From Pogoing to Blue Plaques: 100 Nights at The Roxy
Interview by Andrew Stevens.
I last met with Andrew Czezowski and Susan Carrington in late 2002 at their Fridge club in Brixton, where we went over the histories of the clubs they’d run, including the iconic Roxy in Covent Garden in 1976/77. Having sold up the Fridge in 2010, the pair invited me to their Streatham home to discuss their new ‘duography’, The Roxy, Our Story: The Club That Forged Punk in 100 Nights of Madness Mayhem and Misfortune. Andrew was just putting the finishing touches to the book’s sales page as I joined him, Susan and their cats to talk over the club’s Trojan reggae origins, skinheads bands, one-armed underworld barristers, rivalry with Malcolm McLaren, layered histories and punk as heritage.
3:AM: When we met to discuss all this in 2002, we left it talking about King Kurt being pelted with flour at the first Fridge club and you predicting the imminent demise of the Ministry of Sound…
AC: Was I right there?
3:AM: Well, they’re still putting out compilation CDs. Since then though, how do you feel the Roxy’s reputation has fared?
AC: This is the interesting thing now and something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, but the Roxy and the late 70s was probably almost the end of the old analogue age and so things moved in a different way. When we communicated it was the old fashioned way, by letter, postcard, landlines, flyers, posters, music papers and they’re quite physical things. That’s how everybody got to meet up and the purpose of all those things was to meet up. That’s all changed now because of the whole virtual meeting up, we don’t physically go anywhere. So we’re the last of the analogue dinosaurs, we are! (laughs)
3:AM: Is that why you decided to write this book?
AC: Not really, the reason we wrote the book was that over the years people have contacted us to talk about punk, the Roxy and everything else, and we gave out interviews and we chatted to people. But people kept saying ‘Why don’t you write the story of the Roxy?’ and the answer was we didn’t have the time, we were simply too busy running the Fridge and that was a 24 hour job for 30-odd years, so it wasn’t until we sold up around 2010 and got ejected from the business…
SC: We got thrown out, let’s face it!
AC: So we thought, ‘That’s it now, finally’. Fortunately we were able to store everything we ever did and that wasn’t intentional, it was just sticking things in boxes. Since then we’ve been able to review it and we thought ‘Actually, this is interesting and because it’s so long ago we can cut ourselves off from the personal side and maybe we should write that book’.
SC: And also to get the record straight, as there’s so many things that are written about that period of time and usually it always comes down to Vivienne and Malcolm. That’s OK, I mean we like them, or Vivienne at least, but the thing was that none of it was quite right, was it?
AC: Well, we blame ourselves…
SC: No, we don’t blame ourselves because we got too busy going on to James Street, to London Bridge and the first Fridge…
AC: If we didn’t tell the story how can you expect people to know the truth?
SC: Absolutely, but…
AC: But we never put that information out. So there’s your reference point, a hardcore 100% reference point for everybody to go to.
3:AM: What does the book show then, for instance, where the Roxy’s name or earliest identity came from?
AC: One reason why we wrote the book was that we found in our attic Susan’s old diaries which are actually fantastic as they’re a daily record of what actually happened at the time and there’s your 99% proof it wasn’t all a remembrance of some sort and that’s kind of the backbone of it all…
SC: And your booking diaries.
AC: Yeah, so I knew how much I’d paid bands, what the contracts were. So that was the real skeleton of it all, with all the flyers, artwork and photos we found. The name? It’s all in the book, but we didn’t come up with it. From what we understand…
SC: Yes, but I think people don’t realise is that the whole reason you hired the Roxy was to put on Generation X. We didn’t intend to run a club, that kind of happened accidentally.
3:AM: As we discussed last time…
AC: Yeah, well what we understand happened was this: in the early 70s, not sure of the exact year maybe 72 or 73-ish, it was a potato warehouse. Just one of those silly warehouses around that area and John Holt, the Trojan reggae star, he bought that warehouse with the intention to turn it into a reggae club and he called it Chaguaramas as that’s the name of a bay in Jamaica…
AC: I think he was brought up there or maybe lived nearby. Anyway, over the years it evolved into its intended disco space and then it became it a gay bar…
SC: But people like David Bowie used to go there, Wayne County.
AC: Yeah, well at some stage it must have gone went under and got taken over by the people we dealt with, Rene Albert and his German boyfriend.
3:AM: The Swiss one-armed barrister?
AC: Yeah. He used to represent all the underworld criminals in London. Somewhere down the line he took over and I don’t know how but Gene October, the singer of Chelsea, managed to get a booking there.
