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Sexual Ealing: Was Rock Music Born in London W5?

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What's the most important music venue or historic location in London? The pedestrian crossing used by the Beatles in Abbey Road? Or maybe The Sex Pistols rehearsal room in Denmark Street? Or what about the classic Ziggy Stardust door in Heddon Street?

How about Ealing in west London?

Ealing is best known for the Ealing Studios, the oldest continuously operating movie production complex in the world, but there is a secret hidden away opposite Ealing Broadway train station that should place Ealing at the centre of music tourism in London - The Ealing Club.

The opening of the Ealing Blues Club by Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies in March 1962, is generally regarded as the pivotal moment when British Blues developed its own identity. Before the Ealing Club, blues was mainly the preserve of jazz musicians.

By the end of 1962, the club had overseen the creation of the Rolling Stones who were brought together by Alexis Korner and played there over 20 times. Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart and Pete Townshend played Ealing - arguably making Ealing the birthplace of rock music.

When Pete Townshend appeared on the David Letterman show in the USA recently he talked about the legacy of the Ealing club and specifically how this was the catalyst for a larger wave of British music. Groups such as the Rolling Stones, Cream, The Who, Manfred Mann, The Yardbirds, John Mayall, The Pretty Things, Fleetwood Mac, The Animals and Free, to name but a few, all participated or were heavily influenced by the scene generated by the Ealing Club.

Townshend became known for the destruction of his guitars and amplifiers - he considered it auto-destructive art rather than just smashing up an instrument and was inspired by his classes at Ealing art school, where subsequent students would also include Ronnie Wood, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury.

And those amps Pete smashed up were usually sourced locally. Jim Marshall - of Marshall amp fame - was from the area and had a shop at 76 Uxbridge Road in Hanwell. That's also where Jimi Hendrix would come to buy his own amplifiers.

Think about any speaker stack at a rock gig today. If you can't see the brand Marshall on the stack then those amps are certainly not going to be turned up to 11.

But The Ealing Club and the influence of Ealing on the birth of rock music is relatively unknown. While musicians know about the true birthplace of rock, the tourists are all blocking traffic as they try to recreate the Beatles Abbey Road photograph over in St. John's Wood.

The Ealing Club is trying to raise awareness of the local music heritage in London W5. They have created a not-for-profit community interest company with a focus on commemorative blue plaques. The plaques mark particular sites of interest - such as the club itself and the original Marshall amplifier shop - and provide a platform for exhibitions, talks, and live music. Musicians such as Charlie Watts from the Rolling Stones have enthusiastically supported the events held so far.

And now the club management has launched a documentary film project - Suburban Steps to Rockland - to try telling the story in a way that can go beyond local events, spreading the word globally. The club created a KickStarter campaign aimed at raising at least £6,000 for director Giorgio Guernier to work with. They got 95 people to commit over £8,200 ensuring that the project can be completed.

One of the contributors to the project is Access All Areas (GB) the company behind the popular London rock heritage tours. ''I first became aware of the club, though then shut, when lecturing in tourism marketing at the local university.'' said Managing Director, Bruce Cherry.

''I thought it very short-sighted of the local council not to be preserving and indeed promoting a place as culturally important as the old 'moist hoist', as it was affectionately known. It was arguably more important than Liverpool's Cavern club and at least deserves the same recognition. This film would be a good step in the right direction," he added.

You can still pledge your own support for the film. Even though they have exceeded the minimum amount needed to complete the documentary, any extra funding will ensure that it looks better and even more music can be licensed for the film.

John Mayall recently said to Classic Blues magazine: "Ealing is obviously the foundation and starting point of everything." Now is your chance to help fund the movie that explains how everything rock started out in Ealing.