Sid, Nancy and Jerry Nolan NYC
Sid, Nancy and Jerry Nolan NYC
PHOTO: Joe Strummer, NYC, 1978. photo by Bob Gruen
The Clash – News Report about Bond’s Casino Shows – June 1981.
The Clash played a series of 17 concerts at Bond International Casino in New York City in May and June 1981 in support of their album Sandinista!. Due to their wide publicity, the concerts became an important moment in the history of the band.
The site of the concerts was formerly Bonds department store which had been converted into a large second-floor hall. Promoters kept the name because there was a large Bonds sign on the outside of the building. As The Clash had not yet broken out into mass popularity, eight shows were originally scheduled: 28, 29, 30, 31 May and 1, 2, 3 and 5 June 1981. However, given the venue’s legal capacity limit of 1750, the series was blatantly oversold (3500) right from the first night, leading the New York City Fire Department to cancel the Saturday, 30 May performance. In response, the band condemned the brazen greed of the promoters while demonstrating unprecedented integrity to each and every ticketholder by doubling the original booking with a total of 17 dates extending through June.
The concert captures The Clash on the cusp between being a cult band and their short-lived major market penetration. As always with The Clash, ticket and merchandise prices were set relatively low.
The band had a new opening act every night, including The Fall (band), Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, Lee “Scratch” Perry and many more.
The Clash interviewed on the Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder. June 1981.
RIOT ON TIMES SQUARE: THE CLASH ON BROADWAY!
In May/June of 1981, The Clash were booked to play at the curiously named “Bond International Casino”—a discotheque that was previously a swanky supper club in the 1940s, and then a low-rent clothing store called Bonds until 1977 and they just kept the sign—in New York City in support of the sprawling three record set Sandinista! album. They were meant to play just eight gigs in the smallish Times Square space—capacity 1800 people—but the performances were dangerously oversold by greedy promoters. Fire marshals and the NYC Building Department closed down both of the May 30th concerts, but the band vowed to honor each and every last ticket and so the number of shows was extended to seventeen, with matinee and evening performances added.
THAT TIME THE CLASH APPEARED IN MARTIN SCORSESE’S ‘THE KING OF COMEDY’.
An interesting cinematic footnote to the Clash’s time spent in New York City in the early 1980s—while they recorded their sprawling three-record Sandinista album—is their “blink and you missed ‘em” appearance in Martin Scorsese’s dark classic The King of Comedy.
PHOTO: New Order, NYC, 1981. Photo Eugene Merinov
PHOTO: NYC Punk Royalty: David Johansen, Lenny Kaye, Dee Dee Ramone, Patti Smith, Tom Verlaine and John Cale, Ocean Club 1976, photo Bob Gruen.
Photo: Nico and Lou Reed at Scepter Studios recording the first Velvet Underground album, NYC 1966.