PLAYLIST Pacific St Blues & AmericanaJanuary 23, 2023This week we turn the spotlight on Buddy Guy.“Don't be the best in town. Just be the best until the best comes around.” Buddy Guy1. Freddie King / Have You Ever Loved a Woman2. Magic Sam / All Your Love 3. Otis Rush / I Can't Quit You Baby 4. Jimmy Reed / Bright Lights, Big City5. T Bone Walker / Stormy Monday Blues (style: Guitar Slim to Buddy to Jimi to Stevie to Mato)6. Earl Hooker / Wah Wah Blues 7. John Lee Hooker / Motor City Burning (features Buddy)8. Sonny Boy Williamson / Bring It On Home 9. Mike Ferris / Are You Lonely for Me Baby (Otis & Carla) 10. Buddy Guy w/ Ike Turner / You Got to Lose 11. Junior Wells w/ “Friendly Chap” / Hoodoo Man Blues12. Buddy Guy / First Time I Met the Blues (Cobra) (Very Best of/ RHINO)13. Junior Wells & Buddy Guy / Snatch It Back and Hold It ("I ain't got no brand new bag.")14. Muddy Waters / Good Morning Little School Girl (Buddy Guy, Willie Dixon, James Clifton) 15. Howlin' Wolf / Killing Floor 16. KoKo Taylor / Wang Dang Doodle 17. Willie Dixon / Spoonful 18. Stone Crazy / Buddy Guy19. Buddy Guy / When My Left Eye Jumps 20. Paul Butterfield (feat Mike Bloomfield) / Shake Your Money Maker 21. Joe Bonamassa / Man of Many Words
Singer-songwriter PICTISH TRAIL runs the independent record label and collective LOST MAP from his home, on the Isle of Eigg, Scotland. Join him for the next 72 minutes, as he runs through a choice selection of tracks from the label catalogue over the past 12 months, as well as some spins of brand new “as yet unreleased" material. The perfect soundtrack for your New Year / New You fitness regime work-out … in so far as it starts out quite energetic, and then gets a bit wheezy, slightly trippy, and then blissed out. By which point you'll thoroughly deserve a cup of tea and the remaining segments of that Terry's Chocolate Orange you got for Xmas.Oh there's some gossip about Howlin' Fling!, too. You'll have to listen to find out, mind.To support what we do at Lost Map, join our club - PostMap Club! Membership starts at just £3, and you'll receive printed postcards delivered to your door every month, containing download codes for new music from the label. You'll receive a badge, too - as well as a newsletter and a discount for 15% on records, CDs, tapes and other merch in our webshop. Digital & gift memberships are also available. Visit lostmap.com/club for details on how to join.NEW MEMBERS (including Gift Subscriptions) during January 2023, will receive a bumper pack of postcards + all three releases in this the most recent VISITATIONS series, by Emma Kupa, Makeness and Alliyah Enyo.EPISODE TRACKLISTING:1. Pictish Trail - ‘The River It Runs Inside Of Me' (MF Tomlinson remix)2. Makeness - ‘I Can See For Miles'3. Bas Jan - ‘Progressive Causes' (Progressively Crooked mix)4. Free Love - ‘Dans Le Noir'5. SDF - ‘Can't Get High' (Single Edit)6. Maranta - ‘Let Your Lover Go'7. Gordon McIntyre - ‘Lean Into Me'8. Savage Mansion - ‘There Is No Love (Delete Yourself)'9. Amy May Ellis - ‘Rain From The East'10. Alexia Avina - ‘Dew Drop'11. Susan Bear - ‘Slack'12. Alabaster dePlume - ‘Again' (feat. Falle Nioke)13. Fell - ‘Staring At The Knives'14. L.T. Leif - ‘Gentle Moon'- SOME POTENTIALLY REALLY USEFUL LINKS:PostMap Club: lostmap.com/clubLost Map @ Celtic Connections 2023: celticconnections.com/event/1/10-years-of-lost-mapFell - Mallows Marsh album: lostmap.com/products/fell-mallows-marshBallboy - Club Anthems 2001 reissue: lostmap.com/products/ballboy-club-anthems-2001L.T. Leif - Come Back To Me, But Lightly pre-order: lostmap.com/products/lt-leif-come-back-to-me-but-lightlyFree Love - Inside album: lostmap.com/products/free-love-insideIf you'd like to get in touch with us, plop us an email: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis episode of the Lost Map Podcast was produced and presented by Pictish Trail.
Leo Schumaker's "Bluesland" radio podcast from Dec. 29, 2022. New Years Eve Special.Click on the picture/link and hear some of my favorite blues albums from 2022 and great music handpicked out just for you. Included are Buddy Guy, Samantha Fish, Robert Cray, Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Hall, Charlie Musselwhite, John Nemeth, Duke Robillard and more. See you next Thursday 7-9 PM (PST) live on the radio at kmre.org.
Primer capítulo especial de versiones para estas Navidades de 2022. En esta primera entrega escuchamos a Diamond Dogs con ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ (Paul McCartney), Moses Rubin con ‘Killing Floor’ (Howlin’ Wolf), The Speedways con ‘Eleventh Street’ (Hanoi Rocks), Ultraligera con ‘De música ligera’ (Soda Stereo), Carlota Flâneur con ‘See You Again’ (Tyler, The Creator), Flavia Marsano con ‘Me muero’ (La Quinta Estación), Júlia Colom con ‘Como yo te amo’ (Raphael) y Molina Molina con ‘Me colé en una fiesta’ (Mecano) Escuchar audio
Esta semana nos inspiramos en dos nuevos y muy interesantes libros sobre el blues y las músicas negras: "Blues – La Novela Gráfica," de Manuel López Poy y Pau Marfà y editado por Ma Non Troppo, y "Al compás del vudú (religión, represión y música)," de Héctor Martínez González, editado por Allanamiento de Mirada, y que incluye dos CDs con 48 temas comentados en el libro. Playlist: Snatch It Back and Hold It – Junior Wells; Why Don't You Do Right – Carolina Chocolate Drops; Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground – Blind Willie Johnson; Congo Square – Tom Principato; St. James Infirmary – Allen Toussaint; Heebie Jeebies – Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five; Junker Blues – Champion Jack Dupree; Cajun – Roy Buchanan; Calinda – Clifton Chenier; I Just Want To Make Love To You – Muddy Waters, Spoonful – Howlin' Wolf; Big Boss Man – Koko Taylor; Juke – Little Walter; Messin' With the Kid – Junior Wells Chicago Blues Band; Low Down Ways – Jontavious Willis. Escuchar audio
STREET CREDWhen talking about Paul Butterfield there's a lot to cover, and I can't do it all justice in this small space. I recommend the documentary HORN FROM THE HEART to get all the nuances in Paul Butterfield's story. However, listening to this compilation, one can get a nice view of the shapely arc of this band's journey from young-turk, blues afficionados to Americana pioneers - each step along the way characterized by a stirring evocation of authentic feeling.It's hard from this distance to understand how massively important this group was in terms of fusing blues with folk, rock, and jazz, not to mention world music. At the center of it all was the harmonica prodigy, born on the south side of Chicago, trained at the feet of the blues masters, but then adopted by Dylan and the Newport folkies, and instrumental to the explosion that became our modern music of the 60s and 70s. East-West (1966) still blows my mind. This 13 minute magnum jazz-raga opus, featuring the amazing Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop on guitars with Paul wailing on harp remains stubbornly on my Sunday morning playlist. Joe Boyd and Paul Rothchild at Elektra discovered them and lovingly brought their sound to our turntables, and on this cart from six years later, the highlights from that company's influence is captured for all time. It was important for Elektra's transition from folk label to one of the premier purveyors of quality rock; it was important for Dylan's transition from troubadour to rock god, and it was an important liaison for us white American teenagers appreciation of our blues heritage. You might argue that this was another example of “white savior” appropriation, but The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was an integrated outfit, featuring Howlin' Wolf's rhythm section of Sam Lay and Jerome Arnold, and Butterfield, born in Chicago and raised at the master's feet had all the right moves.For a deeper dive: https://www.hornfromtheheart.com/
Two Hours of trashy garage, punk, rock, soul and fury with host DJ JDub. This week: a bunch of good stuff! Outrage Radio Playlist – December 15, 2022 [0:00]1. R.L. Burnside – Georgia Women2. The Pogues – The Boys From The County Hell3. Reverend Horton Heat – 400 Bucks4. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Black Mold5. The Dirtbombs – Can't Stop Thinking About It [18:04]6. The Battlebeats – Get Lost (2022)7. The Out-Sect – Go Away (2022)8. Polute – Dirty Swig (2022)9. Revelons – Red Hot Woman (2022)10. Dead Boys – Caught With The Meat In Your Mouth11. Shock – This Generation's On Vacation12. Des Demonas – Teen Stooge [35:43]13. Warthog – Terrestrial Progress (2022)14. The Bad Shapes – Berlin Syndrom (2022)15. ISS – One Sided Triangle (2022)16. Alien Nose Job – Post Punk Posers (2022)17. The Bobby Lees – Death Train (2022)18. New Buck Biloxi – I Know Everything (2022) [52:46]19. The Schizophonics – Creature (2022)20. Amyl & The Sniffers – Control21. The Pleasure Fuckers – That Girl22. The Dicks – Cities Are Burning23. The Lipstick Killers – Sockman 24. The Clash – I'm So Bored With The USA25. The Clash – Brand New Cadillac [1:12:58]26. The Dogs – Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl?27. The Crazy Squeeze – I Need A Witness28. Joyce Green – Black Cadillac29. Howlin' Wolf – Do The Do30. The Delta Bombers – Mississippi Bayou31. Shit Kid – Sugar Town32. GG Allin – Don't Talk To Me [1:34:40]33. Betty Blowtorch – I Wanna Be Your Sucker34. Lunachicks – Plugg35. Fear – I Am A Doctor36. Channel 3 – Manzanar37. Generacion Suicida – Fuego38. The Tissues – My Body My Mind39. Margaritas Podridas – No Quiero Ser Madre (2022)40. Off – Fuck People [1:56:15]41. John Lee Hooker – Frisco Blues42. Metallica – Phantom Lord Outrage Radio broadcasts live on Thursday evenings from 9-11PM (Pacific) at LuxuriaMusic.com.
00:00 - Intro00:41 - Game Overview02:26 - Taking Actions05:53 - The Calendar & Game End07:50 - Two Player & Lack of Solo08:35 - Final ThoughtsLinks:Our Site - https://www.cardboardherald.comOur Video Channel - https://www.youtube.com/TheCardboardHeraldOur Twitter - https://twitter.com/CardboardHeraldOur Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/user?u=9669551
PART 2 of 2. In this episode, we continue out conversation with Carlton Smith (Royal Crescent Mob, Irie, Howlin' Maggie, etc.), Happy Chichester (Royal Crescent Mob, Howlin' Maggie, Twilight Singers, etc.) and Montie Temple (producer, sound and recording engineer for numerous local bands, including... RC Mob). Enjoy! Music featured in this episode: Love Is All Around X4 (Howlin' Maggie) Long Live Doug (Howlin' Maggie) Motorbike (Happy Chichester)
Writer and Blues music expert Marty Weil joins us to talk about the legacy of Howlin' Wolf, one of the titans of that genre in the 20th century. Topics discussed include Wolf's time at Chess Records, his classic albums Moanin' in the Moonlight (1959) and Howlin' Wolf (aka The Rockin' Chair Album) (1962), his partnership with legendary guitarist Hubert Sumlin, his tremendous influence on blues-rock artists and his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. This is a must-listen for any blues fan!
Episode 159 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Itchycoo Park” by the Small Faces, and their transition from Mod to psychedelia. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a twenty-five-minute bonus episode available, on "The First Cut is the Deepest" by P.P. Arnold. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt's irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ Resources As so many of the episodes recently have had no Mixcloud due to the number of songs by one artist, I've decided to start splitting the mixes of the recordings excerpted in the podcasts into two parts. Here's part one and part two. I've used quite a few books in this episode. The Small Faces & Other Stories by Uli Twelker and Roland Schmit is definitely a fan-work with all that that implies, but has some useful quotes. Two books claim to be the authorised biography of Steve Marriott, and I've referred to both -- All Too Beautiful by Paolo Hewitt and John Hellier, and All Or Nothing by Simon Spence. Spence also wrote an excellent book on Immediate Records, which I referred to. Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan both wrote very readable autobiographies. I've also used Andrew Loog Oldham's autobiography Stoned, co-written by Spence, though be warned that it casually uses slurs. P.P. Arnold's autobiography is a sometimes distressing read covering her whole life, including her time at Immediate. There are many, many, collections of the Small Faces' work, ranging from cheap budget CDs full of outtakes to hundred-pound-plus box sets, also full of outtakes. This three-CD budget collection contains all the essential tracks, and is endorsed by Kenney Jones, the band's one surviving member. And if you're intrigued by the section on Immediate Records, this two-CD set contains a good selection of their releases. ERRATUM-ISH: I say Jimmy Winston was “a couple” of years older than the rest of the band. This does not mean exactly two, but is used in the vague vernacular sense equivalent to “a few”. Different sources I've seen put Winston as either two or four years older than his bandmates, though two seems to be the most commonly cited figure. Transcript For once there is little to warn about in this episode, but it does contain some mild discussions of organised crime, arson, and mental illness, and a quoted joke about capital punishment in questionable taste which may upset some. One name that came up time and again when we looked at the very early years of British rock and roll was Lionel Bart. If you don't remember the name, he was a left-wing Bohemian songwriter who lived in a communal house-share which at various times was also inhabited by people like Shirley Eaton, the woman who is painted gold at the beginning of Goldfinger, Mike Pratt, the star of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), and Davey Graham, the most influential and innovative British guitarist of the fifties and early sixties. Bart and Pratt had co-written most of the hits of Britain's first real rock and roll star, Tommy Steele: [Excerpt: Tommy Steele, "Rock with the Caveman"] and then Bart had gone solo as a writer, and written hits like "Living Doll" for Britain's *biggest* rock and roll star, Cliff Richard: [Excerpt: Cliff Richard, "Living Doll"] But Bart's biggest contribution to rock music turned out not to be the songs he wrote for rock and roll stars, and not even his talent-spotting -- it was Bart who got Steele signed by Larry Parnes, and he also pointed Parnes in the direction of another of his biggest stars, Marty Wilde -- but the opportunity he gave to a lot of child stars in a very non-rock context. Bart's musical Oliver!, inspired by the novel Oliver Twist, was the biggest sensation on the West End stage in the early 1960s, breaking records for the longest-running musical, and also transferred to Broadway and later became an extremely successful film. As it happened, while Oliver! was extraordinarily lucrative, Bart didn't see much of the money from it -- he sold the rights to it, and his other musicals, to the comedian Max Bygraves in the mid-sixties for a tiny sum in order to finance a couple of other musicals, which then flopped horribly and bankrupted him. But by that time Oliver! had already been the first big break for three people who went on to major careers in music -- all of them playing the same role. Because many of the major roles in Oliver! were for young boys, the cast had to change frequently -- child labour laws meant that multiple kids had to play the same role in different performances, and people quickly grew out of the roles as teenagerhood hit. We've already heard about the career of one of the people who played the Artful Dodger in the original West End production -- Davy Jones, who transferred in the role to Broadway in 1963, and who we'll be seeing again in a few episodes' time -- and it's very likely that another of the people who played the Artful Dodger in that production, a young lad called Philip Collins, will be coming into the story in a few years' time. But the first of the artists to use the Artful Dodger as a springboard to a music career was the one who appeared in the role on the original cast album of 1960, though there's very little in that recording to suggest the sound of his later records: [Excerpt: Steve Marriott, "Consider Yourself"] Steve Marriott is the second little Stevie we've looked at in recent episodes to have been born prematurely. In his case, he was born a month premature, and jaundiced, and had to spend the first month of his life in hospital, the first few days of which were spent unsure if he was going to survive. Thankfully he did, but he was a bit of a sickly child as a result, and remained stick-thin and short into adulthood -- he never grew to be taller than five foot five. Young Steve loved music, and especially the music of Buddy Holly. He also loved skiffle, and managed to find out where Lonnie Donegan lived. He went round and knocked on Donegan's door, but was very disappointed to discover that his idol was just a normal man, with his hair uncombed and a shirt stained with egg yolk. He started playing the ukulele when he was ten, and graduated to guitar when he was twelve, forming a band which performed under a variety of different names. When on stage with them, he would go by the stage name Buddy Marriott, and would wear a pair of horn-rimmed glasses to look more like Buddy Holly. When he was twelve, his mother took him to an audition for Oliver! The show had been running for three months at the time, and was likely to run longer, and child labour laws meant that they had to have replacements for some of the cast -- every three months, any performing child had to have at least ten days off. At his audition, Steve played his guitar and sang "Who's Sorry Now?", the recent Connie Francis hit: [Excerpt: Connie Francis, "Who's Sorry Now?"] And then, ignoring the rule that performers could only do one song, immediately launched into Buddy Holly's "Oh Boy!" [Excerpt: Buddy Holly, "Oh Boy!"] His musical ability and attitude impressed the show's producers, and he was given a job which suited him perfectly -- rather than being cast in a single role, he would be swapped around, playing different small parts, in the chorus, and occasionally taking the larger role of the Artful Dodger. Steve Marriott was never able to do the same thing over and over, and got bored very quickly, but because he was moving between roles, he was able to keep interested in his performances for almost a year, and he was good enough that it was him chosen to sing the Dodger's role on the cast album when that was recorded: [Excerpt: Steve Marriott and Joyce Blair, "I'd Do Anything"] And he enjoyed performance enough that his parents pushed him to become an actor -- though there were other reasons for that, too. He was never the best-behaved child in the world, nor the most attentive student, and things came to a head when, shortly after leaving the Oliver! cast, he got so bored of his art classes he devised a plan to get out of them forever. Every art class, for several weeks, he'd sit in a different desk at the back of the classroom and stuff torn-up bits of paper under the floorboards. After a couple of months of this he then dropped a lit match in, which set fire to the paper and ended up burning down half the school. His schoolfriend Ken Hawes talked about it many decades later, saying "I suppose in a way I was impressed about how he had meticulously planned the whole thing months in advance, the sheer dogged determination to see it through. He could quite easily have been caught and would have had to face the consequences. There was no danger in anybody getting hurt because we were at the back of the room. We had to be at the back otherwise somebody would have noticed what he was doing. There was no malice against other pupils, he just wanted to burn the damn school down." Nobody could prove it was him who had done it, though his parents at least had a pretty good idea who it was, but it was clear that even when the school was rebuilt it wasn't a good idea to send him back there, so they sent him to the Italia Conti Drama School; the same school that Anthony Newley and Petula Clark, among many others, had attended. Marriott's parents couldn't afford the school's fees, but Marriott was so talented that the school waived the fees -- they said they'd get him work, and take a cut of his wages in lieu of the fees. And over the next few years they did get him a lot of work. Much of that work was for TV shows, which like almost all TV of the time no longer exist -- he was in an episode of the Sid James sitcom Citizen James, an episode of Mr. Pastry's Progress, an episode of the police drama Dixon of Dock Green, and an episode of a series based on the Just William books, none of which survive. He also did a voiceover for a carpet cleaner ad, appeared on the radio soap opera Mrs Dale's Diary playing a pop star, and had a regular spot reading listeners' letters out for the agony aunt Marje Proops on her radio show. Almost all of this early acting work wa s utterly ephemeral, but there are a handful of his performances that do survive, mostly in films. He has a small role in the comedy film Heavens Above!, a mistaken-identity comedy in which a radical left-wing priest played by Peter Sellers is given a parish intended for a more conservative priest of the same name, and upsets the well-off people of the parish by taking in a large family of travellers and appointing a Black man as his churchwarden. The film has some dated attitudes, in the way that things that were trying to be progressive and antiracist sixty years ago invariably do, but has a sparkling cast, with Sellers, Eric Sykes, William Hartnell, Brock Peters, Roy Kinnear, Irene Handl, and many more extremely recognisable faces from the period: [Excerpt: Heavens Above!] Marriott apparently enjoyed working on the film immensely, as he was a fan of the Goon Show, which Sellers had starred in and which Sykes had co-written several episodes of. There are reports of Marriott and Sellers jamming together on banjos during breaks in filming, though these are probably *slightly* inaccurate -- Sellers played the banjolele, a banjo-style instrument which is played like a ukulele. As Marriott had started on ukulele before switching to guitar, it was probably these they were playing, rather than banjoes. He also appeared in a more substantial role in a film called Live It Up!, a pop exploitation film starring David Hemmings in which he appears as a member of a pop group. Oddly, Marriott plays a drummer, even though he wasn't a drummer, while two people who *would* find fame as drummers, Mitch Mitchell and Dave Clark, appear in smaller, non-drumming, roles. He doesn't perform on the soundtrack, which is produced by Joe Meek and features Sounds Incorporated, The Outlaws, and Gene Vincent, but he does mime playing behind Heinz Burt, the former bass player of the Tornadoes who was then trying for solo stardom at Meek's instigation: [Excerpt: Heinz Burt, "Don't You Understand"] That film was successful enough that two years later, in 1965 Marriott came back for a sequel, Be My Guest, with The Niteshades, the Nashville Teens, and Jerry Lee Lewis, this time with music produced by Shel Talmy rather than Meek. But that was something of a one-off. After making Live It Up!, Marriott had largely retired from acting, because he was trying to become a pop star. The break finally came when he got an audition at the National Theatre, for a job touring with Laurence Olivier for a year. He came home and told his parents he hadn't got the job, but then a week later they were bemused by a phone call asking why Steve hadn't turned up for rehearsals. He *had* got the job, but he'd decided he couldn't face a year of doing the same thing over and over, and had pretended he hadn't. By this time he'd already released his first record. The work on Oliver! had got him a contract with Decca Records, and he'd recorded a Buddy Holly knock-off, "Give Her My Regards", written for him by Kenny Lynch, the actor, pop star, and all-round entertainer: [Excerpt: Steve Marriott, "Give Her My Regards"] That record wasn't a hit, but Marriott wasn't put off. He formed a band who were at first called the Moonlights, and then the Frantiks, and they got a management deal with Tony Calder, Andrew Oldham's junior partner in his management company. Calder got former Shadow Tony Meehan to produce a demo for the group, a version of Cliff Richard's hit "Move It", which was shopped round the record labels with no success (and which sadly appears no longer to survive). The group also did some recordings with Joe Meek, which also don't circulate, but which may exist in the famous "Teachest Tapes" which are slowly being prepared for archival releases. The group changed their name to the Moments, and added in the guitarist John Weider, who was one of those people who seem to have been in every band ever either just before or just after they became famous -- at various times he was in Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Family, Eric Burdon and the Animals, and the band that became Crabby Appleton, but never in their most successful lineups. They continued recording unsuccessful demos, of which a small number have turned up: [Excerpt: Steve Marriott and the Moments, "Good Morning Blues"] One of their demo sessions was produced by Andrew Oldham, and while that session didn't lead to a release, it did lead to Oldham booking Marriott as a session harmonica player for one of his "Andrew Oldham Orchestra" sessions, to play on a track titled "365 Rolling Stones (One For Every Day of the Year)": [Excerpt: The Andrew Oldham Orchestra, "365 Rolling Stones (One For Every Day of the Year)"] Oldham also produced a session for what was meant to be Marriott's second solo single on Decca, a cover version of the Rolling Stones' "Tell Me", which was actually scheduled for release but pulled at the last minute. Like many of Marriott's recordings from this period, if it exists, it doesn't seem to circulate publicly. But despite their lack of recording success, the Moments did manage to have a surprising level of success on the live circuit. Because they were signed to Calder and Oldham's management company, they got a contract with the Arthur Howes booking agency, which got them support slots on package tours with Billy J Kramer, Freddie and the Dreamers, the Kinks, and other major acts, and the band members were earning about thirty pounds a week each -- a very, very good living for the time. They even had a fanzine devoted to them, written by a fan named Stuart Tuck. But as they weren't making records, the band's lineup started changing, with members coming and going. They did manage to get one record released -- a soundalike version of the Kinks' "You Really Got Me", recorded for a budget label who rushed it out, hoping to get it picked up in the US and for it to be the hit version there: [Excerpt: The Moments, "You Really Got Me"] But the month after that was released, Marriott was sacked from the band, apparently in part because the band were starting to get billed as Steve Marriott and the Moments rather than just The Moments, and the rest of them didn't want to be anyone's backing band. He got a job at a music shop while looking around for other bands to perform with. At one point around this time he was going to form a duo with a friend of his, Davy Jones -- not the one who had also appeared in Oliver!, but another singer of the same name. This one sang with a blues band called the Mannish Boys, and both men were well known on the Mod scene in London. Marriott's idea was that they call themselves David and Goliath, with Jones being David, and Marriott being Goliath because he was only five foot five. That could have been a great band, but it never got past the idea stage. Marriott had become friendly with another part-time musician and shop worker called Ronnie Lane, who was in a band called the Outcasts who played the same circuit as the Moments: [Excerpt: The Outcasts, "Before You Accuse Me"] Lane worked in a sound equipment shop and Marriott in a musical instrument shop, and both were customers of the other as well as friends -- at least until Marriott came into the shop where Lane worked and tried to persuade him to let Marriott have a free PA system. Lane pretended to go along with it as a joke, and got sacked. Lane had then gone to the shop where Marriott worked in the hope that Marriott would give him a good deal on a guitar because he'd been sacked because of Marriott. Instead, Marriott persuaded him that he should switch to bass, on the grounds that everyone was playing guitar since the Beatles had come along, but a bass player would always be able to find work. Lane bought the bass. Shortly after that, Marriott came to an Outcasts gig in a pub, and was asked to sit in. He enjoyed playing with Lane and the group's drummer Kenney Jones, but got so drunk he smashed up the pub's piano while playing a Jerry Lee Lewis song. The resulting fallout led to the group being barred from the pub and splitting up, so Marriott, Lane, and Jones decided to form their own group. They got in another guitarist Marriott knew, a man named Jimmy Winston who was a couple of years older than them, and who had two advantages -- he was a known Face on the mod scene, with a higher status than any of the other three, and his brother owned a van and would drive the group and their equipment for ten percent of their earnings. There was a slight problem in that Winston was also as good on guitar as Marriott and looked like he might want to be the star, but Marriott neutralised that threat -- he moved Winston over to keyboards. The fact that Winston couldn't play keyboards didn't matter -- he could be taught a couple of riffs and licks, and he was sure to pick up the rest. And this way the group had the same lineup as one of Marriott's current favourites, Booker T and the MGs. While he was still a Buddy Holly fan, he was now, like the rest of the Mods, an R&B obsessive. Marriott wasn't entirely sure that this new group would be the one that would make him a star though, and was still looking for other alternatives in case it didn't play out. He auditioned for another band, the Lower Third, which counted Stuart Tuck, the writer of the Moments fanzine, among its members. But he was unsuccessful in the audition -- instead his friend Davy Jones, the one who he'd been thinking of forming a duo with, got the job: [Excerpt: Davy Jones and the Lower Third, "You've Got a Habit of Leaving"] A few months after that, Davy Jones and the Lower Third changed their name to David Bowie and the Lower Third, and we'll be picking up that story in a little over a year from now... Marriott, Lane, Jones, and Winston kept rehearsing and pulled together a five-song set, which was just about long enough to play a few shows, if they extended the songs with long jamming instrumental sections. The opening song for these early sets was one which, when they recorded it, would be credited to Marriott and Lane -- the two had struck up a writing partnership and agreed to a Lennon/McCartney style credit split, though in these early days Marriott was doing far more of the writing than Lane was. But "You Need Loving" was... heavily inspired... by "You Need Love", a song Willie Dixon had written for Muddy Waters: [Excerpt: Muddy Waters, "You Need Love"] It's not precisely the same song, but you can definitely hear the influence in the Marriott/Lane song: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "You Need Loving"] They did make some changes though, notably to the end of the song: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "You Need Loving"] You will be unsurprised to learn that Robert Plant was a fan of Steve Marriott. The new group were initially without a name, until after one of their first gigs, Winston's girlfriend, who hadn't met the other three before, said "You've all got such small faces!" The name stuck, because it had a double meaning -- as we've seen in the episode on "My Generation", "Face" was Mod slang for someone who was cool and respected on the Mod scene, but also, with the exception of Winston, who was average size, the other three members of the group were very short -- the tallest of the three was Ronnie Lane, who was five foot six. One thing I should note about the group's name, by the way -- on all the labels of their records in the UK while they were together, they were credited as "Small Faces", with no "The" in front, but all the band members referred to the group in interviews as "The Small Faces", and they've been credited that way on some reissues and foreign-market records. The group's official website is thesmallfaces.com but all the posts on the website refer to them as "Small Faces" with no "the". The use of the word "the" or not at the start of a group's name at this time was something of a shibboleth -- for example both The Buffalo Springfield and The Pink Floyd dropped theirs after their early records -- and its status in this case is a strange one. I'll be referring to the group throughout as "The Small Faces" rather than "Small Faces" because the former is easier to say, but both seem accurate. After a few pub gigs in London, they got some bookings in the North of England, where they got a mixed reception -- they went down well at Peter Stringfellow's Mojo Club in Sheffield, where Joe Cocker was a regular performer, less well at a working-man's club, and reports differ about their performance at the Twisted Wheel in Manchester, though one thing everyone is agreed on is that while they were performing, some Mancunians borrowed their van and used it to rob a clothing warehouse, and gave the band members some very nice leather coats as a reward for their loan of the van. It was only on the group's return to London that they really started to gel as a unit. In particular, Kenney Jones had up to that point been a very stiff, precise, drummer, but he suddenly loosened up and, in Steve Marriott's tasteless phrase, "Every number swung like Hanratty" (James Hanratty was one of the last people in Britain to be executed by hanging). Shortly after that, Don Arden's secretary -- whose name I haven't been able to find in any of the sources I've used for this episode, sadly, came into the club where they were rehearsing, the Starlight Rooms, to pass a message from Arden to an associate of his who owned the club. The secretary had seen Marriott perform before -- he would occasionally get up on stage at the Starlight Rooms to duet with Elkie Brooks, who was a regular performer there, and she'd seen him do that -- but was newly impressed by his group, and passed word on to her boss that this was a group he should investigate. Arden is someone who we'll be looking at a lot in future episodes, but the important thing to note right now is that he was a failed entertainer who had moved into management and promotion, first with American acts like Gene Vincent, and then with British acts like the Nashville Teens, who had had hits with tracks like "Tobacco Road": [Excerpt: The Nashville Teens, "Tobacco Road"] Arden was also something of a gangster -- as many people in the music industry were at the time, but he was worse than most of his contemporaries, and delighted in his nickname "the Al Capone of pop". The group had a few managers looking to sign them, but Arden convinced them with his offer. They would get a percentage of their earnings -- though they never actually received that percentage -- twenty pounds a week in wages, and, the most tempting part of it all, they would get expense accounts at all the Carnaby St boutiques and could go there whenever they wanted and get whatever they wanted. They signed with Arden, which all of them except Marriott would later regret, because Arden's financial exploitation meant that it would be decades before they saw any money from their hits, and indeed both Marriott and Lane would be dead before they started getting royalties from their old records. Marriott, on the other hand, had enough experience of the industry to credit Arden with the group getting anywhere at all, and said later "Look, you go into it with your eyes open and as far as I was concerned it was better than living on brown sauce rolls. At least we had twenty quid a week guaranteed." Arden got the group signed to Decca, with Dick Rowe signing them to the same kind of production deal that Andrew Oldham had pioneered with the Stones, so that Arden would own the rights to their recordings. At this point the group still only knew a handful of songs, but Rowe was signing almost everyone with a guitar at this point, putting out a record or two and letting them sink or swim. He had already been firmly labelled as "the man who turned down the Beatles", and was now of the opinion that it was better to give everyone a chance than to make that kind of expensive mistake again. By this point Marriott and Lane were starting to write songs together -- though at this point it was still mostly Marriott writing, and people would ask him why he was giving Lane half the credit, and he'd reply "Without Ronnie's help keeping me awake and being there I wouldn't do half of it. He keeps me going." -- but for their first single Arden was unsure that they were up to the task of writing a hit. The group had been performing a version of Solomon Burke's "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love", a song which Burke always claimed to have written alone, but which is credited to him, Jerry Wexler, and Bert Berns (and has Bern's fingerprints, at least, on it to my ears): [Excerpt: Solomon Burke, "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love"] Arden got some professional writers to write new lyrics and vocal melody to their arrangement of the song -- the people he hired were Brian Potter, who would later go on to co-write "Rhinestone Cowboy", and Ian Samwell, the former member of Cliff Richard's Drifters who had written many of Richard's early hits, including "Move It", and was now working for Arden. The group went into the studio and recorded the song, titled "Whatcha Gonna Do About It?": [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Whatcha Gonna Do About It?"] That version, though was deemed too raucous, and they had to go back into the studio to cut a new version, which came out as their first single: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Whatcha Gonna Do About It?"] At first the single didn't do much on the charts, but then Arden got to work with teams of people buying copies from chart return shops, bribing DJs on pirate radio stations to play it, and bribing the person who compiled the charts for the NME. Eventually it made number fourteen, at which point it became a genuinely popular hit. But with that popularity came problems. In particular, Steve Marriott was starting to get seriously annoyed by Jimmy Winston. As the group started to get TV appearances, Winston started to act like he should be the centre of attention. Every time Marriott took a solo in front of TV cameras, Winston would start making stupid gestures, pulling faces, anything to make sure the cameras focussed on him rather than on Marriott. Which wouldn't have been too bad had Winston been a great musician, but he was still not very good on the keyboards, and unlike the others didn't seem particularly interested in trying. He seemed to want to be a star, rather than a musician. The group's next planned single was a Marriott and Lane song, "I've Got Mine". To promote it, the group mimed to it in a film, Dateline Diamonds, a combination pop film and crime caper not a million miles away from the ones that Marriott had appeared in a few years earlier. They also contributed three other songs to the film's soundtrack. Unfortunately, the film's release was delayed, and the film had been the big promotional push that Arden had planned for the single, and without that it didn't chart at all. By the time the single came out, though, Winston was no longer in the group. There are many, many different stories as to why he was kicked out. Depending on who you ask, it was because he was trying to take the spotlight away from Marriott, because he wasn't a good enough keyboard player, because he was taller than the others and looked out of place, or because he asked Don Arden where the money was. It was probably a combination of all of these, but fundamentally what it came to was that Winston just didn't fit into the group. Winston would, in later years, say that him confronting Arden was the only reason for his dismissal, saying that Arden had manipulated the others to get him out of the way, but that seems unlikely on the face of it. When Arden sacked him, he kept Winston on as a client and built another band around him, Jimmy Winston and the Reflections, and got them signed to Decca too, releasing a Kenny Lynch song, "Sorry She's Mine", to no success: [Excerpt: Jimmy Winston and the Reflections, "Sorry She's Mine"] Another version of that song would later be included on the first Small Faces album. Winston would then form another band, Winston's Fumbs, who would also release one single, before he went into acting instead. His most notable credit was as a rebel in the 1972 Doctor Who story Day of the Daleks, and he later retired from showbusiness to run a business renting out sound equipment, and died in 2020. The group hired his replacement without ever having met him or heard him play. Ian McLagan had started out as the rhythm guitarist in a Shadows soundalike band called the Cherokees, but the group had become R&B fans and renamed themselves the Muleskinners, and then after hearing "Green Onions", McLagan had switched to playing Hammond organ. The Muleskinners had played the same R&B circuit as dozens of other bands we've looked at, and had similar experiences, including backing visiting blues stars like Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, and Howlin' Wolf. Their one single had been a cover version of "Back Door Man", a song Willie Dixon had written for Wolf: [Excerpt: The Muleskinners, "Back Door Man"] The Muleskinners had split up as most of the group had day jobs, and McLagan had gone on to join a group called Boz and the Boz People, who were becoming popular on the live circuit, and who also toured backing Kenny Lynch while McLagan was in the band. Boz and the Boz People would release several singles in 1966, like their version of the theme for the film "Carry on Screaming", released just as by "Boz": [Excerpt: Boz, "Carry on Screaming"] By that time, McLagan had left the group -- Boz Burrell later went on to join King Crimson and Bad Company. McLagan left the Boz People in something of a strop, and was complaining to a friend the night he left the group that he didn't have any work lined up. The friend joked that he should join the Small Faces, because he looked like them, and McLagan got annoyed that his friend wasn't taking him seriously -- he'd love to be in the Small Faces, but they *had* a keyboard player. The next day he got a phone call from Don Arden asking him to come to his office. He was being hired to join a hit pop group who needed a new keyboard player. McLagan at first wasn't allowed to tell anyone what band he was joining -- in part because Arden's secretary was dating Winston, and Winston hadn't yet been informed he was fired, and Arden didn't want word leaking out until it had been sorted. But he'd been chosen purely on the basis of an article in a music magazine which had praised his playing with the Boz People, and without the band knowing him or his playing. As soon as they met, though, he immediately fit in in a way Winston never had. He looked the part, right down to his height -- he said later "Ronnie Lane and I were the giants in the band at 5 ft 6 ins, and Kenney Jones and Steve Marriott were the really teeny tiny chaps at 5 ft 5 1/2 ins" -- and he was a great player, and shared a sense of humour with them. McLagan had told Arden he'd been earning twenty pounds a week with the Boz People -- he'd actually been on five -- and so Arden agreed to give him thirty pounds a week during his probationary month, which was more than the twenty the rest of the band were getting. As soon as his probationary period was over, McLagan insisted on getting a pay cut so he'd be on the same wages as the rest of the group. Soon Marriott, Lane, and McLagan were all living in a house rented for them by Arden -- Jones decided to stay living with his parents -- and were in the studio recording their next single. Arden was convinced that the mistake with "I've Got Mine" had been allowing the group to record an original, and again called in a team of professional songwriters. Arden brought in Mort Shuman, who had recently ended his writing partnership with Doc Pomus and struck out on his own, after co-writing songs like "Save the Last Dance for Me", "Sweets For My Sweet", and "Viva Las Vegas" together, and Kenny Lynch, and the two of them wrote "Sha-La-La-La-Lee", and Lynch added backing vocals to the record: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Sha-La-La-La-Lee"] None of the group were happy with the record, but it became a big hit, reaching number three in the charts. Suddenly the group had a huge fanbase of screaming teenage girls, which embarrassed them terribly, as they thought of themselves as serious heavy R&B musicians, and the rest of their career would largely be spent vacillating between trying to appeal to their teenybopper fanbase and trying to escape from it to fit their own self-image. They followed "Sha-La-La-La-Lee" with "Hey Girl", a Marriott/Lane song, but one written to order -- they were under strict instructions from Arden that if they wanted to have the A-side of a single, they had to write something as commercial as "Sha-La-La-La-Lee" had been, and they managed to come up with a second top-ten hit. Two hit singles in a row was enough to make an album viable, and the group went into the studio and quickly cut an album, which had their first two hits on it -- "Hey Girl" wasn't included, and nor was the flop "I've Got Mine" -- plus a bunch of semi-originals like "You Need Loving", a couple of Kenny Lynch songs, and a cover version of Sam Cooke's "Shake". The album went to number three on the album charts, with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in the number one and two spots, and it was at this point that Arden's rivals really started taking interest. But that interest was quelled for the moment when, after Robert Stigwood enquired about managing the band, Arden went round to Stigwood's office with four goons and held him upside down over a balcony, threatening to drop him off if he ever messed with any of Arden's acts again. But the group were still being influenced by other managers. In particular, Brian Epstein came round to the group's shared house, with Graeme Edge of the Moody Blues, and brought them some slices of orange -- which they discovered, after eating them, had been dosed with LSD. By all accounts, Marriott's first trip was a bad one, but the group soon became regular consumers of the drug, and it influenced the heavier direction they took on their next single, "All or Nothing". "All or Nothing" was inspired both by Marriott's breakup with his girlfriend of the time, and his delight at the fact that Jenny Rylance, a woman he was attracted to, had split up with her then-boyfriend Rod Stewart. Rylance and Stewart later reconciled, but would break up again and Rylance would become Marriott's first wife in 1968: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "All or Nothing"] "All or Nothing" became the group's first and only number one record -- and according to the version of the charts used on Top of the Pops, it was a joint number one with the Beatles' double A-side of "Yellow Submarine" and "Eleanor Rigby", both selling exactly as well as each other. But this success caused the group's parents to start to wonder why their kids -- none of whom were yet twenty-one, the legal age of majority at the time -- were not rich. While the group were on tour, their parents came as a group to visit Arden and ask him where the money was, and why their kids were only getting paid twenty pounds a week when their group was getting a thousand pounds a night. Arden tried to convince the parents that he had been paying the group properly, but that they had spent their money on heroin -- which was very far from the truth, the band were only using soft drugs at the time. This put a huge strain on the group's relationship with Arden, and it wasn't the only thing Arden did that upset them. They had been spending a lot of time in the studio working on new material, and Arden was convinced that they were spending too much time recording, and that they were just faffing around and not producing anything of substance. They dropped off a tape to show him that they had been working -- and the next thing they knew, Arden had put out one of the tracks from that tape, "My Mind's Eye", which had only been intended as a demo, as a single: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "My Mind's Eye"] That it went to number four on the charts didn't make up for the fact that the first the band heard of the record coming out at all was when they heard it on the radio. They needed rid of Arden. Luckily for them, Arden wasn't keen on continuing to work with them either. They were unreliable and flakey, and he also needed cash quick to fund his other ventures, and he agreed to sell on their management and recording contracts. Depending on which version of the story you believe, he may have sold them on to an agent called Harold Davison, who then sold them on to Andrew Oldham and Tony Calder, but according to Oldham what happened is that in December 1966 Arden demanded the highest advance in British history -- twenty-five thousand pounds -- directly from Oldham. In cash. In a brown paper bag. The reason Oldham and Calder were interested was that in July 1965 they'd started up their own record label, Immediate Records, which had been announced by Oldham in his column in Disc and Music Echo, in which he'd said "On many occasions I have run down the large record companies over issues such as pirate stations, their promotion, and their tastes. And many readers have written in and said that if I was so disturbed by the state of the existing record companies why didn't I do something about it. I have! On the twentieth of this month the first of three records released by my own company, Immediate Records, is to be launched." That first batch of three records contained one big hit, "Hang on Sloopy" by the McCoys, which Immediate licensed from Bert Berns' new record label BANG in the US: [Excerpt: The McCoys, "Hang on Sloopy"] The two other initial singles featured the talents of Immediate's new in-house producer, a session player who had previously been known as "Little Jimmy" to distinguish him from "Big" Jim Sullivan, the other most in-demand session guitarist, but who was now just known as Jimmy Page. The first was a version of Pete Seeger's "The Bells of Rhymney", which Page produced and played guitar on, for a group called The Fifth Avenue: [Excerpt: The Fifth Avenue, "The Bells of Rhymney"] And the second was a Gordon Lightfoot song performed by a girlfriend of Brian Jones', Nico. The details as to who was involved in the track have varied -- at different times the production has been credited to Jones, Page, and Oldham -- but it seems to be the case that both Jones and Page play on the track, as did session bass player John Paul Jones: [Excerpt: Nico, "I'm Not Sayin'"] While "Hang on Sloopy" was a big hit, the other two singles were flops, and The Fifth Avenue split up, while Nico used the publicity she'd got as an entree into Andy Warhol's Factory, and we'll be hearing more about how that went in a future episode. Oldham and Calder were trying to follow the model of the Brill Building, of Phil Spector, and of big US independents like Motown and Stax. They wanted to be a one-stop shop where they'd produce the records, manage the artists, and own the publishing -- and they also licensed the publishing for the Beach Boys' songs for a couple of years, and started publicising their records over here in a big way, to exploit the publishing royalties, and that was a major factor in turning the Beach Boys from minor novelties to major stars in the UK. Most of Immediate's records were produced by Jimmy Page, but other people got to have a go as well. Giorgio Gomelsky and Shel Talmy both produced tracks for the label, as did a teenage singer then known as Paul Raven, who would later become notorious under his later stage-name Gary Glitter. But while many of these records were excellent -- and Immediate deserves to be talked about in the same terms as Motown or Stax when it comes to the quality of the singles it released, though not in terms of commercial success -- the only ones to do well on the charts in the first few months of the label's existence were "Hang on Sloopy" and an EP by Chris Farlowe. It was Farlowe who provided Immediate Records with its first home-grown number one, a version of the Rolling Stones' "Out of Time" produced by Mick Jagger, though according to Arthur Greenslade, the arranger on that and many other Immediate tracks, Jagger had given up on getting a decent performance out of Farlowe and Oldham ended up producing the vocals. Greenslade later said "Andrew must have worked hard in there, Chris Farlowe couldn't sing his way out of a paper bag. I'm sure Andrew must have done it, where you get an artist singing and you can do a sentence at a time, stitching it all together. He must have done it in pieces." But however hard it was to make, "Out of Time" was a success: [Excerpt: Chris Farlowe, "Out of Time"] Or at least, it was a success in the UK. It did also make the top forty in the US for a week, but then it hit a snag -- it had charted without having been released in the US at all, or even being sent as a promo to DJs. Oldham's new business manager Allen Klein had been asked to work his magic on the US charts, but the people he'd bribed to hype the record into the charts had got the release date wrong and done it too early. When the record *did* come out over there, no radio station would play it in case it looked like they were complicit in the scam. But still, a UK number one wasn't too shabby, and so Immediate Records was back on track, and Oldham wanted to shore things up by bringing in some more proven hit-makers. Immediate signed the Small Faces, and even started paying them royalties -- though that wouldn't last long, as Immediate went bankrupt in 1970 and its successors in interest stopped paying out. The first work the group did for the label was actually for a Chris Farlowe single. Lane and Marriott gave him their song "My Way of Giving", and played on the session along with Farlowe's backing band the Thunderbirds. Mick Jagger is the credited producer, but by all accounts Marriott and Lane did most of the work: [Excerpt: Chris Farlowe, "My Way of Giving"] Sadly, that didn't make the top forty. After working on that, they started on their first single recorded at Immediate. But because of contractual entanglements, "I Can't Make It" was recorded at Immediate but released by Decca. Because the band weren't particularly keen on promoting something on their old label, and the record was briefly banned by the BBC for being too sexual, it only made number twenty-six on the charts. Around this time, Marriott had become friendly with another band, who had named themselves The Little People in homage to the Small Faces, and particularly with their drummer Jerry Shirley. Marriott got them signed to Immediate, and produced and played on their first single, a version of his song "(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me?": [Excerpt: The Apostolic Intervention, "(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me?"] When they signed to Immediate, The Little People had to change their name, and Marriott suggested they call themselves The Nice, a phrase he liked. Oldham thought that was a stupid name, and gave the group the much more sensible name The Apostolic Intervention. And then a few weeks later he signed another group and changed *their* name to The Nice. "The Nice" was also a phrase used in the Small Faces' first single for Immediate proper. "Here Come the Nice" was inspired by a routine by the hipster comedian Lord Buckley, "The Nazz", which also gave a name to Todd Rundgren's band and inspired a line in David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust": [Excerpt: Lord Buckley, "The Nazz"] "Here Come the Nice" was very blatantly about a drug dealer, and somehow managed to reach number twelve despite that: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Here Come the Nice"] It also had another obstacle that stopped it doing as well as it might. A week before it came out, Decca released a single, "Patterns", from material they had in the vault. And in June 1967, two Small Faces albums came out. One of them was a collection from Decca of outtakes and demos, plus their non-album hit singles, titled From The Beginning, while the other was their first album on Immediate, which was titled Small Faces -- just like their first Decca album had been. To make matters worse, From The Beginning contained the group's demos of "My Way of Giving" and "(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me?", while the group's first Immediate album contained a new recording of "(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me?", and a version of "My Way of Giving" with the same backing track but a different vocal take from the one on the Decca collection. From this point on, the group's catalogue would be a complete mess, with an endless stream of compilations coming out, both from Decca and, after the group split, from Immediate, mixing tracks intended for release with demos and jam sessions with no regard for either their artistic intent or for what fans might want. Both albums charted, with Small Faces reaching number twelve and From The Beginning reaching number sixteen, neither doing as well as their first album had, despite the Immediate album, especially, being a much better record. This was partly because the Marriott/Lane partnership was becoming far more equal. Kenney Jones later said "During the Decca period most of the self-penned stuff was 99% Steve. It wasn't until Immediate that Ronnie became more involved. The first Immediate album is made up of 50% Steve's songs and 50% of Ronnie's. They didn't collaborate as much as people thought. In fact, when they did, they often ended up arguing and fighting." It's hard to know who did what on each song credited to the pair, but if we assume that each song's principal writer also sang lead -- we know that's not always the case, but it's a reasonable working assumption -- then Jones' fifty-fifty estimate seems about right. Of the fourteen songs on the album, McLagan sings one, which is also his own composition, "Up the Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire". There's one instrumental, six with Marriott on solo lead vocals, four with Lane on solo lead vocals, and two duets, one with Lane as the main vocalist and one with Marriott. The fact that there was now a second songwriter taking an equal role in the band meant that they could now do an entire album of originals. It also meant that their next Marriott/Lane single was mostly a Lane song. "Itchycoo Park" started with a verse lyric from Lane -- "Over bridge of sighs/To rest my eyes in shades of green/Under dreaming spires/To Itchycoo Park, that's where I've been". The inspiration apparently came from Lane reading about the dreaming spires of Oxford, and contrasting it with the places he used to play as a child, full of stinging nettles. For a verse melody, they repeated a trick they'd used before -- the melody of "My Mind's Eye" had been borrowed in part from the Christmas carol "Gloria in Excelsis Deo", and here they took inspiration from the old hymn "God Be in My Head": [Excerpt: The Choir of King's College Cambridge, "God Be in My Head"] As Marriott told the story: "We were in Ireland and speeding our brains out writing this song. Ronnie had the first verse already written down but he had no melody line, so what we did was stick the verse to the melody line of 'God Be In My Head' with a few chord variations. We were going towards Dublin airport and I thought of the middle eight... We wrote the second verse collectively, and the chorus speaks for itself." [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Itchycoo Park"] Marriott took the lead vocal, even though it was mostly Lane's song, but Marriott did contribute to the writing, coming up with the middle eight. Lane didn't seem hugely impressed with Marriott's contribution, and later said "It wasn't me that came up with 'I feel inclined to blow my mind, get hung up, feed the ducks with a bun/They all come out to groove about, be nice and have fun in the sun'. That wasn't me, but the more poetic stuff was." But that part became the most memorable part of the record, not so much because of the writing or performance but because of the production. It was one of the first singles released using a phasing effect, developed by George Chkiantz (and I apologise if I'm pronouncing that name wrong), who was the assistant engineer for Glyn Johns on the album. I say it was one of the first, because at the time there was not a clear distinction between the techniques now known as phasing, flanging, and artificial double tracking, all of which have now diverged, but all of which initially came from the idea of shifting two copies of a recording slightly out of synch with each other. The phasing on "Itchycoo Park" , though, was far more extreme and used to far different effect than that on, say, Revolver: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Itchycoo Park"] It was effective enough that Jimi Hendrix, who was at the time working on Axis: Bold as Love, requested that Chkiantz come in and show his engineer how to get the same effect, which was then used on huge chunks of Hendrix's album. The BBC banned the record, because even the organisation which had missed that the Nice who "is always there when I need some speed" was a drug dealer was a little suspicious about whether "we'll get high" and "we'll touch the sky" might be drug references. The band claimed to be horrified at the thought, and explained that they were talking about swings. It's a song about a park, so if you play on the swings, you go high. What else could it mean? [Excerpt: The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park”] No drug references there, I'm sure you'll agree. The song made number three, but the group ran into more difficulties with the BBC after an appearance on Top of the Pops. Marriott disliked the show's producer, and the way that he would go up to every act and pretend to think they had done a very good job, no matter what he actually thought, which Marriott thought of as hypocrisy rather than as politeness and professionalism. Marriott discovered that the producer was leaving the show, and so in the bar afterwards told him exactly what he thought of him, calling him a "two-faced", and then a four-letter word beginning with c which is generally considered the most offensive swear word there is. Unfortunately for Marriott, he'd been misinformed, the producer wasn't leaving the show, and the group were barred from it for a while. "Itchycoo Park" also made the top twenty in the US, thanks to a new distribution deal Immediate had, and plans were made for the group to tour America, but those plans had to be scrapped when Ian McLagan was arrested for possession of hashish, and instead the group toured France, with support from a group called the Herd: [Excerpt: The Herd, "From the Underworld"] Marriott became very friendly with the Herd's guitarist, Peter Frampton, and sympathised with Frampton's predicament when in the next year he was voted "face of '68" and developed a similar teenage following to the one the Small Faces had. The group's last single of 1967 was one of their best. "Tin Soldier" was inspired by the Hans Andersen story “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”, and was originally written for the singer P.P. Arnold, who Marriott was briefly dating around this time. But Arnold was *so* impressed with the song that Marriott decided to keep it for his own group, and Arnold was left just doing backing vocals on the track: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Tin Soldier"] It's hard to show the appeal of "Tin Soldier" in a short clip like those I use on this show, because so much of it is based on the use of dynamics, and the way the track rises and falls, but it's an extremely powerful track, and made the top ten. But it was after that that the band started falling apart, and also after that that they made the work generally considered their greatest album. As "Itchycoo Park" had made number one in Australia, the group were sent over there on tour to promote it, as support act for the Who. But the group hadn't been playing live much recently, and found it difficult to replicate their records on stage, as they were now so reliant on studio effects like phasing. The Australian audiences were uniformly hostile, and the contrast with the Who, who were at their peak as a live act at this point, couldn't have been greater. Marriott decided he had a solution. The band needed to get better live, so why not get Peter Frampton in as a fifth member? He was great on guitar and had stage presence, obviously that would fix their problems. But the other band members absolutely refused to get Frampton in. Marriott's confidence as a stage performer took a knock from which it never really recovered, and increasingly the band became a studio-only one. But the tour also put strain on the most important partnership in the band. Marriott and Lane had been the closest of friends and collaborators, but on the tour, both found a very different member of the Who to pal around with. Marriott became close to Keith Moon, and the two would get drunk and trash hotel rooms together. Lane, meanwhile, became very friendly with Pete Townshend, who introduced him to the work of the guru Meher Baba, who Townshend followed. Lane, too, became a follower, and the two would talk about religion and spirituality while their bandmates were destroying things. An attempt was made to heal the growing rifts though. Marriott, Lane, and McLagan all moved in together again like old times, but this time in a cottage -- something that became so common for bands around this time that the phrase "getting our heads together in the country" became a cliche in the music press. They started working on material for their new album. One of the tracks that they were working on was written by Marriott, and was inspired by how, before moving in to the country cottage, his neighbours had constantly complained about the volume of his music -- he'd been particularly annoyed that the pop singer Cilla Black, who lived in the same building and who he'd assumed would understand the pop star lifestyle, had complained more than anyone. It had started as as fairly serious blues song, but then Marriott had been confronted by the members of the group The Hollies, who wanted to know why Marriott always sang in a pseudo-American accent. Wasn't his own accent good enough? Was there something wrong with being from the East End of London? Well, no, Marriott decided, there wasn't, and so he decided to sing it in a Cockney accent. And so the song started to change, going from being an R&B song to being the kind of thing Cockneys could sing round a piano in a pub: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Lazy Sunday"] Marriott intended the song just as an album track for the album they were working on, but Andrew Oldham insisted on releasing it as a single, much to the band's disgust, and it went to number two on the charts, and along with "Itchycoo Park" meant that the group were now typecast as making playful, light-hearted music. The album they were working on, Ogden's Nut-Gone Flake, was eventually as known for its marketing as its music. In the Small Faces' long tradition of twisted religious references, like their songs based on hymns and their song "Here Come the Nice", which had taken inspiration from a routine about Jesus and made it about a drug dealer, the print ads for the album read: Small Faces Which were in the studios Hallowed be thy name Thy music come Thy songs be sung On this album as they came from your heads We give you this day our daily bread Give us thy album in a round cover as we give thee 37/9d Lead us into the record stores And deliver us Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake For nice is the music The sleeve and the story For ever and ever, Immediate The reason the ad mentioned a round cover is that the original pressings of the album were released in a circular cover, made to look like a tobacco tin, with the name of the brand of tobacco changed from Ogden's Nut-Brown Flake to Ogden's Nut-Gone Flake, a reference to how after smoking enough dope your nut, or head, would be gone. This made more sense to British listeners than to Americans, because not only was the slang on the label British, and not only was it a reference to a British tobacco brand, but American and British dope-smoking habits are very different. In America a joint is generally made by taking the dried leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant -- or "weed" -- and rolling them in a cigarette paper and smoking them. In the UK and much of Europe, though, the preferred form of cannabis is the resin, hashish, which is crumbled onto tobacco in a cigarette paper and smoked that way, so having rolling or pipe tobacco was a necessity for dope smokers in the UK in a way it wasn't in the US. Side one of Ogden's was made up of normal songs, but the second side mixed songs and narrative. Originally the group wanted to get Spike Milligan to do the narration, but when Milligan backed out they chose Professor Stanley Unwin, a comedian who was known for speaking in his own almost-English language, Unwinese: [Excerpt: Stanley Unwin, "The Populode of the Musicolly"] They gave Unwin a script, telling the story that linked side two of the album, in which Happiness Stan is shocked to discover that half the moon has disappeared and goes on a quest to find the missing half, aided by a giant fly who lets him sit on his back after Stan shares his shepherd's pie with the hungry fly. After a long quest they end up at the cave of Mad John the Hermit, who points out to them that nobody had stolen half the moon at all -- they'd been travelling so long that it was a full moon again, and everything was OK. Unwin took that script, and reworked it into Unwinese, and also added in a lot of the slang he heard the group use, like "cool it" and "what's been your hang-up?": [Excerpt: The Small Faces and Professor Stanley Unwin, "Mad John"] The album went to number one, and the group were justifiably proud, but it only exacerbated the problems with their live show. Other than an appearance on the TV show Colour Me Pop, where they were joined by Stanley Unwin to perform the whole of side two of the album with live vocals but miming to instrumental backing tracks, they only performed two songs from the album live, "Rollin' Over" and "Song of a Baker", otherwise sticking to the same live show Marriott was already embarrassed by. Marriott later said "We had spent an entire year in the studios, which was why our stage presentation had not been improved since the previous year. Meanwhile our recording experience had developed in leaps and bounds. We were all keenly interested in the technical possibilities, in the art of recording. We let down a lot of people who wanted to hear Ogden's played live. We were still sort of rough and ready, and in the end the audience became uninterested as far as our stage show was concerned. It was our own fault, because we would have sussed it all out if we had only used our brains. We could have taken Stanley Unwin on tour with us, maybe a string section as well, and it would have been okay. But we didn't do it, we stuck to the concept that had been successful for a long time, which is always the kiss of death." The group's next single would be the last released while they were together. Marriott regarded "The Universal" as possibly the best thing he'd written, and recorded it quickly when inspiration struck. The finished single is actually a home recording of Marriott in his garden, including the sounds of a dog barking and his wife coming home with the shopping, onto which the band later overdubbed percussion, horns, and electric guitars: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "The Universal"] Incidentally, it seems that the dog barking on that track may also be the dog barking on “Seamus” by Pink Floyd. "The Universal" confused listeners, and only made number sixteen on the charts, crushing Marriott, who thought it was the best thing he'd done. But the band were starting to splinter. McLagan isn't on "The Universal", having quit the band before it was recorded after a falling-out with Marriott. He rejoined, but discovered that in the meantime Marriott had brought in session player Nicky Hopkins to work on some tracks, which devastated him. Marriott became increasingly unconfident in his own writing, and the writing dried up. The group did start work on some new material, some of which, like "The Autumn Stone", is genuinely lovely: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "The Autumn Stone"] But by the time that was released, the group had already split up. The last recording they did together was as a backing group for Johnny Hallyday, the French rock star. A year earlier Hallyday had recorded a version of "My Way of Giving", under the title "Je N'Ai Jamais Rien Demandé": [Excerpt: Johnny Hallyday, "Je N'Ai Jamais Rien Demandé"] Now he got in touch with Glyn Johns to see if the Small Faces had any other material for him, and if they'd maybe back him on a few tracks on a new album. Johns and the Small Faces flew to France... as did Peter Frampton, who Marriott was still pushing to get into the band. They recorded three tracks for the album, with Frampton on extra guitar: [Excerpt: Johnny Hallyday, "Reclamation"] These tracks left Marriott more certain than ever that Frampton should be in the band, and the other three members even more certain that he shouldn't. Frampton joined the band on stage at a few shows on their next few gigs, but he was putting together his own band with Jerry Shirley from Apostolic Intervention. On New Year's Eve 1968, Marriott finally had enough. He stormed off stage mid-set, and quit the group. He phoned up Peter Frampton, who was hanging out with Glyn Johns listening to an album Johns had just produced by some of the session players who'd worked for Immediate. Side one had just finished when Marriott phoned. Could he join Frampton's new band? Frampton said of course he could, then put the phone down and listened to side two of Led Zeppelin's first record. The band Marriott and Frampton formed was called Humble Pie, and they were soon releasing stuff on Immediate. According to Oldham, "Tony Calder said to me one day 'Pick a straw'. Then he explained we had a choice. We could either go with the three Faces -- Kenney, Ronnie, and Mac -- wherever they were going to go with their lives, or we could follow Stevie. I didn't regard it as a choice. Neither did Tony. Marriott was our man". Marriott certainly seemed to agree that he was the real talent in the group. He and Lane had fairly recently bought some property together -- two houses on the same piece of land -- and with the group splitting up, Lane moved away and wanted to sell his share in the property to Marriott. Marriott wrote to him saying "You'll get nothing. This was bought with money from hits that I wrote, not that we wrote," and enclosing a PRS statement showing how much each Marriott/Lane
Due to Gareth and The Boys playin' on Sunday, there wasn't a show. Instead of leaving with nothing, here's a "classic" from the vaults. Enjoy!------------------------------------------------------------------Off the cuff all 7" vinyl special. No Steve this week, so Paul came in solo armed with a large bag of 45s left over from the previous show. A couple of skips here and there - it's a live radio show so there you go... Low levels of mundane chat, and plenty of killer records from the likes of ATCQ, Grace Jones, Horace Andy, Barrington Levy, Fela Kuti, The Spaniels, Howlin' Wolf, Ike Turner, KRS-One, Iggy & The Stooges, Tricky, and David Axelrod.------------------------------------------------------------------
Rafa and Joe G welcome the Cavaliers sharp-shooting small forward, discuss Rafa's trip to Mexico and explain their early-season stint on the IR.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
PART 1 of 2. In this episode, we talk with Carlton Smith (Royal Crescent Mob, Irie, Howlin' Maggie, etc.), Happy Chichester (Royal Crescent Mob, Howlin' Maggie, Twilight Singers, etc.) and Montie Temple (producer, sound and recording engineer for numerous local bands, including... RC Mob!). Enjoy! Songs featured in this episode: Mob's Revenge (Royal Crescent Mob) I Want A Van (Royal Crescent Mob) Two Sisters (Royal Crescent Mob) Ballad of Montie Temple (Royal Crescent Mob) Big Mistake (Royal Crescent Mob) Tundra (Royal Crescent Mob) Mama Said Knock You Out (LL Cool J / covered live by Royal Crescent Mob) Get On The Bus (Royal Crescent Mob) Love Rollercoaster (Ohio Players / covered by Royal Crescent Mob) Documentary discussed: White Riot Book discussed: Men's Quarterly #6
This week's show, after a 1979 Wire trill: brand new Lauds, Carina Messier, Alvvays, Black Nite Crash, Guest Directors, Beths, and Weyes Blood; plus Esquerita, Pete Townshend, Howlin' Wolf, Creation, West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Del Shannon, a...
