Remembering King Mojo - one year ago today

Azena Ballroom, Geoff Stringfellow, King Mojo, Peter Stringfellow, Ready Steady Go!, The Beatles -

Remembering King Mojo - one year ago today

King Mojo-goers on their way to dance on Ready Steady Go!

It was exactly 12 months ago that we gave you a sneak preview of some of the amazing pics we'd amassed for our forthcoming book that celebrated Sheffield's famed King Mojo. 

We were organising a reunion to launch it and were even searching for a Beatles tribute to perform a set similar to the one played at the Azena Ballroom in August 1963 in Gleadless - the gig many cite as a turning point for Geoff and Peter Stringfellow in the months before they launched their legendary city-based nightspot.

Wow - can you imagine trying to do that at the moment? 

So today we're going to remind you of some of those amazing shots; remind you of the amazing times at the Mojo and show you the King Mojo memorabilia we launched just a few weeks ago.

Ben E King pictured inside the King Mojo office

The teenage club opened in 1964 and attracted musicians that went onto conquer the world.

Names like Stevie Wonder, Ike & Tina Turner, Jimi Hendrix, The Who and Pink Floyd all played early gigs at the venue that used to reside at 555, Pitsmoor Road.

Peter and Geoff Stringfellow could never have guessed they’d have created an event that would enter the annals of rock’n’roll history when they booked the Beatles to perform at St Aiden’s Hall on City Road, Sheffield the year before.

The sell-out show – which ended up being moved to the bigger Azena Ballroom in Gleadless - caused near riots as hundreds of young people turned up without tickets. That was just months before the budding entrepreneurs launched their legendary King Mojo club. 

Arguably the venue’s biggest claim to fame was introducing the Small Faces to the audience that set them on the road to fame.

The band were originally booked to perform at a nearby Working Men's Club but they were kicked out after a couple of numbers. The King Mojo mod audience thought they were manna from heaven and the rest, as they say, is history.

King Mojo-goers in action

Dirty Stop Outs' Neil Anderson thought a ‘King Mojo edition’ of his best selling Dirty Stop Out series would be a fitting tribute to Peter and Geoff Stringfellow who both died in 2018.

He said: “Few clubs anywhere in the country have a story comparable to that of the King Mojo. The contribution Peter and Geoff made to popular culture in the era was quite incredible. The club created lifelong friendships amongst its teenage audience and attracted acts that went on to conquer the world. ”

What do you think?