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

The Clash, London Calling Album Cover, 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 guitar onstage, was taken from the wings backstage at The Palladium in New York City during their 1979 Take The Fifth US Tour. Simonen destroyed his guitar after discovering that the audience had sat still in their seats throughout the show because the venue prohibited standing.

It 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."

Release Notes:
This photograph is available as a hand-printed silver gelatin photograph that is signed by the artist Pennie Smith.

Collector's Notes:
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.

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

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