The Clash @ Asbury Park Convention Hall 1982

  • Thursday / June 26, 2008

The Clash @ Asbury Park Convention Hall 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

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.
The Clash @ Asbury Park Convention Hall 1982The Clash @ Asbury Park Convention Hall 1982This 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 29th, 30th & 31st, 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!

Clash Party InvitationThe Clash rented out the Asbury Amusement Casino for a private party for press and friends. The party was on Sunday the 31st. 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.
The Clash @ Asbury Park Convention Hall 1982

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 @ Asbury Park, NJ 1982
The Clash Live @ Convention HallThe Clash Party @ Asbury Park Amusment Casino
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Joe Streno

Joe Streno

artist . musician . photographer . apple computer consultant . residing on planet earth with his two cats rocky & rose & living to tell tales about it

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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?

Joe Streno

Yes. Sorry to say …. you were hallucinating. lol I have no recollection of the Clash being disguised or wearing wigs at any of those shows & if they did I’d have photos—for sure! The only time I ever saw them hide their identities was when they walked on stage at the Palladium during Mikey Dread’s opening set.

You can see those photos here: https://www.go2jo.com/music/the-clash-the-palladium-nyc-1980/

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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.

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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!!

Joe Streno

@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.

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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.

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