Book Reviews

Dear Reg,
I hope this does not sound to cheesy but I really do mean this.
I have just been away with my Wife and read your book over 2 days while lying in the sun listening to my sounds on my Ipod (It was the first book I have ever read!)
There are so many things I can relate to apart from the loss of people close to me but I now feel better equipped on how to deal with the loss of someone close to me thanks to your experiences.
The whole book was an inspiration to me.
Over the last few days I have rehearsed what I wanted to write to you or what I would say if I met you, but all I want to say is THANK YOU for sharing your story.
Thank You Reg
Leeroy Da Soul Boy
The Vibe Tribe
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read for all music lovers, 17 Mar 2008
There are many long standing soul fans in the UK, all of whom love the music but only a handful have recorded their exploits in a book. Reg Stickings has done just this, and I’m jolly glad that he did write it all down as it makes for an interesting and entertaining read for anybody who has a passion for any branch of the arts, particularly music fans. You don’t have to be a follower of soul to enjoy this warm slice of life book, although it does make it much more personal if like me you are a disciple of soul! It’s principally a humorous and sometimes sad personal insight into the obsessive nature of the soul music scene here in the UK written from a true fan of soul music in all its various guises.

We as a community tend to forget that this music stems from a world vastly different to that of ours. The experiences of African Americans in the rural Southern states of the USA and the factories and ghettoes of Detroit back in the 60’s just cannot be related to working class Britons however much we may kid ourselves that they can, but nowadays we see it as `our’ music and want to exclude anything which doesn’t fit into our own narrow concept of soul. It can never be our music, we only borrow it from all those great artistes who put that feeling into their music and turn it into true soul. The great strength of this book is that Reg actually understands this, and he honestly admits that he enjoys soul across the board regardless of whatever little labels we as a fraternity love to put on this music. He hasn’t claimed anywhere that it’s a book about Northern soul, modern soul, crossover soul, jazzfunk or any other of those pedantic pigeon holes so beloved of the typical UK soul fan. It’s simply a book about Reg’s personal `Search For Soul’, and if you approach it with a degree of open-mindedness I’m sure you will appreciate it.

`Searching For Soul’ is written in a refreshingly down to earth style which really does add to its entertainment value, avoiding all of the literary clichés which would have been evident had a ghost writer been employed to do the job. It’s a book from the heart by a passionate fan who knows his subject intimately, and as such I would have no hesitation in recommending it to any true music lover regardless of the genre you like – you will identify with much of what’s in these pages anyway.

There’s a great quote credited to the late James Brown which goes something like `Soul music….if I have to explain it to you then you wouldn’t understand’. Hopefully this book will help you to understand us `soulies’ a little better.

Enjoy!!

5.0 out of 5 stars Love(ly) Feeling, 18 Mar 2008
This is not only a book for Northern and Soul Fans, it is a rich piece of social history.

As a Northern Soul fan from the 70’s it was great to re-live the memories that are so wonderfully described by Reg, an ordinary man with an extraordinary passion for the music. It is a little gem, this book. His recollections not only about the music, but the venues and the fashions of the time are so vivid and detailed that it enabled me to experience that `feel good factor’ I had all those years ago. Any true Northern Soul fan’s heart will rejoice with him by reading and sharing his particular story and can reflect upon their own past experiences.

I was once told `you can never go back’. Although we all know we can never return to those halcyon days, Reg will tell you it is still possible to follow your love of this music in the modern era and that many still do. Perhaps there’s hope for me yet….

5.0 out of 5 stars Soul Good, 6 Aug 2008

Reading Reg’s story of a soulful life, and all it’s personal & music filled glory is a happy experience. An easy to understand tale of growing up in the south of England, with it’s many trips up north purely for the music, and people around the music. You are always wondering what will happen in this book, so much so that you will find it hard to put down once you have started. Do not expect a full on ‘records only’ type of reference book, no this is the tale of growing up from a boy to a man while enjoying two of England’s best music happenings, northern soul & caisters/jazzfunk. All the personal memories of people, places & conversations are what this book is about, and by the end you can feel like you know some of Reg’s friends personally yourself! You might recognise similar story’s to some in your own life, and this is what makes you keep on reading this book, as it’s more than just Reg’s life, it’s everybody’s life. And as the man says “You get out of life, what you put in.” Truly Inspiring, cheers Reg!!

