London Underground: Early counterculture doc with Paul McCartney, Allen Ginsberg, Pink Floyd


 
Granada Television produced this fascinating TV time capsule “It’s So Far Out It’s Straight Down” as a special part of their Scene at 6:30 series. The program focused on the young counterculture / hippie scene in London and features Miles, the Indica Gallery and the editorial board of The International Times underground newspaper. Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and Lawrence Ferlinghetti are seen at the International Poetry Incarnation and we are taken to The UFO Club where Syd Barrett and the Pink Floyd are playing a live version of “Interstellar Overdrive” (Also heard on the soundtrack is an early version of their “Matilda Mother,” then called “Percy The Ratcatcher” and “It Can’t Happen Here” by The Mothers of Invention).

Paul McCartney is a talking head interviewee (although not framed as such) in the studio, intelligently discussing the nascent underground scene. Macca was an active part of the London underground, financially supporting the Indica Gallery and bookstore—he even built the bookshelves himself—and IT. McCartney, the Beatle who soaked up cutting-edge culture and avant garde influences long before the rest of them did, is seen in four segments during the show, and as a wealthy, intelligent and well-respected person representing the counterculture to people who might fear it, as you’ll see, he knocks the ball straight out of the park:

If you don’t know anything about it [the counterculture], you can sort of trust that it’s probably gonna be all right and it’s probably not that bad because it’s human beings doing it, and you know vaguely what human beings do. And they’re probably going to think of it nearly the same way you would in that situation.

The straights should welcome the underground because it stands for freedom… It’s not strange it’s just new, it’s not weird, it’s just what’s going on around.

“It’s So Far Out It’s Straight Down” was broadcast in March of 1967, so it’s pre-Summer of Love. The time seems so pregnant with promise. This is the exact moment, historically speaking, when pop culture went from B&W and shades of gray to vivid color. If you put yourself in the mind of a kid from the north of England watching something like this on television during that era, it’s easy to see how this film would have brought tens of thousands of young people into London seeking to find these forward-thinking cultural movers and shakers to become part of “the happening” themselves.
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Pink Floyd’s earliest post-Syd Barrett TV appearance, 1968
03.19.2014
03:15 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Pink Floyd


 
It’s rare to see footage of Pink Floyd performing one of Syd Barrett’s songs without him, but this extended live set taped for French television’s Bouton Rouge program on February 22, 1968 (only a few weeks after the group decided they were better off without him) has David Gilmour—looking somewhat uncomfortable—taking over vocal duties on two: “Astronomy Domine” and “Flaming.”

They also do killer versions of “Set The Controls For the Heart Of The Sun” and “Let There Be Light.”
 

 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
‘All My Loving’: Stupendous 1968 music doc with The Who, Jimi, Zappa, Cream, Animals and Pink Floyd


 
Just how good a year for music was 1968? Consider this list of albums from that year:
 
The Rolling Stones, Beggars Banquet
The Beatles, The White Album
The Kinks, The Village Green Preservation Society
Procol Harum, A Whiter Shade of Pale
The Band, Music From Big Pink
The Zombies, Odessey And Oracle
Janis Joplin, Cheap Thrills
Sly & The Family Stone, Dance to the Music
Cream, Wheels of Fire
Joni Mitchell, Song To a Seagull
Creedence Clearwater Revival, Creedence Clearwater Revival
Jimi Hendrix, Electric Ladyland
Frank Zappa, We’re Only In It For the Money
Jeff Beck, Truth
Pink Floyd, A Saucerful of Secrets
The 13th Floor Elevators, Bull of the Woods
The Monkees, Head
Can, Delay 1968
The Doors, Waiting for the Sun
Jefferson Airplane, Crown of Creation
Eric Burdon and the Animals, The Twain Shall Meet
Harry Nilsson, Aerial Ballet
Iron Butterfly, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
 
