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41 Gogo logoDuring the mid sixties, Newcastle’s Club A’Gogo was one of the top music venues in the North East. The ‘Gogo’ was to Newcastle what the Marquee club was to London. It is fondly remembered by club goers and musicians alike – people like Eric Burdon, Brian Ferry and AC/DC’s Brian Johnson. But unlike the Marquee, there is very little information about the Club A’Gogo on the internet. There are, of course, many references to the Animals being the resident band at the club in the early sixties. The Animals also recorded a live album at the Gogo and even wrote a song about the place.

The Club A’Gogo has become an important part of Newcastle’s musical heritage. The club is probably best remembered for the few years between 1964 and 1967 when iconic British and American blues, rock and soul acts regularly appeared there; acts such as Jimi Hendrix, The Who, the Rolling Stones, Spencer Davis, Wilson Picket and Ike & Tina Turner.

The Club A’Gogo didn’t start its life as a venue for blues and rock bands. Although it opened up in the early sixties when Rock and Roll was becoming popular in the UK, the first music played there was a rollover from the previous decade – jazz.

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Newcastle’s pre-Gogo jazz scene

One of the first jazz venues in Newcastle - The Newcastle Jazz Club

One of the first jazz venues in Newcastle – The Newcastle Jazz Club

From the mid 50s, Newcastle had enjoyed a very lively jazz scene. The Newcastle Jazz Club in the Royal Arcade, Pilgrim Street was founded in the first half of the 1950s and in 1955 the New Orleans Club opened up at Melbourne Street, Shieldfield. Apart from genuine jazz enthusiasts, these clubs also started attracting a lot of students from Kings College (now Newcastle University).

The New Orleans Club (photo by Jim Perry)

The New Orleans Club (photo by Jim Perry)

New Orleans membership card

New Orleans membership card

In 1957 steps were taken that would eventually lead to the opening of the Club A’Gogo. That year the man who founded the Gogo, Mike Jeffery, opened his first music venue – the University Jazz Club in the Cordwainers Hall above the Gardeners Arms on Nelson Street, Newcastle.

4 uni jazz club card
Michael Frank Jeffery was a Londoner who, after a spell in the British army, came north to study at Kings College, Newcastle. Outside of Newcastle, he is probably best known as being the man who managed both the Animals and Jimi Hendrix in the sixties and early seventies.

Over the years Mike Jeffery’s reputation has become tarnished by allegations that he fleeced the artists he was managing and more recently by an unproven accusation that he murdered Jimi Hendrix. However, had it not been for Mike Jeffery, there would have been no Club A’Gogo and the careers of many well known musicians may not have turned out the way they did.

His 1957 venture, the University Jazz Club did well as a music venue. The club was only nominally linked to the university, with the profits going into Mike Jeffery’s pocket.

Unlike the New Orleans Club, it catered for dancers as well as those people who just wanted to listen to jazz. The audience it attracted was younger than that of the New Orleans with a mixture of students and non-students. Although there were several large dance halls in the town such as the Oxford Galleries and the Majestic (where the Beatles had their first live appearance in the city), there were only a handful of small, more intimate venues around at that time.

In 1959 Mike Jeffery opened the Marimba Coffee Bar on High Bridge, Newcastle (near its junction with Grey Street). By day it served Italian food and snacks but between 8 and 12 on a night time it became a private membership club with jazz being served up by some of the best musicians around such as the Emcee 4, Tommy Henderson’s Latin American Group and the Bernie Thorpe Trio. Unofficially, the jazz sessions at the Marimba continued long after midnight.

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An advert for the Marimba featuring members of the Emcee 4

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Mike Jeffery outside the Marimba in 1960 with girlfriend Jenny Clarke (centre) and a Marimba employee, Mrs Spraggin (left) – more about Jenny below. (Photo courtesy of Tommy Henderson)

Mike Jeffery outside the Marimba in 1960 with girlfriend Jenny Clarke (centre) and a Marimba employee, Mrs Spraggin (left) – more about Jenny below. (Photo courtesy of Tommy Henderson)

In March 1960 Jeffery opened a larger licensed jazz venue in Carliol Square called the Downbeat Club, which started to attract a more fashionable clientele that that of the New Orleans. Eric Burdon of the Animals was a member of a crowd that used to hang out at the Downbeat. In one interview Burdon described his bunch of friends as “like a motorcycle gang …… without the motorcycles ……. they were tough, hard-drinking and listened to American music”.

7 downbeat club bernie

Downbeat Club pamphlet

Newspaper ad for Mike Jeffery’s Downbeat Club

Newspaper ad for Mike Jeffery’s Downbeat Club

The building that housed the Downbeat (entrance far left at the rear)

Newspaper ad for the Downbeat

Newspaper ad for the Downbeat

A few months after the Downbeat opened there were signs that Mike Jeffery intended to move away from jazz and cater more for an increasing number of rhythm and blues fans. In an interview with the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, Jeffery suggested that he would be introducing a blues night at the Downbeat featuring an R&B band consisting of guitars, piano and tenor sax. Around the same time, he introduced Saturday afternoon record sessions for teenagers at the club. The Downbeat eventually succumbed to rock and blues music featuring local bands such as the Alan Price Combo (originally the Pagans), the Kylastrons and a Whitley Bay band called the Invaders, the first ‘non-Jazz’ band to play there.

In spite of dwindling audiences at the New Orleans and at the Downbeat on jazz nights, there were still plenty of traditional (trad) jazz bands and modern jazz combos doing the rounds in the north east. In the wider world jazz was still thriving. For instance, in 1961 there were three jazz performers in the top 20 all at the same time – (Dave Brubeck, Kenny Ball and Acker Bilk).

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Birth of the Club A’Gogo

In 1962, probably partly from the proceeds of an insurance pay off from a fire at the Marimba, Mike Jeffery opened the Club A’Gogo in collaboration with another local businessman/entrepreneur called Ray Grehan who, at the time was the sales manager for a company named Automaticket.

The Club A’Gogo was situated on the top floor in a building on Percy Street in Newcastle’s Haymarket area above a canteen used by Newcastle Corporation bus crews. Another well known land mark of the era, The Handyside Arcade or Arcadia as it was sometimes called, was part of the same block. These buildings have long since been demolished and in their place stands the Eldon Garden Shopping Centre.

Percy Street in the seventies – entrance to the Gogo was by the doorway (bottom right)

Percy Street in the seventies – entrance to the Gogo was by the doorway (bottom right)

Another view of the building which housed the Gogo. The club was on the top floor and the stairs and lift leading to it were through the door between Faglemans and Halfords.

Another view of the building which housed the Gogo. The club was on the top floor and the stairs and lift leading to it were through the door between Faglemans and Halfords.

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A later view of the Gogo building before its demolition

Site of the Club A'Gogo on Percy Street in the noughties

Site of the Club A’Gogo on Percy Street in the noughties

When the Gogo first opened, Mike Jeffery booked a lot of the same bands and musicians that had played at the Marimba and the Downbeat such as the Emcee 5, the Invaders, Tommy Henderson and Alan Price.

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The Tommy Henderson Quartet (Tommy is on the right)

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An early advert for the Gogo

There were two rooms upstairs, initially managed by a gentleman called Bill Smith. On the right was the licensed “Jazz Lounge” where the Tommy Henderson combo started as the resident band. On the left was the unlicensed “Latin American Lounge” (later to be renamed the “Young Set”). The entrance downstairs was run by Keith Gibbon and Barbara Young with a guy called Paddy, an Irish ex-pro boxer in attendance.

As with his earlier ventures – the University Jazz Club and the Downbeat, which both had unlicensed sessions for teenagers under the legal drinking age, Mike Jeffery continued his policy of catering for both younger and older clientele by splitting the Gogo into the two discrete venues

The Young Set (originally named ‘The Latin American Lounge’)

The Young Set (originally named ‘The Latin American Lounge’)

Eric Burdon performing in the Jazz Lounge at the Gogo in his pre-Animal days (photo by Jim Perry)

Eric Burdon performing in the Jazz Lounge at the Gogo in his pre-Animal days (photo by Jim Perry)

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Initially, the Jazz Lounge was true to its name and featured mainly jazz acts. As well as local jazzmen such as Mike Carr, jazz groups from London such as such as the Tubby Hayes Quartet and the Alan Elsdon Jazz Band appeared there on a regular basis. However, by the end of 1962 and into 1963 jazz was definitely suffering a decline. Mike Carr’s Emcee 5 made their final appearance at the club in the summer of 1962 and by 1963 jazz was phased out completely, paving the way for touring American blues artist like John Lee Hooker and Sonny Boy Williamson. Gradually, the club would change to accommodate some of the great British groups that were emerging in the early sixties; bands like the Alex Harvey Soul Band, Graham Bond Organisation, Spencer Davis Group to name but a few.

Downbeat club regulars – the Invaders became the resident band in the Young Set. Dougie Vickers, who was the Invaders’ drummer, remembers the band auditioning for Mike Jeffery. The Invaders were offered the gig at the Club A’Gogo but only on the condition that they added a sax player to their line up. They promptly found a saxophonist and began playing in the Young Set on Wednesday, Friday, Saturdays and Sunday nights. The Saturday night sessions would start at 12.00 midnight and end at 4.00am. Dougie recalls that on some occasions the queue to get into the club stretched from the doorway in Percy Street around the corner to St James Park.

The Invaders - the first resident band in the Young Set (photo kindly supplied by Dougie Vickers, drums)

The Invaders – the first resident band in the Young Set (photo kindly supplied by Dougie Vickers, drums)

Club a'GoGo flyer from 1963

Club a’GoGo flyer from 1963

Due to the popularity of the Club A’Gogo in Newcastle, Mike Jeffery also opened a second Club A’Gogo at North Parade Whitley Bay on Friday 16th August 1963. Well known national groups were booked to appear at the Whitley Bay club as well as local favourites such as the Alan Price Rhythm & Blues Combo, the Invaders and the Kylastrons

In 1963, the Alan Price Rhythm & Blues Combo (later renamed The Animals) became the resident band in the Jazz Lounge and continued their residency throughout the summer and autumn of that year. In the latter half of 1963 they were beginning to come to the attention of several influential people on the London club scene.

Although MiKe Jeffery was not managing the Alan Price Rhythm & Blues Combo at this stage, he was their main employer in so much as the band played more at his clubs in Newcastle than at any other venues in the area. Had the band slipped off to London on their own, Jeffery may have lost them forever. Probably sensing that they were on the brink of success, Mike Jeffery drew up a management contract with the Alan Price Rhythm & Blues Combo and promptly packed them off to London for the ten weeks leading up to Christmas 1963 under their new name of The Animals where they appeared at various R&B clubs such as the Scene, Eel Pie Island and the Ricky Tick.

Animals a'gogo

Click here for a BBC Radio 2 article about the Animals and the Club A’Gogo.

Club a'GoGo flyer from 1963

Advert for the Whitley Bay Club A’Gogo

The Animals returned to the Gogo just after Christmas 1963 but due to their success in London they weren’t there very long and eventually their residency was taken over by the Junco Partners.

Gogo resident band from 1964 - the Junco Partners

Gogo resident band from 1964 – the Junco Partners

In the following newspaper article from 1992 Jenny Stewart (formerly Clarke) recalls her experiences at the Gogo and her friendship with Mike Jeffery: –

23A Echoes 12 May 1992 - 1A

23B Echoes 12 May 1992 - 2A

(click on the article to expand)

Mike Jeffery

Mike Jeffery

Mike Jeffery (pictured left) went on to manage Jimi Hendrix and many other bands including Soft Machine and Eire Apparent. At the same time he was involved in the running of several night clubs on the Spanish island of Majorca.

Mike Jeffery met an untimely death in 1973 when an Iberian Airways DC-9 plane bringing him back from a trip to Majorca collided with another plane over Nantes in western France. The accident occurred two and a half years after Jimi Hendrix’s death in London. Mike was on his way back from Palma to attend a Court hearing when he perished along with sixty other passengers and seven Spanish crew members in the crash. Read more about Mike Jeffery’s death here.

