Friday, 30 June 2017

Friday is Rock'n'Roll #London Day: Busted!


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…


It's the 50th anniversary of the first big rock’n’roll drugs bust. Who else but The Rolling Stones? On this day in 1967 Mick and Keith were released from prison after one night behind bars.

The scene: Keith’s country manor Redlands. The players: Mick, Keith, gallery owner Robert Fraser, 24 heroin ‘jacks’, a lump of hash, some uppers and Marianne Faithfull wrapped in a fur rug

The tabloids had an orgasm. 

Legend has it that the cops waited for George Harrison of those nice Beatles to leave the premises before the bust went ahead.

William Rees Mogg looked to Alexander Pope in his reaction to the (brief) incarceration of Jagger and Richards by writing his famous editorial in The Times under the headline Who Breaks A Butterfly On A Wheel?



The tale of gallery owner Robert Fraser, the "third man" in the bust, is something less celebrated than that of the errant Stones. Fraser, an Old Etonian and ex-officer in the King's African Rifles, was one of the most influential figures of swinging London. He put the work of Rene Magritte before Paul McCartney, inspiring the design of the Apple logo and also suggested Peter Blake as designer of the Sgt Pepper sleeve. For his part in the drugs bust he was sentenced to six months.

His story is told in Harriet Vyner's excellent book Groovy Bob.





In a show of solidarity, The Who recorded two Stones tracks…





Here's The Who's take on The Last Time…



And here's the Stones' own response to the whole ordeal, the single We Love You, with a video featuring Jagger as Oscar Wilde and Marianne Faithfull (Mick's then girlfriend) as Bosie…




When the convictions were finally overturned at the end of July '67, Jagger appeared on ITV's World In Action to debate the drug culture with The Bishop of Woolwich and the editor of The Times…








Watch the trailer for Wednesday's Rock'n'Roll London Pub walk, 7pm Tottenham Court Road tube (exit 1)…







And here's the trailer for THIS AFTERNOON'S Rock'n'Roll London Walk which meets at 2pm Tottenham Court Road station (exit 1).







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.



Thursday, 29 June 2017

#LondonWalks – #LondonRuns with @Hallett_G

Next Thursday 6th July star London Walks guide Andy is leading his next guided run!






Meet Andy at Temple tube at 7.15a.m on Thursday 6th July for a 5K guided run. Catch up with him on episode 44 of the London Walks Podcast…








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.



Wednesday, 28 June 2017

50 Shots: A #London #Photoblog No.14. The Morning After

DC Editor Adam writes…

Continuing the celebrations of the 5,000th post on The Daily Constitutional, over the next few weeks I'll be sharing my 50 favourite London photographs taken from The DC's nine year run…




Snapped on a wander from Greenwich along the Thames to Richmond back in June 2016. The morning after…







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.



Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Musical Statues No.2: FDR In Grosvenor Square

The NEW Daily Constitutional series in which we map our London memorials in music – songs and pieces inspired by or associated with the subjects of our many London statues. 


The series continues with… 





FDR and Happy Days Are Here Again



The statue of Franklin D. Roosevelt can be found in Grosvenor Square. This commemoration to the 32nd President of the United States, by William Reid Dick was unveiled in 1948.

FDR's campaign song in 1932 was Happy Days Are Here Again – a number that went on to be associated with FDR and with the Democratic party for years to come…





Such musical campaign choices are made after long deliberation these days, and often court controversy when the writer or performer takes issue with their song being associated with candidates that they do not necessarily back.

Back in 1932, it is said to have been a spontaneous decision to include Happy Days Are Here Again – written in 1929 by composer Milton Ager and lyricist Jack Yellen – at the Democratic convention. That FDR repealed prohibition not long after his election seems to have wedded the song to the President for all time.


In terms of popular song, Roosevelt is said to have had a fondness for the sentimental western song Home on The Range. His favourite hymn was Eternal Father Strong To Save, the hymn of both The Royal Navy and the U.S Navy…





… it is often known as simply The Navy Hymn, or by the final line of its first verse, For Those In Peril On The Sea.


When the President first met with Winston Churchill in secret in was aboard the MHS Prince of Wales in 1941 on the Atlantic Ocean to discuss the US's involvement in the fight against the Nazis. During discussions, a joint service was held with the President and the P.M and the men of both the Royal and U.S Navies in attendance.

Of the service, Churchill later wrote "It was a great hour to be alive". Of the four day-long meeting, FDR is said to have commented to an aide, "If nothing else had happened while we were there, that joint service would have cemented us."

Churchill chose the hymns from his favourites, including Onward Christian Soldiers and Oh God Our Help In Ages Past…




… written by Isaac Watts from Psalm 90 in 1719 to a melody by William Croft from 1708.




Find FDR's statue here…





A statue of both FDR and Churchill can be found in Bond Street. It is the work of Laurence Holofcener and was unveiled in 1995 and is called simply Allies



Find the statue here…










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.