The Clive "Captain" Kelly Story


Read about his famous CubiKlub | The Robin Hood of the Amazon | Captain Clive and The Stones | Captain Clive and Sting | Seacide | Clive's film "Raoni" | A Warrior in Exile

CLICK HERE to view Clive's BBC video story (only shows in UK)

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Robin Hood of the Oceans, Clive of the Indians, The Navigator with the Indian Head-dress, The Indian of Liverpool, Defender of the Bay, Eco-mad Englishman, Sea-cide protector, Son of Neptune; These are just few of the names used in various well known English and Brazilian publications, related to the life's fight of Clive Howard Kelly, later to be known as Captain Kelly, named so by Sting in his Autobiography and press stories.

Rebel with a cause, thrown out of school at the age of 13 because he wore jeans instead of the school uniform. War victim born in the North of England in 1940 in the middle of an enemy air raid. As a baby, his home was blown to smithereens! A grudge was born against the "Civilised System"!

He therefore went to sea on a fishing boat heading for the North Pole.

Several years later at the age of 18 having completed a circumnavigation of the world starting as a deck boy, Steward and finally ship's photographer, he left the ship at Liverpool and was paid off.

Now being on land and free, he managed to get a job at the Jacaranda Club, which was in those days, the home and rehearsal venue of the Beatles.

During a trip to Germany with Allan Williams the then in charge manager of the Beatles, they became friends and soon, partners in the "Catacombs" a rhythm and blues club in Derby Street, Preston.

By the age of 22 Clive was the owner of 6 such Rhythm & Blues Clubs all over the North of England. 

  • The Cubikclub 1 in Birkenhead Liverpool
  • The Cubikclub 2 in Rochdale Manchester
  • The Witches Cauldron in New Brighton
  • The Bluenote in Wigan Lancashire
  • The Ponderosa in Bolton Lancashire

Many well-known and to be famous Artists played at Kelly's Clubs and often stayed at his house, known as the "Inner Sanctum - Kipping place".

He was also an agent and impresario to most of these musicians, like Little Richard, The Rolling Stones, Millie - Hit record "My Boy Lollipop", Little Eva - Hit record "Do the locomotion"), Bill Haley and his Comets, Sonny boy Williamson, Ike and Tina Turner, Rod Stewart etc.

These are just a few of the well-known artists to have started their successful careers playing in Kelly's Clubs.

In fact, The Rolling Stones still owe him a paid for show, paid in advance, but only 2 members of the band showed up!

The show was cancelled with considerable loss and a show on a later date was promised to him! (so they are still in debt to him)

Unfortunately due to the fast times and the excess (the fast life-cars, drugs etc.) which that lifestyle enabled, many of Clive's friends died thereof so he decided to leave it all behind and get out of it while he still could!

Clive, then in London, became a collector of old photographic equipment, and using the old type "Box cameras" which he modified for efficiency, became a street photographer ("a smudger" in cockney), mainly operating in Piccadilly Circus.

Working on the streets, he had a lot of contact with the Hippie generation and their message of Peace and Ban the bomb!

This led him to start manufacturing "Ban the Bomb" signs and other types of heavy metal and "horseshoe-nail" jewellery.

Soon the demand became so great that he started seeking help from (often-disabled) cottage industry workers whom he would share his profits with.

He now had several street trading points in the trendiest spots, like Carnaby Street, Piccadilly, Kings Road, Regent Street etc.

With over 50 home workers, his stocks soon grew. He gathered a considerable amount of merchandise, and was able to sell at the mega rock festivals of the time (often hosting more than 500,000 persons like the Isle of Wight, Bath, Reading and others). He also sold plastic sheeting for the public to shelter themselves with, from the rain, his slogan was; 'Avoid the rain, buy a pane!'.


Clive spent the next couple of years working those festivals. In 1972 he stitched about 2000 puzzle rings on his clothes and caught a plane to Brazil, when arriving in Rio for the Carnival, stopped by customs he told them he was the "Metal man" scheduled to appear in the Carnival! (Note:- in those days it was almost, impossible to import anything into Brazil, let alone jewellery!)

Once he knew his way around Rio, he proceeded to sell his "Imports" on Copacabana beach for a very decent profit!

This is how he managed to finance his first Brazilian Boutique "Freedom", a "cult" centre located in Sao Paulo's trendy Rua Augusta.

This enabled him to gather the capital needed to build the "Victoria Pub" in nearby Alameda Lorena.

There he met an old friend, ex-member of his former Cubikclub in Birkenhead, and together they decided to visit and make a documentary film about the Xingu Indians. 

They arranged for a director, sound man. Cameraman and set off in a hired plane, even though it was strictly prohibited for unauthorised foreigners to approach or enter the Xingu National Indian reserve, but in those days, they were young, very daring and fearless of the consequences!

The pilot landed the "push and pull" plane on the short landing ground of "Posto Leonardo" a small strip cut out of the jungle by the first white men who contacted these Indians.