SC: You managed him after the Damned. They asked you to manage them, didn’t they?
AC: Chelsea then morphed into Generation X, by getting rid of Gene October! So Gene stayed in Chelsea but the booking was still available. This all happened late October, early November, probably more accurate in the book, so we went down to see the owners and say we still want the date but now the band’s called Generation X. They didn’t care and we didn’t know what they were about, all they saw was money.
SC: To them this was just some cash coming in.
AC: We discovered a long time later that they had actually gone into receivership. Hence the name change, it could no longer be called Chaguaramas, even though my early contracts in the book are still under that name. By the time we physically went there on the 14th of December, or a couple of days before, to build a stage and everything, they’d turned it into the Roxy club.
SC: Roxy trying to be glam, like the champagne, not punk really.
AC: Sure. But it was a new trading company, to look like a whole new set up and we didn’t know about those things, we were relatively young, like 26, 27…
SC: We were quite old actually!
AC: 27 then is like 18 now. We didn’t really care, that wasn’t the point here. We just wanted to put Generation X on because I was managing them and get them some exposure.
3:AM: Wasn’t it Tony Ashfield, Holt’s producer, who owned it?
AC: Could have been, could have been. Unless you go into the records, Companies House and all that, you’d not know. But yeah, I’d go with that.
SC: We didn’t actually care about any of that. We just went into this complete slum and thought ‘This looks good’. You could feel happy times coming in the atmosphere.
3:AM: Really? How much thought did you put into programming what went on at the club?
SC: Good God, no. They came to us!
AC: I’m not sure the idea of programming really existed then, that’s the kind of thing people do now with these [punk] exhibitions at the V&A and the British Library. We just filled up the dates as quickly as we could.
SC: It sprang from the heart!
3:AM: OK, were there any bands you refused to put on then?
AC: Yeah, they would have loved to have done it. For one, there weren’t many bands around who could have played and what were around we tended to know as it was only a small group of people, about a dozen or so. Obviously by managing the Damned and Generation X/Chelsea for a little while they all form, split, reform etc. and so that created more but in those days everyone was devout, every Wednesday morning they got their NME, so even though it was a slow printing process it was relatively fast in that you could get reviews in quickly and a couple of days after each review of the club we started getting all these tapes coming in saying ‘We’re a punk band from Sheffield, we’re punk band from Manchester, we’re a punk band from Scotland etc.’
3:AM: Even the likes of Skrewdriver, who weren’t then the band they went on to become.
AC: Do you know what, I can’t even remember them playing. They’re on the list and I know they played, but that’s the point, these tapes came in just like that and this all happened relatively quickly, as in by Christmas that year.
SC: I think what really put the key in it for me was putting on Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers on the 15th that month, that happened because you met Leee Childers and they were broke in Wardour Street…
3:AM: The Ship, as we discussed last time.
SC: And that blew everybody away.
AC: So we did that, but we’d started promoting Generation X two weeks before and during that time we bumped into them and their tour had fallen apart, Malcolm, as usual, had fucked things up, didn’t pay them, didn’t arrange to get them back to America, so they were high and dry. So I saved them a little bit by offering them a gig, we settled for £30, which wasn’t a lot but enough to keep you in food and drink for a week or so in those days between them. Not the drugs mind you, but we didn’t have enough time to promote it, only enough to knock up a flyer and get it to the printers and hand them out to people we knew, banking on the fact we can give out these flyers on the Gen X night saying that they’re playing tomorrow. Gambling on the fact that everybody knew the Heartbreakers…
SC: People like Mick Jones from The Clash, we knew it was their heroes from New York, so the mere fact that they were in London, there was a buzz. And everybody came purely on word of mouth.
AC: Or word of telephone, as once that people knew they were booked everyone was on the phone saying ‘They’re playing tomorrow! They’re playing tomorrow!’ If you were a real rock and roll musician, you just had to see this band.
SC: You just had to be there!
AC: That was a risk worth taking and of course it was madness, a sell out night. And of course we then used that night to book in another Generation X night two weeks later, as that was the purpose of the whole thing, to promote Generation X. And that was superb, we had the reviews in from the press, as I said it was all quite quick even though it was printed, so that was all we’d ever booked. And then we just scratched our heads.
SC: The owners saw the cash we pulled in and couldn’t believe it, but it showed what could be done.