If those titles hold any appeal to you at all, then you are definitely going to enjoy Tony Palmer’s stunning 1968 documentary All My Loving, which purportedly was made as the result of a gauntlet that John Lennon and Paul McCartney threw down to Palmer (whose films before that had—a bit like George Martin—focused on classical music), to make an hour-long movie that captured the state of the music world in 1968. What makes the movie work, quite aside from Palmer’s adventurous editing style, fondness for tight closeups, aural brio, and impressionistic chops, is the palpable sense that something really interesting was happening in society—crucially, before the post-Altamont, post-Manson hangover had set in. It was a perfect moment for a documentary of this kind. The musical personages in the movie, many of them legends, are treated as very interesting pop stars but not much more than that, and that relative impartiality is essential to what makes All My Loving so good.

It’s difficult to overstate how wonderful All My Loving is. Stylistically, it suggests an experimental movie produced by 60 Minutes (or the English equivalent, anyway). In other words, it’s loose in form but stentorian in tone (but never unsympathetic to the youth movement). The amount of astonishing footage that Palmer managed to cram into a mere hour boggles the mind. Palmer appears to have access to just about anyone he wanted, so we get brief statements or conversations with Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, Donovan, Eric Burdon, Frank Zappa, Manfred Mann, Pete Townshend, George Martin, and so on. With the possible exception of Zappa, Burdon’s the most articulate of the bunch, pointing out the similarities between taking LSD and doing a stint in Vietnam.

The movie features truly scintillating performances from Cream (“I’m So Glad” and “We’re Going Wrong”), The Who (“Mary Anne with the Shaky Hand”), Pink Floyd (“Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun”), Donovan (“The Lullaby of Spring”), Jimi Hendrix (“Wild Thing”), the Animals (“Good Times” and “When I Was Young”). There is some utterly fantastic close-up footage in which The Who destroy their instruments at the end of a gig at, of all places, the Peoria Opera House as well as some similar footage of Jimi Hendrix just shredding the entire concept of rock and roll right in front of your eyes. ALL of the performance footage is remarkable.
 
Hendrix
 
There are also some amusing interviews with a “sleazy” music publisher with a pencil mustache who by rights should be named Monty Python (his name is actually Eddie Rogers) and a self-confident “jingle executive” from America named Jim West (motto: “Selling Spoken Here”) who explains how to use advertising techniques to con teens into coming to see the Mona Lisa. There are a handful of other British music industry types who are barely identified and don’t have to be—they’re the local color. They also get some frankly inane comments of the dismissive variety from none other than Anthony Burgess.

Palmer made dozens of documentaries from the 1960s onward, and they cover a fascinating range of personalities, including Leonard Bernstein, Benjamin Britten, Rory Gallagher, Peter Sellers, Liberace, Hugh Hefner, Leonard Cohen, and on and on. He codirected 200 Motels with Frank Zappa. The governing tone of All My Loving is one of indulgent “concern,” of investigating a “problem” to be “solved”—we hear about the deafening volume of the new music and the possibly shallow values of the kids and so forth. There’s some startling imagery from Vietnam thrown in as well—never forget Vietnam. This movie goes all over the reservation to evoke 1968—and succeeds.

With its big, messy crescendo, the end of All My Loving somewhat resembles 2001: A Space Odyssey and “A Day in the Life,” and, to Palmer’s credit, the ending, which rapidly shows the breathtaking variety of images we’ve seen over the previous hour (scored to “Be-In (Hare Krishna)” from Hair), works marvelously. Set aside some time for All My Loving. You won’t regret it.
 

 
via Beatles Video of the Day

Written by Martin Schneider | Discussion
Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett’s first psychedelic trip, captured on film
01.02.2014
06:48 am

Topics:
Drugs
Movies
Music

Tags:
Pink Floyd
Syd Barrett

syd barrett's first trip
 
In 2000, at my favorite outré movie rental shop B-Ware Video, a cheap, bootleg-looking DVD arrived in stock, with a shoddily designed cover announcing its contents to be footage of founding Pink Floyd top dog Syd Barrett’s first psychedelic trip. I never did rent it—though I was keen to see it, I hadn’t partaken of psychedelics or even pot in years by then, so my interest wasn’t so great that there wasn’t always something else I’d have rather rented. So a long succession of “maybe next times” turned into an unequivocal “never” when, to my heartbreak, the store closed. I attended their inventory liquidation, but though I came home with a lot of brilliant stuff, someone seems to have beaten me to snapping up that Syd Barrett DVD; I couldn’t find it, so my curiosity about the formative psychedelic experience of one of the great architects of psychedelic music went unsatisfied.

