During the mid sixties, Newcastleâs Club AâGogo was one of the top music venues in the North East. The âGogoâ was to Newcastle what the Marquee club was to London. It is fondly remembered by club goers and musicians alike â people like Eric Burdon, Brian Ferry and AC/DCâs Brian Johnson. But unlike the Marquee, there is very little information about the Club AâGogo 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 AâGogo has become an important part of Newcastleâs 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, Wilson Picket and Ike & Tina Turner.
The Club AâGogo didnât 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 â jazz.
One of the first jazz venues in Newcastle – The Newcastle Jazz Club
NEWCASTLE’S PRE-GOGO JAZZ SCENE
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)
New Orleans membership card
In 1957 steps were taken that would eventually lead to the opening of the Club AâGogo. 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.
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 AâGogo 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 Hendersonâs Latin American Group and the Bernie Thorpe Trio. Unofficially, the jazz sessions at the Marimba continued long after midnight.
The Marimba at High Bridge, Newcastle
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 âlike a motorcycle gang âŚâŚ without the motorcycles âŚâŚ. they were tough, hard-drinking and listened to American musicâ.
Downbeat Club pamphlet
Newspaper ad for Mike Jeffery’s Downbeat Club
The building that housed the Downbeat (entrance far left at the rear)
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 ânon-Jazzâ band to play there.
Newspaper ad for the Downbeat
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 â (Dave Brubeck, Kenny Ball and Acker Bilk).
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 AâGogo 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 AâGogo was situated on the top floor in a building on Percy Street in Newcastleâs Haymarket area above a canteen used by Newcastle Corporation bus crews. The Handyside Arcade, another well known land mark of the era, was part of the same block. These buildings have long since been demolished and in their place stands the Eldon Garden Shopping Centre.
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.
early newspaper ad for the Gogo
Tommy Henderson (far right) and his quartet
There were two rooms upstairs, initially managed by a gentleman called Bill Smith. On the right was the licensed âJazz Loungeâ where the Tommy Henderson combo started as the resident band. On the left was the unlicensed âLatin American Loungeâ (later to be renamed the âYoung Setâ). 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
Eric Burdon performing in the Jazz Lounge at the Gogo in his pre-Animal days (photo by Jim Perry)
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 Invadersâ drummer, remembers the band auditioning for Mike Jeffery. The Invaders were offered the gig at the Club AâGogo 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.
In 1963, the Alan Price Combo (later renamed the Animals) became the resident band in the Jazz Lounge
Due to the popularity of the Club AâGogo in Newcastle, Mike Jeffery also opened a second Club AâGogo 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 Combo, the Invaders and the Kylastrons
Newspaper ad for the Whitley Bay Club A’Gogo
The Alan Price Combo continued to be the resident band at the Newcastle Club A’Gogo. In the latter half of 1963 they were beginning to come to the attention of several influential people on the London club scene.
Around this time, Mike Jeffery (pictured left) drew up a management contract with the Alan Price Combo and promptly sent 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 Tic.
The Animals returned to the Gogo just after Christmas 1963 but due to their national success 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
In the following newspaper article Jenny Stewart (formerly Clarke) recalls her experiences at the Gogo and her friendship with Mike Jeffery: -
(Newspaper article dated 1992)
Mike Jeffery went on to manage Jimi Hendrix. He also owned night clubs in Majorca and met an untimely death in 1973 when a plane bringing him back from a trip to Majorca collided with another plane over Nantes in western France. The accident occurred a few years after Jimi Hendrix died in London. Jeffery was on his way back to a Court hearing in London concerning Hendrix when he died along with 60 other passengers when the DC-9 crashed,
MUSICIANS’ RECOLLECTIONS OF THE GOGO
In an interview for Northstars, John Steele of the animals describes his early days at the Gogo: -
âWell, it was very exciting and at the aâGogo 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; Iâve 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 â 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.â
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. Itâs where the North East mob was born â 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 Londonâs 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: âMan, Iâve seen some wild stuff in my years but nothing like this. This is Newcastle Mississippi.â
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: -
âWe 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 heâd heard of the place. He didnât understand me. I said it again and his face lit up: âOooh, the cloob a goo goo.â He went on and on about how to get there. The brogue to my untrained ear sounded Scottish. I didnât 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.
âJohn French: Do you remember playing in the Club AâGogo in Newcastle?
Jerry Handley (Beefheartâs bass player): I remember Newcastle, thatâs 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.
âThe 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) didnât like to tour or perform. However it was the best thing for us.â
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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
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.
CLUB GOERS’ RECOLLECTIONS
My own personal experiences of the Club A’Gogo are fairly limited; I played there, both in the Young Set and the Jazz Lounge with two bands; the Jazzboard and the Village on several occasions between 1965 and 1968. Due to band commitments and the fact I lived in Sunderland, I was never a regular 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.
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 clubs upstairs were managed by Myer Thomas who is mentioned by name in the Animals song ‘Club a’GoGo’.