5.0 out of 5 stars Heart Warming Memoirs, 1 Oct 2008

There are people that some of the time view life through rose tinted glasses. Our dear Reg Stickings appears to live his whole life in a rose tinted bubble.
Now, this is in no way an insult; many people on the soul scene could do with living their lives in the same way Reg does. I was heart-warmingly stunned by his generous nature, his multitude of friends and his passion for the music he adores.
Like many he started out absorbing the great sound of Northern Soul back in the early 70’s and meandered across the line into the Jazz Funk scene and back again to his beloved Soul.
His book oozes positivity. I can liken him to a jam doughnut! A gooey sickly sweet centred man who leaves sugar on your lips that you just can’t help but lick off before taking another bite!
Not a man to hide his emotions and one who proudly shouts to the world about records some collectors and soul fans joyfully take the piss out of. To Reg, each and every record he owns is another pearl in his big oyster.
We’re taken through sometimes turbulent periods in his life spanning from a young school boy to the well rounded man of substance he is today.
A lot of what he wrote, I saw in myself. From the brushing off of other peoples perception about what clothes you should wear to the out and out excitement of attending his next soul night.
His enthusiasm is boundless and unhindered by egotism – how refreshing! I particularly loved his remark about champagne lifestyles with lemonade pockets. That really sums up my own predicament really and it made me smile. In fact, much of the book made me smile.
He describes his visits to a number of ‘clubs’ over 30 years ago and more, with a vividness not many of us at our age are capable of memory wise, and I’m sure this will help others conjure up their own personal memories and bring smiles to their faces and conversations in the future. Reading between the lines (although this isn’t necessary for the most part because he’s so open) I wallowed in his pride for being part of our wonderful soul scene and indeed for the lifelong friendships he’s made along the way.
I can’t imagine, in a million years, that anyone could say anything remotely negative about Reg Stickings. Even when I phoned him to place an order he was so adorable. He also took the trouble to call me a few days later to confirm that I’d received my package! Caring seems to be Reg’s middle name and he should take pride in that.
This book may not win any literary prizes but in my eyes he’s done something very special of which he should be very proud indeed.
I’ve not met Reg myself but I sure hope I do soon!

4.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 20 May 2008
By Graham Martin “The Hat” (Faversham, Kent UK) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
Written in a highly approachable and personal style that perfectly complements its intimate content, a copy of this should be in every Soul fan’s library and on everybodys coffee table. A book on many levels, you can pick it up and read from cover to cover or, like me, take it a short chapter at a time. Many people have been asked to describe what Soul music is and what the Soul scene is about – many of us give up and say if we had to explain it you wouldn’t understand – Reg achieves the seemingly impossible and entraps its essence in print. Somehow combining a potted history of a whole youth culture with a personal look at a life shaped by music, Reg takes us on an inside ride through the birth and coming of age of this still relatively underground scene – my advice is read it and enjoy.
Graham “The Hat” Martin – DJ
PS Would have given it 4.9 but Amazon don’t let you do that – 5’s are reserved for JRR Tolkien 😉
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story of a Love for Soul – So Real You Can Belive You Where There – Well Done to Reg Stickings., 25 Jun 2008

I found this book an amazing read. I almost felt I was being taken by the hand to a place where we can all say we wanted to be, it’s like when you hear of the stories of love, pain and laughter that people tell and you feel you wish you had been a part of it. Reg has a heartfelt way of sharing his passion for the sounds of soul that so many of us can relate to. We are also taken on a journey of dreams and determination. As I read ‘Searching for Soul’ I found myself back in a time when music was important to so many of us. I couldn’t help but smile as I read through the list of sounds that had slipped my mind, thinking wow I remember that brilliant sound. It made me take out my old records dust them off and chill while I listened. Thank you for sharing your life of music so far……I say so far because I hope there will be more to come. I had tears of sadness and felt the loss of loved ones too. You know you made me think how lucky we all are we could follow the love for music so much easier than some can today…….I guess we have computers and mobiles to thank for that! I take my hat off to Reg he let me in on an experience that I had never been on. Although I was in my teens in the 70s and loved music. I never went to Wigan or the wonderful places the story takes us through but I feel that I have been there, even smelt the blood sweat and tears and felt that talc on the bouncing floor….through the eyes of a person who has such a passion for his music which he can relate to chapters of his life like I do with a photo album. Thank you for sharing your story told with good honest passion.

One more thing to add you are an encouragement to everyone who has ever been told, and people yet to be told, that they will not do well by our wonderful education system! For someone who can openly admit that reading and writing have been a struggle and to go on and achieve this book you are truly AMAZING – well done.

A brilliant read that I couldn’t put down – Thanks for the tears, love and laughter.

Elaine – John’O’Groats – Scotland – If you have not read this yet – go on treat yourself


93 Responses to “Book Reviews”

  1. 1. KAREEM BLACK Says:

    Hi Regs,
    Your book is the first book I read about the Northern Soul phenomenon and I want to say that I really enjoy this book because instead of focusing only on the source the singles and all the cult with this wonderful music I just realized that there is also some great friendships behind all those brillant memories that you took a pleasure to share with you. Now I think I am really lucky to read your book as my first reading about the subject. I think we can’t dream of a better initiation because you collect all the records you heard on the clubs where you used to go and it was some precious infos for a newcomer like me that’s why I want to salute you and sending you my best regards from the froggies area. …and many thanks for the dedication soulbrother. Wish you all the best amd much love as it is always with this music…..Kareem Black one of your soulie friend in France….

  2. 2. Tony Matthews QVRM Says:

    Reg I remember how excited you were when the book was launched , good to see it’s still doing well , it’s an essential soulful read.
    Thanks for including me in your top DJs and remember
    “I’ll always love my mama”
    Regards
    Tony

    Thanks Tony for your kind word’s all the best Reg .

  3. 3. Gill Pearson Says:

    Hiya Reg – I’m one of the GND crew from Caister – short blonde one who was dancing at the Northern session! Your set in our van was one of the highlights of the weekend! Just started reading your book and it is brilliant – has brought back so many memories for me – the clothes the music – bloody well done you for all your hard work!! Will be checking out the Northern tunes you listed that I am not so familiar with! Love to you and your family! Gill.

