Wednesday, April 7

The Russell Arms, Mornington Crescent, 1986

Mouse was DJing. This was a quiet night. Sometimes you'd have 15 or 20 old Zephyrs, Zodiacs, PA Crestas, Wyverns and Victors outside. That's my black '59 lowline Ford Consul in the third photo.

My life stayed intertwined with this pub for many years. A friend's dad ran it for a while in the late 80s. I saw some of the craziest western saloon-style fights there, one of them complete with liberally-sprayed CS gas and barstools being broken over people's backs.

The music was the constant: hillbilly, rockabilly, jump blues, with the old curry house-patterned carpet in the bar taking a thrashing from dancing feet every week. But the transport changed. I used to ride my '62 XLCH there in '91, and it became a venue for London's burgeoning nouveau-rocker scene; Dave Vanian used to come on his Sportster... the London HA used to turn up; the pavement would be covered with motorcycles.

Then the pub was taken over by the Outcasts MC. Mouse kept DJing. I probably went there last in the late 90s.

Anyone know if it's still a pub?

[Found a couple more shots... me, top with perfect quiff! And girls jiving... my film wasn't fast enough, but I used what I could steal from art school. Some of these photos also appeared in the Rockabilly Underground book]


Pete Stansfield said...

I used to get a lift home from a local saturday night dance in a PA Cresta, even in my drunken state it was pretty scary. You need to make a pilgrimage !

seb fro los bastardos said...

Good question. Probably a stainless steel wine bar now. I used to live above mornington cres tube(yeh it did shake a bit!)in the very early 90s-remember the pub just before it became another 'outpost'(following the ones in Bow and Hackney, if memory serves). What a place- the cars ouside would blow my mind. I went in once when the outcasts had it; was ok, but sounds like it was a lot better when the rockers were in. Great shots, though.

DicE Magazine said...

Oh my god...The first time went there was in 1993...I was 13...Mouse was DJing and it was jumping...The last time I went there the president of the Outcasts MC rode his Harley through the bar and it all started getting a bit heavy...That was around 1998?
ps. Wicked quiff Guy!

bitter69uk said...

I too have fond memories of The Russell Arms. The northbound Northern Line went haywire last night because of system failure and we all had to get off at Euston. I walked to Camden from there and passed what used to be The Russell Arms: it’s a sports bar now!