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Not everyones's cup of tea Peter but you can't deny the fact he was one of the characters that made our scene stand out.

Any stories?

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Not everyones's cup of tea Peter but you can't deny the fact he was one of the characters that made our scene stand out.

Any stories?


He was a character, but more than that too, I got to know him well through my friendship with Dave Molloy (soul legend) and Pete had far more to him than the mad character everyone seen.

However, the mad character side was prominent, went back to his place with SS member Melandthensome (Ian Melia) once and Pete was in playful mood, Mel recognised this and scarpered upstairs, Pete put on that pop song Jack theGrocers Son, started to lecture me about how perfect the beat was, and how much he liked 60's pop, as usual i disagreed, he then proceed to sit in my chest making me listen to this song for about 20 minutes till I agreed it was great!! All I could hear was Mel pissing himself.

Noone should also forget Petes influence on records in the 80's, his search for new stuff in the days of Stafford etc was relentless.

As you said not everyones cup of tea, I had my fallouts with him over the years, but a very special person. I still miss him.


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hehe, that sounds right as I couldn't put anyone else into that story other than Peter.

Pete used to get on with me (I think that is the right way round haha) as I was a psychiatric nurse at the time and he used to like to toy with my views somewhat of his, I think it was 19, admissions by that time.

He used to frighten us into bonnet surfing after Wigan, which involved waiting at the traffic lights at the bottom of Station Rd until a car stopped at them - then you had to jump on the bonnet as the car set off and see how long you could hold on before either the car stopped and you were legged by a very angry driver or you slid off (Hopefully sideways :) ).

Yep, he was an experience that lad. :D

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What a mixed up-shook up guy. Lord knows what went on his head.

He truly loved Northern Soul yet found anger among it.

The only time I ever appeared in Ormskirk was in 1974 and slept comfortably on his sofa!


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What a mixed up-shook up guy. Lord knows what went on his head.

He truly loved Northern Soul yet found anger among it.

The only time I ever appeared in Ormskirk was in 1974 and slept comfortably on his sofa!



What went on in his head was a diagnosed illness that Pete had to live with till his death, although not sure this was diagnosed in the 70's. His anger was driven by his passion for Northern Soul, which was his life. I often have a wry smile when I wonder what he would have to say about todays scene and the people. To be honest dont feel comfortable discussing on web board but he is a classic example where history is often a mis-story (to misquote a quote made by someone far more eloquent than me).


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Hope you don't mind this but here's a great post the late Frank Jackson wrote on KTF.......

Pete lived for soul and really cared for little else. He absolutely hated weekdays as

these were simply waiting periods for soul to come next weekend.  I know he liked

visiting you John as you always had plenty to keep him occupied both record wise and

conversationally even if he and Mel did tease you they were screwing the phone box

by your house. My place was a similar refuge for a midweek diversionary soul session

as was Daves in Bolton, Tony and Joan in Preston  and a few others. In fact it was on

one of his jaunts he was murdered. A crack up too far perhaps ? We'll never know as

Macca who killed him wasn't saying in court. Pete was great company and he and I

enjoyed many a weekend on the road to nighters even if he did occasionally tell people

that Mel and I ( a pair of nasty looking big fuckers) were his minders even though he

knew because we told him neither of us would interfere if he got himself into trouble by

his own efforts. In fact Mel and I often think how the f*** more people didn't give him a

bang. Tam was asking for crack up stories and Pete was the ultimate crack up artist

with any sign of a messy head joyously pursued with no sympathy or quarter given.I've

known people run from houses the morning after a nighter when they saw Pete was

there and many could not handle him at all. Driving him to a nighter was an experience

in itself as he was like an excited kid on the way to the seaside. The weekend before

he died we were driving to Keele in my shiny Alfa  V6 that I'd copped after a boss

insurance settlement and somehow he got in the front even though he was barred for

prior misconduct. Ten minutes into the trip it was "Fuckin' Hell Frank this is posh. What

does this button do ? What about that one? " and he went through every gadget in the

car finally enjoying the electric windows as everybody got turns of theirs going up and

down at motorway speeds. Lovely. He was bored by Knutsford or so though so he took

to hanging his head out of the window with his mouth open so his cheeks billowed. I

knew I'd be pissing in the wind advising him of the dangers and appealing to his good

sense so I thought I'll cure the fucker 90 mph, 100. No dice. I finally gave up at

130mph with the flesh almost being dragged from his face. I was forced to slow down,

drag him in and advise him if he did it again I'd bounce him up the fucking

embankment and he could walk the rest of the way. He was fucking delighted of

course that he finally got a rise out of me and chortled the rest of the way. That was

