The Sex Pistols gig at Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall in June 1976 was legendary, with the likes of a young Morrissey and members of what would become Joy Division in the audience. A lot of people have claimed to have been there, but we were pleasantly surprised this week to have a PHOP contributor resolutely admitting to not being there. Instead, user terri.web was at the Pips disco club, where he was a member, celebrating his birthday in the Bowie/Roxy music room. Here’s his tale:
“I joined in February 1976. Pips was a disco Club with three separate parts playing different music in each. Clothing was very specific. I generally went into the Bowie/Roxy Music part, hence the suit and narrow tie etc. I was at Pips the night The Sex Pistols played The Free Trade Hall. Very annoying in retrospect. It was my Birthday. Well that is my excuse!!”
Record label manager and music journalist Laurence Cane-Honeysett fell in love with reggae in 1969, before he “hit double figures”, when Desmond Dekker was top of the charts with ‘Israelites’. The label he loved most was Trojan, one of the major British reggae labels, launched in 1968 to put out singles from both Jamaican and British-based producers. Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Dandy Livingstone and Jimmy Cliff were all put out on Trojan.
Laurence says: “A decade later I was spending what little spare cash I had to acquire every ska, rock steady or early reggae record I could lay my hands on and during those heady days, long before the internet and eBay, this involved trawling around London, seeking out second hand record shops and jumble sales in the hope of finding a bundle of rarities at a knock down price.”
Laurence loved Trojan so much that he ended up getting a job there and over the years has been sent or given some amazing historical items produced by Trojan throughout the 1960s and 1970s. “Of these, none is more precious to me than an original genuine plastic, gold-painted medallion, which back in the day could be acquired by those who signed up to the Trojan Records fan club. Generously donated by former fan club member, Brian Chin, this much-loved piece of extremely lightweight jewellery really is an extremely rare and special item that while clearly not being the classiest piece of record merchandise ever produced, holds a particularly special place in my heart and all those nostalgic for the days when Trojan and reggae regularly topped the British charts.”
Do you have British reggae memories? If so, we’d love to see the stuff you’ve saved over on our People’s History of Pop collection page.
Were you mad for Madchester? Rod Stanley was – check out his signed Happy Monday’s ‘Pills ‘n’ Thrills’ T-shirt. “I wasn’t able to go to the gig”, he writes, “but my friends went (we were all aged about 15)…Because I was upset I couldn’t go for whatever reason (mum?), they got this souvenir tour t-shirt and the band ended up signing it for me. Note that Shaun ‘Call The Cops’ Ryder has spent a considerable amount of time on his bubble writing, which suggests a certain amount of lucidity.”