I was a big
mate of Pete Frame’s, who said to come with him to the club. Pete
had my dog when we left to come to the States. I always liked
Stoppsy, in those days of strange promoters he was one of the good
ones at that time
seemed to have a great time there: One of those gigs which became
entrenched in your memory for some stupid reason. We did hundreds of
gigs like that but, for some reason, that one would stick out. It
just became this very special gig that was up the M1. There were
hundreds of ‘em but some that stuck out. Friars was one of ‘em.
Great little club
That’s where it all started off. Our first gig was at an air force
base with King Crimson. Ian was dressed in a suit. It didn’t sort of
happen. We done the Roundhouse then Aylesbury and something just
clicked. That was it. It all started in Aylesbury!
Ian Hunter, on his website,
responding to this website's webmaster in 2008:
it was Pete Frame, Dave Stopps and Kris Needs territory wasn't it? I
met Dave Stopps on the Ringo tour (he manages Howard Jones) and Kris
and Pete came to a recent gig in Milton Keynes (Spring 2008 - we
were there too!). (Friars) itself was great but like I say I
remember the people - 'Zig Zag' and all that"
Ian Hunter, quoted in the
Aylesbury Roxette (talking to Radio 1), summer 1976:
"Aylesbury is like a little
San Francisco. It's one of those places where everything seems to
start...I don't know what it is, but the people there seem to sense
what's going to happen. I know Mott the Hoople happened in Aylesbury
long before anywhere else, and it was the same for David Bowie.
Everybody seems to be friendly, and they make you feel good - and
whenever I played there, I felt like an old friend being welcomed
home. In fact the atmosphere of Aylesbury got to me to such an
extent that I was seriously considering moving there at one
time...but then I moved to America instead."
Mott the Hoople split in
1974, not before Hunter brought out the highly acclaimed 'Diary of a Rock
and Roll Star' book. Ian Hunter still records and tours to this day (the
webmaster saw him in 2007/2008 and he was on blistering form, with Terry Allen
joining him on stage in 2007). Hunter played Friars in 1975 as the Hunter Ronson
Band with the late Mick Ronson and in 1977 as Ian Hunter's Overnight
Angels. The remainder of Mott the Hoople carried on as Mott with a couple
of line up changes (see date links above) Hunter also provided a guest appearance at the British Lions
(remains of Mott with John Fiddler from Medicine Head) gig
in Dec1977. Mick Ralphs, post MTH, joined Bad Company with Free's Paul Rodgers
and Simon Kirke. Dale Griffin continued into the Mott and British Lions
periods (both of whom played Friars) and then became a Radio 1 producer
and is now in ill health.
Mott the Hoople with the
original 1969 line up reformed for 40th anniversary shows in October 2009
at the Hammersmith Apollo. Some of the Friars team were there and can
confirm it was a sublime experience.