The Guns of Brixton (Paul Simonon)
From The Giant: The Definitive Obey Giant Site
This print is based on a photography by Kate Simon and is signed by both her and Shepard Fairey. It originally retailed for $75.
This print of Paul Simonon, bassist of the Clash, is based on an unpublished photo of Paul from 1976 by Kate Simon, who also shot the first Clash cover. Funny thing is that this is not my first illustration of Paul based on a Kate Simon photo... I did the pen and ink drawing below in 1987 based on an alternate shot from the first Clash cover photo shoot. For the new poster, I really liked Kate's photo because I had never seen Paul's tattoo of a gun. The Clash have so many great songs that it is hard to pick one favorite, but if I had to it would be "The Guns of Brixton" which was written and sung by Paul. Paul was a big fan of reggae and he was influential in the Clash's incorporation of reggae and dub. Paul also not only came up with the band name "Clash", but was largely the visual director for the band. I met Paul after a Gorillaz show and he was super cool. I recommend to anyone interested in The Clash checking out the documentary "Westway To The World".
Here is what Kate has to say about Paul:
"There is no way to take a bad picture of Paul Simonon. I loved photographing him and still do. He has a sweet and soulful quality, simultaneously effortless and chic, that moves me. Whether it was backstage at the 100 Club, hanging out in Simonon's flat in Ladbroke Grove, or on the train tracks in Camden Town during the first Clash album cover shoot, in all of my pictures of him, Paul for me like no other subject defined the face of punk."
New York City
Feb. 24, 2011