Pete. Over the years he was diagnosed as everything from schizophrenic onwards

until they finally settled on manic depression and he learned to cope with his situation,

which he didn't hide and would tell anyone about, but he would have pissed on your

sympathy as he was a very self possessed individual and took pride in himself. This

was a hurdle he overcame on his own and you could take it or leave it as far as he was

concerned. Those of us privileged to have known him well enough took it and saw it

merely as a facet of one of the finest soulsters the scene has ever known. Pete asked

for f*** all but to be your mate and though we fell out on many an occasion as being a

family man I couldn't' always do two all nighters and a soul nite the same weekend and

thus not in Petes book a true believer, we always made up, particularly as he couldn't

bear not knowing what new obscurities I'd got since his last visit. You would just get a

phone call asking if you were doing anything Wednesday or what my days off were this

week depending what my job was at the time and any disagreement just forgotten. I

asked him about this once and he told me life was too short where soul was involved

and he knew I was too pig headed  a twat to break the ice even though I wouldn't harp

on an argument so it was down to him. That too was Pete. Logical and pragmatic

when necessary but always his own man and ferociously independent as he knew the

alternative was to wallow in his problems and that was never going to be him. He was

a leader not a follower and leaders don't ask to be understood or show weakness if

they can help it. Tough minded despite his problems but sensitive too when necessary.

But he was also very hard work for a lot of people and accepted many couldn't take

him at all. f*** 'em, I owe them nothing was his attitude and he did alienate a lot of

people, perhaps one too many in the end but he wouldn't change much even if he had

his time over of that I'm sure. Mel and I still miss the f*** out of him and still go over

the old stories laughing our fucking heads off to this day and I'm sure wherever he is

he's laughing right along with us.


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and some more from KTF.....



Will  never forget when we got stranded in Coventry one morning after

a  nighter in the 80's and Pete paid for the taxi back to

Chesterfield,  he'd had a good night with the records ;-)  He never

asked for it back  as he knew we would do and often did do the same

for him when short.  Great guy and sadly missed.  One of the biggest

characters I've know,  part of the scene died when Pete died IMO:-( 




That's what he was like. He might have been an absolute shark in a record deal with

you ten minutes ago and then be paying for you to do something else as you were now

skint. Almost naively idealistic in hating elitists, high record prices that in his view

moved control of the scene away from its working class roots, and an almost

evangelical wish to get more young people and fresh faces onto the scene. Though he

preferred his sixties stuff he had no hang ups about modern either, believing only in

good and bad records.

He had been living away from Ormskirk for a while and came back only relatively

shortly before his death. He hadn't been very well I think and knew enough to get

home and though his old lady wouldn't let him move back he got a nice flat and got

mentally strong again much of which was down to his close relationship with his

lifetime best mate Mel who stood absolutely no messing with him and knew Pete like

no one else. The real shame though was the great weekend we had that week. He had

started his own soul night on the Thursday with a great line up including the excellent

Rob Marriot who must have travelled a fair way for a soulnight. Forget where we went

on the Friday but Saturday we went to Keele. He sold records hand over fist and

socialised while Mel and I did our usual Lord Charles off his box while in his box

impersonations as our jawlines got more rigid by the minute. Sunday saw us flaked out

at Petes before washing away the shakes from the last three days of self abuse with a

little session at the alehouse across the road. Mel got off home for a kip later while the

two of us went around the Ormskirk boozers with Pete in search of some cannabis to

bring him down from the high excitement of the last few days. Sadly he couldn't find

any and while I snored the night away Pete went through lists, wrote letters and read

old letters finding the one from the guy that killed him amongst them inviting him for a

visit. It really was a bizarre letter and I expressed doubts but Pete thought he was dead

funny and a fellow maniac, "Macca the maniac" he chortled. Only too accurate as he

would soon find out. So as I was in work on Tuesday I dropped him off in Burscough

Monday afternoon so he could catch a train to visit Macca. We had a couple of pints

while I eventually had to let him win a game of pool as he wouldn't go until he won one

and as he kept putting Whitney Houston " I Will Always Love You" on the jukebox and

rendering his own version at top note over the top you can see it was a matter of some

urgency. The last I saw of him was him laughing at me and threatening another pool

lesson on his return as he crossed the railway bridge. The insufferable fucker had only

won the last game of eight because I let him but as it was the last one the latest victory

was his and that put him on top. That was that until the following night when his mum

Jean phones asking if I knew where he was as he checked in with her regularly no

matter where he was. I told her he was somewhere around Bolton but not at Daves

and in some place called Little something or other with somebody I didn't know. She

kept phoning me like worried mothers do I guess to see if I'd remembered any more

and I did think she was worrying unnecessarily. Until that is I felt the cold chill as the

Granada reporter on the telly said the body of a man had been found in a flat in Little

Hulton followed within minutes by a call from Greater Manchester murder squad to

come and interview me. It was a pretty gruelling session as they brought out his record

box, jacket and the shoes his mum had bought him for his birthday for me to identify.

