Imagine a discrete, decadent little meeting place, tucked away in the heart of Mayfair; a place with thick wooden doors, beyond which can be found stairs that lead down beneath street level and into the very heart of hedonistic, 1960's London.
The Scotch Of St. James was such a place, and Patrick McKenzie would frequent it often. During his time as a ghostwriter for London Decca, right about 1965, The Scotch opened its doors to the swinging mods of the day. By all accounts it was a "happening" place. Celebrities would come and go, folks like The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, and The Hollies would often stop by, and occasionally you would see a young Paul McCartney seated with a friend or two in the back. I can't be sure if Patrick ever shared a table with Macca, but it was around that time that they would be introduced. So I can easily imagine they did. I wonder what they talked about? What was their preferred drink?
It was at 'The Scotch' that an unkempt musician played for the first time ever under the stage name 'Jimi Hendrix'. Clapton was discovered there by the head of Atlantic Records. And it was the very spot where Paul McCartney first met Stevie Wonder.
Yes, The Scotch was a very special place indeed. In truth, I had never heard of the place until I came across one of Patrick's songs - aptly titled 'The Scotch of St. James'. After reading his lyrics I had to investigate, and once I learned all that I could, I understood the significance and the history -especially as it was part of Patrick's history. Its a beautiful piece about young love, navigating swinging London, and of course...music and fashion. Pop culture rings like a bell with this one, and so it is my great pleasure to release this song come October.
I think that once you hear it, you too will gain much insight into the goings on of a very young Patrick McKenzie as he takes on the world.
Thoughts and scribbles