Saturday, 24 November 2012

Carnaby Street

As if the Rolling Stones will not earn enough money from their current tour (some tickets for the O2 Arena are £406 each, no your eyes do not deceive you, that’s four hundred and six pounds each) they have now branched out into Christmas decorations.  Carnaby Street is currently festooned and bedecked with the famous Jon Pasche Lips and Tongue, a corporate logo as famous as MacDonald’s or Starbucks. A ‘pop up’ shop has also appeared selling Rolling Stones ‘European merchandise’.  They say ‘it’s only Rock ‘n’ Roll’ but it feels more like a corporate takeover. Carnaby Street is now populated by retailers and tourists who still think it’s the centre of 'swinging' London. I guess it’s been a long time since the Stones stepped out of their limo’s.

Parallel to Carnaby Street is Newburgh Street. It was here in 1954 that photographer Bill Green opened Vince the very first menswear boutique in London. Folklore has it that Pablo Picasso once bought a pair of suede trousers from the shop and according to jazz legend George Melly it was the only place “that measured your inside leg each time you bought a tie”. The shop featured in the 1960 Wolf Mankowitz story “Expresso Bongo”

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