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February 7, 2012 / rockroots

How To Buy: Twink Records

Twink with The Pretty Things on German TV – 1969

(seemingly playing Why by Tomorrow/The Byrds)

The career of Twink (the English drummer/singer, not the Irish “entertainer”) is a long and complex journey, but his releases from the mid-’80s onwards on both his own and other record labels are a particular minefield for the uninitiated. First finding notoriety as drummer/leader of Colchester R’n’B band The Fairies in the early 1960s, John ‘Twink’ Alder went on to greater fame with psychedelic pop group Tomorrow. He also, in mid 1967, recorded a session as Santa Barbara Machine Head with flatmate Jon Lord (later of Deep Purple), Kim Gardner (of The Birds, The Creation and Ashton, Gardner & Dyke) and Ron Wood (of The Birds, The Creation and The Rolling Stones), produced by Gus Dudgeon. When Tomorrow began to disintegrate after a very promising start, Twink tasted his first glimpse of solo stardom as singer with spin-off duo The Aquarian Age, who issued one single on Parlophone Records in May 1968. Both sides of this single were included on a 1999 CD re-issue of the self-titled Tomorrow album (which had been recorded in 1967 and originally released in 1968). This reissue also included the track Me credited to The Aquarian Age, but Twink tells us in the ‘Comments’ section below that EMI made a mistake, this was actually recorded by Zion De Gallier, aka Dougie Ord, aka Dane Stevens – the original vocalist with The Fairies.

  1. 10,000 Words In A Cardboard Box [single 'A' side]
  2. Good Wizard Meets Naughty Wizard [single 'B' side]

Twink with ‘Electric Banana’ (The Pretty Things) – 1969

Twink followed this with even bigger success as drummer with The Pretty Things during their most critically-acclaimed period. When he joined in mid 1968 the group were part-way through recording their landmark rock opera S.F. Sorrow with Pink Floyd producer Norman Smith, and Twink co-wrote about half the tracks. During the lull that followed the surprisingly muted initial reception for that album, The Pretty Things recorded more soundtrack music for the De Wolfe label – released on the 1969 pseudonymous Electric Banana LP Even More Electric Banana – and accepted an invitation from wealthy young French would-be rock star Philippe DeBarge to make some private recordings with himself on vocals (eventually released in 2010).  These unassuming releases, and a limited number of filmed live performances from the era, in fact show the band at the height of their blistering psychedelic heavy rock phase, and we can only hope that a full live recording from this period will some day turn up. It was towards the end of his time with the Pretties, in July and August 1969, that Twink recorded his excellent solo LP Think Pink (released in July 1970), which featured members of The Pretty Things, Tomorrow, The Deviants, and Steve Peregrin Took from Tyrannosaurus Rex. It’s a great psychedelic rock record and it put Twink on the map as an artist in his own right rather than just a sideman.

  1. The Coming Of The Other One
  2. Ten Thousand Words In A Cardboard Box
  3. Dawn Of Magic
  4. Tiptoe On The Highest Hill
  5. Fluid
  6. Mexican Grass War
  7. Rock And Roll The Joint
  8. Suicide
  9. Three Little Piggies
  10. The Sparrow Is A Sign

Reissues of the Think Pink album also credit “The Pink Fairies Motorcycle Club and All-Star Rock and Roll Band” – a collective name for the musicians involved. Tony Wiggins, tour manager with The Deviants, came up with the Pink Fairies name, inspired by The Fairies. The Pink Fairies also featured in a short story written by The Deviants’ manager Jamie Mandelkau at the time. In October 1969, Twink, Took and ex-Deviants singer Mick Farren performed a gig billed simply as The Pink Fairies, and at the same time all three were recording a Mick Farren solo album completed before December 1969 (with Took credited under the pseudonym ‘Shagrat the Vagrant’). This incarnation of the Pinks did not last however; Twink soon fell out with Farren and Took, with Took and guitarist Larry Wallis then forming the band Shagrat in early 1970 (this sequence of events would be the subject of a bitter dispute between former friends thirty years later). Twink spent the end of 1969/early 1970 recording a series of highly experimental, mainly drum or electronics-led demos played by Julian Briggs (bass) and himself (everything else) at Wizard Studios – Briggs’ basement studio in Hornsey. Briggs rediscovered the tapes in the ’90s and Twink remastered them in Los Angeles for a 1999 release on the Get Back label as ‘Twink – The Lost Experimental Recordings 1970‘. Some of the extended electronic passages are very industrial, approaching Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music, and far more atonal than anything else from Twink’s back-catalogue. Other pieces are marked by frantic drumming and heavy electric guitar riffs, and the album is really quite good in places. Unexpected Party is a reading from Tolkien’s ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’, while King Tin Tagel seems to use a sample from the 1962 children’s adventure record ‘The Knights of the Round Table’, co-crediting it’s script-writer Jay Maurence.

