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Premium Publishing Box 30184 SE-104 25 Stockholm Sweden Phone: +46 8 545 689 20 Fax: +46 8 545 689 19 E-Mail: info@premiumpublishing.com www.premiumpublishing.com English translation by Carl Magnus Palm Graphic design by Pia Nygren Carlsson/Jocke Wester Project manager: Wille Wendt Repro: Mats Sellin Graphics: Myran Grafiska Printed by Bulls Graphics, Sweden Paper: Tom & Otto silk 115 gr ISBN: 978-91-89136-24-3 English version This book is also available in a Swedish language version, ISBN: 978-91-89136-21-2 Š 2007 Premium Publishing – a div. of Internal AB All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, digital, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the copyright holder.


Contents Foreword.................................................................................................................... 7 Introduction.........................................................................................................12 Central London.................................................................................................15 Soho..........................................................................................................................15 Oxford Circus...............................................................................................88 Covent Garden..............................................................................................92 St. James’s.......................................................................................................113 Marylebone..................................................................................................123 Mayfair..............................................................................................................136 Belgravia..........................................................................................................141 Knightsbridge...........................................................................................148 Pimlico..............................................................................................................152 Chelsea..............................................................................................................159 East London......................................................................................................175 North and Northwest London....................................................191 Islington..........................................................................................................191 Camden............................................................................................................213 St. John’s Wood........................................................................................219 Kilburn..............................................................................................................227 West Hampstead....................................................................................233 West and Southwest London.....................................................241 Ealing..................................................................................................................241 Richmond......................................................................................................248 Notting Hill.................................................................................................257 Earl’s Court...................................................................................................266 Putney................................................................................................................270 Appendix.............................................................................................................273 Acknowledgments..................................................................................281 Recommended books..........................................................................282 Index.........................................................................................................................285


Introduction This book is divided into four geographical main areas: Central London, East London, North and Northwest London, and West and Southwest London. Each area has been assigned its own colour at the top of the page to make it easier to use the book. Most of the places covered are noted in the margin, along with the nearest tube or bus. A four zone travelcard will get you to all the places, but if you’re only planning to visit the central parts a one zone card is sufficient. My walks have mainly been divided into the area names, for example Soho and Mayfair, and not according to the geographical interrelation of the places. If you want to visit the places according to geographical proximity you may use the maps and make your plans with the nearest underground station as the starting point. And those who’d rather walk in the footsteps of their favourite band may refer to the index and plan their own route. Most of the places mentioned in the book have been illustrated with a current photograph, so that they will be recognisable. Many of the places covered in the book are situated in central London, and it might be tempting to just take a walk in Soho or that general area. But for me the most rewarding experience was to visit the suburban areas, such as Muswell Hill and Putney. They feel more genuine and have not changed at the same pace as the tourist areas in the centre of the city, where commercial interests rule. Finally: use walking-shoes if you are planning a longer walk. Pavements are harder than you might think. Good 12


luck and I hope you will enjoy these trips and walks around London as much as I have. Explanation of maps: The locations have been numbered according to the order in which they appear in the book. Blue numbers mean that the locations are described in the main text. Green numbers refer to descriptions of the locations in the appendix at the back of the book. The red box around certain locations indicates that this area can also beviewed on a separate map, placed in conjunction with the description of the location.

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Roadrunner  Rock tours in 60’s London

E Flamingo Club Soho 33–37 Wardour Street Tube: LeicesterSquare

Whisky A Go Go was located on the ground floor, while the door to the left led down to the Flamingo Club.

