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son of stan

The Black Glove Incident...(Stafford)

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Reminded of this by another thread on here.

In the early / mid 80s when I first got into this, I had a copy of some fanzine (was it called Blackbeat?) The letters page(!) was full of controversy about the 60s soul mafia at Stafford and 'the infamous black glove incident'.

I know who the 60s soul mafia were but it was never explained what the black glove incident was...Anyone know after all these years?

Edited by son of stan

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Yep. Some of the 60s boys took to wearing one black glove ala Black Power movement…one night Soul Sam got into a bit of banter with them.  :D You have to remember at the time there was quite a bit of division between 60-s newies and modern.

 

The letters page was a great "seller" for me….sold loads of copies because of it….everyone had a say Lawson, Shard, Sam, Tommo etc….

Edited by Steve G

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Yep. Some of the 60s boys took to wearing one black glove ala Black Power movement…one night Soul Sam got into a bit of banter with them. :D You have to remember at the time there was quite a bit of division between 60-s newies and modern.

The letters page was a great "seller" for me….sold loads of copies because of it….everyone had a say Lawson, Shard, Sam, Tommo etc….

And what a great mag it was too Steve. One to be proud of mate....

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me too bud,can anyone post up scans of the letters please ?

jason

 

Yes I can....be warned, it was all small print in Roneo duplicator, so not as clear as todays PC edited work.....but I can upload some of it easily enough....Back and forth the letters went.... :rofl:

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Yes I can....be warned, it was all small print in Roneo duplicator, so not as clear as todays PC edited work.....but I can upload some of it easily enough....Back and forth the letters went.... :rofl:

nice one,thanks steve

jason

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Ha Ha remember it well, certain people claiming there was nothing left to discover 60s wise, Mick Webb claiming that he didn't need to listen to Kebs spot he just knew it was shit :lol:  yup its there in black & white :yes:  or occasionally black &green / pink ..................or was that the slightly earlier ones Steve ? 

Edited by SHSDave

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I remember that well and yes it was all about the one black glove we all sported at the time, I have pics of Pottsy with his on dancing with Tommy Hunt I think somewhere. Right up there with that other fashion statement the vest worn over the T shirt look! I loved that letters page Steve and pretty much all your Blackbeats because the arguments raged for years on 6Ts Newies vs Modern, seems so pointless now.

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Ha Ha remember it well, certain people claiming there was nothing left to discover 60s wise, Mick Webb claiming that he didn't need to listen to Kebs spot he just knew it was shit :lol:  yup its there in black & white :yes:  or occasionally black &green / pink ..................or was that the slightly earlier ones Steve ? 

 

The letters page started to take off shortly after Sam started writing a column for me  :wicked: before the record reviews he'd write a few paragraphs, just like his Manifesto column really - and that's where the controversy was.....so it was the late multi coloured ones and then the white paper ones (New Blackbeat) where it really flared up, after I nudged out Kev Griffin.  Cockney Mick / aka Dead Eye Dick.....saw him at Rowena's Charity alldayer in May.....he hasn't changed....same trouser and braces combo. :lol:  

Edited by Steve G

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SHSDave, on 31 Oct 2014 - 1:59 PM, said:

Ha Ha remember it well, certain people claiming there was nothing left to discover 60s wise, Mick Webb claiming that he didn't need to listen to Kebs spot he just knew it was shit :lol:  yup its there in black & white :yes:  or occasionally black &green / pink ..................or was that the slightly earlier ones Steve ? 

Not mentioning any names :rolleyes:

 

But, I know some one who used the names Guy Dustbin and Keb Garbage.

 

:wicked:

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It was very common in the early '70's - I was at Stafford that particular night and I assumed it was a retro fashion thing rather than a nod to the Black panthers?

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Probably an adaption of the footie thing from the early 1970's, around the time of Clockwork Orange, white Skinners, Grandad shirts, Butchers coats, the young kids wore Rally Drivers type gloves. Obviously not 100% related to The Scene, but the youth of that time, were quick on fashion changes. One week you were "in" next week "out"!

