Any of you who ever read my ramblings here will know that I like music. That's an understatement: I love music and the evolution of pop culture and its history - how like-minded musicians met, formed a group and went on to travel the world like roaming nomads, but with a vision and a talent of making a magic three minute pop classic stamped on a piece of round plastic.
I'm very lucky; I make my living from music and run This Day in Music, which is a whole load of musical happenings delivered into sections for 366 days of the year.
But over the past couple of years I've also been involved in a new project, which has been great fun and is now being unleashed on anyone who might be interested. It's a free App called Rocking All Over The World.
"Well, I'm a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see", sang The Eagles. Winslow was immortalised by the song Take It Easy (the Eagles debut hit, written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey), but where exactly is Wilmslow?
Where is Blue Jay Way, the street on which George Harrison was staying when he wrote the song of the same name?
Where did Nirvana play live for the first time?
Where is Nutbush, including its titular City Limits?
Where exactly is Strawberry Field?
Well, thanks to modern technology, Rocking All Over The World, a App for iPhone and iPad app, can show you all the above locations and hundreds more from around Planet Earth, but, most importantly, you can also add your own. Using Google Maps, and your current location, the App shows you that maybe there's a story just around the corner. Maybe it's the London house where Jimi Hendrix once lived, in which he wrote Purple Haze.
Jump across to the US and you might find yourself walking around New York's East Village, home of Madonna's former apartment (before she became a material girl). Just around the corner in St Mark's Place stands the building that became the cover for Led Zeppelin's 1975 Physical Graffiti album, also used in the Rolling Stones' video for Waiting On A Friend. Within the App, each current landmark (we have loaded up 1,000+ to start it off) opens up to reveal details and history on the site, which in most cases is complemented by a photo or image.
Now we want music fans from around the world to add their own photos, memories and histories of events or locations that tell a particular story to the existing 1,000.
We're looking for memories from gigs, perhaps a building that was once maybe a famed recording studio, or maybe a place where a momentous rock event occurred: perhaps where Mick Jagger reacquainted himself the site with Keith Richards and what became The Stones was born; or perhaps a particularly evocative photo or video shoot. All anyone has to do is click on one of the App's icons to drop a pin on the map, add a paragraph of description or story, then add a photo from their personal Facebook.
Perhaps without realising it, we are surrounded by buildings, streets and bridges that all hold personal memories, helping to write the history of musical happenings. Perhaps songs were written here, or perhaps it's an iconic street. Maybe West 4th Street in Greenwich Village with Bob Dylan, hunched against the icy weather, sauntering arm in arm with his then-girlfriend Suze Rotolo. The back door of celebrated NY club CBGBs is where The Ramones posed in their ripped jeans and biker jackets for the cover of Rocket to Russia; still in New York, the Queensboro Bridge is the one immortalised by Simon and Garfunkel in The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy). These landmarks are everywhere - if you're interested and you know where to look.
Pretty much every major country is covered, from North and South America to Europe, Australia and Asia, although of course there is still plenty of space for the stories that we hope will flood in from contributors. When testing the App after inputting all the launch entry items, I found myself looking at the map of the world, seeing remote islands and thinking, "What did I enter there? Surely nothing ever happened?" But when I clicked on, say, Kaimu Beach I was reminded that this was the location where Chris Isaak frolicked in the surf with the gorgeous Helena Christensen for his Wicked Game video. Nice work if you can get it.
Rocking All Over The World really does take you around the planet on a music journey. Ever been to Shillong, capital of Meghalaya, and one of the smallest states in India? Me neither, but there you will find a gentleman by the name of Lou Majaw, who has organised Bob Dylan's birthday celebrations since 1972 because, as he said at the time, the musician's songs had given his life meaning.
Well, now he is on the rock'n'roll map, and many more people can be too, by way of their personal reminiscences, photos and experiences, helping in the process to write the curriculum of the College of Rock'n'Roll Knowledge. I for one can't wait.
More info here: http://www.thisdayinmusicapps.com/raotwapp.htm