London Run (You Can’t Always Get What You Want)   5 comments

Temperence Society

With the Dylan sight-seeing Sunday fresh in my mind, I quickly looked up some other rock sites to lend structure to my Monday morning run. A bit hung over as I left the hotel, I didn’t really need the Temperance Society house looming over me from across the road especially because I was doing the run without a map and only some addresses memorised…what could possibly go wrong? First stop: Bob Marley’s house near the British Museum.



Bob Marley's House London

This was not at all what I expected. This neighbourhood is one of the poshest I’ve trekked through and his flat is in a row of spectacular buildings on a park (at 34 Ridgemount Gardens, if you are making the pilgrimage). I really expected something more like the shittier parts of Notting Hill or Kensington Gardens but this looks more like an investment banker’s house. At this point I was about 4½ miles in.


What's the Story Morning Glory



I knew where the cover of the first Clash album was shot but even at 6 am, Camden Market is full of pretentious dickheads so I worked my way down to Berwick Street where, just below the intersection with (appropriately enough) Noel you find yourself on the cover of What’s The Story Morning Glory by Oasis. You might think the next stop would be something from the Beatles (as heavily as Oasis borrowed from them), but this close to Mayfair I had bigger aims. 5½ miles and counting.


Jimi's and Handel's places


For a bit of his tenure in London, Jimi Hendrix lived in a flat adjacent to the one occupied by George Frideric Handel.  I ran past this several times before realising it was obscured by scaffolding while the museum part of the house is getting refurbished. 6.2 miles, but less if I had been paying attention.

Next, I searched for Heddon Street which is mostly an alleyway of Regents Street a half mile or so away. The attraction here is a phone box that, while not the original one, is in the same location as the one featured on the back cover of the Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The front cover was shot here, too, but I really just wanted the rear, you know, like the line,

“The kid was just crass, he was the nazz
With God given ass.”




Ziggy Stardust phone box


The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars back cover

Now at 7.2 miles, again mostly due to poor sense of direction, I sought out 12 Curzon St where my drumming hero (that is, after Gene Krupa), Keith Moon, died in flat 9. I spotted number 9 (number 9, number 9…Beatles keep haunting me) and figured 12 would be nearby. I eventually found it, now a hotel on the corner which is probably why the madman’s death doesn’t merit a Blue Plaque but two doors down Nancy Mitford’s part-time job did.


Keith Moon RIP

#12 Curzon Street, just down from the Saudi Embassy. RIP, Keith Moon


Nancy Mitford's job


Pleased with how well I had done on the run so far, I headed for one more site before looping back home. The Chelsea Drugstore really existed as a pharmacy on King’s Road (and even appears in A Clockwork Orange) back when the Stones were getting what they need. I followed the edge of Green Park to Buckingham Palace but with the overcast skies my internal compass, rubbish in the best of times, was all I had to work with and instead of Chelsea, I zigzagged around the western bits of Westminster. Just as well, 49 Kin’s Road is now a McDonalds.


The Chelsea Drugstore now

Got this from Google Street View…same building so maybe worth getting an order of chips there sometime


I did spot a companion piece to Jackie’s ‘Willie Pusher’ from Sunday’s Imperial War Museum visit:


Great Peter Street

The run was soon over (13.5 miles total) and we had a normal London tourist day ahead. We returned home exhausted and flopped on the couch watching some YouTube clips related to the music tour I had done. One of the link trails we followed led me to this treat which also shares a theme with the holiday:


You Can't Always Get What You Want Run

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