❝The Ad-Lib Club∗

Welcome to The Ad-Lib Club, a webring for all dandies & dandisettes, dolly birds, mods, rockers & mockers - for all the beautiful people in love with the Swinging Sixties.

Ever wanted to see David Bailey teaching Rudolf Nureyev how to do The Twist?

John Lennon and George Harrison tripping on LSD? Discuss the authenticity of Michelle with Paul McCartney over a Rum & Coke? Witness Ringo Starr propose to Maureen Cox.
Maybe you fancy The Rolling Stones, The Hollies or The Who? Don't you worry - they're all here, too.

Put on your hi-heel sneakers and shake it to the latest R&B and Soul tunes. No better way to show off your Mary Quant mini dress or your fab velvet suit from Lord John than to dance the Watusi.

A connoisseur of the arts? John Dunbar and Barry Miles just arrived. And if you don't feel like doing anything at all, join Jean Shrimpton - she's sitting right over there. Knitting.

The original Ad-Lib Club

The original Ad-Lib Club was a nightclub on the 4th floor of 7 Leicester Place over the Prince Charles Cinema in London's Soho district. It opened in February 1964 and closed after a fire in November 1966.

The Ad-Lib Club

All four Beatles - who had their own table at the club – as well as The Rolling Stones, The Hollies, and many of the hot young actors and models and photographers and business types – made the Ad-Lib their clubhouse, as did seemingly every other dandy and dandisette in town.

Taking the tiny lift from the street, they were transported to another world where American R&B and Soul were the staple sounds and the chef named Teddy led a nightly conga line out into the street.

The Ad-Lib was the most obvious sign that England had changed utterly. Prior to that there were other London clubs; The Chelsea Arts Club was always there as a bohemian refuge. But it was the first time there was a club for the youth.

Before, if you were in your early 20s, you were grafting onto something from an older generation. You were dancing to an orchestra that your mum had danced to. You felt alienated. But The Ad-Lib - it was just for you.

People were jammed in and dancing all night. Out on the balcony, everybody had a joint, everybody was getting stoned. Rome in the early 60s was famous for its club scene but The Ad-Lib took it to a whole new level.

Even the hippest cats had to strain to keep up with it: John Lennon was shocked when he saw art dealer John Dunbar smoking hash openly in the club, not realising how absolutely safe they were in such an insulated environment.

It wasn’t an expensive place to party – the first drink was 25 shillings, including cover charge, and they went down to 10 shillings after that; and a dinner of steak or chicken was about £1 – but it was exclusive; you literally couldn’t get in not only because it was so crowded - more than 300 customers a night - but because the company you would keep would be so incredibly desirable.

The soul of the place was Morris, who made an effusive show of greeting regulars: When you came in he wrapped his arms round you. You cursed yourself that you hadn’t been there the night before.
It also had the prettiest girls in town, as if on tap: They’re such little dollies, enthused another habitué of the joint. But where do they come from? You don’t see them anywhere else.

Live sounds from London