Ladbroke Grove pop history

Ladbroke Grove pop history - slideshow talk by Brian Nevill and Tom Vague

Slideshow talk exploring the pop myths and legends around Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Marc Bolan, the Clash, the Slits and reggae in the area… and many more

 Getting it Straight in Notting Hill Gate—A rock history journey along Ladbroke Grove North Kensington Library slideshow talk by Brian Nevill and Tom Vague exploring the pop myths and legends around Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Marc Bolan, the Clash, the Slits and reggae in the area—from Leo Sayer's ‘One Man Band’, in which 'everybody knows down Ladbroke Grove you have to leap across the street', to I-Roy ‘stepping into Ladbroke Grove’ in ‘Jah Come Here’; also featuring the death of Hendrix, Marc Bolan’s ‘Toadstool studios’, the origin of the Clash and Viv Goldman's post-punky reggae party. Brian Nevill is a local musician turned author; his book ‘Boom Baby’ touches on his early experiences in the area when he worked for Frendz paper on Portobello.

Van Morrison sang: ‘Saw you walking down by Ladbroke Grove this morning, catching pebbles for some sandy beach, you’re out of reach,’ in ‘Slim Slow Slider’, the rock classic Ladbroke Grove track, on his 1968 ‘Astral Weeks’ album. The most important event in Ladbroke Grove rock history was the death of Hendrix at 22 Lansdowne Crescent in 1970. The second most important was Eric Clapton forming Cream at Ginger Baker’s ‘basement flat in Ladbroke Grove’ (road or area?) in 1966. Marc Bolan and Steve Peregrin Took composed Tyrannosaurus Rex songs just off Ladbroke Grove at 57 Blenheim Crescent. Leo Sayer had the biggest Ladbroke Grove hit with ‘One Man Band’, which reached number 6 in 1974, and Joe Strummer’s (pre-Clash) 101’ers had a mid-70s pub rock residency at the Elgin.

Delroy Washington’s ‘The Streets of Ladbroke Grove’ featured Aswad and the Ladbroke Grove Street Choir. The Slits’ ‘Ping Pong Affair’ contains the line ‘whilst you were sulking I could have been raped in Ladbroke Grove.’ Viv Goldman’s ‘Launderette’ single had a Ladbroke Grove mini-movie sleeve. The post-punky reggae party at Viv’s flat, above the betting shop between the KPH and the station, included Aswad, PIL, the Pop Group, Slits, Raincoats, Geoff Travis of Rough Trade and Robert Wyatt. As Dub Vendor expanded from by the station to the Cambridge Gardens corner, Suede formed across the road from the station, and Jarvis Cocker sang ‘Your Ladbroke Grove looks turn me on’ in the Pulp track ‘I Spy’. The road/area is also mentioned in songs by the Clash, Big Audio Dynamite, Transvision Vamp, the Boo Radleys, Jazz Butcher, Blur and Killing Joke, whose ‘Ghosts of Ladbroke Grove’ from 2010 asked ‘What happened to Ladbroke Grove?’ Nowadays Adele, Dizzee Rascal and co are over the road from Marc Bolan’s place on Blenheim Crescent.

On December 2 2014 6-7.30pm 

Please call or email North Kensington Library to book a free seat 0207 361 3010 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and look out for more local history talks at Muna’s Book & Kitchen shop at 31 All Saints Road bookandkitchen.com

See related listing Ladbroke Grove pop history

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