  1. Within
  2. Ice Cool
  3. Unexpected Party
  4. Witches Brew
  5. Psychedelic Electrician
  6. You Reached For The Stars
  7. Moondog
  8. You Have Been Chosen
  9. Drum Crazy
  10. Angel
  11. King Tin Tagel
  12. Peter The Pill
  13. Psychedelic Electrician (Scene 2)
  14. Psychedelic Electrician (Scene 3)
  15. Duel At Dawn
  16. Psychedelic Electrician (Scene 4)

Get Back released further archive recordings in 2001 as ‘Twink – The Never Never Land & Think Pink Demos‘, again recorded in the Winter of 1969/1970. Although Mick Farren insisted that no demos were made for the Think Pink album and the authenticity of these recordings has been questioned, with some suggesting they are actually the released tracks overdubbed with new parts, a comparison with the original albums reveals that they are indeed significantly different versions of the songs, and to these ears they certainly sound like they were recorded in the same era. The one exception is the version of Do It noted as a demo, but which is identical to the single edit of the song (which is itself the same as the version from Never Never Land, but without the acoustic guitar intro). They are all excellent quality recordings – some tracks are (arguably) even better than the released album versions – and are highly recommended. One unresolved question is why Twink would record demos, at the end of 1969, of the tracks he had already completed for his debut solo album the previous July. One possible reason – which could also explain why Mick Farren has no recollection of making any demo recordings – is that Think Pink was not released until July 1970 – a full year after being recorded. It’s reasonable to guess that Twink thought the album would not be released in it’s original form and might have to be re-cut for a different record label, possibly under the Pink Fairies band-name he was planning to revive.

  1. The Coming Of The Other One [much longer than the Think Pink track]
  2. Dawn Of Magick [longer than the Think Pink track]
  3. Fluid [alternative version of the Think Pink track]
  4. Suicide [acoustic version of the Think Pink track]
  5. Rock And Roll The Joint [faster version than the Think Pink track]
  6. Sound Of Silk [acoustic version of the Never Never Land track Heavenly Man]
  7. Thor [heavy phasing and feedback version of the Never Never Land track]
  8. The Dream Is Just Beginning [acoustic version of the Never Never Land track]
  9. Do It (demo) [single edit version]
  10. Fluid (slow version) [slightly slower version than the Think Pink track]
  11. Gandalf’s Garden [acoustic song about Hobbits]
  12. Ten Thousand Words In A Cardboard Box [slower version than the Think Pink track]

In March 1970, the three remaining members of The Deviants - Russell Hunter (drums), Duncan ‘Sandy’ Sanderson (bass/vocals) and Paul ‘Black George’ Rudolph (guitar/vocals) – returned from a North American tour and immediately joined Twink (vocals/drums) in a new Pink Fairies. It’s plausible that they might have played on some of the material on The Never Never Land & Think Pink Demos, but they would definitely go on to cut the landmark proto-punk single The Snake / Do It, the Never Never Land LP, and numerous recorded radio and festival appearances before Twink departed in July 1971.

