Welcome back good people and by all accounts it’s Tuesday, which is good in relative terms I suppose. If you managed to get through my extended mutterings on the last post about living in West London as a teenager then you’ll make sense of what is to follow, if not then read that first.
As mentioned I had a lot to say about why I ended up living just off the Goldhawk Road/Shepherds Bush when I was a late teen. Probably choosing what part of London to live in based on liking a band isn’t the soundest decision making basis but at 17 you make a lot of strange decisions. Since leaving Stowe Road I’ve rarely thought that much about it but in a recent revelation the significance of that street suddenly seemed borderline brilliant, to me at least.
To backtrack a bit, I’ve recently started reading the book ‘Vision of a Homeland’ by Anthony Davie (huge thanks to Damian H for sending it across the Pacific to me), when I finish it I’ll post a review. The book of course is an account from the key players of Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros from the beginning right up to working on Streetcore. In the book I learned that the video below was filmed in part just a few yards from my old front door, outside and on the roof of The Town House Studios plus in and around a local pub. This came about because the filming of the video for Johnny Appleseed was done rather off the cuff and three members of The Mescaleros were at the time working with Paul Heaton (former Housemartin, at that time The Beautiful South) on his new project called Biscuit Boy. As the story goes Joe literally decided to head to the studio where they were working with Heaton and enlist them to work on his video for the single.
Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros – Johnny Appleseed
It might be that Johnny Appleseed was in my opinion one of the greatest post-Clash songs that Joe ever wrote or it could be that the video shows a sunny day in London with Joe looking on top form, but it has remained one of my favourite videos since I first saw it. To find out it was filmed in my old neighbourhood made me go back and study it in more detail. About a third of the video is filmed in the West End and features Joe alone but most/all of the clips with the band were filmed either outside the studio or at the very foot of my old road just yards from the former front door. Talk about awful timing on my part. The pub scenes both interior and exterior were at our nearest local on the SE corner of Brackenbury Road and Goldhawk Road called The Brackenbury Arms. It was a average in the extreme but pure proximity made it an occasional choice. Since the filming of the video it’s been changed into a Morocaan/Lebanese restaurant called Mezaziq, joining the sad and endless list of pub closures in Britain.
If you’re conducting your Clash related tour of London, the filming took place along and just off the Goldhawk Road from St. Stephens Ave down to Brackenbury Road on both sides of the street. Nearest tubes are Goldhawk Road and Shepherd’s Bush. It almost makes me wish I’d have stayed in that flat another 15 years but knowing my luck I’d have somehow missed the fact that Joe Strummer was filming a video at the bottom of the road. I certainly walked past the studio countless times without every knowing who was recording in there, before the internet we had no clue really did we? Make sure you check out the link to The Town House and just look at some of the albums that were recorded there over the years too, not a bad list at all.
I’m sure that’s far more than you ever needed to know, but if you’re local or visiting a place worth heading to. I’ll be back soon with more trivia and such.