The following article about the Club A’Gogo and some of the north east bands that appeared at the club is from a the Courier (a Newcastle University publication) dated 8th October 1964: –

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Musician’s recollection of the Gogo

In an interview for Northstars, John Steele of the animals describes his early days at the Gogo: –

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John Steele at the Gogo circa 1962

“Well, it was very exciting and at the a’Gogo you had two rooms; you had a young set room and what was called the jazz lounge. Originally that was the sophisticated jazz lounge but that developed into us (the Animals) becoming the resident band, and after a while, the policy changed to more commercial music and it was just heaving, jumping and in the young set room you would have bands like the Rolling Stones, who would come in and check us out in the other room.

We would be in the jazz lounge backing John Lee Hooker or Sonny Boy Williamson; I’ve backed people like Tubby Hayes and Tony Coe and as well as playing with Eric (Burdon) before we were called the Animals. I also played with Mike Carr at times, playing straight jazz, so there was this beautiful mix of music – modern jazz, R & B and authentic blues men coming over from America, with the new British music going on in the room next door. It was jumping, a fantastic atmosphere. Yeah it was great.”

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In a 2010 interview, Eric Burdon was asked about his memories of the Club a’Gogo. This was what he said: –

“As soon as I finished my art studies, I was offered the job of designing the interior of a club project. It became the Club a Go-Go. It was my first and only job as a designer in the commercial world. The Club a Go-Go was a shining star of the northern British club world, which meant it also had to be a den of iniquity. It’s where the North East mob was born – they ran several clubs in the area. It was a mixture of teen heaven, with the devil running loose wielding a hatchet. It was the only place outside of one club in London that actually had a full-on gaming licence. It was very clear that the mob from London would take interest, as gaming back then was strictly controlled in England and only one club in London’s West End had been allowed the game of roulette. I have many great memories from Club A Go-Go. I remember when the late John Lee Hooker played there, he said to me: ‘Man, I’ve seen some wild stuff in my years but nothing like this. This is Newcastle Mississippi.’

Eric Burdon at the Club A'Gogo with Alan Price on piano

Eric Burdon at the Club A’Gogo with Alan Price on piano (photo by Jim Perry)

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Continuing with the same theme, here’s John Lee Hooker’s take on the Club A’Gogo, from extracts of his biography ‘Boogie Man’ by Charles Shaar Murray. John Lee Hooker recalls his first visit to the Gogo in 1964: –

” ‘You ever hear’a Newcastle?’ demands John Lee Hooker of a British acquaintance. The acquaintance fruitlessly racks his brain, mentally scrolling through a headful of half-forgot ten fragments of Delta lore. ‘Newcastle, Mississippi?’ he enquires eventually. Apparently not. ‘You ever been to Newcastle?’ Hooker asks again, somewhat impatiently this time. ‘Newcastle in Britain. Newcastle . . . boy, that was rough. There was a bar I played every night. It was rough.’

‘Was that the Club-A-Go-Go?’ the acquaintance asks, recalling a notorious dive founded in that fair city during the early ’60s – with decor designed by Eric Burdon, vocalist for the club’s original house band, the Animals – by Mike Jeffery, subsequently manager of the Animals and Jimi Hendrix. Hooker nods. ‘Fighting outside, ooohhhh! And inside. ‘Oh,’ I said, ‘that’s it. I ain’t gonna play here no more.’ They were fighting like dogs! Little kids carryin’ knives an’ all the rest of it. . . shit. Oh boy, it was rough. Everybody say, ‘Hey man, this ain’t nothin’, they fight here all the time.’ I say, ‘Yes, ’n I be in the middle of it!’

To most Brits, weaned on lurid horror stories of American inner-city violence, there is something almost ludicrous in the notion that someone who had survived in the Detroit ghetto, more or less unscathed, for a quarter-century or so, could possibly be taken aback by a bunch of beered-up teenage Geordies. Nevertheless, what’s familiar is often reassuring, even if it may seem scary to outsiders. And what’s unfamiliar is often what catches you unawares.”

Then about his second UK tour: –

“Meanwhile John Lee Hooker was poised for his second British tour of 1964. If Roy Fisher (the manager of the British band – The Groundhogs who backed Hooker on his first UK tour) is correct, Hooker’s long-held nervousness concerning Newcastle in general and Mike Jeffery’s Club-A-Go-Go in particular may have its roots in one specific occurence during this jaunt.

John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker

‘It was without a doubt the best place that John played,’ says Fisher. ‘Yes, it did have its rougher element and I think he was kind of nervous about that, but it was really, really good. He was nervous in crowds, and because of the hit record, most places were jam-packed. In Newcastle it was big, and there were about eight hundred people packed into this place, which at that time in a club was a lot of people. The dressing room wasn’t at the side of the stage, it was at the back in the managerial offices, so to get him on stage we had to push him through the crowd, so I guess that’s probably what he means. In retrospect, I don’t think it was as dramatic as he thought of it at the time. Me, who’s not too tall, and John, who’s very very small – five foot seven – it was a problem to get him on stage, because we didn’t have any assistance, which at the time pissed me off as well. I had to manoeuvre him through this crowd. It was the first time in the whole tour that he hadn’t been on time to go on stage; most times, unlike many of the other blues singers I can recall, he was always very punctual. The band went on, they played their set, then they would play his intro music and he’d be standing at the side of the stage and then he’d come on. The Geordie reaction was incredible.’”

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Another band that appeared at the Gogo in 1967 was Captain Beefheart. In his book about his days with Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band, drummer John ‘drumbo’ French recalls the visit to the club: –

“We became lost trying to find this club, as we had driven up from London. It was late afternoon when we finally asked directions. I recall rolling down the window and asking some fellow on the street if he’d heard of the place. He didn’t understand me. I said it again and his face lit up: “Oooh, the cloob a goo goo.” He went on and on about how to get there. The brogue to my untrained ear sounded Scottish. I didn’t understand a word he said but the driver got it all. I thanked him and we drove off to the club. It was a medium sized club with a lot of thick dark tables with initial carved in them, and the smell of ale permeating the whole building.

John 'Drumbo' French

John ‘Drumbo’ French

“John French: Do you remember playing in the Club A’Gogo in Newcastle?

Jerry Handley (Beefheart’s bass player): I remember Newcastle, that’s where the Animals were from originally.

John French: They sounded Scottish, they had very strong accents. There were knife marks all over the booths. It was a rough looking place. They carved their initials in all the booths.

“The performance that night was quite good. By this time we were into our stride. I think the main problem with the band was that Don (Captain Beefheart) didn’t like to tour or perform. However it was the best thing for us.”

New York skyline on the wall of the Jazz Lounge

New York skyline on the wall of the Jazz Lounge

Bryan Ferry

Bryan Ferry

In an interview on the ITV series ‘Northstars’ (broadcast in 2002), Bryan Ferry recalled seeing the Junco Partners at the Gogo and playing there with his own band – the Gas Board. He remembered carrying the band’s gear from the Young Set across the landing to the Jazz Lounge. Ferry described the atmosphere at the Gogo as heavily charged and said it was the best club he had been to. He also remembered that the walls of the Jazz Lounge had a day-glo mural of a New York skyline. In fact, he helped the artist, a David Sweetman with the painting. In Michael Bracewell’s book – ‘Roxy – the band that invented an era’, Ferry is quoted as saying:-

“The Club A’Gogo was great. That was near the bus station. You’d go up these stairs, past all these bus drivers and bus conductors who had a tea room or office there, and the club was at the top. It was in two sections; there was what they called “Young Set” and then there was the “Old Set” or “Jazz Set”. So you had to set up in one part of it for the first set, and then you had to move all your equipment through to the other side – there were two rooms, in other words, and the second was more sophisticated. The first was bigger, maybe.

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Myer Thomas

Later I saw all sorts of people there: Cream, the Spencer Davis Group, Wilson Pickett, Captain Beefheart – I was DJ at the club the night Beefheart played there.

There was this marvellous Jewish man called Myer Thomas, who was the boss of the A’Gogo. He was like a Sidney Greenstreet figure – this big, big man in a double-breasted suit. He was a great character – really scary. And some quite hard men used to go there – like gangsters; dressed in mohair suits, with beautiful girls – the best looking girls in Newcastle; quite tarty. It was really exciting – it felt really “It” to go there. beautiful girls …”

Also in the ‘Northstars’ interviews, Brian Johnson of AC/DC remembered seeing the Yardbirds at the Gogo but was kicked out as soon as Keith Relf appeared on stage because he was too young to be in the Jazz Lounge; Sting recalled seeing Jimi Hendrix and Rod Clements of Lindisfarne remembered being close to the stage when the likes of John Mayall and Alex Harvey appeared. He recalled meeting the same bunch of people around the stage area waiting for the bands to appear and remembered portraits of Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson and John Lee Hooker on the walls.

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Newcastle musician Gordon Sumner, better known as Sting recalls his teenage adventure at the Gogo: –

“The Club A Go-Go is above some shops in Percy Street, behind the Haymarket. It was originally a jazz club catering to the sophisticated tastes that developed in and around the university. The Go-Go is where the Animals had their residency before they hit the big time, and living proof that the Beatles miracle could be repeated, even in Newcastle. When I am fifteen years old, the first live band I ever see is there: the Graham Bond Organisation. It is a fortunate introduction. Graham Bond is a big -round–faced man with long greasy hair and a mandarin mustache. He plays Hammond organ and alto sax and sings in a gruff and passionate baritone. His band contains figures who will soon become legends: Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, who will become more famous as members of Cream, on bass and drums respectively, and Dick -Heckstall–Smith on tenor. The music is harsh and uncompromising and I’m not sure if I like it, but I have a strong sense that what is being played has a weight and a seriousness that will later be characterized and then caricatured as “heavy.” Graham Bond would later become obsessed with the occult and end his own life under a train in London’s Underground.

I go to see John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, again at the Go-Go, although I don’t remember which of their subsequently legendary guitarists was on duty that night. It certainly wasn’t Clapton, though it may have been Peter Green. But it wasn’t until December of that year that I really had my mind blown.

I would watch Top of the Pops with a religious devotion at 7:30 every Thursday evening. I loved this show with a passion. Almost forty years later I can still see a picture of the DJ, Jimmy Saville, standing in front of a large chart of the top twenty, circa 1966, and am able to sing a line from every entry. Such familiarity with the music of the time could not, however, have prepared me for the whirlwind, the tidal wave, the earthquake, the force of nature that was Jimi Hendrix.

Sting

Sting

The Jimi Hendrix Experience appeared on Top of the Pops in December of 1966 and changed everything. Hendrix had transformed “Hey Joe,” an old folk song, and propelled it by the elegant ferocity of his guitar playing into a sassy, bluesy vehicle of awesome power. His vocal was as sulky and offhand as it was passionate and openly sexual, and as the three-piece band stormed through the three minute song, I imagined everyone in whole country in front of their tellys sitting bolt upright in their chairs.

Wow! What the fuck was that?

It seemed only days later that he would be booked to appear at the Go-Go. The excitement in the town is palpable. I am technically too young to gain admission to a nightclub, but because of my height I can easily pass for eighteen. I have brought a change of clothes in my schoolbag, a pair of Levi’s and a white Ben Sherman shirt with a -button–down collar. These are the “coolest” clothes I have, and look fine under my school overcoat. I change out of my uniform in the toilets at the Central Station, trying not to breathe. The lavatory is foul with the pungent stench of urine and sadness. I dress with mesmeric slowness, not wanting to drop any of my clothes on the filthy floor, beneath a faded Ministry of Health poster warning of the dangers of VD. Some hope! I still haven’t come close to having sex. There are no girls at school, and most of my evenings are taken up traveling home on trains and buses. When I do get home, I usually have a punitive amount of work to do, and when on those rare opportunities I do meet girls I am painfully shy and haven’t a clue what to say. But the other reason is music; I already have my passion. I stow my bag in the lockers at the station and set off at a brisk pace for Percy Street, breathing in the crisp air of the evening in grateful gulps and anticipating something extraordinary.

There is a long queue stretching around the corner. I tuck myself into the end of the line and wait. I imagine I’m one of the youngest people there, although my height allows me some anonymity in the crowd. They are mainly boys, dressed much the same as me, although a few dandified “exotics” have managed to purchase Afghan coats and are sporting droopy Zapata moustaches and spiffy desert boots. The girls all have the same style, hair parted severely in the middle and falling in lank sheets to the shoulders of black leather coats. There is an atmosphere of seriousness, though, that pervades the crowd, as if we are about to witness an event of high cultural significance. Hendrix will play two sets. I manage to scrape in for the first one, which is fortunate, as I would have had to find some convincing excuse to stay out so late for the second. My parents have no idea where I am, and I have no wish to tell them. One of the dividends of my alienation is that I don’t have much explaining to do and am pretty much left to my own devices.

