 8 songs and although he was to be congratulated for helping out he was unable to do little more than add an unvarying beat behind most songs. When Topper did take over to play on White Man all the accounts describe how the concert really exploded into life and this is also very apparent from the soundboard recording. Some accounts have Joe deciding to repeat all the songs so far played when Topper arrives but this from the evidence of the soundboard recording definitely was not the case.

Paul also evidently talked surprisingly in Italian to the audience, something that surprised Joe and Mick too.

All the reports say how the band played with a lot of power and anger setting the audience on fire. People who attended both Bologna and Torino concerts said that the energy and passion of Piazza Maggiore was much more intense. Certainly for those lucky enough to witness the first Clash concert in Italy, the experience was unforgettable, “people in completely different situations, who don't care much about music now, talk about the Clash in Piazza Maggiore and say "Hey, I was there!”An audio dub from the show does circulate, suggesting that it must have been taken from a video recording. However it is more likely that it was recorded with a microphone held up to the TV during the actual broadcast in 1980. The recording would suggest this as the volume does fluctuate at times.

The sound quality is good though mainly left channel and must be from the master or very close to it. It is professionally mixed with the vocals high in the mix unlike the soundboard recording but has a thinner less engaging sound on the live material than the soundboard. The cleaner sound does not capture the intensity, the mayhem and the volume and distortion that the soundboard with its faults manages to convey.

It is definitely from the Bologna concert as the live adlibs match the soundboard source and both have Mick shouting at the end of Bored With The USA “Down with the USA and all imperialist scum!”

Gabriele has kindly provided the following translation of the TV show.

Safe European Home (complete)

Q : What does it mean to you to play rock?
Joe : Just means having something to do
Q : Your political involvement goes back before you formed the band or did you discover it when you got together?
Joe : I think it’s something we developed together. In the beginning, before meeting the Clash, I played American rhythm’n’blues, something like “Shake your hips”, then when we got together our manager told us to sing only about things that matter, so we followed that line.
Q : And what is the yardstick to say which things matter and which not?
Joe : Well, we hadn’t any money, so we knew very well what mattered for us, we went deeply into the reasons why it was so difficult to get enough money
Q : When you became famous, people gave you a political label, you started to mean something to them
Topper : Somebody told us we were representing something, but young people in Britain, didn’t look to us in a political way, we were only representing what they were trying to reach, we were representing the freedom to think for yourself, with your own mind.

White Man in Hammersmith Palais (excerpt)

London Calling to the faraway town……. (The commentator translates the lyrics of London Calling, over the live music of White Man!)

Q : What is you political message, how would you define it? Left wing, right wing or what?
Mick : But it can be identified with the working people, because this is the world we live in honey, this is the way we live, social politics, not socialism: Everybody try to revolt when is covered with shit, that’s what we are talking about: justice for all, the end of cruelty and injustice. Every political party is full of shit, all the parties have the same message but people don’t understand this, it takes many years to realise the real situation. We cannot do much but play, in our songs we talk about our life. We talk to a lot of people with an average life and we tell them to take action: to form a band and sing what you have got on your mind, like we did.
Q : Do you know that the simple fact you came and play here in Bologna, invited by the communist party, which runs the Town Hall, is a specific political contribution, just a few days before the political election
Mick : We are definitely politically manipulated, but like everybody else, we only came here to play our music. It would be great if in England, our own country, we could do the same; unfortunately we cannot because we live in a right-wing country; today England is a right-wing country and many people vanish. One day an artist has a lot of success, the next day vanishes. Margaret Thatcher is full of shit: I can say it right here right now, but I cannot say it at home because I would not be safe anymore. England is a right wing country so we think Italy is OK to do things like that. We would like to be able to do it in England.
[Another example of where Mick should stick to the music and let Joe do the interviews! Mick displays an over the top sense of paranoia, loathsome as Thatcher undoubtedly was, people didn’t vanish under her Prime Minister ship unless they were sailing away on the Belgrano!]
Q : Why, you cannot play in concert like this in England, for free?
Mick : We can’t, but we must fight to succeed

