The Marquee Club - A tribute site dedicated to the history of the legendary Marquee club at London's 90 Wardour street.

Colin Richardson (manager)

Colin Richardson

Born on the 31st December, 1936, in South-East London, Colin Richardson worked as a manager at The Marquee Club between Autumn 1964 until early 1965, under the supervision of Harold Pendleton and John Gee.

Before his involvement in The Marquee Club, Richardson co-managed the Jazzhouse club in Blackheath as well as the New Jazz Orchestra. The R & B club on a Friday evening began some time in 1963, as there were crowd problems and the landlord of the Pub had to ask them to close. The jazz club, however, was allowed to continue, as the audiences were relatively small and well-behaved. Colin Richardson about remembers it's origins: "The New Jazz Orchestra was formed in October/November 1963, originally as a rehearsal band to give young jazz musicians, including those in the resident band, an opportunity to get some experience in reading, arranging and ensemble playing.  It's first live appearance was in December 1963 at the Jazzhouse.  The following year it won the All England Jazz Contest at the Guildford Jazz Festival. Later, they were runners-up at the National amateur Jazz Contest, held at Richmond under the auspices of the NJF (which was probably when I first met up with John Gee and Harold Pendleton)" (1).

It was during this period that, throughout his contact with the National Jazz Federation, he was contacted by Harold and Barbara Pendleton to join their team.

After one year working for The Marquee Club, Colin Richardson joined the London City Agency as a booker in April 1965, where he worked to artists such as Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Jesse Fuller, and The Artwoods. During this period, his job was to book bands into all of the clubs and colleges around the country. Meanwhile, Colin would have certainly used his association with John Gee and the NJF to the his advantage whenever possible. After 18 months at the London City Agency, he switched to the Rik Gunnell Agency, which specialised more in soul bands like Georgie Fame, Alan Price and Geno Washington, but also represented John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and later, launched Fleetwood Mac. After about 15 months there, Colin Richardson joined the Bron Organisation as general manager in January 1968. Later that year, Jon Hiseman formed Colosseum with Tony Reeves and Dick Heckstall-Smith when they all left John Mayall together. "It was only natural that he approached me to become their manager, after all our previous associations as fellow musicians and friends", says Colin (2).

After the split of Colosseum in 1971, Colin Richardson left the Bron Organisation and started a company with EMA-Telstar Stockholm, in order to manage their artistes when in the UK and to build a roster of UK bands as well. He later joined Tony Stratton-Smith's Charisma Label Records in 1972, where he worked to artists such as Genesis, Lindisfarne, String Driven Thing, Peter Hammill, and Patrick Moraz.

After leaving Charisma Label in 1976, for a brief time Colin went back into management with a small company looking after singer-songwriters, like Bert Jansch, John Martyn and Ralph McTell. In 1978, he agreed to a three month consultancy contract for RCA Records, working on the European tours for David Bowie and Jefferson Starship, at the end of which he quit the music business to became a journalist for several German language music magazines. Duirng this period, he interviewed well known international artists, like Harry Nilsson, Eric Clapton,  Johnny Winter, Genesis, to name a few. In 1980, Colin Richardson moved out of London and started a new business buying and selling antiques and collectibles.

(1, 2) Colin Richardson's recollections for, September 2007.

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Colin Richardson interviewed by