Page last updated at 10:30 GMT, Monday, 19 April 2010 11:30 UK
Music venue TJ's to close after death of owner
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TJ's founder John Sicolo shows BBC Wales around the Newport rock venue

A music venue in Newport which hosted early gigs by many leading bands is to close following the death of its owner.

John Sicolo - who died in March aged 66 - opened TJ's nearly 40 years ago and was a favourite of the late DJ John Peel.

Oasis, Echo and the Bunnymen, the Manic Street Preachers and Primal Scream were among bands who appeared there.

Mr Sicolo's family have decided to sell the premises which had already been trying to raise funds for repairs.

In recent years the venue has struggled financially, and Mr Sicolo had been planning to auction memorabilia from the club to keep it open. A benefit concert was also in the pipeline.

Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros performing in 2002
Joe Strummer played at TJ's a number of times before his death in 2005

Mr Sicolo's daughter Leanne posted a message on Facebook to music fans that after looking at the books the venue's financial problems proved more serious than they thought.

"My dad was TJ's and Clarence Place is just a building but it is very hard for me to except that TJ's will be finally gone after it has been in my family for nearly 40 years," she wrote.

"I am so sorry because I know the club meant a lot to all of you ... we all have very good memories, everyone different, so I want you to keep those memories and when you think of them or my dad it puts a big smile on your face.

"My dad will never be forgotten if we all do this because he is in everyone's heart, and we all miss him so much."

Joe Strummer, who was an art student in Newport known as Woody before finding fame with The Clash, played at the club a number of times in the years before his death in 2005.

Another late rock star with a link to TJ's is Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain, who is said to have watched his wife-to-be Courtney Love perform there with her band, Hole.

The late BBC DJ and presenter John Peel dubbed the venue "the legendary TJ's" on his radio shows.




SEE ALSO
Tributes to music venue founder
15 Mar 10 |  Wales
Plaque for Clash legend Strummer
22 Jul 05 |  Wales
Dry Christmas fear over licences
05 Aug 05 |  Wales

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