Breaking bass: Simonon smash is frozen in a steel sculpture

small steel sculpture

The image of Clash bassist Paul Simonon, a sometime Brixton resident, about to shatter his guitar has been turned into sculpture by a Swedish artist.

Named as the greatest rock photo of all time by Q magazine in 2002, it was captured by Pennie Smith at the Palladium in New York on 21 September 1979.

album cover

The black and white photograph was the cover for the band’s London Calling album, released later that year with The Guns of Brixton, written and sung by Simonon, a standout track.

Now an artist who exhibits internationally, Tobias Eklund, also a musician, a listened to The Clash a lot as a teenager.

“I’d been fantasising for a long time about making a sculpture of Paul Simonon breaking his bass on the cover of London Calling,” he told the Blog.

“After a period of detective work via galleries in London, I finally got hold of the photographer who took the picture, Pennie Smith.

“She contacted Paul Simonon and both of them gave me permission to make a steel sculpture in an edition of 76 copies of her picture.”

man in garden
Tobias Eklund

The price for a sculpture is 4,000 Swedish Krona – about £340 at today’s exchange rate.

They can be ordered via Tobias’ Instagram and soon from his website.

Prolific guitar-smasher Pete Townshend of the Who credits Gustav Metzger – originator of auto-destructive art and a political activist – with inspiring his practice.

An exhibition of Metzger’s early works is due to open online and at the Ben Uri gallery in North London in June.