Sunday, 14 October 2018

Halloween Countdown - Five Musical London Deaths

DC Editor Adam writes… 

Following on from yesterday's post on my upcoming Rock'n'Roll London Pub Walk Day Of The Dead Special on Wednesday 31st October, here's a post to get you in the musical Halloween mood…


Five Musical Deaths in London


1. Joe Meek

Legendary independent record producer and composer of Telstar who worked out of his flat on the Holloway Road… which is where he shot his landlady before, in that most chilling of news clichĂ©s, turning the gun on himself in February 1967.

Here's a beginner's guide to Joe Meek playlist…





2. Jimi Hendrix


Lived (and died) in Brook Street, Mayfair – his Blue Plaque is slap-bang next to that of George Friedrich Handel.




Find the Handel & Hendrix House Museum here…



3. Brian Epstein



“Beatle Making Prince of Pop Dead at 37” ran the Daily Express headline in August 1967. The coroner recorded a verdict of “death by accidental overdose”… although some would have us believe there was more to his death than meets the eye.


4. Bon Scott

The AC/DC frontman was found dead in a car having succumbed to hypothermia following a night of heavy drinking in the very un-rock’n’roll surroundings of Underhill Road, East Dulwich.




A map to Overhill Road…



5. Marc Bolan

Died in a car crash in Barnes, 16th September 1977. You can visit his plaque and see his memorial bench at Golders Green Crematorium.




And on Tuesday our morbid goings-on will continue with a post on musicians at Golders Green Crematorium.


A Rock'n'Roll London Day of the Dead Special for Halloween.

£10 per person

£8 for students, seniors and goths.

The dead go free.


Pay on the night or book now via the link below…





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Saturday, 13 October 2018

The Rock'n'Roll London Pub Walk Halloween Special!


DC Editor Adam writes…

The Halloween Countdown continues! 



The Rock'n'Roll London Pub Walk Halloween Special

A Day of the Dead Special
Wednesday 31st October 2018
7:00pm
Tottenham Court Road Tube




It's The Rock'n'Roll London Pub Walk Crossed With A Halloween Ghost Tour


A Monster Mash-Up of a Walk!



Join me where the mosh pit meets the plague pit for a Day of The Dead Special.

Theatre ghosts, plague, murder & monsters… and more dead musos than you can shake a drumstick at including…

Brian Jones
Joe Meek
Jimi Hendrix
Syd Barrett
Sid Vicious


NO LIVING MUSICIANS WILL BE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS WALKING TOUR…

… but given the way things have been going of late, what with the exceptionally high check-out rate of our senior rockers, the cast list may well be a little longer by the time the walk takes place.

In bad taste? Ooh I DO HOPE SO.


A Rock'n'Roll London Day of the Dead Special for Halloween.

£10 per person

£8 for students, seniors and goths.

The dead go free.


Pay on the night or book now via the link below…










Keep In Touch…

   


Friday, 12 October 2018

A Halloween Horror Movie Tour of London No.4 The Mummy (2017)

D.C Editor Adam writes…


Welcome to My Horror Movie of London No.4 The Mummy (2017)




The most recent version of The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise, fared terribly at the hands of the critics and was somewhat buried by Wonder Woman at the box office.

Me? I rather enjoyed it… up to a point. I think it suffers from being the opening salvo in the Universal Studios Dark Universe franchise. Not only does it have the burden of setting up said Universe, but it also has a huge burden of expectation.

One of the things I loved most about it was the London-Spotting - much of the action is set here in the capital and in this the fourth instalment of my Mini Tours of Horror Movie London series, I'll point you toward a few of those locations…

The Mummy is available to buy now on all the usual platforms. 



The Mummy (2017) – London Locations

Is that Australia House on Aldwych being blown to smithereens by a sorely pissed-off Mummy? It surely is!

 

(There's a small irony to the matter, here: Australia House also has a role in the aforementioned box office rival Wonder Woman, playing the role of Selfridge's department store.)

The scene where the sandstorm blows furiously over Westminster Bridge is incredibly dramatic…

 


Mr Cruise is no stranger to our London pubs. He has a pint at The Anchor Bankside in Mission: Impossible. And in The Mummy, he sups at the London boozer once referred to by an Aussie London Walker on one of my tours as "The Wozza". The Warrington in Maida Vale is a rare London example of an Art Nouveau pub and once had something of a colourful reputation.

You can find The Wozza here…




But it's the CGI scenes of havoc in the City that are most memorable. It's no surprise that they feature in the trailer for the movie…





The Natural History Museum also gets a cameo role in a very dramatic chase sequence which ends up making a LOT of mess (see also the trailer)…




One last thing… is that Big Ben plopped down in the middle of the City of London?






The Mummy is available to buy now.

The official site for the movie is here: www.universalpictures.com/movies/the-mummy

Here's a behind-the-scenes look…






Join me on a Ghosts of the Old City Tour this October. I'm leading the tour on Tuesdays 9th, 23rd & 30th October & Saturdays 6th, 13th & 27th October. Book here…








Keep In Touch…

   


Thursday, 11 October 2018

A Halloween Horror Movie Tour of London No.3 An American Werewolf In London

DC Editor Adam writes…

Part three of my virtual mini-tour of London Horror movies…



A Horror Movie Mini-Tour of London No.3 An American Werewolf in London (1981)




It takes a pretty special project to be a successful spoof, a genuinely shocking horror and a bloody good movie all at the same time. Pun most definitely intended.

