Ladies, gentlemen and fellow space cadets, may I present the inimitable
Julie White Hawk, who will hopefully (gulp) be joining us in a couple of
minutes or so. She first came into my life in the summer of 1987 and her
influence is still felt greatly every day of it now! The original muse for
"Zoen Nostalgia", one of The Three Witches casting the spell on
"Bewitched", award winning website creator and serving City Councillor in
Peterborough for the Green Party. That's a lot to get into an hour! Does
she rock or what?
Magic Moments At Twilight Time And a very good afternoon to you,
Julie, how's life treating you?
Julie Howell Good day.
Julie Howell It's too hot for my liking but otherwise very good.
Magic Moments At Twilight Time Impressed, that's been the shortest
wait so far! So, such a long story is you and I, where do we begin? Well,
let's go back to Camberley and those distant days of 1987, how did you
first get to hear about the old Grain co-operative and what exactly caught
your eye about it?
Magic Moments At Twilight Time For those interested in further
info, massive article on The Grain and beginnings of MMATT and M&E on the
Julie Howell So, in 1987 I was 16. It was the year I did my 'O'
levels. In fact, it was the last year anyone did any 'O' levels as they
were replaced by GCSEs in 1988. Anyhoo... >
Magic Moments At Twilight Time > means more is coming, folks!
Julie Howell In 1987, a second-hand record store opened on the
London Road in Camberley. It was called Rock Box and as the name implies
it was very small indeed. It was a gathering place for people who
appreciated 'alternative' music, and because it was so small, people would
gather within its walls as well as on the pavement outside. It didn't even
have sofas or somewhere to drink coffee (as we might expect nowadays) but
it was the only place in town for alternative types to gather so it
attracted an interesting crowd. >
Moments At Twilight Time Ken Dudley at The Rock Box!
Julie Howell I used to go there A LOT.
Magic Moments At Twilight Time Remember it well. Of course, the
first time we had any kind of contact, it's when I received an anonymous
letter, kind of heart-warming and a bit sad all at the same time, just
signed 'White Hawk', so we said 'hi' in the next issue of The Grain and it
all kind of went from there. What inspired you to write to us?
Howell Some time in Summer 1987 I noticed a free fanzine on the
counter. It mentioned a band that I'd seen at the civic hall the previous
year called The Charles. That experience had blown my mind and seeing The
Charles mentioned on the cover of the fanzine (which was called 'The
Grain') I picked up a copy. At the same time (I think) I also purchased a
copy of a cassette called 'Live and Sorry...' because it featured The
Charles. I cannot tell
you how much I
loved and still love The Charles. Chris Carter (aka Charles Remix aka
Count Five) was a common sight in Camberley and me and my friends used to
follow him. That was exciting enough. But the music and just the vibe that
went with them... they brought a lot to my life, especially at that time.
It's so important when you're that age to have something believe in and
The Charles were that for me.
Magic Moments At Twilight Time Let's be kind and have a little
listen to The Charles then, this is 1987 vintage "Professor Quest"...
Magic Moments At Twilight Time You'll note a few live soundbites
from The Grain Festival at the beginning too, natch! :)
Julie Howell So I took these treasured items home, devoured the
content of the zine and listened to the tape. I had not heard of MMATT up
until that point so that was my introduction. Whereas The Grain was filled
with pictures and gossip about people I recognised from around town. In
particular local heart-throb Nick Morgan. At that time, Nick had pink hair
and I thought his name was Anthony (because someone had shouted out
'Anthony' at that first Charles gig and Nick had turned round. Nick was as
much a feature of the Camberley alternative scene as The Charles were.
Julie Howell You asked what inspired me to write to you. Well, I
didn't mean to write to YOU exactly. I used to write letters a lot in
those days, mostly out of boredom. I was 16 and anxious for life to start
producing. My parents were quite strict so it wasn't easy to do stuff I
wanted to do and I was very shy in some circumstances at that age. In
fact, I would say I was young and naive for 16. When I wrote that letter I
NEVER intended to then reveal who I was. It was purely by chance that that
Moments At Twilight Time I was just enjoying that old Charles track,
friend of Doctor Magic's was Professor Quest, brings back some happy
memories. Anyway, next step was actually getting to meet you (courtesy of
Anthony!) at Dingwalls. The oldest picture I have of you is this one, but
I seem to recall you as having shorter hair and wearing a cap at the time?
Julie Howell So it was summer 1987 and I was shopping in Camberley
when who should approach me but Nick Morgan (he had never spoken to me
before this point) he asked me if I wanted to buy tickets to The Charles
gig in Dingwalls, London (coach ride up to London included). That was
really kind of Nick. He's a very kind person. I think he felt a bit sorry
for me as I didn't fit in and he also suspected that I'd written that
letter to you. So I bought two tickets from him and me and my friend
Stella arranged to go to the gig.
Julie Howell The day of the gig came and Stella and I (only 16) got
on the coach and that was the first time I clapped eyes on you, Mick. >
Sam Lancaster I remember Stella
Julie Howell During the journey up to London (and brief pause en
route while Phil 'wee wee' Brown' earned his nickname, you came round to
everyone and handed them a copy of the new issue of The Grain zine. 'UHOH!'
I thought... 'I'm gonna be busted!'. I leafed through it and sure enough
there was a piece addressed to me (my moniker was 'White Hawk'). I showed
my friend Stella and told her that White Hawk was me. She SHRIEKED!!! 'You
MUST tell them!!' she said. 'NO WAY!', I said. >
Julie Howell So the journey continued but I knew Stella wasn't
going to let it lie. We got to Dingwalls and lovely Nick came and spoke to
us. I cannot overstate how painfully shy I was at that time. I was a very
young 16 and although I really wanted to be there I didn't have the social
skills so I never felt comfortable around people. That changed as I got
older but at that time I only felt comfortable around my immediate
friends. I wasn't trying to be mysterious, I just lacked social skills. >
Julie Howell Stella kept on at me and urged me to tell Nick that I
was White Hawk, so I did. He laughed and said 'I thought that was you,
come and meet Mick'. And that's how I met Mick.
Magic Moments At Twilight Time My bad, ignored the >'s and posted
out of sequence. Let's go back; "I was just enjoying that old Charles
track, friend of Doctor Magic's was Professor Quest, brings back some
happy memories. Anyway, next step was actually getting to meet you
(courtesy of Anthony!) at Dingwalls, as you've just explained in
remarkable detail. The oldest picture I have of you is this one (several
inches above by this point, I figured she'd have to come up for breath
sooner, but what do I know?), but I seem to recall you as having shorter
hair and wearing a cap at the time?"
Howell This is me around the time of the White Hawk letter.
Magic Moments At Twilight Time I'm keeping that one!
Magic Moments At Twilight Time Yeah, that looks much more like it.
So, a mere half an hour into our chat, let's get to the song your letter
inspired right at the beginning, this is "Us Weirdos Gotta Stick
Together", not that I'm calling you a weirdo, you understand... ;)
Julie Howell Right so, a short time after we met at Dingwalls you
were as good as your word and invited me to tea at your flat in Frimley,
along with Shona, Kate and Jay. I recall watching some video of a previous
gig, Shona being proud of the fact that she knew what The Charles' track
'Red' was about, Shona describing her forthcoming modelling assignment as
'standing about in clothes'.