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.
Every British pop star has had their career recorded meticulously by the press, in autobiographies and across social media. But as well as the articles and documentaries, the wax works and plaques, these stars have been immortalised in Pritt Stick.
Stuck between dog-eared pages, everyone from the Beatles to the Spice Girls have been lovingly documented by their biggest fans in scrapbooks. The People’s History of Pop has seen some wonderful creations uploaded to the site, demonstrating just how cherished these musicians were.
David Bowie fan Linda first saw him live in 1973, the concert where Bowie announced the retirement of the Ziggy character. As the entire Hammersmith Apollo screamed “Don’t go, David!” Linda resolved to begin her scrapbook so she had something to remember him by, something to cling on to. She wasn’t to know he would soon return as the Thin White Duke.
Throughout the 1980’s and ‘90s Lisa Redford kept magazine cuttings all about her favourite pop star, Morrissey. At the height of the Brit Pop era, Lisa collected Morrissey fanzines and records. Music was a big deal to her and her friends; the 1990’s were a celebratory period where there was real passion for the bands and the music they created.
If you still have your pop music scrapbook we’d love to see it. To share your story just visit www.phop.co.uk or email email@example.com