The Clash's 'London Calling' 40th Anniversary to Be Celebrated at Museum Of London Exhibit

The Clash
Pennie Smith

The Clash outside Wessex Studios during the recording of London Calling in 1979 .

A wide-ranging exhibit chronicling The Clash's landmark third album, London Calling, will hit the Museum of London this winter.

The 40th anniversary celebration, The Clash: London Calling, will open on Nov. 15 and feature draft lyrics from singer/guitarist Joe Strummer's notebook, stage outfits, photos and films. There will also be instruments played by the band during the recording and performance of the songs from their iconic 1979 double album, which mashed up punk, rock, ska, rockabilly, jazz and pop on songs like "Jimmy Jazz," "Hateful," "Spanish Bombs," "Lost in the Supermarket" and "Train in Vain."

The free show, which will run through spring 2020, will feature some truly one-of-a-kind items, including Strummer's notebook with early lyrics for the title track and his typewriter, the bass guitar that Paul Simonon famously smashed on stage at The Palladium in New York on Sept. 21, 1979, handwritten albums sequence notes from singer/guitarist Mick Jones and drummer Topper Headon's drum sticks.

London Calling’is The Clash’s defining album, a rallying call for Londoners and people around the world," said Beatrice Behlen, senior curator of fashion and decorative arts at the Museum of London in a statement. "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 will provide a brand new, exciting and vibrant take on this, showcasing rarely seen personal objects and telling the incredible story of how London Calling was, and for many still is, the sound of a generation.”

A 120-page hardback collection of photos, hand-written lyrics, notes and previously unseen material from the time, London Calling Scrapbook, will be released when the exhibit opens by Sony Music, complete with a CD copy of the album.

Check out a trailer for the exhibit and some of the pieces that will be on display below.

The Clash archive
Topper Headon’s drum stick
The Clash archive
Paul Simonon’s broken bass guitar
Paul Simonon’s broken bass guitar The Clash archive
The Clash archive
Joe Strummer’s typewriter
The Clash archive
Joe Strummer's note book
Joe Strummer's note book The Clash archive