As Shea Stadium Closes, A Clash Concert There Is Revived

Written by on October 8, 2008

New York Mets fans recently celebrated the last-ever game at their beloved Shea Stadium in Queens after a heart-breaking team collapse to close out the season. For those who wagered on the winning team, they can now claim their prizes on sites like Betwiz. Even though the closing of their crosstown rivals’ stadium in The Bronx received more fanfare, Shea’s last days were not without fanfare. Billy Joel performed the final concert there a few months ago as part of the year-long goodbye schedule. Many great memories were shared there, including the opening of the 1965 Beatles North American Tour, the 1969 Miracle Mets season, the 1970 Festival For Peace and the Robin Ventura Grand-Slam Single in 1999.

[amazonify]B001E7OO2S[/amazonify]Punk fans has their day there as well when The Clash held a big concert at the Queens landmark on October 13, 1982. While it was considered a historical concert, fans did not know it may have been the beginning of the end for their heroes. The show took place after The Clash released Combat Rock, their most commercially successful album, but it was also shortly after they kicked out their drummer, Topper Headon, and only a year before Mick Jones would leave the band due to creative differences. A recent Rolling Stone Magazine review hammers home the significance of the Clash’s appearance at Shea in the band’s historical timeline:

Live at Shea is notable for catching the Clash before their growing artiness ruined some later songs. And Strummer’s weird charisma is in full view: Near the end of “Clampdown,” he rants against the hostile crowd about how he’d like to “practice chemistry” on the “72,000 guinea pigs”

While bootlegs of the performance had floated around, an official CD release of the legendary concert is finally out.
The Clash: Live at Shea Stadium is now available to fans who want to recapture their memories of the band at the pinnacle of their careers. The Clash had a major influence on their younger and newer punk counterparts of the time, creating their own place in rock history. The also managed to keep their punk cred while evolving artistically, combining their already-strong punk roots with Joe Strummer’s raw sound and Jones’ creative funk bend on the genre.

Fans of The Clash will not be disappointed with the CD and I concur with Rolling Stone and some others who say they might prefer some of their other concerts be released over this one, but this particular show is worth picking up for any Clash die-hard and young rock fans who want to hear an experience that will never happen again: a full-blown real concert from a great band at Shea Stadium.

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