The first is tomorrow (Saturday, Jan 27) at the Richmond Hill Hotel from 10am to 4pm.
The second is on Sunday (Jan 28) in north London at the Camden Lock Holiday Inn hotel, also from 10am to 4pm.
Selected items are being bought by Tracks, a specialist firm in rock memorabilia, particularly anything about the ‘Beatles’, purchase on the day by bank transfer or with details to “webuyrockandroll.com”.
London, of course, is steeped in Beatles and Rock’n’Roll folklore. It’s where The Fab Four from Liverpool took the rock world by storm in the Swinging Sixties.
The musical revolution they pioneered brought provincial bands to London, such as The Animals from Newcastle, the Hollies from Manchester, Spencer Davis from Birmingham and groups from Merseyside such as the Searchers and Gerry and The Pacemakers.
London also had its own bands like The Kinks from Muswell Hill, Dave Clark Five from Tottenham and the Rolling Stones from Dartford.
EMI’s St John’s Wood studios at Abbey Road became the epicentre where the Beatles put together most of their hits and LPs.
Paul McCartney recounted in his Many Years From Now biography his first impressions of London.
“We were provincial kids coming down to the big city,” he remembers. “So it was all magic to us, all the places like Kensington, Chelsea, Soho, Tottenham Court Road, Charing Cross Road — wow! You’d heard about these places and seen’em in movies.”
The Beatles first stayed at The Presidents Hotel in Bloomsbury before rented a flat near Marble Arch.
Paul soon moved in with his girlfriend Jane Asher in Wimpole Street, then bought a three-storey detached house for £40,000 in Cavendish Avenue, St John’s Wood, only a stone’s throw from the Abbey Road Studios. Fans would flit between Abbey Road and Paul’s house snapping him as he arrived and when he left his home. Sometimes he might come to the front gate to sign autographs and chat.
Ringo Starr found a place in Highgate, while John Lennon moved in with his wife Cynthia in a flat in Kensington. George Harrison later moved to Weybridge.
The Beatles’ first visit to London was to audition at the Abbey Road studios on June 6, 1962, which led to a contract with EMI and their first recording session on February 11, 1963, when John, Paul, George and Ringo put together the whole first album Please Please Me in a single day.
They performed a 16-night run of the Beatles Christmas Show from December 14, 1963, at Finsbury Park’s Astoria cinema in Severn Sisters Road, which caused a traffic jam in Seven Sisters Road with hundreds of Mods on motor-scooters. Police had to divert the traffic.
Abbey Road was the venue in 1967 for the Our World live TV broadcast on June 25 to record All You Need Is Love to a worldwide audience of 400 million in five continents.
But what has become possibly the most famous Beatles event at Abbey Road was at 11.35am on August 8, 1969, when the four stepped out onto the zebra crossing in front of the studios and walked back and forwards. Photographer Ian MacMillan took six shots from a stepladder, one of which became the front cover of the Abbey Road album released in September that year.
A crowd congregated at the crossing in 2019 to mark 50 years since the album was released — and brought traffic to a standstill!
The Beatles did not record exclusively at Abbey Road, however. They used others as well, such as De Lane Lea Kingsway Studio in Holborn for the It’s All Too Much track for the Magical Mystery Tour album in 1967.
The Fab Four also staged ‘The Beatles Mad Day Out’ in London on July 28, 1968, for photo locations with war photographer Don McCullin and other cameramen, which has gone down in folklore. They stopped first at Thompson House, The Times Building in Gray’s Inn Road, near King’s Cross, for group shots in the photographic studio.
They then tried to visit Karl Marx’s grave in Highgate Cemetery — but it was closed and they had to make do with shots of John and Paul outside a house in nearby Swan’s Lane.
They arrived at Old Street tube station at 6pm and used a plank to climb on top of a concrete block in the middle of the Old Street roundabout. Their next stop was at St Pancras Old Church, posing in various locations, before the entourage drove to Wapping Pier Head on the Thames and parked in Wapping High Street where some of the more atmospheric images of the day were captured.
The final location that day was Paul’s home in St John’s Wood with his sheepdog Martha.
But Rock revolution really began earlier in Soho with the 2i’s coffee bar in Old Compton Street in 1956, when the Beatles were still in school, where future stars performed like Cliff Richard, Adam Faith, Eden Kane, Tony Sheridan, Johnny Kidd and famously Bermondsey’s own Tommy Steele. The site now has a blue plaque marking “the birthplace of Rock’n’Roll”.
The Eel Pie Island club was another venue on a small island on the Thames at Twickenham, where the Rolling Stones had a residency in 1963, which also launched the careers of the Yardbirds and Rod Stewart.
The Roundhouse in Chalk Farm staged some of the best gigs of the late Sixties and Seventies. A concert by the Ramones on July 4, 1976 — the 200th anniversary of America’s Declaration of Independence — became known as “the night when British Punk was born”.
Many of London’s rock venues had originally been cinemas. The Finsbury Park Astoria, now known as the Rainbow, became a venue for Bob Marley, The Jacksons and Frank Zappa, while the Scala in Pentonville Road, near Kings Cross, a cinema since 1920, staged live shows throughout the 1970s.
The pub rock scene developed with live music at places like the Hope and Anchor in Islington, the Dublin Castle in Camden Town and the Half Moon in Putney.
Organisers of this weekend’s valuation sessions in Richmond and Camden Town are hoping anyone with mementoes from these times, especially Beatle memorabilia, will be turning up.
Courtesy of Enfield Independent | What’s On