Report: Clash Superfan Determined to Prove Correct Concert Date of ‘London Calling’ Cover Shot

Posted on: June 6th, 2018 at 5:02 am by

December 2017

It’s one of the most iconic photographs in rock history. The image of bassist Paul Simonon smashing his guitar on stage at the Palladium in the fall of 1979, which later appeared as the album art for The Clash’s seminal effort, London Calling.

However, one rabid fan now calls into question the date of said photograph – shot by Pennie Smith – maintaining that the guitar mutilation actually took place a day earlier than the September 21, 1979 date printed in the liner notes. Dave Marin was at the show a day before to witness the incident and still has the ticket stub to prove it. He also cobbled together audio proof in the video below…

The Wall Street Journal (subscription) investigated Marin’s seemingly futile quest to quite literally change the record (and liner notes). Nobody involved, from labels to photographer, seems to care about the potential error, though.

“I’ve been stewing about this for more than 35 years,” said Mr. Marin, now a 59-year-old retired salesman living in Pleasantville, N.Y. “That was my one and only guitar smash—I had a perfect view.”

To make his case for a date-change to Sept. 20, Mr. Marin, the Clash fan, produced a photo booklet outlining his evidence and mailed a copy to Pennie Smith, the famous rock photographer who took the guitar-smashing picture.

He followed up with an 11-minute, three-second YouTube video that showed ticket stub and recordings of the two Manhattan shows, one on Sept. 20 and one the next day, that Mr. Marin believes are being confused.

His video also showed photographs of Mr. Simonon’s bass guitars for each show— which don’t appear to be the same—and footage of portions of the Sept. 21 show. He even analyzed the band members’ attire.

So far, the surviving members of The Clash, Ms. Smith and Epic Records, which released “London Calling” in the U.S. and is today owned by Sony Music Entertainment, have “shown absolutely no interest,” despite his requests on social media and to Ms. Smith to correct the error, Mr. Marin lamented.
He plans to persist until the date is changed on future releases.

“It’s my life goal,” he said.

Recent Stories

Drunk Driver Struck Man on Moped at Bowery and Delancey

A man is in critical condition after an SUV, operated by a driver police believe was intoxicated, struck his moped at Bowery and Delancey Street early Wednesday morning. Police said the Toyota RAV4 turned onto Delancey from the Bowery at around 2:00am, where it struck the 38-year-old on the moped. Paramedics rushed the victim to […]

The Chic COVID Test in Little Italy that Costs $300

In a clash between the Pre-Covid New York CIty and the new, abnormal, meet Rapid Test NYC. This new endeavor brings boutique COVID-19 testing to Little Italy, with its no-wait rapid swab testing at 232 Elizabeth Street. No lines and a posh waiting room await the discerning citizen looking for immediate results. The interior has […]

COVID Has Taken Fineline Tattoo, a Lower East Side Institution

Oh, COVID/2020, you’re an evil bitch. Come Monday, you will no longer be able to walk into Fineline Tattoo shop. But the owner and legacy keeper, Mehai Bakaty, wants you to know: We are not closing, we are moving. LES STRONG.  We will be going back to a private studio next door. Appointment only. Rest […]

Work Underway at New Orchard Street Home of Scarr’s Pizza

Scarr’s Pizza is moving up the street. And the work has already begun. As previously reported, owner Scarr Pimentel applied to remove and transfer the liquor license to 35 Orchard (aka 34 Allen) in what was formerly the Lam & Associates insurance office. (A building now shared with Cheeky Sandwiches.) Community Board 3 signaled its […]

Pandemic Pitch: Essex Crossing Tries to Lease its Office Space

One of the crown jewels of the Essex Crossing mega project – namely, 350,000 square-feet of Class A commercial space – is also an Achilles Heel of sorts. And now, a first look. The Commercial Observer spilled ink this week on the challenges of renting this office space during pandemic times, even referring to the […]