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Pete Lawson 1984 Letter To Blackbeat

Pete Lawson 1984 Letter To Blackbeat cover

I've finally managed to find this….enjoy

 

LETTERS TO THE EDITQR

write to the Mag address with your soul letters

Dear Blackbeat

I Have just got to have a say in the 60s newie versus modern soul/played out oldies argument, as I have been on the scene since 1972, having started at the Torch through Blackpool Highland Room, Mecca, Va Vas, Wigan Casino, Yate, Catacombs. All the good clubs, with the exception of St Ives and Samanthas. l experienced the first split in 1976 -60s v New York disco, when they said what they have said since, and are saying now,  that there are no quality 60a unknown black records left. It
was Levine in 1976 with Sam on the opposition. It was Sam saying it in 1980 with Searling disagreeing. Now it is Searling's turn to change his colours in 1984.

It seems very convenient for these DJs, after years of turning up mainly class 60s northern soul records, that when the going gets tough they tend to take the easy way out, and fall into the modern soul clone syndrome, they all sound and do the same as each other....

 

 

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I read that with Pete's unmistakable voice in my head. Brilliant.

 

I do wonder what the scene would be like today if Mr Lawson was around. A few would have strips teard off them that's for sure :)

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I read that with Pete's unmistakable voice in my head. Brilliant.

 

I do wonder what the scene would be like today if Mr Lawson was around. A few would have strips teard off them that's for sure :)

Good old Pete, always told it how it was, proper bloke. Wonder how long he would last on here

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Remember having this conversation with Pete several times before he posted off that letter good job he calmed down a bit LOL..I remember winding him up one tea time when he was at my house about Simon Soussan and he spat his food at me and stormed off outside f.in n blindin then came back inside sayin you tw.t ur windin me up then started laughin God i miss Pete Soul.nites/ niters never been the same without him.

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Respect the passion but the 'If you're not with us, you must be against us' stance is puzzling.

 

Having said that it's not a unique stance is it?

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Superb, my reply is bottom left' more Pete Lawson please' It was a great time and i was only 20 but Pete was a passionate bloke and it felt right you should back him. :)

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I see the arrogance of the likes of Cockney Mick hasn't dissipated over the years - "we like modern so you're inferior"

Good for Pete, I'd have been mates with him.

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Brilliant stuff! Didn't everything seem so black and white 30 years ago!

Indeed, it seemed like it was a matter of life or death sometimes. I remember keeping a baseball bat behind my door for a month, after I'd upset a few of the Peterborough oldies crowd, and had an unexpected "visit" one night from a few of them - or rather my then wife did as I was out! She was quite upset at the time….heady days.

Edited by Steve G

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What happened to Pete Crampton? (the second letter on the last page)…..I am off to find Tommo, Rod's and others contributions from the time…..I may be some time  :wink: But will be back with them when I find 'em.

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One thing with Pete was he didn't mince his word.  he was the same in print or in your face and he told you like it was, no bullshit.  He would despair at the scene today and would probably have been banned from the forums long ago :lol:

 

Great reading Steve, thanks. 

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One thing with Pete was he didn't mince his word.  he was the same in print or in your face and he told you like it was, no bullshit.  He would despair at the scene today and would probably have been banned from the forums long ago :lol:

 

Great reading Steve, thanks. 

Pete never had chance to be amongst us presently, i reckon he would have mellowed

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interesting views on soul sam and Richard...

 

Hi Mark, fair to say not everyone was in the debate….plenty still went to clubs and din';t get involved in the politics side of things just like today….three way split by 84 - 60s newies v 60s oldies v modern….Steve

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Nice thought Neil but I doubt it, it was all too important. I miss him x

He once lent me his suitcase full of records, amongst them were typed letters to record shops/dealers in the states he'd concocted, v well presented they were

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I've got loads of letters here, some are so sweet others are madder than a mad thing lol, completely bonkers! He was a great friend, hard work but worth it

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I would have thought it was easy to make comments like those at that time,I'm sure no one thought there was a finite amount of top quality 60's sounds to be discovered, but as we know from the last few years this is turning out to be the case.So who's the forward thinker?.Would be interesting to have his opinion today, would he still be as static or would he have thrown his hat in with the majority of us?

