had a thing about Wardour Street, me.
And last week,
while waiting on a friend in a coffee shop on the corner of the
aforementioned and Noel Street, it once again brought home to me
its unique and special vibe.
has always provided a platform for the development of different
musical genres. Fingers crossed, there's hopefully one being
born if not right this minute, then soon..."
I would have first
come here in the mid-70s on one of my regular teenage sorties into
Soho from Lisson Grove, probably to buy a book or record.
In fact music
has loomed large in the Wardour Street legend since the postwar
boom in jazz clubs, although it was the 1960s that really saw it
come into its own as an entertainment and music mecca.
THE club of music
clubs was undoubtedly The Marquee, which moved here from
neighbouring Oxford Street at the beginning of 1964 with an opening
night set from - wait for this! - Sonny Boy Williamson and
the years the club witnessed explosive performances from up-and-coming
young meteors like The Who, David Bowie (see our main
picture), Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd
before the punks of the 70s like the Pistols, The Damned,
Generation X and The Jam pogo-ed in and stamped their
authority on it.
I can remember
interviewing Gen X for my school punk fanzine at a soundcheck at
the venue back in '77 - before being asked to leave by an unsympathetic
bouncer for being under-age!
Then there was
the highly secret, hot and sweaty performance from the mighty Jam
(under the moniker of John's Boys), previewing tracks from their
classic 1979 album 'Setting Sons'...oh those were the days!
The street has
always boasted its fair share of night clubs too, from the wonderfully
named La Discoteque, the Flamingo and the Whisky
A Go Go (at the Leicester Square end of the street) in the 60s
through to the St Moritz, Crackers and Vortex
(going towards Oxford Street) in the 70s.
more of my favourite clubs from yesteryear would have to be The
Wag, which was to be found at 33 - 37 Wardour Street. I must
have skidded across their dancefloor countless times in the 80s
and 90s, and can remember falling quite spectacularly while climbing
The intimate Brain
Club was another fave, which was to be found at 11 Wardour Street.
It featured some top one-nighters and, if my fading memory serves
me correctly, sold some rather wicked psychoactive drinks - including
a Brain Punch. Not that it did much good for me then or now!
Soho over the
years has always provided a platform for the development of different
musical genres and - fingers crossed - there's hopefully one being
born if not right this minute, then soon...
to ride: London's top Beatle haunts -
way for my Album, Single and Gig of 2002 folks!