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Station to station: Rock music memorial roots and routes in London

Paul Graves-Brown, Hilary Orange Orcid Logo

Music and Heritage: New Perspectives on Place-making and Sonic Identity, Pages: 222 - 232

Swansea University Author: Hilary Orange Orcid Logo

Abstract

In this final chapter, we present a selective field guide to rock and pop shrines and memorials in London. Since 2016, we have been conducting a longitudinal study of the development of these sites, focusing not only on the musician and actor David Bowie, but also considering other musicians. Here,...

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Published in: Music and Heritage: New Perspectives on Place-making and Sonic Identity
ISBN: 9780429343049
Published: London Routledge 2021
Online Access: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9780429343049-25/station-station-paul-graves-brown-hilary-orange
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa56910
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Abstract: In this final chapter, we present a selective field guide to rock and pop shrines and memorials in London. Since 2016, we have been conducting a longitudinal study of the development of these sites, focusing not only on the musician and actor David Bowie, but also considering other musicians. Here, we focus on the most visited sites, the earliest being the memorial garden to glam rock star March Bolan on Barnes Common, South London and the latest being a large and flamboyant, but short-lived display of tributes in a Highgate park opposite the former home of the singer and songwriter George Michael. Another established site that we will discuss is Heddon Street in central London which has been a place of pilgrimage, and Bowie related graffiti, since at least 1985 (Graves-Brown 2012) though possibly as early as the 1970s (Jones 2017). Here, the fan activity focuses on two loci – a phone box (featured on the album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars [released in 1972]) and a plaque erected in 2012 to one of Bowie’s alter-egos Ziggy Stardust. In the wake of Bowie’s death in 2016, new sites of memorial and pilgrimage have joined those with a longer history. We will also discuss various memorials in Camden Town to the singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse who died in 2011.
Keywords: Music; Heritage; London; Suburbia; Pop and Rock; Shrines
College: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Funders: Self-funded
Start Page: 222
End Page: 232