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The Esquire Club

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Can anyone remember The Esquire Club on Leadmill Road in the 60's..It was owned by a chap called Terry Thornton..I understand he is now in prison for life for trying to murder his Ex with a bomb..but we used have some great nights at the club...I saw a young "Rod Stewart" sing there with the long John Baldry Band

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yep saw small faces , dave berry ,ritche blackmoor ,cocker,kinks ,pretty things,,plus a lot of terrible fights [blokes getting thrown down the stairs ,i think somebody got kicked to death one night by a bunch of lowlife teds with thier winkle pickers on ...stood in acircle about 6 of them and just kicked for about 5 mins... i can still picture it now..... i hope thier all suffering from some evil desease in an old peoples home now..remember the allnighters having sex on the bus seats .purple hearts, green and blacks ,sex in the passageways .

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I never liked The Esquire as much as Terry Thorntons previous Club 60 but he did book some great acts there. Most taste were catered for, I remember seeing Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Carl Perkins and the Kinks. Good times and great music, oh dear if only we could go back and do it again

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Message as follows:

--------------------------

 

To whom it may concern.

 

I read an article on your news page asking did anyone remember the Esquire Club on Leadmill Road and the Club 60 down on West Bar.

 

Well here's a blast from the past for your older city (60's vintage readers), I was the manager of the Club 60 in a quantra deal done with Terry Thornton, which incidentally he never backed up in times of need, just took the money when times were good.

 

But that's not the story, the story really is on the number of up and coming groups that played at the Club 60 in the mid 60's, for what I might ad in those days was a very small fee. Some of the notable groups we had

were: Joe Cocker and the Grease Band, Dave Berry and the Cruisers, Jimmy Crawford and the Ravens (whatever happened to him ?, his real name was Ron Lyndsay, he was a champion school boy swimmer), Eric Burdon and the Animals, The Rockin Berries, Frankenstein and the Monsters, Screaming Lord Sutch, The Fortunes and many more. We nearly booked the Rolling Stones in their very early years, but Terry Thornton said they hadn't received very good reviews from down South, so we didn't bother (bugger).

 

The big problem with the Club 60 was you could only get about 350 people in, and in a three cellar complex that was mighty crowded when full. The club worked well for a while, but unfortunately when the River Don rose in the winter, the cellars were suseptible to seapage, and manys the day that we had crews mopping three inches of water out for a Saturday night openning, and the damp smell left behind was not pleasant. But the club enjoyed success for a couple of years, but then as with all small venues the crowds went to bigger and better clubs, and we really needed to spend a heap of money on it, which (I) did not have at the time.

 

The main rivals were the Esquire Club, which eventually covered three floors down on Leadmill Road, and Pete Stringfellow's Mojo Club, which also did very well at that time, and as they say the rest is history.

 

I actually went to to old Grand Hotel (now long since gone) to pick up Sonny Boy Williamson, who was quite fluid at the time for a performance at the Esquire Club in it's hayday. He was not quite sure where he was, but I remember his performance that night, and he never missed a beat on stage, as they say he was one of the old masters. The same thing happened with Lightning Hopkins when he came to the Esquire, but they were old pro's and the music was pure soul.

 

Well there you go, we had a lot of faithful followers in the old days, and I'm sure many of them may still have a fond memory or two of the old Club 60 down on Shail Road. Funny enough I can't remember the name of the pub whose cellars we used, perhaps you could research that for me.

 

PS: Dave Berry and the Cruisers are playing in Queensland this coming weekend, and I believe Frank White is still with him, they go back a long way.

 

Best Regards: Tony Land, an old Handsworth boy

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Originally posted by deadgobby

yep saw small faces , dave berry ,ritche blackmoor ,cocker,kinks ,pretty things,,plus a lot of terrible fights

 

When you say Ritchie Blackmore, that would have been when he was a member of the Screaming Lord Sutch Band, presumably?

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TIMBUCK You have a lot of interesting stories about 60s groups, were you in one of them.

I am a big sixties fan and its always nice to hear about the groups of the time, and what they are doing now.

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Originally posted by Cycleracer

TIMBUCK You have a lot of interesting stories about 60s groups, were you in one of them.

I am a big sixties fan and its always nice to hear about the groups of the time, and what they are doing now.

I first started playing guitar in 1955 it was a flat top spanish type accoustic with a pickup made from an old pair of army headphones..the Amp was made from an old radiogramme cut down. My mate Mick Mills was not bad at singing and we used to get up and do some songs together at Shiregreen comunity centre, most of our stuff was Gene Vincent co's we were big fans.

The first group I was in was called "Mark Stone and the Questors"

Founded in 1957 We were based in Shiregreen ..Other groups in the area were the Falcons, The Greycats who had been around for years, The Whirlwinds with Johnny Ryder on vocals and Dave Hawley on lead Guitar, The Twin Cities Beat Boys, Jonny Tempest and the Mariners, Ron Lyndsey and the coasters (with Frank white) , Terry and the Roosters, Pete Fender and the Trackers, Dave Berry and the Cruisers, The avengers with Joe Cocker on drums, and lots of others I can't remember, Rhythm Groups as they were called were being formed all the time and every body I knew was in one..at one time there were over 300 groups in Sheffield. The Sheffield Telegraph published a weekly magazine just for the groups, it was call the "Top Star Special" (I think).

The biggest event I remember at the time was The Mackerson Rhythm Group Contest..it was A Knockout Contest held at all the Tennants pubs in the Sheffield area that could stage a show..Like the Wharncliffe at Firth Park, The Sicy Hotel, The one at Page Hall.

( can't remember it's name)...Any way the Winner was was promised A recording contract and some cash, our band was elliminated in one of the stages beaten by "The Kenny Pete Five"..

If there are any questions you'd like to ask please go ahead and try to jog my memory.

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Originally posted by mojoworking

When you say Ritchie Blackmore, that would have been when he was a member of the Screaming Lord Sutch Band, presumably?

i thought i was the only one that new that,i think he was the first to use distortion or fuzz

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Originally posted by deadgobby

i thought i was the only one that new that,i think he was the first to use distortion or fuzz

 

Difficult one, that. It's sometimes claimed that Dave Davies started it when he slashed his speakers with a razor blade before recording You Really Got Me. Jimmy Page was using guitar effects early on, including a prototype wah-wah pedal in 1965 (notably on Dave Berry's The Crying Game).

 

Before Sutch, of course, Ritchie was a member of The Outlaws, a Shadows-type instrumental band, produced by Joe Meek and featuring Chas Hodges (later of Chas & Dave) on bass.

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This is to deadgobby.

I think your imagination has got the better of my old mate with regards some one getting kicked to death. I work at the Esquire for most of the time it was open and no one was fataly injured

that I know of. You mentioned Teds, well Ted were very old fashioned by then and they didn't wear winkle pickers. Teds wore suade soled brothel creepers.

Still, good old days

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remember Dodge`s on the corner[Magnet pub]

once saw Rod the mod come out of the Esquire and jumpstart his Jag.

We were outside cos we were skint and had not got the right piece of wallpaper edging they used as a passout.

They were great times, Mojo tues & sat, Esquire fridays.

Only went to club 60 once[over the back wall]

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