the 70s, Friars was the gig of gigs. We could play 40-date tours of the
UK, to all towns and cities, and still carry that air of anticipation
throughout the bus, waiting especially for Aylesbury.Dave Stopps was a
sensational 'spotter and Promoter; finger on the pulse, hip to his
fingertips to all that was happening out of everywhere that boasted new
bands. In 1974, Cockney Rebel played Friars four times - in January, in
May, in June and again in August. All sold out and all buzzing.
Unforgettable. Good luck with your site. The old place was unique and
deserves such an accolade."
Steve Harley, writing on his official website in
heard they're tearing down Aylesbury Civic Hall, the legendary
What a shame. What a drag. can it be true? No rock venue of that type and
size in amiable Aylesbury for the first time in ages?
The immortal Dave Stopps was the 70's promoter who brought many good names
to Bucks. He tapped a source there. The London-based music mag critics
would get out to Aylesbury, because it was only a short hop from The
Out of Friars, thanks mostly to the eagle-eye and sound judgment of Dave
Stopps, broke the careers of David Bowie, Genesis, Mott The Hoople, Roxy
Music, many many more and even yours truly.
The first front cover the first Cockney Rebel received from either the NME
or Melody Maker was after a show, early on, at Friars, Aylesbury.
There is an important rock audience in that general vicinity, and so a new
hall must be found/built pretty damn soon.
But why? The place can't be more than 20 years old. What on earth could
have happened to it, that it needs demolishing? The mind boggles and the
Steve Harley receiving the FA Cup 1974
from David Stopps - courtesy of Stephen Daglish
Milton Reame - James:
My memories of Friars: Wonderful, it was after our first gig (January 5th
1974) we knew then Cockney Rebel would break in the UK. Our first taste
of success. I forget exactly how many times we played and all good gigs.
By the time we did the final tour as you said it was a wonderful
reception. After Bowie had had his initial success there, Steve and our
agents/ management knew how vital it was for us to succeed there. Fans
also travelled to local gigs ( Luton and Dunstable as I recall ) and
brought the Friars effect with them. Wonderful times and before the
difficulties which led to the band breaking up mid tour."
Jean Paul Crocker
do recall the excellent receptions at Friars, but that is about all I'm
afraid (a lot of water etc)"