Sat. May 21st, 2022

From the night three James Bonds ate there (Sean Connery, Roger Moore and George Lazenby) to Mickey Rourke challenging George Best to a drinking contest, the stories that have come out of Gold’s brain child are the legend.

In 2001, gold undoubtedly caused endless sleepless nights over the publication of his memoir, The gold of the tramp (complete with a preface by Michael Caine), but they need not have worried: as always, he was the image of discretion and took most of the club’s most scandalous tales to his grave.

Lady Joan Collins and Johnny Gold

David M. Benett / Getty Images

Gold was born in 1932 in Stamford Brook, London, and was the son of a milliner and grew up in Brighton. His path to the nightclub king was not straightforward: he first served in the army for two years as part of his national service before going to work with his father. He visited clubs like Nightingale and Astor in the 1950s, but it was when he met John Wayne at Crazy Elephant that he decided to open a club himself. When he was married to wife Jan and with two small children, he swapped humdrum for the extraordinary and put in strenuous hours to make Tramp the success it was.

He sold the club in 1998, but continued to work there at the door, greeting guests for another five years before moving to the Bahamas when he retired.

About his success, he said: ‘I tried to treat the celebrities as ordinary people and the ordinary people as celebrities. I would go down the stairs in Tramp every night and say “Showtime!” ‘


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