Melody Maker Rock Contest 1979 finalists advert and photo with Die Laughing

Jo Turner… Remember piling into old vans with a gang of us following the bands in the melody maker competitions. Brilliant fun

Tim Moose Bruce… Went to this one and the area heat final at the Marquee a few weeks earlier. Was in one of the old vans. I remember Splodgenessabounds came 4th, and Max Splodge got the best bum award after they performed Michael Booths Talking Bum. Area heat was good, talking to Paul Gambochini and Sting at the Judges table. And who remembers the Blown Up Band Van incident on the Sevenoaks bypass? Also remember the Venue charging £1.70 for a half pint of beer. That was a ripoff..

Pete Prescott… I was in a band called Village. We were in it two years running in the mid 70’s. One year with a band called Stallion from Hastings.

Phil Gill… Pete, I remember Stallion, didn’t they win the MM contest in 1976? Had a great bass player.

John Wilde… Halcyon days.

Judy Atkinson… Max Splodge used to drink at the Royal Sussex Arms & did a gig there one Christmas back in the late 90s

Kev Towner… Judy, I remember it well.

Kev Towner… Is that the Vixen who used to play The Carlisle regularly? I’ve still got one of their demo tapes.

Gerry Fortsch… The infamous Hippo band entered a few of these for a laugh we never did very well but we got very drunk and had a gas.

Tony Pettifer… Gerry, Not to memtion Littlehapton

Gerry Fortsch… Tony, yea that was a cracker, what ever happened to Gerald’s Country Giants?

Dave Nattress… Damaris entered twice. Second time was eventually won by Stallion and they deserved it 100%. Not only Hastings, not only mates but so good. The bass player Mr G held it together for them. The 5 guys were all so good and who could not notice the performance of John. Unique from those days. Well done all – great memories.

Phil Gill… Dave, thanks for the name check but holding it together was a two man job. Steve Demetri served up the groove to me and we nailed it to the floor together.

Mark Randall… Bite The Pillow won. I saw them at Reading when they were first on the bill; the same night as The Cure, The Tourists, Motörhead and The Police

John Wilde… Dave, yes thank you for sharing. They were great fun times. Lots of great local bands back then.



What magazine/newspapers did you used to read & chat about.


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What magazines/newspapers did you used to read? Reading Andy Knights recent post about The Melody Maker, reminded me of the magazines of the day. Always read Record Mirror, Sounds and remember my sister reading Jackie.

Leigh Wieland-Boys… ‘Jackie’, ‘Disco 45’ & NME

Andy Qunta… As many as we could find! NME, Sounds, Record Mirror, Beat Instrumental was a good one, & many more! Melody Maker was the one we had delivered to the house every week. It sometimes arrived a few minutes late, as we eventually found out our paper boy used to stop and read it before he delivered it! Said paper boy being future bassist-extraordinaire Roger Carey!

Jim Breeds…  I usually subscribed to one per week that the newsagent delivered but often switched allegiance. Mostly NME (still do sometimes) but I tried them all at one time or another. Also we used to lend them to each other at school so that we could read them all.

Pete Fairless… NME for me!

John Storer… It was Roger Carey who told me about the New Musical Express around 1969 or 1970 when I was 13 or 14. After buying my first copy, persuaded my Mum to order it from the newsagent for delivery instead of my usual Lion & Champion comic. Would literally read it from cover to cover. For years and years, I looked forward to the paper boy delivering it. Would photocopy the crossword and me and Mick Watson would spend Thursday afternoons at work racing to see who could complete it the fastest In 1984, when I was doing my law finals in Manchester, one of my fellow students, Rob Mortimer, asked me if he could have my copy when I’d finished with it, as he had no grant and couldn’t afford to buy one. I agreed. Several years later, I would see him again … he’d changed his first name from Rob to Bob and had teamed up with a bloke calling himself Vic Reeves. Not long after, I gave up the NME for Blues & Soul but went back to it in the early 90s and the start of the Madchester / BritPop scene … never lived up to its former glories, though … those halcyon days when Danny Baker, Ian Penman, Paul Morley, Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons were the lead journalists. Finally stopped reading it about 15 years ago. Also bought Sounds form about 1971 and had that every week until it started going ultra-right wing around the time of Oi and Gary Bushell. Does anyone else remember Streetlife? … a really hefty mag, issued fortnightly, and which aimed to become the UK’s answer to Rolling Stone. Had every copy from start to its end about a year later. Responsible, along with John Peel, for introducing me to dub. Finally, a big thank you to my neighbour up on Montgomery Road, Jean Christmas. In the late 60s, every six months she would hand me a big pile of Jackie magazines. Would stay up reading them into the small hours … those glamorous picture stories, the Cathy & Claire problem page … where has that innocence gone these days? LOL

Mick O’Dowd… Used to have NME in the 60’s then Record Mirror and sometimes Melody Maker in 70’s. Also a monthly mag called Blues & Soul.

Alan Wood…. Sounds

Patrick Lewis… Used to read NME, Melody Maker, Disc and Music Echo but the most interesting in the late 60’s was Record Mirror which always seem to avoid the celebrity crap and concentrate on the music.

Diane Knight… Don’t want to sound uncool ,but ….June and school friends!!!

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Anyone want to buy some old Melody Makers?


photo Andy Knight

Andy Knight… I have 300+ MMs from late 70s to 80s for sale, they are in OK condition – not mint, all reasonable offers considered. Located in St Leonards.

If anyone is interested I will pass on your info to Andy

Caz Simpson… Yes please, ball park figure would help.

Redstar Richter… is that the clash on the right?

Tony Ham… Yes definitely The Clash.

Michael Humphrey… Give us a clue ?

Nick Tutt… I would be interested in these Andy – I have some cuttings from the era already…