Music Heritage London is organizing a series of bus tours not to be missed by any 60s enthusiasts. There are currently three dates scheduled: Sunday 15th October, Sunday 5th November and Tuesday 5th December. The tours depart twice each day, at 11am and 1:30pm.
Designed to take participants back in time to an era when London was the most exciting place to be for music lovers, the tours visit a selection of famous spots associated with rock ‘n’ roll history. To create a truly immersive experience, the vehicle used is an original vintage double-decker Routemaster London bus.
With a backdrop of 60s music and insightful live commentary, the tour starts at the world’s most iconic music venue, the Royal Albert Hall. It then travels down Chelsea’s Kings Road and passes numerous famous locations along its path. The sights include the Royal Court Hotel at Sloane Square, once the London base of the Beatles; the Chelsea Drug Store, immortalized by The Rolling Stones; Mary Quant’s boutique, Bazaar, where the miniskirt was designed; the architectural splendour of the Pheasantry, once owned by Eric Clapton during his time with Cream; and the Granny Takes a Trip psychedelic boutique, whose clientele included Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles and Rod Stewart.
The tour then heads down on Edith Grove and Cheyne Walk, past homes once owned by 60s music legends, socialites and other notable figures. On arrival back to the Royal Albert Hall, passengers are taken on a one-hour journey through the Hall by another knowledgeable guide. This is a great opportunity to learn about the pivotal role this historic venue played in the 60s counter-culture movement. In addition to the Queen’s Box, participants can see many areas that are usually off-limit to the public, such as the stunning auditorium that welcomed the Beatles and the Rolling Stones on the same night, staged Bob Dylan’s electric transition, and even hosted a Pink Floyd comedy night.
“Never before has 60s music and the bands that created and performed it shone so brightly in the global media spotlight. Yet, on the list of London’s top 30 attractions, none are music related,” Paul Endacott, founder and managing director of Music Heritage London said.
There are plans to make the tour schedule much more regular beginning March 2018, with three tours a day, two days a week. Other routes will also be added soon. Considering the mind-blowing number of music-related sights in London and the fact that Liverpool’s Beatles-themed Magical Mystery Tour runs between four and nine tours a day, seven days a week, it seems that this venture has enormous potential.
In addition to the tours, Music Heritage London also organizes live music nights at Richmond’s One Kew Road, which was known in the 60s as the Station Hotel. It was home to the original Crawdaddy Club, where the Rolling Stones played their first ever gig to an audience of three on 24th February 1963. On 5th May, Dick Rowe of Decca Records saw the Stones here at the suggestion of George Harrison and signed them immediately.
The next music event will take place at the venue on Sunday 5th November, featuring Mick Avory of the Kinks as part of the 60s All Stars Band. On Sunday 3rd December, the Sound of the 60s Party will provide the soundtrack for a trip back in time.