This footage is preposterously entertaining. It was 1981, the Clash were supporting Sandinista! The Clash had booked eight gigs at a nightclub called Bond’s Casino in Times Square in May and June of 1981—Richard has already written about that legendary stint in considerable detail.
(In related news, a comprehensive Clash box set dropped this week. The Clash: Sound System, designed by Paul Simonon to resemble an old-school boom box, contains the Clash’s first five U.S. releases—The Clash, Give ‘Em Enough Rope, London Calling, Sandinista!, and Combat Rock—three discs of rarities and outtakes, a DVD with videos, live material, and previously unseen footage by Julien Temple and Don Letts, and lots of other fun trinkets and doodads.)
Anyway, while they were in New York, they paid a visit to The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder. If you’re into the Clash and you haven’t seen this, you are in for a treat.
During the interview, Joe Strummer keeps fooling around with a cute teddy bear, but, very much in the manner of an impatient fusspot dad, no-nonsense Tom keeps taking it away from him. The band decide to affix stickers all over Tom’s body and then Joe puts a “Have a Nice Day!” plastic bag over his head. Then they debate the ins and outs of squatting. I’m making it sound silly, but somehow all this happens and they also manage to answer Tom’s questions about vacant youth and so forth with a good mixture of seriousness and silliness, and it all happens in under nine minutes.
After the commercial the Clash entertains the crowd with vital performances of “The Magnificent Seven” and “This Is Radio Clash.” While the band is doing “This Is Radio Clash,” Futura 2000 is seen spray-painting text all over the back wall and there’s generally an undercurrent of controlled mayhem throughout.
This is must-see stuff.
The interview section is here:
“The Magnificent Seven”
“This is Radio Clash”