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Added 15th February 2024 by The Editor, Alan Wise Project

Featured in the following Online Exhibitions:
Don't Mention The Hacienda - The Adventures Of Alan Wise

Artefact

Photograph
Dougie James Soultrain
2008

Dougie James was born 1948 and we are guessing he was about 60 when this was taken - not sure of origin but we found it in Daily Mirror files.

Dougie James is an essential part of the Alan Wise story. Alan and his Transit van, trading as Wise Moves, got into the music business through roadie services for the Dougie James Soul Train, starting 1976 .

By this time the Soul Train was already big on the northern cabaret circuit and heading for a booking, in 1978, as support for the Jackson 5 on tour. Dougie managed to wangle a supply of discarded Jackson jumpsuits for years after - see John Cooper Clarke interview when it is posted here.

Dougie hired Alan in 1978 for some shifts at a club he was running - Rafters, cellar of Fagin's, on Oxford Road. It was there that Alan met up with Nigel Bagley and Danny O'Sullivan and they all moved on to the Russell Club, working alongside Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus.

But Alan and Dougie remained friends and collaborators for life - sharing flats, in between girlfriends and wives; sharing bets, on everything from horses to roulette wheels and adventures in the music business; and helping each other to dodge the debt collectors. They were a devoted "odd couple" and Dougie was a star turn at Alan's funeral in 2016, four years before his own.

The eulogy at Al's funeral was delivered by another old mate, Steve Hopkins, who started his keyboarding career with the Soul Train and became one of the Invisible Girls for John Cooper Clarke. Steve, who still plays the odd gig as Dr Hoppo, is also on film for this project.

So is Bernard Sumner, who told us: "Alan never drank and Dougie never ate, so between them I suppose they made a normal person."

And so is Beverley Hoyle, Alan's last partner in life. who got her mum a job as Alan and Dougie's cleaner before she moved in herself.

She said: "My mum would have done it for nothing, they made her laugh so much."
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Latest Discussion

“quote from Alan's notes for the book he never wrote:
Dougie James is my dear dear friend. He trained me in every aspect of absurdity.”
21 Mar 2024
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