Thinking Pink! est une interview de Twink parue en décembre 1985 dans le fanzine Opel, dédié à Syd Barrett. Twink était (entre autre) le batteur du trio Stars avec Syd Barrett et Jack Monck à la basse. Twink est interviewé par Ivor Trueman, le fondateur du fanzine.
Early in November I met up with Twink in windy East Anglia, but before we get submerged in all that I thought it would be best to provide a little information about Twink’s career. (We’ve also had a few requests to do this.) So here goes: In 1963 Twink began playing for an RnB combo called “Dane Stephens And The Deep Beats”, after a year they changed their name to “The Fairies” and recorded a single for Decca, “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”.In ‘65 they released two more singles for Hmv, “Don’t Mind” and “Get Yourself Home” and split sometime before ‘67. Twink then joined The In Crowd, shortly before they changed their name to “Tomorrow” and began playing such gigs as the UFO etc. Tomorrow consisted of Keith West-vocals, Steve Howe-guitar, John “Junior” Wood-bass and last but not least, Twink on drums. They recorded a fine psychedelic album called “Tomorrow” and had a minor hit with that great song- “My White Bicycle”. However all good things must end sometime and as Tomorrow split Twink was enlisted by the Pretty Things for the first ever concept album “S.F. Sorrow” whilst he also recorded his own solo LP “Think Pink”. This was another classic album full of swirling vocals, sitars and other psychedelic fragrances. This album is highly recommended. During 69/70, Twink played on Mick Farrens solo album “Mona” and helped form the original Pink Fairies with Mick Farren and Steve Peregrine Took. It wasn’t until April ‘70 however that the Pink Fairies got their act together properly (if you can call it that), and the line up at the time consisted of Twink, second drummer Russel Hunter, Paul Rudolf-guitar, and Duncan Sanderson-bass. Hunter, Rudolf and Sanderson had all previously been members of the Deviants along with Mick Farren and had also played on Twink’s solo LP. The Pink Fairies landed a deal with Polydor, releasing a single “The Snake”/“Doing It” and album “Never Never Land”. Twink left the band in the middle of ‘71 though he does play on the Glastonbury LP. Twink did later re-join the Pink Fairies for six months in ‘73 and then for their last gig which was recorded and came out as an LP called “Live At The Roundhouse ‘75”. Early in ‘72 Twink played live at a one-off gig with Eddie Guitar Burns, where of course, he was joined on stage by Syd Barrett. They jammed through a blues tune and went on to form the ill-fated Stars.After Stars had collapsed Twink went into hibernation, apart from the already mentioned Pink Fairies re-unions he next surfaced in 77 when he recorded an EP as Twink and The Fairies and sang lead vocals for “The Rings”. (Who had a single titled “I Wanna Be Free” on Chiswick records). After that… well this is where the interview began… Ivor Trueman: I know that you played with Tomorrow and The Pretty Things and The Pink Fairies but after that it all seemed to stop really. Twink: That was when things had started to go really wrong. I had a drink and drug problem. Ivor Trueman: You did that “Do It ‘77” EP in 77. Twink: Yes that was after “The Rings” who I did vocals for, and after that EP came out in 78 I went to Belgium and did some sessions over there. I got a straight job with an American Computer company in Brussels and I stayed with them for five years in fact. The job that I had was relocated to the U.K. in 1981, so I came back over to here. Although I’d always had the idea of getting back into music, I still had a problem. And since May this year, when I admitted to myself that I had a serious drink and drug addiction problem, things have been getting better. Today I don’t have to have a drink or take any drugs. I’m focussing on a second solo album, which I’ve prepared and is ready-although I haven’t got a deal yet. I’m planning to go to America by the end of November as I was there in January and made some contacts and there seems to be some interest over there. And I’m also planning an album with Ron Wood, Kim Gardner and Jon Lord, which is a continuation of an earlier project. Ivor Trueman: Kim Gardner. Twink: He was in Ashton Gardner and Dyke. Ivor Trueman: And the Creation. Twink: The Creation and also The Birds-both groups with Ron Wood. It was around that time when I first met them. I saw The Creation down at Blaises and The Birds at the 100 Club, I jammed with them down there as well. In ‘68 I was sharing a flat with Jon Lord, Ron and Kim used to come over all the time. That was when Jon took us into Decca studios one Sunday afternoon. And we had this structured jam on 3 titles which later came out on an “Immediate” blues album called Blues Anytime Vol 3, just the three tracks which we did. Ivor Trueman: Who was that credited to? Twink: The Santa Barbara Machine Head-and that’s the name that we’re going to be using for this album, now. I was with Kim in LA last January and a week after I arrived Jon Lord was playing the Civic Centre Longbeach with Deep Purple - on the Perfect Strangers tour. So I went down there and said “I’ve spoken to Kim, we think it’d be nice for us all to get together and record an album.” and he said that he’d love to do it, even though we hadn’t seen each other for 15 years. That only left Ron, and when Kim came over to London in June he managed to get through to him. (They’re kind of like brothers). And there was a meeting and Ron said ‘yeh I wanna do it but I’ve got to finish the Stones album first’. So that’s where we are at the moment. Ivor Trueman: That’s quite a line-up. Twink: I’ve drafted a few ideas and I’ve got the amber light from Ron’s manager so we’re just waiting for us all to get together. Ivor Trueman: What about your second solo album? Twink: It’s called ‘The Doves’ and I’ve got some great musicians for that. But I don’t want to mention any names now ‘cos I don’t want people to think ‘ah this guy’s trying to make a comeback on somebody else’s name’, but there are some really good people on it. Ivor Trueman: What kind of music will it be? Twink: Very modern. Ivor Trueman: So it won’t be like the ‘Do It ‘77’ EP then. Twink: No, nothing at all like that. That EP was 50% disastrous from a musical point of view. The new album is going to be far more “musical” than anything I’ve ever done. Ivor Trueman: I thought the first solo album was quite melodic and tuneful actually, whereas the EP is more like the Pink Fairies. Twink: Yeh that’s right, well that’s what I was going for with that EP. Actually, and I haven’t told this to anyone in an interview before, but “Psychedelic Punkeroo” on the EP… Ivor Trueman: ..is credited to “A. Syd” and has lyrics about him. Twink: Yeh, that song is a song for Syd, basically. I wrote that song about Syd and I credited it under that pseudonym, which I used just for that song. Ivor Trueman: Moving a bit further into the past, have you any memories about UFO? You must have been fairly close to Syd at that time. Twink: We weren’t very close actually at the UFO, as such… Ivor Trueman: But you played on the same bill together. Twink: Oh yeh, many many times and in fact the first time that I went down [to] the UFO the Floyd were playing. I can’t say that I remember them as being fantastically good but I appreciated what they were doing. I knew that it was ‘new’ and very experimental and I’ve always been looking for new things and I think I latched onto the fact that it was new. Ivor Trueman: Do you think it was very different from what came out on the first album? Twink: Oh yeh, It was much more raw and unstructured and just kind of jamming - cosmic jamming. Ivor Trueman: What was UFO like? Twink: It wasn’t very big but it had a great atmosphere; light shows, incense burning, theatre groups, people just doing things. People in costume and obviously the glittering sparkling things in their faces-the make up. It was fantastic-it was really great and as soon as I saw it I wanted the band that I was with to play there and it affected me immediately, I started to get new ideas myself - things like mime, more free form playing, using light shows and things like that. Ivor Trueman: Was the music of Tomorrow more free form live than on record? Twink: We used to play very free live, there was a lot more energy live- the album is more or less a condensed version of what we did live. It’s more structured on the album - like a three minute song on the album may have been 20 minutes live. Ivor Trueman: There’s a story about one of the UFO gigs just after the Rolling Stones had been busted. Everyone cleared out of the club to picket The News Of The World and Tomorrow waited until 5am to perform their set. Twink: Yeh, that’s right, and I think we had a lot of daffodils ‘n’ stuff to throw out into the audience that night as well. And I also think that was the planting of the seed for “Revolution” on the album. Ivor Trueman: When you were crawling through the audience shouting “Revolution” while Steve played a heavy feedback riff on guitar… Twink: Yeh, it’s amazing. And there were a lot of people going ‘No no no’ and I was going ‘Yes yes yes’… but that was all just youth, rebelling from me. Ivor Trueman: What about the 14 Hour Technicolour Dream? Twink: I remember that, we weren’t booked to play, we just drove up and played. We just said “We’re Tomorrow and we’re playing”- bluffed our way onto the stage; and did a really good set, I think. We enjoyed it anyway. But that was the kind of thing you had to do at the time, if you were trying to get into something which had already started, you had to push your way in. The people who were organising the gigs had probably been thinking along those lines for years and then it suddenly became a movement. And the movement had already begun by the time we arrived. It was still early days for the movement though. As soon as I’d heard about UFO I went down there, it had been going for 2-3 weeks and I went down there one Friday night. Ivor Trueman: Was that before Tomorrow formed? Twink: I think we were still called ‘The In Crowd’. Ivor Trueman: So you joined them when they were still called ‘The In Crowd’? Twink: Yes, and a few months after I’d joined them we changed the name. Ivor Trueman: What happened to Tomorrow in the end? It all seemed to disintegrate. Twink: Well, that’s what happened. Ivor Trueman: Keith West having his solo hit. Twink: Yes, that created a bad feeling. It appeared to me that we’d agreed that Keith’s record was going to come out as Keith Tomorrow, and Steve was going to make a record as Steve Tomorrow and likewise Junior and myself, ‘cos we were trying to push the band. And then of course Keith’s record came out as Keith Tomorrow and there was immediately a feeling of “What’s going on?”. And then it was a hit. We started getting all these strange gigs that we couldn’t really play the way that we wanted to because they wanted “Grocer Jack” Keith’s single. Ivor Trueman: That also happened with the Floyd after Emily. Twink: And the next thing that happened was Keith, myself, Steve and Junior met one day round at Steve’s and Keith said that he wanted to go solo but wanted to keep the group together and produce the group. And it was really up to us to decide if we wanted to do that. I think Steve wanted to go on but both myself and Junior were pissed off with what was happening-we really didn’t know what was happening-we just didn’t like being pushed left, right and centre, so our immediate reaction was ‘no we’ll go our own separate ways’. Ivor Trueman: Junior did play on your solo album though. Twink: He made a brief appearance on the solo album but he did co-write a couple of the songs. We were working as “The Aquarian Age” after Tomorrow and we had a single out called “10,000 Words In A Cardboard Box” which we later re-recorded on the album. But after that single Junior decided that he’d had enough and decided to go into Casino’s. He became a croupier-got married and went to Greece. And he made a lot of money and now he’s got a yacht, he’s taken a long vacation and he’s sailing around the world. Junior had had a nervous breakdown and cirrhosis of the liver-and all that gave him a very deep insight into where his life was, ‘cos he nearly died, and he started thinking about what he was doing and saw through the falseness in the music business and he decided to get out. And of course at that point I’d just joined The Pretty Things. I was asked to join and I said that I’d help out for a month. That was my intention because I believed in what I was doing with the Aquarian Age. Ivor Trueman: Well, the version of “10,000 Words…” on your solo album is great if that’s anything to go by… Twink: It’s similar to the Aquarian Age’s version but it’s a bit different. The Aquarian Age’s has a violin solo on it and it was also produced by Mark Wirtz. So, I joined The Pretty Things for a month but ended up with them for a couple of years. I only did “S.F. Sorrow” with them, except for a couple of tracks on that which they’d already started to record. “S.F. Sorrow” is quite a good album-I wrote the stage-play for S.F. Sorrow. Ivor Trueman: What was that??? Twink: We performed it at the Roundhouse twice - it was mime, I took the lead part, the main character - S.F. Sorrow, and the rest of the group and their girlfriends took part; all miming