April 30, 2015

Rab Wilkie's memory about the origin of the TEB's name.

On April 7th, 2015 Rab Wilkiea practicing astrologer for over 35 years and an anthropologist for about 20 years involved by chance with the beginning of the Third Ear Band, posted these very interesting lines about the origins of the TEB's name at the old page  http://ghettoraga.blogspot.it/2010/07/origins-and-meanings-of-third-ear-band.html

"The naming of the band was very much the result of a group-think, everyone contributing an associated thought or three, and in the end Carolyn's seal of approval probably decided it, but my recollection is of my own strong advocacy for "Third Ear", and actually first suggesting it as an option. I suspect that I'd recently read "The Third Ear" by Lobsang Rampa and tied it in, mystically, with hearing divine sounds. Later that year (1967) I helped Steve Pank edit "Albion" and wrote the article about Tibetan monks, which appears with the TEB ad". 

Little changing the sense of Carolyn's memory about it, Rab actually alludes to that very famous (a Sixties real cult book!) Lobsang Rampa's "The Third Eye", about the nature of a third mystical eye in the human mind. The complete original version of this book, first published in England in 1956, is available for free download at http://www.lobsangrampa.org/data/en/The-Third-Eye.pdf

"Published in 1956, T. Lobsang Rampa's book The Third Eye created a huge sensation", writes Dan Anon at "Tibeto-logic" Web site. "And for obvious reasons. I believe
that still today it is the all-time bestselling book about Tibet in any language. In chapter seven of the book, the young Tibetan acolyte (who would only in later Rampa books take over the body of the Englishman Cyril Hoskins), in the presence of his teacher, has a hole drilled into his forehead, through the skin, flesh and skull.

"A splinter of wood is placed there and left for some time before being removed. TLR's teacher Mingyar Dondup (which must be, in real Tibetan spelling Mi-'gyur-don-grub, a person who seems 
otherwise unknown in the annals of Tibetan history) often told him that, “with the Third Eye open, I should be able to see people as they were.” In practice, as one may read in chapter fourteen, what having an open Third Eye meant for Lobsang Rampa was to be able to read the thoughts of other people more or less directly, but also to see their true feelings and intentions (and illnesses) by viewing the colors of their astral bodies. The Third Eye has a function which might at first seem to correspond to the 'intuitional' function of Plato’s
third eye, but in fact it is entirely oriented toward the realm of human action. It has no transcending function, no ability to intuit higher transworldly metaphysical truths of any kind".

They can be clear the possible connections with the Third Ear Band's idea of a third ear able to get the inner dimension of a person...

About the controversial figure of Lobsang Rampa, you can read something at the Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Lobsang_Rampa

An official Web site of him also exists at

Soon some memories by Rab about the meeting with Glen, Carolyn and Steve Pank in London in 1967...

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)    

April 24, 2015

First of the two new Third Ear Band's CDs available for pre-order!

The first one of the two new TEB's CDs titled "Necromacers of the Drifting West" is now available for pre-order at the Gonzo Multimedia Web site at http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/product_details/15830/Third_Ear_Band-Necromancers_of_the_Drifting_West.html
It will be realised on May 25th, 2015.

Edited by Luca Ferrari, the CD includes the National Balkan Ensemble's (pre-Third Ear Band) tracks published by Standard Music Library in 1970 (at last here in a official edition!), the wonderful unrealised "Raga in D" (from the very first "Alchemy" studio session) and "Raga n. 1" (from the Februry 1971 session for the never realised "The Dragon Wakes"); and "Water", "Eternity in D" and "Druid (one)" from a BBC "Sounds of '70's" radio broadcast (February 17th, 1971)...
Well-known tracks to every serious TEB's fan, sure, but for the first time now in a great sound quality version!

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)   

April 15, 2015

Good chances to have soon an interview with Mrs Mary Hayes, Paul Minns' first wife!

Last year, on March 3rd, 2014, from the unscrutable waves of the Internet, Mrs Mary Hayes came out with this message to my personal e-mail:

Mrs Hayes in December 2011.
"Hello Dopachino.
Sometime ago, I saw your archive on the Third Ear Band. My name is Mary Hayes, and it has been on my mind for quite a few years that I should write to you in reference to Paul Minns, the oboist of the Third Ear Band. 
I am not sure if you have the full biography details of Paul Minns personal life and family, and therefore, feel I should give you a brief background. I was Paul Minns first wife, Mary Minns, we were married in 1969, and we had three children, Matthew Minns, Tristram Minns and Amber Amber Minns. 
We divorced in 1980 or thereabouts. Paul Minns later married Katherine, who is now deceased, they had no children, and therefore, Paul's children would be relevant to any biography details published in archive material or on line. I remember, at the time of coming across your archive that you were going to carry out an interview with Caroline, Glen's partner, so you may already have this information. The Third Ear Band Archive looks very good, and captures the essence of the Third Ear Bands character and music. The music was all improvised, Paul's oboe, being the central musical component of the bands musical expression. 
Mary Minns nee Mary Hayes".

It is obvious that  I was really surprised of this, because I was ignoring Paul was married with another woman before his relationship with Kathryn Ade, his wife at the time when I knew him. Whem I met him in the '80's he never told me about this, even because I was not so involved into collecting informations about private biographies...
Tristram Minns
Anyway, from that day of March 2014, I've tried to have a proper interview with her, but for some reasons nothing happened. 
Now we are still in contact and there are good chanches Ghettoraga Archive can collect another important testimony about the Band's history.

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)   

April 11, 2015

Antonello Cresti on the Third Ear Band (from his latest book).

Here's the excerpt about the Third Ear Band taken from Antonello Cresti's last book titled "Solchi Sperimentali" (with kind permission of the publisher):

"It's difficult today, after so many years, to render the Power of Spreading Out made by the Third Ear Band. The impact of their first album, and, at-large of all their music, even if a non-mass heritage, can be defined as 'erupting'; it's not important which categories one can use to value it. If with a limited view we could consider this band just as the inventor of the world music, as the union of stimula coming from different times and places, we would appoint to these artists a very considerable place in the young music's history; but watching this closer, just considering the fact  Rock world had started  in a more or less calligraphic way to watch most of all to the East, we'd discover that in the Third Ear Band there's nothing of esotheric or descriptive. So their music is pure sound  philosophy translated in action: here, their raga becomes a method for improvising, the conceptual universe is that syncretic of the more radical and educated English hippie movement. Even if integrally instrumental, TEB's music perfectly communicates a climax where interests for Eastern philosophies, pagan traditions recovered, countercultures, drugs... was welding together. It's a music of experience that the band plays in "Alchemy", where any details is functional for involving the listener in a different way to conceive the sound: Glen Sweeney & C. break the rock and folk tradition for watching to where? Surely it's not the jazz the landscape where they move, and it can be surely traced references to the contemporary music and the barbaric music, but we would hurt to the band's originality: their power was to go to the nucleus of the music communication.
Under this view, the tunes included in their first album (and even more in their second published in 1970) seem very hard to understand, but this is just an appearance because their aim is that to communicate beyond all limits of the aestethics and even the rational. From this point of view is hard to imagine a music can be more spiritual than this... Surely also the form, charaterised by an acoustic ensemble with strings, boe and percussion, and the severely circular form of compositions, or this capability to evoke dance movements in a so essential way, are traits that made the Third Ear Band music an unescapable reference for any record collection of 'Elsewhere'. But the more terrific thing about this music is the several meanings under of it.

Their first wonderful, apocalyptic album shows more caught up moments, while "Third Ear Band" is oriented to the suite with its four tunes dedicated to the natural elements. Maybe the only one "softening" is in the "MacBeth" music, composed for the Roman Polanski's movie (1972), where we can find more traditionally descriptive arrangements, reverberating medieval music with the use, even if moderate, of typical rock instruments.

One could hazard Third Ear Band's short existence was the most radical experience in the British underground: also in the period of their last reunion, happened between the end of '80's and the beginning of '90's, their music seemed to come from other depth of thought than the new age.

Glen Sweeney, this minimalist of the percussive art, passed away around ten years ago, in silence, as like he had always lived. With him we have lost one of the greatest voice of the first  British Esoteric Wave, that that was near to thinkers as John Michell and others...".