Quickly unloading their gear, they ordered the pilot to take off immediately! Moments later, they were approached by hundreds of painted Indians and Mr. Orlando Villas Boas.

Orlando, a formidable figure of over 120-Kg of authority was bursting with anger, as he informed them they were in a military protected area, forbidden to enter, and should leave immediately! He soon asked them how they had entered the forbidden perimeter, where was their aircraft? Why were they there?

Their director J.P wore a large leather "Ankh" loop and cross pendant Kelly had previously made for him as a lucky charm. Orlando mistook it for a crucifix and presumed they were religious missionaries, who regularly (even now) force themselves and their out of place religion upon the innocent - UN-polluted Indian tribes causing irreparable damage to their culture and way of life.

Orlando ordered them to follow him at once to a large wooden building next to the radio-shack. Once inside, they heard the door being locked behind them and were told they would be let out when a military plane was available to take them back to civilisation, probably the next day. Needless to say they were all feeling very beat and down by this news!

However that night, there was a strong tropical storm, which ripped the roof clear off the building, smashing down the walls! The storm also sent all the radio shack, and equipment down the hill into the river! Fortunately, Clive's crew suffered only minimal injuries, as opposed to the many Indians, who were wounded, thus making Kelly's first aid kits very useful. The next day they helped re-build the post, this enabled them to become friends with the local tribes and Mr. Orlando. A few nights later "Megaron Txucaramae", Chief Raoni's nephew came to visit them. He told them to follow him to the "Kamaiura" village, as the chief "Takuma" had received a vision dream. The Women of his tribe should re-enact the "Iamaricuma" which is the roots to ancient lost tradition of the Amazon women, who as legend has it, banished all the men from the village because they had become too vane and lazy! Hunting them only to procreate, and killing every second boy so men would not regain power!

In this festival the women (wear the, for them forbidden, men's feather head-dresses and) wrestle each other in the "huca-huca" fashion normally practised by the men of the tribe. (photos)(several)

After these festivities, they set off to film the "yualapiti" village and met the youngest chief of the Xingu region "Aritana" also participating in a wrestling ceremony, (photo)

Kelly was then initiated by having his body, (arms, legs. chest) scraped to bleeding with the sacred fish tooth comb thus lacerating his skin and allowing it to bleed extensively, so as to become "stronger"!

Needless to say this was a very impressing experience, as they were the first filming crew to approach these Indians and did never quite know what to expect!

After this experience, they were then led on a long hike into the jungle until they reached the "Suaia" Indian tribe, where they were able to film the flute playing dances.

Then the "Majipu" Indians and the last of the "Trumai" tribe, just a few surviving Indians of this tribe, now extinct by the white man's contamination!

The "Txucahamae" their name means "the braves who hunt without bow and arrow!" Only with "Borduna" a long heavy club with which they hunt even the most feared jungle leopard! 

Now the time had come to travel down the river to contact the feared and never before filmed black Indians,

This part of their voyage took several days in aluminium canoes rigged with outboard motors. During this trip they only stopped along the riverbanks for provisions, most food was begotten from the river in the ways of fish, alligators and birds they would cook on their camping-gas stove. 

Kelly and his crew would drink the actual river water, and took turns at lying down in the canoes to sleep!

Their, by now, Upper river Indian friends would warn them, and try to persuade them not to go any further down river, as the "Txucahamae" tribe was a dangerous tribe, having recently killed two invading white men! Being unconsciously fearless, they did not pay attention to these warnings, but nevertheless decided to sing (Hare Krishna-Hare Rama) as they passed the many villages en route, and yes, on their arrival they were greeted by a chorus of singing Indians. Obviously, their message of music, peace and that "catchy" tune had travelled faster than them. They were welcomed by singing Indians and spend several weeks with the "Txucahamae".
(PHOTOS. Dances, Honey collecting, Clive in longhouse making jewellery, women. Jaguar hunter with prey etc.)

Raoni their chief became Clive's very good friend and even returned with him to Sao Paulo to see what his "village" looked like! He has returned to visit Clive on many occasions since then. (Photos)

Whilst making the Film, Kelly's girlfriend had their baby which Clive named "Mega-Om" with Chief Raoni's blessing (photo)

Over the years four films were made, Indians, the first, Xingu, The white man is coming nr.2, Aura queen of beauty#3. and the Oscar nominated 35 mm version of the film "Raoni". This film also won 4 Grammy awards in Brazil (Brazil's equivalent to the Oscars). It was made in two versions. The English version where Kelly plays the part of a white invader who whilst building a house, is attacked by hundreds of angry, arrow-shooting Indians, and then is then taken prisoner.

In the American version of the film, Marion Brando does the introduction to the film, leading the American Indians doing the long march to the White House.

Later when Kelly returned to Sao Paolo he created another "Mega Club" called the "Galleon" (photo) holding 3000 people, it was a representation of Pedro Alvares Cabral's* vessel. (*First Portuguese to land in Brazil).

