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PRETTY THINGS


The Pretty Things started because of The Rolling Stones, which featured in the original lineup, Dick Taylor. When the Stones went full-tilt professional he decided to stay in art college. But at the same time he started a band with Phil May called The Pretty Things. This is about 1964 or earlier.

I had moved to London in '65. The Pretty Things already had a hit record, "Rosalin". Then I met them at about the time of their hit, "Don't Bring Me Down". We hung out and had fun, spent time together going to the same clubs. Eventually, I shared a flat with the bass player, John Stax. Then he got married. The bass player of The Fairies (the band I was working with) was booked for a recording session with them because John Stax was on honeymoon. So, I went along to the session. And Viv Prince, who was their current drummer, had been put in jail overnight (for knocking the hat off a policeman or something like that) after the celebrations of John Stax's wedding. I was asked to take up the seat at that recording session. This is the first time I really did any work for The Pretty Things. This session was for the album GET THE PICTURE, which was their second album. I played on two tracks: one written by Jimmy Page called "You Don't Believe Me." I play drums on that and Jimmy Page plays rhythm guitar and tamborine, if my memory serves me right. And also, I jammed on a track called "We'll Play House". We jammed on it and then it was released as a track.

When Tomorrow broke up I was working on a project called The Aquarian Age with the bass player of Tomorrow. We were up at the Brian Morrison agency. Most of the hip bands were with this agency, including The Pretty Things and The Pink Floyd. I walked in there and Dick said to me, "Twink, Skip Allen's left [who had replaced Viv Prince] and we're going to Rome this weekend to play a show at The Piper Club. Would you like to come with us?" I said, "Love to." So that was it. I only planned to stay with them to help them out for a month, but I ended up staying with them for a year and a half.

It was Easter 1968. Then we worked on the rest of SF SORROW. Three songs had been recorded before I got there. I played on all the rest of the tracks and also put together the stage production.

The Pretty Things signed a recording contract with EMI in October, 1967, when they started recording "Defecting Grey" for a single. I signed the contract renewal in October, 1968.


Photos by Hipnosis.
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