Friday, December 31, 2010

Another year's over ...

The year passes. Amongst the greats bowing out from Rock’n’Roll over this last year have been the irreplaceable irreplaceable Malcolm McLaren, heavy-metal heavyweight Ronnie James Dio, the great Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) and Micky Jones (Man). We lost the remarkable Ari Up of The Slits. It was a terrible year for drummers with Rubén Basoalto (Argentine legends Vox Dei), Richie Hayward (Little Feat)and Stuart Cable (Stereophonics. From the wider world of music, shuffling off their mortal coil were reggae star Gregory Isaacs, soul-men Solomon Burke and Martin Isley, blues guitarist Little Smokey Smothers, Boney M's Bobby Farrell, jazz legend Sir John Dankworth, Lena Horne and folk’s Kate McGarrigle.

All gone. But not forgotten thanks to their recorded legacy. But if we are not careful, we lose not only the musicians but the world that was their stage; studios, stages and other monumental landmarks.

The challenge, though, is how to ensure that when part of rock’s built heritage dies it is remembered. Should the 100 Club lose its fight against closure what sort of memory (other then the ethereal) will it leave? Within a few 100 yards of the 100 Club once stood The UFO, the Astoria and countless Soho clubs. There’s not a even a gravestone (plaque) to mark their passing. And what about the loss of the great Olympic Studios? Bloody scandalous.

Thankfully, we occasionally get good news; a heritage site is protected. Well done to those who campaigned earlier this year to save EMI’s Abbey Road Studios. And most recently to Jeremy Hunt, the UK’s current Secretary of State for Culture, who has given the famed Abbey Road pedestrian crossing a ‘listing’ – meaning it cannot be moved.

Alas, this time next year we shall again be remembering a list of greats whose legacy will be their music. It would be fantastic to also celebrating the preservation of a few more rock heritage sites. And maybe even celebrating a new commemorative statue or two.

Happy New Year and have a great 2011.

No comments:

Post a Comment