People With 2i’s
The Irani Brothers
Freddie & Sammy Irani were the first who ran the place until 1955,hence the name of the café: “2i’s Coffee Bar.”
By 1956, they opened a nightclub,“The Cote d’Azur” at 47 Frith Sreet.
They also organised an alternate version of “2is Rock across the Channel” ferry trip headlining Chas McDevitt and Rory Blackwell
Paul Lincoln & Ray Hunter
Two Australian wrestlers, they took over the lease from The Irani Brothers in April 1956.
Paul Lincoln arrived at Tilbury from Australia, with only 20 pounds in 1951.
He was a wrestler by profession under the moniker “Dr. Death”, wore a Black leather hood, and also promoted wrestling bouts.
He promoted the wrestling match, appeared on the bill as Paul Lincoln, had a rest between bouts, and appeared again as Dr. Death !!
He use to phone up records company men to come down.
Was the former doorman/deputy manager and had adopted a laissez-faire attitude: the musicians could go behind the counter and helped themselves. They sometimes used to sleep down there too.
Tom Littlewood, a Judo instructor, had graduated from doorman to manager of the 2is in 1958. He was managing singers such as Vince Taylor, Keith Kelly and “Screaming Lord” Sutch…
Tom Littlewood was strict – plus he used to demand 10 per cent commission from anybody who played down there… so he’d give musicians a quid but then take back 2 shillings…”