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The Crawdaddy Club was a 1960s music venue in Richmond, Surrey, England, famous for being the location of the Rolling Stones' first ever gig in 1962. Several other seminal British blues and rhythm and blues acts also played there.

The club, which started towards the end of 1962, was the idea of Giorgio Gomelsky, film-maker and blues enthusiast, who had filmed Chris Barber's band at the first Richmond Jazz Festival. His first resident group was the Dave Hunt R & B Band which briefly featured Ray Davies, who later formed The Kinks.

In February 1963, the Rolling Stones played their first gig at the Crawdaddy, then located at the Station Hotel, Richmond, directly opposite the railway station. The Stones soon became so popular that audiences overflowed onto the street, and the Crawdaddy was forced to move to a larger venue, the Richmond Athletic Ground. By April 1963, the Stones had two gigs a week at the Crawdaddy and a weekly slot at Eel Pie Island, two miles away in Twickenham. During this time, the band had their first chart hit, Come On.

When the Stones became too big for small local clubs and went on tour, their residency at the Crawdaddy was taken over by another leading R & B group from nearby Kingston upon Thames, The Yardbirds, featuring Eric Clapton. Other artists who played at the club include Led Zeppelin, Long John Baldry, Elton John and Rod Stewart.

The Crawdaddy can claim with some accuracy to be as historic a British music venue as the Cavern Club in Liverpool, where the Beatles played early gigs. It also was the source for the name of the legendary American music magazine Crawdaddy!

External links

  • Eel Pie Club.com- gives information on the current Eel Pie Club in Twickenham and other 1960s r'n'b sites in the locality.
  • Heartland - provides current photos of the Crawdaddy and other "Rolling Stones London sites".
  • Room for Ravers - Small Faces fan site.
  • [1] and click on "crawdaddy" - site for the magazine.

Coordinates: 51°27′49″N 0°18′7″W / 51.46361°N 0.30194°W / 51.46361; -0.30194

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