Visit the iconic places of your musical heroes
Mod, Glam Rock, Punk, Britpop; whatever the scene, London's at the forefront of every musical movement. The Stones, Pink Floyd, Bowie, Queen, The Who, The Sex Pistols, and The Police all made their mark here before conquering the world.
The 1990s saw bands like Suede and Blur centre stage, complementing the funk and soul flavours of acts like Jamiroquai and Faithless to dance bands Basement Jaxx, and Groove Armada. London’s diverse musical energies continue unabated with Razorlight, Dizzee Rascal, Lily Allen and Babyshambles.
London’s most famous rock ‘n’ roll landmark. In August 1969 The Beatles stepped outside the Abbey Road studios in St John’s Wood for a 10-minute photoshoot and created one of music’s most iconic images which Beatles fans have tried to recreate ever since by walking across the famous zebra crossing.
The cover of David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album was shot here in 1972. Bowie - as Ziggy - was captured outside number 23.
Don’t miss nearby Carnaby Street: epicentre of 1960s fashion and centre of Swinging London that inspired The Kinks’ Dedicated Follower of Fashion, and later The Jam song Carnaby Street. It’s undergone a facelift to make it a new fashion centre for the 2000s.
430 Kings Road
Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood renamed their shop ‘Sex’ in the mid-70s and it became the cradle of British punk, pioneering the punk look. The Sex Pistols were formed largely as a vehicle to promote the shop.
23 Brook Street
A blue plaque marks the 1960s residence of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix.
Oasis chose this central London street for the cover of their classic Britpop album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory.
“Dirty old river, must you keep rolling” - Ray Davies paid homage to the Thames and London in the classic Kinks’ track, Waterloo Sunset.
The Savoy Hotel
The famous video for Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues was filmed in the street at the back of the hotel after he and Donovan had sat up all night writing the caption boards!
Denmark Street (Tin Pan Alley)
Area famous for its music shops and studios where The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and The Kinks recorded in basements in the 1960s. The Sex Pistols lived at 6 Denmark Street in the mid-1970s, creating punk anthems like Anarchy in the UK and God Save the Queen.
Formerly known as The Monarch, this Camden music venue is a great place to see up-and-coming bands.
Formerly the Music Machine and then Camden Palace, this was an early venue for The Police, Siouxie and the Banshees and it has more recently hosted acts like Coldplay, Madonna and Babyshambles.
Carling Hammersmith Apollo
Formerly the Hammersmith Odeon, this large but somehow still intimate venue still hosts major entertainments. David Bowie famously killed off his alter ego Ziggy Stardust here at the end of his UK tour in 1973.
O2 Brixton Academy
Anyone who is anyone in the rock scene is likely to have played here under its beautiful, black velvet starry ceiling.
Newly reconstructed Wembley Stadium netted the big cats and was the venue for the world’s biggest bands. Its finest musical hour came in July 1985 when it hosted the Live Aid concert.
If you're interested in British music visit the British Music Experience, Britain's Museum of Popular Music.
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