Today dear readers, we are proud at Midnight Raver Blog to present you an interview with Noel Hawks.

Noel was involved with Dub Vendor in England, with various labels (Pressure Sounds, Blood And Fire, VP Records).

He’s also the one  who wrote ‘Complete Lyrics Of Bob Marley : Songs Of Freedom ‘  back in 2001 , wich is still to nowdays,one of the only books who includes songs lyrics of Bob Marley And The Wailers.


I will have to mention as well his work on  updating  Ian Mc Cann’s’Bob Marley: The Complete Guide To His Music’ released circa 2004 on Omnibus press.

I also must mention his work with Dub Store Japan on the Bunny Wailer Solomonic 7″s reissues, wich are  quality releases.

Noel,  I am curious to understand , where did it all start? This love for reggae music ?

I was born in Farnborough, North West Kent in 1952 and grew up in South East London… I still live in South East London.

I was always fascinated with records. I remember my Dad coming home from the pub one Saturday afternoon with one of his drinking partners backing a lorry down the drive into our estate (I mean a council estate not a stately home) with a great big radiogram on the back which they then carried upstairs to our flat. My Mum was not best pleased but my brothers and I loved it… my Mum eventually came round too. One of our cousins fitted a new deck not long after. It had two styli that you turned around… one needle played 78’s and the other side was for 45’s and LPs… we didn’t have many LPs though. This would have been sometime in the mid fifties.

There was a shop on the corner opposite our flats that sold wool and second hand records and Vi, the lady that ran the shop, used to put the singles and LPs in the window so I used to check what was in stock as I was going up and down to school. I remember buying a copy of The Beatles Hits EP… I couldn’t afford all the singles or LPs that I wanted and an EP (with a fab picture cover) was a nice way of getting four tracks and a picture of The Beatles too. I thought it was too good to put with the rest of our records and so I used to keep it by my bed.

It wasn’t that easy to hear pop music. Radio Luxembourg used to come on in the evenings but the signal would always fade in and out, in and out and they’d only play half the record. The BBC Light Programme wasn’t a lot of use… you’d hear an odd good record on a Saturday morning but you had to wait through x amount of dross before you got a good one. The one highlight was the Top Twenty run down on a Sunday afternoon. Then the pirate ships started and it was like someone had turned the light on… first Radio Caroline then Radio London and x amount of others beaming non-stop pop music into London. We’d never experienced anything like it before. If a record you didn’t like came on one station you could just turn the dial and find another station playing a better one.

I first heard ska and rock steady (or blue beat as we called it at the time) being played out at local youth club dances in the mid sixties where records like Prince Buster’s ‘Al Capone’ and ‘Ten Commandments’ and The Skatalites’ ‘Guns Of Navarone’ were very popular. The music was very rarely played on the radio apart from an odd record on Radio Caroline and later Mike Raven’s R&B Show on Sunday night on the BBC. But in 1967 Desmond Dekker actually broke into the National Charts! I have a very clear memory of sitting out one summer afternoon on what we used to call the dustbins… the sheds where the bins were kept at the back of our block. One of the local girls had her transistor radio perched on her window sill as Alan Freeman ran through the hit parade and ‘007’ by Desmond Dekker & The Aces floated across the drying ground. It was like receiving a message from another planet.

The first ‘Jamaican’ record I remember buying was ‘Train Tour To Rainbow City’ by The Pyramids towards the end of 1967. I found out a number of years later it was actually recorded in London but I was (and still am) fascinated by the idea of a spoken record that talked about other current hit records. By summer 1968 I had teamed up with some serious rock steady followers who where busy building up their own sound system and going regularly to dances and parties where sound systems played in the South East London/North West Kent area. They had, what seemed to me at the time, an incredible selection of records. I still loved all other sorts of music and used to go to watch/listen to any number of groups playing blues and what later became known as ‘rock’. I loved some… wasn’t too keen on others… but going out to hear them was usually a laugh. We didn’t call them ‘gigs’ or ‘bands’ at that time. But if you had any intellectual pretensions at all you weren’t supposed to like soul and ska… you had to be into the blues because it was supposedly serious music. I loved it all.

