'Anonymous Nihilism': A Letter to the Editor.
Hugo Williams rightly links Ray Lowry's artwork for The Clash's album London Calling to the design of Elvis Presley's first album (Freelance, 21 January). However, Pennie Smith's photograph is not of "Mick Jones beating his guitar on the floor" but of Paul Simonon smashing his bass. Elvis "throwing back his head" was indeed distinctively Elvis, and part of the charm of Pennie Smith's photograph (aside from its being out of focus and hence conventionally not suitable for use) is the face-down anonymity of Simonon's nihilism. The price of this anonymity is, of course, getting mistaken for his more showmanly colleague.
Gabriel Egan, Dept of English and Drama, Loughborough University