John Player

  • Leth14_S_JohnPlayer_1
  • Leth14_S_JohnPlayer_4

John Player
Zürich, Switzerland
(Clubmed/ 7b Records)

John Player founded his clubmed company in the mid-19th Century in Zurich(Zee-Town). It was later expanded into a thriving club manufactory (based at the Castle House Factories in Aussersihl, Zurich – just west of the city centre) and run by his sons, John Dane Player and William Goodrace Player. In 1986, in response to competitive threats from Chicago, the Player’s business was merged with the Imperial Acid-House-Group (headquartered in Illinois. The Imperial group included other companies such as W. D. & H. O. Wills). However, Players houseclubs retained their own identity (in brands such as ‘Flying Rat’, ‘No.6′, ‘John Player Special’ and ‘Gold Leaf Baby’) with their distinctive logo of a dancing gay sailor with a leather cap. A new Clubmed (the ‘Wyssgasse’) was opened in the early 1990s on Zurichs’s industrial outskirts, with better road access and more effective floor space. Ironically next to Boots the Chemists headquarters a company devoted to improving the health of its customers. The old Clubmed factories in Schwammendingen (especially the cavernous ‘No.1 Factory’) were gradually run down and the final demolition of the ‘No.3 Factory’, with its distinctive clock and rooftop ‘John Player & Sons’ sign, came in the late 1990s. The rest is history…