The Tamla Motown Appreciation Society

Our great friend, Robert Nicholls, has added his memories of The Tamla Motown Appreciation Society of which he was an original member.


"Sometime in 1964 I joined Dave Godin’s Tamla Motown Appreciation Society (TMAS) of the UK although I have long since lost my TMAS membership card and other insignia. The membership badge was a white pin-on disc imprinted with “Tamla Motown Appreciation Society” in large red letters with the phrase “Swinger & Friend” in a semicircle around the top...."

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  • I am currently putting a booklet together about the TMAS's reception(s) for the Motown Tour in '64. I am particularly interested in the one at the Bear & Ragged Staff pub in Crayford, Kent - is there anyone out there who attended please? Thanks.

  • Hi Rob, just discovered your page on the Mod Generation (which we joined one drunken night) and really enjoyed reading your memories of the TMAS of which we were also members.  You may remember us, we are John and Barbara and as far as we can remember the only couple.  We watched the video of the The Sound of Motown and saw your still photo (I'm the girl in the seat behind you).  It was great to re-live the old memories of the society.  We also enjoyed some great Sunday afternoons in Dave's black bedroom listening to some very rare records from Dave's fantastic collection.  We still have all our old TMAS magazines and we're mentioned in a couple of them, in fact Dave and Mick Paige came to our wedding in Loughton in 1967 (still together 46 years in June, must be our good taste in music and partners).  Do you remember the get together at - I think Kennington at the house of the guy who ran the Irma Thomas fan club.  Well, John was designated to pick up Irma Thomas and Doris Troy from their hotel in his beat up old consul (which he paid £25 for).  He picked up Irma ok but Doris Troy refused to travel with her ("I'm not geting in that car with that bitch").  Irma was not impressed with the car, I think she expected a limo. However, it was a memorable night but then there were so many.  The first time I got an invite was to EMI studios to see the Supremes and that was when I asked Dave if John could join as I was not keen on going on my own and we were both surprised to see the society was male dominated.  We have very fond memories of the TMAS members and have some old photos of these get togethers (unfortunately not all of them and the photos are black and white and small).  We also still have quite a few LPs and EPs signed by the artists when we met them.  I do have a picture of me (Barbara) with Marvin Gaye and it's been blown up and hangs on the wall and this is one of my prized possessions.  We have many fond memories of that era and it was a pleasure to read your aticle, keep the faith, regards John and Barbara (we were John McNally and Barbara Wetherell).

    • W O W ! 

      More later, meanwhile check:

      Motown Revue on RSG

    • Wow, again. I feel like I’ve been reunited with old friends. That’s you Barbara in the light shirt sitting behind me is it?  The tall bloke on my right is my mate Mel, it irks me that I can’t remember his surname.  In truth my memories of TMAS don’t extend much beyond what I have been able to write down. Did you attend the Motown concert in Finsbury Park?  I’m so annoyed that I can’t find my set of autographs in my booklet—I think they must have signed inside the program of the Finsbury Park Motown concert.  I’d love to see your photos, esp Barbara with Marvin Gaye.  Might it be possible to upload it on this site—or I could send you my email address.  You have a lot of valuable memorabilia and some great stories to tell, e.g. Irma Thomas and Doris Troy. Does Stephen Hughes of themodgeneration know about you?  An article featuring your memories with illustrations (the TMAS magazines that mention you, photos, etc) by you would be great.  Incidentally we used to scoot over to Loughton from Enfield, going to the coffee bars on the high street.  You may have noticed that I have other articles on the modgen site.  Very gratifying to hear from you both and know that we have connected over this period of years.

    • Hi Rob, thanks for your reply.  Stephen Hughes doesn't know anything about John and I, you were the only one we contacted.  We will try and dig out the photos and see if they scan ok (John will do this at work next week) and if successful will e-mail them so please can we have your e-mail address.  There's a lot we've forgotten but as there are two of us it makes remembering a bit easier.  Have a good weekend, John and Barbara

    • My email is , I teach at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas in the Caribbean, hence “”  With you permission, I’ll contact Stephen Hughes and let him know about our conversation.  Dave Godin has become quite a legend in Mod circles and the memories of folk who knew him well, would be eagerly read. 

      On another note, were you Blue Beat fans at all?  I was instrumental in the release of a Mod Ska album on Trojan.  Me and John Waters helped with the selection and I wrote the extensive liner notes about London club life in the early sixties.

      It’s only five quid on Amazon

  • you wouldnt get away with the swingers and friend badge nowdays

    it would be a strange club do

  • That was some deal. As well as incredible music there was a lively couple swapping scene too. Did the Mods bring along the keys to their GS's and GT's and put them on the middle of the table ha ha.
    • Dave Godin is reputed to have coined the phrase. I have to say that personally I hate the term. there are three kinds of Soul music - Good - Bad - and indifferent! In my opinion the 'Northern Scene' is far too elitist and has done more harm than good to Soul music.

      Soul music has struggled for many years and it is a shame that the 'Northern Soul Scene' cannot embrace Soul music as a whole. Good Soul music deserves to be heard - there is little enough about these days!. Wouldn't it be great to hear the likes of Eli Paperboy Reid and Sharon Jones alongside Darrell Banks and Frank Wilson.

      Back in the day sixties Mods were open to all types of Soul music whether it be from Memphis via Stax or Detroit via Motown along with a good helping of Blues, Ska and R&B just for good measure.

      I am not overfamiliar with the current Mod scene but that too seems to embrace music in much the same way.

      How much richer Soul music would be if the Northern Scene were as catholic in their tastes!!

    • There is definately a good variety of sounds played at mod clubs today but a lot of it is from the same era.  It would be great to hear more new stuff - some does get played, in fact it's usually through dj's from Friday Street and Melting Pot that I hear about new soul acts - but some places wont play anything outside the accepted time zone.
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