If you’re from the generation that saw the dance floor come to life with the introduction of The Twist, you may have heard of the DJ Jeff Dexter.
But did you know that the eminent London DJ and dancer spent his childhood in and around Elephant and Castle?
Dexter was born at Lambeth Hospital in 1946 and grew up in Newington Butts in Elephant and Castle.
He was once thrown out of the Lyceum Ballroom – now the Lyceum Theatre – for performing the iconic Twist dance, because the management deemed it obscene, only for it to become mainstream a matter of weeks later. Dexter, who was 15 at the time, returned to the popular venue where he was soon offered a job as a dancer. As a result, he dropped out of school and his dancing career began.
He later turned his attention to DJ-ing and took up a residency in the mid-60s at London’s Middle Earth Club alongside legendary DJ John Peel.
Dexter was a prominent figure at the world-famous Roundhouse in London’s Chalk Farm, where he worked as a DJ and promoter, and is known for putting on many shows, including the infamous ‘Implosion’ nights during the early 1970s. These were a series of Sunday shows, which, according to Dexter, were “totally for the people”.