Before getting into the business of restoring old soda machines, I was in the T-shirt business for many years. A couple of friends and I started printing shirts in 1977 on my best friend’s parents’ porch. Although we would print anything to make a buck we really loved printing shirts of our favorite rock bands. It was right around that time we got into punk rock, and our favorite punk band was The Clash! So a few years later, when we got to do the printing for the official Clash at the Bonds Casino gig in NY City, we where ecstatic. We printed the shirts, drove them to NY City, sold them in the streets and even manned a concession stand at the show. Talk about a great time – hanging out in NY City, selling shirts and going to Clash concerts.
My memory is a little hazy, so I’m not sure how many shows we saw or how long we stayed in NY but we where there on May 30th, 1981.
The Clash were originally scheduled to play eight shows: May 28, 29, 30, 31 and June 1,2, 3, and 5, 1981.
But on May 30th the concert was canceled by the Fire Department because of over crowded conditions. The promoter sold far to many tickets than the place could hold and it almost caused a riot around the theater which was in Times Square. Police on horse back were pushing people out of the streets, and people running around yelling who knows what.
Check out these shots of that night:
Eventually order was restored and no one was hurt and The Clash – being a band of the people – decided to honor every ticket that was sold and kept playing every night until all tickets where used.
I hope you enjoy the pictures, and if you have any memories of when the Clash took over the Bonds Casino in NY City please share them here.
“White riot – I wanna riot White riot – a riot of my own” – The Clash