May 24, 2017

Dave Tomlin's forthcoming new book!

Dave Tomlin's new book will be distribuited on June 9th, 2017 by Strange Attractor (, an interesting English publisher. It will be a reprint of the complete "Tales from the Embassy" that he published privately in three different editions (in 2002, 2006 and 2008).
On the back cover of this brand new edition you can read:
"One night in 1976, a group of squatters entered the Cambodian Embassy in London, an opulent building that had remained empty for two years following the bloody revolution of the Khmer Rouge. For the next fifteen years, this peculiar residence would play host to the Guild of Transcultural Studies, an open platform for creative monomaniacs, radical metaphysicians, poets, prophets and exiles.
Dave Tomlin, founder of the Guild, member of the experimental music ensemble Third Ear Band, and contributor to the legendary underground newspaper International Times, traces a playful, semi-fictionalised, and highly readable path through this long occupation, illustrating the unfettered nature of its many occupants while providing a vivid portrayal of a more leisured age in which eccentricity could flourish more readily.
These humorous, insightful, and deftly crafted vignettes boast a thinly disguised cast of provocateurs, many of them celebrated in their own right, including pursuer of earth mysteries John Michell, beat poet Harry Fainlight, playwright of The Warp Neil Oram, the surrealist playwright and performer Ken Campbell, heretical biologist Rupert Sheldrake, countercultural photographer and journalist John “Hoppy” Hopkins, and Sir Mark Palmer, aristocratturned-gypsy-traveller and male-model impresario."
Three excerpts from the old books with references to Glen and the Third Ear Band  are available on this Archive at

Dave talks about his experiences at the Embassy on this Soundcloud page:

no©2017 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)   

May 20, 2017

Nick Drake and the Third Ear Band at Cousins: strange cross of destiny!

The place, the legendary Les Cousins Club at London Greek Street, 42. The date: April, 4th (or 11th) 1970.
That evening (7:30-11:00 pm) Nick Drake supported the Third Ear Band... such a strange and unique cross of destiny!

Unfortunately, apart these little paper cut, most likely from "Melody Maker" (thanx Mirco!), no memories/pictures/recordings of the event seem to be available. 
Authoritative sources as the recent wonderful book edited by Nick's sister with an extensive list of concerts ("Remembered for a while",Little Brown & C, 2014) or the best biography ever published ("Nick Drake. The biography" by Patrick Humphries, Bloomsbury 1997) have no detailed infos about the gig. Also Glen and Paul in the '80's remembered nothing about (having
wrote through the years books on Syd Barrett and Nick Drake, of course I asked them some memories about those my heroes...). Asking Carolyn Looker few days ago, she replied: "Glen's gig at Cousins was with Davey Graham, I cannot remember Nick Drake..."

Maybe someone in the Net could remember something more...

Les Cousins today
So we can only conjecture about the right date of the gig with the reference around. For example: on "Dreaming England" (Reaktion Books,London 2013) biographer Natham Wiseman-Trowse compiles a list of Drake's gigs reporting on the 1970 section: "Nick plays a regular Sunday night spot at Les Cousins in Soho - He is known to have played at least three shows supporting the Third Ear Band, John Martyn and John James..." (page 138)
A site devoted to Drake ( states Drake supported TEB in "Spring 1970", and in the same period he played at Cousins with Martyn and James.

On a  John Martyn Web site ( we can know he and Drake played at Cousins on April 18th, 1970. 
From the official John James Web site ( we read he played with Drake two times - on November 15th, 1969 and in August 1970... 
Asking him he replied: "Ciao Luca. Thank you for your message. I lived in London in the late 1960’s, and played many concerts and knew a lot of people, but not everybody!
The musicians of the Third Ear Band - I do not remember meeting them. I remember seeing the band name playing around London. But I do not remember sharing a concert with them. It is great to hear that the 3rd Ear had a reunion... I wish I could have a reunion with many musician friends...John Martyn, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn etc etc but they have all gone!!!
In fact even Andy Matheou (Matthews) who ran the Les Cousins club is dead now. I think Diana, Andy’s wife still has the original diaries.
You mention Nick Drake of course Nick died a long time ago. I will look up your blogspot:it is funny that you should write about this time, London 1960’s, because I just had a message that BGO Records are reissuing 4 of my albums,Transatlantic Records from this same time.
So grazi mille, Luca, for your message, sorry I cannot help you more.
Keep in touch
John James"

The door of Les Cousins
From the Third Ear Band chronology page of this Archive (read here), based mainly on Paul Minns' journal and lot of other sources, we know in April 1970 the band was working on the recording of "Third Ear Band" and from the 20th it was on tour in Europe (France, Holland, Germany); so possible dates could be the 4th or the 11th of April... but who can tells?!

A last curiosity about this quite surprising correlation is that on the "Melody Maker" issue of July 29th, 1969 printed in the same page there was the reviews of Drake's "Five Leaves Left" and TEB's "Alchemy", "a demanding mixture of Eastern and European influences"...

Can you image an encounter more intriguing than this

no©2017 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)   

May 17, 2017

Glen Sweeney's "Alchemy" manifesto on a 1971 Alchemical Almanac!

This ad was published on a 1971 catalogue from a London 'head' business called 'Alchemical' - title: "The Alchemical Almanac & Handbook of Herbal Highs".
It's the old manifesto Glen Sweeney wrote probably at the beginning of 1969 for the press, then used for the cover of "Alchemy".
The interesting fact is that the same text was included years after in this "Alchemical Almanac", even if in a shorter form. Note the reprise of the Sun and Moon elements taken from the TEB album back cover...


no©2017 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)   

May 13, 2017

TEB special on Italian rock magazine: old bad habits on a new magazine...

Monthly magazine "Classic Rock" (issue 54) published this month two new articles about the TEB, one on their story with references to the Sixties/Seventies popular music aesthetics and the first albums; one on the relation between their music and scores ("Abelard & Heloise" and "Macbeth" soundtracks).

Full of many little factual historiographic errors, the first piece (simply titled "Third Ear Band") written by Marco Braggion is a patchy and omitting excursus through the TEB first phase story, with references to musicians and records of that time, but with very bold time gaps   (i.e.: the journalist states that  "If man but knew" by Habibiyya, published in 1972, was a clear reference for many groups of the time, one of the first example of "world music"...!) and arguable point of views. 
Ignoring the extraordinary tracks of the National Balkan Ensemble (now available on Gonzo's "Necromancers of the Drifting West"), recorded in late 1968/beginning '69, just at the end of the piece he dismisses the last artistic period of the band (1988-1992) with this shallow and debatable way: "After these outputs ["Abelard & Heloise" and "Macbeth" soundtracks], the band splits [sic!], but it will come back in '90's [sic!] with some albums that travel on more predictable tracks - pieces alterning verse and chorus and an use of the voice codified on a suspended Rock music between that psychedelic mood of the beginning and some electronic New Age scent.", showing that he evidently never listened to the live works "Live Ghosts" (1989) and "New Forecasts from the Third Ear Almanac" (1989), and more recent Gonzo's live CDs. 
Again, no discography, no references to this Archive, nor a mention to my book published in 1999, before that (at least) in Italy all the journalists was repeating the same old abused commonplaces about the band. (Now it's easy, you know, one journalist goes in Internet and can cut & paste everything from this Archive using that as he was the real author of it...).
Great Italian music journalism!

Better the second piece written by  (old) good journalist Giandomenico Curi titled "Visions and soundtracks", where he analyze the soundtracks TEB recorded for "Abelard" (German TV 1971) and "Macbeth" by Polanski with some interesting  sparks about the relation between visions and music in the TEB experience.

Anyway, here below you can read (just in Italian, sorry!) the complete special (given to me by friend Mirco Delfino of the TEB Facebook page at and form your own opinion...

no©2017 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)   

May 09, 2017

TEB at 1973 Windsor Free Festival.

Related to an obscure period in TEB's story, I've found on line this references to their appearance at the second edition of Windsor Free Festival, played from August 25th to 28th, 1973 in West London at Windsor Great Park. Probably one of the last of their first artistic phase.
Here's some stuff for the promotion of the festival:

One could ask how a group as TEB could be on the same bill with Hawkwind (the stars of that edition), Pink Faires, Skin Alley, Camel... but we know at that time, after the attempt to record "The Dragon Wakes" and the  recordings of "Macbeth", the band was trying to develop a new form of "electric raga rock".

