The Clash in St. Paul, 1979 (1 Viewer)


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Someone recently said to me, "You know that you are clearly visible in one of the pictures in Pennie Smith's book The Clash: Before and After, doncha?" And I said, "Of course I know that," but I'd never actually heard of the book.

So I scrounged up a crappy copy on eBay, and lo and behold, there is the teenaged mjp, arm casually resting on the stage monitor in front of Joe Strummer. Because that's just how I rolled, you know.


That was September, in November was the Iggy show at the Longhorn bar, then in the first few months of 1980 the Pretenders played at First Avenue (their first tour - and First Ave. was called Sam's at the time), and shortly after that Johnny Thunders and Wayne Kramer did one of their few shows together (as "Gangwar") there. The next night Johnny did a solo gig with a pick-up band in the dank little nook off to the side of First Ave. called the 7th Street Entry. U2 also played at First Ave. around that time. It seemed like there were always a million shows to see back then.

All I remember about the Pretenders gig was getting tossed out onto the sidewalk that ran along the actual 1st Ave. because as I was emptying my beer bottles I would fling them at the band. I liked The Pretenders, but it was my friend Steve's birthday, so I was celebrating. And I was welcoming the new decade and all that. None of the big muscle-y fuckers who gave me the boot realized that, however.

Groovy times, Johnny!

gojohnnygo ruined changed my life by handing me a couple of Peter Tosh cassettes one day. He is a big wheel in the history of Twin Cities punk. So show him some respect already.

And he made me aware of the picture in this post, these 31 long years later, so there you go.
Yeah, for the mid-70s arena shows, tickets were often three bucks to see three bands. Up in the cornfields of the Midwest, anyway.

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