Asian / Australasian Tour

updated 22 Jun 2007 - punters comment
updated 10 July 2008 - added
Mysterex article
updated 8 Jan 2010 - full review and full edit, added Auckland Star

Audio 1 -
2nd gen - Sound 3 - 1hr 32mins – 2nd gen - Tracks 25 or 26
** missing White Riot - upgrade to master wanted (badly!)

Somebody Got Murdered

A Many thanks to Simon Kay for bringing into circulation a 2nd generation tape via Jeff Dove. It’s a great shame the master tape does not yet circulate as despite being recorded on a smuggled in ghetto blaster the sound is full and not distant with all the instrumentation and vocals captured well. It’s a full on sound with guitars upfront and raw.

Recorded presumably on a C90 tape the tape cuts out abruptly at the end of Police On My Back missing the final song, White Riot.

Inevitably there is a loss of crispness and detail in the circulating recording resulting from 2 analogue transfers from the master. Despite the resultant degree of flatness this is still a very enjoyable tape capturing the electric atmosphere and a great Clash performance.

colour corrected

If any evidence is needed that The Clash in early 82 could be as vital, exciting and explosive as anytime in their history then a listen to the recording of this concert should surely suffice. Evidence too surely in view of  Topper’s  sacking that “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. The energy, brutality, intensity, excitement of the atmosphere in the hall is captured by the recording and it’s obvious why this concert had such an impact on those lucky enough to be there. Essential.

Sydney Press Conference

In keeping with the frequently surreal nature of The Clash’s tour of Asia and Australia the band stopped over on their way to New Zealand to do a press conference in Sydney to boost ticket sales; Joe in full on ranter mode held forth in the Mammals section of the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences!

Under the headline ‘Mammals babble at the Flying Sydney Press Conference’ NZ Rolling Stone stated ‘Joe Strummer’s performance is an immensely amusing one. This wasn’t the usual Deadly Serious (Dig a Hole) affair as uninformed journalists ask the subjects inane questions, but a holy rollin’ one-man stand up, political flag waving harangue by a man who – if he delivers one 10th as good live on stage – must be a performer to leave others flatfooted! The Clash’s Sydney press conference was a real occasion’

Joe reportedly didn’t allow any other member of the band or indeed the assembled press to get a word in edgeways. ‘If we’d wanted to make money in Japan, we would’ve played Budokan like Bob Dylan’ Joe insisted. ’30,000 Nips jumping in the air, throw yer money on the plane and – bingo! – that’s rock’n’roll! We played 9 times in as many days, and never to more than 3000 people. And that’s nine days of expenses, and all’ He also added bizarrely ‘We’re here because we’re exciting. We jump about, wiggle our bums and there’s nothing wrong with that!”


Topper’s reputation meant a 4 hour customs examination before the band were allowed into Auckland on February 4th. Only one show was originally planned in Auckland and Wellington but due to demand the band added an extra Auckland show and a Christchurch concert.

The first Auckland show was certainly a memorable one and thanks to a ghetto blaster smuggled in by a fan a decent audience recording documents the event. Many thanks to Simon Kay for circulating a second generation tape via Jeff Dove and for providing press scans and photos (links opposite) and the recollections of Damian Holt of the gig. See also the 2008 recollections from the NZ shows on the New Zealand Music and Culture website (links opposite) ‘Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg - The Clash in New Zealand - February 1982’. Many thanks also to Steve Andrews for his recollections and photos of the Wellington concert and of meeting the band there.

Punk was already well established in NZ by 1982 and “The Clash’s delight in musical adventure and dance had already been taken on board by Kiwi groups.” Apart from a visit by The Ramones in 1980 The Clash were the first major “punk” group to tour New Zealand and the expectation and excitement was sky high when the band hit the Auckland stage. The band though were shocked to see a large local contingent of skinheads many with Nazi insignia. Fighting presumably between the different factions is evident from the recording. Mick asks for the fighting to stop but Joe says “That’s it – punch him one!”

The gig was well covered by the local media (see links).Journalist, Colin Hogg who also interviewed Mick the next day said The Clash were “rough, raw and exciting”. He said the audience were largely awestruck by the “long awaited punk gods”. Roadies were kept busy “plucking fans from the human vice that developed between the crowd and the stage and shepherding them to safety backstage” Mick “We’ll do anything to prevent anyone getting hurt”. The band would have been delighted by Hogg’s statement “Brand New Cadillac is as close as anyone has got to the original rock and roll feel in recent years”

Arriving in the summer the band loved New Zealand (and Australia), the weather, the scenery, the beaches. Joe explained why to Roz Reines in the NME (27 March 1982). “They told me that New Zealand was like England and I imagined – grey skies, grey streets, grey buildings, grey people, rain, boredom, misery, no money, no excitement, no action, no future. But then I got to New Zealand and it’s like they’re in blasted California. There are people walking around with knickers on in the street and the sun beating down, and the most beautiful scenery you're ever seen. A lush, tropical paradise. The skinheads there are bored stiff. They think London is wonderful, and when I told them I was a miserable bastard in London, it shattered their dreams!”

Having declared 1982 the Year of the Body. Joe was physically and verbally active at all times to the point of mania on the tour. NZ Rolling Stone recounted how Joe had been up at 7am the morning after his arrival, asking questions about local culture and politics and busking in the town’s main street with a ukulele bought specially for the purpose. Back at the hotel Kosmo asked about the busking “How d’you make out? “Terrible!” replied Joe.

