After we posted the Bocker – “Hey kid, give us 10p” story – a number of snippets have come into Locarno Boy relating to some of the people who were there at the time.
Caroline was the girl singer in the very last resident band to work the stage at Romeos and Juliet`s. Hazel O`Connor had recorded “Broken Glass”, and the team got together to try and beat the video version of Hazel`s performance.
The stage was blacked out other than for a waist high circular cut out in the centre of the stage, but with a powerful white light aimed towards the audience. Extra lighting was fitted around the stage along with pyrotechnics.
First the building was plunged into darkness – followed by the opening bars of music- followed by a massive shaft of light, outlining Caroline`s silhouette – as she danced and mined to “Breaking Glass”. Powerful explosions of lighting and smoke crescendo-ed to the pace and excitement of the music, and the audience was captivated
Was Caroline topless?
No one was certain, but the effect was electrifying. Pure theater, and the subject of endless phone calls throughout the day and night to enquire about the 3 minute show.
We are also reminded of the two aging gentlemen who attended the Wednesday Club Solitaire night at the Pink Coconut. This was to eventually become the very successful “Over 25s Night”, but not without a considerable amount of image changing.
The two gentlemen were probably in their late 60s – and had come out to dance!
Unfortunately they filled the dance floor, with a style of dancing that had to be seen to be believed. The smaller of the two took up a position in the centre of the dance floor with his feet apart and both hands resting on his walking stick, while he swayed to the music like a trembling tripod. His friend, who wore a white suit, ran round and round the dance floor with his arms outstretched – something like a cross between a moth and a Spitfire.
The management puzzled for while as to how to get rid of them. One customer suggested that if one of them fell over they could be thrown out for fighting – but eventually they disappeared.
Then there was the famous Rolls Royce Christmas Party, which seems to have had little to do with Rolls Royce, but is rumored to have been one of most imaginative Summer Holiday funds.
The story goes that three or four Rolls Royce employees linked the first letters of their wives names to create a promotion company, and created one the most sought after Christmas nights out in the 1980s.
And of course there was Sarah the lighting operator at the Pink Coconut – and it can be really hot working those lights! So hot that sometimes you can forget where you are – and strip to the waist.
It`s a mistake anyone can make!
She went to work at her partners topless bar in Spondon, where he wrote a letter to the Derby Telegraph to complain about himself; writing under the name of The Reverend Pratt. This created considerable publicity, and helped promote the venture.
But the truth of the matter is that everyone involved was a character. Some more noticeable than others, but each as important as the next. The late 70s and 1980s were a wonderful time to be clubbing, and the envy of so many 20 and 21 year old today who wait for the return of the “proper” clubs where you really missed something if you stayed in.
Where stage presentation was paramount, something different happened each week, and no amount of Jagerbombs would entice you elsewhere.