    Thanks Gill it was one of the highlightsof my weekend as well.

  4. 4. Mike Says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed the book,read it cover to cover on the first day and then again on the second week, it evoked so many memories although the clubs I went to were down south ,the incidents , fashions,football brought back so many good times from my youth, so off to Whitby to relive it. ktf Mike

  5. 5. Phil Says:

    hi reg,what a fab read your book is,read it twice in three days.Another two freinds bought it too and both loved it.I was made up to see you on my wedding video at pontins prestatyn,hopefully you enjoyed our wedding as much as we did,unfortunately i didnt know you then to be able to thank you in person, for giving us such a great insight of your life.Look forward to reading your next book if you realease one,many thanks phil.

    Wow What can i say Phil so please that you enjoyed the read it’s comments like this that made the seven years of writing it so worth while so thank you and what a wedding that was i loved it mate on the website you can see the tv doc and hear all the radio interviews its see what you think..
    all the best Reg

  6. 6. Michael Says:

    Hi Reg its Michael here loved your book…….Awsome days going to the twisted wheel in manchester…oh those heady days of youth great music and lovely people……..everythings so insular these days …..we need to get back to the reason why soul was listened to ….to bring people together no matter what colour race or creed …its an attitude that will always be in me ….keep the faith lolmxx

  7. 7. RDL "review monkey" Says:

    5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it…thanks Reg!, 14 Aug 2011
    (Staffordshire, UK) –
    I met Reg whilst holidaying in Tunisia, he is one of the nicest chaps I have met. I’m not really into soul music, however I was interested to read about Reg’s experience on the music scene and how he came to have some rare records and how he went about getting them. Also, the book has an undercurrent of lessons in life and can really evoke emotions that we can all relate to when we have experienced hard times. Well done Reg.

  8. 8. Michael Says:

    5.0 out of 5 stars Little Reg, Big Heart, Massive Soul, 9 Dec 2007
    By Mr. Michael Wren “Northern Mick” (UK) – See all my reviews
    (REAL NAME) This review is from: Searching for Soul (Paperback)
    Here is a book that, by rights, shouldn’t exist. Reg, the author, doesn’t find reading and writing easy but knew he had a story to tell. So, through a seven year long process of handwriting his thoughts, dictating them to friends and family who then typed it up, we have this marvellous insider’s tale of a not so ordinary man in an extraordinary music scene.

    Thanks to the way it was written this book has a unique style akin to listening to a seasoned storyteller. You don’t notice as you turn each page keen to learn what happens next. What happens next is each stage in the evolution of a undergound music scene that is as popular today as it was thirty years ago, and still populated by the same people (and their kids). The wonderful life affirming dance music that forms the backbone of both the Northern and Southern Soul scenes in the UK are the stuff of life for Reg as he, a Southerner (along with his best friend Yogi) grows up with the Northern Soul scene then learns to love the Southern scene in equal measure. He takes us through his highs and lows with laughter and tears as he balances his responsibilities as a husband and father with his passion for his music, those ever so precious records and his soul mates.

    Those that are familiar with the UK soul scenes will love this story as they spot those names and places that also mean so much to them. Others will simply love it as a story of a life well lived while following an irresistable passion.

    Finally, I must declare my interest. I moved down from the North of England to the apparently soulless South in the early 90’s only to find a few years later that Northern Soul was alive and well in the shape of Reg and Yogi’s soul nights in Hemel Hempstead. Both Reg and Yogi made me very welcome and have become two of my favourite soul mates. A soul night without little Reg’s big smile in the middle of the dance floor is a night not complete. Read this book and get to know him too.

  9. 9. dylanfan Says:

    5.0 out of 5 stars surprised by so much soul, 19 Dec 2007
    By dylanfan (Hemel Hempstead UK) – See all my reviewsThis review is from: Searching for Soul (Paperback)
    I bought the book because Alan Cottee, a friend and the photographer involved in the splendid cover, recommended it. I wasn’t keen because I don’t like Soul, but having read it, I like Reg Stickings : he writes a wonderful story about the adventure of growing up;about friendships and passions, music and obsessions, danger and disaster,losing and winning yet nearly all the time seeing the funny side, nearly all the time because when he writes about the very sad time he is as moving as he is honest. The brilliance of his narrative, and you can hear his voice as he writes,is that his story is compelling, insightful and blessed with happiness. It is also punctuated with endless lists, meaningless to me,but exciting to read because a man with obsessions,however daft,makes his subject live.
    It may be meant to be about Soul but it is really about Heart and- even more -Love.He proves that every child has within him a dream,and,if you are lucky you can make that dream come true. If you are really blessed you can write a book about it.
    I wonder if I would have enjoyed it more if I had liked Soul. I couldn’t have. It is perfect.

  10. 10. FOG Says:

    Brilliant book !!

    Hi Reg,

    You probably won’t remember me, ( Fog from Newbury ) I met you at the Oxford soul club back in December and bought your book, which you kindly signed for me. Before I go any further Reg I must apologise. As soon as I bought your book I thought that when i’d read it i’d send you a couple of lines to tell you what I thought of it, i’m afraid this is likely to turn into War & Peace…..lol
    Well, i’ve just finished it. I had hoped to have read it sooner but finding the time sometimes isn’t always easy !!. Anyway, what a brilliant read. There were so many times when I thought to myself “Yep I know what you mean there Reg, Yep I know that feeling Reg”.
    Unfortunately I wasn’t old enough for Wigan, as I’m a mere 42 !!, but there have been other venues for me which I’m sure gave me the same buzz as Wigan did for you. Probably one of my favourite venues of all time was the Old School House is Woking, I went there quite regular in mid to late 80’s, always loved the place. It seemed a perfect venue, massive dancefloor which was always packed, great songs being played, record sellers and the dancers were out of this world, and when I read in your book about some dancers use to wear ballet shoes, well some of the guys at Woking use to wear Karate slippers, and these guys were amazing.
    I did have an extra big smile on my face when you mention Jon buck & the Unicorn Club in Leighton buzzard. This was the venue of my first “proper” allnighter Nov 85, and i’ve still got the flyer in a scrapbook !!. I had been to a few allnighters before the Unicorn Club but they were on the National Scooter Rallies, but more about scootering in a minute. So, my first allnighter. Well, there had been a Soul night in Newbury ( my home town, and it was great that you mention Jacko Merritt in your book. I only met Jacko a couple of times when I was younger, but he came across as a really nice guy, and many of my fellow Soulies from Newbury still speak very fondly of him ), anyway, halfway through the evening a couple of the “older” soulies came and asked if I fancied going to at allnighter at Leighton Buzzard later that night, they’d hired a coach and still had a couple of places…..so I jumped at the chance.
    Like you, I i’ve always felt that so many “choons” bring so many different memories, and there is one particular track that always brings that night at Leighton Buzzard back. Now, i’ve probably heard a mere fraction of tracks that you have, sometimes I’d hear a track for the first time and think “Yes, I quite like that” and as time goes on you hear it more or you play it more and it becomes one of your favourites, but every now and then you hear a track for the first time and it totally blows your mind and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. That track for me, which I heard for the first time that night at Leighton Buzzard was “Use it before you lose it – Bobby Valentin” Wow what a totally amazing track (but thats just my humble opinion), and to this day I would say it’s still probably my all time favourite.
    And whilst on the subject of Leighton Buzzard, this is how strange life can be. I was introduced to someone for the first time that night, and he’s local to you who I know you’d know him, a guy called Brian De’Honri. Now, this is the strange thing. I was talking to my mum the following day about the allnighter and the people i’d met, and Brian’s name came up in the conversation. My mum said who’s this guy Brian De’Honri you mentioned ? “Well mum, he’s a guy who lives in Watford and I was introduced to him at the allnighter in Leighton Buzzard”. With that, my mum went up stairs and got her wedding photo album. Now, my mum and dad were married in 1963, she started flicking through the album until she came across an old black and white photo of a young lad in long shorts……and it was Brian !! It turns out that Brians younger brother was my mum and dads page boy !! My mum and Brians mum use to be really good friends, but lost touch many years before. So, because of me and Brian getting to know each other, our mums are now back in touch with each other and have been able to rekindle their friendship.

    So scootering. I love the scoots, and the LD looks really sweet. I sold my Lambretta last year (business has been awful and needed the money……..drastic times take drastic measures!! ), but i’ve still got the Vespa and i’m in the process of building a Vespa P200 cutdown with a race tuned 225cc engine. Hoping to get it on the road this year for the rallies. We were all Mods at school and when we left school got into scooters. This was the mid 80’s and the Mod scene was starting to die out but we kept the scooters and kept doing the rallies. This is when I was introduced to Northern soul. After the Mod thing, some people went down the “Scooter Boy” route while others, like me went down the Northern Soul route, and I would say from that day it has played such a positive part in my life. No matter how low I may feel, I know I can stick a couple of Northern tracks on and the mood changes. In fact, my first tattoo was of a broken heart with a scroll holding both sides together, and the writing in the scroll says “Heart of Soul”. Friends have often asked what is the significance of the tattoo, my reply is always the same, no matter how many times my heart may get broken there is always soul music to hold it together…..I know it sounds corny ( I was only 18 when I had it done), but that thought is still with me. My other tattoo is the old Chelsea badge, but after Liverpool’s result against Reading tonight we best not talk about football 😉
    Anyway Reg, enough waffle from me. I loved the book, but there was one big disappointment…..and that was that the book ended . We all led our friends CD’s, DVD and books but I can assure you, your book is staying with me as I know i’d never get it back if I lend it to people !!
    My thought will be with you on Saturday mate.

    Very best regards

    Fog

  11. 11. Spud Taylor Says:

    Spud wrote
    “just read regs book searching for soul, what a great read,reading how reg found his way through the various soul clubs and scenes i found fasinating because it differed so much to my own yet weve all ended up at the same place reading how reg bought his first suit down tottenham high road is a great story yet how he didnt embrace the football club 800 yards down the road will remain a mystery to me ha ha, but what comes across strong in the book is not only regs love of soul but his love of life, and i think that is the main reason why wherever the old bastard goes people love the man and more importantly reg loves people, a great book reg be proud…..spuddy boy”

  12. 12. Paul Lisle Says:

    Paul wrote

    “Hey reg just read the book well done i loved it . being a soulie you jump into the pages because most of the book mirrors your own life growing up loving and living this thing that is soul music , the laughter and tears that come your way are all there , brill . I hope we can meet up one day if not at a soul do , Anfield will do, Come On You Reds . Cheers Reg”

  13. 13. Peter Redfern Says:

    Peter Redfern
    Subject: Book and Bridge
    Reg,
    Really enjoyed your book – the perfect summer read and lots of lists!
    I noticed you are from Hemel, well the company I work for are building the new bridge by the Kodak building – so when you see the bridge go up remember it was estimated and sold by a fellow soul fan.
    Cheers
    Pete

  14. 14. Carole Jackson Says:

    Hi Reg

    My partner and I were in London over the Bank Holiday weekend. We went to the O2 Dome and ‘did’ the British Music Experience. I was most offended that there wasn’t a trace of soul in any of the dispays (motown was mentioned briefly). However, I did find your book in the shop afterwards!

