August 18, 2014

Two new Third Ear Band albums planned!

Gonzo Multimedia is working on two new CDs of the Third Ear Band with the cooperation of Ghetto Raga Archive (& Carolyn Looker)!
One of the two it will be the rendition of Sarzana live concert recorded on January 1989, a very hard to find in its original (official) tape edition (published by A.D.N. Records of Milan in 1990); the other one will be a compilation of (top secret!) rarities and let the fans to listen digital versions of obscure 'classics' of Our Holy Band just at the beginning of its story...
So, dear irreducible TEB fans... cross your fingers! 


no©2014 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)    

August 14, 2014

Alternative Blackhill ad for TEB second album on "Zigzag" magazine.

With a text taken from Paracelsus, Swiss doctor and alchemist of the fifteenth century, Blackhill Enterprises produced an ad for the second album published by Harvest in 1970. The ad, published on some magazines (as "IT") was used also for promoting the "Sun Wheel Ceremony" at the Royal Albert Hall (June 24th, 1970).
This page, thanks to Jon Limbert of Beatchapter, a real mine of rare music stuff (magazines, posters, vinyls, CDs...) on the Net, is taken from an old issue of "Zigzag" (# 13 - June/July 1970).

Here's the Paracelsus' words (that I could read...):
"Musica expells the ???   which belongs to witches and sorcerers and takes away the spirit afernoch which inspires all those melancholic sectarians who think they see heaven and the god therein. All these are diseases of the brain and of reason".

Beatchapter - 49 Sebert Road, Forest Gate - London UK E70NJ
ph.: 020 85194590     e-mail: 

no©2014 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)  

August 08, 2014

An old "Zigzag" article on the TEB discovered!

Thanks the rare kindness of one of my favourite English Web music shop - the brilliant BEATCHAPTER ( - I've got another old precious article about the Third Ear Band published on "Zigzag" (issue 10) on March 1970.
"Zigzag" magazine was a well respected rock folk blues publication started by Pete Frame in April 1969 and lasted until January 1986. On this issue with the Third Ear Band also articles/reviews about Arthur Lee (on the cover), Canned Heat, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Zombies, Hawkwind, Leonard Cohen and the great less-known David Ackles.

Written by Steve Peacock, this is a very interesting analysis of TEB music, its nature of avant-garde music, brave and free  - not simple improvisation...
A pop(ular) attitude, as the Band used to state at that time, even if Glen Sweeney was so conscious about the risk to be misconceived to say: "The worst thing is to take the pop scene seriously"...

Beatchapter - 49 Sebert Road, Forest Gate - London UK E70NJ
ph.: 020 85194590     e-mail: 

no©2014 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)  

August 04, 2014

Another original 1969 Blackhill ad for "Alchemy" emerged from the Web!

When one thinks everything is known and nothing is left, from its  waves the Net let emerge rare things as little treasures...
Last in order of time this original 1969 b&w Harvest/Blackhill Enterprises advert for "Alchemy" (and Edgar Broughton Band's "Wasa Wasa") for sale through American eBay for around ten dollars. 
It's taken from a not well identified "original British newspaper"...
A real delight for the eyes with the typical Fantasy style of that time!

  no©2014 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

August 01, 2014

Rob Ayling, project co-ordinator about the Holland Festival CDs...

Pushed by curiosity of some TEB fans, I've asked Rob Ayling, project co-ordinator of the Holland Festival 3CDs for Gonzo Multimedia, if he knows there are TEB recordings left and why he has decided to exclude them from the albums...

Rob with Roger Hodgson (on right) in 2011.
His reply is net and don't admit any doubts: "There are not recordings that I know of... If we had them they would be in. I like the TEB so no reason to exclude them".

So unfortunately no TEB recordings from that festival...

 no©2014 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first) 

July 28, 2014

Third Ear Band at the 1970 Dutch Woodstock.

On June 27th, 1970 Third Ear Band played at the Kralingen festival in Rotterdam (Holland). Named "Holland Festival 70" but known also as "Stamping Ground" or "The Dutch Woodstock" ( it was promoted by Holland pop fans Toosje Knap, Berry Visser and Georges Knap and despite the rain, an estimated 100,000 people was in the audience.
Many famous pop/rock bands and musicians played there: TRex, Family, Pink Floyd, Byrds, Jefferson Airplane, Al Stewart, Country Joe McDonald, Santana, Dr. John, It's a Beautiful Day, Soft Machine... Also the Third Ear Band with the original quartet (Sweeney, Minns, Coff and Smith), probably with a track taken from the second album...

