Friday, 29 April 2016

Friday is Rock'n'Roll London day: England's Dreaming #SexPistols

Friday is Rock'n'Roll London Day! Join the Rock'n'Roll London walk this (and every Friday) afternoon at 2:00p.m meeting at Tottenham Court Road Station

Adam writes…

One of the most common questions asked of the guides on the Rock’n’Roll London Walk is: can you recommend a good Rock’n’Roll read.

It’s a tough question to answer in one line. So I'm dedicating this occasional series to answering it one classic book at a time, beginning with…

England's Dreaming
By Jon Savage

England’s Dreaming was first published in 1991 and has been through a number of reprints since. It won the Ralph Gleason music book award and has become required reading for all scholars of rock’n’roll.

Its title is taken from the line in the Sex Pistols' God Save The Queen

"And there's no future/In England's dreaming"

The Sex Pistols are at the epicentre of the narrative explosion, but Savage also treats us to an eye-witness account of the period, pulling in a vivid cast of supporting characters from The Clash to Adam Ant, criss-crossing London from the 100 Club to the Screen on the Green in Islington. The politics of the period, analysed in detail here with a deft lightness of touch, resonate strongly with the present day.

It's a weighty tome at some 600 pages - the antithesis of the short, sharp shock of the music it chronicles and analyses. But Savage is easy company and for all the book's heft and seriousness, it fairly skips along. I'd particularly recommend it to "punk agnostics". Punk inspired many, but enraged others yet – if you are in the latter camp, begin here.

Still at large, Savage is these days an ever-reliable talking head on music documentaries and writes for The Guardian – you can read some of his work HERE.

You can buy a copy of this seminal work at Foyles (which is where I picked up my copy, pictured above) by visiting their shop at 113 - 119 Charing Cross Road WC2 (very near the meeting point for the Rock’n’Roll London Walk). Foyles bookshop makes a punk cameo on the Rock'n'Roll London tour this afternoon.

Here's the trailer for the Rock'n'Roll London Walk…

The Rock'n'Roll London walk is ONLY London Walk with its own dedicated comic book! Written by Rock'n'Roll London guide (and Daily Constitutional editor Adam) you can buy a print copy on the tour or download (digital and/or print – free download sampler available!) at the London Bookstore online:

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

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