A guitar smashed onstage by Paul Simonon will be one of dozens of The Clash’s personal items to be displayed in London.
The bassist famously destroyed his Fender guitar during a New York gig in 1979, and an image of the moment was later used for the cover of their landmark third album, London Calling.
According to editors at Sky News, the wrecked instrument will be displayed at the Museum of London as part of an exhibition of more than 100 personal items from the band’s archive, including: late frontman Joe Strummer’s notebook, the typewriter he used to note his ideas and lyrics, and lead guitarist Mick Jones’s handwritten album sequencing note. Drumsticks belonging to Topper Headon will also be on display.
Simonon smashed his Fender Precision bass during the gig at The Palladium when he realised fans were not being allowed to stand up out of their seats.
“That frustrated me to the point that I destroyed this bass guitar,” he recalled in a 2011 interview with Fender. “Unfortunately you always sort of tend to destroy the things you love.”
Luckily for fans, the English musician, who plays with supergroup The Good, the Bad & the Queen, made sure he gathered the pieces of the guitar to keep.
“This display will provide a brand new, exciting and vibrant take on the band, 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,” said Beatrice Behlen, senior curator of fashion and decorative arts at the Museum of London.
The Clash: London Calling, a free exhibit, runs at the Museum Of London from 15 November 2019 to spring 2020.