New Zealand TV interview video

The master uncut rushes from the NZBC Shazam interview of the band members on the platform of Auckland railway station last only 5 minutes but are very entertaining. It begins with a brief clip of Joe on his recently purchased ukulele singing Shenandoah. Amongst the responses to the TV interviewer’s questions Joe says,  “I like to live with a paradox, everyone’s life is a paradox. We’re not good at making life easy for ourselves “ Can you change anything through music? Joe “You can change something through music. Music is what people are turning onto for the last 30/40 years not books or art, so we’ve got more chance than anyone to change things”

Paul says “I think our spirit alone changes a lot of things for people – we go on the stage in Japan for example, maybe a lot of them don’t understand what we’re saying but by the mere spirit they understand what we’re on about”

Joe “You think we’re just masturbating but we’re actually affecting people we’d play for old age pensioners (if they’d let us!” says Mick) but we don’t have to  - the Stones have taken care of that now!”

Ironically in hindsight Joe adds “If the band splits up because you can’t keep it together it’s like you’ve fooled a lot of people, wasted a lot of people’s time. We keep going because we are the Real McCoy, we’re not gonna just fold up. We’re gonna be here, continue and get harder and rougher and tough, dreader than dread!”

Joe then assisted with a songbook and accompanied by Topper on clicked fingers and slapped thighs (!) attempts the blue grass standard “Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot”

Julian Temple used clips from the video for Future is Unwritten. 

The Clash at the Logan Campbell Centre - Rapid Magazine, NZ

As the Morricone intro is cut, Joe in classic Strummer style announces to the tightly packed, highly volatile audience, “Alright, alright. It’s quite a shock for us to see this here like back home. We’ve just come from Japan where they sit way back in the back, in the back of the BACK!” The band then launch into a charged London Calling, feeding off the energy and mania of the audience. The sound and performances tonight are raw, fast and fierce. The extended improvisations of 81 (and Japan) are largely missing, and with a heavy emphasis on songs from the “punk years” the band were surely out to prove to the many punk fans in the audience and accusations of “sell-out” that they were the original and (still) the best.

Midway through a powerful One More Time Joe is unhappy not every one in the audience is going ape! “What’s the matter over there, you came here to pose?” The recording captures the live Clash sound mix but with some distortion on the peaks and there are plenty on a pumped up Safe European Home. Joe is in top form scatting as the music drops down and Mick sings backing vocals

Each song bangs into the next. Mick is pumped up too delivering a fine vocal and lead guitar on Train In Vain. Topper adds another, this time extra long “drum solo” intro to The Leader.  “Right Ginger!” quips Joe in reference to the Cream drummer. It’s an exceptional performance with terrific guitar fills from Mick, and Joe is unusually word perfect! The band are taut & honed from the Japanese dates.

Topper then takes it straight into Bankrobber with the audience clapping along. Joe stops the band early on “OK will the owner. Shut up and listen to me a minute! Will the owner of this piece of phlegm on my stomach like to come and retrieve it – OK kick it off!” Mick shares lead vocals and Joe works the audience to get them to sing backing harmonies. Topper holds it altogether tremendously as they stretch out impressively.

It’s all going off in the audience and Mick tries to calm things down “Woah! No fuckin’ fighting, we didn’t come here to watch that. There’s loads of that where we come from. Dancing’s in, fighting’s out”  “Fuck‘in shit hot” shouts one appreciative punter before Joe goes “Don’t you ever stop…” and the band launch into the Magnificent Seven. It features a funky riff  instrumental section and is sharp, tight and very effective.

“Mr Paul Simonon” announces Joe and Mick & Topper add terrific inventive fills to Guns Of Brixton, working hard to keep these ever presents in the set fresh. “Who wants a bit of water?” Joe asks the audience. “Ulster, Ulster, Ulster” shouts from audience [they think its Sham 69?!] “Ulster?” says Mick. Joe “What do they keep chanting“ asks Joe. “Ulster, Ulster” says Mick to which Joe replies “I thought you kept saying off, off, off!” Mick “We couldn’t get further away from home if we tried and this is as far as we can get and this is a song about a dance hall!” Joe interjects “That’s it – punch him one!” Mick repeats a bemused  “Ulster” and the band launch into a razor sharp White Man In Hammersmith Palais. Joe adlibs  sarcastically “back in the UK the New Romantics have arrived. I’ve never seen so many pretty young men in all my life! The new groups are not ”

“Alright I can’t expect it from you lot but you lot in the balcony give Topper a big hand for singing his first number in New Zealand!” Hard though to give a big hand to Ivan Meets GI Joe live at the best of times but here it’s heavy rock with out the roll treatment is pretty dire.

“Haven’t you got any punk rock bands in New Zealand?” Joe asks the audience.  “I tell you its 10 times harder here – it’s so hot I’m glad I’m not a punk rocker in New Zealand! You’ll have to get out of the way of the car now!” A fine Brand New Cadillac is followed by a raw but intense Janie Jones. The fast intensity is maintained as the band tear through Koka Kola segueing into I Fought The Law. After an edit for a tape turn over the sweat soaked Auckland audience are treated to a raw and abrasive Somebody Got Murdered which Joe announces “ “This is not about John Lennon” The recollection from one audience member that the band were laid back going through the motions must have a very bad memory! Joe’s “cheap crappy watch stopped” and Mick screams “Murder” as the band tear it up.