AC: So we said ‘Alright, we’ll hire it from January 1st’. All very accidental, but over the Christmas period, which was difficult enough, we’d managed to tie up the Clash opening up, let people know that this was all happening.
SC: Don’t put yourself down, I mean who goes out on New Year’s Day? Nobody. We got them out, on January 1st! And we were rushing down to the cash and carry in East London, up where you live, hoping they were open.
AC: Again, it’s all in the book. So that kicked off and we signed the contract, which is in the book, signed by Rene Albert himself, as I like that sort of stuff. It’s not printed from a printer, it’s typed with Tippex and everything. And then it sort of rolled on and went up and down, up and down.
SC: But we had no intention of opening up a club, it just evolved.
3:AM: Out of the ether?
AC: Exactly. But you do have to get involved in things like ordering in drinks, keeping the place clean, buying toilet rolls, paying electricity bills, there’s things to be done, you’ve got to get staff and so on. So it takes time and, of course, I wasn’t giving the attention to Gen X and, of course, all bands are like children, they need to be patted on the head and told they’re loved.
SC: But with Andrew and, in particular, managing bands, our philosophy, and which is why we love clubbing, is that we want everyone to have a good time, even the people that worked in the club. But the bands, you’ve got to be their mummy and daddy and supply everything they need. That wasn’t really our thing and we found them quite tiresome. Luckily Jonh Ingham took them off our hands! (laughs)
AC: While we were doing all that and promoting Gen X by putting them on, others were sort of always around the periphery all the time looking at this and looking at the scene, I wouldn’t necessarily call them ‘punk’ bands, in my view that’s a moniker that’s thrown at everybody who played a bit fast. I mean, you can’t look at Gen X and tell me they’re a punk band. You can say they were ‘power pop punk’, I always thought they were a power band, you know, power pop, with their lyrics, their harmonies, their little hooks and stuff, but I wouldn’t say they were punk. But it was getting chucked at everybody and it wasn’t a bad thing to be under as everybody was writing about punk at the time, so unless you were a named punk you weren’t going to get the reviews, that was beginning to form a schism in the music papers, the old long-hairs and the new short-hairs.
SC: If you look at the audience in some of the photographs at the Roxy, a lot of people did have long hair and denim flares and everything.
3:AM: So no Sid Snot mohicans and safety pins yet then?
AC: You never had them anywhere.
3:AM: Probably more Camden ’85 really.
AC: A funny thing that happened about 10 years ago when Susan and I were walking across that bridge in Camden, I don’t remember why, and there was a crowd of those mohican punks, really over the top. We were just walking past them and one of them offered us to have our picture taken with them for a quid and I thought ‘If only they knew…’
3:AM: Was there anyone who didn’t show up to the club who’d been booked?
AC: There was one, funnily enough.
SC: Was there?
AC: It’s in the book thanks to our notes and diaries, and they became the biggest heavy metal band in the world.
3:AM: Iron Maiden. Weren’t they supposed to support Siouxsie and the Banshees?
AC: Exactly. It got cancelled for some reason, can’t remember.
3:AM: Personnel problems maybe, given all those early line-up changes.
AC: I think it was more our end, like an argument with the landlord. But that would have been a hilarious night.
3:AM: Of that era at the club, there’s now several live albums released, films available, do you think that’s why it’s so embedded into a deeper and more tangible consciousness of it within ‘punk’?
AC: Yes and I think, in a sense, in doing our book we’re trying to pull all these loose strands together to show where the root is, that these things came out of the Roxy and our energy and our time, our impact in specifically those 100 days and what an impact it’s had around the world. So, we like it, we’re proud of it.
3:AM: Do you think you achieved more in 100 days at the Roxy than your 25 years at the Fridge?
AC: Now, this is a very interesting question. The Fridge ran for 25 years, more or less, we know we had a huge impact on many levels because over that period of time we saw three or four music scene changes, as it were, and we helped to stimulate all of them, whether it’s from the sort of Sade time, Soul II Soul time, the happy-smiley Ibiza time, to the hardcore trance time, we went through all of those and we were right at the beginning and helping to support and create those scenes. We weren’t the creators of them, but were there at the point to catalyse them. So a lot more people… put it this way, if somebody said they’d been to the Fridge then it’s probably true, if they’d said they’d been to the Roxy then you’d think ‘Hmmm, I’m not sure’. Because we only opened 100 days.
SC: Well, it did carry on, but as far as we’re concerned 100 days were ours.
