There are many insular pieces of land in rock history, from the Isle of Wight with its festivals to Chris Blackwell’s label and so on, but there’s hardly one less celebrated than Eel Pie Island on the Thames. Its primary rock association being Pete Townshend’s old studio, but there’s more to it. There was “Eel Pie Island Hotel”, a guesthouse, which served also a club in 1957-1967, a popular jazz and rock venue that saw such outstanding performers as THE ROLLING STONES and THE WHO, THE SMALL FACES and THE KINKS, THE YARDBIRDS and PINK FLOYD, THE BLUESBREAKERS and David Bowie, to name but a few, with the likes of BLACK SABBATH and GENESIS joining the line when the hall briefly reopened in 1969. Quite a cradle for great music.
Now, it is to be a subject of a book titled “The British Beat Explosion: Rock ‘n’ Roll Island” and containing a treasure trove of contributions – interviews, photographs and more – from musicians, fans, critics and the original Eel Pie clubbers, including one from DME. Out in August, the 160-pages tome will be launched in conjunction with an exhibition at “Orleans House”, a film and live music events.