The Yardbirds, Ricki-Tick and Blow Up

Whilst perusing late at night on You Tube I revisited a favourite clip of mine. Its the club scene from the Antonioni film “Blow-Up” (1966). It still looks spot-on. But what I hadn’t noticed before was the bizarre design of the club. Stark black and white with large illustrations of faces. Outside on the street the club sign says “The Ricki-Tick Club”. It turns out this was indeed an actual club, with very similar design and iconography.

ricki tick poster

The Ricki-Tick club was a legendary early R’n’B club based in Windsor. Where The Stones, Yardbirds and visiting American artists would regularly perform. It was very influential on the burgeoning Mod scene. Which was I guess why Antonioni decided to re-create it in his film about swinging London. More can found at the Ricki-Tick Club website.

Apparently when Blow-Up came out it wasn’t particularly well received in the U.K. People having tired of the Swinging London image and tag. However it’s reputation as a film gained as the years went by. I really love this clip, apparently it also includes a very young Janet-Street Porter dancing in PVC pants towards the end. More about the background to the film can be read at the excellent blog anothernickelinthemachine.

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1 Response to The Yardbirds, Ricki-Tick and Blow Up

  1. Brother Jonno says:

    Always loved this film and the Yardbirds appearance in it…..I loved it so much I named one of my NYC club nights BLOW UP in its honour….

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