Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.

Jump to content
  • Sign Up
Dayo

Major Lance - Cancelled Uk Tour 1973(?)

Recommended Posts

I guess I'm at the age where names, places and dates have become over-important, but here's a question that I'd love to get ananswer for:

 

Can anyone recall that Major Lance booked some UK dates in 1973 but failed to show up?  But does anyone know when?  If I could establish that, I'd know the date of my first trip "up North"!  

 

I was all set to see him at an all-dayer at the Top Rank Hanley and made a special trip from Worcester with my sister and bro-in-law.  Major didn't show up, but nevertheless I had the most memorable debut on the scene.

 

Duke Browner really was the first record I remember and yes hundreds of people clapped in just the right spot, and yes, I know it's become a cliche but that just blew me right away.  Other massive records were all the late Torch faves. I remember dancing to Rat Race, Exus Trek, Right Direction, Bob Relf, Howard Guyton, The Superiors,  and many more.

 

Ok, so fast forward a few days and I'm still desperate to see my hero Major Lance.  So this time, along with a small bunch of Worcester Soulies, it's down to a venue in Gloucester or Cheltenham - the Town Hall?  There's no social media or mobile phones and it doesn't occur to me that if Major Lance couldn't make it to Top Rank Hanley, then he's unlikely to be at a one-off soul event in the Cotswalds either!  

 

Of course, he doesn't show up and there are no refunds as the promotors put on a replacement act, which, if memory serves, were billed as the Flirtations.  We harrumph to a nearby venue where the latest pressings like "Unsatisfied" do a little bit to ease the double disappointment.

 

Anyone else remember the aborted Major Lance tour?  And what were the why's and reasons for it?   And - crucially - when was it roughly/exactly?

 

Many thanks!

Edited by Dayo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't complain Dayo, i was privileged to see him the Three times he appeared at the Torch. Didn't know he failed to turn up at other venue's, although i do recall Major wasn't in the best of health at times... so disappointing when acts fail to show up! R.I.P Major Lance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I'm at the age where names, places and dates have become over-important, but here's a question that I'd love to get ananswer for:

 

Can anyone recall that Major Lance booked some UK dates in 1973 but failed to show up?  But does anyone know when?  If I could establish that, I'd know the date of my first trip "up North"!  

 

I was all set to see him at an all-dayer at the Top Rank Hanley and made a special trip from Worcester with my sister and bro-in-law.  Major didn't show up, but nevertheless I had the most memorable debut on the scene.

 

Duke Browner really was the first record I remember and yes hundreds of people clapped in just the right spot, and yes, I know it's become a cliche but that just blew me right away.  Other massive records were all the late Torch faves. I remember dancing to Rat Race, Exus Trek, Right Direction, Bob Relf, Howard Guyton, The Superiors,  and many more.

 

Ok, so fast forward a few days and I'm still desperate to see my hero Major Lance.  So this time, along with a small bunch of Worcester Soulies, it's down to a venue in Gloucester or Cheltenham - the Town Hall?  There's no social media or mobile phones and it doesn't occur to me that if Major Lance couldn't make it to Top Rank Hanley, then he's unlikely to be at a one-off soul event in the Cotswalds either!  

 

Of course, he doesn't show up and there are no refunds as the promotors put on a replacement act, which, if memory serves, were billed as the Flirtations.  We harrumph to a nearby venue where the latest pressings like "Unsatisfied" do a little bit to ease the double disappointment.

 

Anyone else remember the aborted Major Lance tour?  And what were the why's and reasons for it?   And - crucially - when was it roughly/exactly?

 

Many thanks!

Maybe worth checking some of the old Blues & Soul issues from 73' they probably had an advert.

I'll have a look when I get home.

 

Kev

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4 years in 1978 for cocaine if memory serves right. Met him at the Tunstall gig in the 80s, top man, lovely guy and utterly brilliant! Had time for me and was just everything I'd hoped he would have been. 

Didn't one Reg Dwight back him with the band he was in at the time on his UK tours? That would be Elton John?

Edited by TheBigO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe worth checking some of the old Blues & Soul issues from 73' they probably had an advert.

I'll have a look when I get home.

 

Kev

 

Thanks Kev - that would be immense.  Try Easter '73.... as my own best guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4 years in 1978 for cocaine if memory serves right. Met him at the Tunstall gig in the 80s, top man, lovely guy and utterly brilliant! Had time for me and was just everything I'd hoped he would have been. 

Didn't one Reg Dwight back him with the band he was in at the time on his UK tours? That would be Elton John?

Don't know about Reg but you are spot on with the narcotics thing (although i didn't like to mention)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't know about Reg but you are spot on with the narcotics thing (although i didn't like to mention)

 

Just did google and yes I'm right, Sir Elton was in the back up band. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He also failed to turn up at a Hinckley allnighter c.1983. That would have been something like my 3rd nighter ever.