    I’ve just finished it – what a great read. I enjoyed every page of it. Thank you for putting into words what so many of us were priviledged to live and love.

    Hope to meet you one of these days

    xxx

    Thanks for the lovley book reviue Carole i hope to meet you two one day xx

  15. 15. Stiliyan Says:

    Stiliyan Loveandhappinessmusic
    Hello from Bulgaria Reg 🙂

    My name is Stiliyan & first of all I’m a music lover & have my own independent music & culture label Love & Happiness Music.
    The music & promotin is Soul, Jazz, Funk, etc.
    Apart of it I’m a music selector and I’m playing only vinyls.
    I’ve grow up in a music family & my father (R.I.P.) showed me the way of music, playing for me artists like: Otis Redding, Wilson Picket, Ray Charles, Solomon Burcke, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, James Brown & the list goes on & on.
    Nowadays I’m trying to educate the people in Bulgaria playing those kind of music from: Motown, Motorcity, ABC & many other labels.
    At the moment I’m reading your book & I like it a lot! The book was presented to me by my close friend Perry Louis from Jazzcotech Dancers, London.
    Thank you for the real stories, things & people in it & I really hope that one day you & others from that time will bring back the time of Cali, Storch, Top Rank, Wigan, etc.
    Best regards & keep it real!

    Stiliyan

  16. 16. Sharon Says:

    This is a must read for ALL music fans. It was a great read, funny, sad, it had it all!! The way you described the many places you have visited on your “weekenders” made me feel like I was there with you. Brilliant!! Loved all the stories Reg, only met you a few weeks ago but feel I’ve known you all my life. Reading Searching for Soul made me play all the Motown & soul “choons” that I love. Keep smiling! xx

    PS – don’t forget my T-shirt ;-))))

    Thanks Sharon so pleased you liked the read.
    Reggie Byrd tee sheart on its way xx

  17. 17. Alun Champ Says:

    “Hi Reg. I’m just back from a week away in Nice, in the South of France. I finally found time to properly read ‘Searching For Soul’ – what a book! I was sat on the balcony with a beer, got to page 108 (or something) and it’s suddenly like a list of my best mates – Pete Collins, Tony Matthews, Roni, Geoff Green, Marcus, Blowey. Wahey! We must hook up again sometime mate. Alan

  18. 18. Andrew Schreiner Says:

    Subject: Greetings
    Hi Reg,
    You won’t know me personally but having read your book (which was brilliant by the way) there are so many parallels in our lives of which music has played such a massive part. I really enjoyed the book and Yogi sounds like a top fella! The soulies you mention in the book are my kind of people…………people who enjoy the music and live for the music.

    Music is my santuary, music is my life (Gary Bartz), and that’s how I would sum myself up. I bought my first record at 9 years old and haven’t stopped collecting music since and never will. It’s just the lack of space Reg mate, but I’ll always find a home for music! I maybe going to Caister in September so may see you there.

    Thanks for taken the time to read my message and thanks again for offering me and many other soul music lovers a real insight into the Northern Soul scene :))

    Best Regards

    Andy

  19. 19. Martin Goodyear Says:

    Hello Reg… Thanks so much for arranging the book, and for the message to Karen, she was touched to say the least. I have to tell you mate, I was absolutely glued to your book, it was excellent. I was visiting Germany and made a brief stop to the UK to visit my family. I picked up your book from Simon, but I didn’t open it until about Thursday of last week. I read a few pages lying in bed that night and I was hooked. The next day I flew back to Canada, via Heathrow and Chicago. I slept in the terminal at Heathrow Friday night, but only actually slept for about an hour, the rest of the time I was reading your book. I finished it by the time I reached Chicago and what a brilliant read it was.

    Many of the places you mentioned in the book I know of course, being a Hemelite and growing up their all my childhood and early adult life. I am 48 now, so a few years younger than you, nevertheless I was able to relate to everything you were talking about. I was not heavily into the Soul scene myself, but did love the music all the same. In fact I tuned in to channel 53 of my Sirrius Satelite Radio (Soul Town) as soon as I got into my car at the airport on Saturday night. They were playing Stevie Wonder when I tuned in and then played a couple of tracks I am sure you will remember, Four Tops (Baby I Need Your Lovin) and First Choice (Armed and Extremely Dangerous) I had a great time singing along in the car and they took me back to my disco days. I remember the OK Chicago Disco at the Pavillion in marlowes, perhaps a little after your time, but I do remember some’Soulies’ doing the moves of Northern Soul around 1973/1974.

    Your mate Yogi and I have crossed paths twice, but he probably doesn’t remember me. First was when we were both part of the Hemel ‘It’s a Knockout’ team. we played Stevenage and Milton Keynes. I have pictures of the team when we went to Germany with the team, and Yogi is right there with me. Second and probably more important to me, was when we were both sitting in the lobby of Schroff in Maylands Avenue. We were going after the same job and waiting for our interview. I got the job and I still work for the same company today 26 years later !! Small world eh! I am so grateful to Yogi for not getting the job..haha My life would have been much different and I would never have moved to Canada, so tell him thanks.

    Karen is heading back to England herself in a couple of weeks and intends to read the book then. I am sure she will enjoy it as much as I did.

    Thanks again Reg, great story.

    Take care mate

  20. 20. Adrienne Tuck Says:

    Well Reg what can I say, you had me hooked from the very first sentence.
    I only met you the day I purchased your book and got to know you a lot over that weekend where we met , but now I feel that I have known you all my life. So many emotions both highs and lows. I know that your mum and dad are looking down on you with big smiles, full of pride for everything you have achieved. Your are an inspiration to many people, not just soulies but also those who have academic difficulties, you have shown that you can do anything if you put your mind to it and work hard to achieve it. It has also educated me more to the soul scene and my knowledge and love of the music is now much greater, as is the playlist in my ipod, although the bank balance is a little lighter from purchasing tracks, but I’m sure itunes are very grateful lol.

    The book definately deserves a 5 star rating!!!!

    Very proud to be one of probably thousands of Reggies Birds
    Looking forward to seeing you at the next caister weekend
    Lots of love, Adrienne x x x

    P.S will now be passing your book over to hubby to read

    WOW THANKYOU FOR THIS WONDERFULL BOOK REVIUE ADRIENNE A TEAR JUST TRIKCELD OF ME CHIN XX

  21. 21. DAVE VJ Says:

    Dave VJ
    Hello Reg hope all is well. Thank u for writing your book. Its a great source of escapism and entertainment mixed with a great musical educational slant. May u sell many more

  22. 22. Tony Burdaky Says:

    Tony Burdaky

    Hiya pal,sorry not been in touch ,all work no play ,you know wot i mean ,just finish ure book matey , i know re gonna say wot took u so long ,wel im not a reader , kept pickin it up and putting it down , anyway , this weekend i started from the beginning and read it all the way through and wot a read , ure a diamond reg with a very understanding wife in Debs , shes a real trooper , u giv to people spmething that doesn’t cost a button , and thats friendship reg , wud luv to meet up, with some of ure friends from the book , me and yogi wud av a gud conva , wot with him bein a blue boy and me a red devil lol , and being brought not far from each other , if prestatyn is not on in march ,wud luv to bring ure adopted mancs down to caister weekender , u will av to let me know reg , hope to c you in blackpool this weekend , ifnot , k t f and keep on dancin reg , its wot keeps us young lol , take care pal , soon x

  23. 23. shaun & sharon mcgarry Says:

    As soul fans we found ” searching for soul” a brillant read and once you get started you can’t put it down!!!!! Brought back so many happy memories, it made us laugh and cry. Thanks for sharing your life with us, soul man Reg!!! x x x

  24. 24. Lenny Fisher Says:

    Oi Oi! My name is Lenny. I am 56, and met Reg about four years ago at a soul event The Barnet Summer Soulstice.
    Just like Reg, I struggle with reading, and I am a useless speller. I can read, but cant seem to remember what I have just read. (just the bloke to do a book review, I can hear you say!!) I think it is because my head is so full of soul tunes and lyrics, there is no room in there for the written word.
    I shared the passions of foot ball and soul music just like Reg in the 70’s,and i follwed WestHam from the age of 10, for 30 years, up until the tv and money men priced me out from going.
    Unlike Reg I didn’t do the Northern Soul scene he wrote about in his book, because if I wasnt watching, i was playing football. I know I would of loved it though, from the way he described his experiences in the book.
    I think I know the reasons why he had to write his book. He had to just try and share the thrills he gets from the sounds of soul music and wants everybody else to feel as good as he did. The thing is, I think, if you don’t feel it on the dance floor…you don’t feel it. But if you do, there is nothing like it. If you are like us ‘soulies’ as Reg calls us…it is infectious.
    Reg is a buyer of records, I never was. I just collect them in my head. The dates, places, times and conversations and the list of records in his book…what a memory the man has!! I cant remember names or song titles like he can. But as soon as the DJ drops a tune on a deck and I have heard it before..my feet move and a grin appears on my face..and I remember the lyrics. Perhaps us Soulies have a sixth sence in that way..I don’t really know.
    Reg writes in his book about the clubs and bands he went to see, for me the Cali was the best. All the top acts went there back in the day. He writes of his times at Caister and I never miss…they just get better and better.
    Reg writes about his kids not being into the music…my three Love it and are all coming to Caister in May with their ol’ Man…How good is that?!
    Reg writes about travelling around all the different soul events, just like i do…meeting lovely people everywhere you go, its just a joy. He writes about his dancing in the book, and for me it is just the best thing about soul music.
    The music takes you to a special place, and you feel it, almost taste it, and wear it like a second skin. If you can share that place it takes you to, with a lady, then its bliss! Simple as.
    In his book he wrote about losing is Mum and Dad before the book was finished. That was ashame and I felt for his grief.
    All i can say is…the grief is the pay back, for loving someone so long. Unfortunatly the longer the loving, the harder the grief.
    Reg you wrote ‘you get out of life what you put in’ So true my Friend.
    I have got no favourite artist or no favourite tune, Soul gives me what I call ‘The Moment’ …It is the time and a place when you hear a tune, and you are consumed with it. If you are a Souly like me and Reg, you will know what I mean. Oh Yes…The MMMMMMMMMOMENT.
    I spend the time i have left in this world, collecting as many Moments as i can, up and down the country most weekends. This is only the third book i have ever read. Bobby Moore’s and Trevor Brooking’s Autobiography being the other two. As i have said, i struggle with the reading thing. So for me recommending a book, is abit rich.
    I will just say…Go buy the bloody book, it’s a read.
    Ta Reg, for all the time and effort you put in to write this book.
    See you out on the dance floor, some time, to share a moment.
    Total respect Sir…Nuff said.
    Happy Hammer Lenny.

    PS thanks to my daughter who typed this out on the computor..one finger Lenny would still be here tapping away before the next Caister!!

    Ho Lenny What can i say after reading your book reviue. Outher than “IM FEELING IT SOULMAN LENNY” YES MAN IM FEELING IT !!!!

  25. 25. Billy Dodd Says:

    Billy Dodd from Gateshead Tyne & Wear…..Just read Searching for Soul ….brilliant, brilliant book, I could not put it down, read it from back to front in 2 sessions, always a good sign I’m enjoying a book when The Wife shouts at me …HOY YEE, THAT MUST BE A GOOD BOOK, AS YOU HAVE NOT SPOKEN TO ME IN 2 DAYS ….loads of memories came flooding back when I was reading, I’m now aged 57 and was into the music, clothes and collecting from around the same time as Reg …wonder if our paths ever crossed, I more than likely bumped into Reg or stamped on his feet when dancing at Wigan …Great read …..well done That Smiling Man ……

    Ho Thankyou Billy so please you enjoyed the book and can you apologise to your Wife for me cheers mate
    all the best Reg x the kiss is for the Wife HA HA

  26. 26. Angel Mel Says:

    Angel Mel

    I had the pleasure of meeting Reg and the lovely Yvonny at Dingwalls in November this year, (I was the mixed race girl with bright pink hair) I was outside have a sneaky ciggie and trying to cool myself down after hours of dancing like a woman possessed. I was fortunate to have a lovely conversation with them both and found out that he had written a book, so with my last £10 I purchased the book, got it signed and went off feeling very pleased with myself. It had been another memorable afternoon at Dingwalls.
    At the time I hadn’t heard of Reg, but it was clear from one music lover to another I had to buy the book. I have just finished reading his book Searching for Soul and I have to say what a complete joy it was to read. Reg, Yogi
    and all the other soulies I feel like I’ve known you for years. As a relatively newcomer to weekenders (Southport, Suncebeat), I share your passion and enthusiasm for music I always have. Although the book reflected a different scene you described how it feels to be a part of something so special and be surrounded my loving, happy people who are like a family connected by music. Not only that your book is written with humour, your knowledge of music is outstanding, since reading it I have scoured youtube for artists and now have a huge music wishlist, (thanks Reg). But most of all you are an inspiration to everyone, who believes life is for living, you get out of live what you put in, and never let anything hold you back. I hope very much one day to join you all at Caisters, or another souling hotspot. But for now I would like to offer you my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for bringing so much joy into my life with your book.

    I would like to dedicate this song to you Reg, your wife Debbie, Yogi and everybody that brightens up your life. It may not be quite your thing but the words describe how I feel about your book.

    Lots of love from one soul fan to another Angelmel xx

    You are the universe, ain’t there nothing you can do, if you conceive it you can achieve it, thats why I believe in you Yes I Do!.
    http://youtu.be/-dPf9GQEdes

    Angel what a wonderfull book reviue so please you liked it

    LOTS OF LOVE REG XX

    Angel Mel Whoops sorry Reg I thought it was Debbie. Of course I will add you my pleasure. Thank you very much x

    10 hours ago via mobile · Like..

    Charlie Sodo IF YOU AJUST THE SETTINGS ON YOUR PAGE ILL BE ABEL TO POST MY WEBSITE TO YOU XX

    10 hours ago · Like..

    Write a comment…
    .

  27. 27. RDL Says:

    5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it…thanks Reg! 14 Aug 2011
    By RDL
    Format:PaperbackI met Reg whilst holidaying in Tunisia, he is one of the nicest chaps I have met. I’m not really into soul music, however I was interested to read about Reg’s experience on the music scene and how he came to have some rare records and how he went about getting them. Also, the book has an undercurrent of lessons in life and can really evoke emotions that we can all relate to when we have experienced hard times. Well done Reg.

  28. 28. Sara Says:

    5.0 out of 5 stars what a read 6 May 2012
    By sara soul sister
    Format:PaperbackI have read this book over and over again due to the fact that not only does it give you a great insight into the sights and sounds experienced by Reg, but we are privileged to get an insight into the emotions and feelings of Reg. A very interesting read, thank you Reg xxxx

    Thanks Sara so please you liked the read xx

  29. 29. Peter Heath Says:

    Just finished the book Reg, a great read only trouble was I kept reading it late at night then I would dream I was back at Wigan and wake up knackered in the morning. Haha!

  30. 30. Sue Tydd Says:

    hello Reg, yes you were right! I laughed, cried and remembered all the wonderful times …………… a fantastic book written from the heart from the little fella with the biggest heart and smile on the soul scene…………….. Couldn’t put the book down, eager to find out Reg’s next adventure………………… And he is still out having adventures now xxx love you Reg x

    WoW Thanks Sue i love you too xxxx

  31. 31. Maureen and Ken Bancroft Says:

    Hi Reg
    We just had to say we both really loved the book. We took it on holiday with us and Ken couldn’t put it down and he is not a great book reader, he says he has only read 2 books in his life and this was one of them. I thoroughly enjoyed all your recollections of your fabulous soul journey and looking forward to the next chapter. Was a pleasure to meet you at Walkden, Manchester and hope to see you again ‘smiler’

    Best regards
    Mo and Ken xx

    Hi Guys so pleased you liked the read and thanks for letting me know x

  32. 32. Richard Daly Says:

    1. richard daly – badger Says:

    August 6th, 2014 at 11:22 am e

    Reg ,
    We met at Bognor last week and I bought the book . I read it on the beach in Rhodes this week and thought it was great so well done , it’s a great achievement!
    Best of luck , Badger

  33. 33. Shirley Donkersley Says:

    Well Reg, finished your book and enjoyed it. You certainly have had some adventures over the years, that’s dedication traveling like you did and do. I’m not a record collector, labels mean nowt to me I’m afraid to say and a lot of the time can’t remember half the artists names lol. I do admire your passion and your energy and the book was well written and from the heart. You are a very lucky man to have so many wonderful friends…..and now you have searched and found your soul; long may you continue to enjoy it. KTF my friend xx

  34. 34. Reg Says:

    Thank you so much Shirley hope i put a smile on your face over the Christmass Holiday and hope to see you on a Dance Flore one day xxx

  35. 35. Tracy Marson Says:

    Guess what have finished your book … It was absolutely brilliant … It made me laugh and it made me cry… Feel so sad that your mum and dad never got to read how brilliant it was but I know they would have been so proud of you… It brought back so many memories for me … I would of loved to be one of gang going around with you to all to the soul nights … I feel like I know you so well after reading your book you are one of those guys Who everybody loves you have a heart of gold reg …. Thank you so much for sharing your life story I did not want to get to the last page just wanted it to go on and on … Is there any chance of a book number two lol xx

  36. 36. Reg Says:

    So please you liked the read Tracy and maybe we can grace the dance floor together soon xxx are you comeing to prestatyn ? xx

  37. 37. eamonn leightley Says:

    had the pleasure of meeting reg at prestatyn , had a great chat with him and felt if i had known him years , if you havnt met him read the book you to by the end of the book think you have known him years !! great down to earth book.

  38. 38. Reg Says:

    Paul Fisher (Lord Nelson Hotel)
    24paul09@gmail.com
    2.120.67.144

    Submitted on 2015/05/22 at 8:15 pm

    Brilliant pictures Reg, great site & loved reading your book mate ,found it inspiring, fun & rewarding too , brought the atmosphere & music to life .

  39. 39. Reg Says:

    Thanks Paul so please you enjoyed the read !!!

  40. 40. Ray Pittson Says:

    Pick up this book and smile from cover to cover I was not into the northern scene but it took me back to the days in the 70te’s I was clubbing in and around London Well done Reg looking forward to next part

    Thanks Ray so please you liked it.
    I GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS !!!

  41. 41. Wendy Says:

    Hi Reg
    Thank You for 2 things
    1)I read your book on the way home from Blackpool to Bournemouth (thank you for the words you wrote in my book you’ll understand how much that meant in a mo)I didn’t like it Reg I Loved It!! I’ve always felt I missed something big being born too late but now I feel I lived it with you and haven’t missed anything the soul still goes on
    2) I suffer with very low self confidence and paranoia (long story), Fri I got up to dance someone looked at my feet and smiled, I sat down, Sat I got up to dance I sat down, Sun found the act I put on and let my feet follow my heart, I see you dancing and can see your soul, then you talk to me and say you like my dancing.
    WOW!!! Reg has seen some of the best dancers ever and he liked my dancing from now on when I have a moment I will remind myself of what you said and every dance is for you.
    I really hope our paths cross again I’m sure they will friends are forever even if you’ve only met them once
    Love
    Wendy

  42. 42. Reg Says:

    WoW Thanks for this book reviue Wendy and to say your exactly my cup of tea is an under statment .
    love yer lots Reg xx

  43. 43. Reg Says:

    One Response to “Photos”
    1. read the book..great read Says:

    October 20th, 2017 at 8:10 am e

    hi reg..got your book…just finished reading it…loved it
    got it f rom a trader at my local boot fair in stoke-Newington
    guy was selling books and records…have seen him and his wife, at the mascara bar…stoke-Newington…London
    hosted by jonathan dabner…stepping out, and back to back radio , Friday mornings , from 10 am till 12 am….been back on mod scene since 2012
    still love modern jazz, r n b, bluebeat and of course soul music…like you have a great circle of friends on the scene…matt king

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