AUBAINE: IT'S STILL ROCK & ROLL TO ME
Let’s begin with another of our all too irregular quizzes of the popular culture variety, shall we?
Why is the telephone box at the top of today’s post, the most famous telephone box in Rock & Roll history? A huge prize for the first punter with the correct answer.
I thought about this yesterday as I went to meet my new chums Martin & Neil Newman for a quick lunch at Aubaine, just off Regent Street. There is little to report about the meal itself, I was treated to good company, a surprisingly tasty and properly cooked Bavette and a few glasses of a decent red. The sort of lunch that has you coming away with a little vino buzz and the urge to go home and nap for a couple of hours.
But, it did remind me of my immediate post college days when, on a massive Penguin Bookshop salary, which failed to get to the right side of £4,000 p.a, I tried to supplement my paltry income by giving guided tours of sights of Rock & Roll import in our lovely city.
It would have worked too if only my idea of the Rock & Roll hall of fame had been the same as my guests. They wanted to see where J, P, G & R hung out or where the Glimmer Twins cavorted with Jimi “Firestarter” Hendrix but, instead I gave them the opportunity to take pictures outside the flat where Mama Cass choked on a ham sandwich (she didn’t actually, but that’s another story) to see where TV Smith & The Adverts were photographed for The NME, up near Langham Place and to admire the graffiti outside the legendary Marquee Club, which informed the world that “Kevin Rowland is a bummer”
Matters were not helped by the fact that the sacred rock & roll memorabilia I promised they would encounter turned out not to be an instantly recognised Hoffnung bass guitar or “that” gold lame suit belonging to The King, but an empty tin of special brew discarded by Steve Diggle of The Buzzcocks, a signed picture of Nico and a guitar string hurled into the crowd by one of The Fabulous poodles. Well, I treasured them.
Cue the return of all monies received, disgruntled complaints in the languages of many nations and the end to my career on the periphery of Rock & Roll’s grand dream. The only place that did pass muster was this old and lonely telephone box and its associated street.
So who can tell me why?