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Who knows Chas? Ten years ago who would've thought we'd be where we are now, five years even lol

Edited by jumpinjoan

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So the part of the criticism of Stafford was that some of the music was white pop?

Whats the feeling on this now? I never went but as I learnt about what was played probably 10 years later, thats not the impression I got  :g:

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Hi Mark, fair to say not everyone was in the debate….plenty still went to clubs and din';t get involved in the politics side of things just like today….three way split by 84 - 60s newies v 60s oldies v modern….Steve

 

Steve, many thanks for posting those scans. I used to get Blackbeat and I'm maybe one of those oblivious to the politics in the day. I enjoyed going to Stafford but didn't go that much, and was equally happy listening to modern and got a stream of brilliant tapes through tape swapping with Dave Hitch over the period. It was all great to me.

 

Must say, Pete's letters and some of the replies make their side of the argument well for a bit, but then do get heavily personal - as we all tend to when we're passionate!

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So the part of the criticism of Stafford was that some of the music was white pop?

Whats the feeling on this now? I never went but as I learnt about what was played probably 10 years later, thats not the impression I got  :g:

 

Neither did i go Steve, but everyone iv'e ever spoken to over the years were divided.... it was either brilliant or crap. Things never change!

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Superb, my reply is bottom left' more Pete Lawson please' It was a great time and i was only 20 but Pete was a passionate bloke and it felt right you should back him. :)

Yep I back Pete, cos back in the day I got quite a few records from him  :wicked: 

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Nice thought Neil but I doubt it, it was all too important. I miss him x

 

 

Me too, he had didn't know the meaning of thew word mellow.  He'd have a field day with some on the scene today!  I miss him too, one in a million.

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Steve

 

Bloody hell mate it's your birthday for heavens sake!!!!   Feeding us Soulies with "blasts from the past" must be some very unique way of celebrating? A one off even?

 

Anyways Happy Birthday again and must dig out my old copies and re read!

 

Dave

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I've got loads of letters here, some are so sweet others are madder than a mad thing lol, completely bonkers! He was a great friend, hard work but worth it

Me too Joan...I've still got some letters from him...make me laugh out loud when I read them...even the one where he was REALLY pissed off and angry with me for, Quote: "F**king up a big record sale" for him....we were mates again the next week :sweatingbullets:

Edited by Edwin S Wales

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Did he have an"ask Pete"agony column for the confused amongst us?..or even"pop up"surgeries from various venues? They could've been held in adjoining cubicles in the bogs along the lines of a confessional...forgive me Pete,for I know not what I do,I have succumbed to the lure of the 12"..'ll get me coat!

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You can unpick the 'arguments' fairly easily of course but you can't deny the proper, f*ck off passion and love for it. And despite the ravages of time / how much of a tragic, mid-life jolly up / cash cow / easy f*ucking ride it seems to have become on so many levels, it does still really matter, even now.

Cheers Steve, enjoyed em.

Edited by PhilT

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Assuming he wouldn't have mellowed out, I do wonder how Pete would have got on in the internet age…..northern soul "wear", cocks with clocks that chime Frank Wilson, divvies having line dancing lessons, the Wigan shopping centre debacles (there has been more than one - who remembers the Anniversary with special VIP area with pizza and prosecco for £20 extra - another Peterborough idiot behind that one!!), the NS flash mobs dancing in Blackpool, the various Levine come backs etc….not to mention today's major promotors who I am sure he would have a view on- there would be lawsuits flying around I am sure…..

Edited by Steve G

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Very true steve, it would be a case of light the touch paper and stand well back  :ohmy:  also the scene was going through a strange time as there were people having kids and dropping out and new people joining(like myself) who were maybe open to different tempos etc

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I reckon Pete would be semi retired now like his partner in crime, Molloy and they would both be discovering and buying records unbeknown to every one else... I would be the one brewing up and cooking tea. Lol As Ian said, Dave too hasn't found the scene the sane since.

