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

Ray Bennett of Flash, 2002

Ray Bennett

"I met Alexis Korner briefly when he came down to check out my blues band. That was in 1968, I was still at art school. I was nervous because it was a critique, but he was kind, with good suggestions. It was remarkably generous for him to take the time to come and see a bunch of unknown kids. Before that I saw posters around South London and the suburbs, in the mid-Sixties, advertising "Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated" before I knew who he was. The name intrigued me. Unusual, I thought it was very hip. Later I found out how many English blues and rock names were associated with him. I also discovered an album of his around 1966 which became a favourite. Some friends and I hung out together a lot that summer and played a handful of records over and over again. The Beatles, Stones, John Mayall, Mingus, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, and Alexis Korner. I forget now what the album's title was, I don't have that record anymore, but Jack Bruce played on it, also Dick Heckstall-Smith. It had been around for a couple of years already and by '66 those two had been with the Graham Bond band for a while, another of my favourites, so they also drew my attention to Alexis. One thing that impressed me was that he wrote all the tracks overnight and recorded it the next day. That was impressive. I liked the overall loose feel and the memorable compositions. It was one of those records that I didn't get tired of. One track was called "Sappho", and I read in the liner notes that this was named after his daughter. Years later, in the Seventies, I was introduced to her in the Marquee bar in London. I was very happy to be able to tell her that I knew her already from that album. She was very surprised and gave me a great smile.."

Ray Bennett, December 2002.
Interview by Dmitry M. Epstein