All Over The Road
Slowly but surely I am creating my web presence. I imagine it will take a lot of discipline to keep any blog up to date. And it probably takes a big ego to think that you have a something interesting to say every day. Well, let's hope I can find enough to keep talking - although talking to oneself is talent worth developing.
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Station at KIAC and

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Marquee Club - The Who, Maximum R&B, & Me

The Marquee Club

The Who Location Guide: April 2007 (this is an excellent resource for locations linked with The Who).
The Marquee Club (one of my first bar jobs after moving back to London in 1987, pay was shite but I wanted to experience the legendary venue as an insider- also hoped to get the gig doing house lighting. Stayed on after the club moved to Charing Cross Road but left shortly after because it didn't have the same atmosphere)

In 1965 the Marquee Club in London was venue for The Who's now legendary 23 week 'Maximum R&B' residency, a major stepping stone for the band's career. Their first performance in this run of shows saw just 30 punters turn up. A couple of weeks later the numbers had risen to the hundreds, and soon afterwards The Who went on to break the Marquee's box office records.

The band's first published live review was of one of these Marquee shows.

Between 1965 and 1968 The Who played at The Marquee 29 times. In April 1968 the venue celebrated its tenth anniversary with a show headlined by The Who. The band's final Marquee performance came in December that same year at "The Who's Xmas Party".

Performances recorded at the Marquee for the 'Beat Club' TV show have appeared in various Who films including 'The Kids Are Alright' and '30 Years Of Live Maximum R&B'.

Sadly the Marquee is now all but gone. It was discovered in the 1980's that two decades of high volume music had caused the building to gradually vibrate itself into an unsafe situation, forcing the closure of the club in 1987. The facade of the club can still be seen at 90 Wardour Street, though internally it was totally redeveloped and converted into apartments.

The section of the building containing the dressing room, the main room and the stage was completely demolished. In its place (next to number 90) now stands the Mezzo restaurant. The stage and the dressing room door were sold to a private collector.

In 1988 The Marquee relocated to Charing Cross Road, just a short stroll from Wardour Street. In 1995 that building was sold to developers and converted into a bar. The rights to the name were purchased by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, who in 2001 reopened The Marquee in a shiny modern restaurant/venue combo which went out of business within 6 months. In 2004 the club reopened in Leicester Square, but again suffered business difficulties. The club is currently in the process of relocating to Soho....back to the same area as the Wardour Street club.

The "Maximum R&B" Marquee Club was located at 90 Wardour Street, London. The nearest tube station is Tottenham Court Road.
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1 comment:

Julie said...

I found an old poster for The Who Maximum R & B at the Marguee. It is the same as you show on youe site. It was inside an old magazine. When I looked it up, I found youe site. Great!

julie, Toledo Oregon USA

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