On this episode of Rock is Lit . . .Michael Gaspeny and I talk about Our experiences launching debut novels and the advice we'd give new authors who are about to launch their first booksThe backstory that inspired Michael to write the novel ‘A Postcard From the Delta'Blues as the main character in the novel's religion and what the Blues means to Michael When the Blues first grabbed MichaelHow the British Blues Explosion of the 1960s helped white kids discover classic Blues musicians The appropriation issueMichael's experience visiting Clarksdale, Mississippi in the late 1990sWhy making pilgrimages to music-related sites is so important to music loversRacial issues present in the novelRay Koob and I talk about His podcast, Imbalanced History of Rock and Roll, and some of the episodes he's done on Delta Blues (see the Imbalanced History of Rock and Roll website for more on those episodes)Defining characteristics of Delta Blues and some of the most well-known playersWhy Robert Johnson had the most unique style amongst all the Delta Blues musicians of his era, the legend about him selling is soul to the devil at the crossroads, his mysterious deathThe earliest Delta Blues recordings—facilitated by John and Alan LomaxDelta Blues as inspiration for the Skiffle movement in England in the 1960sThe few recorded female Delta Blues musicians, like Memphis MinnieBessie Smith's tragic death/the effects of racism on the music and artists of the early to mid-20th centuryThe history, lore, and Blues-related sites in Clarksdale, MSContemporary artists playing and recording Delta Blues MUSIC AND MEDIA IN THE EPISODE IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE:(Copyright Free) Acoustic Delta Blues--Instrumental“Modern Love” by David Bowie“Smokestack Lightnin'” by Howlin' Wolf“You Can't Love What You Ain't Never Had” by Muddy Waters“Earth Angel” by The Penguins“Cross Road Blues” by Robert Johnson“I'm Ready” by Muddy Waters“Nothin' But The Devil” by Rory Gallagher“You Got to Move” by Mississippi Fred McDowell“Milk Cow Blues” by Freddie Spruell“Me and the Devil Blues” by Robert Johnson“When the Levee Breaks” by Memphis Minnie and Kansas JoeClip from the movie ‘Crossroads'“Serves Me Right to Suffer” by John Lee Hooker LINKS: Digital Dying Blog post on Michael Gaspeny, https://www.funeralwise.com/digital-dying/the-deathbed-poet-how-one-man-makes-poems-of-lifes-last-hours/North Carolina Writers' Network, articles on Michael Gaspeny, https://www.ncwriters.org/news/blog/tag/michael-gaspeny/ Imbalanced History of Rock and Roll Podcast's website, https://imbalancedhistory.com/Imbalanced History of Rock and Roll Twitter, @ImbalancedHisto Imbalanced History of Rock and Roll Facebook Christy Alexander Hallberg's website: https://www.christyalexanderhallberg.com/Christy Alexander Hallberg Twitter, @ChristyHallbergChristy Alexander Hallberg Instagram, @christyhallbergChristy Alexander Hallberg YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfSnRmlL5moSQYi6EjSvqag
It's the Zombie edition of blood curdling blues from the archives. PLAYLIST: ARTIST - ALBUM - TRACK. 1 JJ Appleton & Jason Ricci - Dirty Memory - Leaning Blues. 2 Hazmat Modine - Extra Deluxe Supreme - Your Sister. 3 The Reverend Shawn Amos - Loves You - Will You Be Mine. 4 Lara & The Bluz Dawgz - Howlin' - Howlin'. 5 Thorbjorn Risager & The Black Tornado - Songs From The Road - High Rolling. 6 Liz Mandeville - Angels Sing The Blues - I Just Want To Make Love To You. 7 Little Boys Blue - Bad Love - Treat Me Like You Used To Do. 8 The Jimmys - Hot Dish - Freight Train. 9 Chris Russell's Chicken Walk - Drive - Drive All Night. 10 Mitch Woods & Members Of Roomful Of Blues - Jammin' On The High Cs - Big Mamou. 11 Zakiya Hooker - In the Mood - Hang on for a While. 12 Ernie K Doe - Mother Inlaw. 13 Zilla Project - This One's For The President - Death Letter. 14 Muddy Road - Reaching For The Past - That's Why I'm Crying. Size: 155 MB (163,462,936 bytes) Duration: 1:08:02
In this new podcast, Paul goes behind the curtain to discuss Black Ensemble Theater's current production: “Blue Heaven.” Writer/Director Daryl Brooks and actor Billy Rude talk about the music and story that bring together: Howlin' Wolf, Big Mama Thornton, Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan and B.B King to tell their stories and jam for the […]
Louis Armstrong "I Ain't Go Nobody"Curtis Harding "Where's The Love"S.G. Goodman "If You Were Someone I Loved"Bessie Smith "House Rent Blues"Steve Earle & The Dukes (& Duchesses) "Pocket Full of Rain"Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis "Ain't Nobody's Business"Plains "Line of Sight"Vic Chesnutt "Band Camp"Twain And The Deslondes "Run Wild"James McMurtry "Paris"Ray Charles "The Right Time"Benjamin Booker "Violent Shiver"The Deslondes "Good to Go"Doc Watson "Nashville Blues"Eilen Jewell "Queen of the Minor Key"Hubert Sumlin "Howlin' For My Darling"Loretta Lynn "Heartaches Meet Mr. Blues"Jimmy Reed "You Got Me Dizzy"Kathleen Edwards "Empty Threat"Valerie June "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You"Charlie Parr "Henry Goes to the Bank"Willie Nelson "Stay All Night (Stay a Little Longer)"Willie Nelson "Devil in a Sleepin' Bag"Micah Schnabel "I'm Dead, Serious"Spirit Family Reunion "I Am Following That Sound"Lula (Lulu) Reed "Watch Dog"Langhorne Slim & The Law "The Way We Move"Fats Waller "Dream Man"Sam Cooke "Touch The Hem Of His Garment"Billy Joe Shaver "The Hottest Thing In Town"Miranda Lambert "I'm Just An Old Chunk Of Coal (But I'm Gonna Be A Diamond Someday)"Amanda Shires "Honky Tonk Heroes"Billy Joe Shaver "Ride Me Down Easy"Otis Redding "I've Been Loving You Too Long ( To Stop Now)"Ike Gordon "Don't Let The Devil Ride"Guy Clark "Desperados Waiting For A Train"Joan Shelley "Jenny Come In"Oscar Peterson Trio "Have You Met Miss Jones?"Ry Cooder "Good Morning Mr. Railroad Man"Charlie Bozo Nickerson "What's The Matter Now? - Part 1"Hattie Hart "Coldest Stuff In Town"Hank Williams "Lost Highway"Tommy Tucker "Walking The Dog"Vic Chesnutt "Worst Friend"
In Today's episode I get to talk to Skylar of Atomic Broad as they take us through their journey of forming a Queer Punk Rock band, recording an album and putting themselves out there. This is a great conversation especially for fellow musicians out there looking to make their own music and bands. Atomic Broad's New album "Unrepentant" releases Sunday, November 13th @ www.atomicbroad.bandcamp.com Feel free to click the attached link for a spotify "pre-save" link for the album release on Spotify https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/atomicbroad/unrepentant?utm_source=SendGrid&utm_medium=Email+&utm_campaign=website Be sure to follow Atomic Broad and show your Love for fellow Indy Artists. If you're in the New Orleans area November 26th, you can see Atomic Broad at The Howlin' Wolf (907 S. Peter St. New Orleans, LA 70130) 7P/8P Instagram @atomicbroadmakesmusic Twitter @atomic_broad atomicbroad.bandcamp.com/releases To help Support this show, Click that SUBSCRIBE button for New Bi-Weekly Episodes and please, RATE and REVIEW. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/jacob-rolland/support
Grace reacts to audio from the United Nations' COP27 (pronouced "cop" if you're climate-cool like Czar Kerry) conference. Biden's out there howling about how great the United States is on environmental policies. Then, Emma joins the show to see if listeners can distinguish between Ron DeSantis and Ron Swanson in a game of "Who Said That?"
