Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

‘The most awkward building in England’? The ‘Rotten’ heritage of ‘Tin Pan Alley’ revisited

  • Paul Graves-Brown (a1) and John Schofield (a2)

Abstract

How should we identify, protect and preserve contemporary heritage? Five years ago, comparisons in an Antiquity paper between the ‘simulations of scenes’ drawn on the wall of 6 Denmark Street by John Lydon, during Sex Pistols rehearsals in the 1970s, and the Palaeolithic cave art of Lascaux provoked a strong response. Less contentious was the recent listing of the building, bringing its punk artworks under statutory protection. In this follow-up to their earlier article, the authors review the initial reaction from the media, the public and the artist himself, and consider how attitudes may have shifted. They also offer a novel, ‘punk’-informed approach to the management of cultural heritage.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      ‘The most awkward building in England’? The ‘Rotten’ heritage of ‘Tin Pan Alley’ revisited
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      ‘The most awkward building in England’? The ‘Rotten’ heritage of ‘Tin Pan Alley’ revisited
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      ‘The most awkward building in England’? The ‘Rotten’ heritage of ‘Tin Pan Alley’ revisited
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence (Email: john.schofield@york.ac.uk)

References

Hide All
Adams, R. 2008. The Englishness of English punk: Sex Pistols, subcultures, and nostalgia. Popular Music and Society 31: 469–88. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03007760802053104
Baker, S. & Collins, J.. 2015. Sustaining popular music's material culture in community archives and museums. International Journal of Heritage Studies 21: 983–96. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13527258.2015.1041414
Beer, D. 2014. Punk sociology. London: Palgrave Pivot. http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9781137371218
Black, D. 2015. Why Edinburgh should be stripped of its Unesco world heritage status. The Guardian, 11 February 2015. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/feb/11/why-edinburgh-should-be-stripped-of-unesco-world-heritage-status (accessed 6 September 2016).
Brocklehurst, S. 2015. Is Edinburgh's world heritage status under threat? BBC News, 15 September 2015. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-34256516 (accessed 6 September 2016).
Brown, M. 2015. Denmark Street: the threatened birthplace of the British record industry. The Telegraph, 27 September 2015. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/artists/denmark-streets-rich-legacy/ (accessed 6 September 2016).
Caraher, W., Kourelia, K. & Reinhard, A.. 2014. Punk archaeology. Grand Forks: University of North Dakota Digital Press. Available at: https://mediterraneanworld.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/punk-archaeology-the-book/ (6 September 2016).
Cherry, J., Ryzewski, K. & Pecoraro, L.J.. 2013. ‘A kind of sacred place’: the rock and roll ruins of AIR Studios, Montserrat, in Beaudry, M.C. & Parno, T.G. (ed.) Archaeologies of mobility and movement (Contributions to Global Historical Archaeology 35): 181–98. New York: Springer. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6211-8_12
Cohen, S., Knifton, R., Leonard, M. & Roberts, L. (ed.). 2014. Sites of popular music heritage: memories, histories, places. London: Routledge.
Council of Europe. 2005. Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.
Council of Europe. 2009. Heritage and beyond. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.
English Heritage. 2008. Conservation principles, policies and guidance: for the sustainable management of the historic environment. Swindon: English Heritage.
Florida, R. 2002. The rise of the creative class and how it's transforming work, leisure and everyday life. New York: Basic.
Graves-Brown, P. (ed). 2000. Matter, materiality and modern culture. London: Routledge.
Graves-Brown, P. 2011. Sex Pistols’ graffiti: the end of the future. The Guardian, 23 November 2011. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/nov/23/sex-pistols-graffiti (accessed 6 September 2016).
Graves-Brown, P. 2014. Plugging in: a brief history of some audio connectors. World Archaeology 46: 448–61. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00438243.2014.909099
Graves-Brown, P. 2015a. The Sex Pistols’ guitar tuner: material culture and mythology. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology 2: 5258. http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/jca.v2i1.27113
Graves-Brown, P. 2015b. Reanimation or Danse Macabre. Discussing the future of industrial spaces, in Orange, H. (ed.) Re-animating industrial spaces: 235–47. Walnut Creek (CA): Left Coast.
