Thursday, April 05, 2007

Save the Clissold Arms Preservation Society

Ray and Dave Davies grew up in Muswell Hill, an area in north London. Many of their greatest songs refer to the landscapes and people there. An old pub by the name of the Clissold Arms holds the distinction of being the place where they first played in public with the Little Green amp. Over the decades, various memorabilia has been hung on the wall to commemorate the greatest rock band ever to come out of the UK. Fans from all over the world on Kinks pilgrimage make it one of their stops - "to raise a glass to rock stars of the past, those that made it and those that faded."

Recently the pub was purchased by one of those people with no regard for history and no sense of style. The announcement was made that the pub would be made over into a high class hang out (a "gastropub") and the Kinks treasures might very well go out the door to auction.

A great to-do has been made about this. Articles written, local politicians, fans and celebrities outraged and an online petition immediately went up. The pressure was felt very quickly and the new owner has promised not to mess with one of the holiest of Kinksian shrines! However, go ahead and sign the petition. You never know when the gentrifiers might strike again!

Here's a lovely tribute to the affair by long time Kinks fan and musician from Hawaii, Jim Smart:


Philip Grant's Daughter said...

The Clissold Arms is part of a trend in Britain according to recent news stories. Here's a clip from one report:

Pubs Face Crisis in 2007 More News >>

"The New Year will be a challenging one for the English pub. The usual competition from bars and restaurants has taken its toll on traditional pubs, but the sustained increase in property values has been devastating. Many pubs, in particular those in expensive areas, are worth millions of pounds and the temptation to cash in on the hike in values has proven too much. The pubs are either converted for residential or office use or redeveloped." For the complete article, go to

Village Green said...

Thanks for the info on the decline of British pubs. Thankfully, the bars that dot the Kenmore landscape are not worth millions of dollars or pounds and are not in danger of being turned into gastro-pubs!