 

I think Eddie Holman & Jr Walker were also on the bill. Perhaps someone can confirm or correct?

I am not sure of 83 but he performed live at Hickley in 82 and LP was recorded. The time I spent with him i have to say he was a real gent, superb live and everything my hero should have been. When he died i shed a tear because he really was a gent. 

Edited by TheBigO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The gig he failed to turn up at was peterboro niter. Jnr walker and Eddie holmn did show, then proceeded to entertain us with a fabulous gig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The gig he failed to turn up at was peterboro niter. Jnr walker and Eddie holmn did show, then proceeded to entertain us with a fabulous

  Major had some previous before that gig then!  Will someone INVESTIGATE?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not sure of 83 but he performed live at Hickley in 82 and LP was recorded. The time I spent with him i have to say he was a real gent, superb live and everything my hero should have been. When he died i shed a tear because he really was a gent. 

I was at the Torch for his LP live recording in 72, didn't realise he did one in 82

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The gig he failed to turn up at was peterboro niter. Jnr walker and Eddie holmn did show, then proceeded to entertain us with a fabulous gig

Thats right I remember now, Wirrina November 83. JR and Eddie were fantastic that night. Wasn't he booked for Stafford too? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blues and Soul #117 Aug31-Sept13 1973 page 6 ad stating

"Contempo International and the respective promoters wish to apologise for the non-appearance of Major Lance at the Castleford Civic Hall, Top Rank Hanley,Top of the World Stafford. It is much regretted and was due to family illness which prevented Major from returning from the USA". 

 

Hope this is of relevence and helps.

 

As a post script I recall seeing the Major one Friday night possibly April/May 1974 at the Didbury Teacher Training College student union when he performed in front of about 30 people but still gave it his all.

Edited by GrayM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blues and Soul #117 Aug31-Sept13 1973 page 6 ad stating

"Contempo International and the respective promoters wish to apologise for the non-appearance of Major Lance at the Castleford Civic Hall, Top Rank Hanley,Top of the World Stafford. It is much regretted and was due to family illness which prevented Major from returning from the USA". 

 

Hope this is of relevence and helps.

 

Well that should be the one then.  Was probably the Top Rank August bank Holiday All Dayer.  Thanks so much for the detective work.  Funny I thought it was a bit earlier in the year than that, but my memory is playing all kinds of devilish tricks lately.

 

A supplementary question.  I'm sure there's a few on here who remember the infamous Leeds Queens Hall event -  the biggest gathering of the Northern Soul clans ever - the question is; did Major Lance gig there that night?  I've got a funny feeling he did but I must have been seriously off my face as I can't remember a thing about his set.  Of course I do remember trying to dance on the bloody awful floor and the dreadful ghastliness of it all.  Having said that, the excitement of pitching up on a coach from Worcester and seeing dozens and dozens of other coaches spilling out soulies from all parts is something I'll never forget.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  Sign up/in to remove

When I was a lad it was said that he appeared at The Vikings pub in Goole or is this just an urban myth?

Cheers

Martyn

martyn , not much help but can remember going to an all dayer in goole , ended up being cancelled so not sure who was supposed to be on , quite a few turned up so it must have been someone half decent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't turn up one night at Wigan in 77 either, not that I was bothered, didn't like live acts

If you'd have witnessed Maxine Brown at Cleethorpes some years back you would surely have been spellbound :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a mate and i drove to northampton to see him it would have been 1973 as i was learning to drive in a ford anglia with L plates up. on arrival we were told he hadnt turned up but his backing band would play . we went inside anyway and the band all looked like a bunch of heavy metal rock type with hair down their backs. we went home early.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to the Cheltenham gig , Doris Troy was the replacement .I saw him eventually at Hinckley in the '80's .Was told he was let out of the slammer to do this tour , then had to be back to prison afterwards .cheers Eddie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you'd have witnessed Maxine Brown at Cleethorpes some years back you would surely have been spellbound :)

Neil

I'm in Pete's gang with this & I was at Cleggy when Maxine was on & I wasn't spellbound I'm afraid.

Cheers

Martyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Neil

I'm in Pete's gang with this & I was at Cleggy when Maxine was on & I wasn't spellbound I'm afraid.

Cheers

Martyn

Aaw Martyn, i thought she was brilliant, 1 in a Million. Agree though that most live acts have been mediocre :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well that should be the one then.  Was probably the Top Rank August bank Holiday All Dayer.  Thanks so much for the detective work.  Funny I thought it was a bit earlier in the year than that, but my memory is playing all kinds of devilish tricks lately.

