So, what is the book?
My book tells the story of a shy North London boy from a typical lower middle-class family who opened a decadent upscale West End nightclub, routinely hung-out with stars and jetted around the globe throwing extravagant parties. Leading-up to the book’s launch Coco Latté will be a staging a series of high profile invitation-only cocktail parties at a handful of top London venues, the proceeds from which will be donated to charity.
Why write it?
When I stepped away from the nightclub industry in 2008 to focus on other areas of my business, a friend suggested I should scribble down my experiences of the club scene to bring some closure to that crazy chapter of my life. I’m sure most readers will be shocked by what used to go on in London’s nightclub underworld.
About that. . . spill! What sort of tales are inside?
Tales of my upbringing and British public school education; my years as a child star performing on TV alongside comedian Les Dawson on the West End stage and singing in the movie Chariots of Fire; my early career as an corporate accountant in the fast paced City of London; how I stumbled upon the nightclub scene in my mid- twenties and decided to open my own club; and of course hitherto secret tales from the dance floor.
You’re behind some seriously happening parties in Qatar. Is this a guide to doing that?
No, this book is essentially about my life. But I do have a concept for a second book, which will reveal secrets about staging a perfect event.
How did you get started in this industry?
Quite by chance actually. I was encouraged by a group of friends who loved to party: we all felt that the London nightclub scene lacked glamour in the mid 90s. When Coco Latté opened in Mayfair in 1997 I had no idea how to run a nightclub, no experience of operating a business and little knowledge about music or DJs. It was quite the baptism of fire. Before long Boy George and Danny Rampling were DJing at Coco Latté.
What do you like about it? What’s kept you going?
My nightclub decade was a lot of fun and I met many incredible people some of whom still influence my life today. On the flipside it was chaotic, hedonistic and dangerously unhealthy. I am grateful to have survived it with my health intact. Many nightclub promoters either die young, lose everything or end up in a home.
What are your best memories?
The sight of 4,000 people packed into the Coco Latté dance tent at London Mardi Gras; Janet Jackson at my nightclub dancing on a sofa for three hours and Robbie Williams queuing outside Coco Latté, patiently waiting in line to get in.
What about scandalous: is the book juicy?
Of course there’s some scandal in the book, otherwise no one would buy it! So many stars of stage and screen, fashion designers and pop stars frequented Coco Latté there are literally hundreds of stories in my memory bank. Stories about Alexander McQueen, Dannii Minogue, Rupert Everett and Tom Ford to name but a few.
The next Coco Latté event in Doha is a White Party on May 2 at Rocca, Grand Hyatt Doha. Call 4448 1272. For more on their events see www.facebook.com/cocolattelondon.