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Rum Runner

ethanedwards

Brummie Muso
Rum Runner

Broad Street


The Rum Runner nightclub was opened
on Broad Street in the Birmingham city centre in 1964.
It was demolished in 1987.

One of the first 'house' bands, playing the cover versions of the day, became Magnum featuring
Bob Catley and Tony Clarkin.
They left the club in 1975 to play their own material of melodic rock.

Ray Berrow, who along with brother Don, their sister Tissy
and another brother , were the original owners.
Paul Berrow started at the club washing glasses,
as did his younger brother, Michael.
Ray and Don Berrow were all bookmakers.

Paul and Michael Berrow,
relaunched the club with an eclectic power playlist
borrowed from Studio 54 in New York.

Roxy Music and David Bowie nights were accompanied
by jazz funk nights which were strongly influenced
by New York's Chic powerdisco.

A real milestone in the history of the Rum Runner
was when a newly-formed group of musicians called Duran Duran walked in one day with a tape.
There was an instant mutual appeal between
the Berrows and the band,
and the Berrows offered Duran Duran a place
to rehearse and play gigs.
The band found themselves becoming heavily involved
with the running of the club with John Taylor working the door,
Nick Rhodes deejaying for .£10 a night,
Roger Taylor working as a glass collector
and Andy Taylor polishing mirrors,
painting and cooking burgers for cash.
Duran Duran quickly became the resident band
at the venue.

After many months, Michael and Paul Berrow
signed as Duran Duran's managers.
The Berrows and the band then formed the
Tritec Music company
(named after the triangular-themed bar inside the club).
The label used the Rum Runner office upstairs from the club
as its official address
. Paul & Michael's father was a well known in the Birmingham entertainment scene.
Michael mortgaged his house to make funds f
or their supporting act roll for Hazel O'Connors UK tour.

In developing the club's musical identity
they also gave free rehearsal space to bands like
Dexys Midnight Runners and UB40,
with The Beat filming a video for their song 'Mirror In The Bathroom'
taking full advantage of the many mirrors that walled the club.

As time went by they opened more and more
different evenings and one of the residents
became DJ Dick who later went on to form Rockers Hi-Fi
and who now hosts the city's main Funk Acid Jazz
night called Leftfoot, situated at The Medicine Bar.

Notable denizens of the club included De Harriss,
Mulligan, and Marlon Recchi of Fashion,
Martin Degville and other members of Sigue Sigue Sputnik,
Nigel & Jimmy (managers), Al Beard (security), and Liam (general socialite).
 

johndavies

master brummie
What a wonderful history of the Rum Runner. In the early 1970s a group of us spent most Friday nights drinking far too much German lager in Bogarts Beer Keller then moving enmass to the Rum Runner till kicking out time at 2 am. I cant remember too much about the place as I was far too tipsy other than it was very loud and packed to overflowing. At 2 am it was over to the curry house for a foul curry thats always induced a welcome vomit resulting in us all feeling much better. Happy days!
 
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Elizabeth Redmond

Guest
:2123:you know i'm sure i have my membership card for the rum runner,must have a look ,Sunday nights you would find us there in the 70s,they closed the bar at 12 and opened 5 mins later and you could only buy shorts suited me, never drank beer anyway,
happy days liz
 

Frothblower

Lubrication In Moderation
Happy days at the Rum Runner. I remember moaning at having to pay 50p a pint. Extortionate price:(:D
 

Patty

master brummie
My memories of the rum runner was men all smelling of Brutt aftershave and the women of ester lauder perfume very sickly after too many drinks.
I am sure one of the Redcaps (group that was always on half time at the Plaza Handsworth) used to be on the door at the rum runner
 
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Elizabeth Redmond

Guest
:1019:Hi Ethanedwards do you remember a band called Andy's Clappers in the 60s.
Patty Brutt aftershave i think must have been one of the most popular i think it was the girl in the ad that made the men like it liz
 

Patty

master brummie
It was horrible Liz, I was a bit of a snob and went for the ones using Aramis he he
 
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Elizabeth Redmond

Guest
That was the strange thing it really wasn't very nice, sickly smell, nothing worse than a man smothered in aftershave,or a woman smothered in perfume,definitely a case for less is more
 