A psychedelic Antonello Cresti with his new book.

(Italian version)
"E’ difficile resocontare oggi, a distanza di tanti anni, la Potenza della operazione di “spalancamento” operata dalla Third Ear Band. L’impatto del loro primo album, e, in generale, di tutta la loro musica, per quanto patrimonio non di massa, non può non essere definito come deflagrante, quali che siano le categorie che intendiamo utilizzare per compierne una valutazione; se, in maniera riduzionistica, ci limitassimo ad immaginare questo ensemble come inventore della world music, intesa come unione di una serie di stimoli provenienti da tempi e da spazi diverse, già affideremmo a questi artisti un posto di assoluto rilievo nella storia della musica giovane, ma a ben vedere, considerando che il mondo del rock già aveva cominciato a guardare in maniera più o meno calligrafica soprattutto ad Oriente, ci accorgeremo che nella Third Ear Band non c’è nulla che sia descrittivo, esotico. Ecco allora che la musica espressa da questa formazione è pura filosofia del suono tradotta in azione: il raga diviene un metodo di approccio per improvvisare, l’universo concettuale è quello sincretico dell’ala più colta e radicale del movimento hippie inglese. Anche se interamente strumentale la musica della Third Ear Band comunica perfettamente un clima in cui andavano saldandosi interesse per le filosofie orientali, recupero della tradizioni pagana autoctona, controcultura, droghe… E’ musica esperienziale quella di “Alchemy”, nella quale ogni dettaglio è funzionale a coinvolgere l’ascoltatore in una diverso modo di intendere la materia sonora: Glen Sweeney e compagni rompono apparentemente con la tradizione del rock e del folk per guardare dove? Non è certo il jazz il panorama sin troppo irreggimentato in cui si muovono e i riferimenti alla musica contemporanea, alla musica barbarica certamente possono esser rintracciati, ma ci sembrerebbe quasi di fare un torto alla originalità del gruppo la cui forza sta nell’arrivare intuitivamente al nucleo inscindibile della comunicazione musicale. In questo senso i brani che compongono il loro lavoro di esordio (e ancor più compiutamente quelli inseriti nell’omonimo album del 1970) appaiono difficili, ardui da comprendere, ma appunto si tratta solo di “apparenza” poiché l’intento è quello di comunicare fuori dalle gabbie dell’estetico o addirittura del razionale. Da questo punto di vista è difficile immaginare una musica che, nel suo andamento primigenio, sia più spirituale di questa… Certamente anche la forma, dall’organico in acustico suddiviso tra archi, oboe e percussioni, alla forma rigorosamente circolare delle composizioni, alla capacità di evocare movimenti di danza in maniera così essenziale, sono tutte caratteristiche che rendono la Third Ear Band un riferimento ineludibile per ogni discoteca dell’altrove, ma ciò che è ancora più terremotante è, come abbiamo detto, la lunga serie di significati che agiscono sotto la corteccia formale di questa musica.

L’esordio, bellissimo e apocalittico, predilige ancora episodi più conchiusi, mentre “Third Ear Band” guarda alla suite, con quattro brani dedicati agli elementi naturali. Unico “ammorbidimento”, forse, nelle musiche per il “Macbeth” filmico di Polanski (1972), in cui vengono accolti elementi di arrangiamento più tradizionalmente descrittivi, dal richiamo alla musica medievale, all’utilizzo, per quanto discreto, di strumenti cari al rock.

Verrebbe da azzardare che nella loro breve parabola la Third Ear Band è stata l’operazione più radicale emersa dall’underground britannico: anche al tempo della loro reunion, avvenuta tra la fine degli anni ottanta e i primi anni novanta, la loro arte, in piena epoca new age, sembravano provenire da altre profondità di pensiero.

Glen Sweeney, questo minimalista dell’arte percussiva, ci ha lasciati circa dieci anni fa, in silenzio, come sempre aveva vissuto. Con lui se ne è andata una delle grandi voci della prima ondata della Britannia Esoterica, quella affine a pensatori come John Michell e altri…".
(Riprodotto per gentile concessione dell'editore. Tutti i diritti riservati) 

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)