Barclay James Harvest Archive

Archive: FOBJH Newsletters

No. 3, October 1977




Dear Friend,

As I write, the British Tour is still in progress, so although I cannot give you any final facts and figures about it, I can say that everything has gone extremely well so far. The general opinion of everyone, band and audience alike seems to be that the shows are "much better than last year", and the extra long period of rehearsals and planning certainly seems to have paid off. The lighting (by courtesy of Ian Walley and Avolites) and stage design (largely arranged by Ian Buxton) has certainly played a great part in making each show a spectacle to remember. The work of Ian Southerington as Sound Engineer is also to be highly praised, although it is important not to forget the less glamorous toil of all the rest of the road crew who, by long hours of hard labour make the whole thing possible, and keep the show running as smoothly as can be expected of any live act.

I’m sure many of you also enjoyed Paul Brett’s expertise and humour, and we give our thanks to him also. (I did tell some of you who wrote in that the support act would probably be "Alphalpa", but this changed shortly before the tour started, and they are now touring with Dr. Hook).

From the club’s point of view, the tour has provided an excellent chance for publicity, and F.O.B.J.H. leaflets have been available at every gig. The results of this are already beginning to show.

I have already met a few of you, and the band have told me that our members have sometimes found their way backstage to meet them. I only wish that my memory was better, because I can’t always remember the names of those I meet! As can be expected, I best remember those of you who write to me a lot. So if you have introduced yourself to me, and I have answered with a blank look, please accept my apologies! It is very difficult for a small brain to hold quite so many names! Anyway, for myself and the band, I can say that it has been a pleasure to meet you, and we hope very much that you enjoyed the concerts.

During this tour, the band have also been making a few appearances in various record shops. The idea behind this is to meet their supporters (i.e. you) and publicise the new album. This have proved very successful, and all parties seem to have enjoyed it.

Bremen Festival

Some of you will already know that Barclay James Harvest were booked to play at the Bremen Festival in Germany during the Summer. However, because of riots, the fact that the stage was set on fire, and the army was called in, they were advised to stay at home.

Another Non-Event!

The band were to support the Beach Boys at an open air concert in Belle Vue, Manchester at the end of July, but this too was cancelled as the Beach Boys decided not to come to Britain after all.

Radio Tour

Before the British Tour, the lads embarked on a radio tour to publicise the new album. Les and Melve visited the Southern Stations, while John and Woolly travelled North. It was not possible to inform you of this in advance, as the whole thing was planned at such short notice, but I hope that some of you received a pleasant surprise when you tuned into your local radio stations.

Forthcoming European Tour

Whilst on the subject of tours, I have to report that the band will very shortly be off to Europe for a few weeks. It was not originally planned that they should tour Europe this year, as it was thought that a second album would be recorded, but considering that the last European Tour was cancelled due to John’s unfortunate illness, it seems only fair to perform there now that they have the chance. Barclay James Harvest do have quite a following in Europe, and this is increasing year by year, so I hope that this tour will make a lot of people very happy. The dates have not yet been confirmed, but they are as follows:

24th October:



27th October:



29th October:



30th October:



31st October:


School of Music

2nd November:


Schowberg Theatre

3rd November:


R.C.M. Belgique

5th November:



6th November:



8th November:



10th November:


Schowberg Theatre

11th or 12th November:



Pans Olympia

"Live" Album

Although arrangements have not yet been finalised, it is thought that the "Live" album which was destined for release in America only, will now be brought out in Britain also. The estimated time of release is Christmas. The tracks on this album will be as follows (not in order):—

Crazy City
Medicine Man
Rock ‘n’ Roll Star
World Goes On
Child of The Universe
Polk Street Rag
For No-One
Hymn For The Children
One Night

"Hymn" Withdrawn

After having been out for about a month, the single "Hymn" was withdrawn by the band in favour of release nearer Christmas. Although local commercial radio stations were giving the record a lot of support, the B.B.C. would not play it, on the grounds that it was too "Christmassy" for the time of year. The band, therefore, wish to thank all those who supported them by buying the single, but feel that it is necessary to concede defeat to the B.B.C., who have so much effect on the destiny of any record, by rescheduling "Hymn" for re-release nearer Christmas.

Tee Shirts

A lot of you have already bought your "F.O.B.J.H" tee shirts, and your support is greatly appreciated. Obviously, at some time, when the funds have recovered from the outlay on these, it will be possible for me to order further shirts featuring a different design. Therefore it would help me to know what sort of thing most of you would appreciate. One member has suggested that the tee shirt should sport a transfer of the band playing live. Another suggestion is to use the swallow/initials design from the sleeve of "Gone To Earth". At the end of this newsletter you will find a questionnaire, on which one of the questions concerns tee shirts. I would appreciate it very much if you would complete this form and send it back next time you write or order something. In this way, I can get an idea of the sort of things you’d like, and adjust accordingly.

Old Programmes

I have just discovered a pile of programmes from the "Octoberon" and "Time Honoured Ghosts" tours. If you would like one or more for cutting up or just keeping please send 2Op for one, or 30p for two to cover post and packing, and they shall be yours. (For European members, price will be 4Op for one, or 45p for two).

