Keith Altham

ARTICLE ABOUT Jimi Hendrix FROM New Musical Express, July 27, 1968

I really liked the storytelling in this one. Praise to Mr. Altham who did a very good job on this one. Join him on an adventure with Hendrix and the boys in Majorca!
Read on!

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Jimi brings manager`s new club roof down!

Getting around Majorca with NME`s Keith Altham

JIMI HENDRIX literally brought the roof down on the opening night at his manager’s club, Sergeant Peppers in Majorca by the simple expedient of ramming the neck of his guitar up through the low ceiling tiles. Amid thunderous applause, the Experience exited in a shower of plaster and debris after a series of brilliantly electronic histrionics!
Even manager Chas Chandler, somewhat ruefully surveying the ventilated ceiling in his brand new club, observed:
“No matter how many times I see them – they always knock me out!”
The group were introduced by flowerpotman Neil Landon (travelling with our party in the company of Noel Redding, with whom he is involved in a songwriting partnership). He requested that all those on the dance floor sit down, reiterating with Hitlerain emphasis: “You vill sit down or you vill be shot! “Immediately there was much sitting down, specially among the German contingent, before Neil announced: “For what you are about to receive may the Lord make you truly thankful! ”

Enter Mitch

On stage walked drummer Mitch Mitchell (known now to a select few as “the Julie Andrews of the group,”) bass guitarist Noel Redding and the man with the guitar that whips the flesh as well as the soul.
The Experience rolls along the motorways of the mind and the airways of the imgination. For the first two numbers their own amplification fought a “watta-thon” with the club’s PA system before Chas finally gave the group’s system best and let them loose on their own gear.
Each of the group has something to say through “Hey Joe,” “Burning Of The Midnight Lamp,” “Purple Haze” and “The Wind Cries Mary,” but Hendrix is the supreme conversationalist on the guitar.
Mitch attacks a hundred drums with a dozen hands and feet, while Noel pounds his bass through the electric storm on his right, raised by the Odin of the guitar. In between the squaling static, the flailing and the wailing and the erotic gestures, the Black Prince mutters over the amplifiers and finally arrives at the song he calls “our national anthem” “Wild Thing” which wraps everything and everyone up.”
We have just been the victims of one of those all too rare appearances of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, who now average about $30,000 a concert in the U.S.
“What really knocked me out is that the boys offered to do this one for me free,” said Chas. “I’m going to give them the gate money anyway, but they asked me if they could open the club themselves.”

Now people

Peppers is a revolutionary new club for the “Now” generation in Majorca. Neatly situated off the Plaza Gomilla (lovingly renamed “the Plastic Gorrilla by Noel) where most people meet in Terino in the evening.
It has an air-conditioning plant second to none, which provides a welcome relief from the still-hot Spanish nights, and a good beat group, “the Z-66,” with a vocalist who works himself into a grease-spot every night.
There is a first-class light show, getting better every night, as the all-American Bob gets more machinery.
Chas spends much of his time charging about like an enraged water buffalo, correcting minor defects in staff and controls. He worries about the club and the club worries about Chas. It is worriers like Chas who will make Sgt Peppers into the little goldmine it undoubtedly is to be.
I arrived in Palma on Sunday with Noel (Jimi and Mitch did their famous plane-missing trick) and that evening we watched one of the most exciting bullfights I have ever seen, with the famous El Cordobes in brilliant form, being awarded both ears of the bull (the highest honour) by El Presidente.

