LOST IN THE MUSEUM!
THE CLASH are to have their classic London Calling album celebrated with a major new exhibition this Autumn.
The exhibition, at the Museum of London, comes amid a flurry of activity surrounding the album’s 40th Anniversary.
Recorded at Wessex Studios in Islington and released in December ’79, the double-vinyl London Calling was an audacious return for The Clash and a major bridgehead, coming more than a year after mixed reception to second album Give ‘Em Enough Rope.
The album’s now-iconic sleeve design by Ray Lowry married the lettering from ELVIS PRESLEY’s debut album with a striking image by noted photographer Pennie Smith of Paul Simonon smashing his bass onstage at the Palladium in New York. The release was led by the Top 20 single of the title track and contains several Clash classics, including ‘Lost In The Supermarket’, ‘Clampdown’, ‘Train In Vain’ and ‘Guns Of Brixton’.
The exhibition, which runs from 15 November until Spring next year and is FREE to get in, will feature more than 100 items from the band’s archive, including Simonon’s legendary smashed Fender Precision Bass, Joe Strummer’s notebook and typewriter, Mick Jones’ handwritten notes and Topper Headon’s drumsticks, plus stagewear, lyrics, photos and films, some previously unseen.
Beatrice Behlen, Senior Curator of Fashion and Decorative Arts at the Museum of London, says, “London Calling is The Clash’s defining album, a rallying call for Londoners and people around the world. The album’s lyrics reflected contemporary concerns, many of which are still relevant today, as it moved away from traditional punk by adopting and reworking much wider musical influences. At the Museum of London, we tell the stories of our capital through the objects and memories of the people who have lived here. This display will provide a brand new, exciting and vibrant take on this, showcasing rarely seen personal objects and telling the incredible story of how London Calling was, and for many still is, the sound of a generation.”
To coincide with the opening of the exhibition, Sony Music are publishing the London Calling Scrapbook – a 120-page hardback book which which includes the album on CD plus hand-written lyrics, notes, photos and previously unseen material from the period.
Prior to this, National Album Day on 11 October, will see a special deluxe reissue of London Calling on CD, vinyl and cassette, in a special sleeve highlighting the layers of the album artwork.
Pic © Pennie Smith