The only light moment being that the lead investigating officer told me he used to be a

Casino regular and being the soft twat I am I asked if that was while he was with the

drug squad. The next weeks were some of the most oppressive I've ever experienced

as the murder squad continued occasional visits and I spoke regularly to his mum on

the phone. The funeral passed me by slightly as my head was up my arse and apart

from thinking Phil Worral looked even more odd than usual in his much bigger brothers

suiit and no gear (well until after the service anyway) my only real memory is sitting by

Neil Clowes and the stalwart Brian Rae DJing all day without a repeat record apart

from The Spinners -I'll Always Love You. I still had the court case to come as his

defence was Petes mental state which I told the prosecutor was excellent at the time I

left him. It did my heart good that the defence brief hadn't done his homework and

asked what made me a mental health expert? " Seven years working in a secure

mental hospital and an honours degree" I told him as he looked like he wished the

ground would swallow him. Well he got life but it only helped briefly and doubtless the

twat will be out in about four or five years having done his fifteen even though the

details of how he killed Pete are really too evil to reproduce here. Had I been able to

have viewed it from a distance doubtless I'd probably have been able to rationalise it

as Pete probably on a wind up too far and just a very sad loss to the scene. But being

so closely involved in the events and decisions that led to him going to meet his death

both Mel and I fucked ourselves up with "If onlys" for a long time after even though we

both knew it was bollocks.. I never was one of Petes closest mates though he liked me

well enough to spend weekends with when my work allowed. Now if I'd have been

really dedicated I'd have only worked in jobs that didn't interfere with soul. Petes real

heroes were those he saw week in, week out at venues and kept the scene going full

time. Any other character traits were merely a side issue. Pete also made the mistake

of introducing me to Mel one Thursday when a big weekend was planned. Pete

finished up going on his own as Mel and I spent 'till Tuesday without sleeping, in the

pub when it was openand doing gear, playing Petes records and reading old Blues &

Souls upside down for the rest of the time. Pete made no secret of the fact that he

disapproved of our poor behaviour by choosing such a weekend over venues but by

that time we hardly gave a f***.

Well that was the sad end of one of the scenes greatest characters and I apologise to

those of you who never knew him and have waded through this somewhat downbeat

tale over the last few days but doubtless those that knew him will be glad at last to

know the real story of how it finished. The only other soul person who knew it all was

Mel and he was too close to Pete to ever really want to tell it. Mel and I incidentally

remain best mates and a noughty  pair of fuckers best avoided at nighters unless your

name is Dunlop and you are an Evertonian or alternatively you have some interesting


Here's to dedication and a life of soul.


R.I.P Pete and Frank

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the first time I came across Pete was via mail order in the NME offering Top sounds

cica 1974 I think (pre-Black Echoes). i was after Billy Woods, candi staton and earnest mosley at the time .i sent for a list and you could choose 10 records for about £8. All the top sounds were on the list (Like seeing Butch's playlist now)

So I sent off my Postal Orders to peter Lawson I got back a 12" Acetate with just one record I had ordered plus the other tracks which by then had been bootlegged ! I wrote a letter of complaint and after about a year I got a cheque back from pete's dad saying he was ill in Hospital, he was of course in the clink !

On his release I met Pete at Wigan and he became a lifelong friend too many stories to tell but my fav is when I had a copy of laura Greene Moonlight for sale in the record bar at wigan Pete is looking through my box and says "that used to be in me top 5 records of all time I had it tattooed on my chest" at this he takes off his shirt and low and behold it was there No 1 was Jerry Williams "If you asked me" Calla years later at Wigan i took a photo of Pete without his shirt on and you can read them. I will dig out the photo and post it!

Anyone who attended pete's funeral will remember jerry Williams being played at the service, there are not many day's that go by without Pete's name cropping up

and it took ages before I got used to going into a nighter and not hearing the Scouse tones of his usual greeting "Allright Rob" A true friend and a Diamond of a bloke.

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