In 1983, aged twenty-three, Simon Parkes
paid £1 for a virtually derelict building in riot torn Brixton. Over the next fifteen years he turned it into Britain's most iconic music venue. Playing host some of the biggest bands like, The Rolling Stones, U2, Madonna, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen. The first venue to host Hip Hop acts like NWA, Dr Dre and Snoop Dog, Public Enemy and Run DMC. It would be hard to say which great acts haven't played Brixton Academy.
Simon will talk about his burning desire for success against the odds, his passion for live music and his belief he could prove his doubters wrong. These days are a far cry from the corporate world that controls the scene today. From rock-star debauchery and mixing it up with Brixton gangsters to putting on the first legal raves in the UK and countless backroom business deals, this is the story of how to succeed in business with no experience and fulfil your teenage fantasies.
Moderator: Jennifer Otter Bickerdike
(RocknRoll Historian, Author)