The Crawdaddy Club was a meeting of blues aficionados, held in a pub in the Station Hotel in the leafy Thames Valley suburb of Richmond. The Stones were the house band in 1963 (the Beatles first heard them here), followed by the Yardbirds, and site can legitimately be called London's equivalent of Liverpool's Cavern Club. Located directly across the street from the Richmond train station, the Station Hotel is gone but the building remains and at the time of these photos the pub that once hosted the Crawddady Club was called the Bull & Bush and a plaque described its significance. Sadly, it is now a generic-looking pub with no apparent interest in its own history.
Great Newport Street
The Crawdaddy Club moved to the grounds of the Richmond Athletic
Association, on Twickenham
Road, in the summer of 1963 when the small original club could no
longer contain the growing legions of Rolling Stones fans.
The new Crawdaddy was located in the clubhouse (above left), where the
Yardbirds took over the house band spot after the Stones moved on to
bigger things. From 1961 through 1965, the
annual Richmond Jazz and Blues Festival, a showcase
for the Stones and other blues-based London groups, was also held at
the Richmond Athletic Association in the grandstand area. The Ken Coyler
Jazz Club (also called Studio 51) on Great Newport Street in London was
one of many former jazz clubs that were turned into
R&B and rock & roll clubs as the blues "underground" turned into the Mod
scene and Swinging London. The Rolling Stones were regulars at the
basement club, and that is where Lennon & McCartney offered
"I Wanna Be Your Man," their first British hit.
Holly Hill, Hampstead
The Marquee Club quickly outgrew its first location, on Oxford Street, and
to Wardour Street in 1964, where the Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, The Who,
Small Faces, Spencer Davis Group and every other important band was
showcased, along with Jimi Hendrix, the Byrds, the Lovin' Spoonful and other
visiting American bands. The ground floor apartment at 10a
Holly Hill in peaceful and historic Hampstead was the home of Mick
Jagger and Keith Richards in the mid-sixties and the ludicrously quaint
setting for many legendary parties.
Royal Albert Hall
The Rolling Stones quickly outgrew the London Club scene and moved on to
larger halls like the venerable Royal Albert Hall, the setting for many
memorable concerts, including Bob Dylan's ferocious 1966 assault and the
"Farewell" concert given by Cream in 1968. The heart of
Swinging London in the mid-sixties was Carnaby Street, an unassuming
side street in Soho where that became a center of the Youth movement
in fashion and the arts (and, in short order, the
self-parodying tourist trap it remains today).
Rolling Stones guitarist and co-founder Brian Jones died July 3, 1969. He
was buried in his hometown of Cheltenham, in the Cotswolds.