The Clash booked a seven-night stand at the Bonds nightclub in Times Square in the spring of 1981. It was partially a public relations stunt, since they knew the mad scramble for tickets would make for great press. These were their only American dates of the year, and demand outstripped supply by a huge margin. Fans slept in the streets to score tickets, and that was no fun task in Times Square in 1981.
They opened on May 30th, but the fire chief tried to shut down the gig because the box office was oversold. The news nearly caused a riot in Times Square and the tabloid papers played it up big the following day. “They sold the same number of tickets for a gig that happened the night before with a group called the Plasmatics,” bassist Paul Simonon said. “And they blew up a car on stage!”