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Documentary charts golden years of Eel Pie Island
Eel Pie Island’s heyday is brought to life in a new documentary.
The 25-minute film, titled Rock n Roll Island, is part of a series of events that celebrate and record the musical heritage of Eel Pie Island, which was originally accessible only by ferry ride or swim.
The documentary explores the unique experiences of the people who either played there or went to the Island Hotel to listen to music and dance on the famous bouncing dance floor.
Produced by Aurora Metro Arts and Media, in association with the Eel Pie Club, the film was shot during the summer in Twickenham and explores the place that led to success for many major British acts in the 50s and 60s.
Interviewees includea Top Topham from the Yardbirds, Geoff Cole from the Ken Colyer Band, Don Craine and Keith Grant from the Downliners Sect and Paul Stewart from the Others.
The film reunites three women from what became an iconic photo of five teenage girls leaning on a bar at the Eel Pie Island Hotel in the 1960s and interviews them and other fans about their memories.
Original images and footage are also presented, as are extracts from the famous Rank Organisation Look at Life film.
Cheryl Robson, who created the project and produced the documentary, says: “You can feel the incredible fondness for the Eel Pie experience when talking to those who actually went there.
“There was definitely something in the water in south-west London which affected all those who went, played, sang or danced. The energy was infectious.”
A private screening of Rock n Roll Island is due to be held this month before music journalist Zoë Howe unveils it to the public as part of Richmond Literary Festival.
She will discuss the British beat explosion and rock n roll island - the book published in association with the Eel Pie project.
Rock n Roll Island at Richmond Literary Festival, the Coach House, Orleans House Gallery, Twickenham, Monday, November 25; 7.30pm. Visit eelpieislandmusic.com.
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