Mind you never saw a football fan wearing a plastic ball on a string round his/her neck!

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Wasn't it a piss take back in the 80's though, like much of the content of the letters actually, Pete's sense of humour was often missed in his ranting raving mode.

 

I was there  when he came up with its shirts off and outside with you line, and it was said in Toffs voice as he imagined the modern soul boys would say it.

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can remember at bradford quiet a few of us started wearing wac t shirts (wide,awake,crew)and people wondering what it was about. The fact it had a picture of billy whizz on the front kind of gave it away me thinks. gosh 80s/90s allnighters were fun at times

Edited by rhino

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Yes I can....be warned, it was all small print in Roneo duplicator, so not as clear as todays PC edited work.....but I can upload some of it easily enough....Back and forth the letters went.... :rofl:

It would be good to see the content up as a website IMHO (or a part of this one), same with other mags. The content in context would be great to see.

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Yes thats right, black leather driving gloves, got some strange looks off people at the time

Five quid from Halfords, all leather. Or, the plastic ones with a checkerboard pattern on the knuckles if you thought you were really hard or kept falling off your scooter...

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Remember the letters well Jan Hitch I think describing Guys "Casanova Bennett" c/u aka Bobby Hutton "Come See" as sounding like Herman's Hermits :-)

 

Dave Hitch or Jan Barker? My money is on the former, a former Northern die hard who converted to only new music and then gospel I seem to remember

 

A rather fractious character I recall, supposed to have top notch 60's collection that he asked for wants lists on at one point, so sent all the biggies with really low offers, he never answered :-)

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Dave Hitch or Jan Barker? My money is on the former, a former Northern die hard who converted to only new music and then gospel I seem to remember

 

A rather fractious character I recall, supposed to have top notch 60's collection that he asked for wants lists on at one point, so sent all the biggies with really low offers, he never answered :-)

:rofl: The old grey matter is a bit befuddled!  :D

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Pretty sure CODs She's Fire got absolutely slated while covered up. One of these days must dig out the old mags & expose the modern heathens :D  

 

Yes it probably did and it should too. Still pants. Ha ha!

 

Now just need to find my scanner cable…..

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Yes it probably did and it should too. Still pants. Ha ha!

 

Now just need to find my scanner cable…..

C'mon Stevie.......we're waiting!  :wink:

 

Need that Soul Sam Mind & Matter review if you find it in there too!  :thumbsup:

 

 

Cheers,

Mark R

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Remember the letters well Jan Hitch I think describing Guys "Casanova Bennett" c/u aka Bobby Hutton "Come See" as sounding like Herman's Hermits :-)

I remember Guy telling me that story.

He was amused that these people who thought they knew all about soul were slagging off "Come See" and it turned out to be by one of the most soulful artist around!!Bobby Hutton. Shows how much they knew!

Edited by solidsoul

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It would be good to see the content up as a website IMHO (or a part of this one), same with other mags. The content in context would be great to see.

 

The three magazines Pete Lawson published (well two one was unpublished at the time of his death) are on my site, great readin :lol:  as is Jock's magazine which is also on my site and another excellent read. Both in either pdf or ebook format.  The link for my site is in my signature.

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I remember the black leather glove, worn by 2 cool lads in my town who went to the Torch, It's been explained as something to do with the rough dancefloor and pulling backdrops. Tommy Smith and John Carlos, who were USA athletes and medal winners in the '68 Mexico games, dropped their heads and raised a black-gloved fist in support of Black Power in the US. I think it was more in support of that, then became a fashion.

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That trend definitely  came from the 68 Olympics, A lot of the more athletic dancers started to wear them at The Wheel mid 69 onwards as far as I can remember.

Also didn't Dave Godin use the clench fist  as his logo on some columns he wrote.

Edited by bri phill

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I remember a black glove incident at Alfreton leisure centre all nighter in the early eighties,a guy punching the air,I did go to Wigan from 1977/80 and didn't see this.Like previous comments was it a local thing or maybe a guy from the early days.

