Steve & Gary hit the legendary streets of Soho in London as they uncover some of the spots where Rock and Roll history were made.
London: The Hunt For the Past
Fortunately for the On The Beat and Path crew (which for now consists of two people, Steve & Gary), summer holiday travel itineraries coincided for one day in London, England, presenting the opportunity to film some sort of a segment for the show. London was not originally on our list of places to explore, but we couldn't ignore its epic Rock & Roll history and, hence, opted for a Rock & Roll tour through SoHo.
The day started poorly for both Gary and me. The previous night, although not together, allowed for far too much celebration and we were both a little worse for wear come morning.
Gary and his wife Paola spent some time with close friends who wonderfully believe that time spent with family is best served with wine. And lots of it. Alternatively, I was enjoying, really enjoying, a rare chance to see Canadian musician, Joel Plaskett perform a show in the Highbury & Islington area of London. So when the time came to start our tour in the morning, both of us had a hard time tearing ourselves away from bottomless coffee and the delightfully trashy English newspapers.
As the fog cleared and the cobwebs came down we ventured out into the English streets. We did a little research and thanks to the help of the Online Times we unearthed many a spot in Soho that has claim to Rock & Roll legend. The tour began in the spot where the Beatles were first introduced to the world, The Palladium. Sure it may now house the production of Whoopie Goldberg’s “Sister Act” but back in the day … The Palladium was the place to be.
We strolled through the Magistrate’s Court where some members of the Rolling Stones were busted for narcotics back in the day, found the bar where Paul McCartney first saw Linda Eastwood and prepared to jam with a homeless man blowing into a street safety cone (until he started to cough up his colon).
There was the obligatory beer breaks along the way because one shouldn’t stroll around London without enjoying their true culture: beer.
Berwick Street’s market was bustling and also the spot where British band OASIS shot the cover photo for their multi-platinum album, “What’s the Story Morning Glory.” We were also witness to a shirtless, smoking produce man who had an affinity for the camera. And in the “just because we could” category, Gary and I hit the Hip Hop shops and got blinged-out in as much “glass” as we could strap around our necks. While were assured we were buying real diamonds (“because they were wholesale”) I am wise enough to know that 20 diamonds shouldn’t cost 80 pounds. Either that or I got royally ripped off on Hannah’s engagement ring.
We wandered through red light districts (accidentally), saw where Hendrix played his last live show (Ronnie Scott’s) met Layla Rose, an aspiring hip hop princess who was determined to “bring the funk back.” Layla was part of a crew called “Da 1 Academy.” She was selling her crew’s CD through the streets of London for five pounds. Although I am not allowed to say that because apparently selling your independent band’s CD on the streets is illegal. Whoops. I did buy one, though.
We ended the tour in Soho Gardens across from Sir Paul McCartney’s recording studio and publishing house enjoying yet another cold beer and strumming lazily on my ukulele.
Ultimately it was a fun and historically fuelled day of Rock & Roll history that we didn’t even have to go to Cleveland for. Everyone was a winner on this day. Except Cleveland.
Mission: On the Beat and Path provides a window into the planet's love and longing for music, using music as the primary language of global communication in order to develop a multi-media outlet for the sharing of music, travel and friendship.