A pause before Joe says either to the band or the audience is not clear “OK never mind these things you’re singing it ain’t before, yeah after we start singing we do 4 fast normal as before” He then intones the intro to Clampdown but it’s very different from the album version and appears to be “Well the kingdom was ransacked, the jewels are put back, the you and I’s were friends. We read it in the paper, we watched it on TV, never told it the same and the metal spoon in the back of the briefcase put on the table in the toilet, and when they went into make it, the treaty was backstabbed, and you could always FAKE IT” [Any revisions, explanations?!]

It’s a fierce performance showcasing Topper’s terrific drumming. The start of Joe’s lengthy adlibs are unclear then as the band drop it down Joe continues “Shush.. and there’s a new kind of bullet been invented, which is a Teflon coated bullet which will pass through a car, through a house, through a bullet proof vest! Through 4 cars, 5 vests, 6 houses yeah they’re turning up on the street now, and you can expect them over here in about 2 years and its called the KTW bullet, pass right through us!”

The main set ends with an exceptional and extended Radio Clash. Joe’s again freeversing taking in it appears the Nazi insignias in the audience and the skinheads he met at the harbour “you’re never gonna seig heil, gotta bigger brain …see you in the harbour, go back to England …take it away and fry it!.” He continues as the band stretch out “I wanna hear the women and children being boiled alive!” Joe runs out of adlibs eventually shouting “OK boys take it home” but his band mates have other ideas Mick adding “Lord Haw Haw” to which Joe adds “Hanoi Sue, Vietnam Rose gave me a dose!” Finally the song ends with each band member adding their own improvised touches to the finish. “Thank you and good night”

The first encore are all 1977 punk standards and Mick’s guitar sound throughout the concert has a raw punk sound – the band surely out to prove something to the audience. An intense abrasive Clash City Rockers is followed by Joe announcing “OK now and I am telling the truth now we’re gonna attempt to play a number that we have not played in 2 years and we have not rehearsed it once and it has a very complicated arrangement so you’re privileged spectators, and you watch us fuck it right over too!” [an exaggeration as it was last played at Bonds in June 81!]Mick then blasts out the opening chords of I’m so Bored with The USA. Topper though comes in late and the song certainly sounds unrehearsed. It’s ragged at times but raw and exciting just skirting the edge of chaos!  The band then tear straight into Career Opportunities leaving the audience shouting for more as they leave the stage.

The second encore begins with an extended Jimmy Jazz with a long intro from Mick before the rest of the band come in. Mick comes up with another different guitar sound for his solo – always varying, keeping songs fresh through invention. Not to be outdone Joe’s adlibs are inventive too! “Come on rover, come and sniff this bloke, he must be around here somewhere!… They didn’t find a bloody thing, one of them looked up my arsehole but we’ll draw the line there on the grounds of common decency, after all I am English and have had a good education!”

Topper keeps a steady beat on the drums as the song ends then goes into his “machine gun” attack intro to Tommy Gun. Fast and fierce and Joe’s still free versing aplenty over the extended final coda.

Before the band can blast into another song Joe pleads “No, no, no just gonna have a rest now!, if you want to you can pogo to this one!..  give you that one in 10 seconds…Don’t lay around.. A very fine Armagideon Time affords the band a break in the sweltering heat but it’s short lived as Topper’s drum roll takes it straight into a storming, stunning Complete Control played more 1977 style, Mick and Joe trading vocals but Topper’s terrific drumming is the standout.

An edit restarts with the 3rd encore and a slow bass drum beat before Mick’s guitar blasts in on a raw but effective Police On My Back. The cassette cuts out almost at the end of the song and the reported finale of White Riot

“If it ain’t broke why fix it”  Indeed.

copyright photographs by jonathan ganley

Did you go? What do you remember?
Info, articles, reviews, comments or photos welcome.
email blackmarketclash

to the faraway towns: the clash 1982

John Graham Mellor - better known as Joe Strummer - awoke on the morning of February 6 1982 in a hotel room on Auckland's Anzac Ave. The previous evening his band the Clash had performed the first of six shows in New Zealand.

After posting a few notes about the show and the tour under the doors of various band members and crew, Strummer picked up his ukulele and walked downtown for an hour or two of busking, pausing only to quiz passer-by about life in New Zealand and Waitangi Day.

I would love to have seen that.

One consolation - that first show was for me one of the best rock shows ever. The Clash were at their peak that night.

And like the Fall’s Mark E Smith a few months later, Strummer was bemused by all the skinheads he saw in New Zealand.

So where did all the Auckland skins go? Maybe they did all move to Christchurch.

As far as The Clash gig goes I am 46 years old now and that night is still by far and away the best night of my life.

I nearly missed the whole experience as while my mate and I were waiting inside Logan Campbell Centre for the gig to start one of the Bootboys gave me the biggest roach (joint/spliff) I had ever seen and said that I could have it. I started chugging away on it and when I looked up a couple of cops walking the beat saw what I was up to and made a beeline for me.

They were about six feet away and all the lights went out and The Clash started belting out London Calling. I just legged it as far away from the scene of the crime that I could and ended up bumping into Rena Owen. (a New Zealand Maori film actress,[1] best known for her role in the film Once Were Warriors (1994). In 2005, she appeared in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith as Nee Alavar, and in Mee-Shee: The Water Giant)

Rena had been a friend of mine for a couple of years so I stayed with her for the gig. Her favourite song was Clash City Rockers and she wanted them to play it so she went to the side of the stage and in between songs asked Mick Jones to play it (as only Rena would do!) She also asked him where they were staying and he told them it was the Town House hotel.

