Marianne Faithfull In London

SELF-GUIDED TOUR: Two locations from the life and work of legendary chanteuse Marianne Faithfull…

Marianne Faithfull recorded her first hit single As Tears Go By, in May 1964 at Decca Studios in West Hampstead…

It was written by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.

Present at the recording that day future, Led Zep bandmates Jimmy Page on guitar and John Paul Jones on bass. The record made number 9 in the UK singles chart and number 22 in the U.S.

If you’re in the West Hampstead neighbourhood, you can find the old studio here in Broadhurst Gardens (at time of writing, June 2022, it’s the home of English National Opera)…

Here’s how to find the old studio…

Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, in one of the many legends surrounding this early Jagger/Richards song, demanded a number “with brick walls all around it, high windows and no sex.” 

Here’s Marianne’s original single version from ’64…

The song remains in her live set to this day. Here she is again, separated from her 18-year-old self by 50 years. Andrew Loog Oldham’s high walls are in ruins. She’s sorrowful but not bitter. The frippery of the oboe is gone, as is the puppy-ishly eager beat and she’s way down the vocal register. As much as I love the ’64 version, in this 2005 take she inhabits the performance in a way that an 18-year-old could only dream of…

Faithfull’s first album followed soon after. Entitled Come My Way, it’s a great folk-flavoured record (released on the Decca label) it contains many of the seeds of Marianne Faithfull’s later career as a respected chanteuse.

The sleeve shot was captured in London’s West End…

…on St Martin’s Lane, WC2, in The Salisbury Pub.

This ornate gin palace dates back to 1892 and is one of the West End’s best-preserved old pubs. Ask for directions at the end of the Rock’n’Roll London Pub Walk, or find it under your own steam here…

Marianne Faithfull’s official website can be found here: http://www.mariannefaithfull.org.uk

If you’d like a Marianne Faithful-themed guided tour of London, please drop me a line.

The full schedule of London Music Tours (Marianne features on Rock’n’Roll London and Women In Music 1722-2022) can be found HERE.

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