The Byrds

The Byrds • 7 Carlisle Street, London • August 1965 • No. 1


La Poubelle Club Français / Die Fledermaus, 7 Carlisle Street, Soho, London

Left to right: Michael Clarke, David Crosby, Jim McGuinn, Chris Hillman, and Gene Clark

*Prints of this image are currently available in three sizes on matte Hahnemühle Museum Etching 350gsm Deckle Edge paper.



The Story

The Byrds, adding character to the front of La Poubelle Club Français /Die Fledermaus at 7 Carlisle Street, Soho, London, amid the morning refuse from the night before. 

La Poubelle Club Français, which opened its doors on Great Marlborough Street in 1959, was the first club in London to describe itself by using the fancy French word, ‘discothéque.’ La Poubelle moved to this location in 1963 and, by the time of this photo, had begun the process of rechristening itself Die Fledermaus (The Bat), as evidenced by the delivery note on bat-logo stationary taped to the door next to Gene Clark. The name change would prove fortuitous. The bat-themed club was, like David Crosby’s cape-like cloak, nearly a year ahead of the British television premiere and eventual pop culture phenomenon of ‘Batman.’

When asked by Chris Dunkley from The Slough Observer about American attitudes to long hair, Crosby offers: “It’s like any other country, it depends on where you are. In Greenwich Village nobody bats an eyelid. But I was in a hotel in the Midwest once, and I said to a middle-aged woman beside me, ‘I think I’m on the wrong floor.’ She said: ‘Boy, you’re on the wrong world!”

Despite the recent softening of English attitudes to long-haired musicians following in the cultural wake of Beatlemania, according to a report in The Nelson Leader (Nelson, Lancashire, August 6), Crosby still manages to create a stir: “After entering the Golden Room bar in a cloak he was asked to leave by the management for being improperly dressed.”

Photographer unconfirmed / Image formerly from the London Features International Ltd — John Halsall archives

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