The Speakeasy Club, 48 Margaret Street, London, England, was a late-night haunt for the music industry from 1966 to the late 1970s. The club was owned by David Shamoon, an Iraqi-born entrepreneur. At the second launch of the club, on 15 December 1966, it was managed by Roy Flynn, who later became the manager of Yes. Tony Howard then became manager, having previously been the main artist booker for The Bryan Morrison Agency and NEMS. Howard also managed Marc Bolan & T. Rex. The initial house DJ was Mike Vesty who had also worked at Shamoon's club Blaises on Queen's Gate. Later, management was taken up by Laurie O'Leary (a lifelong friend of the Kray twins), who had previously been involved with Sybillas nightclub on Vine Street Mayfair. Throughout the life of the club Jim Carter Fea worked on the day to night management. Known in the business as "The Speak", it included a restaurant and music room.
Since the club was frequented by record industry and artist agency executives it attracted bands who played for low fees in the hope of being spotted and who would form the basis of the emerging British rock scene as well as international touring bands.
The Who refer to the club in their song "Speakeasy" ("Speakeasy, drink easy, pull easy") from the album The Who Sell Out (1967), as does Elvis Costello in his song "London's Brilliant Parade" from the album Brutal Youth (1994).
- Schreuders, Piet; Mark Lewisohn; Adam Smith. The Beatles' London. p. 47.