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The Preview Night

This was the night we all hoped would happen. Not only did it happen, none other than David Bowie texted us just before the doors opened:

"Memories are everything apparently, and I have only great ones of the fabulous Friars."

 

This doesn't do full justice by any means to the size of the exhibition, but here's a flavour of what to expect when you went to the Bucks County Museum to see this fabulous exhibition of all that is great about local culture. These pictures were taken at the brilliant preview night on February 28th 2014.

As you entered the exhibition you were greeted by this incredible Ramones photograph from 1977 taken by Geoffrey Tyrrell. Photo used with the permission of Martin Percival - all rights reserved

There is a section on the local scene and the local bands who did play Friars. Photo used with the permission of Martin Percival - all rights reserved

Part of the Phase One section, these are from 1969.

The Ramones in full flight in 1977. Photos used with the permission of Martin Percival - all rights reserved

More from the local artists section

Bucks TV's Richard Carr and David Stopps

Hello!

Some of the Friars T-shirts that were produced in the 1970s  Photo used with the permission of Martin Percival - all rights reserved

We were most fortunate that about a month before the exhibition opened, we met local photographer Mark Jordan who has a mine of amazing pictures he took at Friars from 1975-1980. Many of these pictures are on display including this fantastic picture of Siouxsie from September 1978.  Photo used with the permission of Martin Percival - all rights reserved

 

There is also a section on Earth Records which went hand in hand with Friars being owned by David Stopps. Some of the former managers posed for this picture in 1986 including in the middle the much missed Bill Reeves. Also featured are Stephen Daglish, Sue Wyatt, Andy Bean, Alan Dean and others. Photo used with the permission of Martin Percival - all rights reserved

 

Some of the many from the opening night. Photos used with the permission of  Mark Jordan

Some great stuff not just on The Kinks but also all of the 'foreign' gigs that Friars presented in other towns. Photos used with the permission of Martin Percival - all rights reserved

 

One band who acknowledge the contribution of Friars to their career is Mott the Hoople. Photo used with the permission of Martin Percival - all rights reserved

Still the only band to play Friars whilst at number one in the singles chart with Don't You Want Me.

Some of the posters and memorabilia from 1971 and 1972. Photo used with the permission of Martin Percival - all rights reserved

Pink Floyd's appearance at Friars Dunstable in 1969 ensured Friars survival in Aylesbury due to its success. Nick Mason has kindly loaned us his legendary wave drum kit which was used on the Animals world tour in 1977.

Photo used with the permission of Martin Percival - all rights reserved

The museum's David Erskine to whom we are so grateful for all his work in helping the exhibition being what it is.

David Stopps with Colin Keinch who trod the Friars boards with The Vice Creems

Part of the Genesis section which also includes one of Mike Rutherford's double necked guitars.

Another part of the local bands section including the Geoffrey Tyrrell pictures of the audience from the first Aylesbury Rock Explosion gig in September 1976. - Photo used with the permission of Martin Percival - all rights reserved

Two local men who trod the Friars boards. John Otway and on the right is Rocking Ray Smith who played Friars with Magus.

Cor baby, that's really me.......

One of the exhibits we have been loaned is the very Vox AC30 amp that U2's The Edge used at Friars in 1981. Photo: Karl Vaughan

Two local legends - John Otway and Pete Frame who was so important to Friars getting its name out to the world.

Budget Stopps who created the iconic posters for all of the Phase Three era including the Captain Beefheart poster here from 1975

One of the more remarkable concerts from Phase Three was Toyah's in 1981 which provoked audience hysteria. She has kindly loaned us one of her costumes and wigs from 1981. Photo: Karl Vaughan

David Stopps autographing one of the exhibition programmes.

Photo: Karl Vaughan

David Stopps flanked by the museum staff who put in so much hard work.

Photo: Karl Vaughan

Marillion's Steve Hogarth was present

Against the backdrop of that sensational return in 2013, Steve Hogarth and David Stopps.

Steve Hogarth and John Otway Photos used with the permission of  Mark Jordan

It was fantastic that 80s electronic legend Howard Jones came along too. Photo: Karl Vaughan

Howard Jones recreated his legendary 1983 rig and also loaned the orange suit he wore at that time as seen in the photo. Photo: Karl Vaughan

First speech of the night was from Chris Williams, chief executive of Buckinghamshire County Council.

David Stopps gave a well received speech about Friars and the icing on the cake was at the last minute, David Bowie texted in his good wishes for the night stunning everybody!

Also making a speech was the immortal Robin Pike who as David acknowledged in his speech was the man who came up with the idea for Friars in the spring of 1969.

Seeing each other for the first time in nearly 40 years, Malcolm Isbister and David Stopps. Malcolm co-promoted many of the 'foreign' gigs in the early 1970s

King Crimson's Jakko Jacsyk who also played Friars in 2013 as one of Steve Hackett's special guests.

The biggest Friars ticket ever and we owe a massive debt of gratitude to Sue Greensmith for work beyond the call with the Friars archives and unearthing things that hadn't been for 30 odd years. Sue has played a very major part in this exhibition and worked tirelessly on it.

Also working tirelessly (literally up to 18 hours a day) on the exhibition for weeks and weeks is the main man without whom there would be no exhibition, David Stopps

And finally, this is your 'umble webmaster (and seemingly listing like the leaning tower of Pisa!)

 

 
 

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