A photo by Dave Walking with the Hawkwind on stage: (L-R) Michael Moorcock, Robert Calvert, Simon King and Lemmy.

The very good portal of UK festivals at the page about the Windsor Free festival editions ( shows memories and pictures about the event, even if nothing about the TEB.
Any memories by Ghettoraga readers will be well accepted!

no©2017 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)    

May 05, 2017

Found four never seen before pictures of the TEB!

These below are four never seen before shots of the band taken by Ray Stevenson - two at the London Kensal Green cemetery, where there was one of the first photo sessions for the "Alchemy"'s cover, and two on stage at the Isle of Wight festival (August 1969).
Now these b/w pictures are on sale at Rex Web site (go here).


As we know (read on this Archive at, also Carolyn Looker (Glen's missus) was involved at the Kensal Green session: you can see her arm just behind the tomb...!
Other pictures of the band at the Isle of Wight festival was taken by Barry Plummer (read here), Derek Halsall and Karen Francis (read here).

no©2017 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)   

May 03, 2017

TEB at the London Roundhouse, May 30th, 1969

"Hi Ghettoraga,
I'm making a film about Eel Pie Island and would like to include a photo of TEB outside Roundhouse. Any idea who took it? It looks like a publicity shot so perhaps their record company? See more at 
Cheryl Robson"

"Hi Cheryl,
nice to hear you're involved with this great project...
The old photo with the band beyond the Roundhouse was probably taken by someone in Blackhill Enterprises agency staff, because it was taken just after the first Harvest artists showcase on May 30th, 1969 (two shots of the band on stage are on sale at Repfoto site -
The original photo was published officially for the first time on EMI-Harvest 5CDs-Book anthology "Harvest Festival" published in 1999, so you could ask them.
On the same book you can find also photos of Michael Chapman and the Edgar Broughton Band taken in the same occasion.
That's all I can tell you.
Please, let me know if you will use the TEB photo for your project because I will promote it through Ghettoraga Archive.
Best wishes,
Luca Chino Ferrari".

no©2017 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)   

April 08, 2017

Glen Sweeney's tribute book finished, ready to be published.

My tribute-book to the art and genius of Glen Sweeney (and the Third Ear Band) is now finished and it's ready to be published.
Talent graphic Martin Cook (who made the last three TEB's cds for Gonzo) is working on it, full of pictures and stuff about the glorious Glen & TEB's history.
Just to give you a little taste of it, here below you can read a funny short memory from rock alternative musician Morgan Fisher (who played for a short period with the TEB in 1973) that is included on the book:

"My (probably record-breakingly) short stint as synth player with the Third Ear Band included just two radio shows and one concert, in the spring of 1973, before I was whisked off on a USA tour by Mott the Hoople. So I had little time to get to know the Band personally. Paul seemed rather distant and quiet, but Mike and Glen were open, chatty and friendly from the beginning. Nobody said it, but I assumed Glen was “in charge” as he visited my house in Finchley (north London) a couple of times to discuss their musical approach with me; it was always a real pleasure to sit and have a cuppa tea and a cozy chat with him. 

I was familiar with the Band’s recordings, and especially impressed that they had, two years before, made the music for (and even appeared in) Polanski’s “Macbeth.” While chatting on that subject, I asked Glen about the London premiere of the film - who was there, and how they dressed for the occasion. Were the Band expected to adhere to the usual tuxedo and black tie formula? 

Glen’s answer: “Yeah, man - would you believe they insisted we dress like that? So naturally I had to do something freaky as some sort of protest, right?” 

“Sure. What did you come up with?” 

“I dyed me hair bright green!” 

“Nice one, Glen! More tea?”

no©2017 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)   

February 17, 2017

A suite for the third ear!