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I remember a black glove incident at Alfreton leisure centre all nighter in the early eighties,a guy punching the air,I did go to Wigan from 1977/80 and didn't see this.Like previous comments was it a local thing or maybe a guy from the early days.

Steve Potts from Nottingham maybe?

Cheers,

Mark R

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Dave Godin first mentions soul boys wearing black gloves in the Land of A Thousand Dances piece he wrote in Blues and Soul issue #50  reviewing an all-nighter at The Wheel 1971,

LAND OF A THOUSAND DANCES

By some miracle I managed to catch the train on time at Euston. Anyone who knows me will gladly confirm that I am a terror for time and usually see the tail end of the train I had planned to catch drawing away from the platform. However, with about two whole minutes to spare I made it, and before I had time to realise the reality of my long awaited situation I was travelling at great speed to the heart of the North’s Soul lands; to Manchester City; home of the famed Wheel club, and meeting ground for some of this country’s most ardent and dedicated Soul fans.

Believing all the propaganda that the South spreads about anywhere north of Tottenham I had taken my raincoat, and when I got into Manchester Piccadilly sure enough a fine drizzle of rain was making the roads glossy and reflecting the neon signs all about the station entrance. Luckily I had a base to go to first since some fans had very kindly offered me hospitality before going to The Wheel, and so I jumped into a cab and gave the address I had been give.

Never heard of it” said the cab driver. As I was in a highly optimistic mood I merely smiled and said ‘I’m sure you’ll be able to find it” and jumped in before he had time to take an easier fare from the waiting queue behind me! After a brief consultation over his inter-coin we were swinging round endless corners to my destination.

Somewhere out in that black dim night gloom “in this city of what looked like perpetual night “there was an oasis known as The Wheel. It was as if all the life energy of the great city was channelled into this spot and hidden away under the ground for fear of disturbing the “respectable” citizenry, because looking out of the cab windows on this dank and murky night, Manchester looked like a ghost town.

How wrong first impressions can be was to be shown by later events and happenings. Soon the cab drove up a side street and I saw a young man running down a garden path in the miserable night air stripped to the waist and waving! Being a simple-lifer I much admired such Spartan fortitude, and I thought such exuberant behaviour could only come from a raving lunatic or a Soul brother!

Sure enough it was the latter, and for the first time I was meeting Francisco O’Brien (or Fran Francisco as I stubbornly persist in calling him) whom I felt I had known for ages through correspondence, but it is always a great experience to finally meet some one face to face who you have up till then only known through letters and the odd phone call.

Soon we were all in Jackie’s place getting to know one another. There was Les Cokell one of the DJ’s at The Wheel who I hardly recognised since in a picture I’d seen of him he had had really long hair, but had now transformed himself into a suede-head. Boly from Earby was there (whose pash is Jackie, hence her being persuaded to put up with so many of us using her place as a central gathering point), and young Tim from Skipton, and Boly’s cousin Alan. We were soon talking like we’d known each other for years (a common experience amongst Soul people since we always have so much to talk about which bores the pants off your average non-Soul fan), and the time flew by.

Soon we were joined by Tommy Barclay who was in town on a special visit, and everyone was busy getting themselves together for the evening which to all intents and purposes was going to be the last all-nighter at The Wheel since it has pleased the City Fathers to put a ban on such activities.

The fellows in their mohair suits and “right on now” black gloves, and Jackie looking as splendid as Brigitte Bardot, and we somehow managed to squeeze all of us into Les’s van and we were off. 

Before going to The Wheel however we stopped by the pub next door where all the brothers and sisters gather for a few bevvies before going in, since The Wheel would please the strictest teetotaller in being only able to serve cokes. coffee, flings and milk. The pub was crammed to the doors, and nearly everybody seemed to be young and together. Boly, Fran and the others knew almost everyone, for there is none of the social stand-off-ishness in the North that plagues human relationships in the South! Soon people were coming up to me and introducing themselves, and I was able to match long-known names with newly discovered faces.

