I have recently been reading Chris Salewicz’s biography of Joe Strummer, Redemption Song, and found out something interesting about their 1982 tour to Australia. I did not know that The Clash asked Aboriginal activist Gary Foley (who had been one of the original activists who established the Aboriginal Tent Embassy) to speak on the Australian leg of their Combat Rock tour. Salewicz writes:
One night at the Capitol, Aboriginal Land Rights campaigner Gary Foley came onstage to rap about his cause during a dubed-up version of ‘Armagideon Time’. Afterwards Joe and Kosmo took Foley back to the hotel for drinks in the bar. Previously the bar staff had been friends with the Clash and their entourage; after this they continued to serve them but stopped engaging in any conversation.
After a little digging around on the internet, I have uncovered that Foley did not speak at only one Clash show, but toured with them. Youtube has a recording of Foley speaking over ‘Armagideon Time’ from the Melbourne show:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ci_w2HpYaVk (sorry I don’t know how to embed clips yet)
Also the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra has two recordings of Foley and The Clash listed here and here. The second recording was used in the 2005 short film Green Bush, with a clip found here.
Gary Foley now runs the Koori History website here.
Fascinating stuff, eh?