A MUSIC promoter who made some of the world's biggest bands from the '60s and '70s accessible to South Lakeland residents has written a book about his work.

Barry Lucas was the booker at Lancaster University's Great Hall between 1968 and 1985. While there, he organised gigs featuring the likes of The Who, Tina Turner, Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, The Groundhogs, Dr Feelgood, The Jam, Bob Marley, Thin Lizzy and Chuck Berry, along with scores of others.


Through ticket outlets around South Lakeland, including George Edwardian Boutique off Kendal's Market Place, Mr Lucas gave all music fans from the area opportunities to see the world's biggest acts in a venue on the university circuit local to them.

The recent re-discovery of programmes and photographs from the shows by photographer Paul Tomlinson led to the creation of the book, called 'When Rock went to College', which documents the period when Mr Lucas ran the venue.

Mr Lucas, who started in the role while a student at the university, said: "Most university venues put on student only gigs, which always struck me as wrong. So I put on gigs which local people could go to, and they made up about 60 per cent of the audience.

"The people from the surrounding areas were often more interested in music than the students. I am always bumping into people now in places like Kendal who say they used to go to these gigs every weekend. At the time there was nowhere else to watch bands between Manchester and Glasgow.

"We put on some really big names. We had Queen and Wishbone Ash playing as support bands, and then put them on again when they were superstars."

The first band Mr Lucas 'put on' were The Who in 1968. The event sold out, and he continued to organise shows for 15 years.

The book features original posters, tickets, memorabilia and photographs of the bands on stage at the venue which have never been published before.

Explaining how the book came about, Mr Lucas said: "People were often telling me to make these stories into a book. But I had worked doing the gigs for a long time and I had not kept any records, so I couldn't remember enough to make a comprehensive book.

"Then I got a call from Paul Tomlinson, who had gone to the gigs in his youth and had come back to Lancaster to work at the university.

"He had come across a lot of programmes, and looked through all the old university newspapers, and wanted to do a photo book.

"I said that I could add a narrative to that, and we contacted the original photographer whom I used to work with. What we have made is a comprehensive document of that venue."

Mr Lucas added that when Paul McCartney heard that the book contained photos of the first Wings tour, of which he had no documentation, he contacted the publisher to ask for a copy.

'When Rock went to College' is available now, and can be ordered from Charles Scott at Macbeth Scott in Kendal.