Clash Asbury

The Clash @ Asbury Park Convention Hall 1982

Categories Music, The Clash29 Comments

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 …


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 Maraia 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.

The Clash Setlist Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ, USA May 29, 1982, Combat Rock
The Clash Setlist Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ, USA May 30, 1982, Combat Rock
The Clash Setlist Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ, USA May 31, 1982, Combat Rock

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.

The Clash @ Convention Hall : Asbury Park NJ : 1982
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The Clash @ Asbury Park Amusment Casino Party
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Joe Streno
artist . musician . photographer . apple computer consultant . residing in asbury park nj with his two cats rocky & rose & living to tell tales about it

29 thoughts on “The Clash @ Asbury Park Convention Hall 1982

  1. I saw the shows and remember the Clash coming on stage the first night in ‘disguise’ and then throwing off their wigs and launching into London Calling. Did I hallucinate this or did it actually happen?

  2. I noticed in one pic of Joe he’s wearing a leather vest. On his left side is a sheriff’s badge. I know it’s a total long shot but I may have that badge. I saw the Clash about 10 weeks later at Grand Circus Theater in Detroit on 8/16/82. During the song Clampdown all hell broke loose and I ended up on stage with a dozen or two other fans. Before being “encouraged” by the bouncers to get back off the stage I grabbed the sheriff’s badge off Joe’s vest. I still have it somewhere along with my shirt from the show. It sure looks the same in your picture. I wish I could see a clear close up I might be able to identify it better.

  3. Hey Joe great pics. Thanks for posting them. I was at both the M80 show and the after party. Greatest night ever, getting to hang with my heros. I was wondering, did you post all your pics from the party?? Reason I ask is I bet I’m or some of my friends are in them. We were right next to strummer when he was playing pinball. if you could share any others you might have I’d appreciate it. Thanks!!

    1. @Martin … Thanks! These are all the photos I have. At some point in time there may have been more that I edited out for being blurry or just “not ready for primetime”, but those disappeared into the great unknown somewhere in the past 32 years. I may have just trashed them … who knows. These are the best out of what I shot & all that there are.

      Do you have any photos of yourself from back then? If so send me one … maybe I can look more closely at what I have from the party. Then again, what you see is what I have. So if you don’t see yourself … then I framed tightly and you didn’t make it in any of the shots that are left.

  4. I was lucky to see the CLASH five times on different tours (Capital Theater, twice at Bonds) and different years. 
    I remember Asbury Park well.  My friends and I went down at sunrise and spent the entire day at the beach waiting for the show.  The first band was an all girl band that was pretty bad.  I think it was the cannibal girls.  The room was standing room only and when the CLASH came on the crowd went wild bouncing to the music.  
    Then some F$%^& A#$ H&%# threw an M 80 that went off by Joe Stummers ear while he was playing. Joe dropped his guitar, it hit the stage with a wack and the band stopped playing, then he put his hand to his ear, and walked off stage in the middle of the song.  After about 10 minutes he came back on stage and announced the show was over “thanks to some fuckin ass hole that hurt my ear” and I think he said something to the effect that the crowd did not deserve any more CLASH.  The lights came up and my friends and I were pissed off!  IT WAS OVER ! ?  DAM!  The whole crowd was mad, not at the CLASH but the fire cracker dude. We waited weeks for the show after getting tickets.  We waited all day for that show at the beach and spent good money for it and to get there.  I think the show was cut short at least an hour.  I only remember the CLASH playing a few songs before it happened. 
    We walked out of the south side of the building and we heard police cars and an ambulance afterwards.  We (the crowd) were all hoping that whoever threw the M80 had the crap beaten out of him and was headed to the hospital.  Some of the people around us actually went to find him.  I actually thought we might end up in some punk rock melee riot
    Come to think of it, that was the last show I ever was able to get tickets for to see them.  Never saw them again.

    1. Hey Gofredm, I’m guessing you didn’t get to read all the other comments, but since you mention the universal pissed-off-ness of the crowd at that show, just thought you’d be interested to know that the total ASS who threw the M80s actually posted – proudly! – in these comments up above!!! Unbelievable that that idiot thinks it is something to be proud of. Joe Streno properly put him in his place, but from his enthusiasm all these years later about being the one who threw the M80s, I’m guessing he did not have the crap beat out of him after the show. Hopefully karma paid him back some other way….

  5. Thanks for sharing, these fine photos brought back great memories of that night. Before the show on Saturday June 29 we saw Kosmo Vinyl in the arcade area outside Convention Hall and hit him up for a couple invites for the party – which he graciously granted. The party in the Casino arcade down the boardwalk was a hoot and an occasion to rub elbows with the band. That night and the following one would be my last Clash shows. I hope this clears up some inaccuracies about when this party was held – after the opening concert of the tour and the three-night stand.