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Impersonation

That evening we ate in a Terino restaurant which was formerly a boutique owned by Chas. There Noel treated us to an impersonation of the yet-to-arrive Mitch.
Bouncing up the restaurant stairs and creating the maximum amount of noise he darted about, on his toes, breezing:
“Oh, sorry I’m late. What’s going on? Can I have some of that? I forgot my money. Can you pay for it? Collapse of some few who know the ways of Mitch!
Monday saw the arrival of the other members of the group and walking down the street in glorious multi-colour they made an entrance into the Plaza Gomilla akin to the impact of the bad-men riding into town in a Western epic. You could hear the hub-bub of comment around the packed square before you saw the big three.
Noel came over to our table to say hello to footballer George Best, with whom he became quite friendly, and Jimi stopped by to exchange insults with me, our way of passing the time! His favourite dart on this holiday was to refer to me as “the little ol’ electric lobster,” due to my over-enthusiastic crash course on a sun tan.
Briefly Jimi and I discussed his lack of personal appearances in Britain.
“We’re not deserting Britain or anything like that,” said Jimi. “We are hoping to do some big city concerts in October. We’d like to have someone like the Small Faces with us, but there’s probably problems over who would top or something silly: There’s an American group called the Spirit right now that I would like to have with us.”
Mitch made one clar point about why they must play America again soon.
“Because that’s where we are treated best,” he explained. “Look, our most recent album has cost us $70,000 to produce. We’ve got to get that money back before we can start showing a profit, and America is where you earn the big money. There is still that feeling in Britain when we play some places that they want to make money out of us and that’s all. They treat us like dirt — give us a thousand pounds and think they are doing us a favour!”

Having kittens

Meanwhile Chas is having kittens about the volume of sound coming from the club from Jimi’s rehearsal and keeps talking about “impending doom.” He need not have worried. The Guardia Civil were very civil about the whole thing.
George Best appeared mesmerised by the Experiences performance on stage and the whole evening was an enormous success.
Tuesday saw a brief appearance of Hendrix and Co. on our beach at Lauro Verde. There, Jimi ventured into the sea for the first time in eight years. The spectacle of Mitch and Noel (they came up whiter than white!) was too much for most of the amateur home-movie exponents on the beach, who pointed whirring machines at them. Noel and Mitch obligingly gibbered about like sub-humans and danced up and down waving their arms. Jimi came out of the sea swearing his lungs had collapsed!
“You wouldn’t believe it but we’ve got Jimi insured for a million dollars,” said Chas. “And the doctor said he was the fittest man he had ever seen.” Chas broke off to address the frail figure of Redding in his bathing trunks. “We’ve got to get you insured too,” he said, “but I’m frightened to let you take the medical!
“The highlight of Wednesday’s activities was a visit to the go-kart track — the first time for Hendrix and Noel. Mitch duly informed me he was buying a formula one with gears to race it seriously! Jimi really took to the racing and was doing quite well, though he kept being driven off the track by an innocent young girl, ending up ignominiously among a heap of rubber tyres.
“I kept trying to play it fair and not bump any of the other cars off the track,” he told me later. He was still there an hour after Mitch, Noel and I left.
The pay-off to this experience was next day when I met Jimi with a lump out of his back and a badly grazed thigh. Apparently he was under the impression that he was back in the Paratroopers and had tried an ejector-seat release from his go-kart, but the chute had not opened! We were all sorry we missed that one.
That night Jimi made an impromptu return to the club with Mitch and Noel and they let loose a never – to – be – forgetten rock – and – roll session, including numbers like “Lucille” and “Johnny B. Good.” Jimi broke a string on his guitar but played better on five than most do on six.
His final remark about the visit to Majorca was to Chas: “I wish I had listened to you two years ago about this place!” It was a highly enjoyable working holiday and Majorca is likely to being seeing more of Hendrix at Sergeant Peppers.

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ARTICLE ABOUT Manfred Mann FROM New Musical Express, February 24, 1968

It is incredible to think of the fact that when this interview was done this band had already been active for six years, later transforming into the Earth Band who had touring plans in 2020 until the Corona hit us all.
Manfred Mann himself is 80 years old in October 2020 and older than all the members of the Rolling Stones, beating Charlie Watts with about a year. No talk about pension plans for these guys!
Read on!

