Jim Tang - Dreamscape Flyer designer & Adrenalin Corporation Promoter
Jim Tang was a friend of Murray from Dreamscape and designer with his brother of many of the early Dreamscape flyers. He was also the promoter behind the Adrenalin Corporation parties which were held at the G-Spot, Blandford amongst other. He also promoted the recent 20th anniversary Dreamscape party. Below is his story especially focusing on his memories of Dreamscape....
A lot has been said and written about the tragic death of Murray Beetson founder of Dreamscape ESP.
This is my story about a incredible, witty, charming and very clever guy and who was also my friend.
I thank you for reading my story.
It was the summer of 91, that my brother Will and I decided to set up graphic design company. He had just finished uni at Reading studying Graphic design for the past 4 years and moved back to Birmingham,
I was working as a mortgage adviser for Abbey National at the time and I had been going to the free parties around the Oxfordshire area, hosted by Circus Warp, Spiral tribe and DIY.
These parties were similar to the early Sunrise and Biology parties where you met at a service station on the M25, usually South Minn's and waited for a phone call to tell them where the party was.
The Oxford parties were organized by travellers and hippies, again same principle, we would meet up at Pear Tree service station and wait for a phone call, to tell us where the party was. Then it would be a game of cat and mouse with the polices, driving around for hours in a convoys, sometimes up to 200 cars in a convoy looking for it.
It was a very clever strategy the organizers did to avoid the police. Sometimes there could be up to 4 different convoys going in different directions at one time, only one of the convoy was going to the site, as the rest were dummies and decoys, until the time was right to let them know that the party had started.
This gave the organizers time to set up the sound system and get a reasonable number of ravers there so the police couldn't break it up. It meant that for some ravers driving around most of the night looking for other ravers and hoping that someone knew where the rave was. But that was the whole buzz about finding the party what made all that effort worth while, and when you eventually found the party it would be in a field a barn or old warehouse.
This was before the criminal justice bill had come in to force, so there wasn't a lot the police could once the rave had started and with maybe over a 10,000 ravers there, the situation was then too big for them to break up without causing a riot.
The most famous of these free party was Castle Morton in the Great Malverns, which was attended by over 500,000 ravers over the Easter weekend.
Castle Morton is common land, which meant anybody had the right to be there as the land was not owned by anyone. I heard about it on Sunday afternoon and a group of us jumped in our cars and drove up to the Malverns. The police had a roadblock around the common trying to directing traffic away from the common, but with such a large area it was a impossible task for them.
When we got there, it was a biblical sight, with over 30 different sound system from up and down the country and if I remember, I'm sure there was about 3 massive tents there, I mean these tents were big and any licensed promoter would have been proud to have these at their ravers, they could have held over 5000 people in them.
The music at the free parties were slightly different to the licensed parties. It was mixture of techno, jungle, house and tribal beats. It wasn't like the hardcore at the licensed raves. Loads of the more well know DJs came down that weekend after finishing their sets at the clubs and raves, I remember seeing Top Buzz, Grooverider, Mickey Finn there. Easygroove was always a regular at the free parties and MC Conrad Pre LTJ Bukum years started his career there. Interesting fact about Conrad was he was in a group called "Silver Bullet" who done a few tracks in the early 90's called "20 seconds to comply" and "bring forth the guillotine" it used the Robocop sample.
It was the winter of 91 and I knew a girl who use to go to all the free parties and she was also a ticket agent for Pandemonium at the time, They had Andromeda 2 at Telford Ice rink on at the time, so she asked if I wanted to go. This was my first licensed rave. It was a massive sell out, the venue was licensed for 3000 but over 6000 turned up as loads of forged tickets turn up, The venue was a roadblock.
I queued up for 2 hours to get in, it was a freezing November night and I all I remember was getting into the venue there was a massive rush of hot air and seeing over 3000 ravers dancing and buzzing their tits off was a sight that would change my life forever. This is what I wanted to do, I wanted to be part of this scene, I wanted to be involved in this youth culture which changed a generation of peoples lives. I still got the video and there is a clip with me dancing my tits off. When I got home the next day I was still buzzing and I talked to my brother about how we could be to be part of youth culture movement.