  6. Was at the show with the M80’s, and the opening band was bad, swore they played the same song over and over and over… Sounded like palmolive or something a long those lines.

  7. I don’t see any pix or mention of Pulsallama who opened all three of the shows and partied at the after party. I was the drummer of Pulsallama and thereby more protected from the crap that was thrown at our front line (ice, pennies…ouch they hurt).

    1. Jean … thanks for the comment. :)

      Back then, I was a poor student who had limited cash to buy film for those three nights and the upcoming trip to Europe a week later. I think that my mates and I walked the boardwalk during the opener each night. No offense to you or Pulsallama … but sometimes the Clash crowds were “not too receptive” to openers. So we saved being crushed, pelted and ringing ears for the Clash.

      So what I didn’t see, or remember, I couldn’t write about. Add 28 years of time & space (in my brain) and there’s a lot, I’m sure is missing. Like someone throwing an M80 at the stage one night while the Clash were playing. Uh. Really? Hmmm. Maybe.

      Thanks again for stopping by.

    2. Pulsallama took away an opportunity from countless other bands who were more qualified than you to open for the clash three shows. You bandmate who was bonking PiL/ex Clash Keith Levene at the time came with its benefits huh Jean?

  8. Wow your photos are way better than the ones I took with my Kodak instamatic! :-)
    Seriously, your shots are priceless and you have brought back a ton of memories of that weekend for me…I met Joe at the Casino party, he was so sweet-still have his autograph from that nite Kosmo Vinyl was quite a character, it was a very foggy soupy damp weekend …the sound was horrible in Convention Hall but it didn’t matter.
    Great site you have.

    1. Deborah …

      That entire weekend was dreamlike. From getting into the shows & seeing all three performances, including the party, to the wild “soupy” weather. Maybe the band brought huge fog machines to help with that “London barge on the Thames” feeling. It certainly worked!

      Glad to be a portal to that weekend for you.

      Thanks … Joe

  9. Great work, and thank you!..
    I was at 2 of the shows during this stint at asbury park- but I think only one party at the “casino” as I recall they gave out wristbands? Anywas the fotos are incredible-the only time I ever saw a photo of this was on the back cover of a Circus magazine. One of my buddies was in the bumper car arena with Mick Jones.
    Pulsallamma was probably one of the worst bands ever- I remember a song called “pulsullama f**k your momma”…
    Anyway one of the best nights of my childhood despite the quick encore because of the M-80, also went to operning night at Bonds cended early by fire department (at 16 years old) and a great show in the puring rain at Pier 17 in NY..
    Great stuff

    1. I was also at the M-80 show. Remember waiting in line all day on the boardwalk and even hearing the sound check. Finally getting let in I made my way to front of the stage on the left side facing the stage in front of Mick. I believe they opened with London Calling. I think the M-80 came during the first song of the encore, which sucked that the show was cut short! JOE WAS PISSED OFF!!! And so was the crowd. It was a rowdy group and I remember all of the booing and shit throwing during the opening act. No offense Jean it sounded pretty bad. But I always wondered if that was the boys motive to get the crowd worked up into a frenzy so when they came on the roof would blow off of the place, because I remember they came out strong with a lot of energy and the crowd feed off of that energy. Also at the Pier show, I believe it was Pier 84. Kurtis Blow and Black Uhuru opened up which really showed the boys diverse music influences. The rain and lightning was great. No stopping shows back then for a thunder and lightning storm and to the great atmosphere! That was August of that same year 1982. Good stuff!

    2. CJ: the only reason why Pulsallama was there was because one of them was bonking Keith Levene. They were awful overrated and had no business opening for the Clash who had just released Combat Rock which was huge in the states. Imagine how many other bands would have died for the opportunity to get that kind of exposure.

  10. Thanks again Joe:

    Clash was a very big influence on me to. Got me interested in left politics and activism and encouraged me to read and travel. I am still listening to this stuff today.

    My big moment as a CLash fan came when I interviewed Mick for my fanzine on the tour bus outside the Fast Lane. He was there for his girlfriend’s show (Ellen Foley).

    Never met Joe though he was a hero of mine growing up.


