Dylan Jones: Welcome to the Roundhouse

Share

Collecting rock paraphernalia is not something I've ever seriously considered - would you really want to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds for John Lennon's old spectacles? - but it has becoming something of an unexpected occupational hazard. I still have a drumstick thrown from the stage by Keith Moon during a London Who gig in 1975. I have the placard given out to everyone at the Ramones' Christmas 1977 show at the Rainbow in Finsbury Park (misspelled "Gabba Gabba Hay"). And, in a shoebox somewhere under my stairs, I have a the original set list of The Doors' infamous performance at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm in 1968.

About 15 years ago I wrote a biography of the band's lead singer, Jim Morrison, and came across this during my research. No doubt if things don't go according to plan I could auction it at Sotheby's, but for the moment the crumbled A5 piece of paper can nestle between the photograph of a semi-naked Morrison in his girlfriend's flat, and the letters from his common-law wife (and occasional white witch), Patricia Kennealy Morrison. There are conflicting reports about the evening's success, and when Morrison went into his tried-and-tested: "Father, I want to kill you" routine, some longhair shouted, "Bloody carnivore!"

Until last week I'm not sure I'd been to the Roundhouse in 30 years. Back then it was one of the mainstay punk venues, and in a relatively short period of time I saw The Buzzcocks, The Stranglers, Sham 69, Slaughter and the Dogs (yes, they were as rubbish as they sound) and dozens more. It was where we met to show off our new boots and panties. So popular was it that a gang of us failed rather spectacularly to get into the legendary Ramones/Talking Heads double-header in the summer of 1977, skulking off to watch - ignominy of ignominies - the Led Zeppelin film, The Song Remains The Same.

I went there last week for a Bafta event, one of the many bashes to be held there since it re-opened in June after a £30m facelift. The Norman Trust spearheaded the redevelopment, with help from the Arts Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the money look like it's been well spent. Part of their pitch was providing an arts centre for the local community, and the Roundhouse is a fully functioning workshop as well as a place to go and see new pop groups and difficult theatre (and I guarantee there'll be a lot of that).

You can see for yourself in a few weeks as Damon Albarn and Paul Simonon's new band The Good, The Bad & The Queen play there on 26 October. Ex-Clash bassist Simonon compares the band to the sort of music Peter Ackroyd might make if he decided to, which sounds slightly more interesting than Jim Morrison drunkenly threatening to kill his father.

Dylan Jones is the editor of GQ

d.jones@independent.co.uk

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Business Analyst - London - Banking - £400-£450

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Banking - London...

Application Engineer - Flow Metering

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Application ...

Chemical Engineer/Project Coordinator

£40000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Chemical Eng...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on