Saturday, August 8, 2009

Things fans do.

The Abbey Road cover is in the news today, since it's 40 years since people have felt compelled to recreate the crossing.

There's some funny, endearing stuff on the telly about it (unless you're a bus driver who can't take a different route). Today there's apparently a mass crossing happening. And lots of grumpy taxi drivers muttering to their passengers probably.

The thing I like about fans is no matter how uncool a tribute thing might seem, it's such fun they just have to do it. I've been to Abbey Road a few times and really like seeing the simple joy it gives people to do what seems a tiny pointless thing to non-fans. Bless em.

That's a bit different from the bandwagony hysteria that goes on with other situations (but that's not the subject of this post).

What fan things have you seen or done like recreating things or putting graffiti on walls?

I remember when I went to see U2 in Dublin in 1989 and went to see the fan wall in Windmill Lane which the band looked out on from the studio. The owner of the wall wanted to paint over it so the band reportedly bought the wall. Cynics may say that's savvy PR but it's also a show of respect for fans' expression.

The day after John Lennon was shot, some graffiti went up in Sydney and was still untouched 10 years later (by other scrawlers or by the council.)

It's not just the Simpsons and Ren&Stimpy on that crossing

Cheers, Caitlin (who's written on the Abbey Road wall amongst other fannish things. Out and proud.)


Blimpy said...

I rolled down primrose hill in tribute to Blur's For Tomorrow video.

DarceysDad said...

D'yunno, that's a simple, but fab (sorry!) idea. I can see it must be intensely annoying for locals at whatever site, but apart from recognising Lochranza from The Silencers version of Wild Mountain Thyme, I don't think I've ever thought about it.

DarceysDad said...

A couple of things:

1. Here's The Silencers' beautifully jangly take on Wild Mountain Thyme, with sidebar commentary from video director Steve Price:
If ToffeeBoy doesn't already know this, I'll stake (what's left of) my reputation that he will love it to death.

2. On reflection, I HAVE thought about this sort of thing before. The first time we went to New Orleans, our hire car was a Chevrolet, so I made sure I "drove my Chevy to the levee", which definitely WASN'T dry!

I'm busy until tomorrow night, but will return to this then (if I'm not tearing my hair out with the UniDond League player auction!)

CaroleBristol said...

The only fan tribute things I've ever done are visiting Jim Morrison and Edith Piaf's graves in Pere Lachaise and visiting the memorial to Tom Simpson on Mt Ventoux.

The Simpson memorial made me shed a few tears. The mountain is so beautiful, but also windswept, savage and desolate at the summit. His memorial has tributes left; a bidon, maybe a cycling cap, some flowers, when I was there even a pair of cycling shoes.

Very moving.

Chris said...

When planning a visit with my son to the US in 1991, I deliberately included San Francisco so that I could see 710 Ashbury Street. It was a nice but completely unremarkable house, retaining nothing of the nascent Grateful Dead.

Blimpy said...

In tribute to Queens of the Stone Age, me and my pal worked our way thru Feel Good Hit Of The Summer, one night.

I've got pals who tried to recreate Arab Straps First Big Weekend also

Blimpy said...

Oh, and just a few days ago I walked the Birks O' Aberfeldy mostly cos they're mentioned in a James Yorkston song

Dangerpuss said...

Love all these little things people do. Keep em coming!

I once flew all the way to Ireland from Australia with my best friend at the height of our U2 addiction (now cured) for a specific meaningful gig (after our 968 entries failed to win tickets). We kissed the Blarney stone then I called the promoter and got tickets then stood in the freezing drizzle for 8 hours with the friendliest queue I've ever met. Got a perfect front row spot and that gig is still in my Top 5. Non-fans thought we were a bit loopy but fans completely got it.

Japanther said...

great idea for a post Dangerpuss, I should have a few to contribute, will be back after dinner with details.. a hark back to your drum post, just wanted to say that this week is "O-Bon" in Japan, which is when ancestors come back from the spirit world and there are festivals all over the country with traditional dancing etc and loads of fireworks.