The club is tiny and I secure a pitch for myself halfway between the stage and the back wall. I will have no trouble seeing. The band of course are late. The crowd waits patiently.

They say that ‘if you remember the sixties, then you weren’t there’.

Well, much the same could be said of this gig. The Jimi Hendrix Experience was an overwhelming, deafening wave of sound that simply obliterated analysis. I think I remember snatches of “Hey Joe” and “Foxy Lady,” but that event remains a blur of noise and breathtaking virtuosity, of Afro’d hair, wild clothes, and towers of Marshall amplifiers. It was also the first time I’d ever seen a black man. I remember Hendrix creating a hole in the plaster ceiling above the stage with the head of his guitar, and then it was over.”

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Membership card for the Jazz Lounge circa 1967

Membership card for the Jazz Lounge circa 1967

The Junco Partners, who took over as the Gogo’s resident house band after the Animals, know as much about the club as anyone. There’s a couple of videos on the Juncos’ MySpace page in which a members revisit and talk about the club. Click on the link below to access the videos. (You’ll need to click on the video links on the MySpace right hand side bar to get the videos to play.)

Juncos MySpace videos

During his short career, Jimi Hendrix only played a handful of gigs in the north east. One of them was at the Club a’GoGo on 10 March 1967, a week before the release of ‘Purple Haze’. His first hit -‘Hey Joe’ had first appeared in the charts 3 months earlier. By the time of the GoGo gig, Hendrix had built up a solid reputation in the music press and was receiving accolades from famous musicians, such as Mick Jagger.

25 Go go hendrix

Hendrix played two sets at the Club A’Gogo; the first in the Young Set and then a late set in the Jazz Lounge. Five weeks earlier he had played at the Cellar Club in South Shields and had surprised the audience by ramming his guitar into the ceiling above the stage. Hendrix repeated the stunt at the Gogo and left his guitar suspended in the hole he made in the ceiling.

Alan Price and Eric Burdon wrote a song about the Club a’Gogo for the Animals.

The lyrics are as follows: –

“My baby found a new place to go
Hangs around town at the Club-a-gogo
Takes all my money for the picture show
But I know she spends it at the club-a-gogo
Let’s go babe, let’s go, I love you, come on, yeah!

It’s one of the coolest spots in town
You take too much tho’ it’s bound to get you down
She’s got a boy-friend they call Big Joe
He’s a big shot at the club-a-gogo
Babe, come on, let’s go, let’s go babe, yeah!

Now they play the blues there every day and every night
Everybody monkeys and they feel alright
Ask my friend, Myer he’ll tell you so
That there ain’t no place like the club-a-gogo
Let’s go babe, ah let’s go, come on it’s alright, s’alright, s’alright
Yeah!

I guess I can’t blame her for goin’ up there tho’
The place is full of soul, heart and soul, baby
It’s alright dad, John Lee Hooker, Jerome Green,
Rolling Stones, Memphis Slim up there, Jimmy Reed too baby,
Sonny Boy Williamson baby”

The “Myer’ mentioned in the third verse is, of course, Myer Thomas. As for the “Big Joe” in verse two; this is what Eric Burdon had to say about the song in an interview for the New Musical Express in February 1965: –

” ‘There is no Big Joe’ said Eric. There was a slight lull in the conversation as he reflected slowly. ‘Y’know, there is a guy called ‘Dave’ – he’s the fastest thing on two legs I’ve ever seen when it comes to a scrap.’ He (Eric) climbed into his sheepskin and made for the door. ‘He’d make a very interesting match for Cassius. I’d put money on Dave, he’s the greatest!’ “.

Anyone who went to the Gogo at that time would know Eric Burdon was referring to bouncer, Dave Finlay.

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Club goers’ recollections

My own personal experiences of the Club A’Gogo were limited to a handful of gigs I did there and late night visits to the Jazz Lounge; I played there, both in the Young Set and the Jazz Lounge with two bands; the Jazzboard and the Village. The first time I played there was with the Jazzboard two days before Christmas in 1965. The place was absolutely crammed and there was an electric atmosphere, in particular in the Jazz Lounge. I’d not been to the club before and this initial visit gave me a real taste for the place. Unfortunately, due to band commitments and the fact I lived in Sunderland, I was never a regular weekly visitor to the club but when I was with the Jazzboard in 1966 we often went to the Jazz Lounge after our own gigs in the Newcastle area had finished. Some of the bands I saw at these late night sessions were Graham Bond, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers (with Eric Clapton), Geno Washington and not forgetting Newcastle’s favourite band, The Junco Partners.

Newspaper ad for the Gogo

Newspaper ad for the Gogo

Around this time, there used to be a black guy who sat in with a lot of the visiting bands on conga drums. I think he must have kept his drums at the club and brought them out if he got the nod from the band. The stage in the Jazz Lounge wasn’t very high and you could get quite close to the musicians.

People who frequented the Gogo in the sixties will also remember some of the characters who worked at the club. Tommy Crumb, a bald guy who usually wore a leather coat, looked after the door on ground level with several others. The club in general was run by Myer Thomas who is mentioned by name in the Animals song ‘Club a’GoGo’.

28 dave finlay bw

Dave Finlay

Amongst other things, Myer Thomas (mentioned by Bryan Ferry above) used to manage the stage logistics and the smooth running of the bands’ performances. I can remember him once telling off our keyboard player, Jimmy Hall, for smoking on stage. Other names that people remember as working at the club were Big Phil, Keith Crombie and Keith Young.

A couple of the better known bouncers were the Finlay brothers – Dave and Tommy. I recall waiting to go into the club late one night when a guy came running out of the door hotly pursued by Dave Finlay. The guy ran along Percy Street and Dave tried to head him off by jumping onto the bonnets and roofs of a row of parked cars.

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Ex-club goers that have contributed to the Chronicle Live site remember the mod clothes – herringbone jackets and hush puppies and other gear brought from City Stylish. Another shop that sold clothing to the Newcastle mods was Marcus Price who had a shop a few doors along from the Club A’Gogo. Here is an extract from Michael Bracewell’s book – ‘Roxy – the band that invented an era’. Marcus Price says:-

“Mike Jeffery , who actually owned the A’Gogo had done social studies at university. He then had an older man who fronted it, who was from a retail background – Myer Thomas; he had a deadpan manner, and used to pop into the shop for ties. Initially Mike had a coffee house, and then he translated that into a club – the A’Gogo. He was up-to-the-minute you see.

29 marcus-price 3The A’Gogo became a bit like the Cavern in Liverpool. Women’s styles at the club varied – some of it was flash Newcastle, but a lot of the time it was just sweaters and jeans. Slightly better dressed in the older “Lounge” section. The hair was that Kathy McGowan kind of thing. Black pullovers. Ben Sherman shirt dresses. Little Levi jackets ….

They put on a lot of American stuff – John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson – mainly blues. Then we had the local stuff – the Animals, of course. Also Long John Baldry, Rod Stewart when he was just starting off, Julie Driscoll, Eric Clapton. The Junco Partners were the resident group..”

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From the same book, artist Stephen Buckley who was at university with Bryan Ferry recalls: –

“The premises of the A’Gogo must have been a warehouse of some sort, originally. There were two very large dance areas, coming up from a central staircase, and there was a vicarious danger about it, as well. I suppose I went there three or four times a week; and it had a late night license. But curiously enough it was the dancing that was the thing, rather than the drinking. One wasn’t getting drunk, one was dancing. I saw the Stones and the Who.”

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Fellow artist Tim head, who was also part of Ferry’s crowd says: –

“We used to go to this wonderful club, the A’Gogo, which was very near the university in the Haymarket. That’s where all the R&B bands would play – I saw Hendrix play there; in fact he came back to a student party with us. Bryan did some DJ’ing there later.

They specialised in R&B – Geno Washington, the Who. The Club A’Gogo had these steep steps going up to it, and I remember a guy being pulled out by the bouncers – as I was going back into the club this poor guy was being hurled down the stairs and thrown into the street.”

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Avril Leitch recalls clubbing at both the Downbeat and the Gogo: –

Our Saturday nights started at The Muscle-In under the railway arches, then the Club a’Gogo until midnight then we’d follow the Animals to the Downbeat before walking home at around 5am. across the Town Moor.

The Downbeat became a bit of a druggy place with ‘bodies’ lying around the floor. But the Animals were brilliant – each number would last about ten minutes. The walls were painted red or black and the light bulbs were black.

The Club a’Gogo was certainly the place to be and I remember preferring listening to the Animals in one room than to the Rolling Stones in the other. There was a bit of a gambling room in one corner, I remember. The Stones were new boys then – I danced with Mick Jagger!

Our hands were painted with invisible ink so we could come and go without having to pay again.”

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Anne Wilson (previously Cotton) recalls some of her experiences at the Gogo: –

“My twin sister and I went to the Gogo from 1962 then for a short period, to the Downbeat. Once we started going to the Gogo again we just couldn’t stop. We were known for our dancing. If you went to the Gogo you’d remember us. Sometimes a record was put on as request for ‘the Cotton twins’ because no one was dancing and we never minded being the only ones on the floor. It would encourage others to get up and the evening would start.

The Gogo was our lives. We went there at least three times a week . Over the years we made many new friends so having no one to go to the club with was never a problem. You’d walk in and were bound to meet up with someone you knew.

I’ve read articles about people who supposedly went to the club but no one mentions ‘Frenchy’. I find that strange. He certainly was a big part of the Gogo scene as well as the Finlays. The last time I saw Frenchy was 1966 in the Quay Club. I’d heard he was going to prison. He certainly didn’t look happy.

Of course you can never talk about the Gogo and not mention the Junco Partners. They were so good. We had great evenings dancing to their music. First in the ‘Young-set’ and later in the Jazz Lounge.

Membership card for the Young Set from around 1967

Membership card for the Young Set from around 1967

There were many very special evenings when groups got together and played together. I remember Long John Baldry and the Spence Davis Group (before they were famous). We were really annoyed that we had to queue outside ‘our’ club to see a group we’d been listening to for quite a while. Of course fame also meant they stopped coming.

The night the Stones came to the Gogo Mike Jeffery told everyone to leave them alone as they’d come to enjoy themselves. Later that night we were asked if we wanted to go to a party and were taken in a jeep to what was then The Quay Club – but it wasn’t open at that stage. We sat at the same table as all the Stones, everyone talking away and left at 4.30. It was something to talk about at Art College the next day. Whether anybody believed me or not is another thing!”

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Alan Brack, a regular at the Club A’Gogo, remembers the club more for the DJs and the records they played than the bands that appeared there. Here’s what Alan has to say about the Gogo:

“It was by far the greatest club in the UK, even the planet for that matter and that’s an understatement! The Marquee (London), Pink Flamingo (London) … Twisted Wheel (Manchester), Mojo (Sheffield) etc. etc. – eat ya heart out! We all know about the list of every great band or artist that played there but sadly we tend not to mention the awesome, overwhelming, mesmerising dance and soul music that shook and vibrated the club dance floor to its foundations! Many a time the club members would be disappointed when the DJ switched off the music and announced the next act no matter who it was and that’s a fact. They were still in groove for the next belter. How on earth could an act follow the scintillating, fabulous, obscure rare foot stomping shattering soul / ska / Stax/ rhythm & blues music? – No contest!

Here’s a few unquestionable examples that shook that floor to its foundations Don Covay (Sookie Sookie); Rufus Thomas (Willy Nilly); Homer Banks (Sixty Minutes Of Your Love) – by far the best soul song ever; Willie Mitchell (Ever Things Gonna Be All Right); Shorty Long (Function At The Junction and his fantastic Shantilly Lace); Soul Brothers 6 (Some Kind Of Wonderful); William Bell (Never Like This Before ); Sam & Dave (You Got Me Hummin’).