I was not into djing and I had no experience in promoting but what I did have was a very talented brother as a graphic designer and I could blag, being a mortgage adviser.
And the Adrenalin Corporation was born.
I had met the Pandemonium boys Paul Archer and Paul Dawkes, before Telford about becoming a ticket agent for future event and I had mention that my brother was a designer and they said they might be interested in what he could do. After the massive success of Telford, Pandemonium had a club lined up to do in Wolverhampton called Cleo's, and that was the first flyer we done for them but the club night never actually went on, as the club pulled out at the last moment.
So they had another club in Willenhall, just south of Wolverhampton call Jay J's with a legal capacity of 600. It was over 2 floors and had a balcony over looking the dance floor and DJ box. It was a proper Sharon and Tracey club, with loads of mirrors and sticky carpets. The club became a instant hit and every week attracting over 1000 ravers. The most memorable night was when Carl Cox was there, it was a real roadblock night with well over 500 ravers locked out.
Jay J's was very similar to Shelley's in Stoke where Amnesia House had their club night a legendary club until the 94 when the council decided to build a bypass through it and it was knocked down. It was through Pandemonium that we met the late great Mickey Lynas from Amnesia House, they had been doing raves at Coventry and Donnington and Mickey had a idea that he want to do a rave for 15,000 and get married on stage, that ended up as the Book of Love.
One of our proudest moment was coming out of the Book of Love in the morning and of the 13 different flyers been handed out that morning 9 were designed by us. I will maybe go into to Amnesia House another time
We then got The Edge formally know as the Eclipse again I will save this for another time, but a very interesting chapter though, as we designed the CD cover for Virgin for the Dance till Dawn Eclipse compilation. Looking back on all the promoters is is funny how they were all connected in one way or another.
Then came Quest another big coup for us as it was the biggest club night in Wolverhampton run by Gerald Bailey. The club itself was on the 1st floor of a massive building on top of a bar and I think a snooker hall. it legally held 900 but often had double that, It was big function room owned by Indians and there would Indian Weddings, birthday parties and Christening there.
Many of times I would arrive early to find them packing up from a wedding reception, while 1000 raves were outside queuing up waiting to get it. At that time we were designing for well over 8 different promoters on a regular basis, with over 10 different flyers a month
It was at Quest I first met Murray, I had seen Murray around at other raves but never really talked to him. but we got talking and he said that he had got a big project lined up and asked if we were interested in designing his new flyer, Hell yeah. So we talked on the phone a lot and then he came down to our studio. The project was a 2 day event with camping for 20,000 people and he was going to call it "Woodstock 2"
Murray was a larger than life character and had that charisma and aura about him that the minute he walked in a room everything stopped. The moment he walked into our studio there was that instant click between me and my brother and himself. It's hard to explain but it was like we knew him all our life, Something spiritual ( I sound like a hippie now).
Working for Murray never seem like work it was always like a friends get together for a pint, and catching up.
Murray went over his plans for Woodstock 2, He had the venue Fen farm in Milton Keynes. It was going to be licensed for 20,000 over the weekend starting Friday night and finishing Sunday morning, he wanted it, to be more like a festival than a rave. Nothing had ever been done on this scale before. He had the line up, a date and a venue and that was it.
He hadn't been granted a license yet but that's nothing unusual as even today you sometime you might not get license until the day of the event if it's a new event. When you first apply for a entertainment license you have to prove to the council that you are fit to have one and and your track history is good, and you have put into place all the health and safety conditions. You are always fighting against the council parish as they never want this things going on at their doorstep, you also have to pay for the police bill and they never want it to go on, even though it means overtime for the force and they look for every excuse from drugs to traffic and public nonsense , to try and stop it.
But once you have been granted a license the following year the tables are turned and it's down to the council and police to prove that you are not fit to be granted the license. Even if there were problems at the event a good lawyer can always turn things around and say that the police weren't doing their job properly.
