18 August 2019

The Clash: London Calling exhibition to open at the Museum of London

By Lark Music

The Lark Music team know our clients love all kinds of so music so we are delighted to highlight an exhibition that will open in London this autumn to capture the sound of a generation.

It celebrates the 40th anniversary of The Clash’s ‘London Calling’ and the Museum of London will be marking the event with a free exhibition from November 15.

The Clash: London Calling will showcase more than 100 items from band’s personal archive including notes, clothing, images and music.

When London Calling was released in winter 1979 ( can you believe that’s four decades ago?) it was clear the band had made an instant classic which still stands as one of rock’s all-time greatest albums.

London Calling continues to be a compelling melting pot of musical styles, driven by a passion for action and a fierce political anger, with music and lyrics which remain as relevant today as they were on release.

As well as featuring influences and context for the writing and recording of the seminal double album, the exhibition will also examine how the capital influenced The Clash as they became one of the most popular British bands of the late 20th century.

To reflect the band’s diverse range of political, emotional and musical interests a broad range of items will be on show including:

  • Paul Simonon’s broken Fender Precision Bass. The bass was damaged on stage at The Palladium in New York City on September 21, 1979 as Simonon smashed it on the floor in an act of spontaneous frustration.
  • A handwritten album sequence note by Mick Jones showing the final and correct order for the four sides of the double album ‘London Calling’
  • One of Joe Strummer’s notebooks from 1979, the period when the album ‘London Calling’ was rehearsed and recorded. Open at page showing Ice Age, which was to become lyrics for the song ‘London Calling’
  • Joe Strummer’s typewriter used to document ideas, lyrics and other writings
  • Topper Headon’s drumsticks

The Clash: London Calling is curated by Robert Gordon McHarg III with The Clash and Beatrice Behlen of the Museum of London.

Beatrice Behlen, senior curator of Fashion and Decorative Arts at the Museum of London, said: “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 tells the incredible story of how London Calling was, and for many still is, the sound of a generation.”

The Clash: London Calling will close in spring 2020 (dated to be confirmed) and will be followed by the opening of a new display exploring London’s relationship with Dub music and culture as part of its Soundclash season.

To coincide with the opening of the exhibition, Sony Music will release the London Calling Scrapbook, a 120-page hardback companion and on October 11, 2019 in line with National Album Day, Sony Music will issue the London Calling album, on CD and vinyl in a special sleeve highlighting the layers of the iconic artwork by Pennie Smith and Ray Lowry.

About The Clash

Formed in West London in 1976, The Clash sprung out of the UK punk movement. The classic line up of the band is Joe Strummer on vocals and guitar, Mick Jones also on vocals and guitar, Nick Topper Headon on drums and Paul Simonon on bass. The band released five albums between 1979 and 1982; The Clash (’77), Give ‘Em Enough Rope (’79), London Calling (double album ’79), Sandinista (triple album ’80) and Combat Rock (’82). See more info at theclash.com

About The Museum of London

The Museum of London tells the ever-changing story of this great world city and its people, from 450,000 BC to the present day. Galleries, exhibitions, displays and activities seek to inspire a passion for London and provide a sense of the vibrancy that makes the city such a unique place.

The museum is open daily 10am – 6pm with free entry.
Visit museumoflondon.org.uk

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