Listen to this album and decide by yourself. Often music magazines and journalists state a new group evokes the music of the Third Ear Band, but then when one listens to it the distance between the soundscapes is really huge.
Anyway we have here a new project titled "A la Face du Ciel!"  by an Algerian-Portuguese duo with some references to the "third ear" aestetics - sometimes you can catch some hints from "Macbeth"... and it can be interesting to know it.
This  below is a long review published by Web magazine "The Sound Projector" ( ):

"À La Face Du Ciel! (SHHPUMA SHH022CD / CLEAN FEED RECORDS) is a superb record of free improvisation and another very successful meeting between Jean-Marc Foussat, the Algerian synth player and electronic music maestro, and João Camões, the Portuguese viola player (also from Open Field Trio and Earnear). In June 2016 I raved about Bien Mental, an intense record they made with Claude Parle. À La Face Du Ciel is not as “wild” as that release, nor is it intended to be; “more intimate and introspective results” is how they would describe it, while what I’m feeling on today’s spin is a very heartfelt and rather melancholic range of emotions. Pain, anxiety, fears; many of the modern ailments facing contemporary man are dealt with through musical exploration, which is a very good and sincere way to do it. Please note I am not talking about “confrontational” music which we might get from the “industrial” musician type, one who wishes to bludgeon the listener until we’re the ones feeling the pain. Nor do I refer to the many synth drone players who find it all-too-easy to slip into tones that suggest “unease” and “disquiet”, mostly through lazy keyboard presets. Make no mistake, Foussat and Camões understand that their music is a language, not just an array of sounds, and what we hear on this record is a subtle, nuanced and very genuine articulation of that language.

The notes here point out, quite rightly, that the electronic music of Jean-Marc Foussat has very little to do with contemporary electronica or ambient genres, and has been forged in the heat of improvisations with a number of important avant-garde players since the early 1980s – not to mention his exposure to the genre through acting as sound recordist for many of Derek Bailey’s Company events. “Acting by impulse and always with new ideas” is the apt description given here of his responsive and highly creative approach to collaborative playing. Part of that process involves real-time processing of amplified signals from Camões’ viola, a strategy which takes this (classically-trained) musician somewhat out of his comfort zone, but it’s a bracing experience which he clearly relishes.

They’re able to sustain this high degree of focus and concentration for long periods, as these two tracks (22 mins and 23 mins) testify. Well, while the pair may occasionally tread water on ‘Mécanique Verte’ and lapse into quasi-classical viola phrases on top of electronic drone, it’s still an impressive blend of timbres and textures, packed with detail and very intimate sounds. The main event though is ‘Suite Pour La Troisième Oreille’, a powerful shape-shifting beast which never stays in one place and leads the listener through several genuinely surprising corridors of mental exploration – surely the definition of what “free music” should be doing to earn its keep. The “third eye” is a phrase which can be used as a metaphor for a form of spiritual awakening or discovery, and with the reference here to a “third ear” Foussat and Camões make good on their promise of enlightening the soul of the listener."

You can listen to this album at

no©2017 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)   

February 04, 2017

Third Ear Band, an "Italian phenomenon".

This is an old interview with Glen Sweeney (and Mick Carter) published on Italian magazine "Rockerilla" in March 1990. The interview (only in Italian, sorry!) was taken by Fernando Fanutti just before the gig Third Ear Band played in Florence at Auditorium Flog.
There are some interesting Glen's replies here, some clever ideas about music, life and technology I've included on the forthcoming tribute-book that will be published until Summer.

no©2017 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first) 

January 20, 2017

BBC Radio 6 aired TEB's tracks from "Alchemy".

On December 14th, 2016 BBC Radio 6 Stuart Maconie played some TEB's tunes on his programme "Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone".

Here's the press release at

“Stuart Maconie travels to the furthest flung corners of left-field music to create a playlist that makes you rock back on your heels with the sounds of newness and difference. Celebrating the best in psychedelia, adventurous electronica, avant-rock, cosmic creations, progressive, drone and general weirdness from across the decades. This week Stuart features Third Ear Band's 1969 album Alchemy which combines Eastern and Western chamber music traditions. Plus new music from Turner Prize Winner Martin Creed, a Toronto octet called Film In Music and five short miniatures from Euros Childs”. 

Tracks aired: "Ghetto  Raga", "Area Three", "Druid One" and "Stone  Circle".


no©2017 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)     

January 14, 2017

How Roberto Musci's "Mosaic" is going?

Asking Roberto Musci how his great tribute to the Third Ear Band is going, he replied me: "I haven't news about my record, but going around in the Internet I've read some good reviews on English and Japanese sites".
Here below there are some pages I've found: (in Italian) (in English) (in Japanese) (In Japanese)

Roberto's tribute to Our Holy Band is one of the more intriguing and creative project I've ever listened to. Ghettoraga Archive is proud to have support this record since the very first stages of its creation process...

 no©2017 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)