When Rock Went to College

When Rock Went to College - Barry and Paul at the book launch

The Great Hall at Lancaster University opened in October 1969 and immediately started playing host to some of the most exciting and innovative rock bands in the world, for the entertainment of students and the public

Over a fifteen year period, the University became a 'must play' venue for rock bands, not because of the great audiences, but also the convenient location, just off the M6 motorway; between a concert in Manchester and Glasgow. Now a book has been published in the form of an A-Z listing of the acts that performed on the stage of Lancaster University's Great Hall from 1969 to 1985, along with the stories and recollections of Barry Lucas, the former Entertainments Manager and who was Britain’s first full time, professional university campus impresario. Paul Tomlinson, local music enthusiast provides all the detailed research about the bands which accompanies these stories as to how and why the world's greatest rock artists (including The Who, Pink Floyd, U2, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison and Tina Turner) came to perform at a northern university campus.

The book was launched on 27 October 2017 in the Great Hall where alumni, from across the country and locals who had previously attended the gigs, gathered to swap memories, hear some of the back stories from Barry and listen to some of the music from the relevant years. Local band 'Get Carter' (featuring James Mackie, who had played with The Selecter on the Great Hall stage in the 80s) were joined on stage by John Helliwell, saxophonist from Supertramp, to complete the party atmosphere where over 280 guests soaked up the atmosphere and queued for their signed copies of the new publication.

The book is fully illustrated with the fabulous colour concert posters of John Angus and previously unseen photographs by Geoff Campbell of bands on stage in The Great Hall. 

"Barry and Paul have put together not just a fascinating account of a rock ‘n’ roll phenomenon, but a truly important and entertaining cultural and social history " - Andy Kershaw

Copies may be purchased via Carnegie Publishing