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Assuming he wouldn't have mellowed out, I do wonder how Pete would have got on in the internet age…..northern soul "wear", cocks with clocks that chime Frank Wilson, divvies having line dancing lessons, the Wigan shopping centre debacles (there has been more than one - who remembers the Anniversary with special VIP area with pizza and prosecco for £20 extra - another Peterborough idiot behind that one!!), the NS flash mobs dancing in Blackpool, the various Levine come backs etc….not to mention today's major promotors who I am sure he would have a view on- there would be lawsuits flying around I am sure…..

 Also the funk influence that is currently engulfing the scene, now Pete's thought's on Tommy Dent would have made some most interesting reading :wicked:

You could just imagine Pete on the rampage with all the brick-a-brac sellers in the record bars of today's scene, it would be even more entertaining than the night he punched Paul Franklin on the end of the nose at tht 100 club :yes: I wonder if badass Ady C would have revoked his lifetime ban with the passing of time :D

Dave

Edited by Louise

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Every time you met Pete out was his pop in surgery.  :lol:

His suitcase and record sleeves should be in the Hall of Fame.

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Fascinating stuff, although I didn't read these at the time, I was more interested in skipping a few pages forward to a Larc Records discography featuring new singing sensation Latoya Jackson  :lol:

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Pete, Tommo Oz, Ant etc I miss em all, I know that as we've aged we've gotten mellower, but not knowing any of the younger generation, I do sometimes wonder if there are any characters of their class around these days, hidden away among their youthful gatherings...........

 

Then I think probably not!!!!  :wicked:

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Good question - but not just the younger crowd, wonder if there's any of this calibre thst have returned on the nostalgia side.

 

The esteemed Phill Worrell is still about though I'm happy to say. Don't half miss Oz too. 

Pete, Tommo Oz, Ant etc I miss em all, I know that as we've aged we've gotten mellower, but not knowing any of the younger generation, I do sometimes wonder if there are any characters of their class around these days, hidden away among their youthful gatherings...........

 

Then I think probably not!!!!  :wicked:

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Enjoyed the trip down memory lane, thanks Steve! :thumbup:

Must admit that one of my early memories about as to why 70's discs were being played/collected (wasn't the 80's at that point!), was along the same lines as Pete's thrust...no idea how I formulated the idea but it was along the lines of people who collected 70's instead of 60's did it because they couldn't afford to keep up or were just unable/dedicated enough to the NSoul scene! The majority of 70's discs were cheap and obtainable, whilst the 60's were more expensive and required more effort (not necessarily money). Not saying there is any credence to that at all, but did make me wonder what exactly was that initial spark that made folk turn to a different style...boredom, love of Soul music, lack of funds, just trying to be different...whatever.

 

The comments about "Stafford dirge" is also interesting on a revisit...yes the beats/pace/styles widened, but the scene was exciting, innovative and probably what was needed to keep it going through the lean years post-Casino. Yes, it also veered off the traditional NS style path, but the 60's danceable Soul (including Blue-eyed) ethos was still there (plus the splash of Modern of course!).

 

:g:

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Enjoyed the trip down memory lane, thanks Steve! :thumbup:

Must admit that one of my early memories about as to why 70's discs were being played/collected (wasn't the 80's at that point!), was along the same lines as Pete's thrust...no idea how I formulated the idea but it was along the lines of people who collected 70's instead of 60's did it because they couldn't afford to keep up or were just unable/dedicated enough to the NSoul scene! The majority of 70's discs were cheap and obtainable, whilst the 60's were more expensive and required more effort (not necessarily money). Not saying there is any credence to that at all, but did make me wonder what exactly was that initial spark that made folk turn to a different style...boredom, love of Soul music, lack of funds, just trying to be different...whatever.