Guns of Brixton (excerpt)

When they kick at your front door……. (The commentator translates the lyrics of The Guns of Brixton)

Q : Before you joined the Clash, was there a kind of music particularly significant to you? Something in which you identified, something that inspired you?
Joe : For me it’s the blues, all black blues. Muddy Water, Howlin’ Wolf, Slim Harpo
Q : Why the blues?
Topper : Because it’s the first form of music which talked about the daily sufferance of people.
Joe : The blues is the root of any kind of music : ska, bluebeat, reggae, dub too. Black blues

Guns of Brixton (2nd excerpt)

Q : You are on top for a long time, and you are still playing live a lot. Usually the kind of bands that choose a particular political involvement, after a few years lose their hold on the audience
Mick : Yeah, we’re losing our success (joking), we lose our passport, we losing money, we’re going down the toilet!
Q : What are you trying do to? Where do you aim your anger? Are you trying to talk to desperate people?
Joe : All we’re trying to do is be true to ourselves, try to respect ourselves, understand? It aint’ for those people, it’s for us. To live in peace with ourselves.
Topper : To wake up in the morning and say : “I’m free”, if tomorrow I don’t want to go there, nobody can force me, right? And we hope that people that come to our show enjoy themselves and when they go home they try to think like we do. We have no messages like:”This is what you must do”, you know what I mean? But I can say “I’m doin’ it this way and I’m happy, why don’t you try something yourselves?”

The Commentator concludes the program talking over some of I’m So Bored With The USA.

Complete Control (complete)

Clash: Ciao 2001



Italian issue music magazine , incl. 2 great full pag.

Photos & article about Bologna 1980 concert.


Clash City Collectors | Facebook
An original concert poster kindly shared by Angelo Di Fidio

Advert in fanzine

  • Piazza Maggiore

    The beautiful Piazza Maggiore is the main square of Bologna, built in 1200. The main buildings of political and religious power are situated all around it. The Piazza has always been the place where the main community events are held. See photos including one showing a communist political rally in the square.

    all over Italy an eager anticipation of the Clash’s first Italian concert

    The www.radioclash.it review, sets the scene very well; the waiting for hours, recognising others who’ve come from all over Italy in eager anticipation of both the Clash’s first Italian concert and for the majority in the audience their first live experience of a “punk” band.

    It did not begin well, the sound was poor particularly for the support bands and it was a very warm, humid day. Finally at 10-20pm The Clash without Topper hit the stage, accompanied by a good-natured stage invasion with Centrocelle Clash City Rockers keeping away the hostile punks.

    The soundboard recording begins here with Joe’s announcement “Sorry to keep you waiting. We take a long time to drive”. Some booing can be heard and it was reported there was some spitting and can throwing. Clash City Rockers kicks things off and it’s clear from both Joe and Mick’s intense vocals that they are fired up and keen to make up for the delay and Topper’s absence. But George can do little more than maintain a constant beat and the song ends abruptly without the “Rock, rock, Clash City Rockers” final coda as he doesn’t know it.

    Joe dressed in black shirt is all “nervous tension, strung like a bow”. Paul in a red shirt with braces and a sleeveless denim jacket. Mick in “white mechanics overalls” and reportedly drunk.

    “For Vince Taylor” intros Brand New Cadillac which highlights (as do all these Topper-less performances) the importance of Topper’s drumming because although the rest of the band are working really hard the song doesn’t really explode. Fascinating and enjoyable nevertheless.

    Joe then announces “We are sorry, if you can understand me, we’ve lost our drummer somewhere on the road from France, we hope maybe he comes but until then we have Mr George, OK”. Then it’s into Safe European Home with the twin guitar attack heard really well and intense vocals but again it ends fairly abruptly. “Now we’re going to tell the story about Mr Jimmy Jazz”. It’s a good if not inspired performance with Joe adlibbing around “looking for Mr Jimmy Jazz, they had his picture, had his ID. Went down to London Town we got some bad Police” dropping down mid song to just Paul’s bass line.

