Live: David Bowie and the Buzz, Witch Doctor, London

David Bowie and the Buzz performed at Mr Smith’s in Catford, London, on Saturday 8 October 1966.

The club was situated at 75 Rushey Green in London, SE6. Originally the Savoy Ballroom, the upstairs venue was renamed the Witch Doctor from October 1965.

The ground floor was Mr Smith’s. It was owned by Manchester-based businessmen Dougie Flood and Bill Benny, and doubled as a gambling venue. Flood and Benny enlisted local gangsters Eddie Richardson and ‘Mad’ Frankie Fraser to protect the venue.

In the early hours of 8 March 1966 a gunfight, known as the Battle at Mr Smith’s, broke out between members of the Kray gang and the Richardson gang. Several people were shot and injured, and Richard ‘Dickie’ Hart was killed. The following day Reggie Kray avenged Hart’s death by gunning down Richardson gang member George Cornell.

Last updated: 15 June 2022
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