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, along with Blaises and The Revolution Club.


Opened on 15 December 1966, for some time, managed by Roy Flynn and later, May 1969, 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 also worked at Blaises. Howard was also joined by Laurie O'Leary, a lifelong friend of the Kray twins and former manager of Sibylla's nightclub in Mayfair, London, became the promoter and publicity manager for the club.[2] Throughout the life of the club Jim Carter Fea worked as general day and night management with Shamoon's trinity of top London clubs.


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. The club also attracted international touring bands and established artists.[2]


Musicians and bands who played at the club include Elton John, Cockney Rebel, The Rolling Stones,[3] The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Pink Floyd (who first appeared on 19 September 1967), The Marmalade, The Mothers of Invention (October 1967), Yes, Jimi Hendrix (1966), The Beatles, David Bowie,[2] Deep Purple (1969),[4] and Bob Marley (May 1973 Catch a Fire Tour). Others such as Jeff Beck, Reg Isidore, Ginger Baker, Jan Hammer, The Gass and Bobby Tench also appeared there, often after recording sessions.[2]


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.[4] Elvis Costello mentioned the club in his song "London's Brilliant Parade"[5] from the album Brutal Youth (1994).


  1. ^ Schreuders, Piet; Mark Lewisohn; Adam Smith. The Beatles' London. p. 47. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "The Speakeasy Club remembered". Retrieved 2014-12-16. 
  3. ^ "Laurie O'Leary promoter at the Speakeasy Club". Retrieved 2015-02-06. 
  4. ^ a b "Deeple Purple Atlas. 48 Margaret Street, London". Retrieved 2014-12-16. 
  5. ^ "Evis Costello. Lyrics to "London's Brilliant Parade"". Retrieved 2014-12-16. 

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