Why has no one mentioned the seedy confines of Wardour Street's "The Temple"??
It ran at 33-37 Wardour Street, London W1 for about two years between 1969 and 1971 at the same time as The Midnight Court and if we didnt like that week's lineup at The Court we would go to The Temple.
Groups I saw were Mott The Hoople, Black (who had everything black! including their amps, guitars, clothes and hair!!!!), Pax, Ginger, who had a great little goblin singer! and always dressed like Robin Hood's band of Merry Men..., Radhna Krishna Temple, The Kult who I was very friendly with (I was then playing with Basildon's "Mind Protection" who infact were Basildon's only psychedelic band....(Southend had "Victorias Plum"!) May Blitz, Bram Stoker, Gnidolog, Blonde on Blonde, Forest, My Cake, Knocker Jungle, Clark Hutchinson, Raw Material, Warlock, Black Cat Bones, Urban Clearway, Noir, Steamhammer, Sam Gopal, The Groepe, Pete Brown and Piblokto, Trader Horne, High Tide, Wildmouth, Gentle Giant, Kiss, Tear Gas, Caravan, Mirrors, Orang Utang, Boris, Paint Box, Yellow, Satisfaction, Charge, Green Sun, Fusion Orchestra, Squid, Stoned Rose, Jerusalem Smith, The Web, Trapeze, Galliard, Zaowada, The Amazing Blondel, Cressida, Arc, Swegas plus many more...
Jerry Floyd and Simon Stable were the main DJ's playing amazing music...lots of great imports from nearby Musicland which none of us could afford!
Aa full light show was also featured such as Wot Lights, Mystic Lights by Ron Henderson,
The Dharma Light Show, Cathode Elysium, Pale Green Limousine Light Show and more...
I don't know for sure how long The Temple lasted but we enjoyed going down to the basement where it was held but didnt enjoy people shooting up in the toilets!!!!
Submitted by Dave - February 2003 and updated March 2003
I remember The Temple, well, the May Blitz gig especially, also the shooting up in the toilets, it was a dive more than a psychedelic dungeon and euphemistically known as "The Speed Palace".
You went to score and then split.
Submitted by Rusty Cat Sneazin - April 2003
Most vivid memory is driving up there in my 1959 Hillman Minx. It was late '69 and I had yet to sample the delights of drugs. Have no idea who was on but on Sunday morning when I returned to my car, it wasn't there.
It had been stolen! A quick visit to the local police station and "Yippee!" my car had been found. It had been crashed into the BBC building, Portland Place.
When I arrived there was a couple of Her Majesty's finest there. The problem that this caused me was that although I was still straight, there was a little pot of pot in the glove box.
What to do? I decided to retrieve it. So there I was walking along with my long hair and great coat, casually chatting to a police sergeant with a load of cannabis in my pocket.
Must have been mad!
We put it in our coffee later that week in the office (I worked for a firm of accountants) and I was no longer a drug-virgin.
Submitted by Old Git - June 2003
I only went to the Temple once, but it was certainly a night never to be forgotten. It would have been 1970, either January or April - the former I think. As a veteran of Middle Earth at the Roundhouse, The Temple did strike me as, yes, seedy and speedy, with the most sustained vigorous dancing I have ever seen.
Me, I was on the hippy stuff (both of them), but nevertheless recall enough of the evening to remember some of the line-up (no doubt there were others): Wildmouth, Pete Brown and Piblokto , and High Tide. Being a devotee of High Tides' brainstorming "Death Warmed Up", they were the reason I went to the gig - and obliterating they were.
Eat your internal organs out, Black Sabbath - High Tide defined early British Heavy Metal in my view.
The DJaying by Jerry Floyd was superb - it was the first time I heard Midnight Rambler by the Stones, which really got the speeders speeding - but actually, I was most blown away by Wildmouth, Britain's completely adequate answer to Jefferson Airplane. That such a superb band should go unrecorded and vanish almost without trace is utterly tragic - or does anyone out there have audio footage of them? Steve's guitar was the closest to West Coast of anyone in Britain, and the female vocalist - name never even known - was every bit a match for many who are famous.
