Crosbi Stills

Peter Lewis & Makiko Nagaya

Digital photographs of the band 'Crosbi', taken at the Marquee in London, 2004 present the band and audience, resembling 'by accident' the same relationship as portrayed in Michelangelo Antonioni's 'Blow Up' (1966), the scene in which a dead-pan audience listen to 'Stroll On' by the Yardbirds. David Hemmings manages to steal the smashed guitar Jeff Beck throws to the crowd, escaping to street level with the trophy, only to chuck it in the gutter with disinterest. 'Ricky Tick', the name of the infamous swinging '60s club as featured in the film, denotes a musical form that is dull and repetitive. The Ricky Tick was a nomadic club, [at locations in the UK, in suburban towns such as Windsor and Hounslow]. The murals in black and white and the posters are synedochal of 60s Swinging London, but filmed in colour by Antonioni, everything is defined in the relationship for Antonioni between the illusions of the 'real' event and the fixity of the 'realist illusion'.

The following is an extract from an interview found online that discusses the film and the 'real' reaction of audiences at Yardbirds gigs.

Didn't The Yardbirds appear in a film? I can't recall which but I know that I read that the trailer made it look as though they had a major role in the film but you actually only played in the film for fifteen seconds or so. It was all just hyped to get the fans in.

Blow-up. I think Blow-up was the only film we actually did.

Do you still get money whenever it's shown or don't you know about that side of things?

No, we lost rights to a lot of our old stuff. We probably get something from the Performing Rights. Not a great deal of money. It was funny that because that set was an EXACT copy of a club in Windsor called the Ricky-Tick. Have you heard of that?


It's a club on the circuit that we did and the studio was an exact replica with all the graffiti.....

... and they probably got all the kids that went to the Ricky-Tick to come up......

..... I think so, yes. Crazy. That was weird as well..... did you see the film?

Yes, a few times.

They had all the people just standing there as if they were all just completely tripped-out which was not real at all because when people used to come to see us they used to jump about and went mad! ( Both laugh ) They were just hypnotised.

Someone who I was also lucky to interview was Jane Merrow who was the fiancée of David Hemmings at that time and she said she should have been in Blow-Up but, as things tend to go, she was in another TV programme and missed out. She appeared in lots of cult TV in the 60s and The Lion In Winter.

Oh right.

She runs an employment agency now. It's interesting what people move into.

Yes, Sandie Shaw - she's a psychologist now.

You're joking! I didn't know that!

Yeah. She decided to start this agency helping musicians who have problems with their confidence.

These performing arts are strange because people are getting up on stage but actually when I have spoken to some of these actors they're really quite shy.

Oh yes.

I expect the same is true of musicians. Humble when you talk to them but 'Jeff Beck' on stage!

Oh, I know, totally, totally.