Episode one hundred and fifty-seven of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “See Emily Play", the birth of the UK underground, and the career of Roger Barrett, known as Syd. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a twenty-five-minute bonus episode available, on "First Girl I Loved" by the Incredible String Band. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt's irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ Resources No Mixcloud this time, due to the number of Pink Floyd songs. I referred to two biographies of Barrett in this episode -- A Very Irregular Head by Rob Chapman is the one I would recommend, and the one whose narrative I have largely followed. Some of the information has been superseded by newer discoveries, but Chapman is almost unique in people writing about Barrett in that he actually seems to care about the facts and try to get things right rather than make up something more interesting. Crazy Diamond by Mike Watkinson and Pete Anderson is much less reliable, but does have quite a few interview quotes that aren't duplicated by Chapman. Information about Joe Boyd comes from Boyd's book White Bicycles. In this and future episodes on Pink Floyd I'm also relying on Nick Mason's Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd and Pink Floyd: All the Songs by Jean-Michel Guesdon and Philippe Margotin. The compilation Relics contains many of the most important tracks from Barrett's time with Pink Floyd, while Piper at the Gates of Dawn is his one full album with them. Those who want a fuller history of his time with the group will want to get Piper and also the box set Cambridge St/ation 1965-1967. Barrett only released two solo albums during his career. They're available as a bundle here. Completists will also want the rarities and outtakes collection Opel. ERRATA: I talk about “Interstellar Overdrive” as if Barrett wrote it solo. The song is credited to all four members, but it was Barrett who came up with the riff I talk about. And annoyingly, given the lengths I went to to deal correctly with Barrett's name, I repeatedly refer to "Dave" Gilmour, when Gilmour prefers David. Patreon This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of my backers on Patreon. Why not join them? Transcript A note before I begin -- this episode deals with drug use and mental illness, so anyone who might be upset by those subjects might want to skip this one. But also, there's a rather unique problem in how I deal with the name of the main artist in the story today. The man everyone knows as Syd Barrett was born Roger Barrett, used that name with his family for his whole life, and in later years very strongly disliked being called "Syd", yet everyone other than his family called him that at all times until he left the music industry, and that's the name that appears on record labels, including his solo albums. I don't believe it's right to refer to people by names they choose not to go by themselves, but the name Barrett went by throughout his brief period in the public eye was different from the one he went by later, and by all accounts he was actually distressed by its use in later years. So what I'm going to do in this episode is refer to him as "Roger Barrett" when a full name is necessary for disambiguation or just "Barrett" otherwise, but I'll leave any quotes from other people referring to "Syd" as they were originally phrased. In future episodes on Pink Floyd, I'll refer to him just as Barrett, but in episodes where I discuss his influence on other artists, I will probably have to use "Syd Barrett" because otherwise people who haven't listened to this episode won't know what on Earth I'm talking about. Anyway, on with the show. “It's gone!” sighed the Rat, sinking back in his seat again. “So beautiful and strange and new. Since it was to end so soon, I almost wish I had never heard it. For it has roused a longing in me that is pain, and nothing seems worth while but just to hear that sound once more and go on listening to it for ever. No! There it is again!” he cried, alert once more. Entranced, he was silent for a long space, spellbound. “Now it passes on and I begin to lose it,” he said presently. “O Mole! the beauty of it! The merry bubble and joy, the thin, clear, happy call of the distant piping! Such music I never dreamed of, and the call in it is stronger even than the music is sweet! Row on, Mole, row! For the music and the call must be for us.” That's a quote from a chapter titled "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" from the classic children's book The Wind in the Willows -- a book which for most of its length is a fairly straightforward story about anthropomorphic animals having jovial adventures, but which in that one chapter has Rat and Mole suddenly encounter the Great God Pan and have a hallucinatory, transcendental experience caused by his music, one so extreme it's wiped from their minds, as they simply cannot process it. The book, and the chapter, was a favourite of Roger Barrett, a young child born in Cambridge in 1946. Barrett came from an intellectual but not especially bookish family. His father, Dr. Arthur Barrett, was a pathologist -- there's a room in Addenbrooke's Hospital named after him -- but he was also an avid watercolour painter, a world-leading authority on fungi, and a member of the Cambridge Philharmonic Society who was apparently an extraordinarily good singer; while his mother Winifred was a stay-at-home mother who was nonetheless very active in the community, organising a local Girl Guide troupe. They never particularly encouraged their family to read, but young Roger did particularly enjoy the more pastoral end of the children's literature of the time. As well as the Wind in the Willows he also loved Alice in Wonderland, and the Little Grey Men books -- a series of stories about tiny gnomes and their adventures in the countryside. But his two big passions were music and painting. He got his first ukulele at age eleven, and by the time his father died, just before Roger's sixteenth birthday, he had graduated to playing a full-sized guitar. At the time his musical tastes were largely the same as those of any other British teenager -- he liked Chubby Checker, for example -- though he did have a tendency to prefer the quirkier end of things, and some of the first songs he tried to play on the guitar were those of Joe Brown: [Excerpt: Joe Brown, "I'm Henry VIII I Am"] Barrett grew up in Cambridge, and for those who don't know it, Cambridge is an incubator of a very particular kind of eccentricity. The university tends to attract rather unworldly intellectual overachievers to the city -- people who might not be able to survive in many other situations but who can thrive in that one -- and every description of Barrett's father suggests he was such a person -- Barrett's sister Rosemary has said that she believes that most of the family were autistic, though whether this is a belief based on popular media portrayals or a deeper understanding I don't know. But certainly Cambridge is full of eccentric people with remarkable achievements, and such people tend to have children with a certain type of personality, who try simultaneously to live up to and rebel against expectations of greatness that come from having parents who are regarded as great, and to do so with rather less awareness of social norms than the typical rebel has. In the case of Roger Barrett, he, like so many others of his generation, was encouraged to go into the sciences -- as indeed his father had, both in his career as a pathologist and in his avocation as a mycologist. The fifties and sixties were a time, much like today, when what we now refer to as the STEM subjects were regarded as new and exciting and modern. But rather than following in his father's professional footsteps, Roger Barrett instead followed his hobbies. Dr. Barrett was a painter and musician in his spare time, and Roger was to turn to those things to earn his living. For much of his teens, it seemed that art would be the direction he would go in. He was, everyone agrees, a hugely talented painter, and he was particularly noted for his mastery of colours. But he was also becoming more and more interested in R&B music, especially the music of Bo Diddley, who became his new biggest influence: [Excerpt: Bo Diddley, "Who Do You Love?"] He would often spend hours with his friend Dave Gilmour, a much more advanced guitarist, trying to learn blues riffs. By this point Barrett had already received the nickname "Syd". Depending on which story you believe, he either got it when he started attending a jazz club where an elderly jazzer named Sid Barrett played, and the people were amused that their youngest attendee, like one of the oldest, was called Barrett; or, more plausibly, he turned up to a Scout meeting once wearing a flat cap rather than the normal scout beret, and he got nicknamed "Sid" because it made him look working-class and "Sid" was a working-class sort of name. In 1962, by the time he was sixteen, Barrett joined a short-lived group called Geoff Mott and the Mottoes, on rhythm guitar. The group's lead singer, Geoff Mottlow, would go on to join a band called the Boston Crabs who would have a minor hit in 1965 with a version of the Coasters song "Down in Mexico": [Excerpt: The Boston Crabs, "Down in Mexico"] The bass player from the Mottoes, Tony Sainty, and the drummer Clive Welham, would go on to form another band, The Jokers Wild, with Barrett's friend Dave Gilmour. Barrett also briefly joined another band, Those Without, but his time with them was similarly brief. Some sources -- though ones I consider generally less reliable -- say that the Mottoes' bass player wasn't Tony Sainty, but was Roger Waters, the son of one of Barrett's teachers, and that one of the reasons the band split up was that Waters had moved down to London to study architecture. I don't think that's the case, but it's definitely true that Barrett knew Waters, and when he moved to London himself the next year to go to Camberwell Art College, he moved into a house where Waters was already living. Two previous tenants at the same house, Nick Mason and Richard Wright, had formed a loose band with Waters and various other amateur musicians like Keith Noble, Shelagh Noble, and Clive Metcalfe. That band was sometimes known as the Screaming Abdabs, The Megadeaths, or The Tea Set -- the latter as a sly reference to slang terms for cannabis -- but was mostly known at first as Sigma 6, named after a manifesto by the novelist Alexander Trocchi for a kind of spontaneous university. They were also sometimes known as Leonard's Lodgers, after the landlord of the home that Barrett was moving into, Mike Leonard, who would occasionally sit in on organ and would later, as the band became more of a coherent unit, act as a roadie and put on light shows behind them -- Leonard was himself very interested in avant-garde and experimental art, and it was his idea to play around with the group's lighting. By the time Barrett moved in with Waters in 1964, the group had settled on the Tea Set name, and consisted of Waters on bass, Mason on drums, Wright on keyboards, singer Chris Dennis, and guitarist Rado Klose. Of the group, Klose was the only one who was a skilled musician -- he was a very good jazz guitarist, while the other members were barely adequate. By this time Barrett's musical interests were expanding to include folk music -- his girlfriend at the time talked later about him taking her to see Bob Dylan on his first UK tour and thinking "My first reaction was seeing all these people like Syd. It was almost as if every town had sent one Syd Barrett there. It was my first time seeing people like him." But the music he was most into was the blues. And as the Tea Set were turning into a blues band, he joined them. He even had a name for the new band that would make them more bluesy. He'd read the back of a record cover which had named two extremely obscure blues musicians -- musicians he may never even have heard. Pink Anderson: [Excerpt: Pink Anderson, "Boll Weevil"] And Floyd Council: [Excerpt: Floyd Council, "Runaway Man Blues"] Barrett suggested that they put together the names of the two bluesmen, and presumably because "Anderson Council" didn't have quite the right ring, they went for The Pink Floyd -- though for a while yet they would sometimes still perform as The Tea Set, and they were sometimes also called The Pink Floyd Sound. Dennis left soon after Barrett joined, and the new five-piece Pink Floyd Sound started trying to get more gigs. They auditioned for Ready Steady Go! and were turned down, but did get some decent support slots, including for a band called the Tridents: [Excerpt: The Tridents, "Tiger in Your Tank"] The members of the group were particularly impressed by the Tridents' guitarist and the way he altered his sound using feedback -- Barrett even sent a letter to his girlfriend with a drawing of the guitarist, one Jeff Beck, raving about how good he was. At this point, the group were mostly performing cover versions, but they did have a handful of originals, and it was these they recorded in their first demo sessions in late 1964 and early 1965. They included "Walk With Me Sydney", a song written by Roger Waters as a parody of "Work With Me Annie" and "Dance With Me Henry" -- and, given the lyrics, possibly also Hank Ballard's follow-up "Henry's Got Flat Feet (Can't Dance No More) and featuring Rick Wright's then-wife Juliette Gale as Etta James to Barrett's Richard Berry: [Excerpt: The Tea Set, "Walk With Me Sydney"] And four songs by Barrett, including one called "Double-O Bo" which was a Bo Diddley rip-off, and "Butterfly", the most interesting of these early recordings: [Excerpt: The Tea Set, "Butterfly"] At this point, Barrett was very unsure of his own vocal abilities, and wrote a letter to his girlfriend saying "Emo says why don't I give up 'cos it sounds horrible, and I would but I can't get Fred to join because he's got a group (p'raps you knew!) so I still have to sing." "Fred" was a nickname for his old friend Dave Gilmour, who was playing in his own band, Joker's Wild, at this point. Summer 1965 saw two important events in the life of the group. The first was that Barrett took LSD for the first time. The rest of the group weren't interested in trying it, and would indeed generally be one of the more sober bands in the rock business, despite the reputation their music got. The other members would for the most part try acid once or twice, around late 1966, but generally steer clear of it. Barrett, by contrast, took it on a very regular basis, and it would influence all the work he did from that point on. The other event was that Rado Klose left the group. Klose was the only really proficient musician in the group, but he had very different tastes to the other members, preferring to play jazz to R&B and pop, and he was also falling behind in his university studies, and decided to put that ahead of remaining in the band. This meant that the group members had to radically rethink the way they were making music. They couldn't rely on instrumental proficiency, so they had to rely on ideas. One of the things they started to do was use echo. They got primitive echo devices and put both Barrett's guitar and Wright's keyboard through them, allowing them to create new sounds that hadn't been heard on stage before. But they were still mostly doing the same Slim Harpo and Bo Diddley numbers everyone else was doing, and weren't able to be particularly interesting while playing them. But for a while they carried on doing the normal gigs, like a birthday party they played in late 1965, where on the same bill was a young American folk singer named Paul Simon, and Joker's Wild, the band Dave Gilmour was in, who backed Simon on a version of "Johnny B. Goode". A couple of weeks after that party, Joker's Wild went into the studio to record their only privately-pressed five-song record, of them performing recent hits: [Excerpt: Joker's Wild, "Walk Like a Man"] But The Pink Floyd Sound weren't as musically tight as Joker's Wild, and they couldn't make a living as a cover band even if they wanted to. They had to do something different. Inspiration then came from a very unexpected source. I mentioned earlier that one of the names the group had been performing under had been inspired by a manifesto for a spontaneous university by the writer Alexander Trocchi. Trocchi's ideas had actually been put into practice by an organisation calling itself the London Free School, based in Notting Hill. The London Free School was an interesting mixture of people from what was then known as the New Left, but who were already rapidly aging, the people who had been the cornerstone of radical campaigning in the late fifties and early sixties, who had run the Aldermaston marches against nuclear weapons and so on, and a new breed of countercultural people who in a year or two would be defined as hippies but at the time were not so easy to pigeonhole. These people were mostly politically radical but very privileged people -- one of the founder members of the London Free School was Peter Jenner, who was the son of a vicar and the grandson of a Labour MP -- and they were trying to put their radical ideas into practice. The London Free School was meant to be a collective of people who would help each other and themselves, and who would educate each other. You'd go to the collective wanting to learn how to do something, whether that's how to improve the housing in your area or navigate some particularly difficult piece of bureaucracy, or how to play a musical instrument, and someone who had that skill would teach you how to do it, while you hopefully taught them something else of value. The London Free School, like all such utopian schemes, ended up falling apart, but it had a wider cultural impact than most such schemes. Britain's first underground newspaper, the International Times, was put together by people involved in the Free School, and the annual Notting Hill Carnival, which is now one of the biggest outdoor events in Britain every year with a million attendees, came from the merger of outdoor events organised by the Free School with older community events. A group of musicians called AMM was associated with many of the people involved in the Free School. AMM performed totally improvised music, with no structure and no normal sense of melody and harmony: [Excerpt: AMM, "What Is There In Uselesness To Cause You Distress?"] Keith Rowe, the guitarist in AMM, wanted to find his own technique uninfluenced by American jazz guitarists, and thought of that in terms that appealed very strongly to the painterly Barrett, saying "For the Americans to develop an American school of painting, they somehow had to ditch or lose European easel painting techniques. They had to make a break with the past. What did that possibly mean if you were a jazz guitar player? For me, symbolically, it was Pollock laying the canvas on the floor, which immediately abandons European easel technique. I could see that by laying the canvas down, it became inappropriate to apply easel techniques. I thought if I did that with a guitar, I would just lose all those techniques, because they would be physically impossible to do." Rowe's technique-free technique inspired Barrett to make similar noises with his guitar, and to think less in terms of melody and harmony than pure sound. AMM's first record came out in 1966. Four of the Free School people decided to put together their own record label, DNA, and they got an agreement with Elektra Records to distribute its first release -- Joe Boyd, the head of Elektra in the UK, was another London Free School member, and someone who had plenty of experience with disruptive art already, having been on the sound engineering team at the Newport Folk Festival when Dylan went electric. AMM went into the studio and recorded AMMMusic: [Excerpt: AMM, "What Is There In Uselesness To Cause You Distress?"] After that came out, though, Peter Jenner, one of the people who'd started the label, came to a realisation. He said later "We'd made this one record with AMM. Great record, very seminal, seriously avant-garde, but I'd started adding up and I'd worked out that the deal we had, we got two percent of retail, out of which we, the label, had to pay for recording costs and pay ourselves. I came to the conclusion that we were going to have to sell a hell of a lot of records just to pay the recording costs, let alone pay ourselves any money and build a label, so I realised we had to have a pop band because pop bands sold a lot of records. It was as simple as that and I was as naive as that." Jenner abandoned DNA records for the moment, and he and his friend Andrew King decided they were going to become pop managers. and they found The Pink Floyd Sound playing at an event at the Marquee, one of a series of events that were variously known as Spontaneous Underground and The Trip. Other participants in those events included Soft Machine; Mose Allison; Donovan, performing improvised songs backed by sitar players; Graham Bond; a performer who played Bach pieces while backed by African drummers; and The Poison Bellows, a poetry duo consisting of Spike Hawkins and Johnny Byrne, who may of all of these performers be the one who other than Pink Floyd themselves has had the most cultural impact in the UK -- after writing the exploitation novel Groupie and co-writing a film adaptation of Spike Milligan's war memoirs, Byrne became a TV screenwriter, writing many episodes of Space: 1999 and Doctor Who before creating the long-running TV series Heartbeat. Jenner and King decided they wanted to sign The Pink Floyd Sound and make records with them, and the group agreed -- but only after their summer holidays. They were all still students, and so they dispersed during the summer. Waters and Wright went on holiday to Greece, where they tried acid for the first of only a small number of occasions and were unimpressed, while Mason went on a trip round America by Greyhound bus. Barrett, meanwhile, stayed behind, and started writing more songs, encouraged by Jenner, who insisted that the band needed to stop relying on blues covers and come up with their own material, and who saw Barrett as the focus of the group. Jenner later described them as "Four not terribly competent musicians who managed between them to create something that was extraordinary. Syd was the main creative drive behind the band - he was the singer and lead guitarist. Roger couldn't tune his bass because he was tone deaf, it had to be tuned by Rick. Rick could write a bit of a tune and Roger could knock out a couple of words if necessary. 