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April 21, 2007


John Smout

I was a regular visitor to Eel Pie Island in the late 60s and saw many bands and have many personal memories.

Colonel Barefoot's Rock Garden got its name because it was traditional for musicians to be held upside down and their signed footprints stamped in paint or ink on the ceiling. These were mostly from the early 60s incarnation of the club. All the big names were there, including the Stones.

When the club reopened it took its name from the bare footprints which were there until the day I stood and watched them knock the ballroom down.

There never was a real Colonel Barefoot, just as there was never a Sgt. Pepper.


My friend Nigel and I 'did the lights' at eel pie in 1969-70, we had a psychedelic light show called 'Aural Plasma'. The guy running it was Mark Newman i think, he was a real mad character, studied Judo or something in Japan, drove a white Jag, had an alsation dog' tickle his bollocks he likes that!'We had some crazy drug induced evenings there with Black Sabbath, mott the Hoople and many others, Mark made a vicious 'Colonel Barefoots punch' I never did find out what was in it. We were paid about £20 for two nights work,We didnt care it was great fun to be around this scene. The hotel was a squat, I didnt like going in there, it freaked me out, they used to steal electricity from the Club which caused a few angry scenes.I stll have a few of the flyers from those nights.

the shadow

Mark it was who called the gigs Colonel Barefoot's etc. He was a booking agent from an outfit based above the Chequered Flag garage in Chiswick who muscled in over the freaks trying to run the place. He managed Stray who played the club several times. My fondest memory was the demise of the little minivan he used to get gear across from the mainland, which ran out of petrol and got filled up from a can of engine oil!

the shadow

Forgot to say - Mark's claim to fame was that he used to be lead singer with a pop band called The Riot Squad.


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the Eel Pie Island island used to be known as a major jazz and blues venue, so Eel Pie Hotel couldn't be butw a genteel 19th century building that hosted ballroom dancing during the 1920s and 1930s. :) the hotel was finally burned down in a mysterious fire in the '70s.


You write well will be waiting for your new publications.


The new year is already knocking at the door, let it will bring only happiness and joy.


Happy New Year! Happiness and success in 2011.


Interesting site, always a new topic .. good luck in the new 2011. Happy New Year!


Hi Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


Hi Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Sandra  Luckett

I am not sure what year it was in the 1960's, probably 1960 or 1961. I was in the bar and I couldn't get my Embassy cigarettes out of the machine. A handsome blonde young man helped me. We joked about how the mahcine should be less difficult to get the cigarettes out (probably had a swear about it) The guy was Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. I have treasured that momenht all my life, especially since he had an untimely death which I was devastated about.

Best regards

Sandra Luckett

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I am trying to find out more about the commune era of the Eel Pie Hotel. Who started it all? How many people lived there? The motivation behind it? What it was like living there... Also, does anyone remember Colonel...

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