Flamingo Club I walk along Lisle Street to Wardour Street. At number 33– 37 there was once a truly legendary club: the Flamingo Club. The Flamingo Club was located in the basement, while its sister club, the Whisky A Go Go, which was fully licensed, was situated on the ground floor. The Flamingo opened in 1957 and quickly became an important show venue for many bands, a position it maintained for many years. The brothers Rik and John Gunnell owned and ran the place; at the same time they were also running a booking agency. Their “All Nighter Club”, which started in 1959 and lasted all through the night on Fridays and Saturdays, was very popular. Originally, the Flamingo tried to attract an older, more sophisticated jazz audience and was particularly popular with West Indians and black American soldiers stationed outside London. The club was noisy and hot, and fistfights were often part of the entertainment. After a particularly violent brawl the American army stopped the soldiers from visiting the club. In early 1963, Georgie Fame played his first gig at the club with his band, The Blue Flames.The band became the house band at the club and were big favourites during the nightly performances for a long time. Georgie Fame was also a representative for the music that was performed at the club: a cool, jazzinfluenced sort of blues. In 1963 he recorded a live album at the club, entitled Rhythm And Blues At The Flamingo. Many of the songs in his repertoire were taken from records im24


Central London

ing Peter Green on guitar, Mick Fleetwood on drums and Rod Stewart on lead vocals. But the group only survived for a few months and broke up in early 1967. The club venue, which was a large, dark room, was always packed with people; the only furnishing was five rows of cinema seats in front of the stage. The premises are still there today, although they now function as a pub and everything from the original decoration and atmos-

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Zoot Money and his Big Roll Band take a break during a gig at the Flamingo Club. The club’s All-Nighters were very popular and lasted until five in the morning.


Roadrunner  Rock tours in 60’s London

R De Hems Soho 11 Macclesfield Street Tube: Leicester Square

phere is long gone. De Hems Right opposite the Flamingo is Gerrard Street, the main street of Chinatown, and I make my way through the crowd of tourists to Macclesfield Street, where my next stop is. On this short street, between Gerrard Street and Shaftesbury Avenue, lies the Dutch pub De Hems. While researching this book I got in touch with the Swede Jan “Rock Ola” Olofsson and we have decided to meet up at the pub. Since the early Sixties, Jan has been based in London; he is mostly known for his photographs taken during the filming of the television programme Ready Steady Go!, which was broadcast between 1963 and 1966, and for his book, My 60s. But he was also working as an agent, a record company owner, a club owner and a music publisher. In these various guises Jan got to know most of the big artists and socialised with them privately in different clubs and pubs. He has promised me to share his personal memories from some of the places I plan to visit. Jan tells me that he often went to De Hems, since the pub was an important meeting-place for the British music business. Around the corner, on Shaftesbury Avenue, the music paper Record Mirror had their offices, and Jan Olofsson often met Richard Green (later the press officer for The Who) at the paper. It was partly due to the contacts he made at De 28


Central London

Jan Olofsson together with The Beatles in London, March 9, 1963. The picture was taken at the Granada in East Ham, where the Beatles began their tour together with Tommy Roe and Chris Montez. The ’Please Please Me’ single was then at the top of the charts and The Beatles were preparing the release of their first album.

Hems that he managed to get into the music business. At the pub, journalists, agents, promoters and managers would get together to make deals, or simply to exchange gossip. Jan also got to know many of the musicians who visited the pub, among them Keith Moon of The Who, who was often there during 1965–1966, and in 1967 Jimi Hendrix became a regular guest at the pub. Nearby, on Gerrard Street, one of Jimi Hendrix’ managers had his offices. Michael Jeffrey handled the negotiations and the business side, while Chas Chandler was responsible for everything concerning the music. In Jeffrey’s offices, Jan took one of his most famous photographs of Hendrix, in the spring of 1967. But there wasn’t any wild partying going on at De Hems – not even for Keith Moon! The pub mainly functioned as a warming-up place before going on to the clubs. But Jan tells me that after a particularly alcohol-soaked warm-up, Keith Moon, Richard Green and he were discretely shown the door at the Bag O’Nails, a club that otherwise could withstand most everything. He also says that De Hems still 29


Central London

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Roadrunner - Rock Tours in 60's London