Way back in April of last year we revisited The Greatest Concert Ever, or so they say: The Clash at the Bronco Bowl on June 6, 1982. But tonight, we go back even further than that -- to the old Palladium on October 6, 1979, when Joes Strummer and Ely shared a Dallas stage at set's end, Ely singing his "Fingernails" followed by an all-out "White Riot" after a 20-song set that, even through the muddle of bootleg murk, is extraordinary. Historic, even.
I've been looking for this forever and found it just this evening, here, unmarked save for the date. Unzipped, it revealed itself as the second-gen recording extensively documented here, where the Clash chronicler writes, quite accurately, that "the more the decibels rise, the greater the distortion. Despite this all the instrumentation comes through and vocals are quite clear."
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This, per Ponty Bone's recollection (complete with photos), was the third stop on the five-city stint opening for the Clash, of whom Ely speaks with nothing but reverence and affection to this day. "We just hit it off immediately," he told me at the Kessler in January. "It was an odd meeting of bands from remote, different places." But no so different, he goes on to explain. After all, the man who wrote "I Fought the Law," heard here at the mid-way point, was Sonny Curtis of Lubbock, just like Ely.