Marquee: The Story of the World's Greatest Music Venue
|Author||Robert Sellers and Nick Pendleton|
|Date Published||12th December 2022|
Bright lights, Soho, Wardour Street…
The Marquee is the most famous and iconic music club in the world. Melody Maker called it, ‛The most important venue in the history of pop music.’
The story of the Marquee is the story of popular music in Britain. This new book from Paradise Road evokes the hot, sweaty and sticky life and times of the club through the words of the musicians, management, staff and fans who were there to witness music history being made.
Starting life as a jazz club on Oxford Street before relocating to Soho’s Wardour Street, the Marquee moved through the trends of the times, embracing rhythm and blues with Alexis Korner, the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds, transitioning to rock with the Who, Cream, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. Pink Floyd played early dates here as the houseband of the Spontaneous Underground, and it is where David Bowie starred in his Showboat, met Mick Ronson, previewed Hunky Dory and said goodbye to Ziggy.
The club became a spiritual home to progressive rock, nurturing Jethro Tull, Yes and Genesis, before giving the stage to many of the bands that trashed them, including the Sex Pistols, the Stranglers, the Damned, Sham 69 and Generation X. The Marquee was home to the New Wave (Adam and the Ants, the Jam, Ultravox!, the Police) and to the New Wave of Heavy Metal (Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Girlschool).
A worldwide reputation made it the must-play club for international artists including AC/DC, Bryan Adams, Faith No More, Guns N’Roses, INXS, Metallica, REM and ZZ Top.
Its recording studios were used by the Beatles, Elton John, Monty Python and Chelsea FC, and launched Stock Aitken and Waterman. The Marquee’s annual open-air festival, first held in 1961, settled in Reading in 1971, where it remains as the world’s longest running popular music festival.
Marquee: The Story of the World’s Greatest Music Venue tells the story of both the music club and the festival, from the birth of the club in 1958 and festival in 1961, through to their sale by original owners Harold and Barbara Pendleton thirty years later.
Hardback, 320 pages, with 49 black & white illustrations
Robert Sellers is the author of books on entertainment and popular culture including authorised biographies of Oliver Reed, Ernie Wise and Kenny Everett, the best-selling Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O’Toole and Oliver Reed, and histories of Radio 1, Ealing Studios and Handmade Films.
Nick Pendleton is the only child of Marquee founders Harold and Barbara Pendleton. School holidays were spent in the offices above the club and in a field in Reading. Today, he runs a boutique strategy and growth consultancy, Forge Strategy Associates, is the chairman of design and event production company Chameleon Live, and chairs Entec Sound & Light, the music production company developed by his parents.