After the gig we decided to go down there and try to meet them. We bumped into Kim Willoughby (New Zealand’s original pop princess, a self-confessed “rock chick” who virtually grew up in a recording studio with her drummer dad) in the carpark of Logan Campbell Centre so she came along for the ride. We were thrown out of reception twice by the night porter at the Town House and snuck back in twice.

On the third eviction they had called a security guard and he had hold of Rena and I and was physically removing us from the premises. As we were being pulled down the exit coridoor I heard English voices joking and laughing. I turned to Rena and said "Let it be The Clash" and sure enough we bumped straight into them. I looked at Joe Strummer and said that we had come to see them and were being thrown out. He said that we were with them and took us through to a lounge area at the hotel.

Somehow a couple of really drunk strippers made it in as well. The Clash blew the strippers off straight away, Kim sat in the corner like a stunned mullet which left just Rena and I to talk with the band. We were with them for around an hour and a half while they unwound and were waiting for their meals. We talked with Joe Strummer and Paul Simenon the most.

Topper Headon wafted in and out of the conversations and Mick Jones didn't want a bar of it and went to his room. It was amazing as Joe and Paul had more questions for us than we did of them. Wanting to know what we did on a day to day basis, names of the local bands etc. They liked The Screaming Meemees name best. We tried to tell them what a blast it was for us to be meeting them but Joe turned it all around saying that for him being 29 and being able to see other parts of the world as opposed to being stuck in London was what blew him away.

He played a few old rock'n'roll songs on the house piano and their meal came and we floated out of there.The only regret that I have of that night was that my brother, Adam wasn't with me. We lead seperate lives in those days but I knew he was probably Auckland's biggest Clash fan and I was the one that was in the right place at the right time.

Damian Holt 2007.

Mysterex - New Zealand Music and Culture

Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg -
The Clash in New Zealand - February 1982

The Punk revolution was already won in New Zealand by the time the Clash breached our shores in February 1982. The means of production had been seized. The Auckland, Dunedin, Wellington and Christchurch music scenes were alive with punk’s fire. The national scene glutted with venues and fans. Quality independent groups such as Blam Blam Blam, The Penknife Glides, Danse Macabre, The Instigators, The Newmatics, The Androidss, and The Screaming Mee Mees had stepped up to touring the main cities and the provinces.

At your local rock dive you could catch The Prime Movers, The Chills, The Stones, Sneaky Feelings, The Clean, Mainly Spaniards, Bill Direen, Ballon D’essai, The Gordons, Ritchie Venus and The Blue Beetles, This Sporting Life, Naked Spots Dance, Beat Rhythm Fashion, Desperate Measures, Nocturnal Projections, and The Dabs stepping out at the Reverb Room, Rumba Bar, Gladstone, Station Hotel, Mainstreet, Bellblock, DB Onerahi, Sweetwaters Festival, the Hillcrest, the Captain Cook, the Windsor Castle, and others. Punk the ideal predominated – the restless intelligence and icon busting zeal - taking old things, pumping them full of youth and arrogance and energy, making them smart and street again.

The throbbing live scene was reflected by an unprecedented Kiwi chart presence. In 1981, 24 singles infused with the energy and ideals of punk made the New Zealand Top Fift

By 1982, New Zealand record companies were responding quickly. The month the Clash arrived Joy Division, The Fall, Dead Kennedys, The Associates, Orange Juice, Depeche Mode, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, The Go Gos, UB40, Simple Minds, the Jam, Spandau Ballet, XTC, Japan, Cure, Madness, Soft Cell, Bow Wow Wow, Haircut 100, Fun Boy Three, DAF, Bad Manners, New Order, Killing Joke and the Go Betweens all had records released.

Punk was secure by 1982, but the same couldn’t be said of The Clash’s prime position in it. Opinion on the group’s worth was deeply divided following the release of the reggae, dub and black dance inspired Sandinista, their sprawling triple album released in April 1981. Now considered a major work, Sandinista was largely dismissed on release as self indulgent and excessive, and was soon languishing in the cheapie bins. The Call Up, the album’s masterful single, spent a scant week at number 42 in the New Zealand charts as far back as mid-December 1980, and despite being voted top group, and second best album for London Calling, in the 1980 Rip It Up readers poll, the Clash failed to make the 1981 poll at all.

But those doubts and arguments were quickly pushed aside when the tour was announced. We’re talking first icons of punk here. The Clash shows with their oldies embedded sets would please punk purist and freethinker alike.

History would show the Clash had got the timing just right. Punk had fractured in New Zealand. The Clash’s delight in musical adventure and dance had already been taken on board by Kiwi groups. The politics of the Clash’s words had echoed in New Zealand streets during the 1981 Springbok tour, and in 1982, the grey Kiwi air was still riven with frustration and left wing ideals chafing under an autocratic government whose reign it seemed would never end.

Out of punk’s expectant gaze, the Clash was a deeply divided group. Its legendary punk gang empathy shattered by drugs, ego, record company friction and the burden of carrying punk’s weighty banner.

Combat Rock, their fifth album, due to be finished by December 1981, was stalled, gummed up by the tension between Joe Strummer and Mick Jones. They had seventeen tracks recorded, but the Grimmer Twins were still holed up in separate studios recording new backing tracks. Strummer frustrated the album was under Mick’s direction. Just prior to their New Zealand, Japan, South East Asia, and Australia tour Jones presented what he thought a final mix for a fifteen track double album. Strummer rejected it, dissatisfied with Mick’s production.