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Mr. Mann plays it humble

Words by Keith Altham

MR. MANN, whose gold tooth flashes before he speaks, is one who improves with association. It takes time to discover what lies behind the frugal black beard and thin rims of his circular spectacles but the effort is worthwhile.
He likes to play with reporters in much the same manner as a child with a kitten.
He pats you metaphorically on the head, teases with a few rolled up replies and finally rolls them over to see if they will laugh when tickled.
Sometimes he gets scratched, of course, but then he heals easily and does not have to play again.
Some time ago “Manny” realised that his honest, brash South African approach (much like the Australian direct manner) was often misinterpreted as arrogance by the more reserved English.
His new way is to play it humble – “You’ve come to photograph us – really? All the way from Denmark? How super.” Or he simply admits conceit and thereby transforms it into mere pride.
After performing “Mighty Quinn” on “Top Of The Pops” in a crowded rehearsal room for example, he said:
“You know I just can’t help it. I got off that rostrum feeling incredibly, offensively smug to think that after all this time we can still come up with a. No. 1.
“Tom had this idea that we’d put an advert in the trade papers addressed to all our critics reading, ‘Yah Boo Snubs!'”
“That wasn’t my idea,” said Tom, who was wearing his two shilling leather jacket recently acquired in a jumble sale; his free scarf and 38 shilling national health glasses especially for the show!
“I know.” said Manfred, smiling. “but it was not a very good idea so I thought I’d give you the credit.”
Back in the Manfred’s dressing room I produced a copy of Neil Smith’s cartoon to collect reactions. Tom thought it hysterical, especially the detail on Klaus which identifies him with a letter from George Harrison asking him to design the Beatles “Revolver” album.

Traced?

Klaus was especially struck by the tiny detail on the cover but thought their faces might be traced.
Michael was impressed by the detail and research into things like their drum pattern and even down to having them drawn in their typical clothes.
Manfred thought it clever but having a cigarette by him was a mistake — as he doesn’t smoke.
Manfred is anxious that the group as a whole should get credit for “Mighty Quinn” which is the first they have produced themselves.
This was made more obvious when a photographer wanted to just shoot Manfred alone.
Manfred politely requested that he return later when Michael d’Abo would be back from the doctors where he was having a painful boil attended.
Tom got very hung up on Michael’s boil and suggested the photographer could do a shot-by-shot picture sequence of it.
“Do you remember that old Jimmy Wheeler joke about this guy who had such an enormous boil he would invite his friends round to see it throb?” asked Tom.
The subject was hastily switched to the Manfred’s image as a group and their recent experience on a French TV show.
“We were so bottom of the bill you wouldn’t believe it,” laughed Manfred. “To give you some idea there was a grand finale with all the top Continental singers standing on podiums rather like winners at the Olympic Games.
“There was a procession of artists in a Winter Sports like setting, with everyone carrying banners and throwing snow balls.
“First came top names like Adamo and some French groups, then designers, artists, make-up assistants and finally those who were assisting Britain’s balance of payments deficit -`us’ — carrying a banner labelled ‘Pop Music’!”
Of course, it is one of Manfred’s ploys to under-sell his importance these days but he made the point quite objectively that “glamour” is a difficult thing for a group.

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“If you are a solo artist you are a name to be called,” said Manfred. “Otherwise it’s ‘where’s the group?’ or ‘the group is on next.'”
“When the Johnny Hallidays come out of the studios there is a car waiting for them. When we go out there is a group bus!
“It is unfortunate that the honest attitude of a lot of groups to their showbiz existence has resulted in much of the star quality diminishing and the mystique disappearing.
Manfred himself is one of the first to attack the phoney aspects of “the swinging scene.”
“While there was a break in rehearsals my wife and I went out for a walk in the Montmartre district of Paris,” said Manfred.
“It was late evening and accordians were playing In the cafes and people were just casually strolling about the streets or sitting enjoying a cup of coffee in the bistros. It was a beautiful night — we just looked at some paintings and enjoyed the walk.
“When we got back to the studio there was ‘the jet-set’ sweating under arc-lamps and getting bad tempered. That’s what the swinging scene is all about.
“Life is time, for me — that is the time to be with my wife and children, the time to do what I really like.”
Manfred believes that “glamour” is often created by the public in their own minds. He thinks for example that the Manfreds have “an aloof intellectual” image and he is happy to foster that.
“Some people like Shirley Bassey have it naturally on stage,” said Manfred. “Some groups appear so ordinary and present themselves as ‘just ordinary blokes’ that they suffer.
People like Ray Davies have glamour through ordinary things. I`m sure people read of him playing football and think to themselves —”fancy Ray Davies being interested in something like that.”

