We built this city on Rock and Roll - famous music landmarks in London
Since the Swinging Sixties, London has been the home of many of Rock and Roll's most famous names. From the Stones to Bowie, the Beatles to Paul Simon, we've made a list of must visit famous music landmarks in London to tick off your bucket list. Wondering where the album cover of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was photographed? Or where to find the flat where Mama Cass and Keith Moon died? Read on!
· Abbey Road Studios - this legendary studio and adjacent zebra crossing immortalised on the Beatles' Abbey Road album cover (they recorded nearly all of their albums here) should be firmly on your London bucket list. As well as the Beatles, the client list of this recording studio reads like a who's who of the great and good of Rock and Roll: Pink Floyd, Shirley Bassey, Little Richard, The Hollies, Oasis, Cliff Richard and Cilla Black to name but a few.
Fab Four fans should start here and check out more amazing Beatles locations (Paul McCartney's house is just round the corner!) on our self guided Beatles walking tour! Nearest tube station: St John's Wood.
· Trident Studios - Located at 17 St Anne's Court, Soho, David Bowie, Queen, the Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Free, T Rex, Dusty Springfield and many others recorded here until the studios closed in the 80s. Queen's first three albums were recorded here, and there is now a blue plaque above the door commemorating the David Bowie albums recorded at Trident Studios. Nearest tube station: Tottenham Court Road.
Speaking of Bowie, there's another iconic music location nearby...
· Heddon Street : 8 minutes walk away, just off Regents Street, is Heddon Street. The Album cover for The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars was shot with David Bowie resting his foot on a step outside 23 Heddon Street - there is a commemorative blue plaque on the wall which will help you find the spot. Nearest tube station: Piccadilly Circus.
· 34 Montagu Square: Ringo’s former flat, which he rented out to Paul, where he recorded a demo version of Eleanor Rigby, John and Yoko, where they shot their nude Two Virgins album cover and John got charged with possession of cannabis, and Jimi Hendrix, who Ringo threw out after he trashed the flat. It has a blue plaque, unveiled by Yoko Ono in 2010, dedicated to John Lennon. Nearest tube station: Baker Street.
· Golders Green Crematorium – T-Rex's Marc Bolan and Who drummer Keith Moon have adjacent wall plaques, and Paul Kossoff of Free has a wooden memorial plaque close to where his ashes were scattered. Nearest tube station: Golders Green.
· David Bowie Mural, Brixton. One of our favourite London rock and roll landmarks, this magnificent mural with Bowie in full Aladdin Sane makeup has become a shrine since the Brixton born legend died in 2016. The Bowie mural is down the side of Morleys department store, on Tunstall Road opposite Brixton station. You can also walk to 40 Stansfield Road, 10 mins away, where David Bowie was born in 1947 and lived until the age of 6).
Nearest tube station: Brixton.
· 23 Brook Street – One block behind bustling Oxford Street, a blue plaque marks Jimi Hendrix’s flat. It has a blue plaque. Just next door, another blue plaque denotes 18th century classical composer Handel's former home, and the two properties will open as a museum in May 2023. The Bee Gees also have a plaque at number 67!
Nearest tube station: Bond Street.
· The Savoy Hotel – the video for Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues was filmed behind the hotel on the corner of Savoy Hill Road and Savoy Steps.
Nearest tube station: Embankment.
· Flat 9, 12 Curzon Place – this flat holds the dubious honour of being the place where Cass Elliot and Keith Moon both died in 1974 and 1978 respectively, both aged 32. The flat was owned at the time by Harry Nilsson, who lent the flat to musician friends while he spent long periods in America. Head to the corner of Curzon Street and Curzon Square in Mayfair and look for a tall black brick Georgian building.
Nearest tube station: Hyde Park Corner.
· The Troubadour, Earl’s Court. In 1962, this fantastic café/club that still has regular live music was the first place that Bob Dylan performed in London. Paul Simon, Jimi Hendrix, Morrissey, Adele and Ed Sheeran have all performed the Troubadour, and Led Zeppelin used to jam there to wind down after their Earls Court Arena gigs in 1975.
