A look back at when Aylesbury was 'the centre of the rock music universe'

This unaired documentary explores whether Aylesbury was the epicentre of guitar music back in the 80s.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 10:22 am

Aylesbury s own John Otway, perhaps looking through biased eyes describes the town as 'the rock city of the universe', kickstarting this unaired documentary.

The lifelong musician was exploring his hometown for a documentary called, Rock City UK, which was never commissioned.

Otway is in top form, starting the documentary by stomping through an Aylesbury farm, whilst wearing the baggiest white collared shirt you'll ever see.

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Produced in 1985 the programme looks at the music scene in Aylesbury from the 60s through to the mid 80s.

The spotlight first falls on Aylesbury's Grosvenor pub, which hosted rock music way back in 1961. Otway stops by, to chat to promoter, Eddie Friday, who the musician calls Aylesbury's; "grandad of rock". Friday lists a slew of classic rock bands that graced the pub back in the early 60s.

Otway drops a further bombshell reading an interview with Rolling Stones bassist, Bill Wyman. Otway reveals that Wyman was inspired to join The Stones after witnessing a Barron-Knights With Duke D'Mond gig, whilst he was on 'holiday' in Aylesbury.

The documentary goes on to discuss famous rock stars tried at Aylesbury Crown Court, including Keith Richards. Pete Frame is also interviewed, the journalist started his Rock Family Trees books whilst living in town.

Eddie Friday

The documentary of course, features a large segment on Friars, the iconic club which was the marquee music venue in Aylesbury for years.

Although, Jet Black, The Strangler's drummer, disagrees with the idea the club was revolutionary. The veteran rhythmist, complained that the Aylesbury crowd threw stuff at him in his only appearance at the famous club. He went on to call the club as revolutionary as a: "frying pan".

The documentary finishes with Otway cursing his luck, ironically venting at his inability to get a record deal when he was singing all across Aylesbury.

The Bucks Herald covering Aylesbury's 60s rock revolution