Even features Joe Ely on one track!
By Uncle Blurt
It’s likely that the Sept. 8, 1979 appearance by the Clash at the “Tribal Stomp” festival in Monterey, California, is not the best known one; the band’s legendary set at the US Festival and even its stint opening for The Who on that outfit’s American tour are typically mentioned when talking about big Clash concerts. Plus, it was reportedly “a poorly attended event… the promoter Chet Helms, lost money, the Clash were pissed off about the situation and allegedly thrashed the rented RV that was their dressing room, costing even more money.” So it’s probably not even a show that members of the band recall all that fondly.
Speaking as someone who owns a ton of live Clash shows, I’m pretty stunned to hear it now in such great sound quality. Over at the Big O zine they’ve posted it as a free download, along with accompanying artwork, and it was apparently taken from the original taper’s master cassette. We are informed that, “This is the first time that this tape has been digitized and EQed with software which allows for the cleanest, most listenable version to be offered here.”
Indeed, it’s a pretty ace recording, sounding at times almost like a soundboard tape. Over the course of an hour-long set the band pretty much covers all the bases, from “I’m So Board With the USA” to “London Calling” to “Safe European Home” to a brief “Armagiddeon Time.” There’s also a guest appearance by Joe Ely on “Fingernails.” Below is the full setlist.