Old Singles

I have had a great many letters asking if it is possible for me to obtain the bands past singles and "Early Morning Onwards". I’m afraid I cannot do this. When a record is deleted, the record company destroys all the copies it holds. The only way that you will then be able to get hold of it is through a second hand record dealer, personal advertising or from a shop which still holds some copies of the record. (i.e. by luck!).


Barclay James Harvest — Origin of Name

Another common question is "how did the band come to be called Barclay James Harvest?". I always answer this as truthfully as possible, by saying that no one really remembers. A certain amount of chance was involved, and it is believed that names were drawn from a hat, but further than that, it is difficult to say. The story that was given to the press in 1973, however, was slightly different, but not very close to the truth:— Barclay — because they had aspirations to make some money. James — because its a good name. Harvest — because they all lived at the farmhouse in Diggle at the time.

Enough said!

Origin of the B.J.H. Butterfly

The butterfly symbol wasn’t planned to represent any ideals or such like, as is often thought, but is merely a development from part of the "stained glass window" effect on the first album. Of course, this in no way detracts from any meaning that anyone may wish to place in the butterfly, and it has certainly become an integral part of the whole B.J.H. "cult" (for want of a better word).

The butterfly has changed greatly over the years, from the angular version on "Barclay James Harvest", "Once Again" and "Other Short Stories", to the more flowing representation on "Early Morning Onwards" and the inner sleeve of "Baby James Harvest", until it reappeared on the sleeve of "Time Honoured Ghosts" in the form of the winged woman, which is the design now used on the label of the band’s records.

In 1974, when the butterfly was dropped in favour of the circular motif featuring the initials "B.J.H", there was such an outcry among the band’s followers that it was quickly replaced and reappeared on the next studio album, "Time Honoured Ghosts". It now certainly looks as though the butterfly is here to stay, and followers of the symbol will have wasted no time in discovering its whereabouts on the sleeve of the new album, "Gone To Earth".

Sheet Music and Music Books

A lot of you have had difficulty in obtaining any copies of Barclay James Harvest’s sheet music. I have spoken to Ronnie Madison at R.A.K, who published the band’s music up until 1977, and he has informed me that it is not commercially viable for him to produce a book of B.J.H’s music. Furthermore, he cannot let anyone have copies of the sheet music as this may interfere with copyright and performing rights agreements. Unfortunately, therefore, it is not possible for me to obtain music for you.

July Prize Draw Winners

The results of the July Prize Draw are as follows:— An autographed copy of "Gone To Earth" was won by Member No. 65, Alan Ridealgh of Newcastle.

John’s contribution of an autographed copy of "A Major Fancy" went to Member No. 66, Dave Peachey of Shipston-on-Stour.

Pairs of tickets to see Barclay James Harvest on the current tour were won by:— Member No. 80, Trevor Seddon of Manchester, who was unable to attend and receive goods from the tour as some consolation.

Member No. 84, Glennis Walton, who also unfortunately was unable to use her tickets, so was sent an autographed copy of "Gone To Earth" instead.


Member No. 53, Wendy Freeland of Chessington, who also could not use the tickets, and was compensated, at her request, by an autographed copy of "A Major Fancy".

(As none of the winners of the tickets were able to use them, I can I think be forgiven for wondering if they were such a good idea as a prize. I would appreciate your comments on them).

An extra prize of "Hymn" (autographed) was won by Member No. 27, Caroline Clark of Lightwater, Surrey.

Inter — Member Correspondence

It has been suggested that members of the club may wish to correspond with each other. Anyone wishing to write to other members should let me know, and I will pass on their addresses to interested parties, and vica versa. There may be some delay to begin with, as I will be waiting for addresses to come in, but never fear, I shall not forget you!

Stamped, Self-addressed Envelopes

Although a lot of you remember to send S.A.Es when you write with questions, there are some who forget. It is very important that you should remember as I try to run the club at a minimum profit level so that you get the best possible service for your money. I am always pleased to hear from you; to read your views, ideas, hopes etc, but if you want me to reply, please, please, please remember those S.A.Es! (To members abroad, please substitute International Reply Coupon for S.A.E.).

Equipment Lists

I’ve just had a fresh batch of equipment lists printed, so if you are interested in what the band use to make their distinctive sound, let me know, send off an S.A.E, and I’ll send you a break down of their gear.


Some of you seem to have seen through the weak disguise of the band on a rather ancient single called "Breathless/When The City Sleeps" by Bombadil. Bombadil was a pseudonym used by B.J.H. as were the supposed composers of the songs "Terry Bull" and "Lester Forest". In fact the ‘B’ side of the single is all Woolly — bass as well! Ah well, perhaps that is now best forgotten!!

Special Notes

Thanks to Stephen and Ann Buckingham, members from Cambridge, who so kindly helped me by arranging the translation of hand-outs into French and German, for use on the European Tour.

Help is needed by Adrian Smith, previously of Newcastle, who is looking for digs in the South London/Kent area. If anyone can help, he can be contacted at:— Oerthing Ltd, Cray Valley Works, St. Mary Cray, Nr Orpington, Kent.

It is very probable that there will be some goods left over from the tour, so if anyone is interested in finding out about this before the next newsletter, send a separate S.A.E. marked "Price List" and I will send you details as soon as I know exactly what I can offer.

Having no more to say, I will now finish this newsletter by sending you my very best wishes. Keep up the support!



Top of page

Other FOBJH newsletters

Archive Page

Home Page