I grew up on Rock and Roll. In fact, these days I’m pretty much obsessed with music of every sort. That’s why I love London so much. Not only does it have some of the world’s most legendary gig venues, but many of them are still active; playing exceptional music year-round. From The Troubador to Ain’t Nuthin’ But to the world-famous Ronnie Scott’s – it’s a cacophony of talent and magic.
One of the coolest things, though? The streets of London read like an encyclopedia of musical history. Some of the world’s greatest names, from The Beatles, to Hendrix, to Sir Edward Elgar made their homes in London and walked its pavements. If like me you get super excited by this, you can visit some of their homes and snap up a quick photo opportunity. Nearly all these historic locations are labeled with one of London’s famous plaques. So what are you waiting for? Grab your camera and discover the famous locations that made musical history.
One of the very few buildings in London to have two blue plaques attached – this beautiful facade hides the homes of both Jimi Hendrix and George Frideric Handel. Separated, as it’s website explains, by only one wall and 200 years of history, you can explore the lives of these two revered musicians at the Handel and Hendrix museum. It’s a must-see destination for music fans.
Mercury’s private life was constantly plagued by paparazzi and over-zealous fans. Nevertheless, he was able to find some peace and solitude behind the wall of this property on Gladstone Avenue. You can’t see in through the windows, but you can see all the touching messages left by fans to commemorate his passing.
This one is truly special. The Austrian composer and musical prodigy composed his first symphony at this Belgravia residence in 1764 at the age of only eight. It’s incredible to think that the enormous legacy left during his short life all started right here.
This flat on Montague Square was the first flat owned by the late, great John Lennon with his partner Yoko Ono. It marked a new era of artistic expression for Lennon and was the scene of much controversy. Interestingly, the flat had been previously occupied for a brief time by Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix.
One of the greatest British composers to ever live, and certainly one of the most recognizable (his image is was on the £20 note for decades), Elgar lived here for a total of 11 years.
You might not know the name of this musical scholar, but he changed the face of music as we know it. Cecil Sharp was almost solely responsible for the resurgence of British folk music in the early 20’s. Without him, the traditional and folk revival artists we love like Bert Jansch, Davy Graham, and Nick Drake would never have been known.
One of our most recent tragedies, David Bowie’s death at age 69 sent a wave of shock and sadness through the musical world. Although he had three homes in London throughout his life, we like this one on Foxgrove Road best – his first home in the city. It’s marked with a red and gold plaque, rather than blue, as he was still alive when it was erected.
We hope you had a great time exploring London’s greatest musicians homes. For more fascinating ways to discover London check out our wonderful London Rock Tour.