London is calling with Rock Music Landmarks of London iPhone app

Jan 21, 2011
Music

Because of its friendly interface, I loved Rock Music Landmarks of London before I even started toying with it. There are two ways to search for landmarks — alphabetically (by address) or by what’s around you. Given that I was getting to know this app while in New York, nothing was really “around me,” but […]

Because of its friendly interface, I loved Rock Music Landmarks of London before I even started toying with it. There are two ways to search for landmarks — alphabetically (by address) or by what’s around you. Given that I was getting to know this app while in New York, nothing was really “around me,” but through this avenue, I could view a chunk of venue locations on the map, and at least understand where they were in relation to one another.

And now for the meat of the app. Click on a landmark, and either read about it, or have Bob Harris, better known as “Whispering” Bob Harris — co-founder of Time Out magazine and a radio host for BBC Radio 2 — read to you. Harris, whose in-depth musical knowledge helped make this app possible, did a voiceover for each landmark, his signature scratchy intonation bringing you back to an earlier, more glamorous time in London’s music scene.

But you can’t solely rely on Harris’ voiceovers to learn about each spot. While he covers most of the text, if you want to ensure nothing gets skipped, glanced, or passed over, make sure to read up, as well — he doesn’t record it all. As for the spots, Rock Music Landmarks doesn’t miss much, if anything. (There was nothing I wondered about that wasn’t there.) There is the EMI House, which was EMI’s administrative headquarters, but more historically important as the spot where the cover of the first UK Beatles album Please Please Me was shot.

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Read (or hear) about St. Martin’s College of Art and Design, where the Sex Pistols played their first show, opening up for Bazooka Joe, a band featuring Adam Ant before he went by that name. Chrissie Hynde was also an art school model there before she became famous. Then there’s the Speakeasy Club, where Bob Marley & the Wailers played their first London show, and Jimi Hendrix publicly propositioned Marianne Faithfull while she was dating Mick Jagger… and he was there. With many more than 50 rock landmarks to learn about, this app is a steal at $1.99.

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Jesse Sposato

Jesse Sposato is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer, and one of the founders and editors of Sadie Magazine, an online counter-culture magazine for young women.

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