Following a brief stopover for a press conference in Sydney, and six shows in Tokyo, the Clash arrived in Auckland on February 4th to a four hour customs search. The first major punk band to tour New Zealand. Musical, political and social visionaries whose powerful message had been heard and acted upon by a generation.

The Clash - Auckland –
5 & 6 February 1982 – Logan Campbell Centre.

Jeremy Chunn - journalist/Henchmen bassist
2 January 2002
“The Ramones had come in 1980, and the Dead Kennedy's were to visit in 1983; it was long time between international punk acts in New Zealand.

“When they landed in Auckland in February, Joe, Mick, Topper and Paul were met by an irritating 17-year-old with a bunch of their records and singles under one arm. I didn't know Combat Rock would contain a disco hit. I had broken Bankrobber and The Call Up singles against a hammer in disgust. Of the "new" Clash I could dig the white reggae of Armageddon Time.

“At the airport, always filled with enormous Polynesians pulling taped-shut suitcases, Joe was the first to stroll into the strange scrum of arrivals. Paul and Topper followed soon afterwards.
“Joe was very patient and answered questions about guitar pick-ups from the please-accept-me kid with the records.

“Then Mick came out and was thrilled to be greeted thus: "Aw, Mick Jones, ya cunt, eh." He was wearing nice brothel creepers with metal-tipped laces. Two questions: Where are we now? and; Who is this dick kid?

“I got the records signed. Admired the band's cool clothes. Went home.”

Joe Strummer - Clash guitarist and singer -
quoted by Troy Ferguson - Real Groove – December 1999

“We got there (Auckland) and I decided to go walking, and I walked way down the waterfront, a long way. Then I realised I’d really fucked it, it was getting dark and we had to play. I put out my thumb, and a Maori stopped in a black sports car like a Porsche or Ferrari and I got in. He said: “So what are you doing here, are you a sailor are you? And I went. “No, I’m playing a rock concert. I’ll give you a ticket, and your girlfriend if you want? He said. “Naaah, you’re a fuckin’ joker aren’t ya? You just look like some tramp to me.” And then he pulled up roughly near the hotel and ejected me and wouldn’t accept tickets to the concert.”
Paul Rose -Newmatics manager - 2001

“I had an argument with Stewart MacPherson because I rang him to get the support because I thought the Newmatics were the perfect choice of the bands that were around at the time, and he told me in no uncertain terms, he wasn’t going to have a support band. It was the beginning of a battle which went on for some time. The Musicians Union then got involved. If you’re going to touring bands you’ve got to have local support. We didn’t want alot of money – in fact, we would have done it for nothing. We just wanted the opportunity to play in front of the Clash, met the Clash and say; “We played with the Clash.”

Scene: A crowded concrete bunker venue in Auckland’s suburbs renowned for its poor sound, where the Clash perform two shows on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th of February, as part of the Superock series promoted by Stewart MacPherson. The Saturday show added due to extra demand. Entry is $13.90. The Clash is billed to perform the entire two hour show without a support band. They come on an hour late, and perform a ninety minute twenty five song set covering their entire career to a reverent and awe struck crowd.

Jeremy Chunn - 2002
“Outside, everyone was terribly excited and trying to out-punk each other. It was very punk. It was very Auckland punk.”

Phil Gifford - The Listener - 13 March 1982
“At Auckland’s LCC, a joyless concrete blockhouse in the middle of the Epsom Showgrounds, it was all black jeans, string vests and hair that had apparently been cut with a knife and fork.”
Ben Staples – Newmatics’ drummer – now Auckland based DJ

Benny Lee - on the first show – January 2001
“The first image I saw inside was the backdrop, the New York City skyline. The gear was set up and they had the police accident/emergency tape and road markers with Do Not Cross. They’d obviously been in New York a lot. We didn’t know this, but they’d already hooked up with Grandmaster Flash and people like that.

“They had reggae music on really quietly with white light so you could see all the gear. It wasn’t like the typical rock n roll start, where all the lights went out. I remember them just walking on from the side with their guitars, like you’d imagine they’d do it, and then it was just full on.”

Phil Gifford - The Listener - 13 March 1982
“The concert is a howl of electronic thunder and rage. Many of the band’s best songs, written with Jones and lead singer Joe Strummer, have powerful evocative lyrics, but in concert the words are mostly lost in distorted sound.

“There are two main reasons for the slightly painful sound quality. One is that the band don’t like the songs to sound in any way antiseptic, which they fear crystal clear treatments might do.
“The second reason is that Strummer’s voice often packs up an hour or so into the concert, and late in the show, during the few moments when he can be heard he is almost Johnny Rotten flat.”

Duncan Campbell - journalist/reggae fan in Rip It Up –
February 1982

“The Clash were monstrous raw and robust. The sound is only just the right side of a shambles.

“Watching Joe Strummer, you wonder how he’s lived so long. He’s from the Keith Richard’s over-the-top school. Just when you think he’s going to pass out he bounces back. He stares at the audience, a face of fury, slashing out rudimentary chords on his battered guitar, talking to people, demanding more light so he can see them. At times he gets dangerously close to a crowd, but then that’s essential for a man so full of nervous tension.

