John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison attend a party in London

Monday, July 3, 1967
Timeline More from year 1967
The Speakeasy Club, 48 Margaret Street, London, UK

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On this day, Vic Lewis, who worked with Brian Epstein at NEMS arranging the Beatles’ international tours, organized a private party for The Monkees at the Speakeasy club in London. The guest list included Paul McCartney and his girlfriend Jane Asher, John and Cynthia Lennon, George and Patti Harrison, The Who, Eric Clapton, Procol Harum, the Manfred Mann band, Jeff Beck, Barry Miles, Lulu, Dusty Springfield, and of course, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, and Mike Nesmith from The Monkees who were all in attendance.

Micky and I are meeting the Beatles at a London club called the Speakeasy. And in come George and John singing to the tune of “Hare Krishna” “Micky Dolenz, Micky Dolenz, Dolenz, Dolenz, Micky, Micky.” And Paul is with Jane Asher, and the other guys didn’t bring anybody, and I had just done some STP which was an LSD-type psychedelic drug. I mentioned it to John and he said, “We heard that’s no good. Mama Cass told us not to take it.” But he said, “Okay”. So I went back to the hotel and I got some. Popped one down his throat. I guess he was alright because he seemed to survive. I don’t think I’m responsible for “Strawberry Fields” though.“

Peter Tork – From The Monkees – From Memorable Moments in Monkees History: Introducing Eric Clapton and John Lennon to the drug STP | Faintly Amused (

At the Speakeasy tonight, Eric Clapton experiences his first acid trip. He will recall the event almost 40 years later to Nigel Williamson. “I hadn’t done anything up to that point except smoke a lot of dope. Then Micky Dolenz came in and he was handing out pills to everybody, saying “Love and peace, man, love and peace.”

“It was STP, which was like a quadruple-strength dose of acid. Within an hour or so, I was saying, “‘Woah, what’s going on here? … Then someone put “Sgt. Pepper” on the turntable and that was my first experience with acid. … I remember being out of my mind and thinking I was in the presence of giants, and we were all going off somewhere together to another planet. The doors of perception were wide open.”

From “Strange Brew: Eric Clapton & the British Blues Boom” by Christopher Hjort, 2007


The audio pulse on the wall by the record bar blazed red and green as the vibrations from the thumping bluesy discs set its lights flickering into action. Pale faces glided by, eyes penetrating the velvet darkness with difficulty. Musky pink lamps glowed in the gloom at intervals along the walls.

This was the Speakeasy, London’s current “in” club and favourite haunt of the night people, pop stars and musicians looking for a place to relax after their work is done.

The door of the glass-fronted restaurant at the far end of the club displayed a “closed” sign. It had been booked for a very special party that was to have some very special guests.

At 10.30 p.m. the Speakeasy’s customers were few — it was early for the night people. The restaurant was almost deserted but a couple of hours later it was to be overflowing with famous names from the pop world and the Kings of British pop music would be meeting face to face with the King’s of America’s West Coast musical scene — a meeting between The Beatles and The Monkees.

Around 11.30 p.m. the Speakeasy began to fill up. The Who had arrived and so had dee-jays Kenny Everett, and Rick Dane (who compered one of The Monkees’ concerts at Wembley) and singer/writer Jonathan King.


Eric Clapton of Cream arrived dressed entirely in red with a beautiful black, gold-embroidered bolero and close behind came the entire Manfred Mann group. Mann Tom McGuiness greeted Cream Eric and they disappeared into a corner to chat.

Micky Dolenz arrived with his pretty friend and companion Samantha Juste and asked for “Two large iced cokes please”. They found two seats opposite Eric Clapton and started to talk about music and anti-gravity!

Mike Nesmith wearing huge pink-lense glasses escorted his pretty blonde wife Phyllis who had only flown in from America a few hours earlier. They, too, both asked for cokes and went to sit by the door.

By now the records had been replaced by a live group on stage and the party people were beginning to sway with the music. Paul McCartney came in with Jane Asher and the hum and noise grew louder. Paul stripped off his green and orange jacket to display a green and red floral shirt. Jane looked cool and beautiful in an apple green skirt and a blouse on which Paul had painted a series of designs.

