October – December
The Gardening Club was now finished and ready for the grand opening. There was a cafe, with chrome tables and a bar / coffee bar, upstairs. My great friend, a mad, wonderful Australian in London, Henry Weinreiche, was given the task of creating a members lunch time club, (along the lines of Fred’s in Soho). At night, d.j.s played. Another friend, Shelley Boswell, upgraded from The Rock Garden, was the manager. On Saturday nights, Frank Perkins started Ophelia.
Once again, Rocky & Diesel were the resident d.j.s, with Paul Oakenfold, Justin Robertson and Jeremy Healey all regularly playing. These nights were utterly brilliant and, it’s fair to say changed my life.
I made this playlist of tunes we were dancing to at Ophelia in 1990.
Lots of The Yellow Book crowd were at Ophelia, plus more people, travelling up from Bournemouth and the south coast and the north. We made more new friends.
8 October Pound sterling joins the European Exchange Rate Mechanism
Danny was working at Cherry Red Records and had been given tickets to see Everything But The Girl at the Hammersmith Odeon. Another Cherry Red artist, Lawrence from Felt came with us. I love Lawrence, he has a very dry, very funny, sense of humour. We had a great night. After we said our goodbyes, Danny and I headed over to the Rock Garden, where I had given The Vinegar Blossom another gig. This time with Brighton’s Eusebio who had stood in when Flowered Up cancelled at The Buzz Club a few months earlier. Spin, (who later became Gene, it’s a complicated story though) were headlining. Plus, look at the d.j. – The Orb! Quite a good line up!
It’s funny, even though Blur are now regarded as Kings of the Britpop scene, when we booked them to play The Buzz Club on 20th October, 1990, they were considered to be a new ‘baggy’ band.
20th October The Buzz Club Blur
‘She Is So High‘ was released on Food Records, and I really liked it. Here’s The Buzz Club on the tour / single adverts.
We had a great crowd in, not quite sold out, but a very exciting atmosphere. When Blur took to the stage, everyone surged down to the front and it all got quite chaotic. Damon started to climb on top of the PA speakers and Pat, who worked at the West End Centre was yelling ‘if he doesn’t get down, I’m, pulling the plug’ . I’m glad things calmed down and the gig continued! Pat and I enjoy laughing at this now. Here’s what would be their second single, and a hit, ‘There’s No Other Way‘, live at the Buzz Club, recorded by our man Dave again.
We organised a couple of nice London gigs for Vinegar Blossom – 29th October at The Falcon in Camden and 6th November at The Powerhouse in Islington.
To add to the brilliant stage productions I have been able to see over the years, due to my wonderful friend Clare P., we went to see John Malkovich and Juliet Stevenson at the Lyric in ‘Burn This‘, October 1990. (When I say ‘add to’ – Alan Rickman and later Daniel Day Lewis as ‘Hamlet’, Dustin Hoffman as Shylock in ‘Merchant of Venice’ and more – thanks Clare!)
Neil Kinnock, who has been leader of the Labour Party since October 1983, is now the longest serving opposition leader in British political history.
A crowd of gathered at the Nag’s Head in Covent Garden for Danny‘s birthday in November. Rudy and Amanda had now returned from their travels after Singapore. Rudy filmed the night and sent it as a present on VHS not long afterwards. In 2019 I got it digitalised and put a sound track to it. Features lots of people I’ve been writing about in this blog – Amanda, Guy, Rudy, Gary, Clare P., Kevin, Mandy and Anthony, Michelle from the Rock Garden, Danny and myself.
12 November – The Football Association deducts Arsenal two points and Manchester United one point and fines both clubs £50,000 for a mass player brawl in a Football League match between the two clubs last month in a league match at Old Trafford.
17th November The Buzz Club Five Thirty
Five Thirty were a three piece playing a kind of psychedelic style sounding and looking a bit like The Jam on acid. I had seen them a few times over the year – twice at U.L.U. and once The Falcon and loved them. Anyone who lived in the London area and listened to Gary Crowley’s show on G.L.R. will have been very familiar with them.
Here’s ‘Air Conditioned Nightmare’ live from The Buzz Club.
To show just how tightly we ran things at The Buzz Club, we booked Five Thirty to celebrate our fifth birthday. Ha! Nice. (It actually was five years to the day, since our first ever Buzz Club)We also got some tee shirts made in honour of that fact. We printed the cream of our bookings over those five years. We only realised when sales of these tee shirts weren’t very impressive that if people didn’t like one or two of the bands on the shirts, well, they didn’t want to wear or therefore buy one. Blast. Gave a fare few away in the end.
20 November – Margaret Thatcher fails to win outright victory in a leadership contest for the Conservative Party.
22 November – Margaret Thatcher announces her resignation as Leader of the Conservative Party and therefore as Prime Minister, having led the government for more than 11 years and the Conservative Party for over 15 years. She was the longest serving prime minister of the 20th century.
25th November Happy Mondays Wembley Arena
Shelley had got a few tickets to see The Happy Mondays at Wembley Arena. Danny and myself went with Shelley and her boyfriend, Andy. Top night.
27 November – John Major is elected leader of the Conservative Party and becomes Britain’s new Prime Minister. At 47, Major is the youngest British Prime Minister of the 20th century.
1st December The Buzz Club The Moonflowers / Credit To The Nation
Crazy band from Bristol who nearly set the venue on fire with their insane stage antics! They had just released the brilliant ‘Get Higher’ on Heavenly Records. A regular tune at the Yellow Book Club.
All I have is this photo from this particular Buzz Club.
1 December Channel Tunnel workers from the United Kingdom and France meet 40 metres beneath the English Channel seabed, establishing the first land connection between the United Kingdom and the mainland of Europe for around 8,000 years.
8 December – The UK grinds to a halt following heavy snow overnight. Large parts of the country are without power after snowfall brings down power lines, disrupting the electricity supply.
New Years Eve. The Gardening Club and The Rock Garden were joined together by a locked corridor in the basement. This was opened up to connect the two venues for a joint Yellow Book Club / Ophelia party. There was also an extended licence until 6am. An amazing night and what a way to bring in the New Year. I remember a group of us dancing on the Rock Garden stage, at about 2am when this was played – what a glorious union, Chrissie Hynde and Moodswings.