:g:

 

Hope you're well and all is good.  :thumbsup:

 

Actually it wasn't as cut and dried as that Dave. Many of the late 60s/early 70s generation were surrounded by great music on many levels. I started off liking Motown and then Soul in general. We were hearing records like Felice Taylor's "I Feel Love Coming On" (the first record I bought with pocket money), The Bandwagon's "Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache" and "S.O.S." on daytime radio Radio One. These subsequently led to Northern Soul for more of the same but rarer.  But that didn't stop me loving James Brown's "Live At The Apollo Vol 2" or Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On". I kept up with contemporary releases in the 70s because there was some interesting stuff coming out. Some of the biggest records at the Torch were new releases - N.F. Porter's "Keep On Keeping On", Otis Smith's "Let Her Go" and Millie Jackson's "My Man, A Sweet Man", all 70s releases and were huge, so there were no cries of derision when they came on. I think Pete's feelings crept in probably in the early 80s by which point the factions for traditional 60s Northern vs 70s and 80s were probably much greater then previous eras. 

 

I got to know Pete a lot better in the late 70s and early 80s, when he'd come over to Leeds mid-week and raid my collection. I'd previously remembered Pete as a slobbering wreck who you couldn't hold a conversation with at a nighter, even though I tried on numerous occasions.  :lol: I knew he knew his stuff but he was never in a position to articulate it at events. It made sense for him to come over on a Tuesday when he could talk. He was a Northern Soul evangelist and lived the life to the hilt. I'll give him a dedication on a forthcoming release:-

 

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." Theodore Roosevelt 1910

 

Rest In Perpetual Torment Pete!  :thumbsup:

 

Ian D  :D

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I think Pete's feelings crept in probably in the early 80s by which point the factions for traditional 60s Northern vs 70s and 80s were probably much greater then previous eras. 

 

 

I think it started WIgan 79-80 ish when John A got all the initial modern soul things that Richard et al started playing…a major shift in the music being played, that continued for the last years of Wigan,,,,that's when you got the "F*ck the funk" banner etc. Soul Sam playing "Casanova". Pete did like 70s, just not at a niter.  

Edited by Steve G

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I think it started WIgan 79-80 ish when John A got all the initial modern soul things that Richard et al started playing…a major shift in the music being played, that continued for the last years of Wigan,,,,that's when you got the "F*ck the funk" banner etc. Soul Sam playing "Casanova". Pete did like 70s, just not at a niter.  

 

Yep, that makes sense. I'm sure it was on a couple of the later trips over to Leeds, that Pete became less interested in the 70s stuff and started discussing 'proper 60s Northern'. His knowledge was off the scale......

 

Ian D  :D

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Hope you're well and all is good.  :thumbsup:

 

Actually it wasn't as cut and dried as that Dave. Many of the late 60s/early 70s generation were surrounded by great music on many levels. I started off liking Motown and then Soul in general. We were hearing records like Felice Taylor's "I Feel Love Coming On" (the first record I bought with pocket money), The Bandwagon's "Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache" and "S.O.S." on daytime radio Radio One. These subsequently led to Northern Soul for more of the same but rarer.  But that didn't stop me loving James Brown's "Live At The Apollo Vol 2" or Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On". I kept up with contemporary releases in the 70s because there was some interesting stuff coming out. Some of the biggest records at the Torch were new releases - N.F. Porter's "Keep On Keeping On", Otis Smith's "Let Her Go" and Millie Jackson's "My Man, A Sweet Man", all 70s releases and were huge, so there were no cries of derision when they came on. I think Pete's feelings crept in probably in the early 80s by which point the factions for traditional 60s Northern vs 70s and 80s were probably much greater then previous eras. 

 

 

Evening from Tokyo, Ian :thumbup:

 

Many good points...especially the fact that you early trailblazers allowed the likes of myself to enter into the kingdom of Northern Soul bypassing the standard Motown/Atlantic/Youth Club Soul et al that you had trodden - you looked forward whilst we could look back to the roots, if we wanted to. The second point I'll pluck from your mail is a nail on the head moment...the Northern Soul scene fractions at that time period...divisions still exist of course it's just we have move records to argue over nowadays!

:thumbsup:

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So the part of the criticism of Stafford was that some of the music was white pop?

Whats the feeling on this now? I never went but as I learnt about what was played probably 10 years later, thats not the impression I got  :g:

There was a lot of white pop played at Stafford yes, not my cup of tea. But there was  a lot of good black music played too.

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