Jamaican music came on records though. I fell out with said gang after I’d stayed on at school and they all left to start work in the summer of 1969. I couldn’t afford to go out every night… not enough money and too much homework. I think they felt I had ideas above my station… I probably did. But this meant I was cut off from hearing reggae and I wasn’t happy. I started buying the odd new reggae record at the one local shop that specialised in Jamaican music. It was run by an elderly couple who sold radios and TVs in the front of the shop and records in the back. I used to hide them under my jacket and sneak them into the house. We had a coal fire in the front room and I used to burn the paper bags from the shop… like an alcoholic hiding the bottles… because my Mum used to do her nut if I spent too much money on records. My job on Saturday didn’t stretch to buying too many new records… so I bought hundreds of second hand ska, rock steady and reggae records and even some mento 78’s… in junk shops, jumble sales and from market stalls. They were every where and could be picked up for pennies… literally. I also bought a lot of newer old records from other kids. A number of the older, cooler chaps had decided to sell up now that all us youngsters were getting into the music and I got some good records. Got some rubbish too! I didn’t really have a clue who was who or what was what so I was buying completely blind. They were so cheap that it didn’t really matter though… but if I knew then what I know now.

I can still remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I first heard certain records. The Maytals ‘54-46 That’s My Number’, ‘Hugh Malcolm’s ‘Good Time Rock’, Sound Dimension’s ‘More Scorchia’, Clancy Eccles’ ‘Feel The Rhythm’, Lee Perry’s ‘People Funny Boy’ and the first sightings of deejays with King Stitt and ‘Fire Corner’ and ‘Herb Man’ and dub with ‘Jumping Dick’ by Gloria’s All Stars and ‘Clint Eastwood’ by The Upsetters, instrumentals like ‘Live Injection’ and being utterly knocked out by The Bleechers’ ‘Check Him Out’… an unabashed advert for Scratch’s record shop. And don’t even start me off on the night I first heard Andy Capp’s ‘Pop A Top’. Now that much of their innovation and invention has been assimilated into the mainstream it’s impossible to convey just how incredibly exciting and totally different records like this sounded in 1969 and 1970.

My Saturday job was in a car bodywork repair shop under the railway arches in Loughborough Junction where I discovered the Jamaican Weekly Gleaner… ‘Highlights Of The News From Home’… which not only had two full pages of charts (one from Trojan Records and one from Pama Records) with adverts for English record shops but also endless adverts from Jamaican record shops. “This man is Joe Gibbs… he runs the New York Record Mart…” I duly sent to Beverley’s Records on Orange Street for some Maytals records. I couldn’t believe how quickly they arrived. The staff at Beverley’s had kindly written “old phonograph records” on the customs declaration which meant I didn’t have to pay duty but I thought they’d knocked out the middles of the records to make them look used. English seven inch records had middles…

Even then I loved the old records as much as the new ones and I recall being amazed at how the early Blue Beat releases sounded more like the blues music that all the hippies loved than reggae. By this time reggae was regarded as ‘skinhead’ music. I’ve written about this too many times before to go into it again here but I could never understand how the sound of Jamaica could be so despised and derided in England just because it was the music that, temporarily anyway, working class white kids listened and danced to. It wasn’t anything to do with it being black music… but the prejudice was truly unbelievable. The ‘clever’ kids reckoned “it all sounded the same” but it really has been the case of the stone that the builder refused. No-one now talks about all those ‘heavy’, ‘progressive’ groups who were all taken so seriously at the time yet the sound of Jamaica has gone all round the world and back again and has proved hugely influential… and it still sounds as good now as it did at the time. So we were right…

What was the climate during the 70’s in England regarding reggae music ?

You have to remember that I’m coming from the point of view of a white kid being brought up in South East London and that, despite whatever might have been in or out of fashion in the world I lived in, reggae was always of paramount importance to Jamaicans… whether in Jamaica or London, New York or Toronto.

It was a real underground music… much more underground than so called underground music which had four weekly newspapers, a couple of magazines and the radio to promote it. When The Pioneers, Upsetters and the Harry J All Stars all bust the charts in the autumn of 1969 the music press were forced to give it some coverage. But it didn’t last. As I said earlier in London in particular its Jamaican origins were all but ignored because of its skinhead connotations. Mention reggae and you’d get a twang of imaginary braces and “want some bovver John?” in a ‘London’ accent. Chris Welch, who reviewed singles every week in the Melody Maker, used to joke about throwing the reggae singles he’d received in the bin because they were not worth listening to. John Peel, champion of underground music with his Top Gear show on Radio One, actually liked and played ‘Pop A Top’. He later told me that he had never received so much hate mail about a record but it only encouraged him to play it again and start searching out more reggae records to play.

