Blue Gardenia Club – Fact or Fiction?

I’d just about given up on finding the Blue Gardenia Club, and consigned it to the imagination of Sam Leach, when again it is mentioned in a book! According to Sam, the Beatles went to the club in the early hours of December 10th 1961, after playing in Aldershot, in front of 18 people. Rather than go back to Liverpool, the Beatles and Sam went to the club, which was run by Brian Cassar, formerly of Cass and Cassanovas. At least some of the Beatles got on stage with the house band, making it the first time they had played in the capital.

I’ve been trying to trace the location of the club for over 20 years, but never found proof where it was. I was beginning to think Sam made the whole thing up. However, I was reading Jim Berkenstadt‘s great book ‘The Beatle that Vanished’ – about Jimmie Nicol, which states Jimmie was in the house band there! Berkenstadt quotes famed guitarist  Albert Lee who says “We would go there after the 2 I’s and play until the early hours in Soho.”

Unfortunately, the book does not say the exact location of the club. However, my curiosity has been aroused again, and I will keep searching!

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14 thoughts on “Blue Gardenia Club – Fact or Fiction?”

  1. Anna Frawley says:

    Blue Gardenia Club was a small drinking place at St Anne’s Court is an alleyway that connects Dean Street and Wardour Street.

    The Beatles are photographed there in the alleyway.

    1. Almost certainly it wasn’t in St Anne’s Court – and certainly not in the building some tour guides state! They were photographed by Dezo Hoffman in Rupert Court, by his studio. St Anne’s Court is where Trident Studios is located.
      A while ago a lady came into the Beatles Coffee Shop and told me the Blue Gardenia Club was a regular hangout of hers, and was in Wardour Mews, in the same building as a club called ‘Take Five’. This seems the most likely location, but I still need to find absolute proof.

      1. Mr Kevin Clay says:

        I went on a tour of music places and the tour guide pointed out to the club. if you stand in the small St.Anns Court alleyway looking at trident studios, it is the buiding next to the studio on the right. if you look above the building on the first floor there are many windows and it looks like a type of old social club. that is where i have been told the Blue Gardenia Club is. I am going on a 5 hour tour of Soho today. see what he says too..

        1. Hi Kevin – It was originally thought that the club was in St Anne’s Court, but I know people that use to go there that say otherwise! All will be revealed in my new book ‘The Beatles Fab Four Cities’ – that will be published in February.

  2. Anna Frawley says:

    Thank you, Richard. I asked someone who not only is a huge fan of the Beatles, but also a Soho aficionado. Awaiting his reply. Maybe he knows something on this subject?

  3. Bruce Greenfield says:

    I too am diligently searching for the location of the Blue Gardenia.. So while we seem to all know that it was somewhere on St Annes Court… For what it’s worth, Beatle Bible places it quite some distance down the Alley from Wardour St… I am very anxiously anticipating any definitive update

    1. St Anne’s Court now seems unlikely. I was told by someone that went there it was in Wardour Mews – but still can’t find a definitive address.

  4. John Liston says:

    The Blue Gardenia was definitely in Wardour Mews !! I used to go there
    regularly in early 60s before 1963.Was there when Johnny Kidd came in and sang and also Danny Williams came in one time and sang his hit song “Moon River”

    1. Wow – thanks John! Been trying to confirm the address for 20 years!

  5. John Liston says:

    Hi Richard, Off of Berwick st is D’Arblay st and halfway down is Wardour Mews,the Blue Gardenia used to be right at the end of the mews on the right.A flight of stairs took you downstairs to enter the
    the club,during the times I used to go there an article was written in the “News of the World” paper calling it a “a Den of Iniquity” have tried to find out if there is an archive for News of the World but no luck,hope this helps.

    1. Thanks John – brilliant info! I suppose you don’t have any photos of the club?

  6. Sam gittle says:

    Yep,end of Wardour Mews,opened by Harry Bidney and Jerry Stewart in about 1960. Long walk down a scruffy dark mews ,ultra low lives formed the clientele.

  7. Rob Prince says:

    Was it the very last building on the right, or the one next to it? The last building (No. 18?) looks like a rebuild using London brick; the one next to it looks original.

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