After spending some time in Morocco, Twink occasionally stood-in as Hawkwind‘s drummer at the end of 1971, and by early 1972 he had turned up in Cambridge playing in The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band with Bruce Michael Paine (vocals/guitar) and John ‘The Honk’ Lodge (bass, later replaced by Jack Monck). A Concert by this band from January 1972, with guest guitarists Fred Frith and Syd Barrett (ex-Pink Floyd), was recorded and is due to be officially released in Spring 2014 by the Easy Action label. During January and February of ’72, Twink, Monck and Barrett formed the short-lived trio Stars, and at some point around 1972, Twink, Monck, Dan Kelleher (guitar/keyboards) and George Bacon (guitar) completed a recording session at London’s Polydor Studios, with one song later surfacing on a 1991 compilation album. Twink briefly rejoined the Pinks at the end of 1973, and took part in at least one Pink Fairies reunion concert in 1975 (13 July – released in 1982 as Live At The Roundhouse). Another ’90s compilation album featured three tracks recorded in 1976 by a band called Glider, which included Twink (drums), Roger D’Elia (lead guitar/vocals), Andy Colquhoun (rhythm guitar) and Chas McKay (bass). Twink next formed The Fallen Angels in August 1976 with Greg Ridley and Mickey Finn (both formerly of The Steve Marriott Allstars), but a car accident on the way to their first gig left Twink hospitalised, following which this line-up disintegrated.

Twink then formed punk band The Rings after his recovery in early 1977, with himself as singer joined by Alan Lee Shaw (guitar), Rod Latter (drums) and Dennis Stow (bass). They played a gig at The 100 Club on 26 April 1977 which was recorded and would much later be released on CD. Shortly after this gig, Chiswick Records issued the bands only single – I Wanna Be Free / Automobile. The rest of the band split from Twink in August ’77 and became The Maniacs, while Twink reportedly kept The Rings going with stand-in musicians and planned to release a new single titled ‘Psychedelic Didgeridoo‘. Ultimately, the songs Psychedelic Punkeroo and Enter The Diamonds, recorded by Twink (drums/lead vocals), Kid Rogers (guitars/vocals), Fingers Falkner (keyboards) and Chris Chesney (lead guitar), were rejected as singles by Chiswick Records and were instead used to back a rushed new recording of Do It cut by Twink and Kid Rogers with Duncan (‘Danger Sun’) Sanderson (bass) and Little John Hodge (lead guitar) of The Lightning Raiders. The resulting 12″ EP Do It ’77 was issued in February 1978, credited to Twink & The Fairies (justified by the inclusion of former Pink Fairy Sanderson). Twink next moved to Belgium, where he played drums on British punk outsider Elton Motello‘s 1978 album Victim Of Time. By 1984, Twink was playing drums with a Swindon, Wiltshire-based band known as This World, later renamed Jazz, alongside Andy Davies (bass/vocals), Ricky John Cumner (guitar) and Wacka/John Williams (keyboards). Shortly afterwards, Twink would launch his solo career in earnest by founding his own record label.

 

TWK 1: Twink with Elton Motello – Apocalipstic / He’s Crying (7″ single, 1986). The first release on Twink’s label would appear to be a pairing of two tracks from Elton Motello’s 1978 album Victim Of Time, on which Twink played drums. Both tracks are British-style punk/new wave. The picture sleeve promised a forthcoming album to be titled Twink meets Elton Motello, but this never materialised.

TWK 2: Twink & The Fairies – Space Lover (versions: Rock ‘n’ Roll No. 1 / Rock ‘n’ Roll No. 2 / Psychedelicised / Instrumental / Percussed) (12″ maxi-single, 1986). Reviving the Fairies’ name again with a band featuring Twink (drums/vocals), Chris Chesney (bass), Phil Capon (guitar) and producer Alan Ward (alias Elton Motello, keyboards), this EP offered multiple variations of one new track which, whilst not a bad song, didn’t really need five remixes. Also around this time, Twink, Chesney and backing vocalist Silvia recorded the song Mr. Coconut, apparently the theme tune for a rejected cartoon series.

TWK 3-7: Twink – Driving My Car / Wargirl (7″ single, 1987?). The 1991 compilation LP Odds & Beginnings included both sides of this single and credited the members of Twink’s mid-’80s group Jazz on Driving My Car, with new overdubs by Phillippe Capon (guitar) and Shelly Law & Lisa Goodenough (backing vocals) added at The Studio, Brussels; Wargirl featured his mid-’70s group Glider, with crowd noise background effects added at Portwell Studios, Weeley.