to the tape with dialogue in between the songs..spoken by Phil May. Ivor Trueman: Pete Townshend wasn’t in the audience was he? Twink: Well he listened to S.F. Sorrow while they were recording Tommy ‘cos they phoned Phil May up and said ‘hey Phil, we think it’s great and we’re working on something very similar’.. But I think it’s gone on record now that S.F. Sorrow was actually the first concept album. Ivor Trueman: Yeh but Tommy got all the critical acclaim. Twink: I think Phil May was very disappointed with that - still, that’s life. Ivor Trueman: What about your solo LP. Twink: That was done while I was with The Pretty Things and some of them appear on the record: Wally Allen, John Povey, Victor Unit and Phil May, I think in retrospect that album could have been a lot better than it was content/material wise. It was experimental. Ivor Trueman: It’s got a lot of nice sounds on it - voices, sitars etc. Twink: Yeh, in fact when I put a band together and do some gigs I’m actually going to put some of those ideas into the live show - some of the actual vocal things. There’s a track called “The Dawn of Magic” which I want to do getting the audience to participate in the vocals. At the time of that album I was really influenced by what the “Living Theatre” were doing. They were a theatre group which used a lot of audience participation, very free and relaxed kind of shows. I remember them opening their act with the stage pitch black and there’d be fifty people on stage all with incense sticks held in their hands, and you’d just see all these little coloured dots which they kept moving around for 10 minutes - for me, it was great. I was really influenced by them - Dawn Of Magic was influenced by them and some of that carried on into the Pink Fairies. A track called “Thor” which consists of a vacuum cleaner just going backwards and forwards, with a guitar folded over backwards. If you listen carefully you can hear the hoover… Ivor Trueman: Some of the other people who played on your solo LP were from The Deviants and later on The Pink Fairies. How did you form The Pink Fairies? Twink: I didn’t form original Pink Fairies. We just used to go out together and found ourselves doing gigs together - we just found ourselves being together and I think Mick Farren put the name together after Tony Wiggins (who was the Deviants road manager) sort of threw in Pink Fairies at some point and then Mick Farren said yeh, ‘We’re the Pink Fairies Motorcycle Club and All Star Rock ‘N’ Roll Band, that’s who we are.’ and that’s how it started. Ivor Trueman: ‘cos you were in a band called The Fairies before. Twink: Yeh, I don’t know if that was in Tony’s mind when he actually threw the Pink Fairies in.. Ivor Trueman: What about Mick Farrens solo album, Mona Twink: I play drums on that.
Ivor Trueman : Après les Pink Fairies, vous avez joué dans Stars. Comment cela a-t-il commencé ?
Twink : Je vivais à Cambridge, et après avoir quitté les Pink Fairies je suis retourné à Londres un moment, puis j’ai déménagé à Cambridge. Et c’est à Cambridge que j’ai rencontré Jack Monck et quelques musiciens du cru, même si nous n’avons rien fait de sérieux ensemble.
Ivor Trueman : Vous ne connaissiez pas déjà Jack Monck ?
Twink : Non. Nous nous sommes rencontrés par Jenny, Jenny Spires, une de mes ex-petites amies, et aussi une ex de Syd. C’est Jenny et Jack qui ont amené Syd au concerts d’Eddie Guitar Burns au Kings College Cellar. Et Syd a participé à un bœuf cette nuit-là. Et je crois, peut-être pas le lendemain mais un ou deux jours après, Jenny et Jack sont arrivés chez moi à Cambridge, et durant la conversation, quelqu’un a dit « ça serait génial d’arriver à refaire jouer Syd, non ? » Je n’étais pas le seul à dire ça, c’était tout le monde. Alors Jenny a dit « j’arrangerai un rendez-vous avec lui, on ira voir Syd et lui demander s’il veut jouer avec toi et Jack. » Ce que nous avons fait. Nous sommes arrivés chez lui, et je crois que c’est sa maman qui nous a ouvert la porte, puis Syd est arrivé à la porte et Jenny a dit : « C’est Twink et Jack, ils veulent savoir si tu veux monter un groupe, juste vous trois. » Et il a dit « ouais, d’accord, entrez » Et voilà. Nous avons commencé à répéter dans la cave de sa maison, c’est comme ça que ça a commencé. Je ne crois pas me tromper.
Ivor Trueman : Avez-vous beaucoup répété ?
Twink : Pas vraiment. Environ deux semaines, puis nous avons eu ce concert au Corn Exchange.
Ivor Trueman : Qui a arrangé ces concerts ?
Twink : Un gars qui s’appelait Steve Brink. Et je suis sûr qu’il était plein de bonnes intentions, mais il était juste aussi cinglé que les autres, tu vois. Si nous avions eu un genre de manager, nous n’aurions pas donné de concert avant six mois, ou peut-être un an ou plus, mais nous avons foncé droit dedans. Il est arrivé en disant « J’ai ce concert avec MC5, je vous colle en haut de l’affiche ». Nous avons dit oui, et il a imprimé les billets. C’est très important pour moi, en fait : les billets disaient « Stars, le nouveau groupe de Twink », et on dirait qu’à partir de là, les gens ont cru que j’avais fait mettre ça sur les billets parce que j’étais plus « cohérent » que Syd. Mais c’est faux, et je tiens à signaler que ça n’avait rien à voir avec moi : c’est l’organisateur qui essayait trop fort de m’aider. Je n’avais jamais vu les billets avant qu’ils sortent.
Ivor Trueman : Je crois que les concerts ont attiré davantage d’attention qu’ils n’auraient dû, étant donné que Syd n’avait pas été sous le feu des projecteurs depuis un bon moment.
Twink : Ouais.
Ivor Trueman : Mais vous avez donné quelques concerts à Cambridge, en dehors du Corn Exchange.
Twink : Ouais, certains des concerts étaient excellents, certains étaient très bons, mais ceux du Corn Exchange étaient horribles. Celui dont je me souviens le mieux est celui que j’ai apprécié, celui sur Market Square à Cambridge, à l’air libre, c’était génial. Et nous en avons fait aussi au Dandelion Coffee Bar, deux, je crois, et ils étaient aussi bons.
Ivor Trueman : Tout cela vers la même période.
Twink : Ouais, vers la même période, parce que le groupe n’est pas resté ensemble très longtemps. Immédiatement après ce concert, les mauvaises critiques, je crois que c’était Roy Hollingworth – Melody Maker, il a pondu un truc et il a tué le groupe en fait, avec sa critique. Parce que Syd s’est pointé le lendemain avec ce journal à la main le lendemain, il l’avait vu et a dit « Je ne veux plus jouer. » Et c’était fini. Je suppose que je m’y attendais, je savais qu’il était possible que quelque chose comme ça se produise, mais c’est vraiment dommage que ça se soit produit.
Ivor Trueman : Qu’en est-il des enregistrements des premiers concerts ?
Twink : Eh bien, je ne sais pas où sont les bandes.
Ivor Trueman : Quels concerts ont été enregistrés ?
Twink : Tous, je crois.
Ivor Trueman : Et les répétitions ?
Twink : Syd a enregistré les répétitions.
Ivor Trueman : Sur un magnétophone portable ?
Twink : Oui, pour autant que je me souvienne, sur un simple magnétophone. Et les autres ont été enregistrées sur un équipement vraiment professionnel, par un gars d’Amérique installé à Cambridge. Il était lié d’une façon ou d’une autre à Leonard Bernstein et s’appelait Victor, mais je ne me rappelle rien d’autre.
Ivor Trueman : Saviez-vous que le concert d’Eddie Guitar Burns a aussi été enregistré ? Quelqu’un à Cambridge possède une bande de qualité professionnelle.
Twink : Non. J’avais un concert des Stars à une époque, entre moi et Jolly, un ami avec qui je travaillais à l’époque. Il faisait des badges. Il avait une bande, mais j’ignore ce qu’elle est devenue. Les bandes étaient bonnes – uniquement des chansons de Syd, des titres du Floyd. Je ne crois pas qu’on ait produit rien de neuf, mais je ne me souviens pas.
Ivor Trueman : Donc, Syd n’écrivait plus rien à l’époque ?
Twink : Je ne me souviens pas. Je sais qu’il peignait à l’époque, il était un bel artiste, il faisait des peintures à l’huile, des peintures abstraites fantastiques. Je présume que la plupart sont toujours chez lui, Jenny en a une.
Ivor Trueman : Êtes-vous toujours en contact avec Jenny ?
Twink : Non. Je ne sais pas si Jack l’est encore. Ils étaient mariés, mais je crois qu’ils sont divorcés ou séparés à présent.
Ivor Trueman : Avez-vous vu Syd récemment ?
Twink : Non. Enfin, si – on s’est croisés à Harrods il y a quelques années. J’étais sur un escalator descendant et lui montait. Mais cela fait un moment que je ne l’ai pas vu.
Ivor Trueman : Un gars qui écrit un livre sur les Floyd a réussi à le voir récemment : Mike Watkinson. [Note : je me suis trompé, Mike n’a pas encore vu Syd.]
Twink : Oui, il est entré en contact avec moi mais nous ne nous sommes pas encore rencontrés.
Ivor Trueman : Combien de temps duraient les concerts de STARS ? Le programme du concert au Corn Exchange aurait été le suivant : Octopus, Dark Globe, Gigolo Aunt, Baby Lemonade, Waving My Arms In The Air, Lucifer Sam et un ou deux 12-bar blues.
Twink : Je ne me souviens pas exactement combien de temps duraient les concerts, mais je dirais environ 40-45 minutes. Quand on y pense, c’est assez stupéfiant qu’il ait voulu faire ça à cette époque et, vous voyez, qu’il ait vraiment été « là ». C’est un grand guitariste et un grand musicien.
Ivor Trueman : Fred Frith a-t-il jamais joué au sein de Stars ? Il nous a écrit depuis New York pour nous dire qu’il avait joué une fois sur scène avec Syd.
Twink : Il n’a pas joué dans Stars, mais j’ignore s’il a joué ou non avec Syd. C’était peut-être même au concert d’Eddie Guitar Burns.
Ivor Trueman : Y avait-il quelqu’un d’autre à l’époque ?
Twink : Honnêtement, je ne me souviens pas. Mais c’est bien possible.
Ivor Trueman : Une rumeur veut que Stars ait joué See Emily Play durant les répétitions.
Twink : Ouais, je pense que c’est exact, mais je n’en suis pas certain.
Ivor Trueman : Qu’est-il arrivé au concert prévu à l’université d’Essex ?
Twink : Nous avons essayé de le faire sans Syd, parce que Syd avait dit qu’il ne voulait plus jouer – mais celui-là était prévu, alors on y est tous allés, décidés à jouer. J’avais amené un ou deux musiciens pour remplacer Syd. Mais en fait, l’organisateur ne voulait pas qu’on joue parce que Syd n’était pas là – du coup, c’était un peu un désastre.
Ivor Trueman : Comptiez-vous jouer encore des chansons de Syd ?
Twink : Non. Ça devait être autre chose. Mais c’était la mauvaise chose à faire, nous aurions dû annuler. Mais nous avons décidé d’y aller et ça n’a pas marché.
Ivor Trueman: What do you think of all this new psychedelic stuff? Twink: I don’t know much about them all really. I don’t focus on them when they come, I know the Rain’s Parade’s management very well. Malibu Management - they’re real nice people - but I have no idea about their music. I’ve heard the Church, have you heard of them? Ivor Trueman: Yeh, a bit poppy. Twink: Then there was something the other day, I heard one track by The Fall on ‘The Tube’ and what I heard was like something out of the UFO. It’s all a bit dated, but I understand that the kids have got to draw their inspiration from somewhere - so that’s where they’re coming from and they’ll obviously go onto better things. That just about concludes the interview, I’d like to say a big thanx to Twink for the interview and to Allan Thompson for putting me in touch. Also I’d like to wish Twink all the best in ‘86 and look forward to The Doves with immense interest. If you’re into other psychedelia/hippy stuff you won’t be disappointed in the self named Tomorrow LP or Twink’s solo album “Think Pink”; both are rated highly by most people I know with copies. There’s also a cheapish compilation of Pink Fairies stuff called Pink Fairies (what else) which is ok and the Glastonbury album is worth hearing for “Uncle Harry’s Last Freakout”. Stamp collectors are probably more at home with “Do It ‘77”, the EP which came out in 78 and features “Psychedelic Punkeroo”.
Auteurs de la page : Wulfnoth (traduction, mise en page) manu (mise en page).