Beatle John, now minus his moustache, slipped in almost unnoticed and took a seat next to Paul. Picking up a packet of cigarettes from the table he demanded “Whose ciggies are these? Can I pinch one?”


Standing room had become very limited. Record producer Mickey Most squeezed through the doorway, greeted Vicki Wickham (of “Ready Steady Go” fame) and made his way to the bar. Frankie Allan of The Searchers, Patsy Ann Noble, Dusty Springfield and Lulu were all chatting happily when Procol Harum in its entirety (and resplendent in their eastern costumes) pushed through the doorway and had difficulty finding space in which to stand.

Kenny Everett and Jonathan King moved over to the Beatles table and sat down, joined by Keith Moon of The Who. The music got louder and fingers began drumming on the table. A blue-shirted Peter Tork slid along the bench to join in the fun.

George Harrison arrived with Patti and two way-out friends, the boy playing a flute and the girl wearing a flower in her hair. The party was really beginning to swing. George removed his sheepskin jacket and made his way across the room greeting people as he went. Patti talked with Jane, and George spoke to Mann Klaus Voormann.

Iced cokes were being passed over bobbing heads, ciggies were passed from hand to hand and Paul took a couple of hot sausages from a passing waitress. Cheese and pickles on sticks were popped into hungry mouths and George was hunting for a vacant chair.

The group had finished playing on stage and music from the record bar bounced out of the speakers. John Lennon and Keith Moon were leading a boisterous chorus on one side of the room and George had found a seat on the other side with Eric Clapton and Procol Harum.

By 3.00 a.m. George was serenading everyone with with the help of his ukelele, Peter Tork was playing banjo like he had just invented it, Keith Moon was drumming on the table. Micky Dolenz was chatting quietly to Paul. Mike Nesmith and his wife had slipped quietly away and the crowd had thinned slightly. But the party still had another three hours to run!

But there were two people who missed the fun — Beatle Ringo and Monkee Davy Jones. Both were visiting relatives ‘up North’.

From The Beatles Monthly Book, September 1967

From Wikipedia:

The Speakeasy Club, also known as The Speak, was a club situated at 48 Margaret Street, London, England, and served as a late-night meeting place for the music industry from 1966 to June 1978. The club took its name and theme from the speakeasies of the American Prohibition era. The club was owned by Iraqi-born entrepreneur David Shamoon, along with Blaises and The Revolution Club.


On 15 December 1966, when the Speakeasy was re-launched after a fire in early 1966, it was managed by Roy Flynn and later Tony Howard became manager when Flynn moved on, having previously been the main artist booker for The Bryan Morrison Agency and NEMS. The initial house D.J was Mike Vesty who had worked for Blaises. Later Laurie O’Leary, a lifelong friend of the Kray twins and former manager of the Sybillas nightclub in Mayfair, London, became the promoter and publicity manager for the club. Throughout the life of the club Jim Carter-Fea worked on the day to night management and was also associated with the other two Shamoon London clubs.


The Speakeasy was frequented by record industry and artist agency executives. It also attracted bands who played for low fees in the hope of being spotted and form the basis of the then emerging British rock scene. The club also attracted international touring bands and established artists.


Musicians and bands who played at the club (often after recording sessions) include Elton John, Cockney Rebel, The Rolling Stones, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Pink Floyd (who first appeared on 19 September 1967), The Pretty Things, Arthur Lee and Love, King Crimson, The Marmalade, The Mothers of Invention (October 1967), Yes, Jimi Hendrix (1966), David Bowie, Deep Purple (10 July 1969), The Velvet Underground (6 October 1971, Loaded Tour), Bob Marley (May 1973 Catch a Fire Tour), Jeff Beck, Reg Isidore, Ginger Baker, Jan Hammer, The Gass and Bobby Tench.


The Who refer to the club in their album The Who Sell Out (“Speakeasy, drink easy, pull easy”) (1967), referencing the club in the “Radio London/Speakeasy/Rotosound Strings” commercial insert for the same album. Elvis Costello mentioned the club in his song “London’s Brilliant Parade”, included on the album Brutal Youth (1994). The Beatles also threw a party for The Monkees during their 1967 visit to England, which later became the basis for the song “Randy Scouse Git”.

Last updated on May 5, 2024

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