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 June 1978. The club took its name and theme from the speakeasies of the American Prohibition era. 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, who had been former manager of Sibylla's nightclub near Piccadilly Circus, who became the promoter and publicity manager for the club.[1] 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.[1]


Musicians and bands who played at the club include Elton John, Cockney Rebel, The Rolling Stones,[2] The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Pink Floyd (who first appeared on 19 September 1967), Arthur LEE and Love, King Crimson, The Marmalade, The Mothers of Invention (October 1967), Yes, Jimi Hendrix (1966), The Beatles, David Bowie,[1] Deep Purple (10 July 1969),[3] The Velvet Underground (6 October 1971, Loaded Tour), 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.[1]


The Who refer to the club in their album The Who Sell Out ("Speakeasy, drink easy, pull easy") (1967),[1] 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). The Beatles also threw a party for The Monkees during their 1967 visit to England, which later became the basis for the song "Randy Scouse Git"


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Speakeasy Club remembered". Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Laurie O'Leary promoter at the Speakeasy Club". Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Deeple Purple Atlas. 48 Margaret Street, London". Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Evis Costello. Lyrics to "London's Brilliant Parade"". Retrieved 16 December 2014.

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