Did you know that Burngreave has seen its share of stardom perform at the King Mojo Club back in the 60’s? For just three years, from 1964 to 1967 the club on Pitsmoor Road became a thriving scene of modern music and a place where an amazing array of famous names performed.
Many Burngreave locals know the story of how Peter Stringfellow, London night club owner, started his career in this neighbourhood. To find out more about the club and hear about the bands that played there, I went to meet Ted and Leroy Walcott and Joseph Brown at a house on Burngreave Road. Joseph started off:
“We were just teenagers at a time when teenagers were first discovering their freedom! And we loved music so we started going to the club every week, from the day it opened to the day it closed. It was just up the road and it was quite something! People used to come from all over – Lincoln, even London! And everyone came for the music. There was just a coffee bar – no alcohol sold there. When it started it cost two shillings and sixpence to get in! The décor wasn’t much – all black paint inside but the music was fantastic!”
The club was based in an ordinary house that had formerly been Dey’s School of Dancing. The ballroom had a sprung floor (“Great for the twist!” said Leroy, “as it was covered in that slippery white stuff dancers put on their shoes!”) When asked what bands they had seen there, all three reeled off a list of names that blows the mind: Ike and Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, The Who (“They were a loud lot!”), Rod Stewart, Jimmy Cliff, Elton John, Joe Cocker, John Mayall’s Blues Breakers, Geno Washington, Jimi Hendrix…and so many more. In fact it was forty years ago this January that Jimi Hendrix played in the Mojo!
A lot of the British bands were up and coming at the time, not yet famous,” said Ted,
“although there were famous names too, mostly the American bands that were already established. That place really took off as a club!”