Rum Runner (nightclub)

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Coordinates: 52°28′41″N 1°54′39″W / 52.47794°N 1.91073°W / 52.47794; -1.91073

The Rum Runner was a nightclub on Broad Street, Birmingham. The club ran from 1964 until its demolition in 1987.[1]



Originally a casino, by the 70s the Rum Runner had become more of a conventional club. One of its first house bands, playing popular cover versions, went on to become Magnum featuring Bob Catley and Tony Clarkin.[2] They left the club in 1975 to play their own material of melodic rock. Occasionally other live acts played such as Quill and Jigsaw.[1]

Regular late night clientele were Black Sabbath, Roy Wood, Quartz and other notable Birmingham bands calling in after local gigs. Actors and staff from the nearby Central TV Studios also frequented the club.

1980s and closure[edit]

In the late 1970s the club was renovated by Paul and Michael Berrow, sons of the club's founder, based on ideas drawn from a visit to Studio 54 in New York.[1]

In 1978 local band Duran Duran brought in a demo tape,[3] and were offered a rehearsal space and jobs around the club—drummer Roger Taylor working as a glass collector, guitarist Andy Taylor cooking and maintaining the interior, bassist John Taylor working as a bouncer, and keyboardist Nick Rhodes DJing.[4] The group became the resident band at the club. After playing their 1983 charity concert at Villa Park, they held the afterparty at the Rum Runner.[5] In 2006 John Taylor and Nick Rhodes released a compilation album entitled Only After Dark, featuring their favorite songs from the Rum Runner playlist.[6]

Michael and Paul Berrow signed as Duran Duran's managers, and formed the Tritec Music company (named after the triangular-themed bar inside the club). The label used the Rum Runner office upstairs from the club as its official address.

In developing the club's musical identity, the club offered its rooms as free rehearsal space to bands like Dexys Midnight Runners and UB40, with The Beat filming a video for their song "Mirror in the Bathroom" in the club.

The club played host to an eclectic mix of live acts and DJs, including De Harriss, Mulligan, Marlon Recchi of Fashion, Martin Degville and other members of Sigue Sigue Sputnik, and fashion designers Kahn & Bell.

In 1987 the building was demolished and the Hyatt Hotel was subsequently built on the site.


  1. ^ a b c Steve Bradley (May 6, 2013). "I slung Ozzy Osbourne out of my club for looking scruffy, says former Rum Runner boss". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 24 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Magnum". Retrieved 24 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Rum Runner nightclub". Retrieved 24 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Remembering nights at Birmingham club the Rum Runner". Birmingham Mail. May 12, 2006. Retrieved 24 August 2014. 
  5. ^ Duran Duran party at the Rum Runner
  6. ^ "How we opened the door to the 1980s", The Telegraph

External links[edit]