Remembering Joe Strummer: The Clash Performs Live In 1980


The Clash forever changed and influenced not only punk rock but also new wave as well as the grunge and alternative rock spheres. Beginning as punk pioneers in the original wave of British punk rock of the mid to late 1970s, the band showed a willingness to experiment that ushered in the new wave and alternative rock eras. And as is true with any punk rockers worth their salt, The Clash overtly and explosively commented on a number of socio-political issues.

The main man behind those comments was founding member, rhythm guitarist, lyricist and singer Joe Strummer. Today, December 22, marks 16 years since Joe died suddenly at the far too early age of 50 due to an undiagnosed congenital heart condition.

Strummer was born John Graham Mellor on August 21, 1952 in Ankara, Turkey as his father was a British foreign service officer. Forever a punk icon, Strummer was somewhat surprisingly influenced by The Beach Boys, saying that they were the reason he played music. This may explain Strummer and The Clash’s penchant for experimentation, something that began to develop while recording their landmark 1979 album London Calling.

But the record didn’t actually come out in America until January 1980. The Clash would tour the States not long after. On March 8, 1980 the band performed at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey. The concert is The Clash at the height of their powers. Luckily video of the show has survived for posterity and reads like a blueprint in building the bridge that would connect punk with new wave and grunge. To remember Joe, check out the entire show via The Clash On MV below:


  • 0:00:00 – Clash City Rockers
  • 0:03:43 – Brand New Cadillac
  • 0:05:47 – Safe European Home
  • 0:09:20 – Jimmy Jazz
  • 0:13:31 – London Calling
  • 0:16:57 – Guns of Brixton
  • 0:20:11 – Train In Vain
  • 0:23:28 – White Man
  • 0:27:48 – Koka Kola / I Fought The Law
  • 0:32:00 – Spanish Bombs
  • 0:35:23 – Police And Thieves
  • 0:40:17 – Stay Free
  • 0:43:52 – Julie’s Been Working For The Drug Squad
  • 0:47:08 – Wrong Em Boyo
  • 0:51:12 – Clampdown (incomplete)
  • 0:54:46 – Janie Jones
  • 0:56:50 – Complete Control
  • 1:00:27 – Armageddon Time
  • 1:07:47 – English Civil War / Garageland
  • 1:11:19 – Bank Robber
  • 1:15:00 – Tommy Gun