It’s The 40th Anniversary Of The Clash’s Legendary Times Square Concerts


In 1981, pioneering punk rock band The Conflict arrived in New York Metropolis for an eight-night stand, starting on Could twenty eighth, at now-defunct Occasions Sq. music venue Bond’s Worldwide On line casino. However the Could twenty ninth present was oversold by over 100%—the previous clothes retailer turned efficiency corridor had a capability of 1,800, however they apparently had 3,640 individuals within the house.

The NY Occasions reported on the time that the Division of Buildings shut down the membership, “however after the membership complied with constructing inspectors by putting in fire-exit indicators and making different minor alterations, it was allowed to reopen – on the situation that audiences not exceed the authorized restrict.”

The Conflict, whereas anti-establishment, have been nonetheless a really fan-focused group, and since all the different reveals have been equally oversold, the band determined to play a complete of 17 reveals, so anybody who purchased tickets might doubtlessly see them or they may go for a refund.

“All people who has a bonus ticket has obtained to attend a number of days,” their supervisor mentioned on a 1981 information phase. For individuals who could not go, “they will get their a refund, that we promise.”

Every evening had a unique opening act, together with the likes of The Lifeless Kennedys, Dangerous Brains, Joe Ely, and Grandmaster Flash and the Livid 5. Within the information footage under, you may see the group reacting badly to Grandmaster Flash and the Livid 5, throwing gadgets on the stage. Author Joe Bosso, who noticed the primary efficiency the place the rap legends have been the openers, recalled that Strummer’s voice got here on the PA system to admonish the viewers, “Lower the crap and provides them an opportunity! The Conflict picked Grandmaster Flash to play for you, and in case you don’t deal with them with some respect, then you definitely don’t need to see the Conflict!”

Bosso additionally wrote of the teeming crowds, “One thing like 3,500 individuals have been packed into Bond’s, nevertheless it appeared, felt, and smelled like twice that quantity. The temperature was stifling. Shimmering waves of warmth rose from the group and fashioned a cloud overhead. Each time we moved, damaged glass crunched beneath our toes. It appeared as if all people had a secret stash of one thing and the air was thick with smoke. We have been being shoved, pushed; we have been swaying. It was terrifying and thrilling. This was it. I used to be lastly going to see the Conflict, dwell…”

The reveals adopted the 1980 launch of their masterful triple album Sandinista!, and movie director Don Letts shared footage from the 1981 NYC journey to accompany a brand new video for “The Magnificent Seven” just lately (the efficiency photographs are from their look on Tom Snyder’s Tomorrow Present).

Bond’s was initially the Worldwide On line casino, a theater corridor on the nook of Broadway and forty fifth Avenue, within the Thirties, in response to Bowery Boys. They write, “Bond Garments took over the placement as a males’s clothes emporium, and selected a flashy facade to match the rooms of clothes inside. An enormous neon signal held a clock within the O of BOND, alongside a 50-foot man and girl, an digital waterfall and a information roll zipped alongside the entrance — all drenched in electrical lights!”

A color photograph of Times Square at night, with the red lights of the Bond's sign visible on the left


Occasions Sq. in 1976; Bond’s Garments

Sandy Colton/AP/Shutterstock

The clothes retailer closed in 1977, however the house was resurrected as a nightclub and live performance venue in 1980, marrying its two previous incarnations with the identify Bond’s Worldwide On line casino. There may be now a restaurant, Bond 45, within the house.

And for these of you wishing you have been there, this is remastered audio of the Could twenty eighth, 1981 present: