MY TWISTED WHEEL JOURNEY by 'IRISH' GERALD STEWART

As a young teenager growing up in Belfast the late 60s I always liked the Mod bands & Blues music. With my move to Cambridge in 1970 came a real want to hear more soul music. The Dorothy ball room in “The sweat box" this was my first experience of hearing sounds like Donnie Albert "A Little Piece Leather" & Dobie Gray "Out on the floor" these were my early favourite soul records.
I started going to the Howard Mallet club in 71 listening and dancing to great soul sounds like Hoggy Lands "The next in line" and The Miracles “Whole lot of shaking going on" These songs would be introduced as Twisted Wheel tunes, while other soul sounds seemed to just get announced as the artist and song title. Sometimes a soul club name got a mention by Dj Tony Dellar.
I started finding out about other soul venues throughout the country with the
hope to get to them one day, which would be a bit harder than I thought as I did not drive at that time. So this was to be the start of a journey that would become a way of life for me. Max Reese told me The Twisted Wheel had closed its door for the last time in early 71, I was so disappointed to hear this as it would have been an aim
of mine to get there.

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I met with Brian Phillips, an original Wheel Dj who I still have the pleasure of his company at a lot of all niter's I attend to this day. Brian came back on the soul scene and started to Dj again about the same time as my regular Friday night visits to The Wheel. Brian 45 Phillips as was known, Brian is credited with breaking in around 100 new tunes to The Wheel that I know of sounds like, Lou Johnston- Unsatisfied, Dobie Gray-Out on the floor, Darrow Fletcher- The pain gets a little deeper, J.J.Barnes-Real humdinger, Emanuel Laskey- Peace
loving man, Mitch Ryder- You get your kicks, are just a few that the legendary Dj introduced to The Wheel.
Brian still had the taste and hunger to break in new records just like he did back in 1969/70 at The Wheel. Going back to November 2011 came the announcement of new owners of the building the Wheel was situated in
and its possible closure for redevelopment. I soon got involved in the campaign to save The Twisted Wheel. I was proud to be part of the team that lead the campaign against it’s closure and be able to negotiate on the clubs
behalf of The Twisted Wheel Club with their blessing in negotiations with English Heritage the Developers and MCC . But sadly by the end of 2012 that fight was all but over bar the shouting and the club closed its door for
the third time.
Pete Roberts moved the club to the NQ in Tibb Street, we could have moved the entire interior of the club at no cost but no place could accommodate it not even MCC had the facility to have the famous stage room in their museum because they did not cater for their own musical heritage. So a blue plaque award was applied for to commemorate the club's contribution to musical heritage this has been agreed, a first ever award of this kind in Manchester . This will be erected after the opening of the new hotel on the site of the No6
Whitworth street the old club. But The Twisted Wheel and its music along with Wheelers lives on to this day some 50 years since it conception.
The club's third home was to Tibb street which came to an abrupt end when it was engulfed by fire with the sad loss of life of a young fire fighter.. Once again the spirit of The Twisted Wheeler’s with Pete Roberts at the helm carried it forward to where it is now in Princess St. No more Friday sessions take
place. But I do still make a visit to the club every few months, to hear the records that are now deemed to be called a Wheel sound.