June 19, 2017

An old friend of Paul Minns contacted the Archive.

Holy ways of the Net! Few days ago Nigel Wakeham, an old friend of Paul Minns, contacted this Archive just to tell me some memories about the old days in London.

Nigel wrote me this: 
"Paul and I were good friends in the early/mid-sixties but I lost contact with him when I went to work in Africa in 1970. Your archive is fascinating and the music is wonderful. I was very sad to hear about his death when I started looking for him. Regards, Nigel Wakeham".

Paul Minns' father with Matthew (Paul's first son).

So after that we had some chats by e-mail and he told me:
"My best story about Paul is of an occasion when we were drinking one Saturday lunchtime in the Finch's pub off Portobello Road when Colin McInnes came in (he was a well known British author in the Fifties and Sixties; maybe you saw the film adaptation of Absolute Beginners?).  Colin approached us and we got talking and he said that he recognised Paul.  What he did not know was that Paul's father who was an illustrator, had illustrated some of his books and he had obviously seen a resemblance in Paul.  He rather took to Paul and we went back to his flat and continued drinking and then he made a play for Paul (McInnes was gay and fairly outrageously so given the period).  Paul not being that way inclined was not interested but we had an enjoyable afternoon for all that!  Paul was at the time sharing an attic flat in Notting Hill with an aspiring poet called Robert (who I would really like to contact but I have forgotten his last name) and I used to visit them quite often.

Paul Minns and Mary Haynes married - Kensington Register Office, March 28th, 1969.

"I tried to contact Paul on my return from Africa quite a few years ago and it was then that I found out that he had taken his own life.  Very sad; he was a really nice guy and really full of life when I knew him."

"I don't think he was married when I first knew him which was earlier than 69, maybe in 64 or 65 and he was then definitely living in Notting Hill (Elgine Crescent I think). Maybe I had lost touch by 69 as I was then in my last year of school of architecture and was working day and night. I used to go with him to his music lessons (clarinet or oboe) with a very well known classical musician who lived in Chiswick (cannot remember his name)."

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

June 12, 2017

Updates about Glen's book and TEB CDs...

Due a different planning of the catalogue (many records by Arthur Brown and Rick Wakeman!) and some misunderstandings with Gonzo, the new TEB live album will be available just from August 2017.
Recorded at Tuxedo Club, Piacenza, on January 14th, 1989, this is a great concert in a strange day-off tour date with a rare performance of Dave Tomlin's "Lark Rise" played by a wonderful line-up - Glen Sweeney (hand drums), Mick Carter (electric guitar & effects), Lyn Dobson (flute, sax) and Ursula Smith (violin).
For pre-order please check Gonzo Website at  

The book
Now finished, it contains 25 poems, 3 manifestos, aphorisms, interviews with and about Glen Sweeney, memories of Paul Minns, Dave Tomlin, Steve Pank, Morgan Fisher, Clive Kingsley, Paul Buckmaster, Ben Meredith, Carolyn Looker, Andrew King, Linda Kattan...; posters, ads, photos, some of them from the family archive.
Cover and graphics by talented Martin Cook. The book is scheduled for September 2017.

Brain Waves
The reissue of the last Ma.So. album recorded in 1993, now deleted, will be available from September 2017. It will show a brand new booklet and one bonus-track.
For pre-order please check Gonzo Website at  http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/pre-orders.html.

Other projects/ideas around 
Gonzo intends to reissue that old 'strange' "Radio Session" CD made by Voiceprint in 2004 (21' only) enhanced with some live unrealised tracks. This CD is scheduled for next November.

Also, at the beginning of 2018 there's the idea to reissue the Hydrogen Jukebox CD "Prophecies" (now deleted, it seems the album circulated just in Italy...) with a brand new cover and  booklet. No unrealised tracks included, I guess. 

Another interesting project could be the publication of a full concert the band played in Mantua in February, 11th 1992, one of the last gigs ever played. An Italian TEB fan, friend of mine, Flavio Poltronieri recorded the concert and he's agreed to realise it...  

Still no news from Denim Bridges about the legendary Balham recording sessions (he's very busy with Reinassance on a worldwide tour), but I am optimistic about the chance to see it on CD one day...

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

June 09, 2017

Inner sleeves as visual artifacts.

A very interesting and fascinating dimension of the vinyl album culture is the inner sleeve as a form of visual art.
Here below you can see Harvest Records inner sleeves in b/w and colour versions of TEB's albums.

A back cover of "Harvest Sweeties" anthology (German edition Harvest 1 C - 048-29 0772) shows some albums published at the time by Harvest, with "Alchemy" among them:

Here below you can see two promo posters from Folk & Progressive music Web sites:

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

June 05, 2017

New sighting of Richard Coff alive and well in Florida (USA).

Richard Coff is alive and well in Davie, Florida, where he lives since the Eighties. As we know he founded and runs a school there for teaching the famous Suzuki method for violin.
There's a Web site of the school at http://www.suzukiacademy.org/ where you can find very interesting things about its activities, and a technical essay written by Coff himself in 1998 titled "Suzuki Violin vs Traditional Violin—A Suzuki Violin Teacher’s View" (http://www.suzukiacademy.org/suzuki-violin-vs-traditional-violin/).
It's a very stimulating point of view by 'our' violinist related to a long-standing debate between different schools of thought.

