Search

My West Hampstead: Award-winning music journalist and author Charles Shaar Murray

17:00 17 January 2014

Music writer Charles Shaar Murray selling his books, CDs  and records at West Hampstead Market. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Music writer Charles Shaar Murray selling his books, CDs and records at West Hampstead Market. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Award-winning music journalist and author Charles Shaar Murray, 62, became well known for his antics while writing in NME and OZ magazines. Since moving to West Hampstead in 1998 he says he’s been “on his best behaviour”.

What brought you to West Hampstead?

After leaving the Islington shoebox-in-the-sky, which I’d inhabited for 25 years, I sought somewhere quiet but not remote, funky but not actually dangerous, and artsy but not pretentious.

Now I’m comfortably settled in leafy West Hampstead, and will need to be forcibly removed, kicking and screaming.

How has the area changed?

I mourn the disappearance of so many proper shops selling proper stuff, like the butchers, fishmongers, electrical stores and “boring hardware store”.

If you were guest editor of the Ham & High for a day, what one local issue would you most like to see reported?

I’d focus on the way the council seems to be rubber-stamping planning permission for so much high rise luxury apartment building, with little or no consideration for affordable social housing or additional parking facilities, let alone the unique character of the neighbourhood.

What is the area’s best-kept secret?

My Hothouse Project: Journalism As Craft And Art course, of course! Unabashed plug!

But also, a great bookshop – West End Lane Books, locally sourced free entertainment at the Brioche, historic musical echoes from the 1960s in Broadhurst Gardens.

Here’s to hoping the late Doris Lessing’s former home in Gondar Gardens rates a blue plaque sometime soon.

Which other place in the world would you twin with West Hampstead if you could?

It’d be a toss-up between St Ives in Cornwall and New York’s Greenwich Village circa 1968.

If you had to write your own epitaph, what would it say?

Still pondering mine, but considering, “I think I can do it better. Can we try that again?”

Charles Shaar Murray was in conversation with Paul Wright.

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:03
Hungry: Liam Gallagher (Picture: Adam Butler/PA)

Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher has revealed he once pelted former Hampstead neighbour Jamie Oliver’s windows with stones and demanded a bacon roll.

Yesterday, 12:06
Kemi Adeyoola

A “cold-blooded killer” who murdered an elderly Golders Green woman should not be freed anytime soon, a top judge has ruled.

Yesterday, 11:14
The dog was photographed attacking a swan    picture: Ron Vester

Photographer Ron Vester captures the dramatic moment when a female swan fights off a dog on Hampstead No 2 pond and amazingly escapes with no physical injuries

Yesterday, 11:13
Councillor Hayward with members of the LaSWAP sixth form consortium

Camden council leader Sarah Hayward was full of praise for A-level students across the borough following the publication of their results last week.

Mon, 18:35
Homes for Haringey has come under fire after the letting agency it set up and funded rented out just two homes in ten months

Haringey Council has come under fire after it was revealed a letting agency it set up and funded at a cost of over £400,000 has rented out just two homes in the last ten months.

Mon, 17:49
Almost half of Camden households are set to receive fortnightly waste collections from next April

Camden Council is set to press ahead with introducing fortnightly waste collections for around half the borough after a rebellion against a new £200 million contract with existing provider Veolia was derailed.

Mon, 17:25
Gabriella playing dressing up games

The husband of jailed West Hampstead mum Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, who is on trial in Iran, has revealed how his two-year-old daughter was forced to wear a sack over her head when she visited her mother in prison.

Mon, 12:24
The JW3 in Finchley Road, where the woman took refuge. Picture: Ezra Photography Ltd

Police investigating an attempted rape in West Hampstead have appealed to trace a woman who was followed by a man on the same evening.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now