“Mick Jones is a poseur, loving his stage role, as though he’s always waiting to be photographed. But without him things would collapse. Strummer can wander off, get tangled up in the leads, throw his guitar away, blow his vocals, and Jones will be there to hold things together. The glamour and the control.

“Paul Simonon is the meanest, toughest looking guy alive. A long streak dressed in black, hair slicked and bass slung low. A gunslinger. A master of cool. Behind his traps, little Topper Headon is a working man. Always present never losing his place.
“A show touching all the bases? How could you fail to be won over?

“In the first few minutes they play London Calling. One More Time. Safe European Home. Train In Vain. Simonon swaps instruments with Strummer to take the lead on Guns of Brixton. A show stopper.

“Back projected slides enhance their political image for The Magnificent Seven. Ivan Meets GI Joe, and new single Radio Clash. The nearly 45 minutes more with the pace ever building through Janie Jones, Clampdown, Jimmy Jazz, Somebody Got Murdered, Tommy Gun, I’m So Bored With The USA, Clash City Rockers, I Fought The Law and a finale of White Riot.”

Jeremy Chunn - 2002
“About halfway through the gig I felt a strange sensation on the back of my leg. I turned to see a skinhead was urinating on it. Such nice people.”

Colin Hogg - The Auckland Star – 6 February 1982
“The Clash have retained their earlier rockier edge. And those songs, strung out on lead guitarist Mick Jones’ ringing chords, contrast neatly with the moodier blacker songs that lope along on the elastic bass and drum patterns. Strummer dominates the stage with his angry unpredictable movements.”

Jeremy Chunn - 2002
“Inside, over what may have been two hours, the band worked through as much material as required with a token emphasis on the first two albums. I really can't remember specifics. It just seemed mechanical is all; like a band that wanted to go home.”

Mark Clare - Newmatics singer –
now an Auckland based actor.
“A group of us went. Rena (Owen – actress - Ed) and her girlfriend Angela, who was Syd’s (Newmatics’ guitarist) partner at the time. They were right up the front and on the stage, basically gawking at these guys. We ended up back at the hotel with them in Anzac Avenue. A party until about two or three. It was interesting, they didn’t know who we were. We all sat at a big table to start with, and they were all just carrying on. Strummer was holding court with Simonon and the others.”

Ben Staples - 2001
“They were really approachable. I’ve met him since then and spoken to him about that concert. I really respect him.”

Malcolm McSporran in (New Zealand) Rolling Stone
quoting tour manager the late Graeme Nesbitt.

“Joe calls all the shots. After a show everyone goes out and rages. Sometimes he does too, but invariably he’s up at 6am or even 5am wandering the streets writing notes.

“Everybody wakes to find notes from Joe under their doors bearing legends like ‘The order of the songs tonight is…’ or ‘I don’t like that lighting bit…’ or ‘Raymond (roadie), you’re fucking up the backstage passes. Don’t do it again!’ His overview is complete right down to the last detail.”

Colin Hogg - The Awful Truth – 1998
“Up close, The Clash didn’t seem so tough. Weakened by bad diet and self-belief, they didn’t have a laugh in them at all. They had that pre-heroin chic heroin chic thing going, I realise now. They were ahead of the times in that way. But when I sat down for a yak with their guitar player Mick Jones, a little thin guy with greasy hair, he was like a Mormon on speed about the Jesus-like qualities of Joe Strummer, The Clash’s lead singer and songwriter. Talking to some of those guys almost stopped me liking their music.”

The Clash - Wellington Town Hall –
Sunday, 7 February 1982.

The Clash arrived in New Zealand capital, Wellington, on Sunday 7 February to make a promotional film, and give a press conference on a barge in Wellington Harbour, where Joe Strummer showed off a bargain $35 baritone ukulele he’d purchased in Auckland. They play Wellington Town Hall that evening, coming on stage at 8.45pm, 45 minutes late.

Irene Gardiner - The Dominion – February 1982
“Getting the crowd into the hall has been shambolic, a tangle of security guards, police, gatecrashers, and latecomers.

“They have good communication with the crowd – Joe Strummer introducing the songs and talking to the audience, holding his microphone out to singing front row fans, passing a drink bottle out to the audience, slinging his guitar over his back as he sings without it.

“They leave the stage at 9.55pm, play three encores, leave again at 10.35pm, an hour and 50 minutes since they took the stage. The crowd are still calling for more as the house lights go on.”

Redmer Yska - In Touch - 1982
“Here in Wellington, dozens of spiky tops swarmed backstage after the Clash’s rip snorting Sunday night show to rap and rage, and the hungry ones were shouted free kai in the shape of fish ‘n chips and pies.”

Redmer Yska - Journalist/ Author - 2000
“The Wellington gig was bloody loud with an eye-piercing lightshow. By 1982, they were a soft and flabby rock show like the Rolling Stones or Queen. I have strongest memories of sitting in sunshine on the barge Hikitia on Aotea wharf talking to Paul Simonon, blinking in the sunshine all slicked back with a motel tan. Simonon's line 'its all down to songs' is the profoundest and most memorable piece of rock and roll wisdom (tautology?) that I think I ever heard. Yeah, we thought they was cool.”

The Clash - Christchurch Town Hall –
Monday, 8 February 1982.

An extra show is added after a successful petition to get the Clash to play Christchurch (organised by Mary Rose Wilkinson). The group appear on stage to a soundtrack of The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly; opening with a great extended instrumental from Headon and Jones.

