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The First Time


They say you never forget your first time and I will never forget mine. The thing I remember the most is the crush. That being the crowd crush to get into Wigan Casino at 11:30 p.m. But all the years I went I never saw anyone get angry, it was always good-natured. The 2nd thing I remember about my first time was the long journey from Burnley bus station, change at Bolton then into Wigan for 11:20 p.m. (ish). The car park across from the Casino was full of coaches, people would be milling about all over the place and here was me this 15 year old Northern soul virgin who had just moved to Burnley from Scotland. Looking back I must have been mad. I did not know anyone and apart from a few records I had heard at a youth club in Perth I didn't know any of the sounds.
I joined in with the crushing crowd and made my way past the bouncers. I remember one looked like Eddie Yates and the other had long black hair and a moustache. Clutching my membership card I was up the stairs past Mike Walkers office then in.
Gene Chandlers 'I can take care of myself' was playing, then A Case of Tyme, Johnny Vannelli, Shane Martin, Lynn Randell, Embers and dozens more. During the next few months I began to love these records and over the following years the love affair grew.
With hindsight Wigan probably was not the best 'Nighter. The music at Stafford was better; but the Casino changed my life and that first all nighter on a cold Saturday morning in November will stay with me forever. To the people I met there Steven 'Brad' Bradley, Siz, Dave Withers, Barrie Waddington, Pat and Kim, Tony, Danny and all the rest. Together with the records you gave the Casino it's Soul.

Johnny Walker

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Mick' tale.
Shanes Tour.
American dream.
NS hypotheses.
Berlin scene.
Pete's story.
Them wer' days.
The first time.
Wigan !#?.
New blood.
Irish & exclusive.
Youngest soulie?.
My soul story.
NS obsession.
UK to LA.
Southerners tale.
Keeping the faith.
First steps.
A Great Crowd.
Oldie now Newie.
The Right Direction.
La Pella Nera.
My 80's Scene.
Wicked Story.
30 Years of Soul.
Filipino Style.
Cheshire Soul Club.
Man in Black.
Time's a Wasting.
Full Circle.
A Northern CV.
Californian Scene.
Awkward Homelife.
Plain & Simple.
Cleethorpes '98.

Handstand.
Move Forward.
Lost Soul.
A Favour?.

Copyright M Fitzpatrick
mickfitz@koan.de