Boy George says, “It’s easy to talk to you now we’ve danced together. I used to think you were too cool to speak to, even though we were always bumping into each other at The Wag Club. The whole gang looked up to you because your dreads were real and ours were just extensions”. There’s about twenty of us and it’s 1995. George and I are in Hampstead in North London attending, by chance, the same Native American Medicine Wheel workshop with Leo Rutherford, head of the Contemporary Centre for Urban Shamanism. Ironically, in the early 80s, I used to think Boy George was too cool to speak to and yes, as far as I remember, I did spend a lot of nights at The Wag Club.
Jumping ahead it’s 2017 and I’m driving through the Wiltshire countryside with the DJ and founder of the WAG, Chris Sullivan. Last night we did a private Birthday Party gig at a truly beautiful Manor House. Percussive gravel drive and honey-coloured floorboards. A hundred guests, a hundred drums, two hats, twin decks. I’m telling him, pre-social media, how The Wag Club was THE place that we all met. Everyone.
“Kate from Hayzee Fantayzee and I would dance together, locks flying, clearing us a space. George Michael, Paula Yates, Robert Elms and Sade and their entourage. Bananarama. It was a crazy multi-media Youth Club looking back on it. One night Kate appeared beside me and gently held my hand, like sister and brother. We simply stood there in the eye of the storm, watching the crowd, and she said, “It’s you and me Tom. We’ll always be here won’t we?”
“Ha, and you always were Tom”, says Mister Sullivan, “Unless Gregory Isaacs was in town”.
“I don’t think she meant I’d always be at The Wag Chris. I think she meant, you know, something more universal, like being at the Center of The Medicine Wheel”
“Oh yeah? What’s that when it’s at home then?”
“I’d tell you but I need to stop and check the route, we seem to be getting further from London every mile we drive, not nearer. Call George though, he’ll bring you up to speed, he was taking more notes than me. As you know, I’m just a drummer.”