The most anticipated and probably the best gig there was Hendrix. Only his Woodstock appearance eclipsed that unforgettable night at the Gogo. Some other great gigs were when the great Robert Parker played there in September 1966. Also that month Cream played their first Newcastle gig at the GoGo – I can remember the poster. I can also remember when Johhny Kidd from the Pirates died and the DJ played tribute.

I still stand by my word that this club was a venue that was noted mainly for the music played by the DJs – amazing obscure floor shattering mesmerising dance belters. That’s what made this legendary club.”

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Another ex-Gogo regular remembers manager, Myer Thomas at the time that the Animal’s ‘House of the Rising Sun’ had been released. Every night he would announce its progress up the charts. Myer eventually moved out to Majorca where Mike Jeffery together with Keith Gibbon opened a night club named Sergeant Peppers in the Plaza Gomilla, Palma.

ChronicleLive, often features people’s memories of the life and times of the Gogo and is well worth checking out.

spencer davis gogo poster
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The demise of the Club A’Gogo

I haven’t been able to establish the exact date that the Gogo closed its doors for the final time. According to Jenny Clarke’s newspaper article, Mike Jeffery’s regime ended when the Gogo went into receivership in 1965 and was sold the following year. The club continued under new management for at least another two years.

In an article in the Sunday Sun dated 1988 about Ray Grehan, Mike Jeffery’s original business partner, Grehan said that he purchased the club from Mike Jeffery when Jeffery went to America with The Animals. During the time that Ray Grehan was allegedly the sole owner of the Gogo, he was heavily involved in setting up casinos and gambling establishments all over the country so it is likely that he left the day-to-day running of the club, including the booking of bands to someone else.

According to one contributor to the Chronicle Live site, the Gogo lost its popularity after the opening of Sloopy’s (formerly La Dolce Vita) and this forced its closure. The closure probably took place at the end of 1968 or in the first few months of 1969. I certainly remember seeing ex-Gogo doorman, Dave Finlay working at the Crescendo Club, Whitley Bay in the Summer of 1969.

For some the spirit of the Club A’Gogo died a lot earlier than 1969. In a television interview, Ronnie Barker, vocalist with the Junco Partners, recalled the demise of the Gogo: –

“Well the Club A’Gogo only really had a period of about four years that was its heyday. Sixty three, four, five, six and the management changed hands round about sixty seven. And after that the artistic control or whatever you want to call it just went out of the window, they started booking sub-standard acts.”

Club A'Gogo flyer

Club A’Gogo flyer

The GoGo is best remembered for its intimate atmosphere and for the great bands that appeared there in its heydays of the mid-sixties. Here are some of the bands and artists that appeared at the Gogo: –

Gogo composite 2

32 GoGo cutting 2
• Alan Bown Set
• Alan Price
• Alex Harvey
• Alexis Korner
• Amen Corner
• Brian Auger’s Trinity (with Julie Driscoll)
• Captain Beefheart
• Cream
• Garnet Mimms
• Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band
• Graham Bond Organisation
• Herman’s Hermits
• Hollies
• Howlin’ Wolf
• Ike and Tina Turner
• Jeff Beck
• Jimi Hendrix
• Jimmy James & the Vagabonds
• John Lee Hooker
• John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
• Long John Baldry
• Lulu
• Mary Wells
• Memphis Slim
• Moody Blues
• Pink Floyd
• P J Proby
• Rolling Stones
• Root & Jenny Jackson
• Screaming Jay Hawkins
• Shotgun Express
• Sonny Boy Williamson
• Spencer Davis Group
• Status Quo
• Steam Packet (with Rod Stewart)
• T Bone Walker
• The Animals
• The Family
• The Herd (with Peter Frampton)
• The Move
• The Who
• Walker Brothers
• Wilson Pickett
• Yardbirds
• Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band

Gogo composite 1

club agogo john mayell

33 GoGo cutting35 Gogo2

34 Gogo1

Here are some Gogo gig dates: –

1964

Date Main act Support act
Fri 07/02/64 Graham Bond Organisation
Fri 05/06/64 John Lee Hooker
Fri 16/10/64 Boomerangs VIPs
Sat 17/10/64 Boomerangs VIPs
Tue 20/10/64 Von Dykes
Thu 22/10/64 Aztecs
Fri 23/10/64 Artwoods Aztecs
Sat 24/10/64 Artwoods Aztecs
Tue 27/10/64 Junco Partners
Thu 29/10/64 VIPs
Fri 30/10/64 Ivan Dee Juniors Habits
Sat 31/10/64 Ivan Dee Juniors Habits
Mon 02/11/64 Junco Partners
Thu 05/11/64 VIPs Junco Partners
Fri 06/11/64 Ivan Dee & The Juniors The Habits
Sat 07/11/64 Ivan Dee & The Juniors The Habits
Sun 08/11/64 Outlines
Thu 12/11/64 Kris Ryan & The Questions
Fri 13/11/64 Bits And Pieces
Sat 14/11/64 Junco Partners
Sun 15/11/64 Junco Partners
Wed 18/11/64 Junco Partners
Thu 19/11/64 Outlines
Fri 20/11/64 Jimmy Reed Groundhogs & Junco Partners
Sat 21/11/64 Mr Smith & Sum People Junco Partners
Tue 24/11/64 Junco Partners
Tue 01/12/64 Junco Partners
Thu 03/12/64 Downbeats
Fri 04/12/64 Spencer Davis Group
Sat 05/12/64 Spencer Davis Group The Keys
Sun 06/12/64 Junco Partners
Tue 08/12/64 Junco Partners
Wed 09/12/64 Junco Partners
Thu 10/12/64 The Manchester Playboys
Fri 11/12/64 The Manchester Playboys The Continentals
Sat 12/12/64 Victor Brox The Continentals
Thu 24/12/64 Junco Partners

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1965

Fri 15/01/65 Junco Partners
Thu 21/01/65 Junco Partners
Sun 31/01/65 Junco Partners
Wed 03/02/65 Outlines
Thu 04/02/65 Junco Partners
Fri 05/02/65 Alex Harvey Soul Band Vondykes & The Downbeats
Wed 10/02/65 Rue & The Rockets
Thu 11/02/65 Downbeats Junco Partners
Fri 12/02/65 The Unknowns Outlines
Sat 13/02/65 Spencer Davis Group VIPs
Wed 17/02/65 Junco Partners
Thu 18/02/65 Stormsville Shakers
Sat 20/02/65 Beauty And The R&B Beat McKinlay Sisters
Sun 21/02/65 Junco Partners
Thu 25/02/65 Junco Partners
Fri 26/02/65 Screaming Jay Hawkins
Sat 27/02/65 VIPs Continentals
Thu 04/03/65 The Colts
Fri 05/03/65 Jimmy Powell & The Dimension Junco Partners
Sat 06/03/65 Jimmy Powell & The Dimension Kris Ryan & The Questions
Wed 10/03/65 The Gogo’s
Thu 11/03/65 John McCoys Crawdaddies
Fri 12/03/65 The Cheynes Dawnbreakers
Sat 13/03/65 The Cheynes St Louis Union
Sun 14/03/65 Junco Partners
Wed 17/03/65 Outlines
Thu 18/03/65 Junco Partners
Fri 19/03/65 Tomcats Kubas
Sat 20/03/65 T Bone Walker
Sun 21/03/65 Junco Partners
Sun 28/03/65 Junco Partners
Tue 13/04/65 Stormsville Shakers
Thu 15/04/65 Junco Partners
Thu 22/04/65 Junco Partners
Tue 11/05/65 Junco Partners
Thu 13/05/65 Junco Partners
Fri 28/05/65 Stormsville Shakers
Thu 10/06/65 Junco Partners
Thu 01/07/65 Junco Partners
Thu 08/07/65 Junco Partners
Sat 10/07/65 Junco Partners
Thu 15/07/65 Junco Partners
Wed 13/10/65 Wynder K Frogg
Thu 14/10/65 Mickey Finn
Fri 15/10/65 Outer Limits
Sat 16/10/65 Shevelles Junco Partners
Wed 20/10/65 Kubas
Thu 21/10/65 Ivan’s Meads
Fri 22/10/65 Invaders
Sat 23/10/65 Zoot Money & The Big Roll Band Dawnbreakers
Wed 27/10/65 Chosen Few
Thu 28/10/65 Junco Partners
Fri 29/10/65 Jimmy Powell
Sat 30/10/65 John Mayall
Wed 03/11/65 Pathfinders
Thu 04/11/65 Junco Partners
Fri 05/11/65 Derrie Wilkie
Sat 06/11/65 John Lee & The Groundhogs Derrie Wilkie
Wed 10/11/65 Dawnbreakers
Thu 11/11/65 John McCoys Crawdaddies
Fri 12/11/65 Stormsville Shakers
Sat 13/11/65 Steam Packet Outer Limits
Wed 17/11/65 Invaders
Thu 18/11/65 Wilson Pickett
Fri 19/11/65 Earl Preston
Sat 20/11/65 Spencer Davis Group Junco Partners
Sun 21/11/65 Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds
Wed 24/11/65 Junco Partners
Thu 25/11/65 John McCoys Crawdaddies
Fri 26/11/65 Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band
Sat 27/11/65 Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds
Wed 01/12/65 Wynder K Frog
Thu 02/12/65 Junco Partners
Fri 03/12/65 Master Minds
Sat 04/12/65 Shevells Mickey Finn
Wed 08/12/65 Invaders
Thu 09/12/65 Just Four Men
Fri 10/12/65 VIPs
Sat 11/12/65 The Links The Tabs
Thu 23/12/65 Jazzboard

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1966

Wed 19/01/66 Warriors
Thu 20/01/66 Spencer Davis Group
Fri 21/01/66 Invaders
Sat 22/01/66 Dawnbreakers Junco Partners
Wed 26/01/66 Ivan’s Meads
Thu 27/01/66 Graham Bond Organisation
Fri 28/01/66 Washington DCs
Sat 29/01/66 John Mayall Junco Partners
Wed 02/02/66 Blue Chips
Thu 03/02/66 Steam Packet
Fri 04/02/66 Alan Price Set
Sat 05/02/66 Shevells Crying Shame
Wed 09/02/66 Gas Board
Thu 10/02/66 Outer Limits
Fri 11/02/66 VIPs
Sat 12/02/66 Jimmy James & The Vagabonds Pathfinders
Sun 13/02/66 Steam Packet
Wed 16/02/66 Dawnbreakers
Thu 17/02/66 The Who
Fri 18/02/66 Warriors
Sat 19/02/66 John Lee’s Groundhogs
Wed 23/02/66 Dawnbreakers
Thu 24/02/66 Pathfinders
Fri 25/02/66 Gas Board
Sat 26/02/66 Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band Dawnbreakers
Wed 02/03/66 Gregg Burman Soul Band
Thu 03/03/66 Georgie Fame
Fri 04/03/66 Dawn Breakers
Sat 05/03/66 John Mayall Invaders
Wed 09/03/66 Outer Limits
Thu 10/03/66 John McCoy’s Crawdaddies
Fri 11/03/66 Spencer Davis Group
Sat 12/03/66 Jimmy Cliff & The New Generation
Thu 17/03/66 Jazzboard
Sat 19/03/66 Zoot Money
Wed 27/04/66 Invaders
Thu 28/04/66 John Mayall
Fri 29/04/66 Pathfinders
Sat 30/04/66 Herbie Goins & The Night Timers The Score
Wed 04/05/66 Herbie Goins & The Night Timers The Score
Thu 05/05/66 Alan Price Set
Thu 04/08/66 Stormsville Shakers
Wed 07/09/66 John Evan Band (pre- Jethro Tull)
Thu 29/09/66 Stormsville Shakers
Wed 05/10/66 Rhythm & Blues Incorporated
Thu 06/10/66 Junco Partners
Fri 07/10/66 Robert Parker
Sat 08/10/66 Hideaways Chosen Few
Wed 12/10/66 The Family
Thu 13/10/66 Cream
Fri 14/10/66 Julian Covay & The Machine
Sat 15/10/66 VIPs John Evans Band
Wed 19/10/66 Warriors
Thu 20/10/66 TD Bacus & The Powerhouse
Fri 21/10/66 Lemon Line
Sat 22/10/66 Shevelles Gas Board
Wed 26/10/66 Junco Partners
Thu 27/10/66 The Wild Uncertainty The Measles
Fri 28/10/66 Outrage
Sat 29/10/66 Washington DCs The Sect
Wed 02/11/66 Victor Brox
Thu 03/11/66 Graham Bond Organisation
Fri 04/11/66 Jimmy Williams & The West Coast Sound
Sat 05/11/66 Outer Limits Dawn Breakers
Wed 09/11/66 Wynder K Frog
Thu 10/11/66 The Family
Fri 11/11/66 Wimple Winch
Sat 12/11/66 Tony Knight & The Chessmen The Elcort
Wed 16/11/66 The Sect
Thu 17/11/66 The Measles
Fri 18/11/66 Alan Price Set
Sat 19/11/66 TD Bacus & The Powerhouse Junco Partners
Wed 23/11/66 The Warriors
Thu 24/11/66 Brian Auger Trinity with Julie Driscoll
Fri 25/11/66 Dark Ages
Sat 26/11/66 Washington DCs Gas Board
Wed 30/11/66 The Hideaways
Thu 01/12/66 Cliff Bennet & The Rebel Rousers
Fri 02/12/66 John McCoy’s Crawdaddies
Sat 03/12/66 The Roll Movement John Evans Band
Wed 07/12/66 The Time Box
Thu 08/12/66 Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band
Fri 09/12/66 Tony Merit Scene
Sat 10/12/66 Junco Partners Dave Antony’s Moods
Thu 15/12/66 Family
Sat 31/12/66 Shotgun Express

