History & Culture

Determination Inc raises the game

Opposite & Underground

So began our life in Clubs & we called our Club promotions company Determination Inc. Might seem a touch cocky to some in retrospect, but that was how we rolled. Young, hungry & certain we could change Newcastle’s night life for the better.

'The Boat,' a god-awful floating Nightclub for knobends, that sat on the river Tyne from 1983 -2008. An 'icon' of mainstream Geordie tosh, it smelt funny & we hated everything it represented. We set up Determination Inc to directly oppose all that shite.

The Only Way To Bring It

After all our Trent experiences, we were set on bringing a safe, diverse, inspiring & inclusive musical scene to the city & we brought it like a steam train. We weren’t going to let racism, or anything else stand in our way & we weren’t just doing it for a laugh.

Original Rockers membership card.

We were doing it for 3 specific reasons... 

1. To make the world a better place.

2. To put ourselves in a position where we could realise our dream & get our own actual Nightclub.

3. To woo the Ladies.

All three in equal measure, in no particular order.

Copy of the Face, with Monie Love on the front
Bits nuts & extreme..? At times, possibly. Determined..? Definitely.

Perspective

Over the following decades, the evolution of everything else we’ve done in Newcastle, has now given the Rockshots takeovers of the mid 80s some perspective & hopefully made them seem a little less harsh. We’d like to think so anyway.

Just need to rub a touch of this on.

Let’s face it, nobody died, nobody lost a limb or an eye & no animals were hurt during the making of these Club takeovers. A few egos got slightly bruised – yes. But that was about it.

Game Face

The truth of it is, it was a pivotal time for Newcastle Clubland & those two moves were the catalyst, that this city actually needed at the time, to move it's scene forward.

We had game, so first thing we did, was up the publicity stakes & we made a badge (Hey! Original thought!)

Rockshots Shield Badge
The artwork our friend Pete did for the shield badge.

It was like a small metal shield & it had the words ‘The Urban Soul Boys Cannot Lose’ engraved on the back of it. It cost us a small fortune to do, but we did a couple of hundred & gave them to all the right people. It was a simple thing to do but it really worked.

Shield Badge
Our other pal Dave made the shield badges.

Game Masterclass

Attendance compulsory.

Success requires you to be willing to work harder at your craft than anyone else, for a given period of time. Being 'out there' & doing what other people don’t, won't, or can't do to succeed, is known as having game.

She got game - She got game.

So if you want to raise the game, you need game to do that.

For example, the whole... 

‘Our Clubnight copies your Clubnight, lets all pretend we love Motown & we’re Soul Jam for a term’

...nonsense, that swept the city a while back, is not game. Neither is any more recent incarnation of that sketch, irrespective of genre or time period. That’s just copying someone else’s idea. Any one can be a mimic, but you can’t be a mimic & have game.

He got game - He got game - you next..?

You can kid your self you have it & maybe some other people too, but not people like us who think about stuff. No, to really win & be on top, you need your own game & you need game to get it.

Basically, you have to be the guys who come up with the idea for Soul Jam.

(Editor’s note: Jake & Jackie P – The Soul Jammers, pictured earlier, at the beach)

Greyhounds
Okay, we'll give you a clue - they're not jumped-up little greyhounds.

Not the ones who copy them. Having game means being original. That’s what game is – Originality.

If you just stop copying other people & instead, work on your own ideas, then you’ll get game. You’ll have the time & you'll have the need, so you’ll find you develop it naturally, yourself. Then you may even end up as motivated, focused & obsessive as those same people you tried to copy in the first place.

Just think about that… Hang on a minute..!

Lightbulb moment graphic
Topical little graphic.

Is that the sound of light bulbs switching on in copycat promoters skulls, all across the city that we just heard…?

We do hope so.

The Early Days of Making Flyers

Back then in the 80s, it was pre-computer days, so all lettering had to be either done with Letraset…

Letraset Helvetica
Using this stuff it took ages to get a finished flyer.

Which was like a transfer thingy you penciled over, to make a transfer of each individual letter stick down.

Pealing Helvetica Letraset
It was proper tedium.

Or you had to get them either professionally typeset or hand drawn. This meant that all our Determination Inc. flyer & poster design took bliddy forever & we soon began just sampling rare record covers for posters, as it was way easier.

'Frequented by Gays' - Really..?

One of the most memorable Rockshots posters of the Determination Inc. era was the ‘Gun’ poster. This was an outline drawing of an automatic rifle with the caption ‘Rockshots blows you to bits’. A pal who was working in the Trent at the time, had hand drawn it as part of his student art project.

A route one, total attention grabber - we went at it hard, 100% in the 80s.