But time and YouTube heal many of those kinds of wounds, and sure enough, it’s online in all its amateurish 8mm glory. The first half of the film features some dreamy and quite lovely overexposed footage of the young Barrett and some fellow hallucinogenic travelers gamboling through a field and setting a small brush fire - kids, don’t set fires when you’re tripping at home, OK? Then, at about 5:38 of the 11:34 opus, the scene abruptly shifts to the outside of Abbey Road Studios in London, where Pink Floyd are celebrating the signing of their recording contract with EMI. It would only be a few years before Barrett’s gifts were lost to the world due to drug-fueled mental illness, and the band would go on to inconhood without him. The man who shot the footage, Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon, contributed this synopsis to the film’s IMDB page:

I am Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon and I shot this film of Syd on a visit from film school in London to my hometown, Cambridge. We were on the Gog Magog hills with a bunch of friends. David Gale is there along with Andrew Rawlinson, Russell Page, Lucy Pryor and my wife, Jenny. She’s the one in the yellow mac talking to the tree. The mushroom images are iconic and will last forever. It is an unselfconscious film. It was not planned. It just happened. The guy on the balcony is me at 101 Cromwell Road, London SW7. This footage was shot by Jenny. When David Gale wrote about 101 in The Independent he recalled: As the 60s began to generate heat, I found myself running with a fast crowd. I had moved into a flat near the Royal College of Art. I shared the flat with some close friends from Cambridge, including Syd Barrett, who was busy becoming a rock star with Pink Floyd. A few hundred yards down the street at 101 Cromwell Road, our preternaturally cool friend Nigel was running the hipster equivalent of an arty salon. Between our place and his, there passed the cream of London alternative society - poets, painters, film-makers, charlatans, activists, bores and self-styled visionaries. It was a good time for name-dropping: how could I forget the time at Nigels when I came across Allen Ginsberg asleep on a divan with a tiny white kitten on his bare chest? And wasn’t that Mick Jagger visible through the fumes? Look, there’s Nigel’s postcard from William Burroughs, who looks forward to meeting him when next he visits London! The other material is of the band outside EMI after their contract signing. It’s raw, unedited footage and stunning even so. It is silent but many people have subsequently put music to it on their youtube an google postings. Good luck to them.

I’ve heard it told that among the party with Barrett that day was the young, soon to be legendary (and sadly, as of April 2013, deceased) graphic artist Storm Thorgerson, who would go on to co-found the design group Hipgnosis, and to personally design some of the most indelible album covers in rock history, including many for Pink Floyd. But as the actual shooter’s synopsis omits that bit of rock lore, I’m becoming inclined to doubt that legend’s veracity.

The accompanying music is spacey and ambient, and though maybe more than a hair too new-agey, it underscores the film’s dreaminess well. But as is noted in the synopsis, it was added later and it’s not Pink Floyd, and so this relic may not be of significant interest to the band’s more casual fans. But as a document of one of rock music’s consummate originals, it can be enjoyable in its own right so long as your expectations for it aren’t unrealistic. Copies are available for purchase in DVD and VHS formats, though you may of course watch it right here.
 

 
Thanks to DM reader Rafael de Alday for shaking this loose from my memory banks.

