Thursday, May 07, 2009

everybody smash up your seats...

This is the original shot taken by Pennie Smith of Paul Simenon, smashing his bass into the stage of New York's Palladium ballroom, that became the cover of The Clash 'London Calling' album (and certainly one of the most iconic images of the era)

Ray Lowry (Clash resident 'war artist' on tour) added the pink and green lettering in homage to the first Elvis RCA album and the linage was complete.
From Elvis via The Who (smashing instruments on stage) the dots were joined.

Marketing science bit:

By 1979 punk had become defined by the convention of angry 3 min songs played fast released on 7inch singles.

The Clash responded with a double LP (for the price of a single) mixing up jazz, reggae, rockabilly and soul. Not to mention a tasty line in Fedoras and 40's gangster chic.

An easier thing to do would have been to pander to the expectations of the audience and the record label and conform to the perceived idea of what punk was about.
By not doing that they defined the punk spirit even more.

And Sandinista was still to come...

Footnote: For some stupid reason I had it in my head that the shot came from one of the shows from legendary Bonds Casino residency, but that was '81, of course.
On a recent trip to NYC I made a pilgrimage to Bonds, just off of Times Square. It's still there but is now a pizza joint.

Thanks to Bud for the spy.

UPDATE: Just found The Clash YouTube channel.

blog comments powered by Disqus