The King and Queen pub
American music legend – Bob Dylan – first ever London and European appearance at the King and Queen pub, Foley Street, Fitzrovia.
The King and Queen is a traditional small English pub, just a five minute walk from the school and a place where SGI regularly holds student quiz nights and social events in the upstairs room. What many people don’t know is that the ‘upstairs room’ of this modest English public house was the setting for the first ever appearance in London and Europe of the world-famous American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. The evening, in late December 1962, is remembered by Martin Carthy, a well-known English folk singer at the time:
“There was a regular Friday night folk club upstairs at the pub and I remember, while I was singing a song, there was this guy who I’d seen on the cover of some magazines sitting near the front in the audience. I finished a couple of songs, walked over to him and said, “You’re Bob Dylan”!
It seems Bob was reluctant at first but eventually he performed three songs. Carthy remembers ‘he had fabulous presence and a great sense of comedy’,
Now, above the bar of the pub, there is a row of portraits of English Kings and Queens through the ages. Except at the very end of the row, where there is a framed black and white photo of Bob Dylan, the music legend, performing for free in the pub’s upstairs room, nearly fifty year’s ago.