We decided to take a few photos there and then, and of course the flash gear wouldn’t work! Eventually it did however, and the delays and the excited tension caused by them not working only served to break the ice more. Crazy rumours were flying round that the last all-righter at The Wheel would he honoured by a police raid, and I was told that special wire mesh pens had been constructed out the back to herd various people into. The prospect of this imminent drama added to the general elation that I felt, but I was relieved that as events turned out it was only an empty rumour. Young people have become too much a target for police harrassment in Britain these days and one gets the impression that we are at times returning to the dark days of Victorian “morality” when all pleasure was considered improper and wrong, and one slips into a club to dance the night away with the furtiveness that people dropped into speakeasies in America during prohibition. Since the police station is directly across the street from The Wheel I could only hope that at least I’d not die of exposure in a pen before being put into a cell a few yards away!

I was reminded of how London’s “Tiles” Club was virtually closed because of continued police activity which entailed people undergoing the indignity of a strip search for drugs, and all I could hope if the worst happened was that my Y-fronts would be as spotless as when I first put them on!

Soon it was time for the pub to close, and when they call “time” in Manchester they mean it. Not like lax London where you can still buy drinks up to about fifteen minutes after the official closing time, and by three minutes past eleven the pub had emptied itself of brothers and sisters who by this time had joined the seemingly endless queue which had formed outside The Wheel. The club itself is in what appears to be an ex-warehouse or church mission. I like to think it the latter since it can at least be said it is carrying on a tradition of spreading the faith as well as doubling as a meetinghouse for the faithful.

The Wheel itself is on two levels. When one enters there is a cloakroom and drinks bar which is always crowded, and music from down below is relayed through speakers at this level. The lighting is subdued but not so dark that you can’t see where you are going! Naturally such scarcity of illumination tends to have a widening effect on the pupils of the eyes. Being amongst the first in, I thought it would take a time for things to warm up, but on going down to the lower level I was surprised to see that already people were swinging out and doing their thing. The walls on the lower level are painted red, white and black, and the original arches which divided the various rooms have been left in place to act both as natural crush barriers, and also provide separate areas for groups of friends to form their own circles of dancers. Not that there is any suggestion of clannishness or of cliques forming. Anyone is welcome to get up and join in, and soon the place was alive with sounds and movement!

All over, the Wheel motif is repeated; rows of disused bicycle wheels line the ceiling in one place, and the whole of the DJ’s area is a cage built of spokes and wheel frames, and is one of the few places that is brlghtly lit. The light here spills out onto the floor, and the continual rhythmic movement of the dancers is only interrupted by the cheers of recognition that greet known favourites. There is no fashion as such, but naturally people tend to follow certain styles which have found favour and popularity. Never have so many Ben Shermans been gathered in one place at one time, and I noticed a style that I have not yet seen in London (but which I am sure will eventually drift down this way) in that very many young fellows wore black “right on now"ž racing gloves. Apart from looking cool and groovy they also serve a utilitarian purpose for the dancing there is of such a high standard that a certain degree of acrobatic skill in incorporated, and when really carried away whole rows of lithe young bodies bend over backwards and touch the floor with their hands!

The dancing is without a doubt the highest and the finest I have ever seen outside of the USA - in fact I never thought I’d live to see the day where people could so relate the rhythmic content of Soul music to bodily movement to such a skilled degree in these rigid and armoured Isles! And, unbelievable as it seems, everybody there was an expert in Soul clapping! In the right places, and with a clipped sharp quality that only adds an extra something to appreciation of Soul music. And what a selection of Sounds there were to dance to. I had taken four treasures from my own collection which I thought would go down well, and sure enough, even on first hearing the Wheelites were able to fall immediately into the rhythm and mood of them, and were moving and grooving out as if they had all week to rehearse to them.

