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

DOT Announces More ‘Asphalt Art’ for Chinatown Seasonal Streets

For the second year running, Doyers Street is the recipient of the alliterative Asphalt Art. The Department of Transportation’s Temporary Art Program (DOT Art) is again joining forces with the Chinatown Partnership to paint the former “Bloody Angle.” Hangzhou artist Chen Dongfan was the first to paint the area last July, imparting a 4,851 square-foot mural […]

Cactus Store Returns Saturday for Third Season on Essex Street

Unless (or until) development takes hold at 5 Essex Street, the annual cactus retail setup will continue. For the third year running, the Los Angeles-based Cactus Store is set to return this season. Ownership confirmed the plans, and relayed an opening date of this Saturday (May 25). All the infrastructure is still in place, including […]

Essex Market Vendor ‘Rainbo’s Fish Market’ Retires After More than 40 Years

With all the fanfare the last couple weeks for the new Essex Street Market, it was pretty easy to miss the loss of two longtime vendors. At the end of April, shortly before the move across Delancey to Essex Crossing, the decades-old Rainbo’s fish market and sister vendor Tra La La Juice Bar both called […]

Aging Cooling System Blamed for Reduced Services at Hamilton Fish Park Library this Summer

With summer fast approaching, the NYPL’s Hamilton Fish Park branch staff is taking steps to ensure they don’t find themselves in a Fahrenheit 451 situation. Due to an aging cooling system, the library is reducing its services, as well as downsizing its footprint for the summer. A few portable air conditioning units will cool a […]

CC’s Cafe Space on Monroe Street Hits the Market

CC’s Cafe on Monroe Street might not last. Rumors of its demise – aka the owner wanting to surrender – have appeared over the last couple years. But now it appears more likely. This retail listing on Craigslist for the 700 square-foot restaurant space went live several days ago. Asking rent is $6,500 per month. According […]