Friday, 19 May 2017

Friday Is Rock'n'Roll #London Day: Alice In Rock'n'Roll Wonderland



Friday is Rock'n'Roll London Day! Join the Rock'n'Roll London walk this (and every Friday) afternoon at 2:00p.m meeting at Tottenham Court Road Station




Adam writes…



Just back from the Pink Floyd exhibition Their Mortal Remains at the V&A - an absolutely thrilling show.

I'm looking forward to sharing my Top 10 highlights in a later post - difficulty is where to start with such a fireworks display of a exhibition. From the moment you enter to the great surround-sound crescendo of Comfortably Numb from the reunion performance at Live 8 at the finale, it is a constantly riveting and revealing experience.

Right at the start of the show we are invited to pop down the rabbit hole…



… an allusion, of course, to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, one of the seminal texts of psychedelia.

At the V&A we are treated to some footage from Jonathan Miller's 1966 BBC production of Alice…


Miller's version was broadcast at Christmastime 1966 and dispensed with the animal-head costumes hitherto associated with the piece, a move considered radical at the time. He was aiming to capture some of what he felt was the essence of the story – a child's perspective on a grown-up world where adults run about doing confusing and seemingly pointless things.

The back-to-childhood theme was very much in the creative ether of the day - no surprise given that the artistic protagonsists of the time had all had their childhood interrupted – if not obliterated – by war. This last is a theme that comes up again-and-again in the work of Pink Floyd's Roger Waters.


Many of its illustrious creative team invloved in Miller's BBC Alice have associations with the pop and rock music scene of the period. Leo McKern dragged-up as the Ugly Duchess, having played Clang in Help! a year earlier…


McKern also starred in cult TV show The Prisoner, in which The Fabs also make a small sonic cameo…



Peter Cook as the Mad Hatter (who else?) had Lennon as a guest in a famous sketch in his Not Only But Also TV show with Dudley Moore…




It is said that a young Eric Idle makes an early, uncredited TV appearance in the Alice production. He went on, of course, to become a member of the Pre-Fab Four…




Peter Sellers played The King of Hearts and famously "covered" a fabs classic as Richard III…





The soundtrack for the production was by Ravi Shankar, George Harrison's sitar guru…




In a further Pink Floyd connection, there's a theory out there on the internet (!) that suggests Floyd's The Wall synchronises perfectly with the Disney animated version of Alice. You gotta love the internet.


The rabbit hole sent me home from the V&A to dig around in the more arcane corners of my record collection to retrieve this relic…


It's a recording of Jane Asher playing the role of Alice in 1958 - a reminder that she had a theatrical career of her own long before she ever met that Paul McCartney!


But perhaps the most famous of all Rock'n'Roll Alice in Wonderland references is from Jefferson Airplane and their 1967 classic White Rabbit…





I'll be reviewing Their Mortal remains on this blog soon.


The Pink Floyd London Walk is set to go on Saturday 17th June…



You can book online here…






Here's the trailer for the Rock'n'Roll London Walk which meets at 2pm Tottenham Court Road station every Friday.








The Rock'n'Roll London walk is ONLY London Walk with its own dedicated comic book! Written by Rock'n'Roll London guide (and Daily Constitutional editor Adam) you can download at the London Bookstore online: londonbookstore.myshopify.com










A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.



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