On 10th March 2012, prior to the Blue Plaque unveiling at Ealing Broadway, Paul Goodwin of Hayes FM radio broadcast interviews featuring, Alistair Young and Ealing Club veterans Don Martin, Alison Woodhead and Vic Woodhouse.
The clip illustrates the history of the club and its transition from a “Trad Jazz” venue known as the “Moist Hoist” into a place that would become known as The Home of British Rhythm and Blues. Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated have long been recognised as Britain’s first Rhythm and Blues band and were first labelled as such, in March 62 issues of Jazz News, NME and Melody Maker.
Blues Incorporated’s use of ELECTRIC guitars, that had been frowned upon by central London Jazz clubs but proved popular amongst the Ealing Club crowd. Their success would attract the interest of Marquee Jazz club owner, Harold Pendleton who would come to visit, the Ealing Club….(a venue that Pete Townshend would later cite, on the Southbank show as being ” a seedy little place” where he saw the Rolling Stones play the first time).
Harold Pendleton would soon open The Marquee to Blues Incorporated’s electric guitars and the British Rhythm and Blues boom would begin. British R & B, was a sound characterised by the use of ELECTRIC GUITAR combined with POUNDING DRUMS, all based on BLACK AMERICAN BLUES records as its primary source of inspiration.
British Rhythm and Blues would develop in London while Merseybeat would explode in Liverpool. The contribution of the Beatles and other Merseybeat bands to 60’s music is without question.
However, London did produce the Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann, The Who,The Yardbirds, Cream and many more. John Mayall would form his Bluesbreakers in London after seeing the success of Blues Incorporated at Ealing. John Mayall would play the Ealing Club, the place where in April 62, Eric Burdon (The Animals) had come to Jam alongside the likes of Mick Jagger and Paul Jones with Alexis Korner.
The Ealing Club heyday from 1962 – 65 allowed many to “cut their teeth”. Ealing would continue to be a magnet for musicians throughout the sixties with Jimi Hendrix purchasing amps at Marshall amplification in Hanwell and Hanwell community centre hosting key rehearsals for Deep Purple, Led Zep and the Who. Blues Rock most definitely has its roots in British R & B.
Ealing is still a hub for creative people/industries boasting educational facilities such as the London College of Music, Questor’s Theatre, Ealing Film Studios and Summer Festivals that deserve a higher profile. Also Contemporary homegrown bands of note such as White Lies, Magic Numbers, Jamiroquai, Ray Gelato will very be lucky to find opportunities for Live performance in Ealing.
On Sunday 22nd April Paul’s Show will feature interviews with Whispering Bob Harris from the Ealing Club Blue Plaque ceremony and with Terry Marshall (son of Jim Marshall, Marshall Amplification)