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There are many people who play a part in the
Friars story. It's not my place to try to write Friars history, but there
are a number of people whose contributions to the website are very
welcome. More should be added over time. Some of these people have also kindly written
pieces for the website.
Founding Fathers reunion pics
Fast forward to 1976......
Backstage at the Kevin Ayers gig 1976, this
photo includes Budget Stopps, David Stopps, Robin Pike, Pete Frame and
And fast forward again to
2009 and the Friars 40th anniversary reunion
More Founding Fathers reunion
L-R - Robin Pike, Jerry
Slater, David Stopps, Terry Harms, Adrian Roach, the founding fathers.
Without doubt the most important person
here. The promoter of Friars Aylesbury (and the other Friars gigs). Took
some huge personal risks in presenting some of the bands and gigs you see
listed in this website and without these risks, Friars may never have got
past 1971. Today, he is still fronting Friars Management Ltd, most notably
still managing Howard Jones after 28 years and a respected member of many
music committees and international forums which takes him round the world
by special invitation for his talks and workshops.
Here's David's official biography:
David Stopps started his
career as promoter of the famous Friars Club in Aylesbury. From 1969-84
he presented pretty much everybody but notably David Bowie, U2, Genesis,
The Kinks, The Jam, The Ramones and The Clash amongst many others. In
1982 he went into management originally managing Marillion then Howard
Jones and later still The Fat Lady Sings. These days he still manages
Howard Jones who continues to make albums and tour and who has now sold
in excess of 8 million albums worldwide. He also manages Miriam Stockley
who as the featured singer with Adiemus has sold in excess of 3 million
albums. Together with his business partner Joseph Stopps he also manages
dance mash-up mavericks The Young Punx and Italian multi-genre dance
genius Phonat. Stopps is Director of Copyright and Related Rights for
the Music Managers Forum UK and for the International Music Managers
Forum. He is also a member of the British Copyright Council and is the
United Nations representative for The International Music Managers Forum
at WIPO (the World Intellectual Property Organisation) in Geneva. He is
often on tour and has already completed extensive tours of USA, Canada,
Japan and Australia in 2007/8. At WIPO he represents all featured
artists worldwide concerning new international treaty negotiation in the
field of copyright and related rights. Stopps is also a member of the
Performer Board and the Main Board of UK related rights collection
society PPL. He is the author of the book "How to make a Living from
Music' which was commissioned by WIPO mainly targeted at the developing
world, and which was published in September 2008. In May 2008 he
received the MMF Roll of Honour award in London.
Budget worked in tandem with David
presenting the Friars gigs between 1971 and 1984. Budget is also the
person responsible for most of the iconic posters that adorn this website and
adorned Aylesbury town centre and (often well) beyond for all those years.
Budget was interviewed in 2009 for the website
Kris was there from the
start - one of the very first members, he designed the logo that
became part of the membership cards and the tickets themselves. Kris went
on to become editor of Zig Zag and friends to many Friars musical legends
(Mott the Hoople, Ramones etc). He is still a journalist (writing for Mojo
- the May 2008 edition has a Needs penned piece on the rise of Blondie
including a Friars flyer from 1977) and DJ.
Kris has kindly written a piece on
Phase One and can be seen here
Kris has also written a
piece on Phase 2 which can be seen here.
Kris has also written a
piece on Phase 3 which can be seen here.
As mentioned in the Phase
One introduction, Robin had his finger on the pulse right from the start
and continued to be involved with Friars all the way through. A local
science teacher, today Robin lives in Hertfordshire in semi-retirement.
Robin was interviewed in 2009 for the website
Robin has suggested to to
try to piece together a comprehensive history of Friars, it would take ten
years. It has to be said that based on what we have unearthed so far, one
is minded to agree. Thankfully the website's main intention is to
document the gigs - even that will take ten years !
He has kindly written a piece on
Phase One for this website which can be seen here.
Further to this, Robin
has also written a piece on Phase 2 which can be seen here.
Further to this, Robin
has also written a piece on Phase 3 which can be seen here.
Robin's Looking Back
articles for the Aylesbury Roxette can be seen here
Robin has written a piece
on Friars Bedford which can be seen here
Adrian was one Friars founding fathers. No
stranger to the Aylesbury music scene from a young age, no doubt
influenced at school by a certain Robin Pike. Adrian (along with Jerry
Slater and Terry Harms) joined forces with Robin, David and John Fowler to
form a committee to start the Friars club. Adrian had been promoting in
Aylesbury at the time. The webmaster met Adrian in June 2008 and can
confirm that he has an amazing memory and collection of stories especially
from the early days and over time, some of these will find their way to
this website. He also demonstrated his legendary talent (as he had done at
Friars on stage many years ago) of playing well known tunes using only his
head and a microphone. Amazing.
Adrian has worked in The City for the
last 30 years and lives in rural Buckinghamshire
John has been a very
important figure but not everyone will realise that. John has been venue
Operations Manager right throughout the Phase 2 and Phase 3 period and
takes his well earned retirement in summer 2008 after being with the Civic
Centre for 33 years. In his time, John has had to deal with many a problem
and has many a good story, some of which could not be legally featured on this
website ! The Ramones on their first appearance in 1977 were found by John
in the Civic Centre kitchens raiding the fridge for example.
John was interviewed for the site in 2009
Paul Conroy was one of
the leading lights at Charisma Records and helped break the careers of
many a band that he as an agent, got put on at Friars. Many people have
mentioned him to the website, mainly artistes, which shows the depth of
gratitude to him for his work. Paul went on to become chairman of the Brit
Awards and now runs his own company Adventures In Music.
Paul has written a piece on his 70s
experiences with Friars here.
Sue Wyatt sent this picture of the
Charisma 5-a-side team from around 1973
L-R Paul Conroy Phil Collins
(Genesis) Roger Willis (Capability Brown) Peter Hammill Joe
Williams (Capability Brown)
Pete was one of the first
Friars members and also involved (temporarily at least anyway) with the
running of Friars up to the end of the Phase 1 period. Pete is better
known for his journalism and books. He founded Zig Zag, worked in the
music business and is probably best known for his Rock Family Trees,
distinctive well researched documents which have formed the basis for two
BBC TV series of the same name. Many bands have used these Trees in their
own work, and Man, acknowledging their own existence and numerous line-ups
have been quoted as saying their history would give Mr Frame nightmares.
In 2007, Pete released a new book, The
Restless Generation focusing on rock music in the 1950s. He now resides in
was interviewed in 2009 for the website
Another of one of Friars founding fathers
who got involved after running gigs with Adrian Roach at the Derby Arms in
Aylesbury and formed part of the original committee.
Jerry now lives in Brightlingsea in Essex,
teaching film and media studies locally as well as for the Open
University. He has also written student text books. Jerry got married in
2007 and it was a bit of a Friars reunion. Terry Harms was best man and
Adrian Roach and Robin Pike made up part of the congregation as well as,
in Jerry's words, some of the Friars headbashers.
See some of Jerry's early stuff with Adrian here
A great many of the pictures on this
website taken from The Bucks Advertiser were taken by Geoff from 1975
David Stopps had seen his work covering local weddings and asked him if
he would like to cover some Friars gigs. This worked well for Geoff as
the pictures got into the paper and subsequently some pictures got used
in the rock weeklies. After the Bucks Advertiser was taken over by the
Bucks Herald, Geoff moved on to Home Counties Newspapers in Luton and
then moved to Harlow working for the Harlow Gazette.
Geoff retired in 2007 and still lives in Essex.
See an introduction from Geoff here.