The Kings Road time machine - February 2016
Steve looking in the window of what used to be the Chelsea Antiques Market
Steve in front of the Chelsea Potter pub
From the age of 11 to 16 I went to school in London on the borders of Fulham and Chelsea, a Rolling Stones' throw from Kings Road.
I used to take the bus up and down that iconic street for my school run. Through my self induced smoke filled haze from the upper deck I had a bird's eye view of the changing face of Swinging London. Bowler hats and twin sets were giving way to distracting mini skirts and later to flowing kaftans, sometimes decorated with chiming bells.
I could occasionally pass a very dapper Rolling Stone... Heady times indeed. Little did those shakers and movers suspect I was learning their every lick on guitar and harmonica. I took to studying their music far more seriously than school work. I was lost in a world of rhythm and blues but wouldn't be allowed to grow my hair to a comparable length until I ditched school in '66.
I remember once walking into the Chelsea Antiques Market hearing the strains of the Beatles 'Within You Without You', my first introduction to Sergeant Pepper wafting through brightly coloured hanging silks.
About half way along that colourful thoroughfare you'll still find the Chelsea Potter pub - the last resort on a Saturday and the place where I decided to join Genesis after a conversation with photographer Frank Murphy who astutely pointed out that I might benefit from an association with a band I'd barely heard of. I believe his exact words were "You're not doing anything better right now are you?" I didn't have an answer, but my world turned as I walked out of the pub's dark doors into a day filled with sunshine and a new project in mind. I was going to team up with a little band called Genesis. Now what was the singer's name? Ah yes, Peter, the same as my father's...
From the Sloane Square end of the street where Peter Jones still stands proudly overlooking London's most elegant fountain to the World's End about a mile away the road like a main artery has fed many changes in my life, constantly pumping in new blood, ideas and images.
Kings Road shop in the spirit of the late 1960s
Steve in Kings Road with iconic Peter Jones in the background