It is an irony that groups like Pans People. The Young Generation. and the grotesque automatons on “Top of the Pops,’ are employed to combine bodily movement to Soul records. and yet even the most average dancer of The Wheel could show them how it should be done. It could be that one needs a certain amount of affection for the music in order to penetrate the unique peculiarity of its rhythms, but the people at The Wheel have done this, and have done it to brilliant effect. I estimated that there were about 750 people crammed into the premises, but at no time did it seem so crowded that one couldn’t move or breath properly, and with the minimum of chat Les kept the records coming one after the other each a Soul classic, and each loved and respected by the crowd.

Between records one would hear the occasional cry of “Right on now”! or see a clenched gloved fist rise over the tops of the heads of the dancers. Every style of dress and life style was there - hair to the shoulders as well as hair like a five-o’clock shadow. Mutton chops and potential Santa Clauses (in which category I fell!), and the completely clean shaven. The tang of after-shaves and the girl’s perfumes scented the hot air. The young ladies at The Wheel must be some of the most attractive in Britain cute as buttons, and as mean as they want to be, but in the nicest possible ways. And imaginative enough to bring a change of clothes with them, so that half way through the night the young girl you were chatting with in the white suit to begin with, was now dancing the night away in an entirely different outfit! And talk! I thought I’d never stop! Everyone was so friendly and kind, and I truly felt quite humbled that so many people knew who I was, and who came up and introduced themselves and had a kind word to say about my writings. I must mention a few of them by name.

There was young Zan who really knows all about Soul, hut who still retains a soft spot for the Blues and people like Bobby Bland and John Lee Hooker. He comes originally from Scotland, and has paid his dues one way or another, but explained how in some ways Soul has played such a big part in his life that it helped reform it. He is one of The Wheel’s guardians (which I am told are hardly ever needed). and he will look after any strangers or new comers and see that they settle in OK and no hustler who might slip in can take advantage of them. Everybody there certainly knew how to conduct themselves. There was no undercurrent of tension or aggression that one sometimes finds in London clubs, but rather a benevolent atmosphere of benign friendship and camaraderie. Everyone seems to know everyone else, and if they don’t, then they don’t stand on ceremony about getting to know each other, for one thing they know they all have in common is a love and dedication to Soul music, and it is this common factor that links everyone there and makes everyone a potential friend of the other.

Some of the brothers and sisters had travelled miles to be there, and although they couldn’t make it, Viv and Radio were thoughtful and kind enough to send a message to me via a friend. There was Tony from Cheltenham, and Rod (as imposing as Goliath and a DJ at other clubs in the North), and Flash who is not in the least flash, but very hip and very much into Soul.

And then there was Ivor Abadi who is the owner of The Wheel, and who couldn’t have been more welcoming and friendly, and who expressed gratitude for the efforts that “Blues & Soul” has made to draw attention to The Wheel scene, and the struggle that is going on to keep it open for swingers at the weekends. And there was one record that sticks in my mind as one always will on these occasions, which was the great “Darkest Days” by Jackie Lee.

I do most sincerely hope that The Wheel is able to carry on its traditional all-night sessions, and at the time of writing the appeal to the Crown Court has yet to be heard, and so they will continue until a final ruling is given, but win or lose, The Wheel has succeeded in becoming a legend in its lifetime, and a focal point for that aware and elite minority who are not content with the lifeless pulp that constitutes the bulk of the manipulated “hit” parade, but rather use their own taste and judgement to determine what sounds best related to their own ways of looking at things. Live and let live is a rather worn out well intentioned cliche these days when life seems to be coming more and more restricted and uniform, but you would have to search a long way to find a setting where that theory was put into such real practice as Manchester’s Twisted Wheel club, and I shall always remember with gratitude that I was taken to its heart, and allowed to be part of that scene even if I could only stay for such a short time.

They are my kind of people, and as I went to the station to get the train hack home the faint sounds of Soul music reminded me that the Sunday afternoon session had already begun, and no matter what obstacles are placed in its way, Soul music, like life itself, goes on and on. Because each and every one of us keeps the faith “right on now!.

Edited by sunnysoul

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