the sex pistols' graffiti-covered apartment is officially a punk london landmark
‘Pretty Vacant’? Not quite. The iconic band’s former pad at 6 Denmark Street is now a historical site.
Earlier this year, we hung out in Jimi Hendrix's Mayfair apartment, a pad he paid just 40 bucks a week to rent with then-girlfriend Kathy Etchingham back in 1968. Etchingham has since opened the Brook Street home to visitors, filling the space with talismans from the pair's trips to Portobello Road market to recreate how it looked when the rock god crashed. As you can imagine, The Sex Pistols' 70s digs might not have had the same charm as Jimi's bohemian home, but the iconic punk band's former flat has nevertheless become London's newest historical site.
According to The Guardian, two 17th century townhouses on London's Denmark Street have recently been granted Grade II* listing status, "the second highest category that only 5.5% of listed buildings are in." One of these houses, 6 Denmark Street, was a base for the band during punk's mid-70s hey-day, and still features graffiti scribbled by Johnny Rotten, including a caricature of the band's manager, Malcolm McLaren. "The purpose of listing is to flag things which are of historical and cultural importance and I think punk is a really important part of our cultural history and including it in the listing is a way of recognizing that," says Posy Metz, the listings adviser who assessed the buildings.
The paper notes that Denmark Street's historic significance doesn't end with the eight buildings constructed between 1686 to 1691 that still survive on it -- it's got a rich musical history, too. "It was where the Rolling Stones recorded their first album; where David Bowie camped in a converted ambulance hoping to meet the right people; and where Elton John, on a roof, wrote 'Your Song.'"
McLaren and Vivienne Westwood's son, Joe Corrée, recently announced his plans to burn his $7 million punk memorabilia connection in light of the genre's paradoxically establishment-friendly 40th anniversary celebration, culminating on November 26. We'd suggest the Denmark Street backyard for the bonfire -- seeing as his father was who took out the apartment's lease between 1975-77 -- but according to Google Maps sleuthing, there doesn't seem to be one.
Text Emily Manning