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“Bernie Proctor, an ex-Merchant navy seaman who drifted into show business set up a RECORD and MUSIC shop here in the sixties. His main claim to fame was an appearance as a harmonica player in the 1962 Second World War film ‘The Password is Courage’ starring Dirk Bogarde. Tooting had quite a Teddy Boy scene in the fifties but evolved into a major pop music venue with big names appearing at The Granada and Wimbledon Palais. Pubs like The Castle ran a blues club and rock bands appeared at The Fountain on Garratt Lane. They all passed through; The Stones, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Beach Boys, The Supremes, Mott the Hoople, The Faces, Status Quo. A teenage Mod called Marc Bolan moved in just round the corner. Bernie wanted a bit of the action and in 1971, working with engineer Steve Vaughan, he decided to have a go at running a recording studio. One of the first to visit were Errol Brown’s Hot Chocolate. Other major seventies hitmakers, Mud and The Glitter band would soon follow. A procession of punk rockers, synthpopsters and rockers would soon also be on the trail to the Mitcham Road hit factory; The UK Subs, The Slits, Girlschool, The Mobiles, Captain Sensible, The Lambrettas, The Piranhas, on and on…”

“So many people have passed through what was generally known as the TMC Studios (Tooting Music Centre) but its perhaps the reggae musicians who have left the greatest legacy. Aswad, Maxi Priest, Dillinger, Black Slate, Sly and Robbie, Toots and The Maytals, Dennis Brown, Frankie Paul, Errol Dunkley, Mikey Dread, Osibisa, Leroy Smart, the list goes on and on…There are so many connections and threads, best summed up by lovers rock pioneer Dennis Bovell and Matumbi entwined with Wandsworth school friends Nick Straker and members of New Musik. Various engineers who worked there went on to be involved with some of the biggest names in the music industry.”




Next in London: Tops Record Shop