MU fuss

Later in the studios I took up the subject of the Musicians’ Union decision to take action over session musicians playing on records attributed to groups.
“As a musician I should feel a little ashamed,” said Manfred, “but I can’t see what all the fuss is about. I’m sure the session musician would not want to go out and promote the records in clubs and ballrooms or go through all the publicity scenes.
“The session man may do nine or ten discs for which he receives a fee each time but he doesn’t share the risk if the record flops and the money spent on projecting the group is lost.
“This situation has been going on for so long I’m surprised it’s suddenly objected to the Love Affair’s disc on which the group can be hardly heard for the orchestra anyway.”
We ended the interview in the BBC club where Manfred became involved in a technical discussion with producer Colin Charman on camera shots.
Mick Hugg mentioned that he travelled all the way up to Manchester for “Scene” and they only showed a close-up of his left foot. Tom mentioned he recently played on “All Systems Freeman” and was not shown at all.
Someone asked Manfred where Michael was and Manfred replied distractedly, “Oh — he’s gone to have his lance boiled!” Which might be construed as a Freudian slip.

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If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Jeff Beck FROM New Musical Express, May 27, 1967

Seen by many as one of the most talented guitarist in the world, he is up there among Blackmore, Zappa, Clapton, Page, Van Halen and other names you likely have on the tip of your tongue when you think of those extraordinary guitar-players. So it is only natural to publish this article from the early stage of his career with a man who is as active as ever these days!
Read on!

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Jeff Beck not nearly so wicked as he thinks he is!

By Keith Altham

JEFF BECK gets a somewhat perverse satisfaction from having a “wicked” reputation in the pop business. At his best, he is a talented, guitar-perfectionist with a pleasant, conversational manner. At his worst, he’s an obstinate, uncompromising character who avoids doing things he dislikes by the simple expedient of walking out on them.
At “Top Of The Pops” last Thursday this contradictory character was walking about in a £400 wolverene fur coat from “that great land” (America), a pair of faded blue denims of no commercial value and a pair of basketball boots from Marks and Spencers, costing approximately 22/6. We talked about the allegation of his being unco-operative and his new role as arch-villain of pop.

Carrying a whip

“It sounds as though I should be carrying a big whip about with me,” smiled Jeff. “The truth is that I am now in a position for the first time in my career to make my own decisions. I’m free to play and do what I like, and I won’t be pushed into doing things I feel are wrong for me or the group.”
Is he not concerned that some of his attacks on the pop scene or even that his own hit, “Hi Ho Silver Lining,” might harm his progress?
“Let’s face it, there’s no glory to be made out of pop now in Britain,” said Jeff. “You have to go to America to find kids who are going to see you as entertainment and not as necessity. I get the impression in Britain that young people feel they must go to a club every night — they’re saturated with groups and pop music.
“I look back on some of the things I’ve said and been quoted in the papers, and laugh. You cant always be in a good mood. It’s the way I felt at the time. As for the disc, ‘Hi Ho Silver Lining’ may be a bum record for Jeff Beck, but it’s been good in other ways.
“It’s in direct opposition to all that publicity I got about being a fantastic guitarist only concerned with my music. I don’t want to be put in one bag or labelled.
“Look at Hendrix! Isn’t he a card? He’s the governor.” Jeff indicated a BBC-TV studio monitor on which the Experience were being screened. “Jimi’s only trouble will come about when he wants to get off the nail he has hung himself on. The public will want something different, and Jimi has so established himself in one bag that he’ll find it difficult to get anyone to accept him in another.”

