Every music fandom needs a Mecca, a place of worship, where fans from all over the world can come to pay their respects to their music idols in the form of scrawled memories and lyrics. This is as true today as it was when the music fan was born in the 1960s.
Back then we had the Beatles with their catchy songs, grey suits and mop tops. The place of worship became Abbey Road’s zebra crossing, made famous by the Beatles’ 11th album cover.
In the 1970s Bolan and Bowie conquered our hearts and for them a Sycamore tree in Barnes and a mural on Brixton road have become deeply emotional spots.
In recent years bands like the Libertines rekindled the relationship between fan and artist through a heady combination of the Internet and impromptu gigs in their flat. The famous Albion Rooms gigs were held just around the corner from an alleyway where the band filmed the video for their single Up The Bracket. Now the alley –dubbed Up The Bracket Alley – is covered in scrawled messages of love and favourite lyrics, creating a vortex of nostalgia for anyone wandering down it.
Where is your favourite musical spot to visit? Share memories of your musical pilgrimages and help tell the story of British pop music for People’s History of Pop. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.phop.co.uk
As we move through the decades, our music idols have become more and more outlandish in their appearance.
Episode 2 of People’s History of Pop, due out this summer, features the increasingly striking fashions of pop stars, from Marc Bolan’s glitter to Black Sabbath’s crosses. The desire to emulate their look has given us some wonderful photos of die-hard fans on PHOP. A particular favourite of ours is this impersonation of Ziggy Stardust by Scotty Somerville.
This would have been a familiar site at a David Bowie concert circa 1973, where the queues leading into the venue would present a sea of fans all dressed in the most outrageous way they could ready to see their idol, the master of wild imagery.
If you or someone you know ever dressed up as your music idol and took a photo, we’d love to see it! Just go to www.phop.co.uk and follow the instructions to upload your image.
So far the People’s History of Pop has seen everything from rare acetates to superstars’ wardrobes. But it’s often the small things that have evoked the fondest memories. Of all the items in their collection, many of our contributors have said they’d save the oddities of their hoard first in the event of an imaginary fire.
Items as seemingly incongruous as an old beer can, a handful of orange confetti and a plastic bag have been hailed as the jewel in a crown of pop paraphernalia. They are souvenirs with no price tag, reminders of triumphant acquisitions; of catching Ray Davies’ half-finished drink, of experiencing the Pet Shop Boys’ live for the first time, and of buying that first single in a long-departed local record store.
Here are a few of our favourite obscurities:
If you have a music souvenir that’s more curious than costly share it with us at www.phop.co.uk