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Fascinating memories of the venue on Knifesmithgate. I remember most of the shows mentioned. One thing puzzles me – we used to call it ‘The Gallery’. Where did we get that name from? (The King Crimson CD of their show here lists it as Chesterfield Jazz Club!)
P.S. David, do you recall leading a series of classes at Hurst House Adult Education Centre (around 1976) on the development of contemporary music? Two old ladies enrolled and seemed to enjoy it but it all must have seemed very bizarre to them!
I’m currently trying to remember the sequence of names that were applied to the venue Kenneth, ‘Velvet Underground’ was definitely the overall name, ‘Gallery’ and ‘Harlem Highway’ are names that I’m struggling to put into context, but I definitely used both names in my Derbyshire Times advertising ..
The King Crimson ‘bootleg’ recording did indeed say ‘Recorded at Chesterfield Jazz Club’ , but there was no such club, it was definitely recorded at ‘Velvet Underground’ ..
I did run a night class at Hurst House (The W.E.A., Workers Education Association), I think it was called ‘The History of Popular Music’..
I’m certain I suggested the name “Gallery”. The upstairs of the Vic’ had a gallery running round – I think three quarters the way. It reminded me of a Folk Club I went to in Brighton. This was at a large mock Tudor pub called The King and Queen (Google It) which had a gallery. The year was 1960 and I hitched down there with a chum of mine called Mike Cornford. We slept on Brighton beach along with a couple of hundred ‘latter day beatniks’ (!). We were rudely awakened in the morning by the local ‘Teddy Boys’ hurling large pebbles at us. During the day we drank ‘Merrydown Cider’ and were entertained by Russell Quaye and his City Ramblers. They were a Skiffle/Jug band who were quite influential in kicking off the skiffle craze in Britain. Often ‘Trad Jazz’ musicians would sit in with them – and among their disciples were the very young Wizz Jones and Alexis Korner.
However back to The King and Queen Folk Club with the Gallery – we went there at night to see Steve Benbow play – and that’s where I plucked (ooh) the name Gallery from. Phew sorry about diverse reply. File under History of Popular Music in 1950/60’s Britain..
I’m sure you’re right Roger, because I can’t remember naming it ‘The Gallery,’ as opposed to remembering very clearly that the original ‘Velvet Underground’ name came from one of my favourite bands of the time .. and I will always acknowledge that your input was very important to the ‘image’ of everything that I was involved in at the time, including the shop frontage, letterheads and contract headings, numerous screen printed posters, leaflets for Shape of the Rain and other bands, business cards, a great painting on our living room wall above the shop, etc., all with your distinctive style of illustration ..when I think about it, between us we created a fairly decent English provincial town replica of the San Francisco ‘scene’ around Haight-Ashbury and the Fillmore and Avalon Ballrooms, due in no small part to your illustrative skills ..
EDIT: Where I mention “Gallery” as at The King and Queen – I was referring to a “Minstrel’s Gallery.
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