An American Werewolf in London has a special resonance here at the London Walks blog: it teems with London locations; and our protagonist is bitten by a werewolf on (gulp) a walking tour…

Okay, it’s not a guided walking tour like a London Walks guided walking tour, but we take no risks. Have you ever noticed that your London Walks guide is usually toting a bag of some description? Ever wondered what’s in it? Well wonder no more…

• Stake & mallet

• Rosary

• Garlic

• Gun with Silver Bullets

• Ample copies of the London Walks leaflet which, through a cunning combination of origami and Jianzhi (a traditional Chinese method of paper cutting known to all London Walks guides) can be fashioned into all of the above as well as being most absorbent when treating werewolf bites




In writer/director John Landis’s 1981 film, Jack Goodman (Griffin Dunne) stalks the streets of London on a murderous rampage, leading a lycanthropic double life that is not without its lighter moments (!). 

The scene in the wolf enclosure at London Zoo, where Jack wakes up stark naked after a night of shapeshifting and carnage is particularly memorable. In an attempt to cover his nudity, Jack takes some balloons from a schoolboy. The little boy’s memorable deadpan complaint to the nearest (clothed) adult remains one of my favourite lines in any movie: 


“A naked American man stole my balloons.”

Here's the trailer…


For those of you as obsessed with London-spotting in the movies as I am, An American Werewolf… is a particular joy. The usual suspects are here, of course: Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus and the rest. But I'd like to pick two out-of-the-way locations which have an added advantage, namely…

You can swing by these locations from An American Werewolf in London after taking a walk with An American Tour Guide In London. Our very own London Walks Pen and Daily Constitutional Special Correspondent David Tucker leads his Hampstead & Kensington walking tours close by these locations…


One of the gorier scenes is set on Hampstead Heath, with Well Walk featuring in the build-up…

(Spoiler alert? Well, the smart money was always on the werewolf…)




Redcliffe Square in Kensington stars as the exterior of Nurse Alex Price's flat (as played by Jenny Agutter)…



(As you can see from the map above, Brompton Cemetery is also very near by. Brompton Cemetery features in the new episode of the London Walks Halloween Podcast at the foot of this post.)

But it is perhaps the chase scene at Tottenham Court Road Underground station that is of most value to us today, given just how much that station has changed in the intervening 34 years. Here's how Tottenham Court Road looked before the installation of the Paolozzi mosaics…








Tomorrow… The Mummy


Join me on a Ghosts of the Old City Tour this October. I'm leading the tour on Tuesdays 9th, 23rd & 30th October & Saturdays 6th, 13th & 27th October. Book here…





Keep In Touch…

   


Wednesday, 10 October 2018

A Halloween Horror Movie Tour of London No.2 The Omen


Daily Constitutional Editor Adam writes…


With Halloween 2018 fast approaching I'm turning The Daily Constitutional over to all things that go bump in the night with a three-part virtual mini-tour of London Horror Movies




A Horror Movie Mini-Tour of London No.2 The Omen (1976)


SPOILER ALERT! 

SPOILERS AHEAD! 

DON'T READ ON IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THIS MOVIE!

D.C Editor Adam writes…




I finally caught up with the 2006 remake of the horror classic The Omen recently. A well performed remake with a number of big frights, faithful to the original almost to the point of being slavish, it was an enjoyable Halloween treat, mostly. From a London-spotting point of view, however, the experience was something of a dud with the movie being shot in Prague. Boo!


The 1976 original – with the commanding Gregory Peck in the lead role – teems with London locations. 


Written by David Seltzer and directed by Richard Donner, the film sees Peck play Robert Thorne the U.S Ambassador to the Court of St James. When his wife – played by the excellent Lee Remick –  gives birth to a stillborn child in Rome, Thorne does a deal with the hospital chaplain to swap the dead child for a newborn orphan. Little does he know that the child is the Antichrist…

Here's the trailer…



In terms of London locations, we kick off with the obligatory shot of Big Ben (I've been discussing this in my ongoing series of posts The Cartoon & Comic Book Tour of London) as Peck's diplomatic car (back in the day when there was no congestion charge for the U.S Ambassador to dodge!) sails through Parliament Square.



Grosvenor Square features prominently – and the film makers seem to have enjoyed a degree of access to the U.S Embassy that would be unheard of in our high security climate today.





The U.S Embassy has since moved to Nine Elms in South London. The Grosvenor Square building, the work of Eero Saarinen's (see also the TWA Flight Center at JFK airport) a Grade II listed structure, will be turned into flats. One of which will, presumably, enjoy this view…






And if it ever comes up in a pub quiz, the large gilded eagle atop the embassy building has a wingspan of 35 feet…




Lovely Bishop's Park down by the Thames in Fulham is the location for the not-so-lovely scene with Robert Thorne confronted by agitated priest Father Brennan (memorably played by Patrick Troughton). Brennan urges Thorne to kill his child for the sake of mankind.



Gregory Peck by the Thames in the Omen


The location today in its spooky wintry plumage
Bishop's Park was opened in 1893, and is also home to a monument commemorating the International Brigade… 





SPOILER ALERT! SCROLL BACK IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE!



It is at nearby All Saints Church, Fulham, under a raging sky with the sound and special effects departments working overtime, that Brennan meets his gruesome end.





The tower at All Saints was commenced in the 1440's but for the most part the building dates from the 19th century. Among the starry cast list in the graveyard we find the wonderfully named Humphrey Henchman who was Lord Mayor of London during a tumultuous period of real life City horrors – the Great Plague and the Great Fire.



The scene (pictured) would be a gruesomely dramatic climax to any horror movie. Here, it merely marks the end of act one… there's far worse to come. Little wonder that this nearly-40-year-old film is regarded by horror fans as one of the greatest of all time.



When we next come back to this mini-series, I will retain the distinct U.S flavour with An American Werewolf in London.




Join me on a Ghosts of the Old City Tour this October. I'm leading the tour on Tuesdays 9th, 23rd & 30th October & Saturdays 6th, 13th & 27th October. Book here…



Keep In Touch…