Nearest tube station: Earl's Court or West Brompton.
· Carnaby Street – You'll find several famous London music sites here. Although not much remains from the swinging 60s, the feel of the place is still a lively buzz, especially at weekends when shoppers fill the street. Once a mecca for mod fashion and music venues, there are now two commemorative plaques to see: Iconic menswear shop Lord John, who dressed the Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Small Faces and The Kinks, has a plaque at number 43, and the Small Faces have a plaque at number 52 (currently Puma) marking the site of the office where they signed their management contract.
Head through Kingly Court to Kingly Street where at number 9, a faux wisteria covers the facade of what was once the Bag O'Nails Club where The Jimi Hendrix Experience played in 1966 and Paul McCartney met Linda Eastman in 1967. Two blue plaques tucked in the right hand door frame confirm both if these facts!
Close by on Argyll Street, on the building next to the London Palladium Theatre (currently a Five Guys) you can also find a blue plaque marking Brian Epstein's office where he managed the Beatles between 1964-67.
Nearest tube station: Oxford Circus.
· Berwick Street, Soho – the street used for the album cover of Oasis' What’s the Story Morning Glory. While you're here, walk 4 minutes to Soho Square where Paul McCartney's office, MPL Music Publishing, is in a tall red brick building at number 1. On the opposite side of Soho Square, on the central path behind the Gardeners Hut is a park bench with a plaque dedicated to Kirsty MacColl. Nearest tube station: Oxford Circus or Tottenham Court Road.
· Hard Rock Café Vault Museum – down in the old vault of former Coutts bank is a treasure trove of Rock Memorabilia, including guitars owned by David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Slash, Kurt Cobain, Glen Matlock and Bob Dylan, clothes belonging to Elvis, Eric Clapton and the Who, Freddie Mercury’s chair, John Lennon’s glasses and Madonna’s Jean Paul Gaultier coned bustier. Open from 1-9pm, nearest tube station: Hyde Park Corner.
· Camden – from Amy Winehouse’s statue outside Camden Market to famous music venues such as the Roundhouse (performers include The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, The Yardbirds, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Doors with Jefferson Airplane, Ramones, The Clash, Elkie Brooks, Otis Redding, and Motörhead) and the Electric Ballroom (Snow Patrol, The Killers, Stereophonics, Sir Paul McCartney, Megadeth, Kaiser Chiefs, U2, Prince, The Clash, Phil Lynott, The Boomtown Rats, Joy Division, The Smiths, Madness, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Public Enemy, Blur, Supergrass, Garbage, Adam and the Ants, The Specials, Dexy’s Midnight Runners and Madness), this North London borough has been a mecca for musicians for decades and is famous for Rock ‘n’ Roll, Punk, Indie, and Pop music. Nearest tube station: Chalk Farm
· 151 Brook Drive, Kennington- Just up the street from the Imperial War Museum, on the corner of Hayles Street, this (currently vacant) corner shop is where Dexy’s Midnight Runners filmed their Come on Eileen music video. Nearest tube station: Elephant and Castle
. Cheyne Walk, Chelsea - a trendy riverside Chelsea street where 3 Rolling Stones once owned properties: Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful lived (and was famously raided by the police looking for drugs in 1969) at number 48, Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg were at number 3 and Ronnie Wood bought number 103 in 2008. Nearest tube station: South Kensington or Sloane Square.
· 3 Saville Row - on this street world famous for tailors, number 3 used to be the Apple Building, the headquarters of Beatles multimedia conglomerate Apple Corps, where the Beatles played their famous final rooftop concert. The tall brick building has a blue plaque high on the wall saying "The Beatles played their last performance on the roof of this building, January 30th 1969". Nearest tube station: Piccadilly Circus.
Any other iconic London rock and roll music landmarks that we should know about? Leave us a comment below!