    “Of course man, did you think we were not going to play that one!” precedes a strong London Calling with great ‘seagull’ screams from Joe and a blistering solo from Mick. Joe’s rhythm guitar ‘chopping’ is really clear.

    “What are we going to do now?” says Joe aware that things are not going that well and the audience not responding. “Alright a new singer, Monsieur Paul”. Mick’s heavy guitar lines dominate a strong Guns of Brixton, which reviewers noted was a highlight of the concert. Train In Vain next with Mr George adding his own intro, and Mick playing some great guitar over the ending coda.

    Spanish Bombs has some great lead guitar too but Joe’s vocals are less intense now but his spirits are lifted as the song fades out with the arrival of Mr Topper Headon. He is greeted by a cheer from the audience and by Joe with “Who’s he, who the hell are you!” Mick semi grumbles “After a couple of numbers we gonna change drummers again” to which Joe quickly adds “We wear them out fast! Anyway George thanks a bunch!” Mick shouts an impassioned and echoed “1-2-3-4” and the concert really begins with a superb White Man In Hammersmith Palais. It’s a tight, charged performance with intense vocals, Mick’s great guitar work dominates and Joe adlibs over the ending.

    Eyewitness accounts state how up until now it had been a half hour of disappointment with the audience wavering undecided. But with Topper’s return the Piazza explodes and from then on the audience’s reaction matches the intensity of The Clash’s performance. The group play with real anger, resolving their internal struggles through the catharsis of performance (as Ian Penman might have put it if he’d been there)

    Certainly the evidence of the soundboard recording more than backs up these accounts where the new intensity produced by Topper’s return is very apparent. Jail Guitar Doors is just wild with Joe adlibbing a verse about Topper, which sounds like he says its good to have you back! Joe and Mick literally scream out over the ending. Joe says “God I ask you” and Mick adds “Stop the rain” then launch into maybe the first great live performance of Somebody Got Murdered. It’s very intense with both Mick and Joe screaming “Murder” over the ending.

    There’s no let up as an intense Koka Kola leads into a raging I Fought The Law, with Joe particularly animated according to the Rockerilla article.

    An edit follows with the recording restarting with the first bars of 48 Hours. There are problems here with the source tape, losing some of the left channel. Joe’s vocals are back in the mix.

    The sound picks up again for Protex Blue, with Mick’s playing and singing proving again that he is really fired up (or juiced up!) for this concert. Police and Thieves next; “Alright this is a song by a Mr Junior Murvin, Carabineri is the Police” Mick delivers a great solo then guitar distortion drowns out much of Joe’s adlibbed vocals, but a powerful performance nevertheless.

    “Topper!” shouts Joe, and its straight into a great Bankrobber dominated by Mick’s guitar lines and as usual on this final leg of the tour it’s played more with an R’n’B feel than a reggae one. Clampdown follows with Mick adding to the “best years of your life they want to steal line “and they will if you let them”. There’s a great-extended ending with Joe adlibbing around “neutron bombs” and “splitting the atom”.

    “Your turn boss!” says Joe, then Mick says introducing Stay Free “Good evening, last verse of this song says we’re gonna burn it fuckin’ down to a cinder which means for London real trouble but this place here seems pretty cool.. but you don’t understand!” Menthol is changed to cannabis resin tonight and Mick’s playing over the ending coda is a delight.

    The intensity now really builds through to the encore with English Civil War starting slowly then explodes with more great playing from Mick. A long gap follows with an impatient Joe shouting “Oy Mick!” before I’m So Bored With The USA blasts out across the Piazza Maggiore. Its well worth the wait with Joe adlibbing and Mick adding at the end “Down with the USA and all imperialist scum!” A line that would have gone done well with the event’s organisers and somewhat contradicting Mick’s recent recollections for MTV retrospectives that the song was only about too many US cop shows on British TV.

    Topper delivers a drum solo intro into an amazing Complete Control with intense guitar solo, “You’re my guitar hero” indeed. The song building to a raging, almost out of control ending with Joe screaming over Mick’s distorted guitar.