As it was so different to any of the publicity we’d ever done before, we ran with it as a Rockers poster. We printed 2000 A2 size posters, dished them all out & then just one day later, unbelievably & totally out of the blue... 

A mad gunman lunatic down in Hungerford, shot a load of people in cold blood, with a similar gun.

The Times Newspaper
The Hungerford Massacre

This was the first real gun massacre on this scale, there had ever been in the UK.

Local media had a field day, printing the poster in the paper, saying it was in bad taste & implying we had created the poster after the shootings to ‘cash in’ on the tragedy.

That was utter bollocks. It was just a really bizarre, mad coincidence & as you can probably imagine, something of a public relations disaster…

Enlarge this clipping & check out the condescending way the Chronicle described the Club as being ‘frequented by Gays’.

Tabloid Headline
You can always depend on those 'oh so witty' tabloid headlines.

That was the patronising way that many ordinary people looked down on sexual equity & equality in those days. It stinks & is that same (not so) subtle tone many racists also use today with people of colour.

You get that yeah..?

It's dehumanising & a blatant attempt to (apparently subtlety) make people who are none heterosexual, seem freakish & matter less that than the rest of the population, to keep them as outsiders.

People say that 'History is written by fat old white men...'

Well, not this bliddy 'History' & they can fuck that - all day & night.

Can you imagine that being cool, to speak down like that in the Chronicle now today, in 2021, in the era of the Gay Pride Festival etc..?

Newcastle Pride 2016
Gay Culture in Newcastle today

Standing Together with all Our Friends

Without the Gay Community & the openings Adrian & Rockshots gave us back in the day, there would have been no Determination Inc. & thus no World HQ.

So you can rest assured if we ever see or hear any anti-Gay sentiment we will call it right out.

Bigtime – exactly like we do 'Nigger.'

Stone Wall
Skills.

Sexual freedom belongs to the individual, not the state, the media, or the bigots. It belongs to each of us reading these words now. If you disagree with that or 'have a problem' with Gay people then you shouldn't be on our site, as we don't want to be your friends or want you anywhere near WHQ.

You can see the original Gun Poster these days, framed & displayed, hanging above your head, with our other old Club posters, in the lobby of WHQ.

Determination Inc Goes Ballistic

The Determination Inc. Clubs at Rockshots ran for years. On the back of our mad success there, we decided to expand & hit a load of other towns to try our luck.

Determination Inc t-shirt
Determination Inc T-shirt.

We punted a load of Clubs to see what would stick & soon we were spinning six nights a week, doing nights at Chambers in Sunderland, the Q ball in Durham, Banwell’s in South Shields & the Front Page Club in Carlisle, as well as our two wonderful Rockshots nights.

We did a tonne of one-offs too, fashion parties etc, student dos, whatever. - always at it.

Vintage Chrissie D - must have been comic deadline day.

We gained vast experience of every kind of crowd, every kind of doorman, every kind of Club manager & every kind of door hustle.

H
The clipping from 'The Face,' - getting featured in it was a massive deal back then, but we were on fire - so something like that was always gonna happen.

We would go into a Club & take over a quiet or under performing night. We’d then raise the door price, guerilla promote it our own way & take two thirds of the door proceeds. We would always tell the Club owners, that it was far better for them to have a third of something successful, than all of an empty Club.

Despite this, once the loot started rolling in, we were regularly swindled & scammed by unscrupulous Club owners & Doormen, who got jealous of our split.

Rockers t-shirt
Thousands & thousands of pounds, over many years, lost to slippery, unscrupulous rectums.

They would then start to ‘massage’ the door figures to skim from us. We did all we could to try to stop it, but that was the nature of the beast in the 80’s.

It was just how it was, so we could only really keep pushing on & look upon it as an extra tax we had to pay.

Are you paying attention? Yes - but added.

We spread our net wide, so that there was still always money regularly pouring in from somewhere.

Depending on the time of year & the venue we were spinning in, we could be playing to crowds across different venues in the region, of from 900 people (our all time record high at the time), right down to just 4 people (our all time record low).

Tumbleweed
Ouch..!

Bizarrely, those two shows happened in the space of the same week & thankfully, packed out Clubs were our usual deal.

We stayed switched on, watched how all these other people ran & managed their Clubs & kept a close eye out for anything we could learn.

Every Club, every town, every crowd, every door rip-off, every night - This was the way we rolled with Determination Inc. in the 80s.

We learned plenty & also gained endless hours & hours, of hands on experience behind the decks. Working tirelessly, we served the type of 'school of hard knocks' Dj & promoter apprenticeship, that many of those charlatan promoters you see today, spatting with each other on Facebook, don’t even realise exists.

Rockers t-shirt
That, right there, is vintage game.

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