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Answer 117. Vladimir Ilich Lenin. He met Leon Trotsky for the first time during his London exile.


The building on Clerkenwell Green is now the Marx memorial library. Lenin’s old room still contains some of the original furniture from his time.

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In 1966, an obscure American musician came to swinging London to make his name. Carrying everything he owned in his guitar case – one Fender Stratocaster, a jar of face cream and a change of clothes – he quickly became a rock star, surrounded by adoring girlfriends.

HandelHendrix1One of them had a flat in this white house on Brook Street. The rock star was living with her when he was interviewed by a lady journalist for an underground newspaper:

‘I was very surprised that, when I got to his flat in Mayfair, he opened the door in the nude. Quite a strange way to start an interview with a famous pop star – or anyone else, come to that!

‘Most of the interview was conducted with **** in bed and me sitting on the side of the bed. And on his bedside table was the biggest collection of alcohol and drugs, I mean there were three different types of hash, grass, amyl nitrates, pills and lots of different kinds of bourbon and whisky. We just helped ourselves…

‘Then at one point he offered me some amyl nitrate and we both went out of our skulls… It was quite clear all along that if I wanted to go to bed with him, I could have just got inside. He never touched me, but it was understood, free and easy.’

HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 118. Ah, the 1960s! Who was this rather louche American star?

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