The Pontiac Club, Zeeta House, Putney

Together with St Mary’s Hall, also in Putney, the Pontiac Club was a popular venue in southwest London in the early-mid 1960s. Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds were resident band there at one point as were The Action, formerly The Boys.

I have started a gig list below and would welcome any additions as well as memories in the comments below.

28 December 1963 – Manfred Mann and Mark Leeman Five

An advert from 1965

30 May 1965 – Rey Anton & The Peppermint Men
20 June 1965 – The Hollies and Rey Anton & The Peppermint Men
18 June 1965 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
14 July 1965 – Manfred Mann and The Boston Dexters
16 July 1965 – The Thoughts
25 July 1965 – The Thoughts
28 July 1965 – The Who
4 August 1965 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
7 August 1965 – The Byrds
11 August 1965 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
18 August 1965 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
1 September 1965 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
5 September 1965 – The Action (recently the Boys)
8 September 1965 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
12 September 1965 – The Action
15 September 1965 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
19 September 1965 – The Action
22 September 1965 – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
26 September 1965 – The Action
24 December 1965 – The Army

5 May 1966 – The Carl Douglas Set

Most of the gigs were source from the Middlesex County Times & West Middlesex Gazette and Melody Maker. I’d also like to thank Ken Baxter, Andy Neill and Greg Russo for providing some gigs.

15 thoughts on “The Pontiac Club, Zeeta House, Putney”

  1. The Army entry in December 1965 is probably The Others in their transition to Sands and not Steve Priest’s pre-Sweet band

  2. Few more gigs from Melody Maker:

    17 March 1966 – The Loose Ends + support
    19 March 1966 – The Checkers + support
    20 March 1966 – The In Crowd
    23 March 1966 – Jimmy James & The Vagabonds
    24 March 1966 – The Mickey Finns
    26 March 1966 – The Basic 5
    27 March 1966 – The Shevells

    28 May 1966 – Jo Jo Gunne

    4 June 1966 – The Drag Set
    18 June 1966 – Jo Jo Gunne

    1. I think that was DEAKIN LEWIS… that was me !!.. but have no record nor memory of it….ADHD n all !!!! just know we played there a number of times. Please tell me if im wrong… or right ???

  3. I saw T-Bone Walker at The Pontiac, backed by Ronnie Jones and The Blue Jays (I think), but can’t find any details of this anywhere. It was poorly attended and predated his success at the Jazz at the Phil in November 1966, most likely spring or summer 1966, possibly one of the last gigs there.

    It was a great room with “pop art” paintings of superheroes on large mirrors around the walls. From the size of these mirrors as I remember them, I’m guessing that at one point it had been a dance studio.

    Membership card here….
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=522918471075479&set=pb.100000719921735.-2207520000.1433064095.&type=3&theater

  4. I saw The Who there on July 28th 1965. I remember that there were two seperate stage areas and there was a surf band that was the support. The Who played in the main area and managed one set as the PA went on the blink. The stage area was very small and I was front row and Pete Townshend was probably five feet away . The stage height was low or it may have been on the floor ! I saw Roger Daltrey 4 years ago and he signed a poster for me as ” Pontiac Max”. He didn’t remember the gig !

  5. hi
    Was at the Byrds gig that night in 65. Great gig and still a favourite memory, was wide awake with the stimulant at the time.

  6. I, too, was at the Pontiac for the Byrds session – got in free because as regulars me and my mate were given loads of flyers to promote the session. We went down to Richmond on the Saturday afternoon (gig was that evening) and after a couple of hours got fed with handing them out – rented a row boat by Richmond bridge and dumped them in the river.

    I remember the gig being quite short and the crowd not being happy for little more than about 20-30 minutes of the Byrds. Also, some of the older, larger (and harder) regulars were used as security in return for free tickets. They accompanied the Byrds up in the lift and complained that they stank. But that summer of 65 was great for a 17 year old, also taking the stimulant of the day.

  7. Love this club. Great atmosphere. I remember having a chat with
    Wilson Picket after he appeared here late 65 or early 66.
    Mike Raven (DJ from Radio 390) did a session here in early 66.
    I suppose we all have a favourite tune/s that reminds us of a particlar place, well my ones, for this club was “First I look at the Purse” by the Contours, “Harlem Shuffle” by Bob and Earl and of course “Midnight Hour” by Wilson Picket.
    French Blue anyone?
    Great days.

    1. Hi Pete great post, I agree we had some great times in The Pontiac, we always have a good old chat about the club when we meet up.

  8. I was there for the Byrds. Thought they were great. Remember going into launderette next morning until my parents got up. I was using the substance. Great club

  9. I used to go to the club midweek,I recall Wednesdays,to Mike Ravens Soul music shows.He used to play Atlantic,Motown plus other great Soul singles that had recently been released,many ahead of U.K.release.On one occasion I won a minor competition,I can’t recall what for,but he gave me an American pressing of Marvin Gaye’ s Take This Heart Of Mine,which I still possess.

  10. I saw the yardbirds, there many times,
    I remember the man on the door was a Johnny Bindon
    Wilson Picket (midnight Hour Fame)
    A girl stood on a glass table, fell through cutting her legs.
    No Alchohol was served, opposite was a off licence where we bought
    VP wine,
    Lots of Purple Hearts and blues going on.

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