Then moving up to Porto Seguro in the state of Bahia, he built the "Latitude 17" a club on the beach only a few feet away from the tropical Atlantic Ocean, made of several parts of raised sunken vessels and canoes. 

Kelly has been living on and off on his trimaran, which he helped build out of unsinkable foam sandwich material and fibreglass, his trimaran "Survival" is fully equipped and also has some special features, like underwater viewing panels in the hull of the round saloon (photos), 5 double cabins etc. The Survival soon became the world's first Indian Eco ethno cultural museum.

On Board Survival, the captain has sailed the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans showing his films and inviting people to visit his Floating Indian Museum.

At the Cannes Film Festival, Survival was used to promote the Film Raoni. This drew a lot of interest of the stars present for the festival and friends like George Benson and Arnold Schwarzenegger regularly came on board for a visit or even to get away from it all, and take a peaceful nap. (photos)

Survival also spend a couple of years in Panama and a year in the San Bias Islands with the Cuna Indians,(rare photos from women's chicha ceremony prohibited for men) from whom Kelly bought several thousands used "Molas" (Indian reverse applique decorative cloth art). This enabled him to survive during that time, regularly selling/trading them with USA art dealers.

He then sailed back to Brazil where he took Sting to visit the Amazon Indians. Sting then appeared onstage with Chief Raoni in a Human rights concert in Sao Paulo, (photo Sting & Raoni). Sting and Chief Raoni then convinced, toured around the world with the promise of gathering funds to demarcate the Indian Territories.

Unfortunately, the funds never reached the Indians! Upon their return to Brazil, the "Rain Forest Foundation" was created. The Indians wanted Captain Kelly to be president, but Sting insisted that his good friend J.P. Dutilleux should hold that trusted position. On repeated occasions, Capt. Kelly insisted that this was not a good choice as Mr. Dutilleux had previously bankrupted a similar foundation and funds were never retrieved.
After several messages and letters sent to Sting, Capt. Kelly finally received an answer, a letter from sting (photo) stating that he (Sting) knew about Mr. Dutilleux's "Chequered past" and that he (Mr. Dutilleux) was no longer president of the foundation! This was not true and consequently Mr. Dutilleux still responsible for the foundation and funds thereof has never been able or willing to show the books in public! Nor explain the disappearance of the several millions of dollars in donations received from the tour and from the royalties of Stings book "Jungle Stories" (mentioning on back cover that all royalties were to be donated to the Rain Forest Foundation.)

Persevering in his quest for truth. Capt. Kelly called upon the British Television Program "World in Action" '.They agreed to do a "reveal" program including interviews with Capt. Kelly, Chief Raoni, Sting and Mr. Dutilleux, this program proved publicly that Mr. Dutilleux was not able to come up with a reasonable explanation for the missing funds!

Captain Kelly continues his fight against pollution, Sea-cide protection, and denouncing the destruction of our planet, often helped by friends such as Paul Wind and others. See . Http://

During her most recent voyage, Survival has been south to Argentina, Uruguay and up the River Parana, following the path of the missionaries who destroyed the Gurany Indians. As Survival was reaching the geographical centre of South America she suffered an accident whilst being towed and broke her 17 metre mast. The Captain had noticed that several tugboats were freely dumping their oily bilges directly into the river and Pantanal swamps (photos)(this was done breaking all international and national laws). Kelly also noticed that the huge tug's propellers would often churn up large fish, alligators, turtles and other river animals, which would find themselves in the tugboat's path. As the tugs went down the river one could see the level of the water drop and a trail of blood and oil behind them! So he immediately contacted a TV station and denounced these facts live on the air, he was consequently arrested for slander and held in "house arrest" for nine months on board Survival, ("where is, as is")

As he personally denounced some of the local Tug owners, who had family and friends amongst the local authorities! No attention was paid to his claims, and incriminating photos were not even looked at, on the contrary, he found a large, live, venomous land snake in his boat. Later he came to find out from some local fishermen friends that it had been placed there in the hope it would set an end to this troublesome "foreign" problem! (photo) With the help of an oar and some courage the Capt. Kelly managed to flip the snake in the river before it bit him or his dog, and saw it swimming away, probably just as panicked as he was!

After nine months of daily temperatures of over 45 degrees Celsius, no wind and many letters to influential friends, he was told he was absolved and had to leave before something bad would happen to him, needless to say he followed this advise on the double! Before leaving however he was called by several small plane pilots, fishermen friends and forest police and told that he had given them the voice to continue their fight for the preservation of the Pantanal! This was extremely rewording, plus that he later found out that due to his efforts the association of "The friends of the Pantanal" had been founded!

On the way down river he was presented (in Rosario - Argentina) with The Chico Mendes Award for his work protecting the Rain Forests and their inhabitants in South America.

Survivals current fight is to end the Bomb fishing in all Brazilian waters, during which fishermen's bombs exploding close to the hull damaged Survival in January of '98 (photos)

Arranged by Jacy from a manuscript by Captain Clive Howard Kelly.

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