Off the Beaten Path Rock & Roll Sites to Visit in London
Want to know where the biggest stars once made their names and got their fame? Here is a list of places you might want to stop by in order to get a feel for the rock and roll music and culture back in its heyday in London.
23 Heddon Street
The street is in the address that was written on the cover of David Bowie’s “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars.” Brian Ward photographed the place in January 1972, five months after the release of the Bowie album. To remind people of the area’s musical importance, a blue plaque was placed for the public to see.
This street was also the childhood home of the legendary singer himself that is located at 40 Stansfield Road, Brixton. There is also a mural inspired by Aladdin Sane on the wall of Morleys, which is situated by Tunstall Road. Denmark Street is another one of Bowie’s stomping grounds, as well as 39 Manchester Street, where the star lived for a while and often hung out at the Toy Museum and the Wallace Collection in his spare time. There is also a Bowie mural in Brixton for those who want to look at the art of the area.
23 Brook Street
23 Brook Street was home to Jimi Hendrix. Right now, it serves as a museum for fans to look around. The street also happens to be home to German-born composer George Frideric Handel, which has also been restored.
According to the museum, the flat was taken over by The Handle House Trust in 2000. The committee’s goal was to simultaneously restore the two flats; however, it was seen as an impractical move. Hence, they just used the place as their administrative office.
The flat located on 23 Brook Street remains the only official home of Hendrix in the world. It was permanently opened to the public in 2016.
The Cumberland Hotel
This is another location associated with Hendrix. Hendrix checked into the Cumberland Hotel in the West End on September 6, 1970. One night in one of its suites cost around £17. While it was not exactly the high-end establishment it is today, it was a popular resting area for rock musicians to stay for the night.
It was such a famous stomping ground for singers that the hotel became the place of residence on Hendrix’s death certificate. However, the singer died due to an overdose of barbiturates in a different hotel, one located in Notting Hill. Nevertheless, Cumberland is quite the site; you can find the rooms and suites of the stars back then. There was even the launching of the Jimi Hendrix Suite in 2010 in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of his death.
34 Montagu Square
This area was home to another rock and roll legend. Home to Ringo Starr and the nesting ground for John Lennon’s love for Yoko Ono to blossom, the square can be treated as a shrine to the history of rock and roll. John Lennon and Yoko Ono once recorded an album together in this very place.
The cover for “Two Virgins” was done here. Paul McCartney did a demo of Eleanor Rigby here when the Beatles set up a recording studio that lasted quite a while. However, this place also carried some bad memories. John was caught with a stash of cannabis in his room. When he was evicted from the premises, ownership changed. Ringo stayed there for some time until he rented it to Jimi Hendrix, who was thrown out for causing trouble in the place.
This was the famous street where the album’s cover of (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (1995) was shown. The album also featured the street because of how many record shops there were. The men shown in the cover were DJ Sean Rowley and the sleeve designer for the album, Brian Cannon.
This street in London is the centre of music and vinyl. It is home to indie record stores such as Reckless Records and Sister Ray, which offer a wide range of music genres, including pop, jazz, dance, and so many more.
Berwick Street is also famous for its market, which was established in the 18th century. Up until today, it’s still widely renowned, both for locals and tourists alike. It’s known for its fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, and food.
And if you want to munch on something, you can find lots of food choices, as there are many cafes, restaurants, and bars all over town. You can even find traditional British pubs where you can experience real British culture as a tourist.