(LOST SOUL BOYS of 75)
Can I relate a tale of my largely misspent youth???
Ok I will....
I want to talk about what was a regular Saturday night for me in the South London of 1975.
Ok,this was a very different world to that of hectic 2015.
I was newly married in 74 and having the bonus of a groovy wife this made Saturday nights THE NIGHT of any week.
There was a Mecca Ballroom (Dancehall) called "Tiffany's" in Wimbledon we used to refer to it as "Tiffs" lol we were so original back then.
Well basically "Tiffs" was where all the kids went who wanted to dance and meet the boy or girl of their dreams.
London "Mecca Ballroom" venues weren't like their Northern counterparts,they had a rigid "Smart Dress Only" dress code....
Us lads who'd worked all week in some shitty factory job getting treated like crap by the Foreman all week wanted to bust out and represent our youth!!
It opened at 10pm and there was always a long line to get in...oh yes and it was 21 plus age group or supposed to be (laughs) this ruled applied to us lads but hot girls with a bit of lipstick and eye shadow would always get in....as young as maybe 17....times DON'T change.
"Tiffs" was such a parallel universe,it had an amazing sprung wooden floor and a stage where week days some hopeless show band would plunk about for the middle aged crowd where the comedian would compete with Bingo 😂
Saturday nights was when the suited and booted lads and their wedge haired birds came out to play.
At the back of the dance floor were these crazy raised booths with what were probably Christmas lights round them....hmmmmm classy!!!
Now if you're under 50 you probably won't remember this but London pubs in 1975 closed by 11pm sharp even on Saturday nights.
The licensing laws were such that for "Tiffs" to serve alcohol after 11pm they had to do this weird swerve of the law.
On the dot of 11pm the bar would shut and a roped off area would appear in front of it...then a barmaid would become a waitress take your orders then go behind the bar to
pour your drinks and bring em out on a tray ha ha...waitress service different laws...great swerve Mecca!!!
The music was mainly 60s Tamla Motown and R and B Soul classics with mid 70s Funk and chart stuff too,totally bonkers mix but I LOVED this place to death.
Sally and me would drink and dance ourselves dizzy,I think this is where I really learned THE dance moves....it was dark dark dark inside and really hot smokey and packed everything I loved in a club.
At the end of the night we'd always expect a "Last Dance" usually some Al Green or Marvin and Tammi 45....if you were up close and personal with someone of the opposite sex by 3:50 a.m you were getting lucky for sure.
It was genius and I miss it so much today there's nowhere that gets even close to this crazy club....Tiffany's Wimbledon Broadway South London.
Afterwards we'd all walk or swagger up the Broadway to the Station (closed of course lol) where there was a brilliant Hot Dog stand.
Sally and me were talking yesterday about the obligatory "Dog Roll" that ended every Saturday night "Tiffs" outing.
All the kids that were in "Tiffs" would be there at the Hot Dog stand making out and singing shouting and generally misbehaving....we lived about a mile away from the Station and would usually stagger home by dawns chorus.
Happy days...where are those lost Soul Boys and Girls???
I'm proud to say I was one of those lost Southern Soul Boys of the mid 70s....you had to be there.