Joe Strummer Recalls Intensity Of Clash's Riotous Concerts

After almost three years in the making, the long-awaited Clash live album, dubbed "From Here to Eternity," will finally arrive in stores next month, some 13 years after the legendary Brit-punks disbanded.

Culling 17 tracks from nine of the band's concerts between 1978 and 1982, the live collection was primarily assembled by Clash bassist Paul Simonon and guitarist-singer Mick Jones.

As former frontman Joe Strummer recently explained to the MTV Radio Network, he allowed his Clash bandmates to take the lead on the project so he could focus on his new solo album, "Rock, Art And The X-Ray Style," due out in November.

When asked about the Clash's live shows, Strummer recalled that the intense and volatile nature of the group's shows (and audiences) often caused him to focus more on what was going on in the crowd than what he was supposed to be playing.

"Yeah, to be honest,

it's almost

too intense for me," Strummer said of listening to the live Clash record. "Because [I remember that recording Clash concerts] was like a guy holding a large boulder, and then people would come along and put extra boulders on top. When we were recorded live, which wasn't that often because the company has to send out a mobile truck, which is really expensive, I felt it was unfair [because I couldn't focus on playing]."

"I was the controller of the riot," he said. "It was my job as point man to make sure that when the two gangs [in the audience] kicked off, I could see who was the biggest guy and go out there and lamp him one to chill everybody out, 'cause we'd come there to enjoy the night and not have

a bloodbath."

HREF="/sitewide/utils/playmedia.jhtml?clip=/mtv/news/real/s/strummer990930.rm"> "So, I'd be really spotting that," Strummer continued, "or I [would] see that some girl was getting jammed against the barrier, and I can see that the barrier is gonna go if they don't stop shoving on it. So I could stop everything and go, 'Hang on, that girl is getting crushed.'"

"I'm dealing with this kind of activity," he said, "and I don't care what chord [I'm playing]. When something is going down, who cares what chord it is? It must be down there. 'Ker-rang!' How about that one?" [RealAudio]

Strummer will kick off a solo tour in support of "Rock, Art And The X-Ray Style" on November 1 in Seattle (see

[article id="1427149"]"Former

Clash Members Get Together To View Documentary; Joe Strummer Plans Another Tour"[/article]).