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' was the first song Roger ever wrote, and he only did it because Syd encouraged everyone to write. Syd was very hesitant about his writing, but when he produced these great songs everyone else thought 'Well, it must be easy'" Of course, we know this isn't quite true -- Waters had written "Walk with me Sydney" -- but it is definitely the case that everyone involved thought of Barrett as the main creative force in the group, and that he was the one that Jenner was encouraging to write new material. After the summer holidays, the group reconvened, and one of their first actions was to play a benefit for the London Free School. Jenner said later "Andrew King and myself were both vicars' sons, and we knew that when you want to raise money for the parish you have to have a social. So in a very old-fashioned way we said 'let's put on a social'. Like in the Just William books, like a whist drive. We thought 'You can't have a whist drive. That's not cool. Let's have a band. That would be cool.' And the only band we knew was the band I was starting to get involved with." After a couple of these events went well, Joe Boyd suggested that they make those events a regular club night, and the UFO Club was born. Jenner and King started working on the light shows for the group, and then bringing in other people, and the light show became an integral part of the group's mystique -- rather than standing in a spotlight as other groups would, they worked in shadows, with distorted kaleidoscopic lights playing on them, distancing themselves from the audience. The highlight of their sets was a long piece called "Interstellar Overdrive", and this became one of the group's first professional recordings, when they went into the studio with Joe Boyd to record it for the soundtrack of a film titled Tonite Let's All Make Love in London. There are conflicting stories about the inspiration for the main riff for "Interstellar Overdrive". One apparent source is the riff from Love's version of the Bacharach and David song "My Little Red Book". Depending on who you ask, either Barrett was obsessed with Love's first album and copied the riff, or Peter Jenner tried to hum him the riff and Barrett copied what Jenner was humming: [Excerpt: Love, "My Little Red Book"] More prosaically, Roger Waters has always claimed that the main inspiration was from "Old Ned", Ron Grainer's theme tune for the sitcom Steptoe and Son (which for American listeners was remade over there as Sanford and Son): [Excerpt: Ron Grainer, "Old Ned"] Of course it's entirely possible, and even likely, that Barrett was inspired by both, and if so that would neatly sum up the whole range of Pink Floyd's influences at this point. "My Little Red Book" was a cover by an American garage-psych/folk-rock band of a hit by Manfred Mann, a group who were best known for pop singles but were also serious blues and jazz musicians, while Steptoe and Son was a whimsical but dark and very English sitcom about a way of life that was slowly disappearing. And you can definitely hear both influences in the main riff of the track they recorded with Boyd: [Excerpt: The Pink Floyd, "Interstellar Overdrive"] "Interstellar Overdrive" was one of two types of song that The Pink Floyd were performing at this time -- a long, extended, instrumental psychedelic excuse for freaky sounds, inspired by things like the second disc of Freak Out! by the Mothers of Invention. When they went into the studio again with Boyd later in January 1967, to record what they hoped would be their first single, they recorded two of the other kind of songs -- whimsical story songs inspired equally by the incidents of everyday life and by children's literature. What became the B-side, "Candy and a Currant Bun", was based around the riff from "Smokestack Lightnin'" by Howlin' Wolf: [Excerpt: Howlin' Wolf, "Smokestack Lightnin'"] That song had become a favourite on the British blues scene, and was thus the inspiration for many songs of the type that get called "quintessentially English". Ray Davies, who was in many ways the major songwriter at this time who was closest to Barrett stylistically, would a year later use the riff for the Kinks song "Last of the Steam-Powered Trains", but in this case Barrett had originally written a song titled "Let's Roll Another One", about sexual longing and cannabis. The lyrics were hastily rewritten in the studio to remove the controversial drug references-- and supposedly this caused some conflict between Barrett and Waters, with Waters pushing for the change, while Barrett argued against it, though like many of the stories from this period this sounds like the kind of thing that gets said by people wanting to push particular images of both men. Either way, the lyric was changed to be about sweet treats rather than drugs, though the lascivious elements remained in. And some people even argue that there was another lyric change -- where Barrett sings "walk with me", there's a slight "f" sound in his vocal. As someone who does a lot of microphone work myself, it sounds to me like just one of those things that happens while recording, but a lot of people are very insistent that Barrett is deliberately singing a different word altogether: [Excerpt: The Pink Floyd, "Candy and a Currant Bun"] The A-side, meanwhile, was inspired by real life. Both Barrett and Waters had mothers who used to take in female lodgers, and both had regularly had their lodgers' underwear stolen from washing lines. While they didn't know anything else about the thief, he became in Barrett's imagination a man who liked to dress up in the clothing after he stole it: [Excerpt: The Pink Floyd, "Arnold Layne"] After recording the two tracks with Joe Boyd, the natural assumption was that the record would be put out on Elektra, the label which Boyd worked for in the UK, but Jac Holzman, the head of Elektra records, wasn't interested, and so a bidding war began for the single, as by this point the group were the hottest thing in London. For a while it looked like they were going to sign to Track Records, the label owned by the Who's management, but in the end EMI won out. Right as they signed, the News of the World was doing a whole series of articles about pop stars and their drug use, and the last of the articles talked about The Pink Floyd and their association with LSD, even though they hadn't released a record yet. EMI had to put out a press release saying that the group were not psychedelic, insisting"The Pink Floyd are not trying to create hallucinatory effects in their audience." It was only after getting signed that the group became full-time professionals. Waters had by this point graduated from university and was working as a trainee architect, and quit his job to become a pop star. Wright dropped out of university, but Mason and Barrett took sabbaticals. Barrett in particular seems to have seen this very much as a temporary thing, talking about how he was making so much money it would be foolish not to take the opportunity while it lasted, but how he was going to resume his studies in a year. "Arnold Layne" made the top twenty, and it would have gone higher had the pirate radio station Radio London, at the time the single most popular radio station when it came to pop music, not banned the track because of its sexual content. However, it would be the only single Joe Boyd would work on with the group. EMI insisted on only using in-house producers, and so while Joe Boyd would go on to a great career as a producer, and we'll see him again, he was replaced with Norman Smith. Smith had been the chief engineer on the Beatles records up to Rubber Soul, after which he'd been promoted to being a producer in his own right, and Geoff Emerick had taken over. He also had aspirations to pop stardom himself, and a few years later would have a transatlantic hit with "Oh Babe, What Would You Say?" under the name Hurricane Smith: [Excerpt: Hurricane Smith, "Oh Babe, What Would You Say?"] Smith's production of the group would prove controversial among some of the group's longtime fans, who thought that he did too much to curtail their more experimental side, as he would try to get the group to record songs that were more structured and more commercial, and would cut down their improvisations into a more manageable form. Others, notably Peter Jenner, thought that Smith was the perfect producer for the group. They started work on their first album, which was mostly recorded in studio three of Abbey Road, while the Beatles were just finishing off work on Sgt Pepper in studio two. The album was titled The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, after the chapter from The Wind in the Willows, and other than a few extended instrumental showcases, most of the album was made up of short, whimsical, songs by Barrett that were strongly infused with imagery from late-Victorian and Edwardian children's books. This is one of the big differences between the British and American psychedelic scenes. Both the British and American undergrounds were made up of the same type of people -- a mixture of older radical activists, often Communists, who had come up in Britain in the Ban the Bomb campaigns and in America in the Civil Rights movement; and younger people, usually middle-class students with radical politics from a privileged background, who were into experimenting with drugs and alternative lifestyles. But the social situations were different. In America, the younger members of the underground were angry and scared, as their principal interest was in stopping the war in Vietnam in which so many of them were being killed. And the music of the older generation of the underground, the Civil Rights activists, was shot through with influence from the blues, gospel, and American folk music, with a strong Black influence. So that's what the American psychedelic groups played, for the most part, very bluesy, very angry, music, By contrast, the British younger generation of hippies were not being drafted to go to war, and mostly had little to complain about, other than a feeling of being stifled by their parents' generation's expectations. And while most of them were influenced by the blues, that wasn't the music that had been popular among the older underground people, who had either been listening to experimental European art music or had been influenced by Ewan MacColl and his associates into listening instead to traditional old English ballads, things like the story of Tam Lin or Thomas the Rhymer, where someone is spirited away to the land of the fairies: [Excerpt: Ewan MacColl, "Thomas the Rhymer"] As a result, most British musicians, when exposed to the culture of the underground over here, created music that looked back to an idealised childhood of their grandparents' generation, songs that were nostalgic for a past just before the one they could remember (as opposed to their own childhoods, which had taken place in war or the immediate aftermath of it, dominated by poverty, rationing, and bomb sites (though of course Barrett's childhood in Cambridge had been far closer to this mythic idyll than those of his contemporaries from Liverpool, Birmingham, Newcastle, or London). So almost every British musician who was making music that might be called psychedelic was writing songs that were influenced both by experimental art music and by pre-War popular song, and which conjured up images from older children's books. Most notably of course at this point the Beatles were recording songs like "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" about places from their childhood, and taking lyrical inspiration from Victorian circus posters and the works of Lewis Carroll, but Barrett was similarly inspired. One of the books he loved most as a child was "The Little Grey Men" by BB, a penname for Denys Watkins-Pitchford. The book told the story of three gnomes, Baldmoney, Sneezewort, and Dodder, and their adventures on a boat when the fourth member of their little group, Cloudberry, who's a bit of a rebellious loner and more adventurous than the other three, goes exploring on his own and they have to go off and find him. Barrett's song "The Gnome" doesn't use any precise details from the book, but its combination of whimsy about a gnome named Grimble-gromble and a reverence for nature is very much in the mould of BB's work: [Excerpt: The Pink Floyd, "The Gnome"] Another huge influence on Barrett was Hillaire Belloc. Belloc is someone who is not read much any more, as sadly he is mostly known for the intense antisemitism in some of his writing, which stains it just as so much of early twentieth-century literature is stained, but he was one of the most influential writers of the early part of the twentieth century. Like his friend GK Chesterton he was simultaneously an author of Catholic apologia and a political campaigner -- he was a Liberal MP for a few years, and a strong advocate of an economic system known as Distributism, and had a peculiar mixture of very progressive and extremely reactionary ideas which resonated with a lot of the atmosphere in the British underground of the time, even though he would likely have profoundly disapproved of them. But Belloc wrote in a variety of styles, including poems for children, which are the works of his that have aged the best, and were a huge influence on later children's writers like Roald Dahl with their gleeful comic cruelty. Barrett's "Matilda Mother" had lyrics that were, other than the chorus where Barrett begs his mother to read him more of the story, taken verbatim from three poems from Belloc's Cautionary Tales for Children -- "Jim, Who Ran away from his Nurse, and was Eaten by a Lion", "Henry King (Who chewed bits of String, and was cut off in Dreadful Agonies)", and "Matilda (Who Told Lies and Was Burned to Death)" -- the titles of those give some idea of the kind of thing Belloc would write: [Excerpt: The Pink Floyd, "Matilda Mother (early version)"] Sadly for Barrett, Belloc's estate refused to allow permission for his poems to be used, and so he had to rework the lyrics, writing new fairy-tale lyrics for the finished version. Other sources of inspiration for lyrics came from books like the I Ching, which Barrett used for "Chapter 24", having bought a copy from the Indica Bookshop, the same place that John Lennon had bought The Psychedelic Experience, and there's been some suggestion that he was deliberately trying to copy Lennon in taking lyrical ideas from a book of ancient mystic wisdom. During the recording of Piper at the Gates of Dawn, the group continued playing live. As they'd now had a hit single, most of their performances were at Top Rank Ballrooms and other such venues around the country, on bills with other top chart groups, playing to audiences who seemed unimpressed or actively hostile. They also, though made two important appearances. The more well-known of these was at the 14-Hour Technicolor Dream, a benefit for International Times magazine with people including Yoko Ono, their future collaborator Ron Geesin, John's Children, Soft Machine, and The Move also performing. The 14-Hour Technicolor Dream is now largely regarded as *the* pivotal moment in the development of the UK counterculture, though even at the time some participants noted that there seemed to be a rift developing between the performers, who were often fairly straightforward beer-drinking ambitious young men who had latched on to kaftans and talk about enlightenment as the latest gimmick they could use to get ahead in the industry, and the audience who seemed to be true believers. Their other major performance was at an event called "Games for May -- Space Age Relaxation for the Climax of Spring", where they were able to do a full long set in a concert space with a quadrophonic sound system, rather than performing in the utterly sub-par environments most pop bands had to at this point. They came up with a new song written for the event, which became their second single, "See Emily Play". [Excerpt: The Pink Floyd, "See Emily Play"] Emily was apparently always a favourite name of Barrett's, and he even talked with one girlfriend about the possibility of naming their first child Emily, but the Emily of the song seems to have had a specific inspiration. One of the youngest attendees at the London Free School was an actual schoolgirl, Emily Young, who would go along to their events with her schoolfriend Anjelica Huston (who later became a well-known film star). Young is now a world-renowned artist, regarded as arguably Britain's greatest living stone sculptor, but at the time she was very like the other people at the London Free School -- she was from a very privileged background, her father was Wayland Young, 2nd Baron Kennet, a Labour Peer and minister who later joined the SDP. But being younger than the rest of the attendees, and still a little naive, she was still trying to find her own personality, and would take on attributes and attitudes of other people without fully understanding them, hence the song's opening lines, "Emily tries, but misunderstands/She's often inclined to borrow somebody's dream til tomorrow". The song gets a little darker towards the end though, and the image in the last verse, where she puts on a gown and floats down a river forever *could* be a gentle, pastoral, image of someone going on a boat ride, but it also could be a reference to two rather darker sources. Barrett was known to pick up imagery both from classic literature and from Arthurian legend, and so the lines inevitably conjure up both the idea of Ophelia drowning herself and of the Lady of Shallot in Tennyson's Arthurian poem, who is trapped in a tower but finds a boat, and floats down the river to Camelot but dies before the boat reaches the castle: [Excerpt: The Pink Floyd, "See Emily Play"] The song also evokes very specific memories of Barrett's childhood -- according to Roger Waters, the woods mentioned in the lyrics are meant to be woods in which they had played as children, on the road out of Cambridge towards the Gog and Magog Hills. The song was apparently seven minutes long in its earliest versions, and required a great deal of editing to get down to single length, but it was worth it, as the track made the top ten. And that was where the problems started. There are two different stories told about what happened to Roger Barrett over the next forty years, and both stories are told by people with particular agendas, who want particular versions of him to become the accepted truth. Both stories are, in the extreme versions that have been popularised, utterly