 

A supplementary question.  I'm sure there's a few on here who remember the infamous Leeds Queens Hall event -  the biggest gathering of the Northern Soul clans ever - the question is; did Major Lance gig there that night?  I've got a funny feeling he did but I must have been seriously off my face as I can't remember a thing about his set.  Of course I do remember trying to dance on the bloody awful floor and the dreadful ghastliness of it all.  Having said that, the excitement of pitching up on a coach from Worcester and seeing dozens and dozens of other coaches spilling out soulies from all parts is something I'll never forget.

He was deffinately on at Leeds, my biggest memory of the place was the fkn awful sound system. I went to see him on Colwyn Bay Pier in '74/'74 but the bouncers threw me out before he came on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been through 1973 B&S mags and the one he cancelled (referred to above)was 27th August ( see photo).  he was booked for The Top Rank Rank Hanley, Sunday 25th february 1973, but I cant find anything that says he didn't turn up.

He was over in the UK in June of that year but doesn't appear to have been booked for Tunstall.

 

Kev

post-3768-0-30897600-1427143186_thumb.jp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saturday 9th December 1972.... Torch... we got there early and in no time the place filled up; Major recording his LP, what a night to remember, everywhere was painted black but the place lit up when he performed... "You don't want me no more" "Aint no Soul" "Investigate", exciting, incredible!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the subject of the live albums the Hinkley one is much better quality than the Torch IMO. Wrote an album, i believe. whilst in prison. Evenutaly came out on Kat Family mid 80's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He also did a fabulous show at The Intercon in Scarborough, summer of 1973.

 

Steve,

          Remember it well fantastic show & great night can still remember records I heard for the first time there.

 

Ian

Edited by Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to the Cheltenham gig , Doris Troy was the replacement .I saw him eventually at Hinckley in the '80's .Was told he was let out of the slammer to do this tour , then had to be back to prison afterwards .cheers Eddie

Eddie that was at the Gloucester Guildhall? and didn´t she have a broken leg at the time :ohmy: seem to remember something wierd like that

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to that All-Dayer in Hanley when he didn't turn up.

Neil, i think in 1973 every one on the Then" Soul scene"went to the Hanley all-dayers :yes:  remember the ques right around the block and "Little Willy" holding court near the front :rofl: :rofl: :D

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bank holiday 73/74/75? drove down to a club in Hanley for an all dayer, club was called Heavy Steam Machine?, he definately turned up, mate ended up on stage singing 'there ain't no soul' with him. We we're also searched going in not for pharmaceuticals but for cassette tape recorders had one confiscated till we left.

Stuart

Edited by Baldsoulie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well that should be the one then.  Was probably the Top Rank August bank Holiday All Dayer.  Thanks so much for the detective work.  Funny I thought it was a bit earlier in the year than that, but my memory is playing all kinds of devilish tricks lately.

 

A supplementary question.  I'm sure there's a few on here who remember the infamous Leeds Queens Hall event -  the biggest gathering of the Northern Soul clans ever - the question is; did Major Lance gig there that night?  I've got a funny feeling he did but I must have been seriously off my face as I can't remember a thing about his set.  Of course I do remember trying to dance on the bloody awful floor and the dreadful ghastliness of it all.  Having said that, the excitement of pitching up on a coach from Worcester and seeing dozens and dozens of other coaches spilling out soulies from all parts is something I'll never forget.

YEH MAN............LEEDS GIG WAS A COMPLETE FEKKIN' DISASTER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve,

          Remember it well fantastic show & great night can still remember records I heard for the first time there.

 

Ian

I was with a group of lads, all of us from Burnley, we were working up there for the Summer season.....well, I say working, we mainly lived off the girls who were on holiday, we only spent 1 night sleeping rough on the beach the rest we found beds-a-plenty :wicked:

We also got on really well with the locals......taught a lot of them what Northern Soul was. And then Wigan Opened and we met up with a few of them there......it was a great night from a great time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Disappointing to those who never got to see Major, maybe because of his drug problems, but at least he gave his all. He realised that it was the great British public that made him famous and was thrilled to be in the spotlight here, i mean, what other performers from the States had as much time for us. I don't know what, if any, recognition he had back home?

