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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
23rd March 1933 Born today: Geoffrey Leigh, CEO (Allied London Properties)
23rd March 1905 Born today: Ralph Perring, Lord Mayor (London)
23rd March 1889 The free Woolwich ferry service was launched by Sir Joseph Bazalgette.
23rd March 1861 London's 1st tramcars, designed by Mr Train of NY, begins operating
23rd March 1743 George Frideric Handel's oratorio Messiah premieres in London
23rd March 1729 Celebrated satirical painter William Hogarth married Jane Thornhill, daughter of artist Sir James Thornhill.
Home to Julian Cope
Britain's most famous rock'n'roll hotel and still standing
Location: 95-99 Lancaster Gate, W2 3NS
Description: One of the pivotal groups to emerge from the Liverpool neo-psychedelia community during the late '70s, the Teardrop Explodes was a showcase for Julian Cope, a notoriously eccentric figure whose unfashionable love of Krautrock and hallucinogenic drugs set him distinctly apart from the prevailing punk mentality of the era.
In fact Cope, before starting the band in 1978 after a tenure in the 'Crucial Three' (also comprised of Echo and the Bunnymen's Ian McCulloch and Wah's Pete Wylie), was passionately anti-drugs...until he met Gary Dwyer who changed is outlook on life and indeed persona.
The man simply ingested as much as he could - an acid fiend, a cocaine king - but of course it all added to a band that made some cracking tunes and of course the frenetic and passionate front-man that Julian was.
And so to this very hotel, Britain's most famous rock'n'roll hotel...well at least it was, a stately white Victorian edifice with a frontage of flaking pillars and solace for rock bands the world over.
The Columbia was run by Michael Rose, maybe it still is, who once claimed... 'I couldn't name a single record in the Top Ten. And in my case,'...'ignorance is bliss.' Maybe a good thing with the blatant debauchery taking place on his doorstep!
It was in this very hotel that Julian decamped after recording and touring sessions, took large quantities of acid, and of course on occasions slowly took up whole lengths of corridor carpet with David Balfe in tow.
Crazy place, cracking bands, the 'Teardrop' will never explode!