Graves-Brown, P. & Schofield, J.. 2011. The filth and the fury: 6 Denmark Street (London) and the Sex Pistols. Antiquity 85: 1385–401. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00062128
Harrison, R. & Schofield, J.. 2010. After modernity: archaeological approaches to the contemporary past. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hart, C. 2016. Never mind the pseuds, the Sex Pistols’ puerile graffiti is NOT art. The Daily Mail, 24 March 2016. Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3507130/Sex-Pistols-puerile-graffiti-NOT-art.html (accessed 6 September 2016).
Haslam, D. 2015. Life after dark: a history of British nightclubs and music venues. London: Simon & Schuster.
Hebdige, D. 1979. Subculture: the meaning of style. London: Routledge.
Historic England. 2016. Rare-surviving 17th-century houses given Grade II* protection. Press release, issued 22 March 2016. Available at: https://historicengland.org.uk/whats-new/news/rare-surviving-17th-century-houses-gradeIIstar-protection (accessed 6 September 2016).
Jones, J. 2011. Preserving the Sex Pistols’ graffiti is an archaeological swindle. The Guardian, 22 November 2011. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2011/nov/22/preserving-sex-pistols-graffiti (accessed 6 September 2016).
Jonze, T. 2016. Malcolm McLaren's son to burn £5m of punk memorabilia. The Guardian, 16 March 2016. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/mar/16/malcolm-mclaren-son-joe-corre-burn-punk-memorabilia-punk-london-queen (accessed 6 September 2016).
Keefe, G. 2009. Compost city: underground music, collapsoscapes and urban regeneration. Popular Music History 4: 145–59.
Krätke, S. 2010. ‘Creative cities’ and the rise of the dealer class: a critique of Richard Florida's approach to urban theory. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 34: 119. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2427.2010.00939.x
Lashua, B., Spracklen, K. & Wagg, S. (ed.). 2014. Sounds and the city: popular music, place and globalization. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
London Borough of Camden. 2015. St Giles Circus site. Agreement pursuant to Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Unpublished report.
McCauley, R.N. 2015. Iconoclastic puritans. Psychology Today, 11 March 2015. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/why-religion-is-natural-and-science-is-not/201503/iconoclastic-puritans (accessed 6 September 2016).
Melly, G. 2015 [1976]. Introduction, in Perry, R., The writing on the wall: 511. London: Plain Crisp.
Morgan, C. 2015. Punk, DIY, and anarchy in archaeological thought and practice. AP: Journal of Online Public Archaeology 5: 123–46.
MORI. 2000. Attitudes towards the heritage. Unpublished research study conducted for English Heritage, Swindon.
Peck, J. 2005. Struggling with the creative class. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 29: 740–70. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2427.2005.00620.x
Sampson Associates. 2013. Drawing number S12/6DS/LTH02 PROPOSED FIRST FLOOR PLAN—LIFETIME HOMES NOTATIONS No6 DENMARK STREET. Unpublished report.
Savage, J. 1991. England's dreaming: Sex Pistols and punk rock. London: Faber & Faber.
Schofield, J. (ed). 2014a. Music and sound. World Archaeology 46: 289476. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00438243.2014.909101
Schofield, J. 2014b. Characterizing the Cold War: music and memories of Berlin, 1960–1989, in Lashua, B., Spracklen, K. & Wagg, S. (ed.) Sounds and the city: popular music, place and globalization: 273–84. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Schofield, J. & Rellensmann, L.. 2015. Underground heritage: Berlin techno and the changing city. Heritage & Society 8: 111–38. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2159032X.2015.1126132
Smith, A. 2000. Burning question. The Observer, 13 February 2000. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2000/feb/13/life1.lifemagazine4 (accessed 6 September 2016).
Street-Porter, J. 2016. Do we really need a punk pilgrims’ route? The Independent, 25 March 2016. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/cyclists-and-their-powerful-backers-are-destroying-london-for-the-rest-of-us-a6952376.html (accessed 6 September 2016).
The Times . 2011. Anarchy in the DIY. Would it be in the true spirit of punk to preserve Johnny Rotten's wall of graffiti?, 22 November 2011. Available at: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/leaders/article3233868.ece (accessed 6 September 2016).
The Times . 2016. Wall scrawl: graffiti by the Sex Pistols is to be preserved for future generations to enjoy, 22 March 2016. Available at: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/leaders/article4718493.ece (accessed 6 September 2016).

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed