London: 60s Rock and Roll history

Apr 29th, 2005, 11:28 AM
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London: 60s Rock and Roll history

Any London fodorites who fondly remember music of the 60s and 70s-- the 'swinging' scene of the Beatles/Rolling Stones/The Who/Herman's Hermits/Dave Clark Five (weren't they British?) and Twiggy and Everything-British-Is-Cool?
Here's my specific question: Are there original places still in London we could see that relate to those times? Old music venues in particular? Not all tarted up, but authentic?
Our son would think it way cool to hear a new band in one of those vintage places. Come to think of it, so would we aging baby boomers!
(I'm getting down the final details of planning our first trip to London at the end of this May.)
Apr 29th, 2005, 11:41 AM
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Not completely authentic - since it is now a chain - but we just ate at original Hard Rock Cafe - which was started in London about 30 years ago. (My teenage daughter thought it would be cool)

Unfortunately, it looked just like every other Hard Rock Cafe around the world - but it is authentic. There were signs posted for various live music that would be there in upcoming weeks.
gail is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 11:41 AM
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This isn't a musical performance venue, just a famous intersection which appeared on an album cover when I was an infant

St Johnís Wood (a part of Greater London)
Abbey Road striped street crossing-- A three-block straight walk southwest on Grove End Road from the St Johnís Wood tube station.

elaine is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 12:13 PM
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The Marquee Club, 90 Wardour Street, Soho. Everybody played there back in the day but I think it's some sort of retail establishment now.

Wouldn't bother with the Hard Rock Cafe, not the same thing at all.
LAwoman is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 12:21 PM
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Thanks, all!
We'll probably skip the Hard Rock simply because it's probably like the other six we've been to around the world. We do get a kick out of looking at their memorabilia, and it is the original, so maybe we'll weaken! But, also, both our kids were there for dinner when they each took their 8th grade trip to London a few years ago. All the way from Colorado-- the lucky ducks.
If no particular venues remain, what areas of London were popular hangouts in that scene then? I seem to remember Carnaby something, Piccadilly, ?? LAWoman, you say Soho?
Elaine, we'll have to be typical tourists and cross that road ourselves, all in a line, one of us barefoot... Anyone got a white suit I could borrow?
Apr 29th, 2005, 12:31 PM
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I had my photo taken crossing that famous intersection but I realized later I was crossing it the opposite way from the famous one. I'll have to go back! Be careful, the traffic is unyielding on that curve.

I took a Beatle tour of Liverpool too, it was great. We were on a Beatle Bus with people from all over the world and we would jump off at various Beatle places and take photos. I have a beautiful one of Strawberry Fields. You go by their childhood homes, etc.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 06:40 PM
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You could do a London Walks Beatles Magical Mystery Tour. They take you to Carnaby Street which was very hip and happening in the 60s. The walk also takes you to Abbey Road.
Lesley_24 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 07:49 PM
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Maureen, be careful about taking a picture of you crossing that intersection barefoot--it will lead to rumors that you are dead
elaine is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 11:00 PM
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Sadly, it's all changed, but there's always a new club to go to. The Marquee (which was really quite fab, with great accoustics) closed down, then moved (at least the name) to 1 Leicester Square, so it's not authentic. Dingwalls is still there, now going under the name of Lock 17, and has some up and coming British bands. Ronnie Scott's (in Soho) is still around, but always a jazz club, but now even more so. Kensington High street was the fashion mecca of the 60's and early 70's -- I can't tell you how many times I went to Biba for their mahogany and rust lipsticks; and Mary Quant, which closed down and has now reopened about a block from Harrod's.

You can still walk down Oxford Street and get the feel, but Carnaby Street went through more incarnations than one cares to think about. It used to be the best place to get cheap jeans and cool clothes, but it fell on hard times; then got trendy, then not. Stop at the Hog in the Pound on Oxford Street for a pint -- that has always been the gathering spot when you're meeting someone in the City.

A walk down the King's Road is still fun, and you can walk down Cheyenne Walk where Mick Jagger used to live, and have a drink at the 8 Bells.

Music festivals are still going strong, but the big one, V-festivals (this year called V-2005) isn't held until August, but it has the old and new bands, and has that Woodstock feel to it. Summer soltice still going strong in other parts of England -- used to be very big and fun at Stonehenge until partiers got a little too crazy.