In the early seventies, after the skinhead interest had died out, it really did seem to disappear. The clubs that had played reggae and soul now played strictly soul with a very occasional reggae record. I continued to get hold of lots of records as people sold off their Jamaican records and David Bowie, Rod Stewart and then Slade was the type of music that you heard every time you went out. Don’t get me wrong I quite liked them all… in fact really rated some of their records… but you were not supposed to like everything and reggae was seen as extremely old fashioned. Hugely ironic really when you consider the calibre of the music that was coming out of Jamaica in the early seventies.

How Chris Blackwell managed to make The Wailers acceptable, no much more than that… positively hip… to the record buying students (who were the most important market at the time) is something I’ll never understand. The way he promoted ‘Catch A Fire’ and ‘Burnin’’ in 1973 was remarkable… somehow managing to begin turning the music round from being hated to being loved. Suddenly the hippest hippies were walking round with ‘Catch A Fire’ tucked under their arms. They insisted it was nothing like the reggae that those skinheads used to like. It’s a fallacy that has never gone away and people seem to have never accepted that The Wailers were always part of the story. I even used to say I didn’t like those first two long players… I actually loved them… just to wind up the new converts. I know it was wrong but it upset me… well I was a young man… to see a music I had always loved now being lauded by the same people who had previously sneered at it. Those first two Wailers LPs on Island were not particularly big sellers but Chris Blackwell stuck to his guns. It wasn’t until the Lyceum concerts in the summer of 1975 that Bob Marley & The Wailers and reggae finally broke overground. I was there on the Friday night and they were magnificent. Another thing that always struck me as odd was that the live version of ‘No Woman No Cry’ from the Lyceum concerts was the hit that broke Bob Marley but it didn’t sound like a reggae record at all. We used to play the b-side, ‘Kinky Reggae’, on the pub juke box and drive the regulars round the bend because it was reggae and it went on for over seven minutes..

The youths do not seems to know much about the writers who worked so hard in the 70’s , is there any influences who was somehow guide to your work ?

I think it would be more than a little presumptuous of me to consider people like Carl Gayle, Chris Lane and Dave Hendley as guides to what I ended up doing as they actually knew what they were doing! Chris’ columns in ‘Blues & Soul’ and the pre-release charts were invaluable… no, essential… and I could still quote whole chunks from those Carl Gayle reports from Kingston that appeared in ‘Black Music’. They really brought a whole new dimension to the music… reading about what artists, musicians and producers actually said and did and who they were was a real revelation. All I’d ever learned previously was from the records… and most of that was wrong! Dave Hendley then took over from Chris and his columns and charts were also incredible. Chris’ Big Youth run down in the second ‘Pressure Drop’ was amazing. I didn’t know there were other people who not only loved the music but were also able to write about it and pass on that love and knowledge… and they knew so much too. You have to remember that it wasn’t easy to learn anything about the music then… it was like a well kept secret and their work really opened it all up for me and made me want to find out more!

During the seventies I became more and more involved… my wife would say obsessed… with the music and I started working part time for reggae specialists Dub Vendor in 1979 and then full time the following year. I had studied Fine Art at Chelsea School Of Art for four years and I’m still not sure how much of a help or a hindrance this was when I started ‘designing’ their mail order newsletter. My own very minor involvement in the music began here… I was completely unable to hold a tune, unable to play an instrument and had no understanding of the technicalities of record production so it looked as if I was never going to be any more than a fanatical observer. I had always drawn record labels though… ironically enough when I was teaching art to my secondary school pupils a couple of years previously one of my most popular lessons was getting the youths to design their own record labels. Punk had happened by this point and so the concept of ‘independent’ labels was more widely understood and acknowledged…

The first label I put together… using an existing logo… was a massive, massive thrill for me. I knew so little about how it was done that I purchased really tiny Letraset to fill in all the “All Rights Of The …” around the perimeter of the label. The thrill of seeing, and hearing, Leroy Smart and Big Youth on a label I had designed was truly incredible. And I mean truly incredible. If I couldn’t make music… and I knew I couldn’t make music… then designing labels was the next best thing… probably even better. I did a number of sleeve designs too and most of them incorporated labels. For the cover of Trojan Records’ ‘Best Of Beverley’s’ compilation I used the couple straight out of a jiving competition from the fifties who adorned Leslie Kong’s Beverley’s label. Marcel Rodd, then owner of Trojan, didn’t like it and complained that it looked too much like a rock ’n’ roll cover which of course it did… or didn’t if you were aware of the original label. I designed record labels, sleeves and promotional material for a number of UK and Jamaican record companies including Sugar Minott’s Black Roots, CBS, Fashion, Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee’s Jackpot Revives, Augustus Pablo’s Rockers and Trojan. It was a real thrill for me to see one of ‘my’ records displayed on the wall of the Rockers International Record Shop on Orange Street in Kingston, Jamaica. Another time I was walking down our High Street and saw a poster for a local sound system dance that had used one of my label designs as its centre piece pasted up in a bus shelter. Once again I felt I had really made it… and no… I didn’t feel ’ripped off’ at all. Unfortunately it was well stuck down… I just wish I could have successfully ripped off the poster from the bus shelter.