David Swift - Christchurch Press – February 1982
“The Clash City Rockers nearly stopped their show during their second song at the Town Hall last evening. The singer Joe Strummer was furious at being subjected to a hail of gob.”

Eric Vanderhoven. Christchurch punk.
Desperate Measures’ bass player.

“Some guys were really getting into it. And he just stopped and was going: “You guys.” Really angry, like spat the dummy. And everyone was like, I didn’t mean to do that. I’m sorry.”

David Swift - Christchurch Press - February 1982
“The Clash dressed, sounded and acted exactly like I expected it to do. Which did mean that the show was predictable. But a rebel stance is a rebel stance right down to the last Rising Sun armband. Three chord thrash? Not these days. Although the bassist, Paul Simonon had his instrument strapped mean ‘n low, just like the good old days. Topper Headon was the musician who impressed most. He seems to have a mastery of most styles, including rockabilly and reggae.

“Strummer pranced on wearing one of the worst looking guitars in history, but he played his heart out. Which rhythm guitarist works harder? Mick Jones also dressed in rebel chic (black boots, wristband) played his lead parts with more invention than the recorded versions. Simonon looked basic, but during reggaed numbers such as ‘Armageddon Time’ and ‘Bankrobber’ his looks defied his abilities.”

Rob White - Christchurch Star – February 1982.
“There is nothing tidy and gift wrapped at a Clash concert. There’s nothing neat about Joe Strummer stopping the show, screaming out he could die from hepatitis from the spitting of the bootboys. Strummer standing out front daring anybody to knock him down, but sounding like a little boy when someone kept trying to tie his bootlaces together.

“The middle part was the bad part with the Clash getting totally lost in their own reggae rhythms. There were plenty of troughs, but when they hit those peaks the British band had the same tacky grandeur as their opening spaghetti western theme. An old song like White Man In Hammersmith Palais got new verses added (Joe’s attack on the New Romantics).”

Eric & Eugene
Following their usual three encores the Clash depart, turning up later at an after show party in their honour at nightclub PJs.
Eric: “We played the After Clash party .”
Eugene: “We were the only punk band.”
Eric: “There was all this simmering potential violence there. They had this crazy guy on the door.”
Eugene: “He’d sort of taken over the nightclub. He’d gone from being bouncer and taken it over.”
Eric: “And they were scared of him, and he wasn’t gonna let us play. And there are guys outside getting metal blasts.
Eugene: “He nun-chucked somebody this guy.”
Eric: “We finally stuck our gear on the stage.”
Eugene: “After waiting to three o’clock in the morning, to the last band. He said I’ve decided I’m not going to let you play.”
Eugene: “We took all our gear down a steep steep staircase and we were fucked off. And the next thing this mini-van pulls up. It’s the Clash. Mick Jones and Joe Strummer and the like. I said: “These guys won’t let us play.” Within five minutes we were on stage, mate.”
Eric: “I used to really like Paul Simonon. I used to try and smoke like him, play like he used to play. Bass really low and everything. We were playing and he came late. He walked in with two blonde girls – one on each arm. He sauntered in, looked around and walked out again.
Eric: ‘I remember talking to Joe Strummer saying I want to go to England. I want to go to England. And he was going I wouldn’t be in such a rush to go to England. It’s not all rosy, it’s grey and depressing, there’s another side to it. You should stop for moment and look around, you’re actually living in paradise. A beautiful country. Nah. I wanna go to England. I want to go to the 100 Club. I saw in the NME about six months later, he had this interview and he was going I met these skinhead guys in Christchurch, New Zealand and they all wanted to go to England. That was me.”

Mick Jones – Duncan Campbell – Rip It Up - March 1982
“I was surprised to see you had riots here. I think that’s an indication of New Zealanders sense of fair play.

“People seem to have some kind of harmony, they’re able to co-exist. That seemed to have been the good thing about the anti-apartheid demonstrations here. It shows people care about peaceful co-existence, and were prepared to use love, backed by force.”

Joe Strummer – Roz Reines – NME - 27 March 1982
“They told me that New Zealand was like England and I imagined – grey skies, grey streets, grey buildings, grey people, rain, boredom, misery, no money, no excitement, no action, no future…
“But then I got to New Zealand and it’s like they’re in blasted California. There are people walking around with knickers on in the street and the sun beating down, and the most beautiful scenery you're ever seen. A lush tropical paradise.

“The skinheads there are bored stiff. They think London is wonderful, and when I told them I was a miserable bastard in London, it shattered their dreams.”

Jeremy Chunn - Journalist - Henchmen bassist -
2 January 2002
“The Clash has always confused me. I have seldom broken other bands' records with a hammer (maybe only two others). For moments they are so good, at others so bad. And all the time there are the clothes and the bass player's cheekbones, things that shouldn't count. But they counted too much. There is/was nothing dangerous about The Clash. But maybe perceived danger is a whole other pretense. One fact is indisputable: in February 1982 The Clash had nothing left in them.

“Who could understand Sandinista? Who cared? By the time The Clash landed in New Zealand in 1982, the band had severed connections with whatever had energised its first two albums. For teens like me who wanted Safe European Home levity and Complete Control attack, the two-hour-plus show."

That first Auckland show was fantastic in spite of the awful venue. The crowd was baying for White Riot. Seem to recall Strummer was reluctant, claiming they hadn't played it for years.

