This is at least the fourth time I've milked a blog post out of this: 41 years ago today, I saw The Clash for the first time, at their United States live debut in Berkeley. As has become custom over the years, I'll indulge in a little cut-and-paste for the oft-told story.
The band was asked who they wanted to have as an opening act, and they said they'd love to play with Bo Diddley. And they were told hey, that might not work, can't you come up with an up-and-coming punk band? But no, they wanted Bo Diddley, he was one of their idols and they wanted him to play. And they got their way, which is why, on February 7, 1979, I saw Bo Diddley play for the first and only time. He was great, of course.
Time sure does fly. I remember that part of Bo's act that night was to make fun of his age ... he'd bend down and as he did so, he'd have his guitar making creaky noises like his bones were too old to take the stress. Well, I just looked Bo Diddley up on Wikipedia, and damn, he sure was old back in 1979 ... 50! Yep ... Bo Diddley was younger the time I saw the old geezer than I am now. Geesh.
Bo Diddley in 2002, when admittedly his memory might have led him to embellish just a little:
I posted both of those items last year when the 40th anniversary came around. Here's something different, an article about the concert, by Bryan Wawzenek: "When the Clash Finally Played Their First U.S. Show".
Finally, all setlists I have seen are incomplete, but here's a Spotify playlist with the songs from the show that we know of: