The Marquee Club - A tribute site dedicated to the history of the legendary Marquee club at London's 90 Wardour street.

Chris Squire, 1994

Chris Squire

"I remember the Marquee days very well... we almost had to pay them to play there sometimes! My most profound memory was when we (the Syn) drove down from Stoke or somewhere, to play the Marquee because we were under the impression that we'd be opening for Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers. They always pulled in a few punters, so we thought that instead of the usual 15 quid we might get 30. Anyway, we turned up and the first thing that happened was that proprietor Jack Barrie came up to us and said, 'Sorry guys, Cliff Bennett can't make it, we've had to work some black guy from America instead... I can't remember his name, though'. I remember thinking, 'Oh no, we're gonna end up with 15 quid again! So we started unloading our gear from the van, and I saw this black guy onstage trying to teach his bass player to play the riff to a song called "Purple Haze". The guy was obviously having problems getting it right and I thought, 'God, not only are we not going to make any money, but we're supporting a band who can't even play!' I thought, 'What a fucking joke' After we finished unloading we went to the cafe down the road and I remember that suddenly the queue to the marquee had gone past the window of this cafe! We were thinking, 'What are all these people doing coming to see some black guy and a band who can't play?' Anyway, we returned to the gig, and when we went onstage I approached the mike to do the 'testing 1-2, 1-2' bit, when I happened to glance at the front row of the crowd... and there was George Harrison, Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, John Lennon, Steve Winwood... it was like 'I'm in a DREAM!' The black guy was Jimi Hendrix, of course, and I sat at the piano at the back of the stage to watch the show. For months after that I wad women coming up to me who wouldn't even speak to me before... just because I was onstage with Hendrix!"."

Chris Squire, Raw magazine - Recollections of the Marquee, 1994.