A young child says to his



"Mom, when I grow up I'd like to be a musician.


"She replies, "Well honey,

you know you can't do both."




What do you call a

musician with a college


A night manager at KFC or





What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians?

A vocalist.




How can you tell when a singer is at your door?

They can't find the key,

and they never know when to come in.




What do you call a guitar player that only knows two chords?

A music critic.









jbs black t shirt.png




New book recalls rock 'n' roll

heydays at Dudley club JB's

 Geoff Tristram 

 U2 came over from 

 Ireland to try to establish   themselves in front of 

 JBs punters in 1980. 



                                               There then followed a golden era, which saw Thin Lizzy

                                               play in 1971, plus a host of hungry young bands who were

                                               desperate to wow The Black Country music fans, for a

                                               small fee and as standard, a crate of Newcastle Brown



                                               Sid’s twin brother John, who worked behind the bar for

                                               several years, said there was little evidence of Lizzy front-

                                               man Phil Lynot being the hell-raiser he would later turn

                                               into. He recalled:

                                                                          “Phil was just down to earth. He came to the bar for a drink and was very                                                         friendly.”


                                               Anarchistic, foul mouthed punks the Sex Pistols, with the sarcastic  God Save The Queen 

                                               riding high in the charts, dropped in under cover in 1977 for a drink, after playing an illicit gig in


                                               John said:                        

                                                               “They had been banned by Wolverhampton Council, as they had by many other                                                         councils and had appeared at the Lafayette as The Spots, which stood for Sex Pistols On The                                                 Stage.


                                               The owner of the  Lafayette  had asked us if we could look after them. “Johnny Rotten was ever so nice he asked for half a lager and a packet of crisps and he said please! They just sat with the

                                                   punters. One of the customers said Sid Vicious  drew his name on the toilet door.”


Up and coming pub rock band Dire Straits, led by the clever compositions and fluent guitar work of former journalist Mark Knopfler, played around the same time as the song Sultans Of Swing was starting to cause a stir.


JBs was where it all started for so many rock heroes.



JB's Dudley, usually known simply as JB's, was a nightclub and

live music venue located on Castle Hill near the centre of

 Dudley West Midlands. Originally opened on a different site in

1969, it claimed to be the longest running live music venue in

the United Kingdom, and hosted early performances by acts

such as Dire Straits and U2 .  It was where it all started for so many rock heroes.  Blur

had their first paying gig there, Dire Straits earned £50 for a show, and a fledgling group called

U2 came over from Ireland to try to establish themselves in front of JB'S punters in 1980.

Queen wanted a date there, but asked for too much money. The Sex Pistols hid out at the

venue after defying a ban imposed by neighbouring Wolverhampton Council and playing as

 The Spots

The Pretenders, UB40, Joy Division, The Police, Bob Geldof’s Boomtown Rats and the Manic

Street Preachers all gigged there as they climbed the ladder to stardom, and Kidderminster

rock god Robert Plant gave some low key performances.

The club was first set up at   Dudley Town Football Club  in 1969 by childhood pals Sam Jukes

and Sid Weston. It moved to King Street 18 months later, arriving at its current premises at the

bottom of Castle Hill in 1995.

Cradley Heathens - Sam started the club after his football and speedway career ended

prematurely after a bad accident in a meeting with Cradley Heathens. The former Walsall FC

trainee, who played for semi-pro teams

Kidderminster Harriers and Dudley Town, says he

was riding for Sheffield during the mid-60s when

he fractured his leg and knee. "I got crocked down

Cradley and that brought everything to an end,"

he said. "My thigh was broken in three places and

I'm still limping now. "I've still never seen an

accident like it - somehow I hit the starting gate going down the straight.

"Sam and Sid, both put in £100 to start the venue after Sam, noted that his then team

Dudley Town was in a desperate financial situation. They paid a bill so that the electricity would be switched on again.

JB's took its name from the initials of local DJ John Bryant, who Sam says was a hit with the ladies: "He was a bit like  George Best  only better looking. "The women used to love him to bits and he'd fill venues so we thought it would be a good name for the club.

"We used to go down the colleges and universities and end up getting home at six or seven in the morning and then be in work for eight. Eventually we thought we'd better get a base of our own."

The first night at JB's was virtually empty but soon Sam and Sid was turning away hundreds of music fans and had to look for bigger premises. Soon, live bands were added and the move to King Street was prompted because far more people wanted to get in than the 200 capacity would allow.


Sam, whose memory has been affected by the two strokes he has had, said:

                                                                                                                         “It was very

low key they were pretty much unknown at the time. We got them a support slot for about

£50 that was all they were worth in those days.


“When I was paying Mark Knopfler, I chatted to him and said, ‘You’ve got a half decent

chance, and I wouldn’t mind managing you’. He said to me, ‘Sam, we’ve just signed up

with someone else’. That man was  Ed Bicknell  and with him they became superstars.”


Sid, who had a day job as a civil engineer, said:

                                                                           “Dire Straits stood out head and shoulders.

They were a little bit different. “With bands like that it’s all about confidence, but you could

tell they’d got something.”


