The Chelsea Drug Store, 49 King’s Road, London, circa 1970.
How quickly things change. It was almost six years to the day that I posted an unapologetically sedulous analysis of the record shop scene in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, something that’s still one of the most regularly visited of all the entries here. That post concerned the excitement of being able to at last scrutinise on DVD a single shot whose details had earlier been obscured by no end of noise and interference, the embargoed film having previously been available in the UK on various bootleg videos. Fuzzy warbles indeed. The DVD wasn’t ideal, however, and many of the frame enlargements looked pretty shoddy. Last month I acquired a box of Blu-ray Kubrick films so all the images on that post have now been upgraded. There isn’t a great deal more to see in a shot that lasts all of sixty-six seconds, but John Alcott’s wide-angle photography is now crystal clear.
As for the location of the record shop, I noted in the original post that the famous Chelsea Drug Store building is now a McDonald’s. A place that once sold music and magazines becomes another outlet for an international burger chain; that’s the real future horror, not rampaging youth. See it up close on Google’s Street View.
Alex and the sounds of 1970.