Murray was always a good listener and keen learner, he would always wait until you finished talking before replying. He always asked our opinion on things on how we would tackle certain problem, he was always had a open minded about things.
He had that charm where, if he was wrong you couldn't help but to forgive it. You just felt sorry for him, he had those small child eyes as to say "I'm sorry". He had the knack of persuading people to drive him everywhere, he didn't mind driving but if there's some else who's willing, let them carry on.
I remember he blagged LTJ Bukum once to drive us down to Newquay as he had a gig on at Barnstaple on that night for the weekend, and he made him pick us up from the Sanctuary , Bukum already had Conrad and his girlfriend in the car already but still picked me and Murray up and then blagged Mastervibe to let us to stay at his, then the next day Mastervibe drove us to Plymouth for another gig and DJ Clarkee took us back to Northampton the following day.
People did things for him because he was just a top bloke to have around and not just because he was a promoter. He not only just socialized with the people in the industry but also the punters who came to his raves.
We went to Scotland one weekend to flyer Rezurrection, Murray volunteered our mate Andy Scofield (Who later went on to marry Stacy, Murray's girlfriend) who did all the merchandise stalls at the rave, to drive, and of course, he did, while me, Murray and my brother was in the back of a people carrier getting pissed. You would be surprised how much beer can be drank in a 5 hours car journey.
When we got there, went in to the gig and then flyered it after the gig. It was about 6 in the morning and we were sitting in this people carrier next to Edinburgh Castle waiting for MacDonald's open so we could get breakfast, we were still hammered, He said I've just got to wait for a call of this kid, he said we could stay round his for a while until we sort ourselves out, I said "do you know him", his reply was "not really, he's on my mailing list and I have spoke to him a few time, but he says it's cool to go back to his, but not til 8 o'clock because his mum and dad don't get up til then. We met this kid a hour later and followed him back to his place and went up to his room, he had the loft that was converted into a bedroom and there was about 15 other spaced out ravers already there, listening to bangin techno, Half a hour later this kids mum pops her head in and asks if anyone wanted a cup of tea, It was so surreal in a room full of Scots whizzing their tits off, listening to bangin techno and talking really fast, I can't understand a word they were saying, but they were a great bunch of lads and I thank them for their hospitality and recommended Scotland to anyone.
After "Woodstock 2" got pulled, Murray lost a lot of money, I must stress at this point that every person who bought a ticket got their money back. We spending more and more time with Murray driving from Birmingham to Wellingborough most weekends to see him, if we weren't out at a rave then we would be in his local the "vivian Arms". This pub was your typical back street old man's pub. But Bob and Norma were great landlords, they would let us have lock-ins and drink and play cards to the early hours. It's funny how events followed because there's a church across the road from the "Vivian arms" and it was quite a big one and we always said how cool it would be to do a rave there, not knowing that in a few years he would have his funeral there.
It was coming to the end of the summer of 93 and Murray needed to get another rave sorted so he could have some finances do NYE, Having lost loads of money on "Woodstock" He went back to the Sanctuary spoke to Tony Rosenberg who owned it to get a date. He blagged Tony into letting him have the venue and would pay him after the rave, he also blagged this printer into letting him have the flyers until after the event, in those days Murray would have 200,000 flyers printed so the print bill wasn't cheap. He said this was make or break for him on this rave, if he didn't pull this one off, then he was going to give up and get a proper job.
It had been 2 years since he was last at the sanctuary and the weeks running up to the rave we were out every weekend flyering, the country got blitzed. "Back to our roots " sold out in 3 weeks, and he could have sold another 3000 tickets. Then Murray did NYE and that sold out just as fast, and the rest is history.
After NYE Murray took 2 months off and went away to Australia to content plate the events of 93. He loved Australia and said he wanted to move there one day, while he was away, work was always at the back of his mind and he was working out his next game plan for world domination. The raves were starting to work again for him and he was back as a creditable promoter.
But no-one had really capitalized on the merchandise market, everyone was doing tapes packs and a few MA1 jackets, and that was it. Murray wanted to go full out on merchandise so we sat down and designed a whole new range of jackets, T-Shirt, sweatshirt, basically everything he could think of that would sell. The idea was to set up a clothing brand to put in the High street and change the design twice a year just like High street brands and not just selling them in independent record shops and mail order.
