It was soul music that cost me a university course!

I used to club Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  Lee Dorsey, Rufus Thomas, Willie Mitchell, Olympics, Shorty Long, Archie Bell, Chuck Wood…, as well as all the household names filled my head and we filled the dance floor. I lived in Stevenage in my mid teens but had a friend I stayed with in Staffordshire and one night we went to this allnighter at the Sherwood Rooms. I well remember seeing Geno and think the other acts were James & Bobby Purify, and the Diplomats. We staggered out at 6 am and headed for home. Other gigs included seeing Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers at the Marquee in London, Edwin Starr at the Black Prince in Bexley as well as the regulars at Stevenage Mecca. Anywhere there was good music we would chase it. There was also a great club in Hitchin called the Scene that did steaks as well as music. Take me back to Aunt Dora’s Love Soul Shack!

We gravitated to various clubs in London around 1970, notably the Whisky a Go Go in Soho and the chain of clubs called “The Birds Nest” which I think were really just pubs with cages! we had a car by then, an Austin A35 with go faster radiator!

In between we would head to Carnaby Street the Kings Road and Biba for clothes and Harlequin records – an independent chain that sold good music. I still have a couple of items of clothing from that era but I sold all my records in 1970 and then ten years on started buying them back again. Does anybody remember Reddington’s Rare Records in Birmingham?

And the day job – I used to drive an IBM golf ball typewriter and we had real carbon paper until they invented carbonless copy paper which I usually managed to muck up by forgetting it would take an imprint of anything you wrote down!

Boys were all called John, Dave, Philip, Ian, Andrew… Wayne and Craig had not been invented. And the girls, no Traceys, only Lindas, Susans Kays and Carolines!


Image of Whisky a Go Go poster from