AC: So, 100 days, with on average 100 people a night, what’s that? 10,000 people at the most, and even then most of those were repeat people, so how many people actually physically went there? Probably a couple of thousand of people, whereas with the Fridge it was like three million.
3:AM: As you mentioned last time, Don Letts DJ’d at the Roxy with all his reggae and dub. He’s just done that skinhead documentary for the BBC.
AC: I heard he had but I’ve not seen it.
3:AM: Plus you managed Chelsea and the likes of Sham 69, Menace, Cock Sparrer all played there, were there any skinheads in among the long hair and flares during that time?
AC: They all played there but the Roxy only held, legitimately, 150.
SC: We had 400 for the Damned!
AC: The Damned, the Heartbreakers, Buzzcocks…
SC: The Stranglers.
AC: The Stranglers, what I call the ‘top tier’ acts. The secondary tier crossed over…
3:AM: The UK Subs?
AC: Yes, the likes of those. But these only attracted 50, 60, 70 at the most and of that crowd it was pretty mixed, I’d say. It definitely wasn’t 100% hardcore skinhead, no. If anything, people just came because they were fans of the club, to see ‘Roxy bands’.
SC: The whole skinhead thing became political, it was ‘hate everybody’ and we were never about that, just love and having a good time, as corny as that sounds! (laughs)
3:AM: How did Shane MacGowan’s first band end up playing?
SC: Oh, yes, the Nipple Erectors! (laughs) Shane was just a little punter that came to the club.
3:AM: Sent in a tape, like everyone else?
AC: No, no tape or anything, it just evolved in the club because they came down and teamed up as a band in the audience and then approached me to play. I saw them coming all the time so I just said ‘Yeah, sure.’
3:AM: Last time you said Paul Weller’s disdain for punk was on account of low numbers when the Jam played, but one account I read after we spoke has the gig as nothing short of electrifying.
AC: These are two separate things. An empty house doesn’t mean it’s not a good show and from a promoter’s point of view, you know, you’ve got two elements going on there which is, like, ‘Do you want a crap band on that sells out and pays the rent?’ And the answer is ‘Yes’. But then we’ve always used that to, erm…
AC: Yeah. But if you depended on the stuff you love you’d be broke in no time. The Jam were good, they were powerful, they were strong, we personally like them now…
SC: I didn’t like them at all!
AC: But what happened was Barry Jones, our partner, said something like ‘They’re not a punk band!’, which they’ve never forgot. But they weren’t though!
3:AM: There was a lot of Motown in there.
AC: But what was ‘punk’? It was just a moniker that got chucked around for everybody and it wasn’t a bad one to be under, at the time, to get in the papers and get your reviews and so on. But, no, they were great, obviously, you can hear it in their records now.
3:AM: Derek Ridgers said recently that “the audience became more interesting than the bands” and you also mentioned last time the audience was segmented between regular punters in from their day jobs and the ‘McLarens’ stood at the back ‘intellectualising’.
SC: Or even schoolgirls coming in and getting changed in the toilets.
AC: As we’ve said in our book here, quite clearly, there was certainly a sense of, erm, resentment, from people like Malcolm McLaren and their belief that they started it all and others were cashing in…
SC: Says the man who managed the New York Dolls and failed miserably!
AC: So there was a little bit of that but after we finished with the Roxy he contacted me, we weren’t friends or anything…
SC: He was scared he didn’t know what he was taking about!
AC: I don’t know, perhaps he thought the king was undressed or something. Anyway, he said ‘I’ve found a place on Tottenham Court Road in a basement, do you want to come and have a look?’. We were looking for a club so we thought ‘Great!’ And we went but it was just too small, had a rickety wooden staircase for the storage space and the height was all wrong so I just said ‘No, this just isn’t right, it’s too much work’. By then we’d learnt more things about safety and fire and all the rest of it, we knew we’d have to go through that process to get a licence, whereas with the Roxy it was all there, it was more purpose-built with the money from John Holt and his partner to make it into a club.
SC: Was it? I’d like to have known where the fire exit was! (laughs)
3:AM: Steve Ignorant called the Roxy a ‘seedy little shithole’.
SC: Hang on, the Crass guy? That would have come after us, after the 23rd of April. But it did carry on.
AC: That’s why we’re very specific about it being the first hundred nights, as we had a different outlook on things. The people who came in after us, friends of the barrister, they were all people who’d been in prison and so on and their love of music, shall we say, was non-existent. They were what I call ‘prison gays’, they loved the idea of young boys coming down there, who they probably abused and stuff, and top of that they were just counting the pennies of how much they could rip people off on.
