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Eel Pie Island Memories

Alan Day 17 Mar 09 - 07:15 PM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 18 Mar 09 - 05:42 AM
David C. Carter 18 Mar 09 - 05:53 AM
Will Fly 18 Mar 09 - 02:41 PM
Alan Day 18 Mar 09 - 07:20 PM
Will Fly 19 Mar 09 - 03:40 AM
Alan Day 19 Mar 09 - 04:25 AM
John MacKenzie 19 Mar 09 - 06:03 AM
Marc Bernier 19 Mar 09 - 07:49 AM
Alan Day 19 Mar 09 - 09:38 AM
Zen 19 Mar 09 - 09:51 AM
David C. Carter 19 Mar 09 - 10:07 AM
Alan Day 19 Mar 09 - 11:04 AM
SonnyWalkman 19 Mar 09 - 11:47 AM
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Subject: Eel Pie Island Memories
From: Alan Day
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 07:15 PM

In the late Fifties early Sixties, Eel Pie Island was the place to go.Anyone you mention EPI to will suddenly get a glazed look and their memories of the place comes flooding back. Eel Pie Island for those of you who do not know it, is a little island on the Thames near Richmond, to reach it you had to go over a little bridge.It had a dance hall on the Island ,a bit run down to say the least,but fairly large.It housed some of the best Traditional Jazz evenings ever.It had it's own trad jive, an easily recognisable hop step style.It was the scruffiest place you could imagine there were some settees around the perimeter of the dance floor none of which had four legs.If you wanted to impress someone however that was the place to take them.Quite a lot of activity used to go on in the grounds of the Island and some was even going on behind the sofa I was sitting on.It was a magical place for music,some of the best Jazz Bands played it, but Cy Laurie was the favourite there as he gradually got pissed out of his mind as the evening wore on and his and the rest of the band's playing went up a few notches.All the evenings there were memorable for various reasons.
Have you any memories you can share ?
Were you the one with a partner behind my sofa ?
Al


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Subject: RE: Eel Pie Island Memories
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 18 Mar 09 - 05:42 AM

Hi Alan.

You might want to check this out:

Eel Pie and L'Auberge

How are all the guys down the George? Say hello for me.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Eel Pie Island Memories
From: David C. Carter
Date: 18 Mar 09 - 05:53 AM

If I remember correctly you had to pay a penny to the two elderly ladies
sitting by the footbridge.

There was a guy who went around with a dog on a leash saying..

"The only reason I am here tonight...is to sell hashish"

Happy daze.

David


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Subject: RE: Eel Pie Island Memories
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Mar 09 - 02:41 PM

EPI was also the venue for some fairly progressive/underground rock on occasions. Quite a few of the Surrey musos used to go over and play some fairly way out stuff. Anyone remember a band called Junior's Eyes? The main guitarist - Mick Wayne (now sadly gone from us) was the mover behind the band. A superb musician who played with Bowie in the early pre-Mick Ronson days - all the guitar work on "Space Oddity" flowed from Mick Wayne's guitar. I didn't do pot meself but must have inhaled several lungfuls just from being on EPI to watch Mick's playing!

Cy Laurie used to drag himself down to Brighton occasionally and play at the old Concorde Bar by the Palace Pier - along with Jumping Jack Gilbert.

Where is their like today?


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Subject: RE: Eel Pie Island Memories
From: Alan Day
Date: 18 Mar 09 - 07:20 PM

It would appear that I have given Cy a miss justice,having a chat with Jim Ward tonight he informs me that Cy never touched alcohol and was a teetotaller.I actually remember being told this fact by a regular so he must have assumed that beer was the driving force behind the band,when actually it was the music they were playing.
I remember the Brighton Jazz Club Will ,it was at or near the entrance to the Marina ,are we talking about the same place? Exactly when I was down there.
Al


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Subject: RE: Eel Pie Island Memories
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Mar 09 - 03:40 AM

The original Concorde Bar was just on the seafront, next to the roundabout by the Palace Pier, and was run in those days by Bonny Manzi. He never booked bands but let other promoters/self-promoters hire his function room and charge entrance on the door. There were several jazz sessions there in the '60s and '70s, and also a regular weekly Monday session in the summer from the Taverners (Stuart Reed and friends of that Parish).

There was also the Bathing Machine pub at Black Rock - what is now the Marina - where there were several musical evenings ranging from jazz to folk to blues to rock'n roll.

Ah, I feel a wave of nostalgia rolling over me... the Jubilee Jazz Band (in which I played for around 5 years) had a Thursday residency at the King and Queen, and a Sunday lunchtime residency at what was the Adur, near Hove Lagoon. We never made Eeel Pie though.

Will


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Subject: RE: Eel Pie Island Memories
From: Alan Day
Date: 19 Mar 09 - 04:25 AM

I am sure it must have been the same venue that I remember.At the same time The Railway pub in Crawley was running Jazz and Rock evenings until it sadly burnt down.
Those sessions at The King and Queen were very popular,normally packed out. Strange how these things just fall away to become just memories.
Jim is still in touch with The Crawley Jazz Men.
Al


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Subject: RE: Eel Pie Island Memories
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 19 Mar 09 - 06:03 AM

Yup, remember seeing Cyril Davies there. Great place, I enjoyed the activities in the bushes too, but I was a lot younger then.
Hashish! What hashish?


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Subject: RE: Eel Pie Island Memories
From: Marc Bernier
Date: 19 Mar 09 - 07:49 AM

Pete Townshend of The Who named his production company eel pie productions. Did they play out there in they'r early days?


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Subject: RE: Eel Pie Island Memories
From: Alan Day
Date: 19 Mar 09 - 09:38 AM

I was told recently that Pete Townsend purchased the Island and built a recording studio there. Not sure what happened after that as the wind up/clockwork Radio Inventor Man lives there now.
I never saw the Hashish man either,I did see the bushes activity however.
Al


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Subject: RE: Eel Pie Island Memories
From: Zen
Date: 19 Mar 09 - 09:51 AM

I was too young to have seen the Rolling Stones on Eel Pie Island when they started out but did see The Yardbirds there.

Here's an interesting link about some of the well-known bands and performers that did early gigs at Eel Pie.

Zen


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Subject: RE: Eel Pie Island Memories
From: David C. Carter
Date: 19 Mar 09 - 10:07 AM

Come along now...I never said I SAW the Hashish!

I only saw the Hashish man.I can't recall what he looked like...except to say that he wore blue jeans...purple shirt...orange socks...red braces...and green hair.Hard to distinguish in that crowd!
Yeah...he walked a dog,a poodle...thats why I remember him!

The activities in the bushes?Dunno nothing about that!

I went there for cultrural reasons,but not in the bushes!

I'll get me gun


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Subject: RE: Eel Pie Island Memories
From: Alan Day
Date: 19 Mar 09 - 11:04 AM

Forget the gun David
Grow some bushes!!
Al


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Subject: RE: Eel Pie Island Memories
From: SonnyWalkman
Date: 19 Mar 09 - 11:47 AM

I don't know about Pete Townsend buying EPI but he certainly lived for ages right on the river in Twickenham opposite the island in a house called (I think) Bell House. There was usually a vast Winnebago parked outside with a picture of Meher Baba taped to the dashboard. We used to see him in the supermarket occasionally.

I'm pretty sure the hotel on EPI burned down in the 70's.

Tony B


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