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1967

Wed 18/01/67 Dawnbreakers
Thu 19/01/67 The Taggery
Fri 20/01/67 Cream
Sat 21/01/67 Washington DCs Cockertops
Wed 25/01/67 The Tricity Clan
Thu 26/01/67 Deep Feeling
Fri 27/01/67 Time Box
Sat 28/01/67 Zoot Money
Wed 01/02/67 The Peeps
Thu 02/02/67 Three At Last (featuring Alexis Korner)
Fri 03/02/67 Outer Limits
Sat 04/02/67 Root & Jenny Jackson Lemon Line
Wed 08/02/67 Junco Partners
Thu 09/02/67 The Webb
Fri 10/02/67 The Measels
Sat 11/02/67 Amboy Dukes Gas Board
Wed 15/02/67 Raging Storm
Thu 16/02/67 Alan Bown Set
Fri 17/02/67 Jimmy Williams & The West Coast Sound
Sat 18/02/67 VIPs The Rakes
Thu 23/02/67 TD Bacus & The Power House
Wed 01/03/67 Cheshire Cats
Thu 02/03/67 The Gass
Fri 03/03/67 Long John Baldry & The Bluesology
Sat 04/03/67 Alex Harvey
Wed 08/03/67 The Exception
Thu 09/03/67 Manchester Playboys
Fri 10/03/67 The Jimi Hendrix Exoerience
Sat 11/03/67 Root & Jenny Jackson Tony Merrick Scene
Wed 15/03/67 The Dawnbreakers
Thu 16/03/67 Jimmy James & the Vagabonds
Fri 17/03/67 The Warriors
Sat 8/03/67 Jimmy Cliff Outer Limits
Mon 27/03/67 The Artwoods
Fri 14/04/67 Pink Floyd
Sat 15/04/67 Rick ‘n’ Beckers Gas Board
Fri 21/04/67 Mary Wells
Wed 03/05/67 Outer Limits
Thu 04/05/67 New Formula
Fri 05/05/67 Long John Baldry
Sat 06/05/67 Tropical Boot Co Skip Bifferty
Fri 19/05/67 Pink Floyd
Sat 01/07/67 The Family
Wed 11/10/67 Dimples
Thu 12/10/67 Simon Dupree
Fri 13/10/67 The Outlines
Sat 14/10/67 Diane Serris
Fri 20/10/67 Cream
Wed 08/11/67 Robert Plant & The Explosion
Thu 09/11/67 The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Fri 10/11/67 Richard G Simpson
Sat 11/11/67 Family New Blues Revue
Wed 15/11/67 The Power House
Thu 16/11/67 Jeff Beck
Fri 17/11/67 Skip Bifferty
Sat 18/11/67 Savoy Brown Blues Bnad John Lewis Band
Wed 22/11/67 Reg James Explosion
Thu 23/11/67 Cream
Fri 24/11/67 John Lewis Blues Band
Sat 25/11/67 Washington DCs The Links
Mon 04/12/67 Eric Burdon and the Animals
Thu 07/12/67 Jimmy James & The Vagabonds
Wed 13/12/67 The Breakthrough
Thu 14/12/67 The Animals
Fri 15/12/67 Grannies Intention
Sat 16/12/67 Ellison Hog Line
Fri 22/12/67 Long John Baldry

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1968

Wed 24/01/68 The Descenders
Thu 25/01/68 The Herd
Fri 26/01/68 The Scream
Sat 27/01/68 The Action
Wed 31/01/68 Cal Gary Stampede
Thu 01/02/68 Alan Bown
Fri 02/02/68 Real McCoy
Sat 03/02/68 Ainsley Dunbar Retalliation
Wed 07/02/68 The Peeps
Thu 08/02/68 G G Brown Soul Bnad
Fri 09/02/68 Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds
Sat 10/02/68 Joe E Young & The Tonics Hylton Ks
Wed 14/02/68 Sweet Expression
Thu 15/02/68 Gospel Garden
Fri 16/02/68 Family
Sat 17/02/68 Amboy Dukes Junco Partners
Wed 21/02/68 Magic Roundabout
Thu 22/02/68 Hilton Ks
Fri 23/02/68 Robert Parker
Sat 24/02/68 Ellisons Hogline John Lewis Blues Band
Wed 28/02/68 Sir Percy & The Riot Squad
Thu 29/02/68 Lemon Line
Fri 01/03/68 The Merseys
Sat 02/03/68 Lou Prince & The Bedrocks
Wed 06/03/68 The Power House
Fri 08/03/68 Herbie Goins & The Night-Timers
Sat 09/03/68 Elmer Ganntry’s Velvet Opera
Wed 13/03/68 Midnite Train
Thu 14/03/68 Status Quo
Fri 15/03/68 Mr Poohba’s Chicago Line
Sat 16/03/68 Root & Jenny Jackson The Links
Fri 22/03/68 The Herd
Thu 04/04/68 John Mayall
Sat 20/04/68 Village
Thu 02/05/68 The Ronettes
Sat 04/05/68 Lou Prince & The Bedrocks John Lewis Blues
Thu 09/05/68 Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band
Thu 06/06/68 John Mayall
Thu 01/08/68 Stormsville Shakers
Sat 12/10/68 Stormsville Shakers
  1. tina fortune

    August 30, 2013 •

    I remember The Pretty Things among others whose names will no doubt come back to me...memories memories..

  2. tina fortune

    August 30, 2013 •

    People rarely believe just how many amazing people we met and shared a table with in those days...most of us sang and/or played in groups (those of us at Art School anyway ! Does anyone remember Frank White who was one-time manager of The Gas Board?

  3. John Stewart

    August 31, 2013 •

    Marvellous memories. Thank you Roger for your hard work in putting this all together.

  4. Dave Berry

    September 6, 2013 •

    I was a disc jockey at the Gogo, remember Jenny, Myer, the Juncos, of course the Animal. But as I remember it, because I helped him, Big Phil was the artist who produced the back-wall mural, and it was New Orleans, not New York. I know 'coz I was passing that city three years ago, and suddenly recognized the skyline. Great days, y'all, and I miss you. 'specially Tommy Crumb - love you Tommy- where's you black leather jacket?

    Anyone remember the long haired female DJ we gave ex-lax to? Mary Klegg, I think.

    And how about Dickie Bainbridge?

    Love to hear from any of you. biggles800@aol.com

  5. P.Whinham

    September 14, 2013 •

    I went regular to the GoGo and I hate to be the messenger of bad news but Fleetwood Mac, NEVER played the GoGO. Mic Fleetwood did John Mcvie did but they were in the John Mayal Bluesbreakers. When Eric Clapton left the Bluesbreakers with Ginger Baker to form Cream, John Mayal found a young 17 year old to take Eric's place,which was Peter Green, one night Peter was waiting for Mic and John coming back from were ever they had been,(magical mystery tour!!!)he was doing a few rifts and created an instrumental and called it Fleetwood Mac. When they left the Bluesbreakers they were called Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac but they NEVER played the GoGo as Fleetwood Mac. I checked with my good friend David Findlay who was there from day one and he confirms this.

  6. Sara

    September 16, 2013 •

    Haha what a joke u put dave findlay on here as a hero hes nothin but a thug and a wife beater

  7. Roger

    September 16, 2013 •

    There's nothing on the page to suggest that Dave Finlay is a 'hero'. He's as much a part of the history of the Club A'Gogo as all the other people mentioned and that's the only reason he has been included.

  8. Helene67

    September 20, 2013 •

    Brilliant work, research and photos of ticket stubbs and of past groups and so much more...wow very impressive. As a HUGE Eric Burdon and the Animals fan -this means a lot. Well done.

    Australia says thank you

  9. john stewart

    October 1, 2013 •

    Remember being a student at Ridley Hall, Bardon Mill in 1967 and coming in to see Cream - 6 of us in my Mini (when Minis were really minis!). Don't know how we got back. Remember Ginger Baker throwing his drumsticks around and Clapton's afro hair. Also remember taking my first girlfriend Shona to the Young Set much against my parents recommendation that we go for a coffee! Brilliant days/nights.

  10. john stewart

    October 1, 2013 •

    ps, I'm no relation to the other John Stewart posted on August 31st!!

  11. Dave Raven

    October 12, 2013 •

    Here's that fabulous Jazz lounge wall part painted by Bryan Ferry. I was Jazz Lounge DJ after Mel? left to become roadie with the Faces - I was promoted by Myer from the cloakroom. 50 years later, I'm still a DJ ! - http://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/614397_10150974121316529_538591423_o.jpg

  12. Dave Raven

    October 12, 2013 •

    One big memory as the cloakroom attendant in the corridor between the Young Set and the Jazz Lounge next to the guy checking the UV mark on your hand to show you were a Jazz Lounge member
    (If you were quick when they marked you you could 'bump' a friend).
    The fashion may have been good in the club, but the outer garment was a duffle coat. All the same, stag horn toggles, chain hanger, camel coloured. The hooks were so close together that as the night went on the coats would get dragged, the chain would snap and they'd fall to to the floor.
    When you took the ticket of someone going home, went to the peg and found it empty, come back and say what type of coat was it ?
    They would say 'duffle' and i would look at the floor covered to a height of 6 inches of loose coats and say 'can you wait until we close' ?

  13. Tom Edmondson

    October 30, 2013 •

    Great days and interesting stuff - to my mind what the 60s was all about. I remember Keith Moon bashing hell out of his drums with an elastoplast stuck on his nose. Queuing for ages to get in whenever a name was on. Slight change of venue - anyone remember Bob Dylan playing the Odeon - I reckon it must have been 1965. I've still got the ticket stub for the mighty price of ten bob!

  14. Steve Fry

    November 2, 2013 •

    Fascinating site. Well done.
    I lived at the coast and was in bands myself. I went to the Whitley Bay Go-Go regularly.
    No alcohol allowed, just Hubbly Bubbly. Never seen it since.
    The Alan Price Combo were wild and fantastic in those days and used to bring the house down.

  15. Barbara Scott Emmett

    November 4, 2013 •

    Anyone remember The Banshees - we used to see them at the GoGo in the early sixties. Remember seeing loads of other bands there as well - and at The Downbeat.

  16. Roger

    November 4, 2013 •

    Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music) was in a local band called the Banshees in the early sixties - there's a bit about them and Bryan Ferry on this site on the 'Bruce MacDonald Lowes' page. There was also an Irish recording band around at the same time called the Banshees but it's unlikely they ever played at the Gogo.

  17. susan starforth

    November 12, 2013 •

    My Brother Frankie Carrick use to always talk about this place glad i found the page its great

  18. Jacqueline Korzonek

    November 16, 2013 •

    Hi does anyone know if Dave Finlay is still alive I am trying to contact him as my dad passed away on Tuesday and used to work alongside my uncle on the doors of the Marimba and the Downbeat, he and my uncle were both Hungarian and were best known as Joe and Jeno. Thank you in advance for any replies
    jacqueline

  19. Peter Christian

    November 20, 2013 •

    A major part of Newcastle heritage lost for ever .

