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Friars website introductions


Geoffrey Tyrell

Photographer extraordinaire

November 2008

I do remember Robin Pike, John Braley, Pete Frame and also Patrick Flower who was very helpful to me at the Civic Centre. He was the man in the control booth who used to let me go out into the roofspace above the Maxwell Hall as he could trust me not to do anything stupid. The control booth could also be used to take pictures through the glass too. (As an aside, John Braley showed the webmaster round this very control room in 2008). I have a picture of Pete Frame which I took in his local pub up in North Marston with one of his Rock Family Trees. Oddly enough at the time, he looked a lot like Shakespeare is said to have looked....(!)

Other names that come to mind  are that of Dave Ralph who was the photographer at the Bucks Herald basically doing the same job as I was on the Advertiser. A lot of the pictures from the Bucks Herald [on this website] would have been taken by Dave as we would have been there at the same time. Another fan of Friars was Norman Pestka who lived somewhere up near the gyratory system. I see that you have Mary Payne's memories on the website. I met and Chris via hospital radio in High Wycombe along with two people she mentions, Jenny and Pete Royal. These four plus myself and Dave Ralph started hospital radio  at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in late 1978, but that's another story....

Regarding the Roxette, there was Chris France, Colin Keinch who worked at a solictors in Temple Square, Fraser Pearson from the Advertiser and many others including Magenta de Vine, Roxette columnist. We did cut her (picture) in half once. She always wore those dark glasses, TV or in public. During a Friars gig, Pete Frame asked me to take a picture of a boot which he intended to use in Zig Zag magazie....which he did!

You may know I had a hand in getting the Renaissance (Jan 76) gig put on. I also liked Curved Air and the Procol Harum gigs were brilliant. They played songs the audience could sing along with - great nights. Wish I could say the same about The Ramones, not my bucket of punk at all. Twenty songs in as many minutes all sounding the same fast or slow. But the Friars audience loved it. That picture [I took] of the coat flying through the air was by chance as it didn't appear on adjacent negatives.

The Ramones provided some useful pictures as did Eddie and the Hot Rods with the audience getting very close. I got an aerial view of the audience enjoying Blondie and it was so good to hear great music and see people enjoying themselves. Likewise with Tangerine Dream who had people sitting and laying on the floor with their electronic music swirling over them. Dave (Stopps) really did get something for (almost) everyone.  I managed to get in during the day when they were setting up their mass if equipment and wires. They had a tape machine out the back too so they could put some parts of previous performances into the mix. I persuaded Patrick Flower to put some lights up so I could picture all this stuff and compare with the actual performance where they used just four blue lights.

Looking now at the poster of the Aylesbury Rock Explosion (Sept 76), I recall that I thought it was never going to happen to get most of the people looking the same way at once and then having to try to even out the light and dark areas. No room for camera shake there! Dr Feelgood were so loud I could hardly hear myself think. Of course they were from Essex, down on Canvey Island.

Also from a photography perespective, Carol Grimes and Kate and Anna McGarrigle provided something different as did Talking Heads, Hawkwind and Andy Fairweather Low. Captain Beefheart had such poor lighting making a decent picture difficult. Steeleye Span were the opposite with lights fully on. A great show.

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