The Clash: Asbury Park NJ 1982

This is a public service announcement.
With guitar …
You have the right to free
Speech as long as you’re not
Dumb enough to actually try it …

Strummer/Jones

Updated 6/2/2011: Twelve “lost” photos added to live and party photos.

In 1982 while most of the first-gen punk bands withered on the vine and died, The Clash were starting a world tour behind their fifth album “Combat Rock”. As a long time Clash fan … it’s not one of my faves. But it’s certainly not their worst. It did yield some hits with “Rock The Casbah” and “Should I Stay Or Should I Go?” Like it’s predecessor “Sandinist” it was another verba-sonic experiment in the Clash recording laboratories. Both albums at least yielded a few nuggets. And now they were ready to play it all live.

This time around drummer and “Junco Partner” Topper Headon was tossed out like yesterday’s fish. Topper’s then recent heroin bust, finally “got him the boot”. As their Casino party invitation said, “Okay here we go. Joe’s back and Toppers gone. What else do you want to know.” Topper’s replacement was none other than The Clash’s original and very capable drummer Terry Chimes a.k.a. Torry Crimes.

The Clash were entrenched in Asbury Park, NJ for three nights on May 28th, 29th & 30th, 1982 at the Asbury Park Convention Hall. For some odd reason Asbury was where they kicked off the Combat Rock tour. The shows were hot hot hot!!!! Many thanks to Kosmo Vinyl The Clash press and road manager for guest listing me to all three nights! Plus giving me an invitation to the private party the boys threw. What a blast that was!

The Clash rented out the Asbury Amusement Casino for a private party for press and friends. The party was on Sunday the 30th. The invite said from 12-4 AM after the final Asbury show. Nothing fancy … just a black and white photocopied collage of Joe, Mick and Paul. You have to remeber this was pre-Photoshop! One of the quotes from the invite read, “You have to be independent enough to remember what you were there to do in the first place, or you’re fucked.” Words to live by! And what were we there to do? Why talk to the Clash, take mondo photos and have some fun! But of course!

The Asbury Casino was one of those seriously “old school” amusement casinos. It had a beautiful full sized merry-go-round, a house of mirrors, electric bumper cars, tons of pin-ball machines, a black and white photo-booth and so much more! While there were plenty of posed group shots for the press, there were also plenty of opportunities for candid shots of the boys, and their girls. Mick was dating singer Ellen Foley at the time, and Paul was dating, and eventually married, Pearl Harbor of the band Pearl Harbor and the Explosions. Fun was had by all.

Once the shows were over my friend Charley Maria and I were off to London the following week to hawk some of our photo “wares”. I had hot hot hot photos of the Clash from the kick off Combat shows, the Casino party, as well as photos of The Clash back stage at Bonds in NYC. In our one week in London, I sold several photos, one was a back cover of a British teen-zeen called Kicks. It was the photo on the right, of Paul Simonon. The “NG” two letters of the words “Burning Spear” that had been spray painted on the dressing room wall at Bonds in NYC. The other photos I sold were used as article inserts for other London rock magazines.

As usual … if you were there any one of those nights or at the party, tell us your story in the comments.

Once I scan more of my Clash photos I’ll put up Bonds and Palladium (NY) photos too.

I have to say I’m very proud of my Clash photos. Hope you enjoy them.

zoom box