    The encore quickly followed with Armagideon Time on acid! The song is drenched in echo and effects with Joe screaming adlibs over the top about “Soul torture, human torture, baby(?) torture”. The performances of this song on the 16 Tons Tour have developed from a reggae song with added Mickey Dread toasting to now a magnificent heavy dub echoed aural assault. As Joe screams Armagideon Time the song fades out and immediately Topper smashes out the intro to Tommy Gun. Its raging assault of guitars and distortion, which ends with a spoken “Viva” from Joe.

    Garageland follows, vocals somewhat drowned out by distorted guitar; manic and intense. Energy levels continue to peak on a brilliant Janie Jones complete with teased out start. “London’s Burning” screams out Joe but a great version cuts off before the end. The tape also loses White Riot. Rockerilla describes a scene of Paul smashing his bass, Mick accidentally hitting his head with his unstrapped guitar and then fainting and Joe leaping like a man possessed between Topper’s drum kit and the edge of the stage. The article has this as the end of Complete Control but its more likely the final scene as White Riot concludes.

    The intensity of the performance in Bologna overcomes the technical deficiencies of the soundboard recording, making this an essential and hugely enjoyable bootleg. On the evidence of this performance alone, The Clash were in 1980 still very much a punk band, for there can be no other description for the music played on this legendary night in the Piazza Maggiore, Bologna.

    life changing moment

    Rudy Bologna - was there , I was 16 , life changing moment

    Marco Bellini  - I Was There!...Sixteen... Whirlwind (Rockabilly band) as support

    Judy McCue - Still my number one gig of all time. Just in a different country.

    Luca Grandi  - I was there


    Konstantinos Samaras: Joe Strummer interacting with the crowd & punks attending the band’s historic gig at Piazza Maggiore, Bologna, Italy, on June 1st, 1980.

    That gig was attended by a crowd several thousand, many of which -or literally 12, according to others ý˞ - were actually Crass fans who were there to challenge the Clash as sell-outs after their sealing a major record deal with CBS. The band seemed to take longer than usual to take to the stage and this delay was interpreted as a rock star whim and further proof that they had become divas, though the truth was that Topper Headon, who was last seen in Nice, France (where they had played the night before), had decided to take a car trip to Italy along with Ray Jordan, security manager of the Clash, and seemed to have gone AWOL.

    The band had no choice but to go on stage eventually with the drummer of the support band Whirlwind George Butler filling in for Topper, in hope that the 3 remaining members could win the audience over with their chaotic energy. When Topper finally appeared halfway through the show, Joe Strummer ran and dragged him into the action before the audience could even realize what had happened -George Butler even recalls that the changing of the guard took place in the middle of “Spanish Bombs”!

    The concert lasted for more than one and a ½ hour and was intense and rewarding. Quite unexpectedly, the Clash even returned for a second encore in front of the few hundred who had remained in Piazza Maggiore, as if to make up for the bumpy start.

    [photo and info via the book “Bologna 1980 - Il concerto dei Clash in Piazza Maggiore nell’anno che cambiò l’Italia (The Clash concert in Piazza Maggiore in the year that changed Italy)].

    Did you go? What do you remember?

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

    local TV did broadcast one hour of that gig

    "Got to read your excellent articles on their very first Italian gig in Bologna in June 1980. I remember I couldnt get to go to Bologna that day (I live in Cesena, 80 kms far from there) but some friends of mine did and they were amazed."

    "The reason why Im writing is to tell that a local TV did broadcast one hour of that gig in 1986 or later. As far as I can remember the TV network was Tele SanMarino. We tried to call to ask if/when the concert was eventually rebroadcast but they said it was not scheduled to be broadcast again, but they confirmed the tape was one hour long. We asked them to copy to a VHS for us but they asked 10000 Lire per minute (total amount 300+ € nowadays) so we did give up."

