Allan Prior was a Mancunian Poet who came to prominence in the mid-late 1960s performing with "The Unity of Arts Roadshow" featuring a Pshycadelic Liquid Light Show, Storyteller Bruce Burgess, a Ballet dancer called Juliet and often featured Chorlton Heavies The Grit Band.
Allan a bald headed, heavily bearded flip flop wearing Bohemian eccentric in his mid fifties was a contemporary of Salford's very own John Cooper-Clarke at a time when performance poetry was something new and exciting on the Manchester club scene.
I knew Allan really well when I was in my late teens. I probably met him at the Magic Village but I used to dance with his dance troupe after the Village closed. We got in free to every venue in Manchester including the university unions as his hippy dancers - great fun.
He was probably in his 40s in the early 70s. He had 6 children and worked in computers at ICL in Manchester - possibly in Gorton? He had grown up with the development of computers and I wish I'd asked him more about his work. He got an honorary degree before he died way too soon of cancer.
He was anti-drugs - he reckoned they killed off too many brain cells.
He was a lovely man. He told us that one day sound and colour would be linked through computer generated patterns.
I worked at Salford library and Art Gallery and he used to come and meet me at lunchtime occasionally.
I wish I had kept in touch with his family after he died but I moved away and when I came back to live in the area I never came across anyone else who knew him.
He was a creative mover and a free spirit. He was small, with wild red hair and a beard - quite eccentric looking for his age and profession.
I remember Allan from when our arty lot used to drink in Sinclair's Oyster House in the Old Shambles, he certainly stood out, wearing a bowler hat which with a flick of a switch (concealed in his brief-case) would open and revolve with flashing lights (or was it something I'd taken?). Wasn't his dancing troupe called the "Primitive Ballet"? and didn't it include Johnny Clarke, Charlie Brown, and Penny Barber? Maybe I just imagined it all!
Add a Comment to this page
Please note: All comments are moderated and will not appear straight away. Please do not re-send.
Sorry ... but personal messages not related to the purpose of Manchesterbeat may not be added to the site.
I was at school with Allan's sons Kev and Eddie. I knew him from the Village as well. We put a folksy evening on at school, (Central Grammar),one night. A band called Fo'cstle, myself and Mark Senyzyn (forgive spelling) as a duo, and Allan, ... Read More
I was at school with Allan's sons Kev and Eddie. I knew him from the Village as well. We put a folksy evening on at school, (Central Grammar),one night. A band called Fo'cstle, myself and Mark Senyzyn (forgive spelling) as a duo, and Allan, together with English teacher Alan Simpson calling themselves "The Quiet Ones" reading poetry, behind which we played very quiet guitar improvisations. BTW, I was living in Gatley until a few years ago, and used to see Mike Don walking around in his willies. Is he still with us?