Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Eyes in your feet

One of the more fascinating British stories is the conjuction of time and place that was Ladbroke Grove, London, in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Almost everything that I liked growing up had a Ladbroke Grove connection - from Tyrannosaurus Rex to Mike Moorcock, the (Social) Deviants to Paul Kossoff, the movie Performance, Hawkwind to the Pretty Things, The Pink Fairies to The Clash... Of course, the scene died about the same time I moved out of Podunk to London and I never saw any of it.

Mick Farren, a Ladbroke Grove veteran himself, reports that there's now an album out called Cries from the Midnight Circus – Ladbroke Grove 1967-78, which contains tracks from many of those cited above, and I've put it on my Christmas list. (I can't buy it now, because in the grand Ladbroke Grove tradition, the link to the record company doesn't work, but I'm sure it'll be fixed soon.)

Even if you think you don't want the CD (and you do, you really do), you will want to read the liner notes, which gives a potted history of the Grove and what was so special about it. Put down those 600 page crap urban fantasy novels and read about a real urban fantasy. Hippies and White Panthers and stoners and lots and lots of musicians. And guess what - the liner notes are available here, for free!


Juli said...

Ladbroke Grove in 1968 is where my novel begins, and Nigel's essay was one of my first pieces of resource material, along with Marmalade Skies.

(BTW, thank you making it possible for me to enjoy Safe Sex with Jimmy Page! Arrived today!)

Peromyscus said...

Glad you got it!

Everybody should have Safe Sex with Jimmy Page. I have; I'm thinking of enjoying it in the car next.

I have, or rather I know how to extract, another great LG resource for you. I'll send it via PZ.

I'd certainly read a book with Ladbroke Grove in it. In fact I've already read several...

Juli said...

I need all the LG info I can get, since I've never been to London. If I ever get this book published, it's the first place I'm headed, and I'll write it off as "research." (I'll be sure to investigate that whole Stonehenge mystery while I'm in England.)

When I saw a photo of one of the buildings where Marc Bolan lived in Blenheim Crescent, I immediately put a description of it into my story as the building where my main character crashed for a while after her arrival in London. After seeing bits of that Julia Roberts/Hugh Grant movie, it appears Notting Hill has gone through a few changes since the 1960s-1970s, huh?

Peromyscus said...

I guess. A great visual for Notting Hill Gate in those days is the movie Performance.

I've put a review of it at the top of the blog stack. Netflix it at the least - you may end up buying it!


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