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Rebeccas was located on Severn Street, Birmingham. I saw the job in the Evening Mail - "DJ required for top Birmingham nightclub" - and I found myself auditioning for DJ in the Cabasa - the clubroom at the top of the building. It was held during the day, with club manager Johnny Fewtrell as judge and jury. I had had only youth club experience really and had no idea what was in store but in any event I got the job at £3/night working 6 evenings a week.
The equipment in the club was all Hocken Sound, which was based on the Pershore Road. The speakers used were good, particularly those in the middle room - The Blue Soul - which were huge. Any problems with the sound system were always treated by Hocken Sound engineers replacing the cartridges - never cured the problem but was all they ever did.
The lighting systems in the Blue Soul and Sin Bin were quite sophisticated but by the time I started work there, in 1972, had deteriorated to the bare functionality with most of the strobe and sound actuated aspects defunct.
DJs in the club were Pat Martin, Pete King, Bob King (affectionately now known as Bob The Plumber). Also the late Les Benedict (RIP), Sam T, Pete Allen and Jerry Brooker,
The manager of the room was Magic Gaffa, I don't know if the spelling is right as he was Tunisian but that is exactly as I remember it phonetically. He was a charming personality and was very helpful to me - in fact we kept in touch long after he left Rebeccas during his period as licensees of both the Old Union Mill at Aston and the Shakespeare at Stratford. He could speak something like 9 languages and doubled as an interpreter at Birmingham airport during the day. Can't remember the bar staff in the Cabasa though.
Rebeccas' DJsYet another blast from the past. Left to right: Sam T, Barry , Peter King (Fowler), Pat Martin (Meeson), the late Les Benedict (Dobbyns) Taken in the early 90s at the Red Lion, Shirley. A reunion to end all reunions - DJs at the Eddie "King of Clubs" Fewtrell's 3rd club Rebeccas.
Read Bob King's memoirs of Rebeccas - another Rebeccas DJ friend of the time.
|Revisited 2011 - Baz and Pete King|
As one walked into the Cabasa the dancefloor was on the immediate right with the stage on the far right and the DJ console in the far right corner of this area at which point a small stairs reached the elevated area where the bar stretched to the absolute far right corner. There was an elevated section to the left. Walk forward about 20 feet and steps (left) led to the elevated section which also had a bar the length of the left wall (or directly in front of you as you walked the steps).
During my stint as DJ in this room the Glam Rock era arrived and the room underwent a steady change supporting the changes in the music scene taking place nationally. The cabaret evenings were also droppped. Philly sound was arriving toward the end of my spell in the Cabasa.
It was not unusual to find Roger Tonge and Susan Hanson (both of Crossroads) enjoying themselves at the club and one night I even met Peter Vaughan in the audience.
I'll always look on Rebeccas club with some affection, after all I effectively served my apprenticeship as a DJ there. I met many stars, top DJs and varied audiences, all of which imparted invaluable experience and stood me in good stead when I later developed my mobile disco service.
If you have any memories of Rebeccas or any of the other Birmingham nightclubs back in the 70s that you wish to share, e-mail Barry. He'll gladly publish them on this site.
Clubbers' Memories A Barbarellas membership card - free to all employees.