THERIFF

Brummie babby
hi everybody, in 1968, the resident band at the rum runner were " the katz " , does anyone know who was in the band ?, the also released an ep called " live at the rum runner ", which i'm also looking for.
hope someone can help, many thanks in advance, cheers the riff
 

TedLancaster

proper brummie kid
hi everybody, in 1968, the resident band at the rum runner were " the katz " , does anyone know who was in the band ?, the also released an ep called " live at the rum runner ", which i'm also looking for.
hope someone can help, many thanks in advance, cheers the riff
It's been a while since you asked this question but if you are still interested in The Katz it was my band. I was the bass player, harmonies and occasional lead singer. I have just posted an account in the Rum Runner section on Wikipedia. Have a Look. I would dearly like to find a copy of 'Katz Live at the Rum Runner'. All my copies have vanished away over the years. Ted
 

THERIFF

Brummie babby
it's been a while since you asked this question but if you are still interested in the katz it was my band. I was the bass player, harmonies and occasional lead singer. I have just posted an account in the rum runner section on wikipedia. Have a look. I would dearly like to find a copy of 'katz live at the rum runner'. All my copies have vanished away over the years. Ted

hi ted, great to here from you, yes i'm still interested, i've been researching a book for the last 7 years entitled " brumbeat & beyond, a vinyl history of the midlands 1960-1975 ", another little peice of the puzzle solved, was it the same line-up for " cinnamon quill " ?. Do you have any photos ?, the katz ep comes up for sale very occasionally, but it's getting very expensive, i have a copy wich i could transfer to cd along with 3 of the cinnamon quill tracks, let me know, email me privatley at [email protected] ( HIGH CASE )

cheers chris
 
 

TedLancaster

proper brummie kid
hi ted, great to here from you, yes i'm still interested, i've been researching a book for the last 7 years entitled " brumbeat & beyond, a vinyl history of the midlands 1960-1975 ", another little peice of the puzzle solved, was it the same line-up for " cinnamon quill " ?. Do you have any photos ?, the katz ep comes up for sale very occasionally, but it's getting very expensive, i have a copy wich i could transfer to cd along with 3 of the cinnamon quill tracks, let me know, email me privatley at [email protected] ( HIGH CASE )

cheers chris
 
Thanks for the prompt reply, Chris.

I have sent you a PM.

Ted
 
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Wendy

Guest
My friend Rosalind went out with a guy named Gill who was in a group named Quill any connection he was a friend of Jeff Lynn?
 
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Wendy

Guest
Yes that looks like the band but I don't know if Gill is still with them. Thanks for the link.
 

TedLancaster

proper brummie kid
Yes that looks like the band but I don't know if Gill is still with them. Thanks for the link.
One of the difficulties with finding Gill Showell is that he was so versatile. He was the drummer and they now have a different, younger guy. However Gill played guitar and banjo too as well as writing their material so he might still play for them. He would be hard to recognize now.

Ted

ps. Which 'Caldecott' are you looking for?

My friend of long ago, Richard Caldecott, took over my Bearwood Road flat when I left many years ago. I haven't heard a lot since then, about 1969.
 

oldbrit

OldBrit in Exile
Many Many years ago, My Bro in law Warwick now decesed,took us to a club called "The oposite lock" off a canal in downtown Brum. Quite cool in those days, anyone remember it? John Crump OldBrit in Parker. Co USA ITS SNOWING to day 35f 11th May 2011 was 75f yesterday sunnny
 

TedLancaster

proper brummie kid
Many Many years ago, My Bro in law Warwick now decesed,took us to a club called "The oposite lock" off a canal in downtown Brum. Quite cool in those days, anyone remember it? John Crump OldBrit in Parker. Co USA ITS SNOWING to day 35f 11th May 2011 was 75f yesterday sunnny
Hello OldBrit.
The Opposite Lock was just around the corner from the Rum Runner.
It was on Gas Street near the canal Basin. It referred to the lock on the steering wheel of a racing car and there was a big old racer in the foyer. I went to see Jack Jones play there - smooth old crooner, remember him?

Sometimes in the summer my band would come out of the emergency exit of the Rum and rehearse on the canal side of the basin. We could look across to where the Opp Lock was and we also got a lot of whoops and whistles from the narrow boat trips going past. Them wuz the days.

Ted
 
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