So as the bulldozers finally move in to demolish somewhere that was a huge part of my youth and turn it into another bloody Tesco store I thought I’d dig out the tribute I wrote a couple of years ago but never got round to publishing.
The Mecca/The Mayfair, Friday nights, Progressive/Rock/Heavy Rock/Heavy Metal, cheaper entry before 11pm, dashing from the Blue Bell after 10:30 closing time, bar till 2am, queuing up the ramp, Genevieve’s upstairs, bouncers in DJ’s on the door, practising your date of birth, afghans, combat jackets, flares, desert boots, patchouli oil, Snakebite, Southern Comfort, Pernod, Chris Cowie, the DJ booth, revolving stage, the tree, the staircase, All Right Now, Hocus Pocus, Stargazer, the girls from Boldon, Elspeth’s chest, hippy chicks, headbanging on the dancefloor, Rob Kilburn playing imaginary guitar with his imaginary effects pedals, sitting on the floor during Stairway to Heaven, Freebird after the band, Smoke on the Water, Ian Gillan Band, Wishbone Ash, Blowin Free just like a cornfield, You are like a Hurricane, pissy lager in chunky glasses, getting drunk and passing out in the toilets/in the corner/under the tree, getting pulled by the drug squad, getting thrown out, sitting on the sofa in the girls cloakroom, Xanadu, I’ve seen all good people, Highway Star, Garry and Rob and Russ and Paul, Keith and Debra andKaren, Meeting Val (well it seemed like a good idea at the time), Louise, bottles of booze in girls handbags, the old bloke who cleaned the gents, starting at midnight on Easter Saturday and going till 4am even though the bar shut at 2, She’s not there, Be good to yourself, Brown Sugar, the view from the balcony of a floor full of head bangers, going into Genevieve’s and taking over one of the car booths to annoy the smoothies until the crap disco music forced us to retreat, hippy skirts and kaftans, velvet jackets and demin, badges and patches, nicking the bar towels, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep, Thin Lizzy, Hendrix and The Doors, the sudden dash onto the dance floor, long hair flailing, girls spinning, Layla, The Logical Song, Wishing Well, They call me the Hunter, wishing we’d been old enough to have seen Zep or Free or Thin Lizzy when they played there, tour t-shirt, kinky boots, lace up jeans, Cider and black, the raised area to the right of the stage or the table under the stairs next to the tree, Breadfan, Paranoid, Doctor Doctor please oh the mess I’m in, being kicked on the foot by a bouncer “get up or get out”, going for a walk around, Girlschool, Southbound, White Heat, Terraplane, White Fire, Tygers of Pang Tang, bangles and love beads, the taxi rank, dodgy burgers, walking back up Newcastle Road, getting up for work the next morning, combing the tats out of your long hair……
The images above come from this site although I notice some of them are mine!
The Mecca was a huge part of my life from about 1977 to around 1983 and Newcastle Road just won’t be the same without it.
Stop Press: My friend just sent me a picture showing the demolition in progress
And there was a report in the Sunderland Echo about it