In Town Tonight • Woodford

June 4. 1969. Episode Six – Ivy Lodge Club, Woodford, North East London

Ivy Lodge Club where Blackmore and Lord went to check out Ian Gillan, June 4. 1969

Fifty Years On! This former Victorian lodge was owned by the church next door and turned into a youth club, which began hosting discos and live music in 1965. These got so popular that the two living rooms were knocked through to make a bigger concert space, and an old billiard table made into a stage by sawing the legs down!  Episode Six were still doing lots of one-nighters in and around London, and this was just another show for them.  However their drummer Mick Underwood had recommended Ian Gillan to Ritchie Blackmore as a possible replacement for Rod Evans in Deep Purple, so Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord drove over to check them out that night.  Ritchie even got up for a jam towards the end of the night.

As a result Ian Gillan was offered the job, and the following day Episode Six met up at their manager’s office in London to discuss the situation. They accepted that Ian was going to leave but would honour any current bookings, while they would look for a full-time new singer.

The Ivy Lodge club youth evenings ended in 1970 and the building has since been demolished.

There’s a page from Roger’s diary of the day on the site here:

The book about Deep Purple In Rock covers this time in the band’s history in detail.

4 Responses to “In Town Tonight • Woodford”

  1. scott price Says:

    Heard this story countless times but it’s nice to put a picture to the venue. Really interesting, thanks for this

    • simon robinson Says:

      When I first came across the story I was really keen to go and visit the place and was very sorry to see it had been pulled down, especially since all they’d done with the site was make a car park. I had a piece in the local paper about it which brought in some nice recollections of shows there, but sadly no pics of Ritchie jamming with Episode Six! I spoke to a couple of E6 about it and Sheila thought it was very cheeky of him to get up and play.

  2. Leslie S Hedger Says:

    The 50th anniversary of the formation went by without much fanfare. It looks like the 50th anniversary of MKII will pass the same way. That’s too bad!!

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