Below is a blog post for the www.pianoworks.co.uk website. For home piano lessons in N8, such as Crouch End, Hornsey, Stroud Green and the surrounding areas, please click here: Piano Teacher Crouch End N8.
According to The Who's Pete Townshend, the Queen Mother may have been an inspirational source behind their hit "My Generation". The song, with its lyrics, "Why don't you fade away (Talking 'bout my generation) / And don't try to dig what we all say (Talking 'bout my generation)" has become an anthem for disenchanted youth, and as Townshend told it, he wrote these lyrics while on a train ride from London to Southampton. This trip had been necessitated by the towing away of his car while it had been parked in front of his house. Then living on Chesham Place, between Clarence House and Buckingham Palace, the story goes that he returned one day to find it had disappeared. "One day I came back and it was gone," he said then. "It turned out that [the Queen Mother] had had it towed away, because her husband had been buried in a similar vehicle and it reminded her of him. When I went to collect it, they wanted two hundred and fifty quid. I'd only paid thirty for it in the first place." So he had abandoned the car and had to go on public transport for a while until he got the next one.
The story may have only been a mixed memory, or an urban legend re-created by Townshend for effect. Or perhaps it may have been one that the car removal company conjured up in order to justify the illegal towing of the guitarist's car from outside his house in Belgravia. There is certainly no record of George VI being buried in a 1935 Packard V12 Hearse! Although Townshend, then twenty years of age, may have been conned by salesman logic about the "hearse" reminding the Queen Mother of her husband's funeral twelve years old.
Nevertheless, the indignity fuelled Townshend's creative input and captured his view at the time of the older generation, as encapsulated by the lyric "Hope I die before I get old". Charming.
And if the story of the Queen Mother is to be believed, then it can be said too, that she was the reason the band stayed together. The infighting between singer Roger Daltrey and other members of the band nearly forced its breakup, until the success of "My Generation" encouraged them to stay together. And what a sound decision it turned out to be; the song guided them towards being one of the most successful bands on the era.
The Royal family has always been a target for anti-establishment rock bands. "God Save the Queen" by the Sex Pistols was timed for release to match Queen Elizabeth's II Silver Jubilee, and the negative press the record received - including a total ban on radio airplay, a ban in retail stores like the now defunct Woolworths, and media attention focussing not only on the record's lyrics, but also an incident during the Jubilee when a Virgin boat on the Thames attempted to blast the song from giant speakers - only resulted in records flying off the shelves, bought by those curious to hear what the fuss was all about. Record sales were up to 150,000 copies a day, yet the single stalled at number #2 on the charts, beneath the anti-punk Rod Stewart's "I Don't Wanna Talk About It". (It could have been worse - at least the punk band did not have to play second fiddle to aliens, dancing ducks, or hair metal bands. Perhaps media moguls feared the public backlash if the anti-establishment record topped the charts. Maybe in the future some band will make a single about the conspiracy theories, perhaps about how the Queen meddled with the record charts!
If you are looking for a piano teacher around Crouch End, Stroud Green or Hornsey to hold piano lessons at your home, please click here: Piano Teacher N8
N8 Local Guide: Crouch End
Weston Park meets Tottenham Lane at the Clock Tower. And while Priory Park is one of Crouch End's more popular parks for younger children, if you are looking for somewhere a bit quieter, you might want to head for Stationers Park (Mayfield Road, N8). And if so, Weston Park is your road. It takes you from the busy Crouch End Broadway direct to Mayfield Road; a somewhat quieter walking journey instead of facing the crowds along Tottenham Lane.
Many of the houses along Weston Park were designed by the architect John Farrer. In the last fifteen years of the nineteenth century, the number of houses he had designed had come up to ninety three. Most of them are large semi-detached properties which incorporate fashions of the time - Dutch gables among them.
Weston Park is built on part of the estate owned formerly by Henry Weston Elder. Weston Park hence gives its name to commemorate the former bristle merchant - as does Elder Avenue which intersects it a few streets away from the Broadway.
At the corner where Weston Park meets Ferme Park Road you will find Union Church. Union Church was the result of the amalgamation of Baptists and Congregationalists in 1974. The result of this amalgamation was that the Park Chapel church, on Crouch Hill, was left vacant. In the present day, the building has been converted to recording studios.
As you venture further along Weston Park you will come to Mayfield Road, which is where you would turn off if you want to visit Stationers Park. If you have never visited before, the entrance at the lower end of the park will take you to the tennis courts. A wooden footbridge takes you to the play areas - including a basketball and football play area, wooden castle and turrets, swings and a big slide!