The Clash, London Calling Album Cover, NY 1979
© Pennie Smith

The Clash, London Calling Album Cover, NY 1979

By Pennie Smith
About the image
The super-iconic cover shot for The Clash's 1979 album London Calling.

This picture, featuring bassist Paul Simonen smashing his bass guitar onstage, was taken from the wings backstage at The Palladium in New York City on September 21, 1979, during their Take The Fifth US Tour.

There are varying reports as to why Simonen destroyed his bass that night. Years later he told Pennie that he didn't like the sound a during the show. It has also been said that he was frustrated because he was told that the audience had sat still in their seats throughout the show because the venue prohibited standing.

This image has been described as capturing the very essence of punk rock. "No single action captures the thrill of punk better than the wanton obliteration of the very item that has brought your freedom,​" quipped writer Richard Godwin in the London Evening Standard in 2010.

In 2002, Q Magazine named this image the best rock 'n' roll photograph of all time, saying "it captures the ultimate rock 'n' roll moment – total loss of control."

>> The original album cover artwork for London Calling, made by graphic designer Ray Lowry, sold at auction for £72,000 ($115,000) at Bonhams in London, in December, 2009.

Release Notes:
Pennie Smith's beautiful, museum-quality silver gelatin photographs are available in one size only. Each photograph is printed in London by hand, and is signed by the artist in the lower right hand margin directly below the image. 

Collector's Notes:
It is important to know that Smith only produces these prints in small batches a few times per year. Due to this process, these photographs are not always available for immediate delivery.

Buyers will receive a certificate of authenticity following delivery of their artwork. Please contact us for all the latest details!

16" x 20" Sheet Size
Signed Open Edition
Silver Gelatin Photograph - Limited Availability

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The Clash, London Calling Album Cover, NY 1979
The Clash, London Calling Album Cover, NY 1979

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