incompatible with each other, but both are fairly compatible with the scanty evidence we have. Possibly the truth lies somewhere between them. In one version of the story, around this time Barrett had a total mental breakdown, brought on or exacerbated by his overuse of LSD and Mandrax (a prescription drug consisting of a mixture of the antihistamine diphenhydramine and the sedative methaqualone, which was marketed in the US under the brand-name Quaalude), and that from late summer 1967 on he was unable to lead a normal life, and spent the rest of his life as a burned-out shell. The other version of the story is that Barrett was a little fragile, and did have periods of mental illness, but for the most part was able to function fairly well. In this version of the story, he was neurodivergent, and found celebrity distressing, but more than that he found the whole process of working within commercial restrictions upsetting -- having to appear on TV pop shows and go on package tours was just not something he found himself able to do, but he was responsible for a whole apparatus of people who relied on him and his group for their living. In this telling, he was surrounded by parasites who looked on him as their combination meal-ticket-cum-guru, and was simply not suited for the role and wanted to sabotage it so he could have a private life instead. Either way, *something* seems to have changed in Barrett in a profound way in the early summer of 1967. Joe Boyd talks about meeting him after not having seen him for a few weeks, and all the light being gone from his eyes. The group appeared on Top of the Pops, Britain's top pop TV show, three times to promote "See Emily Play", but by the third time Barrett didn't even pretend to mime along with the single. Towards the end of July, they were meant to record a session for the BBC's Saturday Club radio show, but Barrett walked out of the studio before completing the first song. It's notable that Barrett's non-cooperation or inability to function was very much dependent on circumstance. He was not able to perform for Saturday Club, a mainstream pop show aimed at a mass audience, but gave perfectly good performances on several sessions for John Peel's radio show The Perfumed Garden, a show firmly aimed at Pink Floyd's own underground niche. On the thirty-first of July, three days after the Saturday Club walkout, all the group's performances for the next month were cancelled, due to "nervous exhaustion". But on the eighth of August, they went back into the studio, to record "Scream Thy Last Scream", a song Barrett wrote and which Nick Mason sang: [Excerpt: Pink Floyd, "Scream Thy Last Scream"] That was scheduled as the group's next single, but the record company vetoed it, and it wouldn't see an official release for forty-nine years. Instead they recorded another single, "Apples and Oranges": [Excerpt: Pink Floyd, "Apples and Oranges"] That was the last thing the group released while Barrett was a member. In November 1967 they went on a tour of the US, making appearances on American Bandstand and the Pat Boone Show, as well as playing several gigs. According to legend, Barrett was almost catatonic on the Pat Boone show, though no footage of that appears to be available anywhere -- and the same things were said about their performance on Bandstand, and when that turned up, it turned out Barrett seemed no more uncomfortable miming to their new single than any of the rest of the band, and was no less polite when Dick Clark asked them questions about hamburgers. But on shows on the US tour, Barrett would do things like detune his guitar so it just made clanging sounds, or just play a single note throughout the show. These are, again, things that could be taken in two different ways, and I have no way to judge which is the more correct. On one level, they could be a sign of a chaotic, disordered, mind, someone dealing with severe mental health difficulties. On the other, they're the kind of thing that Barrett was applauded and praised for in the confines of the kind of avant-garde underground audience that would pay to hear AMM or Yoko Ono, the kind of people they'd been performing for less than a year earlier, but which were absolutely not appropriate for a pop group trying to promote their latest hit single. It could be that Barrett was severely unwell, or it could just be that he wanted to be an experimental artist and his bandmates wanted to be pop stars -- and one thing absolutely everyone agrees is that the rest of the group were more ambitious than Barrett was. Whichever was the case, though, something had to give. They cut the US tour short, but immediately started another British package tour, with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Move, Amen Corner and the Nice. After that tour they started work on their next album, A Saucerful of Secrets. Where Barrett was the lead singer and principal songwriter on Piper at the Gates of Dawn, he only sings and writes one song on A Saucerful of Secrets, which is otherwise written by Waters and Wright, and only appears at all on two more of the tracks -- by the time it was released he was out of the group. The last song he tried to get the group to record was called "Have You Got it Yet?" and it was only after spending some time rehearsing it that the rest of the band realised that the song was a practical joke on them -- every time they played it, he would change the song around so they would mess up, and pretend they just hadn't learned the song yet. They brought in Barrett's old friend Dave Gilmour, initially to be a fifth member on stage to give the band some stability in their performances, but after five shows with the five-man lineup they decided just not to bother picking Barrett up, but didn't mention he was out of the group, to avoid awkwardness. At the time, Barrett and Rick Wright were flatmates, and Wright would actually lie to Barrett and say he was just going out to buy a packet of cigarettes, and then go and play gigs without him. After a couple of months of this, it was officially announced that Barrett was leaving the group. Jenner and King went with him, convinced that he was the real talent in the group and would have a solo career, and the group carried on with new management. We'll be looking at them more in future episodes. Barrett made a start at recording a solo album in mid-1968, but didn't get very far. Jenner produced those sessions, and later said "It seemed a good idea to go into the studio because I knew he had the songs. And he would sometimes play bits and pieces and you would think 'Oh that's great.' It was a 'he's got a bit of a cold today and it might get better' approach. It wasn't a cold -- and you knew it wasn't a cold -- but I kept thinking if he did the right things he'd come back to join us. He'd gone out and maybe he'd come back. That was always the analogy in my head. I wanted to make it feel friendly for him, and that where we were was a comfortable place and that he could come back and find himself again. I obviously didn't succeed." A handful of tracks from those sessions have since been released, including a version of “Golden Hair”, a setting by Barrett of a poem by James Joyce that he would later revisit: [Excerpt: Syd Barrett, “Golden Hair (first version)”] Eleven months later, he went back into the studio again, this time with producer Malcolm Jones, to record an album that later became The Madcap Laughs, his first solo album. The recording process for the album has been the source of some controversy, as initially Jones was producing the whole album, and they were working in a way that Barrett never worked before. Where previously he had cut backing tracks first and only later overdubbed his vocals, this time he started by recording acoustic guitar and vocals, and then overdubbed on top of that. But after several sessions, Jones was pulled off the album, and Gilmour and Waters were asked to produce the rest of the sessions. This may seem a bit of a callous decision, since Gilmour was the person who had replaced Barrett in his group, but apparently the two of them had remained friends, and indeed Gilmour thought that Barrett had only got better as a songwriter since leaving the band. Where Malcolm Jones had been trying, by his account, to put out something that sounded like a serious, professional, record, Gilmour and Waters seemed to regard what they were doing more as producing a piece of audio verite documentary, including false starts and studio chatter. Jones believed that this put Barrett in a bad light, saying the outtakes "show Syd, at best as out of tune, which he rarely was, and at worst as out of control (which, again, he never was)." Gilmour and Waters, on the other hand, thought that material was necessary to provide some context for why the album wasn't as slick and professional as some might have hoped. The eventual record was a hodge-podge of different styles from different sessions, with bits from the Jenner sessions, the Jones sessions, and the Waters and Gilmour sessions all mixed together, with some tracks just Barrett badly double-tracking himself with an acoustic guitar, while other tracks feature full backing by Soft Machine. However, despite Jones' accusations that the album was more-or-less sabotaged by Gilmour and Waters, the fact remains that the best tracks on the album are the ones Barrett's former bandmates produced, and there are some magnificent moments on there. But it's a disturbing album to listen to, in the same way other albums by people with clear talent but clear mental illness are, like Skip Spence's Oar, Roky Erickson's later work, or the Beach Boys Love You. In each case, the pleasure one gets is a real pleasure from real aesthetic appreciation of the work, but entangled with an awareness that the work would not exist in that form were the creator not suffering. The pleasure doesn't come from the suffering -- these are real artists creating real art, not the kind of outsider art that is really just a modern-day freak-show -- but it's still inextricable from it: [Excerpt: Syd Barrett, "Dark Globe"] The Madcap Laughs did well enough that Barrett got to record a follow-up, titled simply Barrett. This one was recorded over a period of only a handful of months, with Gilmour and Rick Wright producing, and a band consisting of Gilmour, Wright, and drummer Jerry Shirley. The album is generally considered both more consistent and less interesting than The Madcap Laughs, with less really interesting material, though there are some enjoyable moments on it: [Excerpt: Syd Barrett, "Effervescing Elephant"] But the album is a little aimless, and people who knew him at the time seem agreed that that was a reflection of his life. He had nothing he *needed* to be doing -- no tour dates, no deadlines, no pressure at all, and he had a bit of money from record royalties -- so he just did nothing at all. The one solo gig he ever played, with the band who backed him on Barrett, lasted four songs, and he walked off half-way through the fourth. He moved back to Cambridge for a while in the early seventies, and he tried putting together a new band with Twink, the drummer of the Pink Fairies and Pretty Things, Fred Frith, and Jack Monck, but Frith left after one gig. The other three performed a handful of shows either as "Stars" or as "Barrett, Adler, and Monck", just in the Cambridge area, but soon Barrett got bored again. He moved back to London, and in 1974 he made one final attempt to make a record, going into the studio with Peter Jenner, where he recorded a handful of tracks that were never released. But given that the titles of those tracks were things like "Boogie #1", "Boogie #2", "Slow Boogie", "Fast Boogie", "Chooka-Chooka Chug Chug" and "John Lee Hooker", I suspect we're not missing out on a lost masterpiece. Around this time there was a general resurgence in interest in Barrett, prompted by David Bowie having recorded a version of "See Emily Play" on his covers album Pin-Ups, which came out in late 1973: [Excerpt: David Bowie, "See Emily Play"] At the same time, the journalist Nick Kent wrote a long profile of Barrett, The Cracked Ballad of Syd Barrett, which like Kent's piece on Brian Wilson a year later, managed to be a remarkable piece of writing with a sense of sympathy for its subject and understanding of his music, but also a less-than-accurate piece of journalism which led to a lot of myths and disinformation being propagated. Barrett briefly visited his old bandmates in the studio in 1975 while they were recording the album Wish You Were Here -- some say even during the recording of the song "Shine On, You Crazy Diamond", which was written specifically about Barrett, though Nick Mason claims otherwise -- and they didn't recognise him at first, because by this point he had a shaved head and had put on a great deal of weight. He seemed rather sad, and that was the last time any of them saw him, apart from Roger Waters, who saw him in Harrod's a few years later. That time, as soon as Barrett recognised Waters, he dropped his bag and ran out of the shop. For the next thirty-one years, Barrett made no public appearances. The last time he ever voluntarily spoke to a journalist, other than telling them to go away, was in 1982, just after he'd moved back to Cambridge, when someone doorstopped him and he answered a few questions and posed for a photo before saying "OK! That's enough, this is distressing for me, thank you." He had the reputation for the rest of his life of being a shut-in, a recluse, an acid casualty. His family, on the other hand, have always claimed that while he was never particularly mentally or physically healthy, he wasn't a shut-in, and would go to the pub, meet up with his mother a couple of times a week to go shopping, and chat to the women behind the counter at Sainsbury's and at the pharmacy. He was also apparently very good with children who lived in the neighbourhood. Whatever the truth of his final decades, though, however mentally well or unwell he actually was, one thing is very clear, which is that he was an extremely private man, who did not want attention, and who was greatly distressed by the constant stream of people coming and looking through his letterbox, trying to take photos of him, trying to interview him, and so on. Everyone on his street knew that when people came asking which was Syd Barrett's house, they were meant to say that no-one of that name lived there -- and they were telling the truth. By the time he moved back, he had stopped answering to "Syd" altogether, and according to his sister "He came to hate the name latterly, and what it meant." He did, in 2001, go round to his sister's house to watch a documentary about himself on the TV -- he didn't own a TV himself -- but he didn't enjoy it and his only comment was that the music was too noisy. By this point he never listened to rock music, just to jazz and classical music, usually on the radio. He was financially secure -- Dave Gilmour made sure that when compilations came out they always included some music from Barrett's period in the group so he would receive royalties, even though Gilmour had no contact with him after 1975 -- and he spent most of his time painting -- he would take photos of the paintings when they were completed, and then burn the originals. There are many stories about those last few decades, but given how much he valued his privacy, it wouldn't be right to share them. This is a history of rock music, and 1975 was the last time Roger Keith Barrett ever had anything to do with rock music voluntarily. He died of cancer in 2006, and at his funeral there was a reading from The Little Grey Men, which was also quoted in the Order of Service -- "The wonder of the world, the beauty and the power, the shapes of things, their colours lights and shades; these I saw. Look ye also while life lasts.” There was no rock music played at Barrett's funeral -- instead there were a selection of pieces by Handel, Haydn, and Bach, ending with Bach's Allemande from the Partita No. IV in D major, one of his favourite pieces: [Excerpt: Glenn Gould, "Allemande from the Partita No. IV in D major"] As they stared blankly in dumb misery deepening as they slowly realised all they had seen and all they had lost, a capricious little breeze, dancing up from the surface of the water, tossed the aspens, shook the dewy roses and blew lightly and caressingly in their faces; and with its soft touch came instant oblivion. For this is the last best gift that the kindly demi-god is careful to bestow on those to whom he has revealed himself in their helping: the gift of forgetfulness. Lest the awful remembrance should remain and grow, and overshadow mirth and pleasure, and the great haunting memory should spoil all the after-lives of little animals helped out of difficulties, in order that they should be happy and lighthearted as before. Mole rubbed his eyes and stared at Rat, who was looking about him in a puzzled sort of way. “I beg your pardon; what did you say, Rat?” he asked. “I think I was only remarking,” said Rat slowly, “that this was the right sort of place, and that here, if anywhere, we should find him. And look! Why, there he is, the little fellow!” And with a cry of delight he ran towards the slumbering Portly. But Mole stood still a moment, held in thought. As one wakened suddenly from a beautiful dream, who struggles to recall it, and can re-capture nothing but a dim sense of the beauty of it, the beauty! Till that, too, fades away in its turn, and the dreamer bitterly accepts the hard, cold waking and all its penalties; so Mole, after struggling with his memory for a brief space, shook his head sadly and followed the Rat.
Pacific Street Blues & AmericanaNovember 6, 2022Eric Clapton Special 1. Eric Clapton & JJ Cale / Three Little Girls 2. J.J. Cale / Cocaine 3. BB King with Eric Clapton / Rock Me Baby 4. Robert Randolph & The Family Band (feat Eric Clapton) / Jesus is Just Alright5. Bo Diddley / Before You Accuse Me6. Bobby Blue Bland / Further On Up the Road7. Muddy Waters / Standing Around, Crying8. Elmore James / It Hurts Me Too 9. Yardbirds / (Charlie Parker) / Smokestack Lighting 10. Howling Wolf / Sitting on Top of the World 11. Yardbirds / For Your Love 12. Howlin' Wolf (feat Eric Clapton, Stevie Winwood, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman) / Build for Comfort 13. Sonny Boy Williamson & the Yardbirds (feat Eric Clapton)/ Bye Bye Birdie14. John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers / All Your Love 15. Freddie King / Hideaway16. Blind Faith / Can't Find My Way Home 17. Gov't Mule / Presence of the Lord18. Buddy Guy / Strange Brew 19. Sheryl Crow (feat Eric Clapton) / White Room 20. Skip James / I'm So Glad21. Rotary Connection /Tales of the Brave Ulysses
Vera Hall "Death, Have Mercy"Fleetwood Mac "Green Manalishi (With the Two Pronged Crown)"Bessie Smith "Graveyard Dream Blues"Billy Joe Shaver "The Devil Made Me Do It the First Time"Ted Leo and the Pharmacists "I'm A Ghost"Sister Rosetta Tharpe "Strange Things Happening Every Day"Tampa Red "Witchin' Hour Blues"Neil Young "Vampire Blues"Lefty Frizzell "The Long Black Veil"Muddy Waters "Got My Mojo Working"Dr. John "Black John the Conqueror"Leon Redbone "Haunted House"Little Willie John "I'm Shakin'"Shotgun Jazz Band "Old Man Mose"Lil Green "Romance In the Dark"The Make-Up "They Live By Night"Uncle Tupelo "Graveyard Shift"Bessie Jones "Oh Death"Albert King "Born Under a Bad Sign"Nina Simone "I Want a Little Sugar In My Bowl"Oscar Celestin "Marie Laveau"Reverend Gary Davis "Death Don't Have No Mercy"Roy Newman & His Boys "Sadie Green (The Vamp of New Orleans)"Jessie Mae Hemphill "She-Wolf"Screamin' Jay Hawkins "I Put a Spell On You"Eilen Jewell "It's Your Voodoo Working"George Olsen and His Music "Tain't No Sin to Dance Around in Your Bones"Son House "Death Letter"Johnny Cash "The Man Comes Around"Fleetwood Mac "Black Magic Woman"Blind Lemon Jefferson "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean"Elvis Costello & the Roots "Wise Up Ghost"Hank Williams "Howlin' At the Moon"Bob Dylan "That Old Black Magic"The Halo Benders "Scarin'"Blind Willie Johnson "Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground"Steve And Justin Townes Earle "Candy Man"Billie Holiday "Sugar"Jeff Beck "I Ain't Superstitious"Cab Calloway/Cab Calloway Orchestra "St. James Infirmary"Bonnie Raitt "Devil Got My Woman"Sebadoh "Vampire"Fred McDowell "Death Came In"Howlin' Wolf "Evil"Ella Fitzgerald "Chew-Chew-Chew (Your Bubble Gum)"Robert Johnson "Hellhound On My Trail"John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers "The Super-Natural"Tom Waits "Big Joe and Phantom 309"