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.
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.
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….