The Clash’s third album, London Calling, famously features bassist, Paul Simonon breaking his guitar on stage, and that same broken guitar is going on permanent display at the Museum of London from 23 July 2021.

The guitar had been the museum’s earlier exhibition to mark the anniversary of the album release, but the exhibition was cut short due to the lockdown.

Later this month, visitors will be able to see the bass guitar on permanent display in the museum’s World City gallery and, later, in the new Museum of London when it opens in West Smithfield in the coming years.

The iconic bass was last played on stage at The Palladium in New York City on 20 September 1979, during the band’s Take the 5th tour of North America. At the end of the show, Simonon smashed his guitar in a moment of frustration, which became an iconic symbol of rebellion. This moment was captured by Pennie Smith, whose photograph was subsequently featured on the cover of The Clash’s third album ‘London Calling’ released in the winter of 1979.

Speaking of his memories of smashing the instrument in New York, Simonon previously said, “The show had gone quite well, but for me, inside, it just wasn’t working well, so I suppose I took it out on the bass. If I was smart, I would have got the spare bass and used that one, because it wasn’t as good as the one as I smashed up.”

The guitar goes on display in time for the summer holidays, when the museum will also change its opening hours to seven days a week between 26th July – 5th Sept 2021 (currently closed on Mon & Tues).

The Museum of London is free to visit, but you need to book a ticket in advance from here.


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