By now I was also writing monthly news and reviews for the mail order newsletter and this eventually led to my involvement in presenting, commenting on and criticising… but always in the positive sense… Jamaican music. I learnt an unbelievable amount from John MacGillivray at Dub Vendor, Ray Hurford first encouraged me to contribute to ‘Small Axe’ and then in 1990 Ian McCann persuaded me to review albums for Vox Magazine but under a ‘pen name’.

I started signing off the reviews as Harry Hawke. My Dad, who had died when I was six, was Henry, known as Harry, Hawks. There’s an old English folk song, ‘Widdecombe Fair’, which is all about people taking advantage of Tom Pearse and his old grey mare. It’s where the phrase ‘Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all’… referring to liberty takers… comes from and one of the characters in the song is Harry Hawke. It’s an obscure joke and probably not even funny if you didn’t have to sing the song at junior school. In one way I was now in a bit of a difficult position because I was also working full time for Fashion Records who were producing and releasing albums. Luckily I very rarely had to write negative reviews because I usually got to choose the albums for review. Out of forty or fifty releases every month I was only given space for half a dozen at most so, consequently, I tried to concentrate on the best, most popular or the most significant releases. I was in the perfect position to know what was going on… Dub Vendor had two very busy shops and a worldwide mail order set up by then. The only complaint I recall was when someone wanted to know why all the reggae albums always got nine and ten star reviews. The editor explained that there were twenty plus pages of rock and pop album reviews and one page of reggae reviews. What would you rather read about? Albums you might want to hear and buy? Or records that were probably best ignored? I always felt there were already more than enough people criticising the music I loved. Why waste valuable column inches joining in with them? I never reviewed any releases on the Fashion label and I was never trying to hide… just about anyone who wanted to know knew it was me anyway. It was working for Vox that I first met Steve Barrow…

 Over the years I have written for Billboard, Q, Music Week, Record Collector, Street Scene and many other music papers, periodicals and magazines. It’s all about passing it on… it’s no good having or knowing something if you don’t share it. You might just as well not have it… or not know it in the first place. And I sincerely hope it doesn’t look like showing off either… because I’d be foolish to try and claim I was a good writer… but I have managed to pick up some interesting information during a lifetime’s obsession with music. I always try and gently encourage anyone I interview to recount as much as they can and I reckon the quote below that Ossie Hibbert (RIP) gave me when I asked him why ‘Earthquake Dub’ was released on the Joe Gibbs label sums it all up:

 “Errol Thompson was driving this car! So I gave Joe Gibbs two albums ‘United Dreadlocks’ and ‘Earthquake Dub’ and Errol T gave me the car…”

 I think that tells you more about how the reggae business actually worked than any amount of scholarly treatises. I had the privilege of working full time in the business, at Dub Vendor and Fashion, for nearly twenty five years where I met and worked with so many of my heroes that I still can’t believe it happened! And, for the last ten years, I’ve been able to carry on working with x amount of my musical heroes compiling collections and writing sleeve notes for coming on for two hundred releases now… and being involved in a number of books too.

Is there any kind of special love for the wailers  or am i mistaken ?

No… you’re definitely not mistaken. Everyone knows the music of Bob Marley & The Wailers… you don’t have to be into reggae to know Bob Marley. I have said before that there are two schools of thought on the music of Bob Marley. There are the self appointed experts who like to think that Bob Marley’s music needed to be watered down in order to make it acceptable outside of the traditional reggae audience and the school of thought that reckons the recorded output of Bob Marley & The Wailers is separate from the rest of reggae… somehow all other music coming out of Jamaica is secondary to their output. Both schools of thought, for totally different reasons, want to set Bob Marley & The Wailers’ music apart from reggae… but the history of The Wailers is a history of Jamaican music. And I loved rock steady before I ever heard or heard of Bob Marley & The Wailers… but I then I got to know and love their music too! The Studio One cut of ‘Put It On’ was the first Wailers record I can recall knowing… it was on that ‘Put It On It’s Rock Steady’ compilation on Island. I suppose it’s not cool to like something that everyone supposedly knows all about and likes but I haven’t been that bothered about being cool since when. Tracking down and hunting out some of those old Wailers records was a real job before they were all neatly re-released and discovering records like ‘Run For Cover’ in a junk shop in Worlds End or the melodica cut to ‘Trench Town Rock’ in Peckham Market was very exciting. See? I can still remember where they came from! So, in short, yes…


