In ’69/’70 Rosemary spent quite a bit of time around Notting Hill Gate. Lenny & I once visited the shop of DJ Simon Stable who presided over this Soho gig above, proclaiming NHG the “centre of the universe”. A Portsmouth gentleman called Peter Brown lived off Ladbroke Grove and provided a crash-pad and we played for Hawkwind Zoo’s management at the All Saint’s Church (were they called Clearwater?). In the summer of ’69 I was dossing in NHG in a house full of prostitutes (one knicked my leather coat) and drug dealers, crazy times but most educational.
One September evening we set off to the Festival Hall with that nice Mr Brown, who gained entry for us all backstage to see Fairport, John Martyn and Nick Drake in a legendary concert – Mr Brown had in his own words “more front than Woolworth’s”. The album that always conjures those days for me however is Astral Weeks (“saw you walking, down by Ladbroke Grove this morning”)
Anyway, all of this rambling merely signifies that Mercury is strong in my chart today. JR has alerted me to a most interesting on-line article about NHG which you will find at