In autumn 1982, The Clash were invited by Pete Townshend to support The Who on the latter’s “farewell” tour of North American stadiums. In May, Topper had been fired, replaced by a virtually unknown British drummer called Pete Howard, who toured extensively with the band that summer. The Who’s New York shows took place in October at Shea Stadium, made famous as a rock venue by The Beatles in 1965. One record company employee recalled that backstage the usual Clash havoc ruled, with the band smuggling in dozens of fans they’d picked up on their tour bus along the way, and letting in ticketless fans hanging around outside the venue. The Clash’s performances were sensational, as shown on their 2008 Live At Shea Stadium album.
On the Shea gig and Pete Townshend
“We went back to our dressing room and we had a game of football with Pete Townshend before going on stage with a tin can” — Mick
“But of course It’s mostly remembered now for us playing Shea Stadium you know what I mean all these years later and it wasn’t” — Mick
“I went up to him and went ‘Pete I think I understand quadrophenia now’ and he looked at me like I was mad”
On the Vast Scale of the Shea Gig
“And I also remember Jon McEnroe playing er table tennis in our dressing room as well with his brother, seriously while we were getting ready” — Mick