Sam recalled turning  Queen  down at around the time their first album (QUEEN with

"Seven Seas of Rhye") came out in 1973:

                                                                  “Freddie Mercury phoned up and wanted another

40 quid, and I told him to FUCK OFF!  ‘‘I remember saying to him:

                                                                                            ‘You ain’t going



John said the dispute with the band, who were just two years away from crafting the all

time classic Bohemian Rhapsody, had revolved around the four piece quibbling over how

far the dressing room was from the stage.

Sue Jukes, Sam’s wife, has routinely prepared delicious chicken or veggie curries for acts

appearing at JB’s gratefully received by up and coming stars such as Chrissie Hynde of

The PretendersAnnie Lennox of The Tourists and local heroes like The WonderStuff,

Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and  The Mighty Lemon Drops. 


She said:

               “We remember them all. Blur told us they stopped off at a motorway service

station after their gig here, for burger and chips. They hadn’t been paid before this was the

first cheque they’d had, and they were keen to spend it!”


                                                     Spencer Davis, whose band included Steve Winwood

                                                     once told the JB’s team:

                                                                                           “Forget the music you should

                                                     open up as a restaurant!”


                                                      Sid added:

                                                                       “Steve Winwood was a big real ale fan, and when he appeared here a couple                                                           years ago, we sent him up to the local pub  The Lamp Tavern.  He came back with a big jug

                                                     of  Bathams Beer !”

                                                     Sid said:

                                                                  "any trouble at the venue was soon nipped in the bud by bouncer Jimmy Fisher AKA Jimmy The Con, now dead from cancer, who would send outside anyone smoking a joint. The no-drugs rule was strictly enforced against bands by Jimmy the Con for many years.

                                                      Jimmy, bless him, had seen more courts than Rod Laver.

                                                      If any of the bands did play up, he would let them know,

                                                      Sid said.


                                                      Led Zeppelin vocalist  Robert Plant  last played at JB’s in

                                                      February in 2009 at the 60th birthday bash of his sound

                                                                                    engineer Roy Williams.

                                                                                    Tickets costing £20 were selling for

                                                                                    £100 at online marketplace ebay.


                                                                                    Plant has been a regular visitor over

                                                                                    the years, rubbing shoulders with his

                                                                                    fans who idolised him. John said:


                                                                                    very down-to-earth and he’d just call

                                                                                    in for a pint of Mild. He sometimes

                                                                                    brought Led Zeppelin drummer

                                                                                    John Bonham up with him. When we

                                                                                    were at Dudley Town FC he used to

                                                                                    come up and play darts. “A lot of times

                                                                                    he brought Maureen with him, who

was his wife then. He would arrive in an Aston Martin, the same as in the James Bond films, but he was OK and had no airs and graces.”


Sam and Sid were unhappy at the Performing Rights Society demands for three percent of

the door money, which they claim was what pushed the venue into administration.

 The PRS  collects cash on behalf of composers and hit JB’s with a £4,800 bill.


Sam said:

               “They sent the bailiffs down, but I still maintain we don’t owe them any money. “If

bands come in and play their own stuff, which they mostly do, I don’t think we should be

liable for PRS payments. “For all these years we’ve supported live music, I’d say that 99

percent of musicians aren’t even registered with the PRS. They were the ones that forced

us into administration.”


Sid, who has known Sam since he was 11, said the venue owed £80,000 to creditors, the rest of the reported £450,000 debt being his and Sam’s own money”. He added:

                                                                        “The first nail in the coffin was the  smoking ban,  then it was the credit crunch hitting people’s available disposable income. People still come out but they don’t come out as often, and don’t spend as much when they do come out. “The other thing is cheap booze. People can buy lager for £8 a pack and they can smoke themselves silly at home in front of 50 inch high definition TV, so they’re probably choosing that.


We’ve had a rich vein of great bands. On a personal

level they would do anything for Sam and the club, but

they have very little say in things these days it’s the

agents. If another venue is offering £500 more they’ll go there.”


He said Sam was a “terrible delegator” who, despite poor

health, regularly stayed at the club until 5am to make

sure everything was running smoothly.


Back to the book, this is the story about the life and

times of a remarkable little club that helped to launch the careers of hundreds of big bands, including Dire Straits.

The PoliceThe Pretenders, Judas Priest, the Manic

Street PreachersUB40, Elvis Costello, Ian Dury, U2,

Nick Lowe The Stranglers,   Ultravox, The Boomtown

RatsAnnie Lennox and Dave Stewart (The Tourists),

The Wonder Stuff, Squeeze, and Paul Carrack, but sadly (as you will discover inside the book), not Queen.


With contributions by Robert Plant, Steve Gibbons,

Damon Albarn and Alex James, and many more, plus

lots of hilarious, not to mention downright bizarre reminiscences from the stellar cast of die-hard fans who frequented the place!

Sam Jukes JBS Dudley Bostin Bloke


 Frank Sidebottom  (below) maintained that his

set at JB's, a poorly attended gig at which the audience collectively decided to play football instead of watching the band was the best

gig he ever did.

Robert Plant perusing JBS Book
JBS DUDLEY welcolm to the pleasure dome
JBS Membership card

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