Three partners, Barry Jones, Andy Czezowski and Ralph Jedraszcyk formed a partnership to take over Chaguaramas, a gay club in London’s Covent Garden in a run-down basement on Neal Street which had a significant gangster clientèle and was reputed to have hosted a stabbing murder. They opened for Roxy business New Year’s Eve 1976, and thanks to fly-posting effort and subsequent word of mouth found themselves dealing with an unlikely success. Four months later, the rent had risen accordingly, along with the emergent punk brand, and they couldn’t/didn’t want to keep up. They left in April 1977.
Under new management, the venue staggered on for another year, even though benefitting from the live album recorded at the end of Barry's, Andy’s and Ralph’s reign which, two months later turned out to be the first live compilation to make the Top 20 since the Concert For Bangladesh in the late 60s. Six months after the Roxy opened, punk had moved from underground to be the big new thing. The whole country had picked up on the ‘movement’ (as Barry Jones would put it) that had at one point retreated, in London at least, to just one social venue.
The Roxy, London WC2: A Punk History is one of the best books ever written about a club, helped that the subject matter is so colorful.
It's available on Kindle: click this link to buy it on Amazon (you're not obliged to buy after checking it out). Author Paul Marko runs the extensive punk77 Web site.
The Roxy Club
history at the Stereo Society (selected
To the Roxy's home at the Stereo Society (all links):
To the Roxy live album production commentary
To March 1976 listings
To Cherry Vanilla flyer
To Siouxsie and the Banshees/Slits flyer
To Johnny Thunders' Heartbreakers flyer
To Johnny Thunders' Heartbreakers zine
To the Vibrators flyer
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