    Many lads and lasses cut their teeth at the Club A Go Go.

    My very own moment in time seared for life was the night
    Spencer Davis played both Sets with a 16 year old Stevie
    Winwood on organ - Probably 65 or 66 - That night Chas
    Chandler returned from the States with a a new found
    black guitarist he wanted to manage - Heard he'd played
    back up with the Temps -= Clad in camouflage fatigues and
    supporting a killer Frow that gentleman was introduced to
    me and others that night as - Jimmi Hendrix .

    Chas explained he was that good he'd give Clapton & Beck
    a run for their money - we all laughed up until Spencer
    Davis restrung his guitar between sets for a Lefty player
    and James Marshall Hendrix stepped on Stage for his first
    UK performance and for ever Blew Wor Minds and changed
    history for ever .

    Had his autograph that night on an empty 10 Woodbines
    packet - Will always remember the sweet heady days in
    the 60's in Toon In Love - In credible .

    H T L - Best - PC LA .

  20. wendy(nee sanderson)

    November 25, 2013 •

    How wonderful to read all this and to remember all the brilliant bands I saw there at the GoGo in 63/64/65 - mainly the Young Set but Mr. Myer (as we called him) would let us into the Jazz Lounge sometimes. Mary Kegg was the DJ and she was a friend of mine. I met my first husband there. He was in a supporting band called The Falling Leaves and they originated from Oxford. Seems so long ago - I live in Cornwall now but will never forget the happy times spent with Chas Chandler, Eric, et al. Had a massive crush on Steve Winwood but he was seeing(?) Mary Kegg at the time - often wonder where she is now.

  21. Vernon

    November 30, 2013 •

    Was during my student at Newcastle College of Commerce/HND, and living in a house with friends in Jesmond! A vivid recollection is,when after dancing like mad with friend Annie Little, I found myself sitting next to Jimmy Hendrix with his top hat and colourful army jacket. Guess he was there with Chas Chandler! Also loved Eric Burdon & the Animals and The Family (a very good group who, unfortunately, I think, never made it to the top).

  22. Vernon

    November 30, 2013 •

    I forgot to mention I believe it was -I forget- sometime in 1966 or 67! And my name is jean-pierre vernon

  23. Bill Mills

    January 20, 2014 •

    Great stuff but strange no one mentioned Billy Keith who was on the door and that Keith Gibbon usually manned the till. Others who were the back bone of the club were Terry McViegh, Sergio the croupier the one and only Keith Crombie, Wally Nash, Gerry Barron and Hungarian Joe. I met my wife Helen Cleghorn there she was a stunning blond who worked as a GPO telephonist during the day and as a waitress at night at the Go Go I was with my best mate Crombie and asked for two Brandy and cokes and a date got the date and Keith bought the drinks. Some great times and great bands I have fond memories of the Invaders brilliant guitarist Ian McCallum who I first met when we played together in a club band the Tonics. Ian was married to Jackie and he sadly passed away in the early seventies.
    Saw Dave Findlay and Wally Nash at Keith Crombies funeral both looked great. Anyone with memories please get in touch. billmills1@btinternet.com

  24. Stewart Brown

    January 28, 2014 •

    Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band. We'd travelled in a minibus from Middlesbrough. From what I remember the gig was in 2 halves, one set was in an under 18 no alcohol room, the second in the over 18 room, and after being mesmerised by a 30 minute version of Rollin n Rumblin in the 'dry' room, me and my mates had the privelege of helping the band carry the amps and gear from one room to the other and have a chat and smoke with the Captain himself. A perfect night.

  25. Brian Davison

    January 30, 2014 •

    I have great memories of the Newcastle Club a'go go. I started going there in 1967 and saw Cream, Jimi Hendrix, The Animals, Pink Floyd, Mary Wells, and Zoot Money. I remember Bryan Ferry as DJ was always playing his favourite record 'In Crowd' by Dodie West, it was no surprise to me when he recorded a cover version with Roxy Music.
    The Hendrix gig in the young set was awesome, I remember being right at the front of the stage and a 10 bob note fell out of Jimi's back pocket, the girl standing next to me caught it, waited until he finished his number and she handed it back to Jimi.
    It's such a shame that the Club a'go go couldn't have been preserved as the 'Cavern' of Newcastle.

  26. Fran Preston

    February 4, 2014 •

    I don't think I saw his name on any of the lists, but I definitely saw Georgie Fame play at the N'Cle Gogo.
    Me and my friends were there every chance we got.
    However, I don't remember Jimmi Hendrix. But after I came to New York in '67 I went to a 'Monkees' concert at Forst Hills Tennis Stadium. Decades later I was reading an old diary, that mentioned the concert. I wrote, "There was a fantastic guitarist who opened for the Monkees called Jimmi Hendrix. I do remember that guy but I'd never really knew who he was.
    At the Go Go club there was a group who was introduced like this: "And all the way from America, 'Geno Washington and the All-stars'. Fabulous. But I was never able to find anything about him over here in the states???
    I hated going into the Jazz Lounge with that 'purple' light that showed up every freckle I'd accummulated in my 19 years. Hah! Fabulous memories. Dancing all night to the Juncos. Even was asked out by John Anderson while he was playing at the 'Vic' in W/B. He used to call me When I worked at 'Ryles' Said I'd meet him outside that BBQ shop opposite the N'Cle Haymarket. I was there early (10 to 8) and waited til 5 past. That was it! I ran across to the Haymarket and hopped the bus back to N/S. As the bus was pulling out I looked over and there he was outside the BBQ shop. I could've gotten off at next stop but I figured that by the time I'd get back he'd be gone and I'd look like a right doozy. I heard he went down to the Spanish City looking for me. Next time I saw him he told me that another guy standing outside the BBQ shop told him I'd been there. I thought it was pretty commendable that he actually went looking for me. Then the band went to France and he came home with a lovely French Girl in a pink chiffone dress with feathers around the bottom. Who could compete with that? She'd walk after him around the GoGo panting, Shon,Shon. Hah!
    Fun memories. I was shattered when I visited N'Cle and nothing was the same anymore.

  27. alan dodds

    February 7, 2014 •

    this is bloody fantastic, oh why oh why was I not born a few years earlier to witness it.
    My music love only started around 64 when I was 14.

  28. alan dodds

    February 7, 2014 •

    I had and lost years ago an album by the animals. it was all black cover and only had about 4-5 tracks on it. anyone know what its called.

  29. Joe

    February 19, 2014 •

    I was there to see Hendrix,Pink Floyd etc. A crazy topless skinny man with his HEED ON FIRE ! (Arthur Brown)
    I was underage but managed to get into the Jazz Lounge,one time I carried a mike stand from the young set to the lounge and that was it,done.If you were in the know,you would pay for the young set then acquire "THE MARK " for a few shillings.The broon was half bottles and was nectar from the gods! I gotta disagree about not being Fleetwood Mac,it looked like them,it sounded like them and I dont care what they called themselves I think it was the right personnel.

  30. Christine

    March 7, 2014 •

    I remember being at the club the night Kennedy was shot. I was supposed to meet a student from Newcastle University who I'd met the week before at the Cellar Club South Shields but he never turned up. Happy days and House of The Rising Sun is still my all time favourite record.

  31. Dawn Wright

    May 4, 2014 •

    My first visit to the Go Go on Percy Street was to see The Rolling Stones. Worked with some girls at Mail,Kinsella, Stockbrokers on Pilgrim Street and we all decided to go. Queued to get tickets to see them, it was worth it, they're still great. Loved the Junco Partners,they're still going. Will have to go to their next gig. Happy days.

  32. Hazelle Jackson

    May 21, 2014 •

    Terrific to read. I was a student at Newcastle Uni from 1964-7 and spent a lot of time in the club. My friend attracted the attention of Sonny Boy Williamson when he was there and my other friend had a thing about Pete Townshend of the Who who were also regulars. I think it must have closed after 1967 because it was still open all the time I was there. I still have a little dress somewhere I bought in John Steele's (little boutique) although I would not fit into it now. Still have my membership card somewhere too.

  33. Jimmy Pierce

    June 3, 2014 •

    Was there when Zoot Money took the place by storm,also Julie
    Driscoll and the Brian Agure Trunity,Geno Washington,
    To name but a few.we were you mods in them
    days,once got "tapped up by Long John Baldry,asked
    us if we wanted to go to a party in Jesmond,
    When he said only males would be in attendance
    We declined.Still go "pass out ticket"
    Think the place closed in 70 as was there for
    my twentieth birthday.happy days.

  34. Mike Easton

    July 12, 2014 •

    I remember seeing many great bands at the GoGo including the Bee Gees who announced they were singing 'Massachusetts' live for the first time that night. Also the Ronettes who appeared to an almost empty club midweek.
    Anyone remember when we had a whip round to by a pare of jeans for one of the regular members, a lovely guy who sadly couldn't afford to buy them himself - I think his name was Tommy?
    One of the best gigs was Jimmy Cliff - amazing set which included a jam session with lots of well known people.
    And of course the Oxfam walk we all did overnight after visiting the GoGo first and walking all night in very unsuitable, but fashionable, shoes (from Marcus Price of course). Great times!!

  35. Bill Chesters

    July 30, 2014 •

    Ive got to disagree with the person who said Fleetwood Mac didnt play at the GoGo..They did, on more than one occasion..I think they played there about 4 times. My memory is pretty good about the place...and to another contributor about Hendrix..Brian Davison..if thats you Bri..you will now me well(Ches)..havent seen you in years.. and to the guy asking about Tommy Crumb..I was on a trip to Blackpool a few yeras ago and he was on it. Had a god chat with him. And last but not least..yes I remember the whip round for Daft Tommy..he wore those Levis for years.. He is still in Town but worse the wear for drink..

  36. Bad Little Cook Films

    September 25, 2014 •

    Hi Everyone,

    I am the producer /co-director of a new documentary film on Graham Simpson, Roxy Music's original bass player and founding member. I am currently researching the early Newcastle / Gas Board days when he played with Bryan Ferry - then also any early Roxy Music Newcastle gigs.

    Here is a short film we already made on Graham - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2crIrmkE2M

    I would love to talk to anyone who might have known Graham or seen him play. Also who might have any photography or better still moving image of him playing!

    This website has been a great recourse to me and I even went up to Newcastle recently to film. Please contact me at badlittlecookproductions@gmail.com if you can help! I'll try to check this too....

    Thank you,
    Miranda Little

  37. Fin

    October 11, 2014 •

    Anyone have any stories on Davey or Tommy Findlay? they are my great uncles and have heard a lot about them, just saw there names mentioned quite a few times on here now, my granddad is there uncle

  38. Fin

    October 11, 2014 •

    P.Whinham, would be interesting to here from you aswell as anyone else

  39. ALAN BRACK

    December 23, 2014 •

    My intro here to the unique legendary venue the amazing "CLUB AGO GO" cannot be described in this tribute to it in such a few words !!!! ........ It was by far the greatest club in the U.K. and the planet for that matter ... and thats an understatement !!!! ..The Marquee (London) Pink Flamingo (London) ... Twisted Wheel (Manchester) Mo Jo (Sheffield) etc etc ...Eat ya heart out .. !!! We all know about the list of every great band or artist that played there but sadly we tend not to mention the awesome overwhelming mesmerizing dance soul music that shook and vibrated the the club dance floor to its foundations ... !!! Many a time time the club members would be disappointed when the D.J. switched off the music and announced the next act no matter who it was and thats a fact ..!!! They were still in groove for the next belter ..!!! How on earth could an act follow the scintilating fabulous obscure rare foot stomping shattering Soul/Ska/Stax/Rhythm and Blues music no contest ..!!! Take away every band that played there and the vinyl blew em all completely away .. !!!!????... Heres a few unquestionable examples that shook that floor to its foundations ... DON COVAY (SOOKIE SOOKIE) ... RUFUS THOMAS (WILLY NILLY) ... HOMER BANKS (60 MINUTES of YOUR TIME) ... By far the best soul song ever !!! WILLIE MITCHELL (EVER THINGS GONNA BE ALL RIGHT) ... SHORTY LONG (FUNCTION AT THE JUNCTION) plus his amazing (SHANTILLY LACE) fabulous version .. !!! the groove on SHANTILLY by the way the best ever recorded on soul vinyl ... SOUL BROTHERS 6 (SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL) ... WILLIAM BELL (NEVER LIKE THIS BEFORE ) ... SAM and DAVE (YOU GOT ME HUMMIN) And the list goes on KOOL JERK ..I SPY FOR THE F.B.I. ... THE BARKEYS ..THE MARKEYS .... And the list is endless ... Any way the most anticipated and probably the best gig there was HENDRIX only his WOODSTOCK appearance eclipsed that unforgetable night at the Go Go .... Still got my club card a prized memory of all that went on in there through the the swinging 60's ... Thanks ...Alan .......

