Review: “Live at Shea Stadium,” The Clash


The Clash came out of the London punk scene of the late 70s that featured, among others, Elvis Costello and the Sex Pistols. Many times the punk bands were good in the studio (Costello), but sucked on stage (Sex Pistols, although they were funny).  But that was the idea: they were supposed to suck, Costello couldn’t help but be good.  Everything was played at breakneck speed usually sung off key.  However, Live at Shea Stadium has neither of these negative elements.  It kicks ass from start to finish.

Actually punk was long dead when Live at Shea Stadium was recorded in 1982.  The Clash -featuring Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Terry Chimes (replacing drummer Topper Headon who was kicked out because of his need for heroin) and Paul Simonon – opened for The Who on their first of many farewell tours.  They ripped through “Train in Vain,” “Rock the Casbah,” “Spanish Bombs,” and “Should I Stay or Should I Go.”  They also dug into the catalog for gems like “London Calling,” “The Magnificent Seven,” the ska-inflected B-side “Armagideon Time” and a rocking “Clampdown.”

Live at Shea Stadium was one of the last great recordings that featured Strummer and Jones together.  Jones was fired the following year and went on to form Big Audio Dynamite.  Strummer continued on with some other guys, but it was never the same. There have been many great nights at the soon-to-be torn down Shea Stadium. This collection captures one of them.

MP3: “London Calling” (live)

MP3: “Rock The Casbah” (live)

The Clash official website

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