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  • Writer's pictureRock Tour London

Ronnie Scott's

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

I discovered Ronnie Scott's completely by accident. Now, before I go into detail, please be kind. I'm not from around here but as a huge fan of rock and roll you can only imagine why I now stare in wonderment while standing in front of this establishment of huge historical significance. I mean seriously, I touch the door handle here the way people of religion pray to their deities.

But, I didn't stand in awe the first time I saw it. I was across the street at Bar Italia having an Aperol Spritz when I first saw Ronnie Scott's. From the outside it looks like a cool jazz club. What piqued my interest was the sign that said "630pm to 3am open nightly" because, let's face it, some of the best stories are born late in the evening and the sign said this place stayed open real late so logic would dictate...real good stories.

I finished my drink and made a mental note to look this place up later and continued on my merry way. It was a couple of weeks later while reading a book on Hendrix when Ronnie Scott's came up again and caused me to remember to look it up. In reading, I learned that while it is primarily a jazz club it is also a hotspot for rock and roll.

The Who deafened an audience of journalists when the band launched their album Tommy here in 1969.

This was the venue of Hendrix's last live performance on September 16, 1970 when he joined Eric Burdon and the band War at the end of their set. He died two days later.

While there have been thousands of performances here a few of my personal favorites I've discovered by accident as well and unfortunately on DVD or by documentary...never live. In November of 2007 Eric Clapton surprisingly joined Jeff Beck on stage to play two songs; Little Brown Bird and You Need Your Love.

In 2016, Jeff Beck performed 5 night at Ronnie Scott's with lead singer Rosie Bones (a Camden Town local) before heading out on tour. The audience was jammed packed with British rock and roll royalty. You can see bits of it on the DVD "Still on the Run: The Jeff Beck Story."

While I wasn't fortunate enough to have experienced these shows live I am in awe of the talent displayed in that small venue and the greats that have graced it's stage or observed their friends doing so.

Yep! That's why I'm usually standing out front in awe of the place.


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