Written by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
‘The Massed Gadgets of Auximenes’: Ultimate Pink Floyd bootleg?
12.18.2013
02:26 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Pink Floyd


 
‘The Man’ and ‘The Journey’ are two longform experimental song cycles that were performed by Pink Floyd during several of their 1969 concerts. The suites consisted largely of numbers that would appear on the More soundtrack and Ummagumma (and confusingly some already released songs with different titles) knit together with onstage activities like cannons being fired, pink smoke bombs exploding, a roadie dressed as a gorilla running around in the audience, the band being served tea and making a wooden table from scratch!

When the live show, “More Furious Madness from the Massed Gadgets of Auximenes,” debuted at the Royal Festival Hall on April 14th, the Floyd employed a joystick operated quadraphonic sound system they nicknamed the “Azimuth Coordinator.” The Azimuth Coordinator was a multi-speaker pan pot system—operated by keyboardist Rick Wright from the stage—whereby the sound could be routed 360 degrees around the venue. The original system was stolen after a concert in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, so a second system was built for the Royal Festival Hall performance.

Parts of this show were recorded for a Top Gear radio program a month later. In Amsterdam, on September 17th, a crisp soundboard-recorded performance at the Concertgebouw was broadcast by VPRO radio. There were originally plans to release “The Man” and “The Journey” as a live album, but this was scrapped ultimately. A pre-FM tape of the Amsterdam show slipped into circulation, has been widely bootlegged and is a fan favorite (I have a ridiculous amount of live Pink Floyd bootlegs and I reckon this one is near the very top. It’s deliriously good)

Here is the show on YouTube. High quality versions can easily be found on several bootleg blogs and torrent trackers by searching for “Complete Concertgebouw 1969.” If you’ve never heard this one before, it’ll blow your doors off.
 

 
Part I: The Man
1. “Daybreak, Pt. I” (“Grantchester Meadows”)
2. “Work” (Percussion and vibraphone with musical sawing & hammering)
3. “Teatime” (Pink Floyd were served tea on stage at this point)
4. “Afternoon” (“Biding My Time”)
5. “Doing It!” (“The Grand Vizier’s Garden Party (Entertainment)”
6. “Sleep” (“Quicksilver”)
7. “Nightmare” (“Cymbaline”)
8. “Daybreak, Pt. II” (“Grantchester Meadows” instrumental reprise, with alarm clock sound effects)

Part II: The Journey

1. “The Beginning” (“Green Is the Colour”)
2. “Beset By Creatures of the Deep” (“Careful with That Axe, Eugene”)
3. “The Narrow Way” (“The Narrow Way, Part 3”)
4. “The Pink Jungle” (“Pow R. Toc H.”)
5. “The Labyrinths of Auximines” (Part of “Interstellar Overdrive”)
6. “Behold the Temple of Light” (A part of “The Narrow Way, part 3” expanded)
7. “The End of the Beginning” (“A Saucerful of Secrets, Pt. IV - Celestial Voices”)
 

 
Rehearsal footage from the Royal Festival Hall date:

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Interstellar Discodrive: Pink Floyd disco covers
11.01.2013
10:26 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Pink Floyd
Disco


 
I’m a sucker for this type of thing—from the The Andrew Oldham Orchestra’s Rolling Stone’s Songbook to albums of Beatles Moog covers to The Rubber Band’s loopy big band Hendrix tribute—I love this stuff.

It shouldn’t work, but when it does, as with Rosebud’s 1977 discofied Pink Floyd tribute album, Discoball, it’s fucking sublime.

“Interstellar Overdrive”

“Money”

“Main Theme from More”

“Have a Cigar,” which made it to number four on Billboard’s U.S. club chart in 1979.
 
Bonus, Scissor Sisters’ killer cover of “Comfortably Numb”:

 
Thank you to the new dark magus, Miles Clark of Los Angeles, CA!

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Dark Side of the Moo: Pink Floyd perform ‘Atom Heart Mother’ suite with brass section and choir
10.14.2013
05:00 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Pink Floyd
Ron Geesin


 
When they were composing what was ultimately to be called the “Atom Heart Mother” suite with Ron Geesin, Pink Floyd had several working titles, among them “Epic,” “The Amazing Pudding” and David Gilmour’s preferred name, “Theme From an Imaginary Western.”