We designed a separate flyer for the merchandise as well as designing all the clothes, and he made a fortune on it. I remember going to the office (he was still working from home at the time) before Christmas and he had so much merchandise all over his flat with, tape packs and jackets everywhere.
It was the following year, don't ask me how but he managed to blag his printer who had a massive warehouse to build him a office in the corner of the warehouse. So he had his printing there and all his merchandise there as well, and the keys to the whole warehouse to come and go as he pleased.
As Dreamscape grew bigger and bigger, the Sanctuary was getting too small for him, so he was the 1st person to have Rollers next door, the roller skating rink. The 2 main players at the sanctuary that time were Dreamscape and Helter Skelter although there was a great rivalry between the two there was also great respect for each other, David Prattley from Helter Skelter had a fun fair background and Murray's Girlfriend Stacy was also from the same background, so there was a total understanding and respect for each other
Murray felt that he had grown out of the sanctuary and it was getting too small for him and decided he was going to leave it and move down to the west country and do the Shepton Mallet, He has always had a massive following from the west country, Especially the Bristol area, (big up John Nation)
Shepton Mallet was licenced for 6000 but Murray managed to secure the drinks license, in came his local landlord as the licensee, So where before he was just taking the door money now he was taking the drinks as well.
Anyone with a club knows you can sometimes make more money on the bar. He also managed to get the drinks on "sale or return" which meant he couldn't lose. After the event I had to take some of the cash back to the hotel where we were staying, I had £40,000 worth of pound coins in my car, God I didn't think 40 grand could weigh so much.
Even though Shepton Mallet sold out it wasn't brilliant event and had mixed reviews. There were a few problems on the night. Murray had fallen out with Groove connection just before the gig over money and although he had booked, all their DJs, Grooverider, Fabio, Mikey Finn, Jumpin Jack Frost and Bryan Gee none of them turn up and it was left to a local DJ to fill in for them. Dj Dasiy had a wicked night, he was well chuffed at the end of the night as he got paid £600 for the night.
I personally felt Shepton was a bad move, but in my experience with the rave game and having worked with a lot of different promoters, they only have 3-5 years at the top and then it's time to move on. Murray's moto was always "stick with what you know". I think that the bubble had burst but it wasn't completely flat yet. The following year another event was booked for Shepton in March.
Three weeks before Murray died, tickets sales weren't brilliant, it hadn't sold out as quick as they normally do. But I think Murray would have still done alright as he had done the great Houdini act before and I'm sure he would have done it again and to be honest Murray was looking at other things to do as he knew the rave game wasn't going to last for ever.
The cancellation of the March rave was both a mark of respect and also because Dreamscape was now in limbo, without it's great leader, I think tickets sales would have picked up as the ravers would have gone as a mark of respect to the big man. The next rave was booked to be back at the sanctuary on home turf and Tony Delahay his production manager took over the running of it, it was a good rave and loads of old faces turn up to pay their respect. But to me it was not the same, I could tell from the faces of not just friends but the ravers as well that something was a miss. That to me was the death of Dreamscape. A short while later Dreamscape was sold to Steve Foster who used to duplicate all of Murray's tapes. We never did a design a Dreamscape flyer again.
Murray had bought a new Porsche 911 four months before his death. The car situation was full of drawbacks and enigmas. He had to buy if from Birmingham as Northampton did have one he wanted and he didn't want to wait for it. Birmingham said they had one as a customer cancelled their order, so he bought from them and some reason had to register it with my home address. (Don't know why) something to do with dealer wanting it to stay in Birmingham.
He was very pleased and proud as nearly three years early he almost lost everything because of Woodstock.
from day one there was problems with the car, it didn't drive right and had been back to the dealer on several occasions. The last one I remember was that the rear spoiler was not working. The rear spoiler is suppose to come up when you go over 40mph to make the car more stable, but it was getting stuck sometimes and won't go down. I joked about I had a hammer in my car and could always fix it for him. I had a drive in it one day but didn't really like it.