TWK 4-7: Kids Aid – Children Of The World / Instrumental / Letters (7″ single, 1986). In late 1985 the children of St. Benedict’s School, Colchester, inspired by Bob Geldof, launched a lottery for the benefit of the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development (CAFOD). Coordinated by religion teacher Bob Hastie, ‘Kids Aid’ prizes included a walk-on part in ‘Dempsey & Makepeace’, a year’s supply of Rolo’s and a day in the BBC’s ‘Dr Who’ studios, and the school raised £42, 000. They then began looking for a promoter for a charity record and in November 1986 this single was released on the Colchester-based Twink label, featuring members of new wave pop group The Fixx alongside 45 pupils of St Benedict’s. It was written by music teacher Adrian Queen and produced by Twink at Portwell Studios, Farmyard Studios, Terminal Studios and The Studio, Brussels, and sounds only slightly better than you would expect an ’80s school choir charity record to sound.

In 1987, The Pink Fairies reformed for an album and tour, featuring founder members Twink, Duncan Sanderson & Russell Hunter, with guitarists Larry Wallis and Andy Colquhoun. Kill ‘Em And Eat ‘Em was released on Demon Records in 1987, while Chinese Cowboys: Live 1987 was eventually released through Captain Trip Records in 2005. Twink quit the band during the tour and turned to other projects; he joined veteran rockers Magic Muscle as drummer for a series of reunion gigs in mid-1988, one of which (1 August) was released as the 1989 live album One Hundred Miles Below on the One Big Guitar label. Twink’s input was limited to the role of drummer, but the album is quite strong if you’re a fan of proggish psych rock, and is very well recorded for a live album, albeit with sparse ’80s production. On 22 October 1988 Twink sang some of his back-catalogue in Chicago backed by psych revivalists Plasticland, which resulted in the 1989 Twink & Plasticland live album You Need A Fairy Godmother on Midnight Records. The musicians from Plasticland thankfully shunned any attempt to make the songs sound relevant to an ’80s audience and instead ripped through them very much as they were originally intended. While the playing is a bit rough in places it’s an enjoyable album and has aged better than Twink’s next solo album, which covered much of the same territory in a less satisfying way.

  1. The Snake
  2. Do It
  3. 10,000 Words In A Cardboard Box
  4. Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut
  5. Psychedelic Punkeroo
  6. Seize The Time
  7. Alexander

During 1988, Twink played with his own band featuring Robbie Gladwell (lead guitar), Roy Little (bass), Mark Hebden (rhythm guitar) and Geoff Knight (drums), who made an appearance at the Henham Music & Arts Festival. He collaborated with The Bevis Frond on the 1990 Bevis & Twink album Magic Eye (Woronzow Records), before returning to his solo career. This is much more of a Bevis Frond album than a Twink album, in spite of the billing, with most of the songs treading a familiar angsty alternative rock path. The notable exception is, of course, The Fairy, on which Twink sings about, well, himself. It’s a good album, but Bevis fans will enjoy it more than Twink fans.

  1. Sorrow Remembered
  2. Flying Igloos
  3. The Fairy
  4. She Darks The Sun
  5. Eclipse
  6. Fractured Sky
  7. Black Queen
  8. Gryke
  9. Bag Drip

TWK 5-7: Twink – Psychedelic Punkeroo / Seize The Time (7″ / 12″ single, 1990). The reboot of Twink’s solo output, and a pre-cursor to his belated second solo album.

TWK LP1; TWK CD1: TwinkMr. Rainbow (LP, CD, 1990). Revisiting songs from his personal history, including tracks from Tomorrow, The Pretty Things and The Pink Fairies as well as some solo material, this album was cut by a line-up of Twink (vocals), Robbie Gladwell (lead & rhythm guitar), Darrell King (bass/electro-drums), Andy Dowding (drums), Richard Harker (backing vocals) and Tim Smith (guitar), and was produced at DJK Studios in Clacton. The label’s first CD was a digital version of the album. This collection really sums up the main problem with Twink’s solo material from the ’80s and ’90s: an over-reliance on past glories. The songs were all great first time around, but here they are needlessly re-recorded adding only one newish track. None of the songs sound better than the originals, with the possible exception of Psychedelic Punkeroo, which is more lean and heavy than the version on the 1977 EP. What works well on this track is Gladwell’s heavy metal guitar style, but this sounds quite out-of-place and overpowering on some of the other songs. It’s overall a bit disappointing.

  1. Psychedelic Punkeroo
  2. Baron Saturday
  3. Teenage Rebel
  4. Mr Rainbow (Hallucinations)
  5. Seize The Time
  6. The Snake
  7. Three Jolly Little Dwarfs
  8. Wargirl
  9. Balloon Burning
  10. Do It

Twink and his band live at Keldonk, Netherlands – 1990

(Robbie Gladwell – guitar/vocals, Paul Airey – keyboards, Andy Dowding – drums, Liz Wolfe – vocals)

TWK LP2: TwinkOdds & Beginnings (LP, 1991). A collection of bits and pieces from over the years, the oldest track was the rather nice Bob Dylan song Yeah! Heavy And A Bottle Of Bread - recorded with Jack Monck in 1972. ’80s singles Space Lover, Driving My Car and Wargirl were all represented; an unissued ‘electro-drum mix’ of The Snake from the recent album sessions; a new Bevis & Twink song; and snippets from various radio interviews, mostly with some very irritating DJs. There was also the new ambient piece I Miss Your Eyes, recorded with Darrell King at King’s DJK Studios in Clacton. Of particular interest was a reunion with early ’60s colleagues Dane Stephens (vocals/harmonica) and Mick Weaver (fiddle) from The Fairies. On sessions recorded in Clacton and Chelmsford, Stephens and Weaver played with Twink’s regular band members on The Fairies’ single Anytime At All and on Don’t Bring Me Down (written by Johnnie Dee, road manager for The Fairies who rejected the song and it instead became a hit for The Pretty Things in 1964). It’s nice to hear these old R’n’B numbers brought back to life, and with a distinctive country music feel courtesy of Weaver’s fiddle, but Stephens’ vocals have unfortunately matured into a cabaret crooner style that just doesn’t suit these songs. Twink and his band played a garage-rockin’ version of Get Yourself Home (also written by Johnnie Dee, but rejected by The Pretty Things and recorded by The Fairies in 1965), again with a metallic Gladwell guitar solo. Only on Boot Black did Stevens, Weaver and Twink actually reunite, performing as a skiffle trio with Twink playing “cardboard box”.

  1. The Snake (electro-drum mix)
  2. Space Lover (psychedelicized version)
  3. Driving My Car [Jazz, with overdubs]
  4. Wargirl [Glider, with overdubs]
  5. The Jimi Hendrix Experience [interview]
  6. I Miss Your Eyes
  7. Anytime At All [Twink/Fairies]
  8. Yeah! Heavy And A Bottle Of Bread [circa 1972]
  9. Get Yourself Home [Twink/Fairies]
  10. Don’t Bring Me Down [Twink/Fairies]
  11. Jissom Analogy [Bevis & Twink]
  12. Boot Black [Twink/Fairies]

TWK LP3; TWK CD2: PinkwindFestival Of The Sun (LP, CD, May 1995). Pinkwind was a name used by combinations of Pink Fairies and Hawkwind members at live appearances in the early 1970s, and the name was revived for this live album featuring Twink with Hawkwind’s Nik Turner (vocals/sax/flute), alongside Judge Trev Thoms (guitar/vocals), Dani Speakman (guitar/keyboards/vocals), Mike Quartermain (bass), Barry Coombs (drums) and Captain Rick ‘Baby Face’ Walsh (trumpet). It was recorded at the first Festival of The Sun in Norfolk on 30 August 1993, with the opening track recorded in Preston on 9 April 1994. Reviews describing it as a “poorly recorded sprawling mess” which should be avoided might be slightly unfair as the sound quality isn’t that bad for a live recording, but aside from God Rock and Cosmic Rock & Roll (which sounds a lot like the tail-end of Do It), the album is really just for completists.

