|5th February 2007 03:55 AM
|Ten Thousand Motels
||Hendrix to Oasis tourist trail: putting England's rock locations on the map
Officialdom spots visitor potential 50 years after the rock'n'roll revolution
Monday February 5, 2007
For decades the done thing has been to bury Britain's rock heritage rather than praise it. Two of the country's most famous music venues - the Cavern Club in Liverpool and Manchester's Hacienda - ended their lives under a wrecking ball. But the era of official neglect is over. A new map of England's rock and pop heritage aims to celebrate nearly 200 destinations linked to famous musicians, from Britpop boozer The Good Mixer in Camden to Jimi Hendrix's 1960s London address to Knebworth House, venue for Queen's last concert.
Some of the places on the map, unveiled today by the national tourism agency VisitBritain, are existing tourist attractions such as Salford Lads Club, where Smiths fans go to recreate the moment the band posed outside the club for the inside cover of their classic album The Queen is Dead. Others have a more tangential connection. Hatfield House is included on the basis that Adam and the Ants filmed the Stand and Deliver video there.
There was internal controversy over the inclusion of some places associated with famous deaths, such as the scene of T Rex frontman Marc Bolan's fatal car crash in Barnes, south-west London, and the spot in Wiltshire where American rockabilly performer Eddie Cochran died in a road accident. "There was some humming and hawing over that, but I think it would be churlish not to recognise that there are people making pilgrimages to these sites," said Laurence Bresh, general manager for England marketing at VisitBritain. It crowns a resurgent 12 months for British pop. Despite turmoil in the industry, homegrown music is in fashion and bands such as Snow Patrol and Razorlight helped British artists grab a 60% share of the album market last year.
The map is intended to boost internal tourism in a year which is expected to see increased interest in rock tourism. It is the 50th annniversary year of the Cavern Club, which was rebuilt next door after the original was demolished, and also sees the return of Glastonbury. There are plans for a map covering the whole of Britain, which will be aimed at an international audience. "We know there's huge interest in locations connected to popular culture," Mr Bresh said. "Everybody knows about tourists going to Liverpool to visit the Beatles locations, but it's much wider than that. People like to see the places that inspired musicians - Oasis is the obvious one, Berwick Street [in Soho], where they shot the cover for (What's the Story) Morning Glory."
The aim was to be as exhaustive as possible while keeping to the rule that each location had to have something tangible for fans to see, even if only a commemorative plaque. The printed version of the map features 113 locations while the website at www.enjoyengland.com/rocks has 190, along with audio samples. Some of the more offbeat inclusions on the list have prompted raised eyebrows among rock pundits.
Paul Rees, editor of Q, said: "If you're going to set something up that's a list of the most important music sites in Britain and preserve them, great. But if you start going to places where an Adam and the Ants video was filmed, that's just kitsch."
The map marks an official endorsement of pop music unthinkable just a few decades ago. Conor McNicholas, editor of NME, said: "I think there is definitely a shift going on. The reason for that shift is that we are 50 years away from the great rock'n'roll explosion and the people who were part of that are now part of the establishment, and are in a position to do something about it."
But inclusion on the rock map is no guarantee of a venue's future. One of the listed locations is Hammersmith Palais, the west London nightclub name-checked by the Clash which now faces the threat of demolition. "It's a tragedy that it's going," Mr McNicholas said.
"Not just because its tremendously important venue that's been immortalised in song lyrics by the Clash, but it's an important size of venue for the London scene." The Palais, where U2 and the Sex Pistols have played, is due to be replaced by offices and a restaurant.
Britain's rock landmarks
1. Liverpool Erected in 1974, Arthur Dooley's Statue of the Fab Four portrayed them as plastic children's dolls. The McCartney figure mysteriously disappeared
2. Widnes station Paul Simon wrote Homeward Bound here on his 1965 tour, while waiting for a train back to London
3. Salford Lads Club Smiths fans from around the world have made the pilgrimage to this building, which provided the background for the band on the inside cover of The Queen is Dead
4. Macclesfield crematorium Born and bred in Macclesfield, Ian Curtis from Joy Division was buried at the crematorium here in 1980
5. The Grapes, Sheffield Arctic Monkeys' first gig was at this pub, Sheffield city centre, June 2003
6. The Red Lion, Stoke-on-Trent Robbie Williams spent his teenage years above the bar of this pub in Burslem run by his parents
7. Severn estuary mudflats Cover sleeve of Echo and the Bunnymen's album Heaven Up Here was shot here
8. Glastonbury Home of the annual music festival and occasional mudbath
9. Yes Tor This picturesque corner of Dartmoor featured on the sleeve of Yes's 1978 album Tormato
10. Isle of Wight festival Legendary, with those held between 1968 and 1970 seen as Europe's equivalent to Woodstock
11. Hammersmith Palais Immortalised by the Clash in their classic fusion of punk and reggae White Man in Hammersmith Palais in 1978
12. Abbey Road studios, London In 1969 the Beatles stepped outside Abbey Road studios in St John's Wood for a photoshoot which Beatles fans have tried to recreate ever since by walking across the zebra crossing
13. 23 Brook Street Blue plaque marks the 1960s residence of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix in central London
14. Chalk Farm tube station Madness reflected their Camden roots when they were photographed for the cover of their album Absolutely here
15. Waterloo Bridge "Dirty old river, must you keep rolling ..." Ray Davies paid homage to the Thames and London with the classic Kinks track Waterloo Sunset
16. Berwick Street, London Oasis chose this central London street for the cover of their classic Britpop album (What's the Story) Morning Glory
[Edited by Ten Thousand Motels]
|5th February 2007 04:11 AM
|Honky Tonk Man
Ten Thousand Motels wrote:
The Good Mixer in Camden
I went there last summer and was quite disappointed. It was a popular boozer back in the day amongst the Britpop bands and one or two still pop in from time to time. Despite its obvious musical heritage though, it really is just a bog standard pub. Iím not sure what I was expecting. Liam Gallagher is barred.
Thanks for posting TTM. Great read
|5th February 2007 04:20 AM
|Ten Thousand Motels
||>Liam Gallagher is barred.<