The first comprehensive Pennie Smith photo exhibition – Damn, she’s cool.
Over the past two years we’ve gotten a lot of emails about the background image and logo of Glorious Noise. Both are based on a photograph of the Clash in concert taken by Pennie Smith. We thought the image best represented everything we love about rock and roll, and after months of trying to track her down, Pennie has graciously granted Glorious Noise permission to use the image as the backdrop of our site, a site dedicated to how rock and roll can change your life.
However, Pennie and Clash bassist Paul Simonon, pictured in the photo, decided years ago to never license the image for merchandising or marketing. To respect their wishes, Glorious Noise will discontinue our line of merchandise featuring an image designed by our own Pat La Penna and based on Ms. Smith’s famous photograph. All GLONO merchandise featuring the “smashing guitar” image will be removed from our store this Friday, December 8.
We sincerely thank Pennie Smith for granting us permission to use her photograph, and we respect her unwavering dedication to the agreement she and Simonon made. After all, there’s more to life than money and that’s rock and roll!
Update: Here’s what GLONO looked like back then…via the Wayback Machine.
Arguably, rock is more than audio. There is a strong visual quotient to it, too. Which is strongly represented by the Cindy Shermanesque appropriation of the photograph by Pennie Smith that forms the background of what you’re looking at right now. Clearly, a text-based website such as GloNo is, perforce, more visual than audible. (But if you click on that “Radio” up in the header, you can get music, as well.)
While visiting the National Portrait Gallery in London last week—not the sort of place that anyone would ordinarily associate with the rock ethos: Shakespeare, et al., yes—I happened to chance upon a small—and I do mean tiny, nearly cloakroom-sized—exhibit opposite the bookstore, on the bottom floor of the building. It’s not the sort of place that one is likely to go unless (1) they are interested in books (and I must say that overall, the selection is disappointing) or (2) they are hungry, as there is a snack bar, full of plastic-wrapped sandwiches of dubious combinations and lukewarm refrigerated beverages, down there, too.
The exhibit in question is titled “She Bop: Women in Pop.” And it includes four bromide fiber prints by Pennie Smith: Debbie Harry; Siouxie Sioux; Poly Styrene; The Slits.
So, should you be bumping around the Trafalgar Square area, stop in (it’s free).
In the post just below this, Jake mentions Elvis. I was surprised at the coverage in London of the Silver Anniversary of his kicking, including live news coverage from Graceland in the days leading up to the actual, what?, celebration. I thought it was as completely over the top as it could get until this morning, back in Detroit, when I saw a TV ad from a local furniture chain hawking the Elvis furniture collection. I won’t even need to make supercilious cracks about that. Jesu.