    Kevin LaMastra´s last blog post..The Clash @ Bonds NYC 1981

  11. ARE YOU READY FOR THIS – I thru the m-80 at that show. I was there with friends from Matawan, NJ. I 1st heard The Clash on WNEW 102.7 ( I think it Dennis Elsies “Things from England” an import record album show friday afternoons) and was a huge fan – going to this show was what life was all about.. I love Asbury Park , We used to go there as kids and a ride in the indoor skateboard park ( Skabo ?) When I was real young I was there with my Grandparents from Brooklyn for a beach vacation ( the town was on the way down but still had good rides and all the Jersey Shore fun – and I find a $20 bill in the surf – I was 6 or so and tha THAT WAS WHEN $20 WAS SOMETHING- tHAT FROZE A GREAT MEMORY OF THAT TOWN IN MY MIND AS A KID. i LIVE IN FLORIDA NOW FOR 20+ YEARS BUT I WAS JUST THEre for the Stone Poney 7/3 South Side Johnny show – I went with my 72year old dad- Time of our lives… Even went to Freehold and had Fredericies pizza. One thing – I was watching all those lunitics Slam Dancing on the floor and thinking they invented it THAT NIGHT !!! It was loke it was their full time job – they were So comitted to it- Like Marines- bleeding and pouring with sweat. I swear to GOD- I KNEW THAT NIGHT( I THINK I ACTUALLY SAID ITOUT LOUD) THAT ONE DAY YEARS FROM THEN I WOULD BE TALKING ABOUT THIS SHOW AND THIS BAND- FREAKIN FACT!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO PUT THIS UP ON THE WEB-IT’S A GREAT THING DAN

    1. @Dan

      If you were the one who threw both those fireworks, you have a lot of people who remeber, and are pissed off at you. It was a very careless and immature thing to do. You could have hurt any one of the band members, though it was Joe’s leg it exploded by, plus you could have hurt any one of the people in the crowd.

      Hope in all those years you’ve grown up. It’s not anything that I’d admit or be proud of.

      :::::::::::::: Joe stepping off his soapbox :::::::::::::::

  12. thanx for photos. i met once joe in Paris. he was nice and smart. In 82, the clash without topper was the beguinning of the end. Joe has said that and Paul and Mick were in conflict. Chrimes was a good drummer but nicky was the”soul”. i miss them.

  13. I was there too! And I missed the cherry bomb show but was at the last show and also at that party, so those pics brought back VERY happy memories! So great to see how happy they all look in those pics!

    Do you have others that include more people in the background? I’ve always wondered if I’m in anyone’s pics because I remember flashes going off everywhere. Please let me know if you have more from the amusement park party that include any other bystanders.

    Thanks for putting these up! When I can afford to buy a few, I definitely will.
    Take care!

  14. Yea i’d be proud to if i had taken those photo’s, thanks for sharing them, on top off that you got to go to the party too, you lucky son son of a gun, thanks again man, appreciate.
    Cat -London Town-England

  15. Many many thanks for posting the photos. Heck of a trip down memory lane. I’d forgotten how much color they brought to the stage. I was also there the night the cherry bombs went off. There were two, the first was during the set opener, London Calling. It went off in the crowd and seemd extremely loud to these ears. The second, which reached the stage, went off during “Straight to Hell”, which was the first (and only) number performed for an encore. As “Straight to Hell” began, Joe musn’t have liked the way Terry was playing, because he jumped up on the bass-drum and grabbed his sticks mid-song, then motioned for Chimes to slow down. Shortly after that the 2nd cherry bomb went off, shortening the night.

    I’m headed down the shore on Sunday, exit 63.

  16. You will never know how happy these photos make me!!! This was one of those shows that I was at, but have a hard time remembering (Y’know how that can be). I was at the Clash gig on Saturday, and someone threw a cherry bomb onstage that hit Joe in the leg. Do you remember that? Or even have film of it? It’s amazing because so many people who were at those shows don’t remember–and it’s not mentioned in the press anywhere. But even more amazing…26 years later I met Mick Jones in Asbury Park when Carbon/Silicon was playing at Asbury lanes. We walked to the beach together and I told him that I’d seen the Clash play at the Convention Hall (which was in eyeshot) and told him about Joe getting hit with the explosive. His face lit up — “Oh yeah – I remember that! That was here, was it?” And then he yelled to the guys in the band — hey we played here and Joe got hit with a cherry bomb! It was so funny — me reminding Mick of something that had happened 26 yrs ago. Oh Asbury Park — it’s a place where dreams do come true. Thank you so much for sharing these phots — I will treasure them always. I can’t imagine what it must have been like at the boardwalk with those guys back then. You certainly have some great memories, huh!

    1. @iluvtheclash

      Happy to have been of service. It’s always nice to know I can help put a smile on the face of someone through my photos.

      I’m also happy to hear from someone else who was there. It was so long ago. But I have to tell you I don’t remeber the “cherry bomb incident”. You have to remeber I was there taking photos … I may not have been focused on Joe. And how does one tell the difference between a cherry bomb and Terry Chimes cracking the snare at a billion decibels! :)

      I’m so pissed that I missed Mick when he passed through Seattle. I hear they will be coming back.

      I also miss the Jersey Shore … maybe one day I’ll move back. I lived in Asbury, and Long Branch for many years …. saw plenty of shows there too! Even my band “The Human Element” played the Pony, High Tide Cafe, The Brighton Bar and others.

      Lots of memories back there.

      Thanks for posting a comment …. Joe

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