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THE KINKS 6 Denmark Terrace, Fortis Green Road, N10

Ray Davies and his younger brother Dave grew up here with their parents in the 1950s in this suburb of Muswell Hill, where they learned to play guitar and mastered skiffle and rock ’n’ roll songs. The house was often the scene of lively musical parties and singalongs. The brothers attended the local William Grimshaw Secondary Modern School and formed the Ray Davies Quartet, which included Ray’s classmate Pete Quaife, who would be recruited as bass player when the Kinks formed in the early 1960s. Dave Davies was caned and expelled from the school for failing to attend classes and having sex with a girl on the school grounds – an experience that inspired the song ‘The Hard

JOE MEEK 304 Holloway Road, N7

One of Britain’s greatest recording pioneers lived and

Way’ on the Kinks’ 1975 album Schoolboys in Disgrace.

worked here, in a flat above a shop selling leather goods. Joe Meek produced some memorable hits of the pre-Beatles era, including ‘Johnny Remember Me’ by John Leyton (1961) and ‘Have I the Right?’ by the Honeycombs (1964). Meek was ahead of his time in his sonic experimentation and in his use of the recording studio as an instrument. His

T. R E X 25a Stoke Newington Common, N16

Born on 30 September, 1947, Mark Feld (later reborn as Marc Bolan) lived with his parents and elder brother Harry until 1962 at this three-storey house in a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood. His mother, Phyllis, sold fruit on

most famous legacy is the 1962 instrumental ‘Telstar’ by

a market stall in Soho, and his father, Simeon, was a

the Tornados, which he wrote and produced, and which

lorry driver.

not only topped the UK chart but was the first record by a British rock band to reach number one on the US Hot 100. Musicians who recorded in this Holloway Road studio include David Bowie, Billy Fury, Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, Tom Jones and Screaming Lord Sutch. Meek


T H E B E AT L E S 7 Cavendish Avenue, NW8

Paul McCartney bought this detached three-storey house in St John’s Wood for £40,000 in 1965, and it became his London base a year later after undergoing renovation. The

also occupied himself here by trying to commune with the

Beatles would often meet here before going to record at

spirit of Buddy Holly using a ouija board, and he risked

EMI Studios in Abbey Road, which was just five minutes’

his liberty before the decriminalisation of homosexuality

walk away. Apple Scruffs (dedicated female Beatles fans)

by loitering in the streets to find gay lovers. His life ended

would sometimes linger for hours by the high wall and

tragically here on the eighth anniversary of Buddy Holly’s

wooden gate that shielded the property from the road. After

death, 3 February, 1967, when a fiery row with his landlady,

a small party of Scruffs used a ladder to gain access to the

Violet Shenton, ended with him shooting her dead and then

house, McCartney wrote the song ‘She Came in Through

turning the gun on himself.

the Bathroom Window’.


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