Pennie Smith made one of the the most famous photographs in the history of rock ‘n’ roll – the cover image for London Calling by The Clash
Pennie Smith is one of the UK’s leading rock photographers. She had been photographing for NME when she first met The Clash in 1976. She recalls ” They knew my work through NME. I think they decided I was the photographer for them because I could do in pictures what they made in noise. ” She stayed with them throughout their US tour in 1979, and a book of her Clash photographs, ” The Clash before and after ” was published in 1980 by Eel Pie Publishing. She is modest about her contribution: ” I don’t think I created their image – I just added atmosphere and perhaps the setting to the image they already had “
In early 2014, Pennie carried out an exercise to clear out duplicate press prints from her files. These are typically on 9.5×12 inch (24x30cm) inch paper, and signed by Pennie. They aren’t all100% perfect, as they are working prints for press use, and will have been handled over the years. As a result some of them show some small signs of wear and tear etc. For the most part this does not affect the image area and so when they are framed, any small dinks to corners would not be seen.
Pennie hardly ever exhibits her work, as she is still a full time working photographer, so it is rare that we have this opportunity to offer so many examples of her work. We only have one example of each of the prints described. On the website we are showing just the image area, but If you would like us to send you a photo of any of these prints, so that you can see the full sheet, and how the image fits on the paper, just get in touch.
Pennie’s classic London Calling cover shot does not feature as a press print, but is available as a signed exhibition quality silver gelatin photograph on 16 x 20 inch (40x50cm) paper.