A strange place, the Temple - how it survived the puritanical policing of the day is a total mystery, the details of which one probably does not want to know. But I'm glad I went there - once.
Martin Williams - November 2003
Fifteen or sixteen years old, up to London from school for half term. Parents thought we were staying with mates. Nowhere to sleep and lots to do.
The Lyceum was often a starter and the Temple was for afters following a few illegal halves in the Old Coffee House nearby. And maybe a swift can or two from the off-licence on Shaftsbury Avenue.
Wandering through the detritus of veg from Covent Garden Market along Long Acre. Down the stairs into the Temple. Dim lights and patchouli oil. Loved the smells and lights and the feeling of adventure. Oil light shows were 'far out' as were the odd soft porn slides they'd flash up occasionally.
Definitely recall seeing Thin Lizzy, Barclay James Harvest and Screaming Lord Sutch. On being chucked out at 5 or so in the morning had to wander around until cafes (Jo Lyons on Strand or GB cafe on Northumberland Av) opened. Recall sitting in Parliament sq when accosted by beat bobbies.
Asked why we were there and why we had boots on...not to kick folk we told them. Got earful but directed along to tea caravan for hot drinks and luncheon meat sarnies with solid marge...all in all tasted like candle wax. Yuk.
Sadly The Temple disappeared only to be rediscovered tonight. I was prompted after looking through old ticket stubs...wasn't life great value...King Crimson 75p, Rory Gallagher 80p, Pink Floyd £1 (or, plus 25p on the door), Johnny Winter 14/- ,Free 50p, Wheeley Festival £2, Quintessence 50p.
Enough nostalgia time to be almost 50 again....
Submitted by Mark - February 2004
I was a member of the club. I think I joined primarily to see Patto who I used to follow all over London, mainly South London.
I paid a pound to see them. It was an all night affair with sex happening on the floor which I remember more than the drugs but probably one beget the other.
It must have been in about 1972 because I was 18 then and don't remember being a member of a club underage.
Listening to other stories it sounds like the club could have located somewhere else first as technically Wardour St is in Soho. I knew and know the area well with Shaftesbury Avenue being one of areas for the mecca of music shops where you would spot the guitarists of the time trying out guitars as well trying them myself.
Actually played the other night with a bass player who used to work in Sound City and was in one of the pub/rock bands called Meal Ticket.
David - April 2012
Loved The Temple, used to go there on Fridays to score and Saturdays for the allnighters.
It used to be the Pink Flamingo and before that the Flamingo with the Whisky a go go upstairs.
It used to get raided about 2.30. We used to go out wandering around the West end then come back.
Had a great big bouncer with a bald head who used to grunt. Fantastic stuff.
Cant remember the bands except the Velvets we all used to get excited its the Velvets tonight.
Before The Temple I used to go to La Discotheque which was just down the road, The Scene in Ham Yard, The Last Chance in Oxford St near Tottenham Court Road tube was a terrific club.
The Marquee was up the road a bit the other side of Shaftsbury lane. (found my membership card the other day expired 1968) I also used to spent a lot of time on the pin ball in The Freight Train in Berwick Street the guy that ran it we called Lofty, he sometimes used to take us down the lane (Petticoat Lane) in his car in the morning or we would walk. I think there was an all night cafe in Fleet Street.
I have been back but its all gone now the Whisky was called the WAG club but that's gone now. When I lived in Wood Green I used to have a page out of a magazine on the wall with all the clubs wish I still had it.
Great days, exciting days, The weekends were so important to me then.
ANDY P - July 2012
Remember my one visit to The 'Temple' .
Had met my friend Val at Euston station about 1969 or 70. Val lived in London, thought she could get into music somehow so I met her, to stay the weekend, thought she had a pad but we ended up walking round seeing the sights.
Later about say 10ish ended up going down Wardour St and we went into this club that Val had a pass to, she showed the pass to a guy through a wide slit in the door in the hallway, said she was bringing one mate in and off we went through to this dark dingy place with what I thought was filled with weird long haired hippy 'with it ' types.
