Saturday, March 25, 2017
Former Sex Pistols base is given Grade II* listed status
HISTORIC ENGLAND Sex Pistols lead singer drew on the walls of one outbuilding when the band lived there in the 1970s. Graffiti drawn by Sex Pistols singer Johnny Rotten has helped a London building get Grade II* listed status. The property is one of two rare 17th Century townhouses in Denmark Street to be listed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. An outbuilding connected to one of the properties features graffiti on the walls drawn by Johnny Rotten. Last year, academics said the graffiti may be of greater significance than the discovery of early Beatles recordings. Rotten, born John Lydon and lead singer of Sex Pistols, wrote obscenities and drew caricatures on the walls after taking a dislike to a recent redecoration while the band were based there in the mid-1970s. Grade II* is the second highest category that buildings can be listed as - currently only 5.5% of listed buildings have the status. The buildings have been upgraded from Grade II after Historic England recommended they be protected for their cultural importance and well-preserved architectural detail. GraffitiImage copyrightHISTORIC ENGLAND Many of Rotten's drawings are obscenities and derogatory caricatures The properties are two of eight original buildings to survive on a street that was laid out between 1686 and 1691, Historic England said. Both have retained many of their original features such as panelling, cornices and staircases. Denmark Street is where Melody Maker magazine was founded in 1926, and in the 60s and 70s the area became central to the punk scene. Posy Metz, the listings adviser who assessed the buildings, said: "Punk is a really important part of our cultural history and including it in the listing is a way of recognising that. Tourism and heritage minister David Evennett said: "These 17th Century townhouses not only exhibit well-preserved architectural detail but helped nurture Soho's influence on the global music industry during the 60s and 70s. "I'm delighted to be granting further protection to these buildings which acted as a home and studio to the Sex Pistols."