Memories of the Ricky-Tick
If you have any memories of the Ricky-Tick that you are willing to share, please use the form here.
Here’s a few we’ve already received recently:-
Absolutely fantastic days!! When I try and describe to people now, of the amazing music scene we had with all these brilliant groups, at the Star and Garter and Ricky Tick, people find it hard to believe. But it was all so wonderfully real. Weren’t we lucky?
My memory is going to the Ricky Tick at the Star and Garter in Peascod St, Windsor. Me and my new girlfriend Brenda used to go to the Carlton Ballroom in Slough and had heard the “The Stones” records and really loved their R&B music. When I heard they were at the Ricky Tick I really wanted to see them but 7s 6d was expensive as I wanted to take Brenda meaning a total outlay of 15s (75 pence)! As an apprentice this was a big outlay, but luckily new girlfriend Brenda offered to go Dutch and pay for herself.
On the night we climbed the stairs at the back of the Star and Garter and there they were The Rolling Stones – our new music heroes. I can’t remember specific numbers they played except great R&B standards and at half time I was at the packed bar struggling to buy a half a bitter when I noticed this somewhat short bloke also struggling to get to the bar. After a minute I realised it was Brian Jones and I just nodded as I didn’t to seem uncool and actually speak to him, in fact I was star struck. It was a wonderful night with amazing music but when, a few weeks later at The Carlton in Slough, we heard their first release “Come On” everybody thought they had sold out and gone commercial and wouldn’t last 5 minutes.
Hey what did we know?
Brenda and I dated for a further 5 years, stayed married 14 years and had two wonderful children and now 5 grandchildren. Still good friends and reminisce about those wonderful days.
My brother and I lived in Maidenhead in the sixties, close to the Pearce Hall where we used to see the Animals and Georgie Fame perform on Saturday nights. In early 1963 we heard of a new band called the Rolling Stones so we and some friends piled into our pre-war Austin and drove over to the Star and Garter in Peascod Street (since demolished). Not much of a queue in those early days so we walked down the alley alongside the pub and up the stairs to this small packed venue. All R&B covers in those days but the sound was incredible, never heard anything like it before or since. Much use of maracas and tambourine by Mick and harmonica by Mick and Brian. We joined the Club and were given small fold out membership cards on the inside of which I wrote the numbers they performed (Route 66, Around and Around, Bo Diddley etc etc). The Club quickly outgrew the S&G and moved to the large hall behind the Thames Hotel. I will always remember our first visit there, walking into a packed venue with this amazing sound coming from the far end. All you could see of the Stones above the sea of heads was the top of Bill’s bass guitar which he always held up-right. The Club then moved to Clewer Mead taking over a large disused country house on the outskirts of Windsor where we saw the Yardbirds, John Lee Hooker (who arrived late from a gig in High Wycombe courtesy of British Rail!) and many others. We then saw the Stones in High Wycombe and Reading but by then they had hit the big time and the queues were well over a mile long. We felt very privileged to have seen the band at the Ricky Tick so early, with minimal queues and a sound in small venues that sent shivers up and down the spine.
I have very strong memories seeing Georgie Fame and Geno several times, also the Yardbirds and Howling Wolf at the Clewer Mead venue. I remember reading complaint letters in the local paper most weeks from a resident in River Way (I won’t mention his name) about the “noise”. But my strongest memory was the last night there with Georgie Fame and the Blue Fames in September 1966. It was billed as an “all nighter”, but was broken up by police around midnight I guess…….such a shame. For weeks before then, I remember seeing John and Phil standing on the corner of Duke Street urging people To be quiet as they left. Clewer Mead had a great atmosphere with the black walls and white graphics……I regretted its “passing” for years afterwards.
I went to the Ricky Tick several times in the early 1960’s. To the Star and Garter, Thames Hotel and other venues.
One evening in late 1962 or early in 1963, we gave a lift to a young lady in a very short miniskirt hitching by the Windsor Road in Slough. It turned out to be Chrissie Shrimpton. She was also going like us to the Rolling Stones gig at the Star and Garter in Peascod street Windsor. She told us she was hoping to meet up with Mick Jagger. It turned out to be a fantastic evening. I think the upstairs room at the Star and Garter could hold about 70 people and it was rammed full. The Stones played mainly Chuck Berry numbers and the floor was vibrating to the point where I thought it would collapse. Their equipment was pretty primitive the amps were old valve ones, which you could see glowing in the dark. They still had Stu on piano in those days. Chrissie got her man and I recall seeing her and Mick in a very close clinch in the alleyway next to the Pub during a break.
Some time later I saw the Stones with my brother at the Thames Hotel. We had a chat with Bill Wyman, who told us about the deal they had recently done with Decca. Their gear had gone up a notch, they were now sporting brand new Vox amplifiers. The next time I saw them was in Birmingham Odeon, New Street. They were a supporting group for the Everly Brothers, Little Richard, Bo Diddley Tour. “Come on” had just been released and the Stones were on the way to major stardom.
Saw many acts there inc Stevie Wonder on drums, Don Covay, Cream. Remember the boutique and Eric Clapton sitting there. The black walls with the church pews. Having your hand stamped on entry. So many more great memories!
An interview with John Mansfield – and some memories
Back in 2006 when John Mansfield had started to write his book he was interviewed by Linda Serck of Radio Berkshire. An article about that interview together with some comments and memories that were submitted afterwards can still be found in the BBC archives here .