    The recording is from the Italian TV show MIXER . The popular journalist Gianni Minà interviewed the Clash I remember that TV show. Mick was completely drunk and some hand-made cigarettes showed up ....

    astonished by the brute force and the intensity

    I was just fourteen and it happens very randomly. I was in bologna with my father and our host’s son went to see the clash and I went with him. Never heard of them, never heard about punk rock. It was my first exposure to r’n’r. I was astonished by the brute force and the intensity of the set. In few minute I was a believer! I remember there were some anarco-punks giving flyers against the clash and they were beaten to pulp by some punks from rome called “centocelle city rockers”. I haven’t too many recollections of the concert because I was in a sort of trance that never happened to me again and I didn’t know any of their songs! I remember well the change at the drums when topper arrived. Luca Lanini


    I saw the clash live four times in my life and once the joe strummer band. i was in bologna the 1 of june 1980...unforgettable.

    I had the n. 6 rockerilla with the wonderful revue of the concert, but i've lost it and now i'm looking for it...i wrote rockerilla too, but they replied me that it's out of order. i think you have the italian version, but i can't find on your site.

    Are you so gentle to send me by mail (naturally only the revue of the gig) so i must not traslate from english. thank you...very beautiful and interesting site
    mario from italy

    Italian Rockerilla magazine


    ...and also transcribed into English

    Rockerilla Pics 1 2 3 4 5

  • Rolling Stone - book review

    The Clash in Bologna in 1980, between truth and legend The book 'Bologna 1980 - The Clash concert in Piazza Maggiore in the year that changed Italy' explains what happened before, during and after that legendary show. Here is the story of that June 1st punk from FERRUCCIO QUERCETTI RUBINI



    La rabbia metropolitana in musica con i Clash

    La Stampa 5 June
    English translation here

    The sad slogans of reality Before the Clash started their free concert the other night in Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, in the pre-electoral air a group of boys started shouting at them ´Sold , sold to the Communists ", but the disturbers were immediately silenced by the strong reproach of an organizer:" Stop it. This is a serious concert, not a debate ª

    Un mese di concerti in puazza a Bologna

    La Stampa 8 May
    English translation

    Rockerilla: Clash

    June 80

    English translation >

    Italian online book all about the Clash at the Festival


    Italian Magazine 1980, interview


    Italian Magazine 1980, interview (English translation)


    THE CLASH (Mick, Paul)

    The Clash now resemble a puritan family man's worst nightmare: a gang of acid mutants, gangster hats, shady eye goggles, electric gait... The Clash 80's have a fucking style.

    So now you go to Elvis to get ideas for your covers?

    We wanted a black and white, raw cover. Maybe the cover of «London Calling» reminds you of those of Elvis with him in profile, with the guitar?

    Indeed …

    We got this photo from an amateur who took it during a concert at the Palladium in New York. It was the last date of the tour and Paul (Simonon) wanted to smash his guitar. For Paul and for all of us that was the photo that best expressed our music.

    Many have talked about you for the simple fact that you played in America.

    The Clash spent ten weeks in the USA in four years. Fuck all!

    Paul Simonon intervenes: «We want to have fun on stage. We don't care if the concert is in Bradford or Los Angeles. In any case, for us, it's always a stage."

    Are there any groups that interest you at the moment?

    Yes, the Slits and some reggae bands.

    And Public Image Limited?

    They are exploring a new way of living and it is certainly not without interest. I love some of their songs, not all.

    Mick Jones - «In my opinion “London Calling" is our best album. It's a record that you can listen to all the time. For example, Spanish Bombs talks about the war in Spain and the little Spaniards with ember eyes... It's a song "love. I mean maybe love exists. Maybe. it's our first song on the subject.

    They accused you of selling out.

    A certain type of press wants to explain to its readers at all costs that the Clash have betrayed. But our world is totally different from that of the Ston'es! In any case, the Rollings could also do a concert every now and then!...

    And America?

    Americans, you would say America is a fun country. Always ready to throw yourself: into the best things and the worst. But the Americans... When they saw us coming with our awkward appearance, they pissed themselves laughing. Now, they listen to our records. Carefully, too. But what no one believes is that we are starting to have our fans over there too. And they certainly aren't! little pain in the ass going to Blondie concerts. I'm talking about the little underprivileged kids, the kids from New Jersey in Orange County... There's only us for them.