A recent photo of Coff playing a violin is available at the Suzuki Association Web site where there's a section (https://suzukiassociation.org/people/richard-coff/) dedicated to him with some informations about his career.

Through my friend Steve Pank I've tried to involve him into the writing of the book about Glen Sweeney and the Third Ear Band, but he isn't interested to it...

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

June 02, 2017

Ray Stevenson's memories on Kensal Green cemetery TEB's photo session.

Ray Stevenson is a sort of obscure cult hero for many of us. It was him who took the first proper photo session of the Third Ear Band at Kensal Green cemetery (read at http://ghettoraga.blogspot.it/2010/01/teb-first-photo-session-by-ray_30.html), then obscure icons in popular music; years later (1976), after having photographed rock legends as Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, The Who, Fairport Convention..., he 'discovered' the Sex Pistols before they become "The Sex Pistols" and took some now historical pictures of them.
Having tried for many years to find him through the Web (http://www.raystevenson.co.uk/ his official Web site), few days ago, very surprisingly, he replied me and we had the brief conversation you can read below. He conscious that "as they say "if you can remember the 60's, you weren't there!", and this seems to be true for me"...

How old was you in 1969 when you shot the session with the TEB at Kensal Green cemetery? 
"I was 20 in 1969". 

When/how/where you met the band for the first time?
"I can't remember our first meeting. Glen, Carolyn and I would be at the same clubs [one of them was Les Cousins] and events and we gradually got to know each other."

Maybe at Les Cousins? They played there some gigs regurarly with Davy Graham...
"They played Cousins??? I really have no recollection of that, and I was there most nights. A visitor once looked at my Album collection and commented "You've got 3 of every genre!" I would say that they were the best of each genre... Bert Jansch, Fairport Convention, Hendrix, Stones, Pink Floyd, Peer Gynt Suite, My Fair Lady Soundtrack, Burundi Drummers, Gregorian Chant, Segovia, but it is Roy Harper that I am still returning to, but in digital form."

Who decided and contacted you to ask you to take the photos for the band?  
"I don't remember getting a commission for the session, most likely would be a random meeting and being asked 'Do you want to do a session?' That was how thing were back then."

Why was chosen just the Kensal Green cemetery? Did yoy recall something about that event? (when there was the session? which kind of camera you used for it?...)
"Kensal Green Cemetery was the bands decision. Probably because Hyde Park was featureless, there were very few suitable locations. Back then I had a Nikon-F and a Nikkormat, with 28mm and 135mm lenses, more importantly TRI-X Pan film."

Had you involved into the artwork of the "Alchemy" cover? 
"I had no involvement in the artwork of the Alchemy cover, but was delighted with the end product."

Later you took some photos of the band at the Isle of Wight festival (August 1969): do you remember anything about it? 
"Isle of Wight... So many bands, so many people, so many friends, so many years ago, I can't remember anything significant."

What happened to the photographs you took? Why some agencies (i.e. Rex Features) put on sale just some pictures (read at http://ghettoraga.blogspot.it/2017/05/found-four-never-seen-before-pictures.html)? Have you still got that old picture? Are you selling them?
"I still have (very nearly) all of my negatives from 1966 onward, my agency Rex/Shutterstock are digital, and have scans of my more useable images." 

Have you met the band later? 
"The last time I saw Glen and Carolyn was in Portobello Road, they had sailed their little boat from England, through the French canals, then sunk when they got to the Mediteranian. Very sad."

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

May 29, 2017

Found lot of never seen ads about the Band!

After many years of absolute nothing, thanx the Net sometimes we find never seen before stuff about the TEB.
So, after the recent found of 5 unrealised photos by Ray Stevenson and the promo ads about TEB gig at the 1973 second edition of the Windsor Free Festival, here below you can see other extraordinary things related to the glorious past of Glen Sweeney and C.: handbill concert of the Giant Sun Trolley, TEB gigs ads, Blackhill Enterprises press releases...
Of course, all of this will be included in the chronological file at  http://ghettoraga.blogspot.it/2010/07/a-teb-day-by-day-chronology-1966-1971.html and http://ghettoraga.blogspot.it/2016/06/a-teb-day-by-day-chronology-1972-2016.html

 Teathre Royal concert handbill (July 2nd, 1967) with last appearance of Dave Tomlin and the Giant Sun Trolley.
Isle of Wight Festival celebration 1970-1990.
OZ Magazine #22 with David Loxley snakes.

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

May 24, 2017

Dave Tomlin's forthcoming new book!

Dave Tomlin's new book will be distribuited on June 9th, 2017 by Strange Attractor (http://strangeattractor.co.uk/), 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:  https://soundcloud.com/oliviadocmaker/tales-from-the-embassy

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 (http://www.tannforsen.com/nickdrake/biography.asp?intId=20) 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 (https://www.johnmartyn.info/node/989#1970) we can know he and Drake played at Cousins on April 18th, 1970. 
From the official John James Web site (http://www.johnjamesguitarist.com/) 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...

Source:  http://jot101.com/what-is-a-jot/

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