The Clash at Bond's Casino

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The Clash played a series of 17 concerts at Bond International Casino in New York City in May and June 1981 in support of their album Sandinista!. Due to their wide publicity, the concerts became an important moment in the history of the band. Some of the nights were professionally recorded either for CBS records or for FM broadcast. The 9 June performance appears on countless bootleg records and several songs have appeared on From Here to Eternity: Live or other official Clash releases.

The site of the concerts was formerly Bonds department store which had been converted into a large second-floor hall. Promoters kept the name because there was a large Bonds sign on the outside of the building. As The Clash had not yet broken out into mass popularity, eight shows were originally scheduled: 28, 29, 30, 31 May and 1, 2, 3 and 5 June 1981. However, given the venue's legal capacity limit of 1750, the series was blatantly oversold (3500) right from the first night, leading the New York City Fire Department to cancel the Saturday, 30 May performance. In response, the band condemned the brazen greed of the promoters while demonstrating unprecedented integrity to each and every ticketholder by doubling the original booking with a total of 17 dates extending through June.

Strict interpretation of the fire laws meant that audiences were relatively small and resulting in a sense of intimacy between the band and the audience. Audience members clambered onto the stage to join in singalongs. New York musicians, including Pearl Harbor, assisted and overseen by Andy Dunkley, provided disc jockey services as the audience entered and gathered.

The concert captures The Clash on the cusp between being a cult band and their short-lived major market penetration. As always with The Clash, ticket and merchandise prices were set relatively low.

Every night, the band had a new opening act every night The Fall (band), Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, Lee "Scratch" Perry, and many more. But most of the hip hop groups that opened up for The Clash were picketed or booed off the stage. When The Clash came on, Joe would chide the audience for doing what they did. Melle Mel later said that when they tried to perform the section of "Beat Street" with the, "Say Ho!", the audience members would yell, "Fuck you!".

Setlist[edit]

  1. "London Calling"
  2. "Safe European Home"
  3. "The Leader"
  4. "Train in Vain"
  5. "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais"
  6. "This Is Radio Clash"
  7. "Corner Soul"
  8. "Guns of Brixton"
  9. "The Call Up"
  10. "Bankrobber"
  11. "Complete Control"
  12. "Lightning Strikes (Not Once But Twice)"
  13. "Ivan Meets GI Joe"
  14. "Charlie Don't Surf"
  15. "The Magnificent Seven"
  16. "Broadway"
  17. "Somebody Got Murdered"
  18. "Police & Thieves"
  19. "Clampdown"
  20. "One More Time"
  21. "Brand New Cadillac"
  22. "The Street Parade"
  23. "Janie Jones"
  24. "Washington Bullets"

References[edit]