I am up early staring at a photo of The Clash. They should of negotiated a deal with some dentists while pulling off one of the more incredible feats of rock 'n' roll l history. They released Sandinista in December 1980, and by summer were in New York City, promoting what was to be a three-night soldout at the storied Bond theater. A promoter sells a finite number of tickets, yes, well, no ...
The first show was so overbooked the fire marshals shut it down and that became the 17-show stand at The Bond with the hippest openers you could dream up. It led to a Clash in NYC. craze no other band will ever do again.
They Put out the single "The Magnificent Seven" backed with a "Special Remix" produced by the pseudonymous Pepe Unidos and he used Ian Dury's Blockheads Norman Watts-Roy on bass and the keyboard player as well for a more funky/discofied sound with more congas and bits of dub to change the version and make it ready for the Black Radio Station of them all, 107.5 WBLS.
At 4 p.m. D.J. Frankie Crocker stepped in with his "There I Go, There I Go, There I Go..." The chief rocker Mr.Crocker unleashed Strummer's gruff Don't you ever stop/Long enough to start/Take your car out of that gear and it was on: Puerto Rican teens with ghettoblasters on their shoulders, rhymed quality rap's of their tenement products—dope and Coke, tricked out to capture as much business as they could, up and down the streets of Alphabet City. Where urban renewal was crumbling apart and tunnels were dug into catacomb like fissure's.
The Clash began a love affair with the city, they had done what so few had managed before.To crack open black radio on their terms. The night I saw them at Bond's, Grandmaster Flash was the opener while Nicaraguan rebels held rifles and made the entire place much more than just a long strand of shows. I will never forget that night, WBLS pumping the b-side, and the real listeners were driving laundry trucks, scooping ice cream and waiting for the subway to take them home. Goodnight to a time and place that no longer exists except on a turntable and in the tender recesses of the imagination.