Kris is a Friars legend
and is much Friars as Friars is Kris. Kris also covered Friars
extensively in his acclaimed autobiography Needs Must. From day one Kris
attended as a member, mentored by one of his school teachers (and fellow
Hero Robin Pike) and in fact designed the unique 'frog in a boat' ink
splat that became the Friars logo and has remained to this day. Kris,
through his journalism for Mojo, Zig Zag and more championed many of the
bands that played Friars and was also part of the original Aylesbury Roxette team whose main aim was to make Aylesbury the musical centre of
the earth in the same way Liverpool had been in the 1960s. To many he
succeeded and many of the local bands that went on to play Friars
were covered and encouraged by the Roxette.
Kris is also an acclaimed
DJ and musically his finger has always been on the pulse. An immense
Friars character, the gigs would have been all the poorer without the
distinctive flyer artwork and of course the rabbits. So much of Kris'
imagery and imagination has shaped what became an institution.
Inscribed on Kris' award
was 'Always First With The News' - what else can we say?
I still donít know what I felt when David called
me up to receive a Friars Heroes award but I do know Iím still smiling.
I was 15 when I went to the first night in 1969 and it is strange that,
41 years later, Iím up there getting an award from a deity which,
frankly, shaped my life and future activities. But in 1969 I would sit
on those chairs near the front of the stage and dream what it would be
like to be up there, running such an amazing club, maybe shaping my
attempts at psychedelic posters into underground flyers. I also gazed in
wonder at DJ Andy Dunkley, wondering what doing that would be like...
If it wasnít for Friars, I wouldnít be a writer because
it gave me the urge and it helped meeting Pete Frame in the foyer when
Mott The Hoople first played there; eventually he let me write for
Zigzag and I never looked back. If it hadnít been for meeting Mott and
Bowie at Friars I would never have got into the music business either
[For better or worse!].
I was also honoured to get my award on the same
night as Robin Pike, the bloke who first told me about Friarsí imminent
opening, introduced me to David, who asked me to design the membership
card [the frog in a boat ink splodge], then later the flyers. I already
owe Robin the world for making it possible for me to see Jimi Hendrix
but nothing quite compares to the huge amount of care and input he put
into the club, and all this time later heís still something of a
The opening night of Phase Four showed that Friars
carries a unique spirit which, try as I might, I canít think can now be
found anywhere else in the UK. The Buzzcocks picked up on it and Barrie
Masters from the Hot Rods [who I hadnít seen for 33 years!] was raving
about it. Above all, it showed that the Friars vibe will work in the
most challenging of places. By the time 999 wound up their [very warm]
set, the Waterside had been claimed and the Friars flag planted squarely
in its upturned, sloping bottom.
itís like Friars has never been gone, well and truly back with exciting
things on the horizon and I can draw rabbits forever.
accepting the Friars Heroes Award from David Stopps,