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Thought I'd share the contents of a letter I received from SmithKlineBeecham in 1989. I was working in the orbital raves and noticing how popular Lucozade and Ribena were, wrote to the manufacturers to suggest exploring a partnership.

As you can read below, they weren't interested.

Like many, they initially ignored 'acid house' until they realised it was here to stay - and an increasing number of their customer base were involved in it!

Six months later they launched Lucozade Sport with a new logo and marketing to appeal to the rave generation...

Before this rebrand, Ribena was a marketed as a kiddie's Vitamin drink, while Lucozade was something your mum bought when you were off school with chicken pox (the slogan was, "Lucozade aids recovery"). They'd reinforce the medicinal perception with a crinkly orange plastic wrapping around the bottle, which suggested it contained radioactive waste or was a super-serious concoction which was stored in a sterile environment.

As a barman on the orbital raves, we'd buy huge amounts of pallets of both Ribera and Lucozade each weekend from an astute off-licence in West London, who was wise enough to offer the stock on 'sale or return'. If the police won the day, and rave didn't happen. We'd get our money back...a substantial incentive for unloading the stock from the DAF 45!

If the Pay Party Unit had really been on the case they would have leant on him, cut off the only source of liquid available, and very few parties would’ve been able to go ahead.

No promoter, however financially driven and morally challenged they may be, would’ve put on a party without the availability of water. Ecstasy can cause over-heating and dehydration, so access to water is absolutely essential.

Post Script: In 1992 I wrote the first British press for an Energy drink Snowboarders were mixing with Red Vodka in the Austrian Alps. It was called Red Bull. They didn't have a distributor in the Uk at that time, but sent a crate of the stuff (in bottles) to my house to say thanks, which was cool.

I won't hold my breath for one from Lucozade...!

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