London Calling Cover Shot

Toronto, ON, Canada / 102.1 the Edge

What is the best rock’n’roll photograph you’ve ever seen?  What picture from the whole of music history best captures the spirit and energy of rock and roll?  One of the very, very best is the cover shot of the Clash’s 1979 album, London Calling.  You’ve seen it.  It features Paul Simonon destroying his bass with a two-hand hammer into the stage.  The photographer was Pennie Smith, who took this shot at exactly 10:50 EDT on September 21, 1979 at the Palladium in New York City.  How do we know this?  Because in the process of destroying his guitar, Paul also wrecked his watch.  When he walked offstage, he gave Pennie his watch, who noted that it stopped at 10:50pm.