Happy Birthday, Joe Strummer: Listen to The Clash play JFK Stadium in 1982

The Clash outside JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, PA. September 25, 1982 | Photograph by Bob Gruen

Today would have been the 61st birthday of Joe Strummer, legendary guitarist and lyricist for punk icons The Clash. Best known for being the heart and soul of that influential, genre-defining (and defying) group, Strummer also released solo work through the 80s and 90s, collaborated with The Pogues and others, and released a solid string of albums with his band The Mescaleros up until his death in December of 2002. He was 50 years old.

Two decades prior, The Clash was riding high on the massive commercial success of their fifth full-length, Combat Rock, which was to be the final release with their “classic” four-piece lineup. A late summer tour opening for The Who brought them to Philadelphia on September 25th, 1982, playing to a massive crowd at JFK Stadium. The set featured songs from the recently-released album – “Rock The Casbah,” and of course “Should I Stay or Should I Go – but also drew from across their discography for selections like “Police on My Back,” “White Man in Hammersmith Palais,” “Clampdown” and more. Audio from the entire performance is on YouTube; listen to it below and tell us your favorite Strummer songs or memories in the comments.




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2 Responses to “Happy Birthday, Joe Strummer: Listen to The Clash play JFK Stadium in 1982”

  1. GOAT

    I was at this show, thanks to my Aunt who was a Who fan. But I was 4 years old, so I remember nothing but the fact I was there. Biggest crime that I saw my favorite band but was too young to remember it. Got to finally meet Joe when the Mescaleros first came through Philly and it was amazing getting to spend the night hanging out with the man who was and still is my hero. The man was no rock star phony. He meant everything he stood for and was the nicest guy. Changed my life. Thanks Joe. We still miss you.


    I was at this show. There were supposed to be two shows featuring the Who. One show was to have the Clash, the Other Santana. For some reason the shows were combined. The show lineup ended up being Philadelphia’s The Hooters, Santana, The Clash, and The Who. About 110,000 fans crowded into JFK on a hot September afternoon. During the show a helicopter landed behind the stage, it was Mick Jagger stopping by to join in.

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