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  • Writer's pictureRock Tour London

The Scotch of St. James

Updated: Sep 23, 2021






When it opened in July 1965, in a small back alley known as Mason's Yard, it's doubtful anyone would have thought this small nightclub would become the epicenter of London's swinging 60s. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, if you take a peek at the list of those that frequented the place back then, the writing was on the proverbial wall.


This is where the then unknown Jimi Hendrix first performed on the night of his arrival in England on September 24, 1966 when he joined the house band for an impromptu session on stage. It also happed on that night that he met Kathy Etchingham who would later become his girlfriend.



So much more history here at The Scotch of St. James. It was here that Paul McCartney first met Stevie Wonder after Stevie's live performance on February 3, 1966; here where Eric Clapton met Jimi Hendrix for the first time and a strong friendship took root; here where Chas Chandler, the original bassist for the Animals - who quit the band to turn his attention to producing and managing musicians...he hit the motherload on his first try when it's said he used a Scotch of St James napkin to draw up a contract between Track Records and Jimi Hendrix.



The most famous of meetings is said to be that of when John Lennon met Yoko Ono here when a late night at the Scotch led to an after party at the Indica Gallery & Bookshop next door. (see pic on left...the shop with the white windows was Indica Gallery when John met Yoko).


On October 25, 1966 The Jimi Hendrix Experience played their first live gig as a private showcase at the Scotch of St James.


The list of loyal regulars is a list of incredible legends in music...Elton John, Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, The Kinks, The Who, The Moody Blues, Eric Burdon & The Animals...just to name a few. The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were given their own tables.


The club closed down in the mid 80s to be restored and reopened in 2012 as Le Baron London at The Scotch of St. James. It reverted back to it's original name The Scotch of St. James in March of 2014.


Still very popular it's recently seen the likes of Rihanna, Kate Moss, Benicio del Toro and Sofia Coppola pass it's threshold. There's also been a "rumor" that Metallica partied here after a recent London visit.


Check it out for yourself. You never know who you might bump into.




Here's where you'll find

London's Rock and Roll History at The Scotch of St. James.

13 Masons Yard





©RockTourLondon

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