3:AM: You said Covent Garden, as it was then, was a complete slum.
SC: We come from Elephant and Castle, dark and dreary, Brixton, dark and dreary, we’re of that dark and dreary generation.
3:AM: There was the Hitchcock film Frenzy in the early 70s, it looked quite menacing then compared to the corporate sheen of today’s Seven Dials.
AC: I didn’t see it as menacing at all. That was London at the time!
SC: You could do anything you wanted to do back then.
AC: You’ve got to remember it was a marketplace, it wasn’t built for style, it was built to service an industry, which was the fruit and vegetable industry. It shifted at that time to the New Covent Garden and it all become pretty much derelict, so there was a sense of decay and emptiness.
SC: But that’s what London was like at the time!
AC: It was changing.
SC: It wasn’t that long after wartime, if you think about it.
AC: But it wasn’t anything to do with Maggie Thatcher, it was a decision taken decades ago, probably in the mid-60s, I don’t know, with a plan to vacate in the future, which happened to be the mid-late 70s, and that’s just how it went.
SC: I think she did her best…
3:AM: The GLC just wanted to flatten the lot and build a Barbican-style concrete convention centre and flats.
AC: That sounds about right, but they were all doing that, in Brixton they said ‘Let’s knock it down and build the new Croydon here’. Again, you had your lefty brutalist-type people trying to make their mark to forcibly change the world, but fortunately sensible people kicked back.
3:AM: Was the Roxy part of that?
SC: No, it was just somewhere to put a band on. Simple as that. We’ve suddenly gone political, haven’t we? Oh my God!
AC: It’s a fact of life but we had no knowledge of any of that, other than the area was run-down.
SC: You moved into a council flat because you come from slum clearance, but they were fucking horrible, they fumigated ours when I was five, so I didn’t want any of that. It didn’t come into our vocabulary. You just wanted a place to put on a band and that’s how it happened.
3:AM: At the end of the 100 days, did you think that was it?
SC: No, we just thought let’s do something else. It had started to get nasty.
AC: Everyone wanted a slice of it.
SC: Gaye Advert got beaten up at the tube station, the press got their claws in, looking for sensationalist stories and it wasn’t like that at all. It was no fun anymore.
3:AM: What do you make of the recent treatment of it all, ‘Punk London’ this year?
AC: I think it’s important it gets recorded as a subculture, a time that had a huge social impact. Now, too many people have been laying layers of their own interpretations on it, without speaking to people like us who actually made it happen. Again, it’s all retrospective re-writing of history.
SC: Everyone just pulls up Wikipedia and if you’re not in there then you get waylaid. Nobody does their research.
AC: And they repeat and twist it to suit. Hopefully, our book, which is not political, simply lays down what actually happened by the people who did it. But it made a huge worldwide impact, for the fashion, for the noise, for the style, for the attitude, all those things are relevant. It’s happened many times, you know you had the Bobby soxers with Frank Sinatra before the war, during the war and after it, you had your Doo-woppers in America, we had our Teddy Boys here, you’ve got your Flower Power in ’66. All these layers, of little explosions, which I love…
3:AM: You said ‘energy and light’ last time.
AC: Yeah, yeah. They rise and fade. Punk has had a disproportionate effect, in my view.
SC: Or people are so desperate now as everything is so digital, so you can reproduce, but you can’t be there. And now if you go to a concert all you see is people with bloody mobile phones, which we obviously didn’t have.
3:AM: Is that why you’re bringing out the book this year, that 40th anniversary?
AC: There’s two reasons…
SC: We started in 1995 actually, didn’t we?
AC: We had ideas of doing it in 1995…
SC: But then the Love Muscle night we were doing at the club was so phenomenal we just put it on hold.
AC: It’s only when we got rid of the Fridge, 2010, that we revisited it and started working on it again about 2012, sent it off to various publishers who said ‘This is fantastic, great, we want to do it’. But after six months I said ‘OK, where’s the advance, where’s the contract?’ But the whole publishing business is just cracking up and hasn’t got the balls to make their own decisions…
SC: They’re too scared to, more like.
AC: It’s that whole corporate agenda, committees and so on. We just said ‘Fuck you’ basically, we’ll do it ourselves and that really only happened late last year when we were in a financial position to do it and it’s taken us a year to do it. As it happens, and we’re aware of that, it’s landed at that 40-year point. There wasn’t any plan and it seems to have conspired to this, as it happens the book landed in Southampton from the printers in China yesterday, 40 years ago to the day of the first night at the Roxy!
