Today’s the day in 1979 that photographer Pennie Smith captured a moment during a concert by The Clash that would be featured on the front cover of their landmark double album “London Calling.”

It’s a striking image, with Clash bassist Paul Simonon holding his instrument up in the air, moments away from smashing it right into the stage.

Simple enough, right? Except that in the album credits it says “Front Cover: New York Palladium 21.9.79.”

One man has devoted a great deal of time and effort to making sure the world knows that album cover is off by a day.


Dave Marin is his name, and he would know when the concert took place, because he was there.

As the Wall Street Journal reported in 2018, he said he had a perfect view of Simonon smashing his bass at the Palladium.

He’s also reviewed video of the band playing on the 21st, where Simonon is playing a different bass.

The band, the record label and even the photographer reportedly weren’t too concerned about what day the photo was taken.

But Marin says a fact’s a fact, and it’s important that when we know something’s true and we know something else isn’t, we make sure to point it out.

And in case you’re wondering, he once tweeted at me to say not only was the photo taken on the 20th, not the 21st, he gave me the time, too!

“10:49,” he wrote.


Today in 1940, a German airplane dropped a bomb over Westminster Cathedral in London during the Blitz, but it missed, leaving a big crater in the square outside the cathedral.

The caretaker, Mr. Hayes, lined the crater with bricks and turned it into a garden.

When Did a Famous Guitar-Smashing Occur? One Fan of The Clash Insists Everyone Has It Wrong (Wall Street Journal)

Ecologies of resilience: Westminster’s  bomb crater garden and the  Dig for Victory campaign (Seismopolite)

Our Patreon backers always stand by us