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The Eel Pie Island Hotel

Tuesday 30 January 2007 13:30-14:00 (Radio 4 FM)

Repeated: Saturday 3 February 2007 15:30-16:00 (Radio 4 FM)


Lead singer with Manfred Mann, Paul Jones, looks back at the colourful history of The Eel Pie Island Hotel in Twickenham. In the late 1800s, Charles Dickens described the hotel as a 'place to dance to the music of the locomotive band'.

In the 1950s crowds flocked to the free jazz club that the hotel became, and in the '60s it became a regular haunt of R&B musicians, Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, The Yardbirds, The Who, and many a barefooted hippy tempted over the bridge by the promise of a free party.

Demolished in a mysterious fire in 1971, the hotel's history is preserved in the stories, poems and songs of the old islanders and musicians who played there - like George Melly, Ian McLagan and Ronnie Wood.

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