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. Dave was a tall good looking bloke with fairish/ginger hair. Tommy had darker hair was a quite a bit shorter than Dave.
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 couple of parked cars.
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.
The 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..”
From the same book, artist Stephen Buckley who was at university with Bryan Ferry recalls: -
âThe premises of the AâGogo 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 wasnât getting drunk, one was dancing. I saw the Stones and the Who.â
Fellow artist Tim head, who was also part of Ferry’s crowd says: -
âWe used to go to this wonderful club, the AâGogo, which was very near the university in the Haymarket. Thatâs where all the R&B bands would play â I saw Hendrix play there; in fact he came back to a student party with us. Bryan did some DJâing there later.
They specialised in R&B â Geno Washington, the Who. The Club AâGogo had these steep steps going up to it, and I remember a guy being pulled out by the bouncers â as I was going back into the club this poor guy was being hurled down the stairs and thrown into the street.â
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 aâGogo 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 aâGogo 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.”
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 couldnât stop. We were known for our dancing. If you went to the Gogo youâd remember us. Sometimes a record was put on as request for âthe Cotton twinsâ 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. Youâd walk in and were bound to meet up with someone you knew.
Iâve read articles about people who supposedly went to the club but no one mentions ‘Frenchyâ. 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. Iâd heard he was going to prison. He certainly didnât 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 âYoung-setâ and later in the Jazz Lounge.
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 âourâ club to see a group weâd 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 theyâd 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 wasnât 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!”
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 peopleâs memories of the life and times of the Gogo and is well worth checking out.
THE DEMISE OF THE CLUB A’GOGO
I haven’t been able to establish the exact date 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.
According to an article in the Sunday Sun dated 1988 about Ray Grehan, Mike Jeffery’s original business partner, Grehan purchased the club from Mike Jeffery for the sum of ÂŁ30,000 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.”
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:
â˘ Alan Bown Set
â˘ Alan Price
â˘ Alex Harvey
â˘ Alexis Korner
â˘ Amen Corner
â˘ Brian Auger’s Trinity (with Julie Driscoll)
â˘ Captain Beefheart
â˘ Garnet Mimms
â˘ Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band
â˘ Graham Bond Organisation
â˘ Herman’s Hermits
â˘ Howlin’ Wolf
â˘ Ike and Tina Turner
â˘ Jeff Beck
â˘ Jimi Hendrix
â˘ Jimmy James & the Vagabonds
â˘ John Lee Hooker
â˘ John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
â˘ Long John Baldry
â˘ Mary Wells
â˘ Memphis Slim
â˘ Moody Blues
â˘ Pink Floyd
â˘ P J Proby
â˘ Rolling Stones
â˘ Root & Jenny Jackson
â˘ Screaming Jay Hawkins
â˘ Shotgun Express
â˘ Sonny Boy Williamson
â˘ Spencer Davis Group
â˘ Status Quo
â˘ Steam Packet (with Rod Stewart)
â˘ T Bone Walker
â˘ The Animals
â˘ The Family
â˘ The Herd (with Peter Frampton)
â˘ The Move
â˘ The Who
â˘ Walker Brothers
â˘ Wilson Pickett
â˘ Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band
Here are some Gogo gig dates:
â˘ 08/11/1963 – Rolling Stones
â˘ 07/02/1964 – Graham Bond
â˘ 05/06/1964 – John Lee Hooker
â˘ 15/12/1964 – Stormsville Shakers
â˘ 18/02/1965 – Stormsville Shakers
â˘ 20/03/1965 – T Bone Walker
â˘ 30/04/1965 – Stormsville Shakers
â˘ 12/11/1965 – Stormsville Shakers
â˘ 20/01/1966 – Spencer Davis
â˘ 17/02/1966 – The Who
â˘ 19/03/1966 – Zoot Money
â˘ 04/08/1966 – Stormsville Shakers
â˘ 29/09/1966 – Stormsville Shakers
â˘ 12/10/1966 – The Family
â˘ 10/11/1966 – The Family
â˘ 15/12/1966 – The Family
â˘ 31/12/1966 – Shotgun Express
â˘ 02/02/1967 – Alexis Korner
â˘ 10/03/1967 – Jimi Hendrix
â˘ 11/03/1967 – Root & Jenny Jackson
â˘ 16/03/1967 – Jimmy James & the Vagabonds
â˘ 19/05/1967 – Pink Floyd
â˘ 01/07/1967 – The Family
â˘ 20/10/1967 – Cream
â˘ 16/11/1967 – Jeff Beck
â˘ 23/11/1967 – Cream
â˘ 04/12/1967 – Eric Burdon and the Animals
â˘ 01/08/1968 – Stormsville Shakers
â˘ 15/03/1968 – Status Quo
â˘ 22/03/1968 – The Herd
â˘ 04/04/1968 – John Mayall
â˘ 06/06/1968 – John Mayall
â˘ 12/10/1968 – Stormsville Shakers