Getting it straight in Notting Hill Gate
September 30, 2006 7:36 PM   Subscribe

Tom Vague's History Walk (PDF downloads) of the Notting Hill district is an evocative roll call of books, films, personalities, restaurants, anecdotes and a timeline strung together to cover the period 1950 to 2005. [whet your appetite inside]
posted by tellurian (9 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The end of Michael X and the filming of 'Performance' is covered in Chapter 3 (italics and links, mine):
In early 1971, just before the ‘Slave Collar Affair’ trial, Michael X left Britain for the last time. On his return to Trinidad, shortly after a coup attempt against the black right-wing Williams regime, he encouraged rumours that he was behind a much heralded Black Power revolt. His final address, 43 Christina Gardens, was a bungalow or ranch style residence in Arima, 20 miles from Port of Spain…
A year after his return, 43 Christina Gardens went up in flames (but the Lennon piano survived). The police took the opportunity to search the grounds for guns, and found the bodies of Gale Benson and Joe Skerritt. Gale was the daughter [gossip] of the Tory MP Leonard Plugge [origin of the word plug (to plug a song), two-way car radio inventor, IBC founder, pirate radio pioneer (Time magazine articles 1 2) - emulated by Oswald Mosley] (whose Knightsbridge house appears in ‘Performance’ as ‘81 Powis Square’), and the girlfriend of Hakim Jamal, another Black Power leader-turned Michael follower. Michael was picked up in the Guyanan jungle, making for the Brazilian border, and returned to Trinidad for his last trial.
posted by tellurian at 7:38 PM on September 30, 2006

Oops! That pirate radio link should be pirate radio.
posted by tellurian at 7:46 PM on September 30, 2006

Tom Vague as in Vague? "Televisionaries," etc.? Wow, cool.
posted by adamgreenfield at 9:23 PM on September 30, 2006

Yes, the same Tom Vague. One issue of Vague from the mid-90s (I think) was devoted entirely to a history of Notting Hill -- subtitled "The West Eleven Days Of My Life" (for those missing the joke W11 is the postcode for Notting Hill, the W standing for west).
posted by Hogshead at 9:58 PM on September 30, 2006

This is fascinating. I found chapter 10 on All Saints particularly interesting: I never realised what huge associations the area had with such a diverse range of music.
posted by greycap at 10:54 PM on September 30, 2006

Tom Vague. Wow! I went and got loads of boxes out of my Dad's attic last weekend,and have had a delightful week going through my old Televisionaries, Spectacular Times and other crazy shit from HHouseman's Bookshop
posted by Pericles at 3:26 AM on October 1, 2006

Both "Televisionaries" and the "Cyberpunk" issue were prominent inflection points in my early innerlekchual development, rich resources just chock full of points of departure for the curious, angsty nineteen-year-old.

I remember them with a fondness commensurate with my sorrow that I never was able to track down any further issues. So thanks, tellurian, for minding the gap. I think I'll try to dig up my Vagues and clock some good time on the mudflats today.

("West Eleven Days of My Life," bwa hahaha.)
posted by adamgreenfield at 8:06 AM on October 1, 2006

Adam, Tom Vague rewrote/repackaged various issues of Vague in the later 90s, and you can find a selection of them on Amazon here, here and if you have a spare $75 knocking around then here too. Even the Televisionaries one got a rerelease. Or try ABEbooks.
posted by Hogshead at 5:16 PM on October 1, 2006

I never realised what huge associations the area had with such a diverse range of music.
posted by greycap

I concur with greycap here. I also wasn't aware that such a rage of influential musicians congregated in this area until I came across this site.
posted by tellurian at 7:52 AM on October 5, 2006

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