  40. tom scott

    December 27, 2014 •

    Does anyone recall the " new Vikings " at the Muscle-in during the early 60s
    We would go there first on a Saturday night,then the Downbeat
    And for some strange reason the waiting room at Central railway station and then up to the bowling alley !!

  41. Joe Writeson

    December 28, 2014 •

    Some very clear cases of selective amnesia here, The Stones never played outside of London in their early days.
    There are some huge omissions including the Savoy Brown Blues Band, Tomorrow and The Gods.
    Far from being 'lovable rogues' the majority of the door staff were sadistic bullies who likes nothing better than showing off in front of the girls by pushing around much younger club ganners.

  42. Tricia Barrett

    December 28, 2014 •

    It's been really fascinating reading all of this - I was a child so missed it all - I never knew so much was going on in my town! Being born a tad later I didn't experience Newcastle Night-life until much later - when Pumfrey's coffee shop became a trendy destination and saw the 'birth of the Bigg Market' in the late 70's. But it was interesting to see a couple of names pop up who were still going strong then... Keith Gibbon Managed Julies - in the beginning, a members only club. But on nights when we fancied something a little different, we'd side-step to the Cooperage to see the Junco Partners!

  43. Bren Murr

    December 28, 2014 •

    The Stones DID play at the Newcastle Clb AGo G0 - in 1963 - my friend and I met them - in their early days, I think they had released their first record, which became a hit. We went to the Ago go every Saturday, brilliant place, remember it well!! Thanks to everyone for all these comments, fantastic Christmas Holiday reading x

  44. Jacquie Hirst nee Morgan

    December 29, 2014 •

    I went to the club as a young teenager in 1963/64/65. Only in the young set but well remember the fantastic music and atmosphere. My sister Pat was married to Dave Findlay. They lived in Jesmond and had two beautiful daughters.

  45. Fin

    December 30, 2014 •

    Jacquie do you have an email address or something we could talk on? just trying to get in contact with family and you seem to know of Dave Findlay, cheers

  46. Susan Wallace

    December 30, 2014 •

    Re comment 17 Susan Starforth. My husband died in 2013, being younger I had never visited the club, he talked about it a lot and it seems to have become real after reading this. Interestingly he often mentioned Susan's brother Frankie Carrick

  47. tony grindrod

    January 1, 2015 •

    Great research

    You can also include Fleetwood Mac and a great performance from Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames - sorry, do not have the dates

    About the same time that the Four Tops and Chris Farlowe were on at The Dolce Vita

  48. John Ramsey

    January 13, 2015 •

    Me and my pal Bob Dixon had tickets for Pink Floyds gig at the Gogo in 1967.I think we paid four shillings (20p).
    Now Floyd were just becoming famous, so we expected an array of lights etc. The Outlines played their set & still we didn't sus, There were no lights . Apparently their van had broken down on the M1.The management isssued the slighty irate audience with free tickets for next
    Week's gig, which was Mary Wells.Not quite the same.

  49. Mike Blanchard

    February 13, 2015 •

    I was a regular at The Gogo during the 60s. Seen some great gigs there. Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band were my favourite band at the time and to see an LA band at my local club in Newcastle was brilliant. To see Cream in their full length leather coats I'll never forget. I remember the Pink Floyd gig, no lights. They kicked out the young set after the early gig then we moved in from the jazz lounge as there was too much gear to move (even without the lights). Another memorable night was when John Mayall's bass player got bottled and the band nearly refused to play the second half of the gig. They did play and the result is a slow blues track on the album Diary Of A Band called Blood On The Night. It warms my heart thinking about The GoGo now I'm 67 and Captain Beefheart is still my favourite american band. A question I ask is "Did Soft Machine ever play The GoGo?

  50. jackie haines

    February 24, 2015 •

    I used to work as a singer in the north East (and everywhere else too, I also had "pro Digs" in Jesmond called the Coda)I remember a Dave Findlay, he worked on the door of a Club in Whitley Bay for Ray Greyhan, but, this Dave Findlay was about 5ft 6ins and had blonde hair. I wonder then who I am thinking about. I know I worked for Ray somewhere in the N.E...cant remember the name of the club, and I also worked at his Nightclub in London. I remember one "uncomfortable" night when he asked me to join a table of London Gangsters.Not one of them smiled , it was like I said "uncomfortable. Is ray still alive, and who is the David I remember?
    My prof; name was Jackie Hanson.

  51. Chris Taylor

    March 30, 2015 •

    what a great website. the memories are flooding in. they were great times in the sixties. Coming from the Paletta to the AGogo and trying to get past Dave or Tommy for free (it worked some nights)
    Then trying to sneak from the Young Set into the Jazz Lounge (that worked too on some nights)There was a comment from Wendy Sanderson - I used to go out with Wendy for a while - she lived up by the Ministry - lovely girl! Theres not much mention of the Quay Club - Keith Crombie managed it for a while - my dad did the plumbing when it was "refurbished" .Keep up the good work

  52. Bill Pepper

    April 3, 2015 •

    I remember seeing the Bee Gees there, they had a drummer at the time. Saw The Animals regularly. I think Billy Keith is the same Bill Keith that went on to run the Quay Club opposite the Crown Posada.

  53. James

    May 20, 2015 •

    I would have loved to have seen Beefheart, Animals, Floyd, Hendrix, Stones etc. but sadly I wasn't born until 1981 haha!!!

    However my dad did go regularly to the GoGo/Downbeat etc. and has some great tales...

    I'm fairly sure Dave Finlay once told my dad and me over a beer that he once had to help Brian Jones wheel an amplifier through the Grainger Market or through town as one of the amps the Stones brought blew up or was broken or something?! - cue loads of people gawping at them

    Great if true!!

  54. Mike scott

    May 27, 2015 •

    Amazing site,
    Fantastic memories of my younger days in Tyneside

  55. Linda Forrest (was Anderson)

    May 28, 2015 •

    Great memories, the GoGo was my second home. I was 16 and was there as many nights as money would allow. Seen many great groups but the one that stands out in my memory for some reason is the Nashville Teens (Tobacco Road) and Dave Berry. 10 of us girls went together and I am still in touch with 4 of them. Our outerwear was leather or suede coats, we thought we were the bees knees. Fantastic times, no drink but we still had a good time. xx

  56. Jim Fyfe

    July 4, 2015 •

    Went to see Jimi Hendriks when he played 10-03-1967 I was only 17 and had never heard of him. I worked at the Royal Turks Head hotel in Grey Street and was staying in overnight so went with my girlfriend. Saw him in both the young set and the Jazz lounge and was totally blown away and bought all his records after that. The GoGo was a fantastic club and went there on many occasions. Fantastic to read all about the place again and brought back many happy memories. Thank you
    Jim Fyfe

  57. Peter Harker

    July 10, 2015 •

    I remember Brian Robson (Ropper) who used to check your tickets before letting you go upstairs and his beautiful girlfriend Eleanor. He was a great guy may he rest in peace.Mary Clegg also died about four years ago wonder if you can still buy 'Hubbly Bubbly,

  58. Wyn Porteous

    August 14, 2015 •

    I met my future wife, Sheila , in 63 in the "young set",we used to dance the "Twizzle"to great songs likeBrian Poole and the Tremeloes and "Do you love me", still play it but don't dance !!!!!!.
    I remember holding back the screaming girls when the "Swinging blue jeans"played on the tiny corner stage in the young set.
    We remember Fenwick with the "Invaders, the "Vondykes"with Mike Mills, Alan? And Dave Redpath
    On drums, what happened to Dave?.
    Other names remembered, "Little"Jimmy Gallagher, "Big"Jake, "Ginger"Tom, Scottie, Ray Robson,Tony Smith,
    From the club, Jos Atkinson, Sandra and Barbara Young, Keith Gibbons, Bill Keith and of course the Findley brothers,
    Other names have faded from the memories, but memories of a great
    club live on, HAPPY DAYS!!!!
    Wyn and Sheila Porteous

  59. Mary Price

    August 28, 2015 •

    Hello Roger, this is a fine piece of work you have assembled. Congratulations! If you remember I travelled on the back of your Lambretta from Sunderland to the Ministry, intermittently during the mid to late 60's. Anyway, enough of that. The Gogo? Although I saw many fine bands, I find myself agreeing with the commentary at number 39. For me the place was mostly about being intoduced to a repertoire of music I had a limited exposure to previously. A personal highlight was hearing bluebeat and ska in particular but also the great of calypso Lord Kitchener and most notably his classic song:
    " Dr. Kitch"

    Vince Price

  60. Tom O'Kane

    October 8, 2015 •

    i had great times at the GOGO when I was a kid.
    Can anyone remember Avril who worked behind the bar?
    Or Ann Foster (Champion) a regular.
    I saw a lotta bands there and somehow managed to get into both rooms,
    one time this guy came in with a long trench coat, fur collar, we got talking
    about different groups and the place, after he left somebody came over to me
    and said do you know how that was, I had not really, they said that was Eric Clapton
    You've just been talking to God, hahaha.
    Saw Cream, Wilson Picket, Jeno Washington and the Ram Jam Band and of course
    The fantastic Junco Partners among many others.
    I'm glad I experienced that scene I now live in Los Angeles with my Wife Lyn.

  61. Chelle

    November 4, 2015 •

    Hi fin, are you still trying to get in contact with Dave Finlay? I'm his daughter . Would be nice to get in contact.

  62. ALAN (NO 39) SEE MY COMMENT

    December 24, 2015 •

    I,m amazed no more comments since Nov 4TH .... Anyone out there thinking about writing a book about The Club Ago Go .. Long over due .. !!!!!! ... Sadly no photographs have surfaced for starters !!! That photo of Sugar Pie Di santo on the Club wall is a rare gem ... A lot of gig facts and dates have been omitted .. example the great Robert Parker played there Sept 66 .. and his awesome song (Watch our step ) one of the many riffs Led Zep stole and took the money without admitting it ... !!! Cream played their 1st Newcastle gig at the Go Go in Sept 66 ..I can remember the poster .. Where is that poster ??? ... I can remember when Eddy Kid outta the Pirates died and the D.J. payed tribute ... Zoot Moneys big Roll Band was one the great awesome gigs (Big Time Operater)his single a real belter !!!! I still stand by my word that this club was a venue that was noted mainly for the music played by The D.J,s ... Amazing obscure floor shattering mesmerisin dance belters .. Thats what made this legendary club ....Thanks ALAN ....

  63. Brian Swales

    December 25, 2015 •

    Just found your website.

    I see the rolling Stones played there 8 November 1963, this was shortly after their tour with the Everly Brothers & Bo Diddley, a show I saw at Newcastle the previous month.

    The Stones also played the Club a'Gogo before this do you know what the date was?

    Regards

    Brian

  64. Hyam

    December 27, 2015 •

    Anyone at the after club party at someones house when Sonny Boy Williamson made himself 'poorly'. One of the many stories I remember my dad telling me about & the bag of oranges SBW had with him.

  65. Hyam

    December 28, 2015 •

    I've grown up listening to stories told by my dad re the club & the Marimba. Was anyone at the party when Sonny Boy Williamson was there?

  66. Derrick

    January 2, 2016 •

    Just found this.Fantastic. What memories. I wish there was more on The Gasboard. I took over on trumpet from Mike Figgis in '67 together with Sparky Watts,Graham Simpson,Alex Boydeau,Reg Ward and John Porter. There was also a hammond organ added Pete ? ex Billy Fury. We played the Agogo regularly.Great times. I remember Ginger Baker being rollicked by Sonny Boy Williamson for crap blues tempo and Pricey shooting gramophone needles from his pistol cuff-links.Sad to learn of Graham's passing.Thought the world of the Finlays.