This June 27, 1970 performance at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music isn’t the only live record of Pink Floyd playing their 1970 opus with a brass section and choir—they did this a few times—but it’s the first, when the suite was still apparently being called “Epic.”

They finally settled on a title on July 27th, 1970, the date of a BBC radio broadcast with John Peel who needed to call it something. Geesin showed Roger Waters an article in the Evening Standard with the headline “Atom Heart Mother Named,” about a woman with a nuclear-powered pacemaker and they had their album title.

This is certainly the most immediate record of a live “Atom Heart Mother” we have due to it being shot on video and not film to be sync’d up later. And no, this wasn’t shot with a Fisher-Price PixelVision camera (they weren’t on the market at that time) it was most likely recorded on Sony half-inch tape that was looped up on a reel to reel style stationary deck. This would have been the technological height of pro-am video gear at that time, believe it or not.

Starts a little shaky, if not out of tune, but stick with it. Hard to believe fewer than 2000 views on this.
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Listen to Pink Floyd before they were even called Pink Floyd
08.01.2013
10:53 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Pink Floyd


 
One of the single greatest moments in the entire Pink Floyd discography, including all of the many hundreds of hours of bootlegs—if you ask me, that is—is one that came at the very beginning: “Lucy Leave,” a song they recorded in 1965 before they had even chosen the name Pink Floyd.

The band heard here also includes original lead guitarist Bob Klose who quit in mid-1965. Later that year, the group learned of another band using the name they’d been gigging under—The Tea Set—and so they changed their moniker to The Pink Floyd Sound, paying tribute to blues musicians Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.

When you consider its 1965 vintage, how monumentally ahead of their time these young musicians were is utterly astounding! I’ve always wondered why the song has never come out officially as it’s an absolutely killer track. It doesn’t merely smoke, it burns.

You can download an mp3 of “Lucy Leave” courtesy of the kind folks at WFMU’s Beware of the Blog, or listen below, to “Lucy Leave” and another early Floyd recording, a cover of Slim Harpo’s “I’m a King Bee”:
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
The best song from Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories’ is not even on the album


 
It’s a bonus track from the Japanese edition of Random Access Memories called “Horizon” and it is drop dead gorgeous. Sounding more like Air or Pink Floyd than Giorgio Moroder or Herbie Hancock, this acoustic guitar-lead track is the kind of epic, melancholy loveliness I wish the album had more of. Judge for yourselves:

Daft Punk “Horizon”
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:

Giving Life Back To Music: obligatory review of Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories’

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Wish You Were Here: Pink Floyd jam with Stéphane Grappelli, 1975
04.26.2013
10:30 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Pink Floyd
Stéphane Grappelli


 
Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason called an alternate take of ‘Wish You Were Here” recorded with the great jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli, “the jewel in the crown” of the band’s (as then) unreleased recording archive. In it, Grappelli takes a soaring solo at the end of the song. His playing was actually there on the original album, but so low in the final mix that the band opted not to credit him, thinking it would be insulting.

The master tape of the Grappelli solo was presumed to have been wiped, as Mason told BBC radio:

“My understanding was that we’d had to record over it in order to put on other sections. It still astonishes me that we didn’t use it originally, didn’t realise what a wonderful thing it was.”

In “A Rambling Conversation with Roger Waters Concerning All This and That,” that was published in the Wish You Were Here Songbook, Roger Waters was asked about the Grappelli session by Nick Sedgewick:

Nick Sedgewick: Didn’t you also use Stephane Grappelli on the album somewhere?

Roger Waters: Yeah. He was downstairs when we were doing Wish You Were Here. Dave had made the suggestion that there ought to be a country fiddle at the end of it, we might try it out, and Stephane Grappelli was downstairs in the number one studio making an album with Yehudi Menuhin. There was an Australian guy looking after Grappelli who we’d met on a tour so we thought we’d get Grappelli to do it. So they wheeled him up after much bartering about his fee—him being an old pro he tried to turn us over, and he did to a certain extent. But it was wonderful to have him come in and play a bit.

