The original venue location still occasionally holds LIVE MUSIC events. The ‘aura’ of British Blues and Rock Music is starting to generate events in other locations as well. Please check out the events guide here: https://www.ealingclub.com/event/
A big thank you to THE WHO for including EALING in their 50th year celebrations. The band has always done much to demonstrate that their West London roots, influences and motivation included Ealing. The Ealing Club Community Interest Company is trying to encourage others to celebrate these links while inspiring new opportunities for LIVE MUSIC.
The Who @ The Ealing Club with Fery Asgari (1965)
The Ealing Club was not only where THE WHO held a series of gigs in late 1964/early 1965. It was where Pete Townshend realised that playing ‘Black American Blues Guitar Music’ was a feasible goal for any young Londoner. Alexis Korner & Cyril Davies together with their band Blues Incorporated helped inspire Pete and many other ‘legendary’ musicians to play the blues. The tiny basement bar is thought to be where Pete picked up the first gigs of a band called ‘The Rollin Stones’ ….. soon to become ROLLING STONES.
The Venue Location
The Ealing Club’s original location still exists today. In March 2012, a collective of Ealing Music fans and musicians celebrated the first gig of BLUES INCORPORATED that set off the British Rhythm and Blues Boom. Many people that had attended or played in the club: Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones) Jeff Griffin (Producer LIVE AID) , Ali MacKenzie (The Birds) Don Craine (The Downliners Sect) Terry Marshall (Marshall Amplification) confirmed that The Ealing Jazz and Blues Club had been the venue known today as THE RED ROOM.
The Original Ealing Club
Many state that this important meeting place was located below the ABC bakery. In fact, we understand the precise location was: (down a stairway, on the left hand side, below the jewellers pictured above) These facts are poignant as developers plans have indicated that this former LIVE MUSIC venue will be re-developed into housing stock and office space (plans to be found here)
While Ealing Borough needs to decide if such a venue needs to be saved or not. The music industry, record companies, promoters, politicians, local councils, tourist boards, educators, grants-funding bodies, media outlets need to ask why such legendary sites have not been harnessed in the past to maximise the CULTURAL, Social and economic potential of music heritage and LIVE MUSIC.
What role does LIVE MUSIC (in particular in small venues) contribute to the economic and cultural well being of LONDON, it’s suburbs and the rest of the UK?
It goes without saying: we’d all love to see THE WHO back in Ealing one day!
In recent years, The Rolling Stones have celebrated Charlie Watt’s first gig in Ealing. Both the date (12th Jan 1963) and location (Ealing) have become engrained in the bands history as the day that Charlie, known as ‘The Heartbeat of the Band’, officially joined the group.
Ealing: Tweeted to 1.4m Rolling Stones Fans worldwide!
The First Gig of The Rolling Stones?
Can Ealing now claim to be the place where the Rolling Stones first legendary line-up, performed its inaugural gig in Jan 1963? Charlie Watts was the last person to join up with Mick, Keith, Brian, Bill and keyboardist Ian Stewart.
Since March 1962, the future members of the Rolling Stones had been mingling at Keith Richard’s favourite ‘Rhythm & Blues’ club in Ealing, rubbing shoulders with other Blues fanatics who were ‘cutting their teeth’ and performing in front of audiences for the first time (more details here). In March 1962, Blues Incorporated had launched the so-called British RHYTHM and BLUES movement that would later take root at The MARQUEE JAZZ CLUB in central London.
In fact, Rolling Stones legend always states that the 12th July 1962 was the first ever Rolling Stones gig. (but the band were yet to establish their definitive drummer and bassist)
Ealing (capacity 200) would be a springboard for other’ Blues based electric guitar’ bands such as Manfred Mann, The Who and The Birds that would make a mark on the Marquee Club (capacity 700). Countless others would pass through Ealing’s doors and play: Jack Bruce & Ginger Baker as members of both Blues Incorporated and Graham Bond Organisation. Eric Clapton and even a young David Bowie have stated that they attended the Ealing venue, along with countless other future music legends.
The Demise of Small Venues & LIVE MUSIC: The demise of THE MARQUEE Club in London may have been the first indication that LIVE MUSIC in small venues needed a boost. Small venues ensure that new performers gain confidence to help them grow into larger venues. During 2015, some ‘movers & shakers’ started to review action that could be taken to assure a sustainable future for countless small live music venues in London & beyond: (See Ealing on The London Map)
FAST FORWARD…… 2018 & 19, 20, 21
The Ealing Club Community Interest Company continues to organise gigs at the original venue (‘The Cradle of British Rock Music’)and other forgotten spaces across Ealing in an attempt to create ‘sustainable’ music opportunities for the future. In 2021, EALING CLUB ECLECTIC has been backed by The Arts Council of England to highlight forgotten spaces across West London through live music. Please sign up to our twitter/facebook and newsletter to keep up with events. Here
SUBURBAN STEPS TO ROCKLAND – The story of the Ealing Club
Throughout 2018/19, the feature film Suburban Steps To Rockland premiered at film festivals in London, Barcelona, Liverpool, Sao Paulo and in 2019/20 it featured on TV broadcasts in the UK, Belgium, Netherlands and Spain. 2021 will hopefully see further distribution of this independent documentary that tells the story of the Ealing Club.
Please go and enjoy the two minute promo clip below:
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