Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ronnie Wood Helps Save the State

Ronnie Wood (The Rolling Stones, The Faces) is supporting the campaign to Save the Kilburn State! In a message posted on his blog, he says: "HI EVERYONE PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION TO SAVE THE KILBURN STATE THEATRE WHERE THE NEW BARBAIRANS GIG WAS ALL THOSE YEARS AGO. THANK YOU -- RW."

It turns out that Ronnie recorded an album -- The First Barbarians Live From Kilburn -- live at The State in July 1974. "I feel very sentimental about this gig as it was an amazing time of my life, working with all those amazing musicians for those two nights after completing my first solo album," he writes.

Ronnie also played at The Faces' last ever gig -- Rod Stewart and Faces: The Final Concert -- at The State, in December 1974.

Wonder what it sounded like? There's a bootleg of "I'd Rather Go Blind" from the gig available here (search for 'Kilburn'). (You can hear Keith Richards, who played at both gigs, being thanked at the end.) And to hear what The Faces were like during this period, check out these live versions of Stay With Me, Maggie May, and Maybe I'm Amazed.

Who knows, perhaps The State will one day host a Faces re-union... ?

The State: Taking a step back in time

The Kilburn Times has published an article looking at the history of The State (including a picture of The Rolling Stones backstage).

For more details, click here.

A Second Chance for The State?

Commenting on recent events, Cllr Anthony Dunn had this to say:

"It appears that the sale to the Bahrainis has fallen through, but only after they had paid a substantial non-refundable deposit. It became apparent to them (possibly arising out of the comments made by local politicos and residents) that they would not be able to turn The State into flats. Consequently, they declined to complete on the deal and forfeited their cash which may well have amounted to over £100K. That is now paying for 24/7 security cover, for ad hoc repairs, and for the Wurlitzer organ to be maintained.

RankMecca are now marketing the place again and there are several interested groups. It has separately been suggested to me that the Museum of the Moving Image (formerly on the South Bank) is looking for a new home and that the Bradford based National Museum of Photography, Film and Television is also looking for a southern base. What is required is for someone to approach them and the National Lottery Heritage fund to see whether there is any mileage in any of this. The place would make a magnificent film and theatre related venue once more. Unfortunately, RankMecca continue to be extremely aloof and difficult to contact about their intentions.

With Cllr James King from Kilburn (Camden), I have written to the lead members for Planning and Regeneration on both sides of the Kilburn High Road asking for Camden and Brent jointly to get involved and make these contacts with MOMI and NMPFT plus the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Watch this space."

Proposed sale falls through

Good news! The sale of The State to property developers has fallen through. The Kilburn Times reported on 28th September that:

"[T]he sale, scheduled to go through with a mystery developer on September 12, failed to materialise. A Rank spokeswoman said: "The purchasers defaulted on their contract to buy and the property is now being re-marketed." The controversial sale attracted concern from residents who fear the historic building may be snapped up by property developers. . . . Because of its Grade II status, any development of the building must guarantee a community, arts and culture, retail or entertainment use and include the separate redevelopment of the former cinema building in Willesden Lane. Cllr Anthony Dunn, for Kilburn, said: "I just hope that Rank ensures that whoever comes along as a potential purchaser in future fully understands the history of the building and its role in Kilburn life over the decades, and that any proposed development is in keeping with and respects that history." Residents are encouraged to write to Brent Council (chris.walker@brent.gov.uk) urging them to ensure that the Grade II listing is preserved."

For the full story, click here.