Nick Sedgewick: He’s not on the album now, though?

Roger Waters: You can just hear him if you listen very, very, very hard right at the end of “Wish You Were Here,” you can just hear a violin come in after all thewind stuff starts—just! We decided not to give him credit, ‘cos we thoughtit might be a bit of an insult. He got his 300 pounds, though.

After 36 years in the EMI vaults, the alternate “Wish You Were Here” recorded with Grappelli was finally released on the Wish You Were Here Immersion box set in 2011.
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Shine On You Shitty Diamond: Worst Pink Floyd Cover Band. Ever.
03.28.2013
07:55 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Pink Floyd


 
In honor of the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s milestone Dark Side of the Moon album, I felt it was my duty to resurrect this clip from the Dangerous Minds archives.

I can’t even give an ‘A’ for effort for this (obviously sincere) rock shit sammich. What were they thinking?!
 

 
Thanks, Linus Robinson!

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion
‘The Committee’: British cult film with early Pink Floyd soundtrack, 1968
02.28.2013
01:32 pm

Topics:
Movies
Music

Tags:
Pink Floyd


 
The 1968 British cult film The Committee starred Manfred Mann lead singer Paul Jones (who was in Peter Watkins’ better known UK cult classic Privilege the year before) in a Kafkaesque (some might say Pinteresque) tale that also put me in mind of Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisoner and Albert Camus’ The Stranger with a hefty dollop of R.D. Laing thrown in for good measure.

Jones may have been the star of the film, true, but today The Committee is remembered, if it is remembered at all, for featuring some of the earliest recorded work of David Gilmour with The Pink Floyd. Originally the film was to have been scored by Syd Barrett, but when that proved impossible, Roger Waters stepped in and offered the band’s services to director Peter Sykes and producer Max Steuer.

On the Pink Floyd fansite Brain Damage, writer David King offers a brief description of what happens in the film, which was based on a dream that Steuer had turned into a short story:

Briefly, a hitchhiking draughtsman (the ‘central figure’) accepts a lift from a Mercedes-driver. Perceiving the latter to be entirely vacuous - to be ‘not really alive at all’ - the hitchhiker seizes the opportunity, when the driver is looking under the hood of the car, of using the hood to behead him. After due reflection and contemplation, he sews the head back on, at which point the driver, slightly dazed, drives off. Back at work, the draughtsman receives a summons to a mysterious Committee, the function of which is to mediate with regard to the problems of the world. The draughtsman is taken by the Director on a nighttime stroll through the grounds of the institution, and it is at this point that philosophy - the raison d’être of the film - takes center stage. Issues discussed include alienation; the assumption that all faceless committees must be hostile; and the responsibility we have to our own future self. (The head which was removed then re-attached to the driver’s body is a metaphor for the learning process - the sudden change in perspective we receive at various points in our lives.) The film ends with a wiser and more enlightened central figure, presumably able to profit from his encounter with the Committee.

The Committee features an unhinged performance—perhaps the best ever caught on film—by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, flaming headdress and all. You can also spot an uncredited Peter Asher in a party scene.

 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
The Record Books: If best-selling albums had been books instead…

aaskcartdoolb.jpg
Blood on the Tracks’ - Robert A. Zimmerman

Fast-paced 1958 thriller: a jilted train driver hi-jacks his New York subway train to exact revenge upon his love rival, only to threaten the life of his ex-lover. The last 30 pages are missing. Don’t know if she survives.

 
Christophe Gowans is a Graphic Designer and Art Director, who once designed for the music industry (with Peter Saville Associates, Assorted Images, amongst others) and has since produced some stunning work for Blitz, Esquire, Modern Painters, Stella and The Sunday Telegraph.

