The British Beat Explosion: Rock n’Roll Island

Voted Best Blues Book of 2014 by Blues Matters magazine.

british-beat-explosionEdited by Jennifer Wheatley, and written by Michele Whitby, Gina Way and music journalist Zoe Howe, this new publication brings together stories, accounts and photos…

Anyone with an interest in the history of UK rock ‘n’ roll is familiar with The Cavern Club and the role that Merseyside played in the story of the British Beat scene. But on a far less-celebrated but no less significant path, over a small bridge onto an island in the middle of the Thames, another great 60s club night played host to acts that would later make a global name for themselves. The Rolling Stones, Long John Baldry, Pink Floyd, The Small Faces, David Bowie and The Yardbirds are amongst the many acts who performed at the legendary Eel Pie Hotel during its 50s and 60s heyday, as did jazz greats like Ken Colyer, Kenny Ball and Acker Bilk as well as more avant-garde performers like Ivor Cutler.

But how did The Eel Pie Club become such a popular venue? What motivated its founder, Arthur Chisnall to create a space where young people could enjoy the music they wanted to, in an environment free from the usual constraints? Why has this thriving West London scene been omitted from rock history when its influence has spread far and wide?

Recently, bands like The Mystery Jets have paid homage to Arthur Chisnall’s fabulous club, playing gigs on the island that launched careers and cemented rock’s infamous relationships. The latest incarnation of the Eel Pie Club is alive and well. This book traces the origins of a scene that is long overdue for recognition.

‘Here there are fascinating interviews with performers, and fans’ oral histories explaining why and how Eel Pie became the unlikely centre of a transformative musical and social scene.’ – Steven Cockcroft on The Afterword website

“From the perspective of an Eelpieland regular ‘back in the day’
 its a wonderful read with great pictures -
I couldn’t put it down” – Mike Vickers

ISBN  9781906582470  Price £9.99  Buy Book from Aurora Metro

Rock’s Diamond Year

Introduced by Ralph Brookfield

Celebrating Rock’s 60th Birthday, from the formation of the Rolling Stones and the heyday of the British Invasion to the spawning of the Reading Festival, this book explores the music history of the London clubs that were the engine rooms for British rock n roll. The Rolling Stones, the Who, The Faces, The Yardbirds, Cream and the Bluesbreakers are amongst the many acts who performed on the London club circuit at venues such as The Ealing Club, The Crawdaddy Club, The Ricky Tick, The Half Moon, The Bull’s Head, The Marquee, The 100 Club, and the infamous Eel Pie Island Hotel. We revisit the days when Eric Clapton was God and Rock ruled the world. Play it Loud!

Introduction by Ralph Brookfield

The Ealing Club by Alistair Young

An Adolescence in Music by Robert Hokum

The Eel Pie Island Club/Eel Pie Club, Twickenham by Gina Way

The Crawdaddy Club, Richmond by David Sinclair

Ignition – Giorgio Gomelsky by Cheryl Robson

The Bull’s Head, Barnes by Pete Feenstra

The Ricky Tick Club, Windsor by Pete Clack

The Half Moon Club, Putney by Patrick Humphries

The Marquee Club, Soho by Charlotte Banks

The 100 Club, Soho by Richard Luck

ISBN 9781913641221 £12.99 Buy Book from Aurora Metro