There is a festival happening outside my house as I type this and the sound of the Taiko drums are resounding around the flat.......a beautiful sound indeed!

ToffeeBoy said...

@ DsD - so you think you know what I'll like and what I won't? You think you've got my musical tastes sorted out, do you? You have the utter gall to come on here and openly predict that this Silencers song will appeal to me? Do you? DO YOU???!!!

Damn right you do! Beautiful, gorgeous, epic, soaring, melodic, heavenly (that's the song, not you, by the way). I love it.

The Silencers are a band that I've always felt I should know more about. And just in case she should happen to be reading this, I'd like to make it absolutely clear that Aura O'Neill is more than welcome to come and sit on my sofa any time she cares to.

Abahachi said...

Um. Well, I do plan to go to Vienna, but in my cycling lycra rather than my moody trenchcoat. Perhaps I should go to Duesseldorf instead.

Japanther said...

the more I thought about it the more I realised I had only been to these places in my head....

...but, anyone who visited me in Brighton got a Quadrophenia tour, the highlight being Quadrophenia alley, where young Jimmy got his end away with the lovely Leslie Ash. They scrub off the graffiti every few years, but mods from all over the world keep putting it back.

And just yesterday I was negotiating with Mrs J on how we could make a brief visit to Sunlight Studios during our upcoming trip to Stockholm (for the uninitiated, Sunlight is the home of Swedish death metal!)

..there must be more...hmm.....oh, I have seen 710 Ashbury Street too, it was very house-y.

DarceysDad said...

Thanks, Toffee! If you don't actually have any Silencers stuff, let me know. I'll see what I can do for you when I get home.

Makinavaja said...

I had my photo taken mimicking JJ Burnel's Euroman Cometh cover outside the Pompidou Centre in Paris. My leather jacket was rubbish (25 quid from a shop called L for Leather, for god's sake!) and I was on the wrong side of the building. Ah well.

Blimpy said...

L for Leather!!! Classic!!!

goneforeign said...

It wasn't an album cover, but close. If you saw 'Rockers' there's the scene [also used in the poster] of a group of a dozen reggae rastas walking very deleliberateley towards the camera, a straight line 10 yards wide. I was at an event where they all were present so I asked 'em to re-create the shot for me in the parking lot, I shot half a roll on it.
As I recall the group was:
Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace
"Dirty Harry" Hall
Gregory Isaacs
Jacob Miller
Robbie Shakespeare
Sly Dunbar
Kiddus I
Burning Spear
Big Youth

TatankaYotanka said...

I specifically visited the grave of Adolphe Sax; when I still had one, in the Cimetière de Montmartre.

and whistled some bits from A Love Supreme ...

May1366 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
May1366 said...

I was waiting at the traffic lights on Penny Lane a few weeks ago when it was hot, and I had the windows down. A group of young American tourists, early 20s, were nearby and one leaned in to ask me: "Hey, we're trying to find the crossing on Penny Lane, where The Beatles crossed the road." They looked slightly mortified when I told them it was in London. I tried to cheer them up by saying they were, however, on Penny Lane and that the barber showing photographs of every head etc (except he doesn't anymore, apart from one or two of The Beatles) was just up the road but they seemed nonplussed. It's quite funny, living round here, because, after a couple of high-profile years, Liverpool's tourism infrastructure has developed so it's no longer just the Beatles pilgrims who stop by Penny Lane - and when you see a gang, say, of French schoolkids clustered on the street corner, you wonder what must be going through their minds. Museums, shops, the ferry, old buildings - fine - but a perfectly pleasant but nondescript suburban street that inspired a song they probably haven't heard written 40 years before they were born?

Haven't got too many anecdotes of my own of music fanboy activity on holiday, but I did put my hand in the mouth at the Bocca della Verita like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, and, after a morning's visit to Keats' house in Hamstead in my 6th form, Michael Gibney and I took a detour to Highgate Cemetery to visit Karl Marx's tomb and then bribe a gravedigger 50p to show us what he claimed to be Marx'ss original burial place. Gibney kissed the dug-up earth; I opted not to intake the opiate of idolatry.