    If you think back to Whlte Riot and what you are now you can only see that the evolution has been astounding.

    But it was all inevitable, irresistible. The Clash always wanted to keep playing. And playing good music. And this is what's left.

    Joe Strummer throws himself on our couch. He tells us about the American way of the cross, the interviews with every radio station, in which secretly. he and Jones scratched every Styx and Foreigner record they had within reach

    "because we knew that when we left they would put that shit back on the plate."

    Is it true that you play the guitar in the songs published in «Sid Sings» by Sid Vicious?

    I played two out of four shows at Max's with him. Those records as an operation really stink to me. I don't recommend products like this to anyone. First of all if Sid were alive... Shit! He would have killed everyone at Virgln rather than release those tapes. I hope I'm not that guitarist. And I'll also tell you something else: if all collectors stopped buying this shit, record companies would stop releasing it too.

    Mick Jones wants to find his own apartment and this is just a small project from the men of the Clash. Paul Simonon is going to make a movie and Topper... has to lie down for at least a few weeks.

    I spoke to Mickey Dread (the guy who backs up the Clash) and he asked me how many records we had released in England. I explained to him that we had released three albums and a few singles. He was shocked. In Jamaica, in the same period, he had recorded 18!

    Then we talk about London and the words start to bleed...

    Maybe it was the winter, I don't know... We went to America and when we came back... The kids had changed. All Skinheads. We were very disappointed. All out of action. But what did this mean? He certainly meant that one wasn't that strong after all. The effects of the punks... everything came to light. Today it is mod or ska. YES buy the Jam or the Speciale. And that's that. Nothing else. When we recorded A Brand New Cadillac it was a cry from the heart. Irresistible. We arrived at the studios, the recorders began to run, everyone was waiting... And Joe begins without anything decided «Huuuuuuuummmmmmm... Driiiiive!! The first piece that is played is that of the old Vince Taylor, because we respect this culture, we have a connection with this music. Vince will get rich from the royalties. For us it is a real crusade.

    Oh Oh, a crusade!

    When we were in America we had Bob Diddley as support. And it was precisely on that occasion that we highlighted the total lack of respect on the part of Americans for the history of music. What they see in Elvis today is the billionaire singer. We see in him the rocker of the beginning. And we, like him, will shock the entire world. Since R & R requires the dose of clairvoyance of him.

    (P. Manoeuvre)


    All these photos was shot by an italian photographer Giuseppe Cannistra. You can write him if he agrees these photos can be shared on blackmarketclash, this is his facebook page

    Large collection of random photos here

    bologna ciao Feb 2001

  • Rolling Stone - book review

    The Clash in Bologna in 1980, between truth and legend The book 'Bologna 1980 - The Clash concert in Piazza Maggiore in the year that changed Italy' explains what happened before, during and after that legendary show. Here is the story of that June 1st punk from FERRUCCIO QUERCETTI RUBINI


    Bologna 80 book


    Clash City Rockers
    Brand New Cadillac
    Safe European Home
    Jimmy Jazz
    London Calling
    The Guns Of Brixton
    Train In Vain
    Spanish Bombs
    White Man In Ham Palais
    Jail Guitar Doors
    Somebody Got Murdered
    Koka Kola
    I Fought the Law
    48 Hours
    Protex Blue
    Police and Thieves
    Stay Free
    English Civil War
    I’m So Bored With the USA
    Complete Control
    Armagideon Time
    Tommy Gun
    Janie Jones
    London’s Burning
    White Riot (lesser vers.)


    MIXER TV Track List
    Safe European Home
    Gianni Minà int. Joe
    White Man in Hammersmith Palais
    White Man ... Interview
    Guns of Brixton edit
    Guns of Brixton ... interview
    Guns of Brixton ... cont
    Interview ... Bored with the USA
    I'm so Bored with the USA ... cont
    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


    Other books

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