Camden Town is exactly the same.
Surfergirl is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 08:02 PM
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Surfergirl, I guess I can search Lock 17 to see who's playing there when we're in town, right? Would it be an appropriate place to turn loose our 20-year old daughter and 16 year-old son? They're very sensible young people and might want to ditch their parents for at least one night! Thanks for your suggestions. Mary Quant, now that brings up memories! What's 8 Bells?
Elaine, if I do that, people will start playing my albums backwards and hearing "Maureen is dead" in the lyrics!!
Apr 30th, 2005, 08:23 PM
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The Big Bus Tour of London has a free Rock n Roll excursion as part of your ticket. I found this fantastic. I was giggling and babbling just like a groupie! They don't take you inside the venue though. I'm glad we used a guide. You would never know about a lot of the venues because they weren't sign posted. They covered things like the last venue Jimi Hendix played before he died, where the Stones used to rehearse, the pub Led Zepplin's manager used to "bounce" at, David Bowies recording studio etc. I saw Paul McCartney's office and you could see his gold records through the window (just for the tourists, what a poser - I'm only kidding).

Peace, love and music man.
worldinabag is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 09:59 AM
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The rock and roll excursion sounds like fun.

8 Bells is a local pub in Chelsea near the Thames.

you can go to to see what's on; but also try or as well. When you are looking at these sites, keep in mind that the day comes FIRST and the month follows, so if you see something for 4/6/05, that's June 4th, NOT April 6th.

I just remembered a couple other venues that still have concerts -- the Alexandra Palace (where, years ago I saw 10 Years After as well as the Kinks) and Royal Albert Hall -- an amazing venue, where I've seen everyone from Echo & the Bunnymen to Leonard Cohen.

As for letting your kids loose, I don't see a problem with that, obviously ok for the 20 year old, but there are minimum (18 year up) limits at some places, I think Dingwalls is one, but they generally don't check or don't care, but I thought I should forwarn you.

I just checked and saw that Poco (now that goes back, doesn't it!) will be playing there on 5/17.
Surfergirl is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 10:40 AM
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Poco?? Oh my gosh-- are they still around?! Last time I saw them was in the late 70s, in Boulder, Colorado.
Thanks for the tips, everyone. I'll check the sites and venues you name. I appreciate your help, surfergirl. (Are you a California surfer girl?)
May 1st, 2005, 11:49 AM
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Back in 1969 my ex took me to an arcade that was rumored to be "Penny Lane" -- it was fun -- all the machines ran on the British penny. Now a days it is probably all virtual realilty games and internet access. sigh.

You'll also want to see Albert Hall -- (how many holes to fill it?) hum a few bars of "Her majesty's a pretty nice girl..." as you walk past Buckingham Palace.
uhoh_busted is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 12:11 PM
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Yes, California, but lived in London and go back often. I put the word out to my friends there who still do the small club circuit to ask what's left, and was reminded that the Hope & Anchor in Islington is back on track and hosting up and coming bands again (this was the rock/punk/new wave club in the '70's -- U2, Stranglers, etc. played there). He also mentioned the 100 Club on Oxford Street, but that's really a night club, so not what you were talking about, although I remember in the early '80's meeting the lead singer from UB40 there.

Newer places he mentioned were the Falcon and the Bar Fly in Camden Town.
Surfergirl is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 05:53 PM
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Surfergirl, thanks again. I'll look into your suggestions. My son is actually at an all-ages rock concert tonight, so he'd love one in London.
I lived in Big Bear Lake for 3 years, right out of college. Love California! I'm hoping my son goes there for college so I can visit him often. My sisters live in S.F. area, too. Doing a girls' get-away with them in Santa Barbara in Sept.
Jun 19th, 2005, 11:21 PM
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MaureenB, I just discovered this thread,and wondered how your trip went. I certainly hope you went over to Abbey Road. It is, indeed, an original location!
Merseyheart is offline  
Jun 20th, 2005, 03:27 PM
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Yes, thanks, I've been meaning to post that we did indeed find our way to Abbey Road. And while we were there, the queen's royal horse guards paraded by-- that was cool, too. We took our cornball pictures crossing the road, but it was getting dark, and the pics didn't come out. But we did get one of ourselves standing by the Abbey Road sign. It was fun. From there, we caught the tube and went to Hampstead for a very nice Italian dinner. Then we barely caught the last tube at midnight into Paddington. Fun, fun, fun.
Jun 22nd, 2005, 11:01 AM
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When I lived in London in 1970 I recall my friend going to The Roundhouse to see the Stones. I see on the web it's the Camden Roundhouse, and found this statement about it: "The Roundhouse is a historic steam engine repair building that became a legendary venue in the 1960s and 70s. This is where punk and glam rock started."
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