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

Jack Barrie (manager)

Jack Barrie

Jack Barrie is one of the people that most contributed to the birth of the musical scene in London during the late 60's from his quarters at La Chasse club and later during the early 70's from his management at the Marquee club. He is still one of the most dear and beloved characters from those days.

Jack Barrie started to work as a caterer for the National Jazz & Blues Festival in 1964. A true jazz music fan, Barrie eventually started working for the Marquee club as an assistant to John Gee. After having worked at a Fish and Chips, in May 1967, Jack Barrie opened a small drinking club called La Chasse just a few numbers away from the Marquee club on the 1st floor at 100 Wardour St.

The club became the most popular drinking club in the music scene at the time and the place where everyone in the music business were regulars, considering that the Marquee club didn't have a license to serve alcohol.

So the offer of La Chasse was perfect: alcohol, a jukebox packed with the latest hits, and a selection of regulars that included everyone who was in some way involved in the music business at the time, including musicians, managers, promoters and club owners.

One of the most famous stories in relationship with the figure of Jack barrie is his involvement with the story of the band Yes. By 1967 the singer of the band, Jon Anderson moved to London in search of a project that would let him express his musical ideas and entered right in the nucleus Soho's music life when he started working for Jack Barrie at La Chasse . During this period Jon Anderson used to sleep at the couches of La Chasse and sweep up the place and serve drinks to pay his living. One spring night Jack Barrie introduced Anderson to bass player Chris Squire and gave them a couple of beers to know each other, marking the beginning of Yes.

In January 1970 Jack Barrie replaced John Gee in the management of the Marquee club, who had retired from his charge. Barrie had started working as an assistant manager to John Gee in 1965 and was an essential support to a new generation of British artists such as Led Zeppelin, Yes, Jethro Tull , Genesis , King Crimson, and Rod Stewart.

Somehow the musical tradition has continued throughout the family genes and today Jack Barrie's nephew is a reputed musician known as Robert Wolf.

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I lived in Swingin’ London from 1967 and was a regular at La Chasse Club and knew Jack well, it was always full to bursting and you only got in if Jack knew and liked you, he introduced me to my first husband Graham Knight of Marmalade, those days were fantastic and the memories of those hot, steamy, smokie nights at Le Chasse were and still are unforgettable and never to be forgotten.

I met so many now famous stars there, Jon Anderson, Rick from Status Quo and many more, we all spent many a night talking and then going on to the Speakeasy, The Cromwellian or Bag o’Nails until the wee small hours. A truly fantastic time which I will carry with me always, hoping Jack Barrie is still alive and well, he was loved and respected by us all.

Michelle Dorey, 2 May 2012.

I was in a Band Called BABY, Jack put us on Quite a lot. It was a great Club, I saw also many acts. Freddie King which changed my Life. What a guitar player! It was packed to the hilt most nights. Won't be forgotten, I have Great Memories of The Marquee Wardour st . Jack gave us a chance to play our music . Thanks Jack.

Mick Pini, 18 Jan 2012.

I used to go in the Marquee in the early 70’s but my main memory is of Jack is when he had the restuarant concession in the Speakeasy in Margaret St.

One night in particular I went in with a girl for a meal before the music started. Jack suggested we book a table as it was going to be full later. He did this, and when we came back into the room we could see the Stones sat below us on the couches at floor level. They had brought a black artist from the US. Can anyone tell me who this was? I always thought it was Muddy Waters but am not sure now. It was wall to wall stars Beatles, Hollies, loads. Would really appreciate any memories of that night

Peter Brockbank, 28 Jun 2011.

I remember Jack with affection as Virginia and I were regulars at La Chasse. Remember card games with Tony Stratton Smith, Eddie Kennedy et al. remarkable tines, never to be repeated.

Bill Harry, 1 Jul 2009.