I hitched over from the West Coast to see this. I kinda knew Maryrose and Mary who organised the extra gig in ChCh. The most amusing thing I heard about that was from Maryrose who said Jim Wilson, local promoter and disliked because he seemed to be the only person making money out of music in ChCH in the 80's, came over and sneered "I can't believe TWO GIRLS got the Clash!" Oh and the gig was absolutely bloody marvellous.

3000 people were packed into the Logan Campbell Centre, described as a joyless concrete blockhouse renowned for its poor sound and situated in the middle of the Epsom Showgrounds. It’s still in use today.

Promoted by Stewart MacPherson as part of his Superock series, a second Auckland show was added on the Saturday due to extra demand. The Clash is billed to perform the entire two hour show without a support band. They come on an hour late, and perform a ninety minute plus song set with an emphasis on the ‘punk era’ songs.

“The first image I saw inside was the backdrop, the New York City skyline. The gear was set up and they had the police accident/emergency tape and road markers with Do Not Cross…They had reggae music on really quietly with white light so you could see all the gear. It wasn’t like the typical rock n roll start, where all the lights went out. I remember them just walking on from the side with their guitars, like you’d imagine they’d do it, and then it was just full on.”

Ben Staples remembering the first night in 2001.


London Calling
One More Time
Safe European Home
Train In Vain
The Leader
Magnificent 7
The Guns Of Brixton
White Man in Ham Palais
Ivan Meets GI Joe
Brand New Cadillac
Janie Jones
Koka Kola
I Fought the Law
Somebody Got Murdered
This Is Radio Clash
Clash City Rockers
Im So Bored with the USA
Career Oportunities
Jimmy Jazz
Tommy Gun
Armagideon Time
Complete Control
Police on My back
White Riot missing (wanted)

There are several sights that provide setlists but most mirror 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

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

A collection of articles, interviews, reviews, posters, tour dates from the Clash's Far East Tour. Articles cover the period from January upto May and the US Tour.

If you know of any articles or references for this particular gig, anything that is missing, please do let us know.

Auckland Star 7 Feb 1982
Clash - raw, rought and convincing

Auckland Star 12 Feb 1982
Full exhaustive gig review and interview

Auckland Great Photos © photographs by jonathan ganley – to the faraway towns

Strummer interview
Real Groove BIG DAY OUT – December 2001

Quotes are copied below

If you know any please let us know

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Radio Interview The Clash (from FM Broadcast master recording)
December 1981? Music Live (Japan?):
Happy Birthday to fans in Japan "we're coming"

Folk rock. Australian rock.

Kosmo Vinyl, and Joe Strummer & Paul Simonon from The Clash interviewed by Geoff King.

Taken from the early 80s Melbourne-based cassette magazine Fast Forward, issue #10 March 1982. The interview was recorded in Sydney the previous month. A couple of musical excerpts (from the original albums) have been edited out .

1 February 1982
Tokyo - most of the concert in colour

There is a brilliantly re-masterd video (by a fan) circulating amongst collectors with the best video source synched to best audio. It is from a VHS tape from broadcast. This Youtube broadcast looks to an upload of this.

Blackmarketclash Links
Extensive links page can be found here with links to web, twitter, Facebook, traders etc..

If Music Could Talk
The best Clash messageboard and which also has links to downloads on its megalists
Go here for uploads and downloads. It's not a massive space so its on an as and when basis.

Contact your local library here and see if they can help.

If you are searching for articles in the USA - DPLA Find the local US library link here

WorldCat? - find your local library Link

British Newspaper Archive - United Kingdom Link (£££ / trial period)

Newspaper ARCHIVE - USA+ Link ($$$ / trial period)

Historical Newspapers - USA & beyond $$$ Link ($$$ / trial period) - international Link (free)

New York Times - USA Link ($$$)

Gallica - France - Not very helpful Link (free)

Explore the British Library Link (free to UK users - ask if you find something)

Trove - Australia National Library Link (free)

The Official Clash
Search @theclash & enter search in search box. Place, venue, etc

Clash City Collectors - excellent
Facebook Page - for Clash Collectors to share unusual & interesting items like..Vinyl. Badges, Posters, etc anything by the Clash. Search Clash City Collectors & enter search in search box. Place, venue, etc

Clash on Parole - excellent
Facebook page - The only page that matters
Search Clash on Parole & enter search in the search box. Place, venue, etc

Clash City Snappers
Anything to do with The Clash. Photos inspired by lyrics, song titles, music, artwork, members, attitude, rhetoric,haunts,locations etc, of the greatest and coolest rock 'n' roll band ever.Tributes to Joe especially wanted. Pictures of graffitti, murals, music collections, memorabilia all welcome. No limit to postings. Don't wait to be invited, just join and upload.
Search Flickr / Clash City Snappers
Search Flickr / 'The Clash'
Search Flickr / 'The Clash' ticket

I saw The Clash at Bonds - excellent
Facebook page - The Clash played a series of 17 concerts at Bond's Casino in New York City in May and June of 1981 in support of their album Sandinista!. Due to their wide publicity, the concerts became an important moment in the history of the Clash. Search I Saw The Clash at Bonds & enter search in red box. Place, venue, etc

Loving the Clash
Facebook page - The only Clash page that is totally dedicated to the last gang in town. Search Loving The Clash & enter search in the search box. Place, venue, etc
Facebook page - Our very own Facebook page. Search & enter search in red box. Place, venue, etc

Search all of Twitter
Search Enter as below - Twitter All of these words eg Bonds and in this exact phrase, enter 'The Clash'
Images on the offical Clash site. (all images via google).
Images on the offical Clash site. site: