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) 

February 25, 2014

An English book with pages about the Third Ear Band...

"Witches Hats & Painted Chariots. The Incredible String Band and the 5,000 Layers of Psychedelic Folk Music" is a A4 paperback book of 112 pages dedicated to the Williamson & Heron's wonderful band with a deep excursion in the British psychedelic folk scene.

Here's the description by Shindig!, the magazine that edited it: "Witches Hats & Painted Chariots covers a broad spectrum of British underground folk-rock from a lengthy selection of articles on acid-folk pioneers The Incredible String Band to the acts that followed in their footsteps.
Folk and psychedelia held hands around the maypole while drug-inspired lyricism collided with traditional music, pagan mythology and spiritualism to create a sound and lifestyle that still resonate today.
This delightfully-designed book overflows with sumptuous visuals and exclusive features – no one has presented the work and influence of the String Band with such vivid colour and insight".

About the book contents, the author writes "the Incredible String Band's whole story with album-by-album critiques, solo work, their legacy and influence on 21st century bands " as Comus, Mark Fry, Principal Edwards Magic Theatre, Spirogyra, Forest, Dr Strangely Strange, The Wicker Man, Medieval folk-rock of the ’70s, Third Ear Band and Circulus. 
Copies of the book (£ 7.00 from UK, £ 10.50 from Europe and £ 13.50 from the rest of World) can be obtained at:
The Reviews Editor
Shindig! Magazine
PO Box 4447
BA11 9AS
through the Web site (here) or Facebook (here).

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

February 18, 2014

TEB's stuff never published on this Archive found!

Waiting for the interview with first TEB cellist Brian Meredith (now disappeared...), I've found in my personal archive some stuff never published on Ghetto Raga.
So I've updated the two chronological files (here and there), expecially that about the last period the Band played in Italy with reviews, magazine articles and photos as this one here below.

  Carter, Smith, Sweeney, Dobson (and L. Ferrari) with TEB fans at Psycho Club (Genova).
no©2014 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)  

February 06, 2014

Other arguable quotation of music inspired by the Third Ear Band...

Just few days ago I've found another  arguable quotation of a recent track apparently inspired by the Third Ear Band: on an Italian Web magazine titled "Distorsioni", Ignazio Gulotta writes about a composition titled "Oh, I am stuck" performed by Norwegian band Susanna and Ensemble neoN (it's included on "The Forester", published in 2013) that "the sound of strings bring to the Third Ear Band"...
Listen this very interesting track  here and form an opinion about it.

Susanna & Ensemble neoN

Also in this occasion, my idea is that journalists/musicians/fans often use to quote the Third Ear Band as a reference or an inspiration for some artists' music  but... often there's no a trace of it.
Ignorance? Boasted credit? Naive ambition?
Difficult to say...

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

January 22, 2014

Another record inspired by the Third Ear Band...?

Third Ear Band is still a strong reference for many artists. In the last years we have seen as many bands use to refer to TEB's music, not always with right reasons to state it...

Anyway New Zealander Alastair Galbraith, with his 2013 album titled "Cry", somewhere seems to be very near to TEB's mood - that particular, unique climax that makes the music of Glen Sweeney & C. so charming.
Listen to the short instrumental "Wish", for example, and you'll find some of it...

Ian Fraser from The Terrascope (http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Reviews_March_13.htm) writes about the record:

Gilbraith in 2011
"New Zealander Alastair Galbraith is a prolific multi-instrumentalist whose fourth album Cry, recorded between 1998 and 2000, receives a belated release (hence our interest) and which pitches him somewhere twixt Ivor Cutler, Rock Bottom-era Wyatt and a discordant Third Ear Band. The Cutler comparison is in no short measure due to the lavish and atmospheric application of harmonium which immediately strikes you from the opening bars of “Bellbird”. The thirteen mostly short tracks (some just seconds in length) all plink and fizz along in a nagging drone that evokes not so much kitchen sink as camp stove psychedelia of the most curious variety, with backwards tapes, scratching violin and all manner of found sounds neatly enough interspersed with Galbraith’s mostly spoken word vocal. The ingredients all come together beautifully on the criminally short “One Method” and another highlight, “Koterana”, which sounds like a nest full of wasps, gorged on seasonally mellow fruitfulness and having a rare old time knocking out drunken jigs and reels (or so you’d imagine). All oddly pleasing and pleasingly odd, and a welcome (re) release to be sure".

Issued on vinyl for the first time in a run of 500 LPs and available digitally, you can listen/download/buy the record at http://mie.limitedrun.com/products/511937-alastair-galbraith-cry-lp, then let me what do you think about it...

Other related links:

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

January 16, 2014

Found an unpublished sketch for a Third Ear Band poster made by Glen Sweeney in 1991.

I've found in my personal archive this sketch made by Glen Sweeney in 1991 for a planned poster of the Third Ear Band, year when he reformed the band with Barry Pilcher at saxophone with the idea to be more alchemical than ever.
Infact in a first time he called the band Alchemical Third Ear Band with the usual reference to his favourite Buddha icon.
The project failed (he called it Elektric Third Ear Band and recorded few tracks for a new record, then re-recorded with a different line-up and published in 1993 as "Brain Waves"...) and this poster, that he sent me at that time, sinked into oblivion.
Now it is emerged just for the curiosity of everyone still involved in the esoteric story of the Band...

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

January 06, 2014

Brand new 180 gram audiophile vinyl edition of "Alchemy" out now.

Just at the end of past December a new 500 copy limited edition of TEB's "Alchemy" (on 180 gram audiophile vinyl format) is available in the shops at 25-30 euros.
As you can see below, the main trait of it - published by Timeless Record (as TIME 732) - seems to be the laminated original cover here treated as a negative of a photograph.
As we know it was designed by David Loxley, taken from an old engrave published on "Atalanta Fugiens" by Michael Meier in 1617 (read here at http://ghettoraga.blogspot.it/2009/12/origins-and-meanings-of-alchemy-cover.html).

Timeless Records is a label specialized in reissues of old underground records: they have reissued artists as Pete Brown & Piblokto, Edgar Broughton Band, East of Eden, Bonzo Dog Band, Nucleus...
It's really wonderful that this record is still in catalogue after all these years and it does exist in so many different formats (original 1969 LP, remastered CDs, limited vinyl edition...)...

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

December 24, 2013

Bad news for Christmas: Mel Davis, original founder of the People Band, died last November...

Mel Davis, the original founder of the People Band, friend of Glen Sweeney, Clive Kingsley and Lyn Dobson, died at the beginning of last November. His old musicians and friends played a moving funeral lament on November 6th at Woodlands Crematorium in Scunthorpe documented on YouTube at the page http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8dgUAnyFRw&feature=youtu.be.

                                    The funeral lament for Mel Davis.

Excellent jazz & avantgarde pianist/multi-instrumentalist, Mel Davis played the cello in TEB's "Alchemy" (1969) being a real key figure in the British jazz, most of all for playing with The People Band.

The People Band in the Sixties
At the beginning of 2012 The People Band was reformed for some concerts. Reviewing a gig in London played in March of this year, Sammy Stein of "All About Jazz" wrote that "another wonderful moment was provided by Davis' piano solo, demonstrating why he is still one of the most respected players in the business".

And in an other occasion, analyzing The People Band's music: "Free jazz is what the People Band play and perhaps this is an odd term for music which is actually highly controlled by individual players and the right notes are played around a root chord – just not necessarily in the right order to form what we know as a ‘tune’. (...) Words used to describe The People Band’s playing include visceral, free wheeling, forceful and anarchic and all of these are true but what 

The People Band on stage in 2012.
makes a People Band performance special is that the musicians do not stick to the tune but rather, the music takes on a life of its own, invading the spirit and souls of performers and listeners alike. With the People Band, the audience are encouraged to take part should the muse take them. Instruments are swapped, players mingle with the crowd and the music takes the lead.

"With root chords to guide, the players come in or fall silent as the muse takes them. One moment blowing a complicated sax riff, the next tapping out a simple rhythm on a tambourine. Yet, all have an innate understanding of where the piece is going. Unfettered by convention of traditional rhythms, tempos or dynamics, the players are led by the spirit of jazz who joins them on stage, tempting, cajoling, pushing, getting them to overblow to get more notes, creating music of teeth crunching discords working alongside sublime and divine sweetness, yet all working together to explore every avenue of jazz – this is free form".

Music losts another great musician, a pure innovator, an experimental mind... a fundamental protagonist of the TEB's glorious story!

A Mel Davis Discography
Third Ear Band - "Alchemy" (LP/CD - Harvest 1969) Davis played the cello
The People Band - "The People Band" (LP/CD - Transatlantic, 1970)
Loverly - "Play World Wild Music" (CD - ITM REecords, 1988) Davis composed some tracks and played the piano
Various Artists - "Resonance Volume 8 Number 2 / Volume 9 Number 1: LMC…The First 25 Years" (CD - London Musicians' Collective 2000) compilation with a track played by Mummy
Various Artists  - "Not necesserily 'English Music'" (2CD - EMF, 2001) compilation with a track by The People Band
The People Band - "People Band 69/70" (CD - Emanen 2009) an anthology with unrealised tracks

Web sites

 no©2013 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)   

December 16, 2013

English musician Michael Tanner quotes TEB's "Stone Circle" as one of his inspirations...

From the blog called "Grounding Sounds" (http://wp.me/p3tXEW-O) we find out Dorset musician Michael Tanner quotes "Stone Circle" as one of his favourite tracks. 

Tanner is behind several projects including his solo work as Plinth and collaborations as part of The A.Lords, Thalassing, Cloisters, Taskerlands. He has records as himself too. His works have been released through several labels including Second Language, Time Released Sound, Rif Mountain and Deadslackstring. 
                        The cover of "The Cloisters", Turner's last album.

His sound sits somewhere between folk, modern classical and experimental ambient music. Lot of his albums are listenable at http://iamplinth.bandcamp.com
His last record, titled "The Cloisters", is a beautiful, organic, ambient music.

About "Stone Circle" he sustains: "No band sums up the Dark, Olde England quite like the Third Ear Band. The music occasionally induces the horrors but then veers back trance-like. This is the music Steve Reich would have made if he were a Pict" 

no©2013 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)      

December 05, 2013

Finally also first TEB cellist BRIAN MEREDITH has emerged from the fogs of time!

A new Great Miracle of the Web for all the Third Ear Band's fans around the world: disclosing his obscure and quite legendary identity, just today Brian Meredith has posted this few words on that old file I wrote on August 2012 titled "Who knows Brian Meredith?" (http://ghettoraga.blogspot.it/2012/08/who-knows-brian-meredith.html ):

Brian Meredith and Glen Sweeney on stage for one of the first TEB show in 1967!

"Call off the hunt, Luca! I am Brian Meredith, one of the four founders of TEB, the cellist Clive Kingsley thought may have been named Graham. BTW, I tracked down and called Clive a few years ago after somebody drew my attention to his misrememberances. I stayed with the group for its first 16 months before moving to live overseas (first to Sydney, then to New York). These days, I'm a 69-year old living in Southern California, and have had my attention drawn to this "Who Is Brian Meredith?" topic by someone who saw me acknowledging the passing of 94-year old master cellist (and founding member of the original Chico Hamilton Quintet) Fred Katz. I'll be happy to continue this conversation, Luca, and to help clear away the fog I'm becoming aware has gathered around Third Ear Band's origins. But right now, I shall attempt to add a photo to this comment. I have today posted a pic online that shows Glen and myself on stage. 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".

Brian Meredith today.
Another very interesting post by him is included on another file of this Archive after a Carolyn Looker interview at http://ghettoraga.blogspot.it/2012/04/at-last-proper-interview-with-carolyn.html

So we'll have a long interview with Brian soon to discover other obscure things from the Third Ear Band past!  
Keep in touch!

no©2013 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)     

December 04, 2013

Rare Harvest anthology with TEB track available for free download.

"Picnic. A breath of fresh air", a double LP anthology published by Harvest Records in England on June 1970 to celebrate the first year of the label, is available for free downloading at http://plixid.com/2013/11/29/va-picnic-a-breath-of-fresh-air-vinylrip-remastered-1970-mp3/
The  anthology, among tracks by Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Syd Barrett, Edgar Broughton Band, Roy Harper..., includes "Water" played by the Third Ear Band taken from the "Elements" album.

I'm particularly close to this record because when in 1976 I bought it  in a little record shop of the smalltown where I lived I could listen for the first time to the Third Ear Band. Just then I decided to find all the records the band had produced. So in some ways "Picnic" was the beginning of all: the     researches on the TEB, the first attempts to contact Glen to convince him to reform the band, the following management of the group for the Italian tours/records, finally this Archive with many unexpected contacts and discoveries...

In these last years the vinyl edition (Harvest SHSS 1/2), not too hard to find, is a collector's item valued around 15-20 euros.
In 2007 E.M.I. edited also a 3CDs with similar title ("A Breath of Fresh Air") but a different (enhanced) tracks selection: Third Ear Band is included here with two tunes - "Druid One" (from "Alchemy") and "Overture", from the 1972 "Macbeth" film soundtrack.

The inside LP cover
 no©2013 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)