The Stage Door

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The Stage Door - recognised as the antipodean Cavern Club

Beginning life in 1964 as The King Bee (under the auspices of John O'Brien and Paul McGarry), the establishment was sold in 1965 and renamed The Stage Door.  The first resident group at the new nitespot was Chants R&B - with Mike Rudd on lead vocals, guitar and harp, Trevor Courtney on drums, Peter Hansen on bass guitar and Jim Tomlin on lead guitar.  The Chants had won Christchurch's Battle of the Bands in 1964, and went on the attain local stardom.


Stage Door entrance (Hereford Lane)

Stage Door showing the interior


The Chants setting up on stage at the Stage Door

The Chants preforming live on stage at the Stage Door


As Martin Forrer (Peter Hansen's replacement on bass) commented when he first went "down" to the subterranean haunt, "It was underground and dark, mods mingling with university types, loud music, and incredible energy no matter which band was playing."