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M at Les Cousins, Feb 1971

M at Les Cousins, Feb 1971
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Just a Zeitgeist portrait snap I found going through some old negs, for some reason never printed before.

At that time, 1968-72, Les Cousins (named after a 60s French "New Wave" film) was a brilliant folk music club in Greek Street, Soho, London in the cellar under a Greek restaurant, Dionysus. I was a fairly frequent "floor player" there (getting things started before the main performer or filling in the break). It had no alcohol licence, just a very basic coffee bar with, memorably, a polythene teaspoon chained to the bar. In the winter it was very cold for the first half-hour or so and I vividly recall having to sit on my hands to warm up my fingers so I could play.

When the sessions ended around 1 a.m. I would walk round to Frith Street and use my last £1 buying the necessary one drink to be able to spend the rest of the night listening to jazz at Ronnie Scott's.

Most of my guitar-playing heros played at Cousins including Davy Graham, Bert Jansch & John Renbourn, Paul Simon, Martin Carthy, Ralph McTell, John Martyn, Stefan Grossman and many others (even the classical guitarist John Williams). Meeting Mike Oldfield there in 1968 (performing with his sister Sally) convinced me I was never going to be the world's greatest guitarist – he was only 15 and already way better than me – starting me on the road back to my day-job.

Usually M was noticeably the most glamorous member of the audience and was invited to sit up on the "stage" when (as often) there were not enough seats. It is now a very smart area of town but in those days quite sleazy with strip clubs and "massage parlours" all down the road. When M first joined me there she wore one of her usual ultra-mini dresses and had a difficult time fending off interested men until I arrived – after that she realised that trousers were more practical (also for climbing over the church-pew seats).

I found a nice description of the venue here.
Date: 2016-12-12 09:58:53

Les Cousins Soho London 1971 Folk club music guitar portait art photo jonathan charles top-f50

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Dreamy Beauty!!!!!
sal32 2016-12-12 02:54:01
gorgeous photo ♥ ♥ ♥
mileshighclub 2016-12-12 03:08:38
Photo Guy TTFN 2016-12-12 03:15:54
A beautiful photo and great memories.
ItinerArts 2016-12-12 10:26:42
It's a really atmospheric photo and thanks for the back story.
grumpyshoes 2016-12-12 16:32:51
Absolutely gorgeous.
lemoncat1 2016-12-12 18:28:16
better Zeitgeist than Geistzeit ;-) ...
photoarchiv65 2016-12-12 18:55:45

Congratulations for your beautiful photo!
Thanks for having shared it with us.

Seen in “The essence of beauty”

costagar51 2016-12-12 19:19:22
Thank you for sharing your Photo with us !
the_rave !
Please Invite other Photos too !
Remember post one and comment three
alexanderrmarkovic 2016-12-12 19:43:49
Vista en // Seen on

Solo Personas / Only People
RAFATZ 2016-12-12 20:33:24

Congratulations for your beautiful photo!
Thanks for having shared it with us.

Seen in “The essence of beauty”

@ Luc&Ca 2016-12-13 07:37:23
:Beautiful memories!!
admired At
All Memories Welcome
sovcsil 2016-12-13 10:27:57
Logo MONOCHROME bronze invitation Your masterpiece is invited in our group ■□ monochrome and got the first point!
If you accept, you must award now minimum 4 other pictures in the group pool! The award code you find here.
Christian Hermann Fotografie 2016-12-14 07:51:13
Logo MONOCHROME bronze award
Your photo was seen in our group ■□ monochrome bronze. Please don't forget to award 4 others!
If you recieve more than 4 bronze awards, post it here
andreas.konir 2016-12-14 09:20:19
I saw your beautiful model and photo essay.
You were invited to share your great work in this group.

Thanks for the wonderful contribution.


li77sa 2016-12-15 23:40:47
That's a cool image if a very pretty lady...
johnkey2222 2017-07-21 05:52:17
that is such a good photograph and so emblematic of that time
unclebobjim 2018-10-18 14:31:15
thanks for storytelling!
Frizztext 2019-01-11 16:38:56

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