I do see as well a particular release on Pressure Sounds in which you do have worked on : ‘Peter Tosh Talking Revolution’ im curious to know about it , can you tell me the process about this one ? 🙂

I have to admit I didn’t have a lot to do with the process of obtaining this to release… as I recall it came directly from Peter Tosh’s (RIP) estate. I remember cassette tapes of Peter Tosh’s appearance at the One Love Peace Concert circulating not long afterwards and wondering if anyone would ever release it and I knew it had already come out a couple of times before this release. The notes, like all the notes, went through any amount of drafts before the final cut. I thought it would be a good idea to incorporate Peter’s speeches in between the songs in full so I dutifully transcribed them all… but it didn’t work. It was much better to hear Peter’s own words! A lot of the background information came from Carl Gayle’s piece on the concert in the first Jah Ugliman magazine. It was a very popular release… it even had a separate Japan only pressing! Dave Blackman at Hiltongrove did a great job on the mastering and Ben and Rachael Bailey at Bubble did a beautiful job on the presentation.

On a side note, in all your works, is there any releases you are especially proud of ? if you have just to name a fews ?

think it’s important to feel that everything and anything you put your name, or any one of your pen names, to is valid… although some releases have ended up being a bit rushed and I would have preferred a bit more time to work on them. There were a number I was unable to get all the tracks I wanted… for any number of reasons… but I was probably the only one who noticed that! But you have to be your own sternest critic. Here’s a short list of some of the projects I’m especially proud to have been associated with… in alphabetical order so I hope no-one is offended.

Blood & Fire:

Jesus Dread 1972 to 1977 – Yabby You & The Prophets

I love Yabby’s music and his singular stance. This was the first compilation I worked on… I did (and still do) compilations for Steve Barker’s ‘On The Wire’ radio show and this set was taken from one of the first ones. Working with Steve Barrow is always good and the artwork on ‘Jesus Dread’ is nothing short of incredible.

Natty Universal Dread 1973 to 1979 – Big Youth

Being asked to contribute to a three CD compilation of Big Youth’s self produced releases? It doesn’t get much better than that does it?

Dub Store:

Solomonic Seven & Twelve Inch Singles re-release project

Once again… I always felt that Bunny Wailer’s early Solomonic releases should be re-released and Naoki Ienaga from Dub Store managed to do it! And, once again, I consider being asked to contribute a real honour…


Evolution Of Dub Box Sets Volumes One to Seven

Self explanatory really… Chris O’Brien is the man behind these releases. A great mixture albums from the so called ‘golden age’ of dub showcasing some classics we all know and love and some serious obscurities such as Joe Gibbs’ ‘Dub Serial’. The presentation is beautifully understated throughout and it was great to be able to incorporate Chris Lane’s ‘A Brief History Of Dub’ article…

Jamaican Recordings/Kingston Sounds:

King Tubby’s Dub Box – King Tubby & Various Artists

Another well presented set…thanks to Gary Hall. I loved the idea of having a dub side on both sides of the singles…

Pressure Sounds:

El Rocker’s – Augustus Pablo

I worked with Pete Holdsworth on a number of releases. This was a ‘shadow version’ of Pablo’s ‘King Tubbys Meet Rockers Uptown’ which Pablo told me… as he signed my copy… wasn’t his best album. So I tried to put together versions of the KTMRU tracks that featured Pablo on melodica, piano, organ, clavinet and xylophone before Tubbys or Errol T did their work…

Spear Burning – Burning Spear

This was another set that had to be released… the majority of the early Spear self productions were only available as expensive original singles so here they are for the price of a regular album. All of them! I had the privilege of interviewing Winston Rodney and being able to use Dave Hendley’s beautiful photographs for this release. Lester Wilde did a wonderful job on the artwork…

Pick Up The Pieces – The Royals

Roy Cousins is not only a hugely talented singer, songwriter and arranger but is also a true gentleman. Here we were able to add x amount of other tracks to the original Jamaican release from Roy’s master tapes.