The night of the crash, I was not a round as I was in Hong Kong that week on family business. It was the night of the Tyson fight on pay to view. Murray had arranged for Terry Turbo and Chris from Untied Dance to come down and watch it at his, as he had a big flat screen TV.
Stacy was out with the girls, so she wasn't at home that night. My brother didn't feel like driving to Wellingborough, so he stayed in Birmingham, Andy was busy as well so he didn't go either. They all met up at the Vivian Arms as usual for a quick drink, as the fight didn't start til late. He did have a drink but he was not over the limit. When it was time for them to go back to Murray's, he had asked who wanted to go back with him in the Porsche, but no-one would go with him.
A few of the locals and his cousin all said they would meet him back at his, even Terry and Chris said they would meet him back at his. His flat is about 3 miles away from the Vivian Arms, Once you leave Wellingborogh to go to Finedon where he live there is a long B road for about a mile and then you get to his village.
The whole journey is about 10 minutes. He did this journey everyday. The road going back to his is quite straight and it was a clear night, it was a very cold night but nothing to hinder his driving.
About a mile before his flat on a fairly straight part of this road he was in collision with a old Ford Granada, He either lost the back end of the Porsche or saw the Granada and tried to avoid it, because the front of the Porsche was untouched. But the back end was completely gone. The polices said he was speeding and doing 70-80 mph at the point of impact but the Granada had also been speeding and they said that was travelling about 60-80 mph.
The impact was so severe that bits of his engine was scattered over 100 metres, But the front end was perfect, it was like some got a saw and cut in in half. Now Murray rarely use to wear his seat belt and that night he was not wearing it. Had he been wearing it, it might have been a different story. and Murray is not the smallest guy in the world at 6ft 2 and about 17 stone. Because he wasn't wearing his seat belt the force of the impact threw him out of the passenger side window and he hit his head on the windscreen pillar, he didn't die at the scene but died later that night in hospital.
My brother rang me in Hong Kong on Monday to say that Murray had died, I couldn't believe it. I felt as if the ground had opened up and swallowed me up. I was not due back in the UK until Wednesday and those 3 days were the longest days of my life. When I got back to the UK I went straight to the crash site and paid my respects I went to see him just before the funeral service in the morgue and he didn't really have any marks on him, there were a few bruises on his face but nothing to indicate that he was in a car accident. He looked very peaceful and just as though he was a sleep.
The service was at the church opposite the Vivian Arms and was packed with well wishers, I think about 400 people turn up, and most of the DJs and people in the industry turn up along with family and friends. I can't really remember who exactly who was there, but I do remember see Grooverider, Top Buzz and Easygroove there. and because we followed his coffin into the church and then we went straight to the crematorium after the services, I don't remember seeing that many faces. But there were a few faces who should have been there, weren't. Not going to name any names but that was their choice. When we got to the crematorium the funeral director asked if we would like carry Murray's coffin in for a private services.
So Myself, my brother, Max Murray's brother, Andy Scofield, Tony Delahay and our good friend Mark Smith said yes. But the fat git was too heavy for us to pick him up to put on our shoulders, so we stood next to the trolley and wheeled him in. His coffin went in to be cremated to "Frankie Knuckles - Your Love"
There were lots of "what ifs" and was it Murray's "fate" talked about after his death. Like why was I away that week. Why didn't my brother or Andy go over that weekend. Why would no-one get in the car with him that night. Whatever the reasons are, all I know is I lost a very dear and close friend and the rave scene lost a legend
Things were never the same again our close knit gang slowly all moved away and carried on with our life's and we soon all lost touch with each other. We carried on designing for for another 4 years then we called it a day.
We don't really go out to raves that much, but it's good to see the old face when we do.
I look back at the good times and think that was a era in my life, I will never forget, and very proud to be part of.
That was our time. We were the fab four, we were the four musketeers and we were the untouchables
and I just want to say
LOVE, PEACE AND RESPECT
I miss you man
Flyer designer Biographies go in here
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