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Pete Lawson 1984 Letter To Blackbeat

Pete Lawson 1984 Letter To Blackbeat magazine 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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Steve G's profile photo

Posted (edited)

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. 

 

 

 

 

….three way split by 84 - 60s newies v 60s oldies v modern….Steve

 

Ian, you got to remember there was also an Oldies v newies split within 60s too….we had a series of letters on that as well…..many of the gigs in the home counties, Peterborough, leicester, Notts way that get championed these days as "great places" were very much oldies based  - and basic it was too…."Cause you're mine", "Right track", "Soul Step", Wakefield Sun….gigs that frankly were not worth going out and crossing the road for! Steve

Edited by Steve G
Byrney's profile photo

Posted

Not sure about Notts Steve, by the mid 80s the oldies lot had either dropped off or were prepared to listen to 60s Newies. The crowd that was left were mainly open minded.

 

Even supposed oldies nights like Ripley (over the border) featured a hour or so of underplayed / newies. Cant think of many pure oldies nights in Notts beyond 85 TBH.

 

You are right that there was an oldies vs Newies debate across the scene back then though that one could say got somewhat heated. 

 

 

Ian, you got to remember there was also an Oldies v newies split within 60s too….we had a series of letters on that as well…..many of the gigs in the home counties, Peterborough, leicester, Notts way that get championed these days as "great places" were very much oldies based  - and basic it was too…."Cause you're mine", "Right track", "Soul Step", Wakefield Sun….gigs that frankly were not worth going out and crossing the road for! Steve

PaulB's profile photo

Posted

Has anyone got a few copies of blackbeat that they would sell or lend me? I'd love to read them as I find the history of the scene in the 80s really interesting.

Carty's profile photo

Posted

 Can anyone enlighten me as to who the "Pondie Boys" were/ are ? the only thing i can think of is that this was a set of gentlemen with a collective partiality and appreciation for the drug ponderax? could be well off with this , anyone know better?

paul-s's profile photo

Posted

He was speaking a lot of truth and it still applies in a lot of ways. He was proved right by the amount of incredible stuff Stafford turned up and the great stuff that has turned up since and still surfaces now. Love the passion of his statement! He was no fence sitter.

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Guest\

Posted

Can anyone enlighten me as to who the "Pondie Boys" were/ are ? the only thing i can think of is that this was a set of gentlemen with a collective partiality and appreciation for the drug ponderax? could be well off with this , anyone know better?

I don't think you are far off!
Mart B's profile photo

Posted

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.

I met Rob Marriott a few month's back Chalky and I asked him about the scene today, he appeared in the the same frame of mind has Pete Lawson.He has regrets but don't we all.Their knowledge of the scene is missed because they have stories to blow your mind.
SteveSmith's profile photo

Posted

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. 

I think Chalky, Pete would somehow have been banned from the internet :yes::D

on a sidenote ,he knocks Sam playing the Vogues-Thats the tune :( i in fact sold him that record!

 

Steve

 

Joan, i miss him as well as i am sure so do many others

Bridgesoceity's profile photo

Posted

Great thread Steve, have some great memories early 80's knocking about with Cockney Mick.

Last time I saw him he was gonna let me have his collection of Back Beat mags.

Steve G's profile photo

Posted

Great thread Steve, have some great memories early 80's knocking about with Cockney Mick.

Last time I saw him he was gonna let me have his collection of Back Beat mags.

 

Hi, he was my biggest seller, got through 50-70 of each issue by just walking round venues selling them, in return I let him have a column for a while ….I saw him at the Penang Charity all dayer that Rowena organised in May….he hasn't changed a bit…. :lol:

Bridgesoceity's profile photo

Posted

Mick's modern movers wasn't it Steve? ;-)

Last time I saw him was at Southampton all Dayer last year.

Got a lift with him once to Leighton Buzzard all dayer in his Lotus Cortina, he dropped me off 2 miles from my house because he said it was 'too far out in the sticks' for his car!,

Bridgesoceity's profile photo

Posted

I traded him Sharon Redd - Beat the street on UK Prelude demo for Limitations on Bacone ;-)

Bento's profile photo

Posted

…and Pete's second letter……God we were all so passionate back then…no dancing in shopping centres….attachicon.gifPL4.jpeg

Hi Steve

I will never forget visiting Graham Anthonys house in Derby with Pete, after Graham had given him a slating in one of the mags I think it was Back Beat. One of the best laughs ive ever had. Pondie boys, Alapecia boys, grazing society [ the moohvment], Maurci collectors society depending on what weekend it was .

