Rock’s Diamond Year
Introduced by Ralph Brookfield
Celebrating Rock’s 60th Birthday, from the formation of the Rolling Stones and the heyday of the British Invasion to the spawning of the Reading Festival, this book explores the music history of the London clubs that were the engine rooms for British rock n roll. Many of the now legendary British rock bands honed their skills and developed their stage acts performing on the London club circuit at venues such as The Ealing Club, The Crawdaddy Club, The Marquee, The 100 Club, The Half Moon, the Ricky Tick, The Bull’s Head and the infamous Eel Pie Island Hotel. We revisit the days when Eric Clapton was God and Rock ruled the world. Play it Loud!
Why is 2022 ‘Rock’s Diamond Year’?
On March 17th 1962, Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies started the EALING BLUES CLUB. The first UK gig devoted to ‘electric blues music’. Musicologists agree that this event was the catalyst that would define British Rock music. The Ealing Blues Club sparked a musical revolution that grew further at Twickenham’s Eel Pie Island and Richmond’s Crawdaddy Club, 3 venues that were vital in the careers of: The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds / Eric Clapton, The Who, Cream and many more.
Elsewhere in 1962 there were rumblings of a cultural shift with The Beatles, Dusty Springfield, The Animals, Marshall Amplification and many others setting the tone for what became the UK’s most significant cultural export… Rock & Pop Music.
60 years on from 1962 and ‘ROCK’S DIAMOND YEAR’ will celebrate the UK’s unique contribution to what has become a global music form. The initiative is led by The Ealing Club Community Interest Company’ set up to champion West London music heritage while inspiring new music opportunity for the future.
Introduction by Ralph Brookfield
The Ealing Club by Alistair Young
An Adolescence in Music by Robert Hokum
The Eel Pie Island Club/Eel Pie Club, Twickenham by Gina Way
The Crawdaddy Club, Richmond by David Sinclair
Ignition – Giorgio Gomelsky by Cheryl Robson
The Bull’s Head, Barnes by Pete Feenstra
The Ricky Tick Club, Windsor by Pete Clack
The Half Moon Club, Putney by Patrick Humphries
The Marquee Club, Soho by Charlotte Banks
The 100 Club, Soho by Richard Luck
Spotify Playlist to enjoy whilst reading: Rock’s Diamond Year
Author Ralph Brookfield trained as a molecular physicist worked as a copy editor, software engineer, freelance writer, ran a software business, and was a director of technology in the digital television industry. Since 2012 he has pursued his muse as a tutor, writer, and amateur musician. He is a founder member of the Hanwell ukulele group in West London and organises music events regularly. In 2021 his book On The Trail of Americana Music was also published by Aurora Metro/Supernova.
Charlotte studied PPE at Oxford and is currently training for an NCTJ with News Associates. She is a freelance music journalist who has written for Nightshift and Oxfordshire Music Scene, and is currently writing for South West Londoner.
Pete grew up in Oxfordshire, playing in bands and visiting clubs. He worked on research in Physics and Chemistry at the University of Oxford. He has written for both motor club and youth magazines, and now writes for Blues In Britain, also The Dub, a roots reggae magazine. He lives on the edge of the Cotswolds with his wife Pauline, has two grown up children, and is still writing songs and performing in bands.
Since the 70s, Pete has been promoting music and contributing to Classic Rock Blues magazine. He wrote the book accompanying the Family ‘Once Upon A Time’ boxed set and is also features editor for Get Ready to ROCK! In 2016, he won two Lifetime Achievement Awards for his services to the blues. In 2019, he won Best Radio Show, and in 2020 he was voted UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year at the UK Blues Awards. In 2022 he was voted ‘Best Podcast’ in the Wrinkly Rockers Club 2021 Awards.
Robert Hokum is the alter-ego of Bob Salmons who has had careers in the Music Industry, National Newspapers and Market Research, being involved in events such as Rock against Racism, the rise of Punk, the fall of Fleet Street and the development of the Internet. He is best known as the founder of the Ealing Blues Festival and as a Director of The Ealing Club Community Interest Company. Born and raised in Ealing, he now lives in Twickenham with his wife and two daughters.
As a journalist, Patrick has contributed to Mojo, NME, The Observer, Evening Standard, Daily Mail, The Times, Heat, Record Collector and many more. He is the author of numerous biographies of prominent musicians including Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, Richard Thompson and Bruce Springsteen. He also writes and presents documentary programmes for BBC Radio.
Richard is a feature writer, critic and author. A regular contributor to The New European, he also writes or has written for Empire, FourFourTwo, Film4.com, Rolling Stone, Neon, Uncut, GQ and Total Film. His books include profiles of Sam Peckinpah, Steve McQueen and the Madchester music scene. Twitter:
Cheryl is an award-winning writer, editor and filmmaker. Her multi-award-winning documentary Rock ‘n’ Roll Island; Where Legends Were Born tells the history of the Eel Pie Island Hotel and SW London music scene. It was a Sunday Times Critics’ Choice and Radio Times’ Pick of the Week when broadcast by BBC4, 2020. www.cherylrobson.net
David has been a musician since the 70s and a music journalist since the 80s. As chief rock/pop correspondent of The Times of London and a contributor to Rolling Stone, Billboard, Q magazine and many others, he was fortunate to see and meet many of the bands and stars who came up through the London gig circuit. As a singer, songwriter and bandleader of David Sinclair Four (DS4), he has been privileged to have played at many of these venues himself. The new DS4 album, Apropos Blues, launches at the Half Moon, September 2022. www.davidsinclairfour.com
Gina and her husband Warren have been producing and promoting live music events since 1998. For over 20 years she produced dance and musical theatre events (under the label Aspects of Dance) for charity, including two Royal Galas at Richmond Theatre. She has been running the Eel Pie Club since 2000. Gina was a regular visitor to The Eel Pie Island Jazz Club in the 1960s (when still at school) and is a contributor to The British Beat Explosion book. www.eelpieclub.com
Alistair was born just as The Rolling Stones were launching Let It Bleed and the Beatles were coming to an end. Music was always his first interest but a career in medical sales/publishing pushed that aside for a while.
Ronnie Wood’s biography first sparked his interest in Ealing’s Music heritage and this has been followed by library visits, emails and conversations with people that lived through the days of the club. By setting up of a community interest company, assuring backing from The Arts Council and co-producing the definitive film about the club, he hopes the legacy of the club can live beyond the history books.
On the radio
Stream David Sinclair on Robert Elms show, BBC Radio London 25.3.22 by David Sinclair Four | Listen online for free on SoundCloud
Stream David Sinclair and Ralph Brookfield on Talk Radio Europe – New Book: Rock’s Diamond Year 15.4.22 – YouTube
Rock’s Diamond Year Radio Caroline Special with Mark Dezzani by Mark Dezzani | Mixcloud
Rock’s Diamond Year Book Launch | Music | News | Twickenham Nub News
Rock’s Diamond Year | European Music Times
Rock’s Diamond Year | DMME.net
“…gives insight into the Big Bang of rock music and why it was centered around southwest London suburbs in the 60s. Highly recommended.” – Mark Dezzani, DJ, Radio Caroline[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]