My beginnings..............................

I didn’t know it at the time, but when Sean Casey walked into the jean shop where I was working in Kensington High Street that morning, my life would change.

We got talking whilst he tried on various pair of denims “ I’m in the middle of re-opening the Rainbow Theatre”, he casually mentioned… BING!.. “ Oh! have you… sorted out your security yet?” I asked. You see this ploy had worked for me a few months earlier when the same thing had happened, only that time the guy had said, “I’m opening a club in Covent Garden called The Rock Garden”. I ended up as Head of Security with Big Mick as my cohort – probably something to do with being 6’ 6” XXL.

Go to home pageGo to history pageGo to opening night pageDates 1930-1959Dates 1960-69Dates 1970-71Dates 1972Dates 1973go to dates 1974Dates 1975Dates 1976Dates 1977Dates 1978go to dates 1979Dates 1980Dates 1981-82Dates 1983-PresentVarious Photographs of the Theatrelive albums of concerts at the theatrefilms that have been shot at the theatreContact me & Info The Rainbow Circ. 2000

In that time I experience seeing the genesis of many artists who would go on to achieve fame … The Jam, The Smiths, Talking Heads first London gig… Anyway, I digress.
I gave Sean my number and really thought nothing further would happen. Just before Christmas 1976 he called “Remember me?” he asked ”Fancy Assistant Front of House Manager”. Sounded good I thought. “When?” “Come down January 1st, you can start then”
So, that cold winter’s morning, I took the tube into the wilds of North London,
(me being a “Souff London” boy from Tooting, the “Norf” of town was always a foreign land)
Not knowing quite what to expect, as I emerged from Finsbury Park Station, there in the sky was that soon to be familiar red Kelloggs-style Rainbow sign.

Now I’d heard of The Rainbow I remember my mates Rob and Los going to see Argent back in 1973 and I vaguely remembered them talking about the décor. But nothing could have prepared me for the sight that greeted me upon entering those glass brown wooden framed doors.

For those who have never seen the inside of The Rainbow, the first thing you see is an illuminated fountain set within an eight-sided raised star pool. Then everything else sort of hits you one thing at a time - a bit like the contestants in Changing Rooms; “Oh! Look at that,” and “ I like what’s been done there,” or “and look at that light”. Yes, you are in a Moorish Harem (in Finsbury Park?) complete with a domed Byzantine cupola, and staircases and corridors leading to what?…….. I just was drawn inwards. As I ascended the stairs past Baroque mirrors and wall friezes, which could have come from the India, Art Deco lanterns and a red tiled roofed courtyard, which could have been stolen from The Alhambra.
I was now at the auditorium doors, would it continue? Was disappointment waiting? Heck no! All it needed was Bob Hope and Bing Crosby and it would have been The Road to Morocco, all under a twinkling star canopy.

Oh! One other thing………… Genesis were playing on the stage!

The Astorian Magazine


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