Well here was this 17yr old (who had been told by her mate to buy a 'with it ' top as you wouldn't stand out so much in the Temple) thinking oh god here I am from my horsey job, with my mate in a tiny music club in London! Wearing my red sloop neck long sleeved t-shirt with black stars all over.
I sat on the steps on the floor, no seats or tables, just rows of steps and watched everybody headbang to this cool loud music, well must admit I loved the night, remember this long curly haired singer really far out with his singing, he was totally gone and when we left at 5 or 6 in the morning Val said oh he'd be out of it on something!!! Hahahaa!!
When I think of all the innocence in me then, not to even be aware of it it makes it all the more amusing when thinking of it now.
Remember this new group called ARGENT... thought they would go far they sang Hold your head up!!! and think there was Black Sabbath can't remember many names as it was just such a brilliant night I just loved the idea of this out of it place in London with solid all night music and I was there, a wonderful memory..
Heather - February 2013
I have fond memories The Temple, a group of us used to go there for the weekend, nice Purple Haze and Flying Saucers LOL.
When I look back we saw some great bands, Ashton Gardener and Dyke, Black Grape, Green Slade, Mott the Hoople, Pete Brown, Daddy Longlegs and loads of others and it sooo cheap.
The only trouble with the DJ who played some amazing records, no one you asked knew the name of the record or even thier own names hehe, and by the time we got home I couldent even remember the record myself.
Some of my faves were King Crimson - In The Court of the Crimson King, Alvin Lee - Morning Little Schoolgirl, CCR - Keep on Joogling and my most favorite The Lemon Pipers - Through With You, Uriah Heep - Salisbury
Graham - April 2013
The night I remember it must have about 1970, a band called Toe Fat were headlining the Pink Fairies played because it was a full moon.
Tom - January 2015
I played in a 3 piece band from Nottingham called BOMB AKA Band Of Mental Breakdown and we played a couple of times at The Temple - I think once on a weeknight and then booked back as a support on a Saturday.
I've lost the cutting from Melody Maker ads but I think it was autumn/winter 1970?
Any confirmation of the date would be great. Can't remember much about it except a lot of wild dancing and we had a great night thinking we'd rearly hit the big-time..... Naive or what??!!
Adrian Armstrong - April 2015
I remember The Temple with fondness, full of wonderful people, not just
speed freaks and drug addicts. And - the best live music in town.
of the later big bands started there, including Black Sabbath, Thin
Lizzy, Edgar Broughton....etc. In fact, the place was like a big family
that met once a week.
Do you remember Mike and Pat. Mike had very long
blond hair and Pat very long black hair. I think one or both of them
might have been Irish. Mike was the leader of the pack!!!
He took half
The Temple to the Wheeley Festival one morning after The Temple closed
and got us in free, I think by pretending we were a band!
We also all went to his pad in Clapham Common once after The Temple.
I hope they are all still out there....Get in touch on this site if you
Barbara - May 2019
If you are still alive I will tell you of my memories, what there is!
For a couple of years every Friday me and some mates would travel from Ruislip to town and spend the night in The Temple dancing and speeding our whole night away.
It was great, as you say the speed was easy to score and cheap and everybody had a really great time.
The funny thing is we left at six in the morning and slept in the grounds of Buckingham Palace before going home!
I am now 66 years old and live in Australia with a Japanese wife and 11 year old son.
I hope he does not go through what I did!
Mick - May 2020
I was a friend of Dave Paulding and worked with him every Friday and Saturday, 9 PM to 6 AM at the Temple and often on Sunday afternoons at venues such as the round house and the Lyceum Strand.
This was in the late 60s and maybe into the early 70s. It was a long time ago.
My most vivid memories are seeing some amazing bands, always having ink on my hands and perhaps most poignantly; as kid from Woodford Green, seeing and experiencing aspects of life few suburban kids did.
Some of it truly amazing and some pretty dark.
If you see Dave, please pass on my best regards.
Bryan Kanarens - May 2020