Christophe is also the talent of a series of fun, collectible and original art works that re-imagine classic albums as book covers.

These fabulous Record Books are on display at his site and are also available to buy at The Rockpot.
 
aaaoryebbaehtse.jpg
Abbey Road’ - The Beatles

Classic paperback. The story of two catholic sisters growing up in a swiftly changing post-war Britain. Guess what? It doesn’t end well.

 
aadyolfknipehtkradedis.jpg
The Dark Side of the Moon’ - Pink Floyd

Alternative scientific textbook from the 60s. Californian professor Floyd achieved enormous success with this study of the moon’s influence on the menstrual cycle. Indeed, he was able to found his own college, specialising in the study of women’s fertility. The college no longer exists. It was shut down in 1972, having been razed to the ground by a mob of angry husbands.

 
More of Christophe’s ‘Record Books’, after the jump…
 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
‘Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London’: Swinging Sixties time capsule with Pink Floyd soundtrack
01.07.2013
01:12 pm

Topics:
History
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
Pink Floyd
Peter Whitehead


 
France’s ARTE TV called British art-house auteur Peter Whitehead: “Che Guevara with a camera.” Throughout the 1960s, Whitehead always managed to find himself in the right place at the right time with the right people and his camera. The Cambridge-educated filmmaker, a pal of the Rolling Stones—he directed their 60s promo videos, and the Charlie is My Darling documentary—shot the beatnik goings on at the Allen Ginsberg-led Albert Hall Poetry Festival in 1965 for his Wholly Communion film and captured the anti-Vietnam protests in America in The Fall, an extraordinary polemic from 1969 (Whitehead himself was barricaded in with the Columbia students who took over Low Library. Click on that link, you’ll be glad you did).

One of Whitehead’s most fascinating films, and perhaps the single best time capsule that exists of “Swinging London” in the Sixties, is his 1967 semi-documentary Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London.  Ali Catterall and Simon Wells described the film in Your Face Here: British Cult Movies Since the Sixties:

Beautifully shot, with a Syd Barrett-led Pink Floyd supplying the soundtrack, it is perhaps the only true masterpiece of the period, offering a visually captivating window on the ‘in’ crowd. Revealing, often very personal interviews with the era’s prime movers - Michael Caine, Julie Christie, David Hockney and Mick Jagger - are interspersed by dazzling images of the ‘dedicated followers of fashion’, patronizing the clubs and discotheques of the day. As a trusted confidant of the Rolling Stones, who had filmed their first US tour, and a member of the inner circle, Whitehead was able to give an unusually free rein to his eye for detail.”

Not to mention appearances by Lee Marvin, Vanessa Redgrave, Andrew Loog Oldham, Michael Caine, famed illustrator Alan Aldridge, Vashti Bunyan, John Lennon milling about at the Pink Floyd’s “14 Hour Technicolor Dream” event that also featured Yoko Ono on the bill months before the pair would meet, Eric Burdon and the Animals and many more famous faces (including Dolly Reed, later of Russ Meyer’s Beyond The Valley of the Dolls, when she was a Playboy bunny, arriving off the plane for a freezing cold photo op.)

After leaving filmmaking behind to breed falcons and write novels, Whitehead returned in 2010 with Terrorism Considered as One of the Fine Arts, his first film in 32 years.

Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London used to be very difficult to see (indeed, when I first saw it 30 years ago, I had to check out it out of the ICA in London’s video library and watch it in a tiny room by myself with headphones). For a short while it was out on VHS, this version, with hard-coded Japanese subtitles comes from a laserdisc).
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
I’m Not Sayin’: Pre-Velvet Underground Nico with Jimmy Page and Brian Jones, 1965

Via The World’s Best Ever

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Pink Floyd Christmas song, 1975
12.24.2012
09:57 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Pink Floyd


 
One of the odder Pink Floyd oddities one can find out there, a Christmas song recorded in 1975.

That’s Nick Mason singing, btw. I think this comes from a BBC radio program.
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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