Far more disappointing surely were artists booked at venues, with all necessary arrangements made, never turned up simply because they never left the states, either couldn't be bothered or lacked confidence. Major was a top entertainer.... R.I.P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw him early summer '73 (June maybe) at a cinema in Wolves. He was the warm up artist for The Drifters. The audience were about 40% ML supporting soul kids and 60% Drifters supporting Mom & Dad types.  When the Major came out on stage the woman next to me said to her hubby " Is he the lead singer of the Drifters? Where's the rest of them". I thought afterwards when a large chunk of the audience had been on their feet singing along to all of Majors big tunes that this woman must have thought ' I'll have to buy some more Drifters records, the kids seem to like their new tunes ' :lol:

One more 70's recollection, soon afterwards, I'm guessing less than a year later (74 maybe) I saw ML again. A local club (The Lafayette)  had a Monday night Live Soul Artist event, and being Mondays with nothing better to do we always went along. Anyway, ML did his set and kinda picked out the soul kids who were singing and dancing along and did a special number for us. When he came off stage he came over to a group of us to socialise, which impressed me greatly. After chatting for a while he pulled me away from the group and asked me a question which I completely misunderstood. My answer was something like " Oh you'll have to come back in the winter". I remember thinking perhaps he lived in a very sunny part of the USA. His question was " Where can I get some snow". I think it was probably when I saw some movie many years later that I realised that Snow was slang for Cocaine :D  :D  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

It was an experience......walking into that huge shed with what looked like every soul fan in Britain.

 

I was there again in 82 to watch Genesis in concert and it looked exactly the same.

Edited by Steve Lane

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eddie that was at the Gloucester Guildhall? and didn´t she have a broken leg at the time :ohmy: seem to remember something wierd like that

 

Steve

Gloucester Guildhall sounds about right.  Doris Troy!  Yes of course it was!  What made me think it was the Flirtations?  

 

A bank holiday 73/74/75? drove down to a club in Hanley for an all dayer, club was called Heavy Steam Machine?, he definately turned up, mate ended up on stage singing 'there ain't no soul' with him. We we're also searched going in not for pharmaceuticals but for cassette tape recorders had one confiscated till we left.

Stuart

 

Snap!  I had a new Grundig cassette machine for Xmas 1973.  Took it up to the Boxing Day All-dayer at the Heavy Steam Machine and the guys in monkey suits nabbed it for the duration.  That was the first time I heard Terrible Tom, Melba Moore, Larue and loads of other Levine/Curtis spins.  It was a great venue IMHO.  Also had some records nicked that day off the cloakroom.  I'd just bought a mint UK Go demo of Carl Douglas Something for Nothing. Still rankles.  One day I'll get over it!

 

Don't remember a broken leg though...

 

Been through 1973 B&S mags and the one he cancelled (referred to above)was 27th August ( see photo).  he was booked for The Top Rank Rank Hanley, Sunday 25th february 1973, but I cant find anything that says he didn't turn up.

He was over in the UK in June of that year but doesn't appear to have been booked for Tunstall.

 

Kev

Thanks so much for looking Kev - really appreciate the detective work.  I wonder if '73 was something of an Annus Horribilis for ML.  

 

hi colin, yes the major certainly played at the leeds gig as I have pictures of him performing, was a long way to go but fun. rob h. worcester

Hi Rob - lovely to hear from you :-)  I suspect we were on the same coach that weren't we?  What a night that was.  I think some people stayed for a bit then headed cross country to Wigan which must have been almost empty that night.

Edited by Dayo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

he did appear at the Vikings goole  74 sat next to him chatted to him top night it was

Wish i'd have known that! Only 15 mile from my place. Thats the beauty of the internet nowadays... better publicity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw him early summer '73 (June maybe) at a cinema in Wolves. He was the warm up artist for The Drifters. The audience were about 40% ML supporting soul kids and 60% Drifters supporting Mom & Dad types.  When the Major came out on stage the woman next to me said to her hubby " Is he the lead singer of the Drifters? Where's the rest of them". I thought afterwards when a large chunk of the audience had been on their feet singing along to all of Majors big tunes that this woman must have thought ' I'll have to buy some more Drifters records, the kids seem to like their new tunes ' :lol:

One more 70's recollection, soon afterwards, I'm guessing less than a year later (74 maybe) I saw ML again. A local club (The Lafayette)  had a Monday night Live Soul Artist event, and being Mondays with nothing better to do we always went along. Anyway, ML did his set and kinda picked out the soul kids who were singing and dancing along and did a special number for us. When he came off stage he came over to a group of us to socialise, which impressed me greatly. After chatting for a while he pulled me away from the group and asked me a question which I completely misunderstood. My answer was something like " Oh you'll have to come back in the winter". I remember thinking perhaps he lived in a very sunny part of the USA. His question was " Where can I get some snow". I think it was probably when I saw some movie many years later that I realised that Snow was slang for Cocaine :D  :D  :D

Got me thinking now, was he on a permanent high, the drugs that gave him the stamina and possibly downfall? Still, he gave us memories :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Comment now!

Comments are members only

Sign Up

Join Soul Source - Free & easy!

Sign up now!

Sign in

Sign in here.

Sign in now!

Adverts



×