Enjoys it

Beck enjoys his notoriety and the fact that no one really knows what he’s really like. He is, in fact, a capricious person who jumps from one idea to another on the happy assumption that if you shower someone with enough opinions they will be unable to separate the significant from the insignificant. It gives him a shell, a protective covering, into which he can withdraw in the event of attack.
He lives out in Sutton, Surrey, because it removes him from the immediate London pop scene and allows him to breathe in a more relaxed environment.

Dirty town

“When I climb in the bath after being up in town there’s a scum line round the side,” he confided. “I’m not a person who clubs about town. I don’t like it. I might go to the Speakeasy if I had to meet someone. To be honest I went there last week and actually enjoyed myself, but you still get the dreadful impression some of the people are permanently glued to their stools down there.”
When at home Jeff sits about and “thinks” or reads children’s books. He boasts the complete set of “Rupert Annuals,” “Brer Rabbit,” “Jerimiah Puddle-duck” and his particular favourite — “Tank Engine Thomas”!
“That’s my vocalist Rod Stewart’s favourite,” grinned Jeff. “He’s a a model railway fanatic. I phoned him up the other week and he said he was too busy to come to rehearsals because he was putting a coat of paint on his Great Western trucks!
“Reading these kids’ books, or the pre-1950 American comics like Dagwood Bumstead, is not as juvenile as it sounds. The books jolt your memory and take you back to feelings and experiences you have forgotten about. It can give you ideas for songs and compositions, for example.”
Apart from the children’s annuals, Jeff occasionally flicks over a sexy novel – at the dirty or dog-eared pages only` — or takes his Corvette Stingray out on to the M4 to see if anyone will take him on. He claims to be unbeaten so far.
“I drink on the basis of Dean Martin’s observation ‘that people who don’t drink wake up the next morning and feel exactly the same for the whole day.’ Sometimes I go to the cinema. I saw the ‘Professionals,’ starring Burt Lancaster and Jack Palance — a sensational film. You must see that.”
Future plans include a possible `live` LP and a visit to the Monterey Pop Festival in America. His ambition is to make some appearances in smutty ‘B’ films!
Jeff Beck is really nowhere as nasty as he would have some believe although he enjoys playing the notorious-guitarist role. Like any other independent and talented musician, he desires (and commands) respect, but he should be made aware that playing his kind of rules could lead to disqualification in a business where the key word for aspiring artists is discretion and co-operation.
I hope more people find him as I did — courteous, helpful and considerate.

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If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Jimi Hendrix FROM New Musical Express, April 15, 1967

It is really sad when I think of the fact that all members of this band, the incredible Experience, have all been dead for a fairly long time now. Gone, but not forgotten. We are all “dust in the wind” as the boys in Kansas like to say. Being a little sentimental here, but sometimes you wish that time would just stop and that we all could live forever. It feels like such a waste that nature makes us all so expendable.
The more reason to remember the days and people that used to be.
Read on.

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Hendrix IS out of this world

Even his ex-Animal manager needs a split personality!

By Keith Altham

“OUT of this world” is a much misapplied phrase, but when it’s applied to that extraordinary guitarist Jimi Hendrix, it’s appropriate. Looking as incredible as anything conceived by science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, whose work he endlessly devours, Jimi is composing some numbers of equally unearthly inspiration.
There is one titled “Remember,” about a maniac depressive, described as “raw nerves on record,” another called “Teddy Bears Live For Ever” and a third concerning a visitor from another planet who decides that the human race is an unworthy animal to rule the earth and so destroys it, turning the world over to the chickens!
Hendrix is managed by Chas. Chandler, the ex-Animal, who has developed a kind of split personality to cope with the new image.
One moment will find him the good-natured ex-pop star wearing his Lord Kitchener uniform with gold braid, and the next immaculately attired in black suit and tie as Mr. Chandler, business man — complaining resignedly about having to buy a £2,000 mixing tape-machine instead of the Lincoln Continental his heart desires. Both Chas. and his protégé share a newly acquired apartment off Edgware Road, where, together with newly acquired publicist Chris Williams, I found myself last Friday surveying a room dominated by a psychedelic painting (Bought by Chas. while under the “affluence of inkahol” in New York). It depicted a bleeding eye letting droplets fall on a naked woman.
There was a brass scuttle from which projected a number of empty wine bottles — relics of some bygone happening, a book about vampires, the inevitable blind eye of the TV set, and an award for the Animals’ best group record, “House Of The Rising Sun,” on the mantelpiece, together with a model cannon.
The rest of the Chandler war souvenirs collection is yet to be installed, and the floor was covered with LPs and singles from Solomon Burke to the Beatles.
I was played tracks for the new LP by Jimi, and after one prolonged electrical neurosis, there was a mind-shattering instrumental from the three musicians who comprise the Experience.
As the last decibel faded into infinity, Chris produced an exercise in self-control by observing: “They play so well together, don’t they?
Hendrix, together with drummer Mitch Mitchell, who looks like a young Peter Cook, and bass player Noel Redding, are something new in musical and visual dimensions.
Jimi is a musical perfectionist who does not expect everyone to understand, and believes even those who come only to stand and gawp, may eventually catch on.
On a tour which boasts contradictions in musical terms like Engelbert and Jimi, he has come to terms with himself.
“Most will come to see the Walkers,” said Jimi. “Those who come to hear Engelbert sing `Release Me’ may not dig me, but that’s not tragic.
“We’ll play for ourselves — we’ve done it before, where the audience stands about with their mouths open and you wait ten minutes before they clap.”
Originally “Purple Haze,” his current NME Chart entry, was written about a dream Jimi had that he was able to walk about under the sea. Had the lyric been changed to make it more commercial? And was he as satisfied as with the original version?

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Fighting

“Well . . .” said Jimi, and there was a significant pause, “I’m constantly fighting with myself over this kind of thing — but I’d never release any record I didn’t like.
“You’ve got to gentle people along for a while until they are clued in on the scene.
“I worry about my music — you worry about anything that you’ve built your whole life around.
“It’s good to be able to cut loose occasionally — we were in Holland doing a TV show last week, and the equipment was the best ever.
“They said play as loud as you like, and we were really grooving when this little fairy comes running in and yells, ‘Stop! Stop! Stop! — the ceiling in the studio below is falling down.’ And it was, too — plaster and all,” added Jimi with enthusiasm.
“I’m getting so worried that my hair is falling out in patches,” he sighed, tugging at a tuft in a hedge of hair which looks as if it could withstand a clip from a combine harvester.

Trend setter

Jimi has noted that since he adopted his bush-look that a number of other stars have been following suit — Gary Leeds is the latest bristling addition on the tour.
“I just thought it was a groovy style,” grinned Jimi. “Now everyone is running around with these damn curls. Most of ’em are perms — but there’s nothing wrong with perms – I used to get my hair straightened back on the block.”
There has been a hold-up in Jimi’s first LP because of the switch to the Track label, and tapes have been damaged in the transferring of studios. “We’re calling it `Are You Experienced,'” affirmed Jimi.
I smiled and noted.
“There’s nothing wrong with that!” emphasised Jimi.
Full of new ideas, Jimi came up with another on recording techniques.
“Sometimes when I’m playing I make noises in my throat – almost subconsciously,” said Jimi. “Jazz men like Erroll Garner do it a lot as they improvise. I’m going to get a little radio mike, hang it round my neck and record them – maybe I’ll incorporate some throat sounds on a disc.”

Beck flip

Among Jimi’s favourite singles at present is the flip side of the new Jeff Beck record, a number called “Bolero.”
“Beautiful guitar,” commented Jimi.
We talked of Mitch’s new green suede boots — and how Mitch thinks high heels are coming back.
“Y’know what I’d really like to do in the act?” said Mitch, his eyes alight with the gleam of inspiration. “I’d like to pour paraffin all over my drums while the guy from Premier is sitting in the audience.
“Then, at the end of the act, I’d set fire to ’em, and up they go in flames — just to see his face.”
That was the night Jimi’s guitar accidentally caught fire on stage, and “the fireman rushes in from the pouring rain — very strange!”

