The Stones at the Granada!

SO, we’ve had David Bowie and Ziggy Stardust in Tolworth, and we know about the Yardbirds from Berrylands. But there is more.

Much more…..

The Rolling Stones played Kingston in 1963 and 64 – the first time at the Cellar Club. In February 1964 (see picture below) they played at the old Granada Cinema – also on the bill were the Swinging Blue Jeans, Mike Berry, John Leyton and Jet Harris , and in September of that year they played the old ABC Theatre. Most of that time they were also the house band at the Station Hotel in Richmond, which later became the famous Crawdaddy Club, which then moved to Richmond Athletic Ground.

Stones Kingston(Poster from the 1964 gig – and autographs.)

The Stones also played plenty of gigs at the Red Lion pub in Sutton.

My thanks for a lot of the info here goes to Paul Bullen and the excellent Original Kingston Upon Thames No Fakes Facebook page. They know everything.

But look who else played the Granada – the list is a rock n’roll treasure trove – Gene Vincent and the Bluecaps (numerous times), Little Richard (!!),  The Shirelles, Bobby Vee, Del Shannon,  Roy Orbison, The Searchers,  Manfred Mann , The Kinks, The Herd,  The Hollies,  Marmalade, The Who, Johhny Cash,  Carl Perkins and Chicago!!

Elvis Costello, who spent his early childhood in nearby Twickenham, recalls in his new autobiography “Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink,” being taken to the Granada by his mother in 1963 to see a NEMS Records package tour. This was the label run by Beatles manager Brian Epstein – though the Fab Four were not on the bill. The young Declan McManus saw Tommy Quickly (who he liked), Cilla Black, The Fourmost , Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, and headliners Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas.

There was so muich screaming that Declan went home with a headache.

Many of the same artists played the old ABC, as well as Chubby Checker, and Cliff and the Shadows, Freddie and the Dreamers, The Kinks, Gene Pitney, and the Hollies.

The Granada ceased staging music around 1969, the ABC around 1964. The Cellar Club was an old boathouse behind the Odeon Cinema (then a bingo hall) which used to be on the High Street, not far from where the Rose Theatre is now.

Cream, with ex Hollyfield pupil and Yardbird Eric Clapton on guitar, also played at the at the Cellar Club, – and Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band were at the Toby Jug in 1968!!

In 1969, Genesis played the Kingston Hotel, and Led Zeppelin at the Toby Jug. Don’t know what happened to them afterwards..

Elton John played Kingston Poly in March 1971, and the same year Yes and Queen were both there. Genesis played several gigs there, and Bowie was also there as part of his Ziggy Stardust tour in 1972.

The Scribbler




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