The house that was the 1970s base of the Sex Pistols, in London’s famous former song publishing epicentre of “Tin Pan Alley,” Denmark Street, has been given Grade II* listed status.
6 Denmark Street, a 17th century townhouse in the celebrated street just off Charing Cross Road, was the property on which the Pistols’ manager Malcolm McLaren took out a lease on the outbuilding between 1975 and 1977. The downstairs area was used as a studio for early demo recordings and, as the Guardian reports, the upstairs became the living quarters, for a time, for the band’s Steve Jones and Glen Matlock.
Now, the heritage body Historic England has given the property Grade II* listed status, along with No. 7, in an upgrade from Grade II that offers extra protection and, as the second-highest listed category, is afforded to only 5.5% of listed buildings.
The outbuilding of No. 6 still offers visual evidence of the Pistols’ time there, as you can see in these images. One is John Lydon’s drawing of McLaren, who is renamed Muggeridge (after the well-known television personality of the day, Malcolm Muggeridge) and shown clutching a wad of cash. The wall also still carries some of Lydon’s graffiti, including the characteristic legend “DEPRESSED MISERABLE TIRED ILL SICK BOOED & BORED.” The other is Lydon’s self-portrait (all images © Historic England).
“The purpose of listing is to flag things which are of historical and cultural importance,” says listings adviser Posy Metz in the Guardian story, “and I think punk is a really important part of our cultural history and including it in the listing is a way of recognising that. The alternative is saying: let’s forget all about punk because they don’t want to be remembered as part of our history.”
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