Friday, 8 June 2018

Farewell to the leopardskin



And so, farewell then, Mr Peter Stringfellow - that most flamboyant of entrepreneurs; the King of the Clubs (he ran music venues in his native Sheffield and Leeds from the early 60s - booking acts that included Rod Stewart, The Beatles and The Stones - before relocating to London to found his Soho "gentlemen's clubs" empire), his relentless talent for self-promotion made him a fortune, as well as carving himself a niche among Britain's long, long list of "famous eccentrics". His refusal to update his trademark mullet 'do, the gold and the bling, the velvet and the leopardskin, the occasional whiff of scandal, his numerous relationships with "dolly-birds" - he was as familiar a face in the tabloids as many genuine "stars". More often than not he was photographed with them, anyway!

Among his many lesser-known ventures was his launch of regular gay nights (on a mega-scale) at his flagship venue, The Hippodrome on Leicester Square, and his founding of a record company. Combining the two things quite neatly, his biggest signing was none other than the eternal gay icon Miss Dusty Springfield. Although she only recorded one song for Hippodrome Records - a slow number (albeit written by Donna Summer) called Sometimes like Butterflies - she did appear live at the club, to the joy of her mainly gay audience:


To round off in an appropriate vein, here's another Dusty number that is somewhat more fitting for our traditional end-of-week sign-off (as well as The Hippodrome dance-floor) - so why not hairspray yourself into oblivion, get your hands in the air, and Thank Disco It's Friday - with Baby Blue!


RIP Peter James Stringfellow (17th October 1940 – 7th June 2018)

4 comments:

  1. He was also seen around some of the shadier parts of Soho.But then, weren't we all?

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    1. Indeed we were - and still would be, if only there were anything left of the Soho we all knew and loved. Jx

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  2. Replies
    1. With Mr Stringfellow gone (and Paul Raymond's legacy all but dismantled), it's open season for the gentrifiers, unfortunately. Jx

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