• Darkest Wave Magazine

Paul Simonon's Smashed P-Bass On Display At London Museum

Updated: Jan 24, 2021

Photograph taken by Freya Thomas: the Fender Precision Bass smashed by Paul Simonon at a 1979 New York concert.

London Calling was and is a hugely compelling melting pot of musical styles, driven by a passion for action and a fierce desire for social justice. The album’s music and lyrics remain as relevant today as they were on release. As well as showcasing influences and context for the writing and recording of the seminal double album, this new exclusive display at the Museum of London will examine how the capital influenced The Clash as they became the most popular British band of the 20th century.

To reflect the band’s diverse range of political, emotional and musical interests, a broad range of items from their personal archive can be seen in the display, including:

Paul Simonon’s broken Fender Precision Bass, smashed on stage at The Palladium in New York City on 21st September 1979.

  • Mick Jones’ handwritten album sequencing note.

  • Joe Strummer’s notebook from the period when the album ‘London Calling’ was rehearsed and recorded.

  • Joe Strummer’s typewriter used to document ideas, lyrics and other writings.

To coincide with the opening of the display Sony Music have released the London Calling Scrapbook - a 120-page hardback companion which comes with the album and contains hand-written lyrics, notes, photos and previously unseen material from the period when the record was made.

The Clash: London Calling was co-curated and delivered by the Museum of London in partnership with The Clash and Robert Gordon McHarg III.

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