Studios, Gigs Sites & Museums
Here’s a selection of rock-related sites and attractions you can also visit when in London.
The Hendrix & Handel Museum
Brook Street, off New Bond Street, was Jimi Hendrix’s own flat in the home that was once Frederick Handel’s. George Frederick Handel was famed for providing the music for the Royal Fireworks in the 1700s – in the 1960s, Hendrix provided the fireworks and the music!
The Royal Albert Hall
Open most days except Wednesdays. Five tours a day to choose from.
Get yourself up front and soak up the truly unique atmosphere of one of the most prestigious music performance spaces in the world! Built in 1871, it has hosted everyone from Sinatra to Santana, from Pavorotti to the Police!! The Beatles played here. George Harrison played his one and only UK gig here (with Ringo on drums). It was also the venue for his remembrance concert. The Cream played their famed ‘farewell’ concert here – and their reunion one 30 years later. Pink Floyd played here. And so did Hendrix. Frank Zappa shot scenes for his film ‘200 Motels’ here, and was banned! And who else? Yes, the Who. And yes, Yes. And Deep Purple played with a symphony orchestra.
You’ll see preparations for a show, and peek into the auditorium, as the Hall prepares to open its doors for the next show. You never quite know who might be rehearsing! Highlights of the tour include the fabulous auditorium, exclusive access to the Royal Retiring Room, a look inside the Queen’s Box and a fascinating presentation featuring a selection of the huge range of events that take place at the Hall. Entrance prices on application.
The Roundhouse, Camden Town
Site of the legendary sixties UFO Club, the Roundhouse continues to be one of London’s premier gig sites. It was here, in a converted Victorian steam engine and gin barrel storage shed, that a young Pink Floyd and Soft Machine took part in ‘happenings’ in support of the underground movement’s house newspaper IT. Other seminal artists performing here included Jimi Hendrix and the Doors (their only UK gig). More recently Kasabian, Jarvis Cocker, Paul McCartney, The Chemical Brothers, The Beastie Boys, The Who, Morrissey and James Brown have done their thing here! Visit, admire, have a coffee while you take a break from exploring the exciting neighbourhood of Camden. But keep your eyes open as you never quite know who you might see in a suburb favoured as a living base over the years by bands and artists ranging over the years from Oasis, to Madness and more recently Amy Whitehouse.
The Dublin Castle and Hawley Arms
And while you’re in the area check out pubs with musical heritage and modern attitude!
Olympic Studios Barnes
Alas, this famous studio where Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, The Who, Queen and the Stones, amongst others, laid down seminal albums is now closed. The building has now become the Olympic Cinema with attractive coffee bar attached. It is still worth making the pilgrimage to see the old building even if the smell of coffee beans has replaced the smell of vinyl!
The Troubadour Café, Earls Court
One of the few remaining cellar clubs from the 60s, the Troubadour still hosts gigs and is also an atmospheric bistro-style restaurant. Bob Dylan had one of his early London gigs here, as did singer-songwriters like Paul Simon, Al Stewart and the legendary Nick Drake. More recently Adele had one of her first professional gigs. You may get to see tomorrow’s legends today here! Worth a visit to 267 Old Brompton Road; nearest underground station Earls Court.
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