A new Clash album, Live At Shea Stadium came out yesterday. I’ll probably pick it up as a memento of that ill-fated 1982 tour opening for The Who and the last time I got to see them live. I can still remember the field of the Oakland Coliseum crowded with classic rock fans having a hard time wrapping their ears around one of the most vital bands (on a good day) in the history of any genre. Two tunes I recall clearly were a blistering ‘Police On My Back’ and ‘Guns Of Brixton’ with Joe Strummer & Paul Simonon swapping instruments (both songs are on the Shea Stadium setlist as well). Ironic that what was supposed to be the last Who show in the Bay Area (they were calling it a Farewell Tour… right) turned out to be one of the last proper Clash shows with Mick Jones in California. 1999′s live collection From Here To Eternity was disappointingly flat and a couple of those performances were from this Shea Stadium show. While the few reviews of Live At Shea I’ve seen so far are positive I’d love to see some earlier shows surface. In that spirit here’s without a doubt my favorite live recording of a band that changed my life. A younger, leaner Clash just two weeks into their first trip through the US on the Pearl Harbour (sic) Tour.
The Clash at The Agora in Cleveland, OH 2/13/79
Here’s the whole deal in a zip file: The Clash – Agora 1979 (lesser quality mp3′s but with a different mix of four tracks from a King Biscuit Flower Hour broadcast as a bonus + artwork)
There’s a wealth of information about this gig and many others at the invaluable Clash gigography site Black Market Clash (click here for this one). And as if this performance wasn’t enough imagine seeing the opening act: BO DIDDLEY! The sound gets a bit dodgy after ‘Julie’s Been Working…’ but as a whole this captures the intensity of the Clash at their best; careening from gloriously sloppy to air tight and the extended ‘Police & Theives’ is a thing of singular beauty. If you haven’t seen the film Rude Boy yet RUN to your nearest video joint and get the DVD re-issue.