The British Beat Explosion
ROCK 'N' ROLL ISLAND
Edited by JC Wheatley
Have you heard about Eel Pie Island?
Anyone with an interest in the history of UK rock 'n' roll is familiar with
the Cavern Club and the role that Merseyside played in the story of the
British Beat scene. But on a far less celebrated but no less significant
path, over a small bridge on an island in the middle of the Thames, another
great 60s club night played host to acts that would later make a global name
for themselves. The Rolling Stones, Long John Baldry, Rod Stewart, the Small
Faces, the Yardbirds and David Bowie are among the many acts who performed
at the legendary Eel Pie Hotel during its 50s and 60s heyday, as did jazz
greats such as Cyril Davies, Ken Colyer and Acker Bilk.
In this collection of essays from the likes of Zoe Howe (music journalist),
Michele Whitby (exhibition curator) and Gina Way (co-owner of the current
Eel Pie Club) as well as the musicians themselves, we trace the origins of a
scene that is long overdue for recognition.