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By James D. Carney

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In this rather oddly designed building, with its narrow street entrance leading to a grand foyer, young Peter caught his first glimpse of the stars of the day, albeit somewhat downmarket ‘artistes’ on variety bills. One of the last shows put on at the Empire, before it converted to the Eros Cinema in the early Fifties, was called Soldiers In Skirts. Skirts may well have been on Peter’s mind as he excitedly swept up the stage, pulled back the curtains and ogled the actresses. The Croydon Empire/Eros Cinema closed in May 1959 and was demolished to make way for a barren concrete shopping centre.

Peter was paid to put up the rings and take them down again. There’d be wrestling every Monday night at Wembley Town Hall and somebody had to put the ring up! I used to go to see wrestling there with Jet Harris. He loved it. When Peter butted someone with his stomach, that was just using a wrestling technique. Nobody ever got hurt. If they did get hurt it was an accident. It wasn’t meant to happen. There was no physical damage because it was all showbiz. ” Around the same period, Peter took on another job as a doorman, this time at Murray’s Cabaret Club where he was the only man working amongst forty showgirls.

He knew all the tricks in the book,” says Most. “He was a master at promotions. He had this company called Anglo-American Artists in Curzon Street and he had the balls to bring over these people. I remember Peter Grant going to a prison in Arkansas, waiting outside the gates for Chuck Berry to be released. ” In 1962 Mickie Most returned to England, hoping to break into the beat group scene as a solo singer. But it was hard to gain acceptance, as there were so many R&B acts already pursuing The Beatles into the charts and the clubs.

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A Historical Theory of Art Criticism by James D. Carney

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