The Clash's UK leg of 'Get Out Of Control' tour was to coincide with their 'Complete Control' chart entry at number 28 and introduce us to Richard Hell & The Voidoids from NYC and The Lous, a female punk band from France. It was a bad start to what turned out to be a troubled tour. This tour worked out particularly expensive since the cost of seat replacement is about £20 per seat and Clash audiences tend to smash them up. The band's reputation resulted in particularly high premiums being demanded by insurance companies, which required several of the original dates to be changed during the weeks immediately preceding the tour. Insurance problems - the promoters were informed that the band had several claims outstanding against them - were also responsible for putting paid to the very first show, in Belfast today, just two hours before the Clash were due to take the stage. Efforts to find a replacement venue at such short notice proved fruitless. A few thwarted gig-goers, not understanding the reason for the cancellation, took out their frustration by pelting the band's car with beer cans!
"In October 77 the CLASH were due to play the Ulster Hall Belfast, it was the first major gathering of N.I. punks (this was the night I found out there was a lot more people than me and my mates into this music in Belfast), at the last minute the gig was cancelled do to the insurance being withdrawn, the punks reacted by trying to block Bedford Street and a confrontration broke out between the police (RUC) and the punks, this became the inspiration for RUDI's most popular and notorious song "Cops" with the chant 'SSRUC' and the chorous 'we hate the cops'. The song was not a political statement but the bands reaction to the situation outside the venue." - Joe Donnelly 2002
Belfast had been chosen to start the tour because the Troubles represented the most extreme manifestation of street-level conflict and draconian state control the UK had to offer. Prior to the show being pulled, the Clash had gone walkabout in their Pop Star Army Fatigues - set off with seasonally appropriate leather biker jackets - and had been encouraged by representatives of all three leading music papers to pose for photographs against the barricades, in front of armed soldiers, and while being frisked at security checkpoints. These urban guerrilla-style pictures were duly plastered all over the following week's issues.
Mick told Melody Maker's lan Birch...
'I just felt like a dick. The best time was when all the kids were in the photos with us. That was the only time when it was human and real. I should imagine they'll lap it up in London, though.'
His realisation that such posturing struck the wrong note had come too late for him to object to Sebastian Conran's new stage backdrop. In the tradition of the White Riot Tour's charging policemen shot, it was a blow up of a violent Belfast street scene depicting armoured cars and sheltering civilians. While the Clash could justifiably claim a connection with the Notting Hill Riot, co-opting the Troubles for their own promotional ends was downright insulting to those who had to live full-time in circumstances far more soul-destroying than anything either experienced by the Clash or described on The Clash. By no means everyone in London 'lapped it up', either. The charging policemen backdrop was reinstated for the UK mainland dates.
are named in a lawsuit filed against Virgin Records from further distribution and sale of the picture cover for their latest release "Holidays In The Sun." The cover was not altogether original artwork. The 'Holidays' single was felt to be rather weak in the Gltterbest camp and needed a strong, eye-catching graphic. Jamie Reid went into a travel agents, found a Belgian tourist brochure, and added the words of the song. The result was a very successful: bright, unpunky until you looked at it carefully; and complementary to the song's global, political hysteria. The Belgian tourist company sued, of course and Jamie had to destroy the original artwork in front of their solicitor. 60,000 records sleeves are taken from warehouses and Virgin shops and replaced with plain white sleeves. It is estimated that some 5,000 single have been sold already and are beyond Virgin's reach.
Mayfair Suite, Birmingham
The Heartbreakers tour reaches its London climax, where they headline at the Rainbow. The Heartbreakers kick off their set by smashing a plate glass window conveniently set up on stage, with a brick. However the real fun and games started after the gig had finished.Nils Stevenson Siouxsie And The Banshees manager tells the story...
"After supporting the Heartbreakers at the Rainbow, we were outside the stage door with a bit of an entourage waiting for some cabs that had been ordered. Then the Police came up and started abusing us all and dragged 999 's drummer into a van. We're all going what the hell's going on, then Sioux got really lippy, so they chucked her in the van as well, then Kenny went crazy so they took him as well. All the time, I'm shouting and screaming but they just ignored me and as they drove off, I chased after the van shouting stupid things like " You don't know who you 've arrested!"and, "I'm gonna get you." She was no-one then, the cops just laughed at me! At the nick they took away her shoes cos they were 'offensive weapons', they threatened her with rape. So she's shouting at them, calling them pigs and cunts, like you would! So every time she shouts they go to the next cell and hit Kenny, throw him against the wall. So Kenny shouts out "Sioux shut-up" so they go back and do it again to shut him up. This went on four or five times and Sioux still wouldn't be quiet. Eventually they took Sioux to another station, very peculiar. She had to walk to the van in the pouring rain, no shoes, no coat - subtly sadistic, and the threats, it must have been very upsetting for her - she was only 19 or so.
Next day, I got a lawyer on the case. I had got no money to pay him, but what the hell! Counsel said "We'll sort this out alright" and they called up Highbury Magistrates Court to delay the case so that they could have legal representation, OK. Then they put Sioux up immediately before we could get there. But we arrived for Kenny's case. Put up a defence.. .i.e: "Who were these people obstructing sargeant?" "US!". "If Mr Morris is guilty of obstruction so is every person who waits for a bus or stops to look in a shop window", etc. GUILTY - £20 fine. Next
After the case, my brief said "Stay out of FinsburyPark for awhile. The way that sargeant looked at you ...!
THE STIFF/CHISWICK CHALLENGE
Here's a new idea in promotions. A record company sorting out potential signings at a live gig. Both Stiff and Chiswick Records have contributed three bands each to tonight's gig at London's Acklam Hall. The bands were selected from the hundreds of applicants for contracts they receive every week. Groups for the concert include The Clutch Plates, The Outsiders, Molesters, Strangeways, Wild Thing and The Alligators. The best part is that the gig is absolutely free to punters, but there is a stiff charge for A&R men. To insure that none slip through unnoticed, there are veteran A&R men spotters at the door. Here's the opportunity to see next weeks big thing, today.