SC: I have to say Omnibus Press were helpful and wanted to do it, but the new CEO was more into French philosophy or something and had no idea what the book was about. Or they said they had a punk poster book coming out.
AC: There aren’t any punk posters without us! I have to say it’s turned out well and we received some good advice from them and it would have taken longer without it. And we were able to put into it what we wanted and didn’t have to answer to anyone and had full discretion over the design and what images went in.
3:AM: In that sense, the book reflects how you ran the club?
3:AM: What do you hope to achieve by doing it?
SC: To get the true story out.
AC: It’s more than that.
SC: Oh, alright! (laughs)
AC: When you’ve done a lot like we have and you’re passing along in the outside lane at 150 miles per hour, you don’t really have a chance to sit and think and go over all the things you’ve done. This gave us a chance to sit down, review our life as it were, and this is just one little section of it, one compartment, we’ve looked at it, we’ve written it down, we’ve presented it and said ‘There you are, that’s what we did’. In my mind, that period has now been wrapped up, now we’re going to get on to the next 25 years.
3:AM: To end on perhaps, last time we spoke you were quite scathing about Jon Savage.
SC: We still are.
AC: Again, he’s one of those people who has written his layer over the top of what actually happened and we wanted to strip that away. He’s entitled to his opinion, but that wasn’t an opinion held by the people who actually did it or were in the audience. He’s just created this false view, in my view, from his vantage point, making a story out of nothing, which is what journalists do.
SC: He came to the club one night and cried his eyes out after being sacked as a solicitor, I remember.
3:AM: Yes, you said that last time!
SC: It’s true! But I don’t think he’d like to be reminded of that.
3:AM: Well, he will be now, twice.
SC: We gave him free drinks that night, he probably doesn’t remember that!
AC: Look, he created as a journalist, a story out of nothing by pulling all these facts together, which did exist individually, yes, Maggie Thatcher was in charge, yes, we did have the three day week, but was it all to do with punk? No, it’s just a coincidence of things that happened at the time.
3:AM: He’s said, since we last spoke…
SC: What, to you personally?
3:AM: No, not at all. He’s said the Roxy “went from punk central to cultural relic” in just a few months.
AC: I notice he’s clung on to his relics and put them in a museum. Again, you see, he’s writing it as if there’s a conscious plan. It was totally unconscious. And once you’ve done something it exists forever, whether it’s in memory or in artefact, like flyers. That wasn’t the intention, to keep it for some sort of purpose, it was just accident.
3:AM: Is this about settling old scores or telling things how you want it to be told?
AC: This book is a reference for everybody to write about, as we were the centre and the core, I mean if you remember that night at the British Library we met at, the curators apologised for not contacting us. I said to them ‘In all honesty, how can you put on an exhibition about punk without having the Roxy as a central part?’ I mean, sniff Rat Scabies’ leather jacket, please!
3:AM: It’s just theme park at that point?
AC: Exactly. He came round and he apologised. I mean, he’s a lovely chap and we’ll do something again, but he doesn’t have any power…
SC: He doesn’t have any power, he’s one of the committee.
AC: It just shows you how bad the quality of the research is, it’s not just the British Library, it’s the other one, the British Museum?
3:AM: Museum of London.
AC: Sorry, the Museum of London.
SC: Did you see what they did? Turn up with a plastic bag and make a punk outfit. How could they even come up with that? Are they 10-year-olds?
AC: There was another stupid thing at the 100 Club they did, oh god, it went on and on…
3:AM: Do you still go out clubbing?
SC: I wish there was a club I could go to! The other night we thought ‘Wouldn’t it be great to go to the Roxy, let’s kick out Speedo and start it all again!’
AC: The funny thing about that is I had an email recently from a chap who actually advises English Heritage, who’s a big fan of the Roxy and he’s putting forward a proposal to them to put up a Blue Plaque to commemorate the Roxy and that’s happening now. The Seven Dials Society, what they’re trying to do, because of the tourism thing, is put up plaques of all the things that happened in and around Covent Garden specifically, whether it’s the prostitutes of the king or whatever went on, the coffee houses, right up to the Roxy. That’s actually been all done and approved, in February, by the looks of it. So, who would have thought it’d have made such a mark to that level?
3:AM: You’re almost up there with John Betjeman now.
AC: Maybe when we get one on this house, yeah.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew Stevens is Music editor of 3:AM and lives in London.
First published in 3:AM Magazine: Thursday, December 22nd, 2016.