Got some great Lawson archives put away

Never Forgotten

Dave

Graham Anthony's profile photo

Posted

I remember Pete coming round and buying some stuff off me shortly after my reply was printed in "Blackbeat". I thought he wanted a slanging match but he was a terrific bloke and although we weren't friends as such we weren't enemies either! Pete was passionate about the music and didn't take any prisoners. My opinion at the time was just that-a moment in time. I've always liked all kinds of black music, blues-funk via everything in between including ska and reggae. i always come back to Northern in the end and my ears are always open to hearing stuff which is new to my ears from whatever era. They were interesting times in the 80's and I used to sell stuff to lots of people including Guy and Keb so I wasn't totally against 60's newies. Supplies of new 60's were drying up though so quality 70's was a way of filling the gap. We need more people like Pete around to stir things up a bit as things are way too safe nowadays and I always thought being into Northern as Radical. Cheers Graham

Mike's profile photo

Posted

latest in a series of highlights of forum posts being upgraded to the article feature

this was first posted in the forums Nov 2014 - now added to the articles feature Sep 2018

 

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Wilxy's profile photo

Posted (edited)

What a Great and Passionate Character........ Respect.

Edited by wilxy
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Colnago's profile photo

Posted

8 hours ago, wilxy said:

What a Great and Passionate Character........ Respect.

My lord, What would he think of it today. 

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chas's profile photo

Posted

Had it all figured out didn't he? Fast forward a few years and most of those luminaries he mentions go on record saying the quality and volume of 60's unknown 45's was on the wane. Whilst I agree with him on the stale playlist subject i take exception with his superiority complex. You tend to live and die by what you say on this scene and sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for as you just might get it! Stood in a venue with the pondie boys and a scattering of other flat earthers with no chance of getting an atmosphere going, not my cup of tea. After all it's a 10 Yr period and no matter how prolific it was, it could only be a finite figure. It may have been seen as 'their scene' by some but it wasn't, most people progressed from the 'jet age' to further their education and were just as passionate as they were, more in fact. 'Judge baby.. i rest my case.' 

purist's profile photo

Posted

Then, as now, I believe the arguments helped attendances at venues that were labelled 60's Newies etc.  It made people nail their colours to the mast.  
My favourite thing from this whole backward and forward debate, was being fortunate to go round Dave Hitch's house as he decided to sell off all his rare 60's northern to finance buying new and independent release 80's. I think between myself and one of the main Stafford DJ's we had most of his very impressive collection, a lot of which found it's way onto the turntables of the venues playing rare 60's, so for all his disagreements in the columns of Black Beat in his way he helped promote the 60's scene !

 

Soul-Slider's profile photo

Posted

On 15/11/2014 at 13:45, paul-s said:

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.

Yes you're right.

Pete Lawson say's 'Sammy Sevens' on Swan is white. Sure I read somewhere it was Chubby Checker using a pseudonym??

Benji's profile photo

Posted

Listen to the Sammy Sevens record and you'll realize it ain't Chubby singing.😉

  • Up vote 2
Chalky's profile photo

Posted

On 15/11/2014 at 13:45, paul-s said:

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.

In the quest for the next new discovery, any venue of influence in any era, crap was played, pop , soul, white or black.  But the turn over at Stafford guaranteed anything not up to standard didn't last long, many never played a second time.  

 

But again like Paul says many great records were played, many are now classics and highly sought after, even by people who say Stafford was shite but they don't realise what they were playing (whilst they were talking to me slagging Stafford off) was a Stafford discovery 😂

Len's profile photo

Posted

On 21/09/2018 at 07:57, chas said:

Whilst I agree with him on the stale playlist subject i take exception with his superiority complex.

Whereas I admire his superiority complex. I wouldn’t have the nerve to actually admit that I think I’m superior to some purely based on their awful music taste.

 

:D

 

Len :thumbsup:

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