Video of the first tour is non-existent, at least on YouTube, and photos are hard to come by, even though Bob Gruen was part of the entourage. Maybe he burned the negatives.
(Although as you can see, the surviving photos are scary enough, with the [devoutly heterosexual] band in their “extras from Cruising” phase. There is a literally even gayer photo that I can’t bring myself to post.)
I also couldn’t track down an online version of Joe Strummer’s NME tour diary, so I used the (non-all caps) text in Miles’ book.
Not at all surprisingly, Strummer’s comments there apparently without irony that Studio 54 is “ok but nothing to write home about,” and adds “to get in without paying you have to turn up with Andy Warhol” — without mentioning that that’s what he did…
Unreported at the time — especially not in Joe Strummer’s piss-and-vinegar, all upper case “tour diary” commissioned by England’s punk purist New Music Express – was a tiny yet telling incident that took place the night before the band mounted the stage.
It’s a throwaway anecdote that accidentally captures, in miniature, the beginning of the end of the Seventies, as two cultures collided and one era split into two.
As road manager Johnny Green recalls, Strummer called him first thing in the morning, hoarsely begging Green to come to his room right away.
“I’ve done something awful. Terrible. I shouldn’t have done it.”
Having learned of Sid Vicious’ ignominious end just days earlier, Green’s mind raced.
“Done what?” he demanded, bracing himself for the answer.
“I went out last night with Andy Warhol to Studio 54,” a shamed Strummer confessed.
Adding, according to some versions:
“And I enjoyed myself.”