Life In The Roundhouse Theatre – 60’s Style

Life at the Roundhouse was never dull back in the late 60’s and early 70’s, as we experienced at first hand the hassles of Rock and Roll concerts and  how to cope with the rather strange world of British Royalty.

As I have written, at the Roundhouse we had rock concerts each Sunday.  These were quite large events, which ran from about midday to midnight, and typically had audiences of around 2000 people (we removed all the seats from the auditorium for these concerts) and of course attracted not only the main audience, but all the peripheral hangers on of the world of Rock and Roll – drug dealers, groupies, fans, fast food sellers, ticket touts and so on.  Some of these were a problem for us, others not.  So I thought you might be amused to read about how we dealt with some of the other groups of people who such concerts attracted.

Groupies:

As is well known, Rock and Roll attracts groupies, what might be less well known is that by and large these girls tended to be very young indeed, many were between 13 and 16 year old.   Whilst my security guys on the concerts had very strict instructions not to let any of these little girls back-stage or into the dressing rooms, nonetheless, the groups themselves mostly managed to find ways of getting these girls back-stage, and other girls knew exactly how to sweet talk the security guys into letting them back-stage.

Basically what all these girls were looking for was to have sex with as many Rock musicians as they could manage, and most of the musicians were very happy to help them in this ambition.  A sort of symbiotic relationship thus.   By and large the actual sex happened after the concert was over, and the bands had taken their chosen girls off to their hotels with them – Back-stage at the Roundhouse was not really conducive to good sex to be honest.  So one part of our post-concert work was chasing away the girls who had been rejected for one reason or another by the groups, and who were left sadly littering up the dressing rooms after everyone had gone away.

I always found this a depressing business, trying to persuade stoned and very young and unhappy (they had been left behind by the bands after all) little girls that they had to go home and try again the following week.   Frequently they sort of hung on grimly in the hope that one or other musician would return to claim them, which of course never happened, so it could take a long time and a lot of hassle to get them to leave.

And as I said, they tended to be well below the age of consent, which appeared to worry no-one back then, but which I suppose is giving many an elderly Rock musicians sleepless nights now given the changed attitudes to such goings on.

Hot dog wars:

From the depressing to the ridiculous.   Outside the Roundhouse during these concerts there were a group of guys selling hotdogs from carts, most of whom we knew and liked well enough, and who cheerfully gave us free hotdogs as a sort of “license” fee for setting up their carts on our property.

However, after these concerts had been running for some time, a sort of mini-mafia in the hotdog world realised that good money was to be earned at the Roundhouse each Sunday, and decided to chase off the original sellers and set up their own guys there each weekend.

 

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