The Speakeasy Club

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The Speakeasy Club also known as The Speak, was a club situated at 48 Margaret Street, London, England and served as a late-night meeting place for the music industry from 1966 to the late 1970s.

The club took its name and theme from the speakeasies of the American Prohibition era. In 1967 it changed its theme to an Indian pavilion[1] and included a restaurant and music room. The club was owned by David Shamoon, an Iraqi-born entrepreneur

History[edit]

On 15 December 1966, when the Speakeasy was re-launched after a fire in early 1966, it was managed by Roy Flynn and later Tony Howard became manager when Flynn moved on, having previously been the main artist booker for The Bryan Morrison Agency and NEMS. The initial house D.J was Mike Vesty who had worked for Blaises. Later Laurie O'Leary, a lifelong friend of the Kray twins, became manager.[2] O'Leary had previously been associated with Sybillas nightclub on Vine Street Mayfair. Throughout the life of the club Jim Carter Fea worked on the day to night management.

Clientele[edit]

The Speakeasy was frequented by record industry and artist agency executives. It also attracted bands who played for low fees in the hope of being spotted and who would form the basis of the then emerging British rock scene. Club also attracted international touring bands and established artists.[2]

Musicians[edit]

Musicians and bands who played at the club include The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Pink Floyd (who first appeared on 19 September 1967), Mothers Of Invention (October 1967), Yes, Jimi Hendrix (1966), The Beatles, David Bowie, Deep Purple (1969),[3] and Bob Marley (May 1973 Catch a Fire Tour). Others such as Jeff Beck, Reg Isidore, Ginger Baker, Jan Hammer and Bobby Tench also appeared there, often after recording sessions.[2]

Legacy[edit]

The Who refer to the club in their song "Speakeasy" ("Speakeasy, drink easy, pull easy") from the album The Who Sell Out (1967),[2] also referencing the club in the "Radio London/Speakeasy/Rotosound Strings" commercial insert for the same album.[3] Elvis Costello mentioned the club in his song "London's Brilliant Parade"[4] from the album Brutal Youth (1994).

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Schreuders, Piet; Mark Lewisohn; Adam Smith. The Beatles' London. p. 47. 
  2. ^ a b c d "The Speakeasy Club remembered". thespeakeasyclub.com. Retrieved 2014-12-16. 
  3. ^ a b "Deeple Purple Atlas. 48 Margaret Street, London". deep-purple.net. Retrieved 2014-12-16. 
  4. ^ "Evis Costello. Lyrics to "London's Brilliant Parade"". sing365.com. Retrieved 2014-12-16. 

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 51°31′0″N 0°8′29″W / 51.51667°N 0.14139°W / 51.51667; -0.14139