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Iconic smashed bass from ‘London Calling’ album cover set for exhibition

40 years since its unforgettable destruction onstage, the Fender P Bass from The Clash‘s London Calling album artwork is going on display. The band’s 1979 album, with its influences of reggae and rockabilly, changed the face of punk music.

The Museum of London is now celebrating this symbol of British culture with its new The Clash: London Calling exhibit. Visitors will be offered a look into the inner workings of the band and get a further understanding of how their massively influential sound came to be.

london calling album cover

The Clash’s London Calling is now getting its own Museum of London exhibition. Leading the pack of memorabilia is a famous broken P Bass.

Paul Simonon’s bass will be on display alongside more than 100 personal items including some previously unseen. Included amongst the collection will be Topper Headon’s drum sticks, Mick Jones’ handwritten sequence notes and Joe Strummer’s notebook from the period when the album was rehearsed and recorded.

Draft lyrics, stage clothes, photos and films will also be on display for the public with the addition of Sony’s London Calling Scrapbook. This 120-page book features handwritten lyrics, notes, photos and previously unseen material from when the album was made. It will also come with a copy of the album on CD.

The Museum of London’s senior curator of fashion and arts Beatrice Behlen believes the band’s vision is as relevant today as it was in the late ’70s. She notes:

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.

The exhibition is free and will open on November 15.