Stuart Lyon, Independent International Promoter
About Stuart Lyon
Legendary Music Impresario Stuart Lyon, 71 years, is redefining the live music experience again this summer with the 50th Anniversary Pirate Boat Cruise.
In the late sixties, Lyon broke some of Britain’s biggest live acts. He was the first promoter that headlined Elton John. It was at the Hampstead Country Club, the electric venue Lyon founded in 1968. Lyon welcomed onto his stage David Bowie, The Faces, Genesis, Boz Scaggs, Gene Vincent and T Rex and helped stage the Stones in Park.
Ken Campbell’s 1974 play about Lyon, the Grammar school boy from Hatch End, called ‘the Great Caper’, the significance of Stuart Lyon on London’s live music scene at the time.
Always the hedonist, Lyon decamped to Ibiza in 1978/79 to help launch Amnesia, which became one of the most successful clubs in Ibiza. On Mainland Spain, Lyon put on the first Outdoor Rock Festival with Blondie headlining, then brought BB King to Barcelona to a crowd of 9,000 – the first time an American Blues artist had ever played Spain.
In the early 80’s Lyon was back in London running a record company promoting the Talking Heads, the Police, and the Rolling Stones he put on Benefits for Felix Dennis.
In 1984, an interesting year for the man championed by George Orwell’s Tribune magazine, Lyon started his emblematic 22-year spell running Sunday nights at Ronnie Scott’s where he staged acts such as Simply Red, Everything but the Girl, Paul Weller and Robbie Williams.
Pioneering again, in the 80’s Stuart Lyon singlehandedly invented the new genre of ‘World Music’ – bringing mainstream African, Jazz and Latin acts such as Fela Kuti, King Sammy Ade, Youssou N’Dour, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente and Nina Simone. Lyon put on the world’s first Latin American disco in the West End with acts like New Order. Even Algerian, Russian and French rock bands were given the Lyon treatment.