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For this week’s Throwback Thursday we are playing a set from British punk-rockers the Clash to honor the 34th anniversary of their first North American tour!
The Sex Pistols may have jump-started the British punk movement, but the Clash had perfected it with their outlaw image, righteous politics and a roots-influenced sound that earned them passionate followings in both the U.K. and the U.S. Although it didn’t take long for them to sweep the U.K. by storm, it took several years for the band to make a name for themselves on this side of the Atlantic, and it all started with their first North American tour titled “Pearl Harbor ’79.” The eight-date tour began in early 1979 and featured stops in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and proved to be fairly successful considering the band had yet to receive significant radio airplay or album sales.
The success of this tour lead to the U.S. reissue of the Clash’s self-titled debut album, which only featured 10 of the album’s original 14 tracks but also featured a bonus 45 and EP selections including the band’s now (in)famous cover of the Bobby Fuller Four’s “I Fought the Law.” The Clash returned to the States later that fall with the Blockheads’ Mickey Gallagher on keyboards. On both tours Bo Diddley, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, neo-traditionalist country rock artist Joe Ely and punk rockabilly band the Cramps were among the Clash’s supporting acts. The selection of such R&B and traditional rock-style bands reflected the Clash’s growing fascination with the beginnings of rock and roll that would later drive their eclectic landmark double-album London Calling.
Celebrate the Clash’s “Pearl Harbor ‘79” tour with us today at 5PM at WERS!