Take Me To Jamaica (The Story Of Jamaican Mento 1951 to 1958) – Various Artists

Compiled by Paul Coote who’s probably forgotten more about Jamaican music than most people get to know. I was able to interview Brian Motta and Ivan Chin for this… two pioneers of the Jamaican

recording business. Ben Bailey did an exemplary job on the artwork and my wife hand tinted the front cover picture… it’s a really strong selection of foundation Jamaican music.

Rockers International (UK):

Classic Rockers 2 – Various Artists

How do you think you’d feel if you not only saw a sleeve you’d designed on display in the Rockers International shop in the early nineties but also saw it was still on sale in said shop twenty years later? Exactly…

Soul Jazz Books:

Reggae 45 Sound System The Label Art Of Reggae Singles with Stuart Baker & Steve Barrow

I started work on the idea of a picture book of reggae labels, sitting in the art school canteen in 1974 with Dick Jewell … no-one else had a clue what we were on about. It took the best part of forty years before it came out… a huge thank you to Steve and Stuart for getting me involved in the book.


The Best Of Beverley’s – Various Artists

I mentioned this earlier. Chris Lane compiled the album and I did the artwork… Trojan’s then owner Marcel Rodd didn’t like it. Never mind…

Gussie Presenting – I Roy & Various Artists

I Roy’s long playing debut was always a favourite. We were able to use the original artwork… the Jamaican release first came in full colour with I Roy resplendent in his pink suit… and a whole companion CD’s worth of further versions to the rhythms that I Roy rode. Respect to Lol Cane-Honeysett and Nick Bourne at Trojan for allowing me to let loose on this release.

Reggae Pressure – Various Artists

A release where Dave Hendley, Chris Lane and me… with the help of a load of friends… tried to set the record straight about reggae, clothes and attitudes in 1969. Great artwork from Ben Bailey and excellent photos from Dave Hendley (again) and interviews with people who were there at the time… not sociologists writing from a long distance… culturally and chronologically! It features a photograph of me and my brother too! Unfortunately it kind of disappeared when Sanctuary sold Trojan to Universal and was never properly available… perhaps because it features a picture of me and my brother…


Last year , i’d been aware that you wrote a book with Jah Floyd about Striker Lee ‘The Bunny Striker Lee Story’ ‘Reggae Going International 1967-1976’
can you told me more about it ?

I was working with Frank (Jah Floyd) from Jamaican Recordings for a few years on a book project that has still to be finished when he decided we should concentrate on Bunny’s story instead. Frank has put out a great deal of Striker’s productions and he’s one of the most important, certainly the most prolific, Jamaican record producers. His knowledge of the Jamaican music scene from the early sixties onwards is second to none. We’d already done hours and hours of interviews with Striker and I put them together in a roughly chronological order under specific headings and then went back to Striker again and again and again and asked him to clarify points here, there and everywhere. His memory for facts and details is frighteningly good and he’s a superb raconteur… as anyone who’s heard him on the radio will tell you… so I decided, rather than rewrite everything, to use Striker’s own words.

 I footnoted throughout and, anything that needed to be verified, was verified. It’s not a history of the music… if you want that get hold of a copy of Steve Barrow and Peter Dalton’s unsurpassable ‘Rough Guide’. It’s Striker’s story in his own words and, if he chose to concentrate on certain things, that’s Striker’s prerogative! He supplied endless photographs from his family albums… many of them had never been used before… and I called in x amount of experts for further photos and label scans. Striker was a joy to work with, Frank was massively supportive throughout and Gary Hall did a brilliant job on the layout. It wasn’t easy… the programme I was using in my computer automatically shuffled the footnotes backwards or forwards to fit the relevant pages. Gary’s didn’t so every time something got changed… and lots of things did get changed… he had to move everything manually. He was a paragon of patience. Thank you Gary!

 I’m now worried that there is too much I and nowhere near enough I & I in this. Everything I’ve ever done would have been impossible without the assistance of knowledgeable friends who were always willing to share their time and patience… and their records. I’ve mentioned some of them already…all the people mentioned above have always helped me out… but there are other people who should get a mention: Steve Barker, Phil Etgart, Nick Hodgson, Dave Home, Barry Quinnell, Tony Rounce, Jim Silles and, if I’ve forgotten anyone, I’m truly sorry.

 Thank you all! The more you learn the more you realise you don’t know very much at all…

Thank you Noel