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If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
Please be aware that some music papers may have been sold.
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT The Who FROM New Musical Express, April 15, 1967

This Coronavirus thingy have made it necessary for me to spend more time at home. So at the time of writing I have about a month of articles written and ready for publishing here. Even if this crisis hits us hard in many ways, there will be something new to read here for a long time. To be positive: something good comes out of this at the very least. I hope that you, my loyal readers, are well and that you will continue to be well.
April 1967 was a better time to visit New York than April 2020 – as the Who found out!
Read on.

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Who`s smashing New York trip

By Keith Altham

THAT well-known demolition squad – the Who – recently returned from nine “smashing” days on a Murray the K “endurance test” at the New York RKO Radio Theatre (other non-combatants included Wilson Pickett, Mitch Ryder and the Cream) where they contrived to destroy everything on stage to the tunes of “My Generation” and “I Can`t Explain.”
Now that some of the dust and debris have settled I talked to bombardier Pete Townshend last Thursday who issued a full report on the damage and exclusively revealed to the NME news of their next missile, “Pictures Of Lily,” to be launched next Friday (21st).
“We worked hard on ‘propaganda’ for the first three days and I had two stock quotes which everyone wrote down,” said Pete.
“They were ‘we want to leave a wound’ and ‘we won’t let our music stand in the way of our visual act!’
“At the Press reception I walked around in an electric jacket with flashing light bulbs which proved to be something of an anti-climax because a girl had appeared on TV recently with a dress on the same principle. Reporters kept asking me where I had got my copy from and I said, ‘It’s psychedelic and it cost £200 and it’s supposed to blow yer mind!’
“We were to have done an Ed Sullivan TV show but the new readers were out on strike and as artists we were expected to support their action — so no show.
“Once in the theatre for the Murray the K show you are virtually trapped for the day and the show goes on continuously with artists appearing one after the other on a conveyor belt system.
“Originally we were supposed to do four numbers but we complained and said it was impossible to put the act over with only four numbers so they cut it to two!
“Someone had to cut their act because the show was running over so we volunteered.
“Murray the K’s wife was on the programme. She appeared about ten times in a fashion spot with teeny bopper girl models — `Jackie the K and her fabulous fashion show’.
“The most presentable of the models was a girl called ‘Joy Bang’ who took a liking to Keith which I think was mutual until she said, ‘You must meet my husband Paul Bang!’
“We really worked the destruction bit to a fine art in our spot. I developed a great thing where I hit myself on the head with my guitar which had absolutely no visual impact but made me see stars and I thought — ‘that’s nice!’

Dangerous:

“At one time I noticed Keith throwing his big bass drum at me with the spike protruding and Roger hurling the stand-mike at me from another direction.
“I made myself very thin and the mike shattered to pieces in front of me while the spike from the drum ripped my shirt down the back. The stage hands got tired of sweeping up the equipment and went on strike.
“Most of the things we broke had to be repaired by us afterwards for the next house — I discovered Fender guitars are very strong and cheap out in the U.S.!
“We shared a dressing room with a group called the ‘Hardly Moving Players` who did satirical sketches and were nice people. Below us the Cream and the Blues McGoos played whining guitars all afternoon until Pete and Keith retaliated for about three hours by going through the entire Shadows repertoire.
“Occasionally we went outside and allowed ourselves to be torn apart and sign autographs which wasn’t so bad because the kids give it back to you by storming the stage during the act.
“The only club I liked was one called The Scene where a man called Tiny Tim plays ukulele and sings ‘He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands’ and when anyone applauds he whoops like a Red Indian.
“I’m trying to get him signed up with our recording company!
“A few words on the new single.
“I submitted three songs and ‘Pictures Of Lily’ was the most obvious hit. It’s all about a boy who can’t sleep at night so his dad gives him some dirty pictures to look at.
“Then he falls in love with the girl in the pictures which is too bad because she is dead.”
Follow that!

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The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
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