  67. paul whinham

    January 21, 2016 •

    Keith Crombie never ever worked in the GoGo , he worked the Downbeat and tried to muscle in at the GoGo when Mike Jefrey opened it but Davy Findlay nocked his front teeth out and he never came back.FACT!!!!!!!!

  68. DAVID PARK

    February 1, 2016 •

    I heard a story, which I was assured was true, I wonder if anybody can confirm the following. Fleetwood Mac were playing a gig in Newcastle and visited The GOGo after the show. Mick Fleetwood attempted to chat up some girls and the bouncers( the finlay brothers were mentioned) took offence and beat up the band. the b side of one of their hit singles man of the world is called" somebodys gonna get their head kicked in tonite" They vowed never to play Newcastle again. They did come back eventually and played at the metro arena

  69. Maureen carr

    February 5, 2016 •

    Memory Lane....fab

  70. Tony knight

    February 6, 2016 •

    I. Clearly remember the great mary wells, zoot money, john mayall,pink floyd,jimi hendrix plus many more. Went back in 68. But was gone.

  71. Bob sargeant

    February 6, 2016 •

    I joined the Junco Partners in '66 replacing Pete wallis on kEyboards and played at the cLub agogo on many ocCasions.definitely the place to go for great music. Saw cream/pink floyd/wilson pickett/john mayalls blueSbreakers (with clapton & peter green) brian auger &julie driscol/jeff beck wIth rod stewart/zoot money/crazy world of artHur brown & many others. Great memories!

  72. patzi sargent

    February 6, 2016 •

    I was a regular at the gogo in the sixties, i was too young for the jazz lounge but one of the bouncers liked me and used to 'dayglo' my hand to get in! i knew big phil the dj, and saw so many brilliant bands - john mayall, pink floyd, jimi hendrix, geno washington, judy drsicoll, the list is endless. we were sooooo lucky in those days! saturday nights were the pinnacle of the week, i loved queuing up and going up the stairs with all the girls and getting ready in the (disgusting) toilets! one night i remember ginger baker collapsing in the young set.....then going strong an hour later in the jazz lounge! the local bands like gas board and juncos were great too.

  73. john colin woodland

    February 7, 2016 •

    in it's early days Played and regularly the gogo before ray grehan became our manager with kim davis. he inroduced me to jimi hendrix.
    i used to go late after gigs and saw bernie watson play guitar before clapton joined john mayall. screaming jay hawkins and others i've forgotten. myer thomas used to wander around in his kaftan telling anyone he paid the who off for being "too bloody loud"
    wonderful times still remembered

  74. Terry Mardghum

    February 8, 2016 •

    Myself and my good friend Terry Murrey were two of the lovable rogues or sadistic bullies as Joe Writeson called the door STAFF [Comment 41]. I was transfered to the Blaydon Races in 1966.

  75. bill harris

    February 12, 2016 •

    What a find! Like so many of you, The go go was an amazing musical place for me in my teenage newcastle years. i started when still at school, doing my homework then jumping on the last bus to town to have a mindblowing thursday night watching the best bands on the club circuit. i started in the young set before I managed to bluff my way through to the jazz lounge and remember myer thomas pulling me off a girl i was necking with in there in my early days!
    saw so many wonderful bands close up and loud - got eric clapton's broken plectrum once but lost it of course. saw the late jack bruce playing with the wonderful john mayall but eric was on holiday at the time. you could hear jack's six string bass out in the street! and then there was cream - such a cool band.
    loved all the hammond based bands from zoot money and georgie fame through to geno washington. Geno!!!
    remember all the feared bouncers - especially tommy crumb who had one of the few shaved heads on tyneside at the time. went to school with ropper so had a friend on the inside!
    of all those incredible nights, my favourite memory has to be meeting jimi hendrix after seeing an alexis korner gig. must be the night described above! jimi had been playing elsewhere and turned up with chas chandler wearing his famous red hussars jacket. he sat down next to me and my mate Tim nesbitt and chatted to us all night- playing imaginary guitar when his old boss little richard came on the sound system. what a gentle, polite soul he was! i had to go to get the all night bus and he signed a beer mat- long since lost. 'to bill hey man what's happening. jimi hendrix.' i'm 67 now and have lived away for years but still get respect and awe when i tell people that story.
    saw jimi's actual gig a few weeks later as described by sting above but remember it being so loud i ended up with a headache and wanting it to stop. crazy!
    so ... thanks for bringing back all those fantastic memories. we were so lucky to have been part of such a unique musical experience!

  76. alan kane

    March 15, 2016 •

    I had fantastic times at the club ago go when I was 16+. I remember pink floyd being virtually the resident band with many regular appearances and PSYCHEDELIC slide show. I saw many bands there including the obvious eric burden, geno washington, the cream and many others, and remember having a chat with roy wood from the move in the corridor at the interval. I worked as a Saturday assistant at Marcus price both in Percy street and Windows arcade. Shared a coffee with Alan Price at his coffee bar in the Handyside arcade. I still own a LP that was recorded at the venue. Great memories Great club a one off,well apart from the cavern

  77. BRIAN BURBRIDGE

    May 26, 2016 •

    When the Animals left the Gogo in '63, the Valiants became the resident band. Mike Jeffries didn't like the name so we became the Vermen. I also remember the night Kennedy was killed, we were unloading the Thames van outside the Gogo (do you remember the lift!) when we heard.
    I remember when John Lee Hooker played there, we were resident and at the close we found we had an extra green Vox AC30 amp cover - how it got in our van is a mystery. I remember Sonny Boy Williamson turning up early while we were setting up and for some reason he spent about twenty minutes talking to our drummer Joe Wilton. Joe said he couldn't understand what he said or who he really was - Joe didn't have much experience of the blues at the time. The Stones did play at the Gogo as did Bo Diddley, Long John Baldry and I think Chuck Berry. Regulars may remember our guitarist, Keith Waring. Sadly Keith died some time ago but he was truly a great blues guitarist. Does anyone know the whereabouts of our singer Les Proud?

  78. colin [woodie] woodland

    May 26, 2016 •

    Keith [Pongo] Waring took my place in the del 5 [7] i think and did a marvelous job

  79. geordie kettle

    June 19, 2016 •

    great times at the club ago go great music great times . met my wife there made some good friends. micky robinson was one we had some great fun together . a drink in the kings head then of to the ago go happy times.

  80. Juan manuel

    June 27, 2016 •

    Hello, I am from mexico and I am delighted reading all about the gogo. Great bands, great music history of rock and blues.
    I wish i had been there

  81. Stewart - South Africa

    July 1, 2016 •

    I remember this place. Lived in Sunderland and went there a few times.

    In iirc, 1963 I went with a buddy and saw Long John Baldry and an amazing bass player who I later discovered was Chas Chandler, more often associated with the Animals of course.

    At the end of the evening we ended up somehow at a party in Newcastle (Jesmond?) and Eric Burdon was there. He and I got into some minor disagreement over something, can't remember what!

  82. MICHAEL J DUNN

    July 3, 2016 •

    Like many of you I have great memories of the club. Best memories for me was Spencer Davis, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson. Those of us who used to go there were privileged to have been a part of a great time in music history. I remember George Kettle (just seen his post),Dave,Tommy & Keith & Tommy Crum! Also Tom Noble,Lorna Brewis ,Nash,Kenny James the Haymarket Crowd, Dave Hazell and his lovely sister, the twins from Essex, Terry Jacobson, Bill Blundell and many more. Sorry to hear about Brian Robson. He was a friend of mine in those days, also sorry to hear about Mary Kegg, I went out with her for a while when I used to come up from London. Having spent most of my life overseas, I haven't kept in touch with many folks. Michael (Mick) Dunn

  83. Dave maughan

    July 6, 2016 •

    Like so many others on here, many great memories of the Gogo. Never been anywhere like it since. I was 16 in 1967 saw so many great bands, most memorable being Cream (twice) Hendrix, Zoot Money and the Big Roll Band, Root and Jenny Jackson, Chris Farlow and the Thunderbirds, Julie Driscoll and the Brian Auger Trinity, Pink Floyd and a band no one else has mentioned Simon Dupree and the Big Sound not forgetting the unforgettable Geno Washington. Was anyone else there the night Garnet Mimms cut a live album in the club? Further to some "tasty " comments on the door staff no one seems to have mentioned the rottweiler of all rottweilers, Terry Crozier who I believe was later "sectioned" and ended up in Rampton, a secure mental institution?

  84. MICHAEL J DUNN

    July 7, 2016 •

    As I recall Terry Crozier was never a feature of the Club a'Gogo he used to go Change Is and walk straight to the front of the queue and there was little protest. I had a drink with him a few times in Change Is and the Pineapple but this was in the latter part of the sixties shortly before I emigrated in 1970. He was always OK with me.
    He was put into an institution but it was in Wylam/Ryton. Rampton is for the criminally insane and Terry was no criminal.

  85. Sarita jones nee grant

    July 7, 2016 •

    Good times great music good memories of Club a gogo and the Downbeat

  86. Mike lusby

    July 16, 2016 •

    I remember travelling up from Bridlington in Yokshire to the Gogo in 1965. Spencer Davis group was on in the Jazz Lounge and Alan price combo in the Young Set. We stayed in the same boarding house as Spencer Davis. I think it was called Georges and I remember the roads were red tarmac. The folloWing day we had breakfast with Spencer Davis and got a lift in their van down the A1 motorway back home. Wonderful.

  87. DAVID PARK

    July 18, 2016 •

    Terry Crozier was thrown in the tyne one night and I heard he also killed a police dog at the central station ! he also drank in Sloppys disco above the dolce Vita. one night he arrived at the club with 2 broken arms and still had a fight at the bar, which he won. he was some boy !!!!!

  88. alan brack

    July 19, 2016 •

    Hi Roger .. it's Alan again .. Thats me on line 39 ......
    its well known of the litigation and writs and court dog fights over this man Mr Jeffries ...... your article on him is an amazing piece of musical history .... But there's something that completely puzzles me about Alan Price taking the royalties for "House Of The Rising Sun " .. was there any litigation or court proceedings taken against Alan Price for his ownership of the rights and royalties in this well known case .. Mr Price said at the time why he left the animals was because of fear of flying about 65/66 ... I feel that was a blatant excuse to the public to cover up his dealings in this affair .. Eric Burdon has never failed to mention Mr Price in various interviews in 50 years of his loathing for this man ... was there any court actions taken against Mr Price ???? .... Look forward to hearing from you ...Thanks Alan ... P.S. keep up adding to your wonderful site ....

  89. Roger

    July 21, 2016 •

    Hi Alan - I haven't read anywhere that any of the original members of The Animals (Burdon, Valentine, Chandler & Steele) took any legal action against Alan Price regarding the publishing royalties for 'House Of The Rising Sun'. From what I understand, the band weren't aware of what was happening to the proceeds of record sales and performances while they were together from '64 to '66. They put their trust in Mike Jeffery and he dealt with the financial side of things. It was probably a long time after the band's breakup that They realised the 'promised' share of the royalties weren't coming their way. All four of the aggrieved Animals have talked about the matter in books or interviews. When asked in interviews about the royalties, Alan Price has refused to discuss what happened.

  90. alan

    July 25, 2016 •

    THANKS ROGER ... FROM ALAN ......

  91. Barbara Amore (Nee Pattison)

    August 16, 2016 •

    Just found this article it is amazing that I had forfottten so much. I worked on the cloakroom and as a DJ in the A Gogo. Most of what is said is spot on. Dave Findlay was an amazing character. He worked at the downbeat and then the A Gogo. One night at the a Gogo some guy asked me if i cultivated my hair as it was long and black. Dave knocked him down the stairs. I remember him being blonde not like the picture enclosed. Mike Jeffreys was an accomplished classical pianist. I had been to his house in Jesmond for parties and he played for us. Myers was to be feared but was fair. I knew Eric Burdon and we used to get the all night bus home together. Me to Benton and him to Walker. He named me Black Barbara as I had dyed black hair and always wore black. Amazing days still love jazz and r&b. I remember Keith Crombie with affection and Frenchy. Love to you all.


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