Firstly, this important undergound event became a movie directed by Jason Pholand and George Sluizer titled "Stomping Ground" (in U.K.) 0r "Love and Music" (in the rest of Europe)  and  various audio bootlegs was circulating among fans. 

Now a vast selection of the three days festival is available on a 3CDs box format (two audio CD and a 97' DVD movie of live performances) published by Gonzo Multimedia on April 2013 (£ 11.99) under the project co-ordination of Rob Ayling.

Maybe it's not too unexpected that the producers of it have decided to keep out Our Holy Band from some horrible (and quite scarse audio quality) music played by bands as Canned Heath, Cuby & The Blizzards, The Flock...
And it's quite incredible that at that time a group as the Third Ear Band could share the same stage of such kind of bands... TEB's project was so exclusive, so unique, with so little connections with blues, rock and the so-called progressive that it was a real hazard to propose its music to a big audience at festivals...

Links of interest:
 For buying the record:
A sampler of the album tracks at here
A film trailer on YouTube is available here 
Reviews of the album: 
- by Dangerous Mind here
- by Shawn Perry on here 
- by Bill Kopp on MusoScribe here
- by Craig Hartranft on DangerDog Music Reviews here  

 no©2014 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

July 15, 2014

A new piece about 'music' by Dave Tomlin for I.T.

This is a new piece written by our Dave Tomlin for the glorious evergreen I.T. You can read many other interesting (& clever) stuff  here

Cardboard Vibrations

The idea that sound travels from one point to another, when examined, is revealed to be no more than an illusionary concept, for ‘sound’ remains in the only place it is engendered.

The world seen with the eyes is a world entirely without sound, no birdsong sweetens the air and the soughing of wind among the trees has never happened, for soundwaves are nothing more than puffs of disturbed air; vibrations which extent in all directions from their source; but they are themselves profoundly silent.

Sound occurs when these vibrations of disturbed air encounter the mechanism of an eardrum, activating the nerves connecting it to the brain. The brain then interprets the vibrations of the drum as sound and therefore the sound perceived occurs entirely within the head, while the world which we see outside remains in eternal silence.

Music: The manipulation of specific tones on a musical instrument, each with a unique rate of vibration and arranged generally into recognisable patterns; these are also absolutely silent until reaching an eardrum, but at least these vibrations, directly received from such an instrument, are genuine.

Recorded and amplified music is however somewhat false, since the original vibrations from the instrument are lost when translated into electrical impulses via a microphone or wireless signal; these travel (silently) along a wire to emerge at the other end by activating the cardboard diaphragm of a loudspeaker.
The vibrations from the instrument itself are not heard at all but have been replaced by these cardboard (facsimile) vibrations.

All sound occurs only inside the head via the ears, while out there is a world which is utterly silent.

However, whether these vibrations are genuine (directly from a musical instrument); or cardboard facsimiles; or even come to that, birds, wind, or the voices of one’s friends ultimately makes no difference, for what one ‘hears’ is nothing more than one’s own ear drums rattling.

©2014 Dave Tomlin - Nick Victor(art)

In 1969, on the cover of "Alchemy", his friend Glen explained the thing in this way: "Third Ear Band music is a reflection of the universe as magic play illusion simply because it could not possibly be anything else. Words cannot describe this ecstatic dance of sound, or explain the alchemical repetiton seeking and sometimes finding archetypal formes, elements and rhythms..."

no©2014 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

July 04, 2014

Hermione Harvestman, Tertius Auris, Peter Burne-Jones, The Third Ear Band, Sedayne...

Hermione Harvestman, a.k.a. Sedayne, writes us a new vionary excursion into the esoteric Third Ear Band's soundscape...

"Hermione Harvestman is my hauntological  take on the electro-shamanic zeitgiest  that has been my life's dream since my brain first sang to Delia Derbyshire & Daphne Oram in my early childhood, though their names I wouldn't know until much, much later...  
Here, in Hermione's own dreaming, an encounter with the Third Ear Band in Durham in June 1971 plants a few seeds that become the Tertius Auris.
In reality, I heard a story once from Peter Burne-Jones of how he was at that gig but didn't like it so much because they were more like a normal rock band, complete with drumkit, so they all went back to his place and listened to "Alchemy" on his super hi-fi (Peter would go on to invent the PBJ tone arm!). 
In my dreaming Hermione sees the beauty in both....".

Listen to Sedayne/Hermione's two wonderful 
thirdearband-ish's ragas here

no©2014 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

June 17, 2014

Denim Bridges talks about the unknown 1971 German TV video...

I've asked Paul Buckmaster and Denim Bridges to help us to rebuild the origin of the video excerpt recently emerged from the Web. If Paul admits: "I have no idea what this session was; don't recognize the studio, and don't remember the piece, and it certainly is not from the Macbeth movie score", Denny's memory is precise and he explains this:

"The video was filmed at Studio 3 at EMI Abbey Road. The date of February 1971 is close if not correct. The session definitely had nothing to do with the Macbeth project.
For future reference it is definite that all the performances (all work on 'composition', and in rehearsal) at the Balham location was never filmed".

"I don't know why the session was held although I do remember it. I was never included in those matters. I hope the purpose will be discovered now the video is on the Internet. Because of the faux wind sound (from Simon's VCS3 I think) and the fact the Paul Minns played something reminiscent of the opening to 'Air' off the 2nd LP I'm assuming the track is supposed to be 'Air'. The performance soon departs from the above mentioned version but with cello being replaced by both bass guitar and guitar that might be expected. That is also (probably) to be expected as TEB was primarily an improvisational band". 

Denim Bridges on stage in 1970.

no©2014 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)  

June 12, 2014

Wonderful short 1971 TEB video found on the Web!

This wonderful unknown video emerged recently from the Web at thanks the fan durchhaltenbis70.


It's a 3 minutes video probably taken by a German TV from  studio sessions in 1971, in the same period when the band was recording the announced third album titled "The Dragon Wakes": as we know, that album was never realised and the tracks soon became legendary for every TEB fans.

Here we can see the electric TEB recording in this line-up: Glen Sweeney on drums, Paul Minns on oboe, Denim Bridges on electric guitar, Paul Buckmaster on electric bass and Simon House on violin.

May 12, 2014

Rare Japan "Alchemy" cardbox sold on Ebay!

A beautiful cardboard "Alchemy" cover box (14.5 cm x 14.5 cm x 3.0 cm) for storage Japan mini lp cd was sold on Ebay in last September 2013 from Bangkok (Thailand) at the absurd price of  $60.00 (P&P $14.00).
The box (in slipcase style, non drawer) can contain four/five Japan mini LP in CD edition.

A little beautiful object for maniacal & obsessed TEB fans!

no©2014 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)  

May 06, 2014

"Alchemy", "the consummate essence of the 60s Zeitgeist". A short vision by Sean Breadin, a.k.a. Sedayne.

Folk shaman Sean Breadin, a.k.a. Sedayne, has  just sent me these few lines about "Alchemy", one of the our favourite albums ever...

"Hi Luca - Just wrote this on Sid Smith's call of for great 1969 albums on Facebook & got a few likes... Sometimes you get a clear vision of just what it is about the music you love that appeals to you so much, so here it is: 

Third Ear Band - Alchemy
Which somehow manages to catalyse an archetypal sound-magic by being utterly free of technological interference. It's one of those rare occasions when the mystical hype of the sleeve note (...a reflection of the universe as magic play illusion...dualities are discarded in favour of the Tao...each piece is as alike or unalike as trees, grass or crickets...) is matched / transcended utterly by the astonishing reality of the music, which lives and breathes in its timeless vinyl eternity. The elements are simple enough - Glen Sweeney pounding his shamanic bongo over which Paul Minns' oboe & Richard Coff's violin ascend as atonal modal larks along the ley lines that connect stone circles to the pyramids whilst Mel Davis' cello roots it all to the gnomic dark below. This LP is the consummate essence of the 60s Zeitgeist - a soundtrack to Michel's flying saucer vision of Ancient Albion that remains every bit as inspirational as "Bitches Brew". Witches Brew maybe?".

Any comments to this would be  greatly appreciated!

no©2014 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)  

April 16, 2014

Is just that happening with girl and scissors in the past 1967...?

Available on the Net a TV special titled "What is an happening?" based on the legendary 14th Hour Technicolor Dream at London Alexandra Palace. The TV special was broadcasted by the BBC and aired on May 15th, 1967 for the programme "Man Alive".
Just at the end of the first part there's a short sequence with an happening where a girl has her dress cut with scissors by some guys. Is just that event remembered by Glen Sweeney that gained an ephemeral fame to the Hydrogen Jukebox?

As you probably recall, Sweeney told about it (interviewed in 1990 by Nigel Cross for "Unhinged"): "I have read on a guy called John Cage, and he was using kind of very strange happenings, so I came up with this idea of put in a contact mike on a big pair of scissors, when you make cut emotions you produced a kind of rhythmic sound, you see, I could then use that (this rhythm) for the group, because the group was playing a sort of free-jazz, and I wanted to make more visual. So I've got a girl and cut her closers off at the same time. This of course was received very well at UFO, and we had offers bookings all over the places, because of the publicity".


The event was confirmed by Steve Pank in 2004: "They gained notoriety at the event by accompanying a girl called Nita having a paper dress cut off her with scissors, this was reported with a photograph in the "News of the World"".

You can watch the TV special  here (part one),  here (part two) and here (part three) and tell what you think about it...

no©2014 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first) 

March 25, 2014

"A perfectly ordinary 15-guinea violoncello". The Brian Meredith interview (part one).

Finally, as promised, here's the first part of an exclusive interview with one of the most mysterious men behind the Third Ear Band story: cellist Brian Meredith.
Now 69 and living in Southern California (USA), he's been so kind as to contact me through this Archive just to share his memories about the past, the very beginning of the Third Ear Band... The meeting with Sweeney and Minns, his playing for 16 months with the band (though apparently no recordings exist!), the relations with Clive Kingsley and his loud electric guitar... Another big mystery revealed!

Brian Meredith nowdays.

What do you recall about your first meeting with Glen Sweeney?

"I first met Glen in 1962. Glen Sweeney and Carolyn Looker and I all had jobs at Liberty of London, which is an old upscale department store where celebrities like to shop.
Glen helped the salespeople in the furniture department move their things around. Beautiful Carolyn worked in the beauty department. She sold makeup or nylons, I forget which. I was an art school dropout at the time who was selling suitcases in Liberty's luggage department.

The day Glen and I first talked music, I was excited to have been showing some cases to the American jazz pianist Erroll Garner. He had asked me to show him a steamer trunk and I'd hurried downstairs to blow the dust off the only one we had in storage.

I doubt Glen and I even knew each other's names. To me, he was just some hip-looking little dude I'd seen lurking about in Liberty's basement. But to get that one great steamer trunk upstairs, I asked Glen if he'd please help.
Well, during the huffing and puffing that followed, I seem to remember our chat rapidly shifting from Erroll Garner to Lennie Tristano and on to Cecil Taylor. Maybe Glen even name-dropped Sun Ra. Glen was big on Sun Ra.

The legendary Sun Ra.
Glen definitely let me know he was actually a professional drummer with an R&B band. Well, two nights a week he was. I remember because, being very much an amateur, I was impressed. I told Glen I played a bit of piano and cello in a 'free jazz' quartet. Well, weekends I did.

Anyway, Luca, here's where we must bid farewell to the late great Erroll Garner's special guest appearance in my answer to your interview question. No, he didn't buy that big trunk from me that day, but he did help Glen and I get acquainted.

After that, I began seeing Glen and Carolyn as a couple around town. Carolyn's sister, as it so happened, had begun dating a pal I used to hang out with named Geoff Wood. Geoff was the multi-instrumentalist leader of that amateur jazz group I was a part of back in '62. I'm pleased to be able to add that he has remained a good friend to this day". 

When did you join Geoff Wood's group?
"Well, it was more like we joined each other. I mean we were just four teenaged friends who each played an instrument or two. We simply hoped that playing them together as well as we could might make something akin to jazz come out. And sometimes it did. 

Brian Meredith (left) and Geoff Wood (right) in 1962.

By the way, the rest of us saw Geoff as our best player, so we made him our leader in case we needed one someday. I'm thinking this was 1959...".

Was the jazz you played based on 'hard bop' style? Tell me more...

"'Hard bop' made a big impact on us. For example, We'd been fans of The Jazz Couriers in the late 1950s. Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott moulded that U.K. band in the hard bop style that Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers had put their stamp on in the U.S. 

By the time our own group started getting together, John Coltrane, Jimmy Giuffre, Steve Lacy and Eric Dolphy were all key figures whose styles had excited us.
Then again, the four of us all loved the 'chamber jazz' groups that Chico Hamilton formed in the '50s. He had Fred Katz at first on cello, then Nate Gershman. They really interested me.
And we quickly became immersed in Gunther Schuller's 'third stream' music with the Modern Jazz Quartet.The MJQ had always been wonderful, but this was introducing quite a new twist.
Right around the turn of that '50s decade, along came Ornette Coleman with his 'free jazz' recordings. And, a split-second later, Joe Harriott in the U.K. was showing us the brand new direction he wanted to take. I'm talking about his 'free form' jazz recordings. They were superb, I thought. Still do.

Not more than a year or so later, you'd have found The Geoff Wood Quartet absorbing Bud Shank's collaboration with Ravi Shankar. It seemed like there was simply no stopping jazz at all! That was a tremendous period, and we kept lapping it up. It all influenced us". 

The Geoff Wood Quartet in 1960: Geoff Wood (alto sax, flute, piano), Oliver Chadwick (clarinet, basset horn), Dave Lawrence (drums, percussion), Brian Meredith (cello, piano, glockenspiel).

Where are you playing in these photos of that quartet? Are you on some boat? 

"We were playing aboard a motorised houseboat on the Norfolk Broads that we had rented that summer. We lived on it for a week and played every day. That's another delightful memory, Luca.
We had created our very own little jazz cruise. We'd had ourselves a sunny holiday that was all about making music and lazily chugging our way around some pretty waterways. Geoff Wood and I were talking just recently about what a pleasure that experience had been".

Did The Geoff Wood Quartet perform anywhere?
"Yes, we did perform anywhere... anywhere there wouldn't be an audience to disturb us. Look, we were very realistic amateurs, Luca. None of us were Mingus or Monk. None of us were Coltrane or Elvin Jones. No, we were just keen teens trying to hear ourselves make a kind of music now and then that, even when it is made by geniuses, scares a lot of people away.
Seriously, whether people would have described us as making music or making a racket, we just wanted somewhere to make it. So we'd very often exploit the acoustics in my parents' kitchen. I still can't quite believe how my folks could have been quite so forgiving.
Sometimes before sunset, though, we'd meet up and carry a few instruments with us into a thickly wooded area near where we all lived. Then we'd split up and stroll off among the trees, moving just far enough away to be out of sight of each other. Apart from bird calls, we'd be surrounded by silence. And then we'd begin to play. 

The late Oliver Chadwick (in phone box) goofing around with Brian Meredith in 1960.

All these years later, Luca, I get a tingle just recalling those sessions. Being really responsive to the music flowing from one another's instruments is such a rich experience under any circumstances. However, being 'in the moment' musically while being a part of that kind of natural environment was always special.
Anyway, enough about this. After a few short years of musical get-togethers, we all relocated and became involved in careers or romances or... well, whatever else that was waiting for us. Let's move on, Luca".

Returning to our main story... what about Paul Minns? When did you first meet Paul?

"Paul Minns and I first knew each other in the 1950s. We were both pupils at the City of London School, which was still located on Victoria Embankment in those days.

Paul and I weren’t classmates, but we were around the same age and had somehow discovered we were both Miles Davis fans. Every now and then we'd find each other in the schoolyard or lunchroom just long enough to natter about whatever jazz had grabbed us since we'd last talked.
Paul was more scholarly than I was. I know I came to associate him mostly with classical music and being very serious about everything. He would be off playing oboe with the school orchestra, I remember, while I'd be sitting in the lectures of the school's jazz society".  

A very rare picture of Brian and Glen Sweeney (behind) playing on stage in 1967. He tells: "Carolyn Looker may recall that, once she had designed, cut and sewn all our band uniforms, Glen picked one of our first 1967 club appearances to have a photographer take a whole bunch of pictures of us from various angles. This was one of those shots".
So when did you all start playing music together?

"That wasn't until the spring of 1967. Paul and Glen and I all met up one day in Notting Hill, which is where we all rented bed-sitting rooms, and Glen explained that he was thinking of forming a new group.
He said he was curious how the three of us might sound playing with a guitarist from Earls Court that they both knew. I realise now that the three of them already knew how they might sound playing together. This was all about auditioning me.

None of us were working just then, so Glen just went ahead and booked us some time in a rehearsal space a day or two later. I showed up with my cello, and, along with Carolyn, Glen was there on drums, Paul on oboe, and Clive Kingsley on electric guitar.

I don't recall if Glen just played hand drums during that first session or if he used some part or all of a kit. I do remember that an hour or two later, when we were packing up our instruments, there was quite a lot of satisfaction being expressed. We all felt we might be at the start of something that could work.

Then, before we had any club dates or Carolyn had come up with the name for our group or any of that, we made sure we got together and played regularly. We did that for probably close to three months. I was always surprised at how efficient Glen was at finding rehearsal spaces that cost us little or nothing during that period".  

Who composed the first tracks of the band? Was it Clive Kingsley, as he stated recently during an interview with me, or was it a collective effort?

"Well, Luca, here’s what I think. Without Glen or Paul being around any longer to perhaps take issue with what Clive, rightly or wrongly, believes, I think I’ll leave this one alone. I know that I personally stake no claim whatsoever to any of the tracks the group ever recorded, nor any of the compositions they continued to play after I left the group,

Clive Kingsley in 2009.
In case it might be of interest, however, here's how I remember our music most often coming into being.

We'd find a theme and then just work it and work it. Pretty much any time we reapproached a piece that was becoming part of our repertoire we'd be trying to refine its shape or perhaps soften or sharpen its mood. Sometimes these pieces were based on nothing more than a fragment of melody or a brief riff, yet we found they were enough for us to take as a motif we could improvise over. And let me get some praise into print here for those hand drums of Glen’s that underscored everything. Glen’s beat never faltered.

Anyway, in the course of developing what I’ve just been describing, one or other of us would give these musical pieces names. I shall leave this subject on that note".

Who was leading the band in the earliest days?

"Glen was always the leader, and from an organisational point of view I wouldn't have wanted it otherwise. He was a hipster and he was a hustler. He made the contacts, got us the gigs, got stuff done. We looked to him in those areas. Glen was both the man with the vision and 'the man with the plan'. It would have been nice if he’d shared that vision and that plan with the rest of us, but you can’t have everything. What hustler is ever really open with you? But I digress.

Another way I might answer your question about leadership is like this. Some drummers who become group leaders always provide that particular musical voice that characterises any bands they lead. The drummer Chico Hamilton, who passed away just months ago, springs to mind as that kind of leader. But for me, in the case of our group, no matter what the rest of us were contributing musically, the essential voice of TEB was Paul's.

Paul Minns live on stage in 1970.
The sound of Paul's oboe was so distinctive. It was wholly, unarguably pure. So I felt from the start that if audiences were going to be responsive to what what we were doing, Paul would be the primary reason. Solely in that sense, Paul was almost leading us by default. But perhaps I’m just muddying my answer here, because I don’t want to give the impression Paul ever directed us. He didn’t. Though in retrospect, perhaps he should have.

There were times we all sounded like we desperately needed a leader of any description. In fact, to my ears, and probably to too many audiences, we too often sounded like crap".

What kind of cello did you have?

"My cello was a perfectly ordinary violoncello that I'd bought at a provincial musical instrument store. I still remember exactly how much money I had to save up as a schoolboy to buy it. It cost 15 guineas.
But you're probably asking about my cello's 'electrification' or electronic add-ons. In that regard, I give a lot of credit to Glen Sweeney. It was Glen’s prompting that got me to see how I might transform the cello's sound at all. I'd only been around acoustic instruments previously, so I was a complete dummy.

Here's what happened. Once the four of us began playing gigs, Glen quickly became concerned about the loudness of Clive Kingsley’s electric guitar-playing. Part of what was bothering him, he said, was how Clive kept drowning out my bowed passages. As a counter measure, Glen hooked me up with a contact microphone to try out. Wow! I'd adhere the mic to the body of my cello at the start of each performance and, arco or pizzicato, it was now hear this! That was a major change for me right there.

So then I began wondering what other possibilities needed to be explored. Glen was kind of nudging me to get curious, and I was taking the hint.
I started checking out the new guitar accessories that were showing up in the Charing Cross Road music stores. I certainly don't recall anything anymore about what amp or pre-amp configuration I ended up with on stage. I couldn’t even tell you now how many effects pedals I may have experimented with.

But I do remember how precious to me my phaser and fuzz box became. I absolutely do remember those little sweethearts. They enabled me to introduce sounds on the cello unlike anything else being heard. Sure, at times they let me get away with murder, but oh boy, I loved it!".

(end of part one)

no©2014 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)