  1. God Rock
  2. Cosmic Rock & Roll
  3. Stonehenge ’95
  4. Silver Machine
  5. Master Of The Universe
  6. Rainbow Ron [CD only]
  7. Call Of The Tribes [CD only]

TWK CD3: Twink – Odds & Beginnings / The RingsLive At The 100 Club (CD, 1995). This CD re-issue of the 1991 LP added a 30-minute live performance by punk band The Rings recorded in April 1977. Book-ended by two versions of their then forthcoming single, the band tore into ragged Pinks and MC5 covers. CD bonus tracks:

  1. I Wanna Be Free
  2. News Of The World
  3. Kick Out The Jams
  4. The Snake
  5. Do It
  6. Teenage Rebel
  7. Shoot You Down
  8. I Wanna Be Free

TWK CD4: The Psychik AttersMystic Minutes (CD, 1995). The Psychik Atters featured Twink’s Pinkwind collaborators Dani Speakman (guitar/keyboards/vocals) and Barry Coombs (drums), with Kozmic Andy (bass), Rob Jackson (keyboards) and guests.

TWK CD5: Pinkwind Returns As: The Hawk FairiesPurple Haze (CD, 1996). Recorded live at The Purple Haze Club in Peterborough on 15 April 1995, The Hawk Fairies included Twink (drums), Nik Turner (vocals/sax), Duncan ‘Danger Sun’ Sanderson (bass), Judge Trev Thoms (guitar/vocals), Dani Speakman (guitar/vocals), Captain Rick ‘Baby Face’ Walsh (trumpet), Captain Jim Hawkman (keyboards/synthesizer), Commander Johnny Coupland (guitar) and Sarah Wayne (backing vocals). Sarah Wayne is the daughter of the then-recently deceased ex-Pink Fairy Mick Wayne, and the album was dedicated to Mick and to Steve Peregrin Took. This was as poorly received as the Pinkwind album but, while the Hendrix covers were completely unnecessary, tracks like Space Rock and Thoth have some very tasty psych lead guitar.

  1. Master Of The Universe
  2. Space Rock 1999 And Seven Months
  3. Thoth
  4. Brainstorm
  5. Foxy Lady
  6. Purple Haze
  7. D-Rider/Stormbringer

TWK CD6: Pink FairiesPleasureIsland (CD, 1996). Quitting the Pinks after their second album in 1972, guitarist Paul Rudolph spent a few years in various bands (including a stint as Lemmy’s replacement in Hawkwind) before moving back to his native Canada in the late ’70s to run a bicycle shop. In 1996 he suddenly popped up again for a reunion with Twink and helped record this brand-new Pink Fairies album. While it’s far from the classic Pinks albums, it has it’s moments and is probably no worse than the 1987 reunion record, but whether it should be considered a Pink Fairies album is debatable. The stand-out track is Cargoe In Jamaica – a 32 minute(!) instrumental jam on which Rudolph shows whippersnappers like Porcupine Tree and Ozric Tentacles just who invented their genre. As Above So Below is also good for the same reasons. However – unlike his guitar playing – Paul Rudolph’s singing voice deserted him on this record, while songs like Eccleston Chambers – featuring long, repetitive synthesizer beats – are truly awful and shouldn’t be inflicted on the innocent.

  1. As Above So Below
  2. Eccleston Chambers
  3. We Run We Hide
  4. The Man With The Golden Gun
  5. Jungle Drums
  6. Cargoe In Jamaica

TWK LP4; TWK CD7: TwinkThink Pink (LP, 1996; CD, 1997). A “25th anniversary” reissue of Twink’s classic debut solo album, and always worth another listen.

TWK CD8: Pink FairiesNo Picture (CD, 1997). A second album recorded by Twink and Paul Rudolph, this lacks the redeeming features of Pleasure Island, and is overall a pretty poor album. I have no evidence to back this up, but I suspect it might even be the left-overs from the sessions for that previous album. Love Punks is okay, even if it sounds quite a lot like As Long As The Price Is Right (a Pinks’ song recorded after both Twink and Rudolph had left the band). Once again there are audio atrocities lurking on this disc (especially the title track) just waiting to assault the senses of the unprepared listener. This would appear to be the final release from the Twink Records label.

  1. People Helping People
  2. Love Punks
  3. No Picture
  4. You’ve Got A Problem
  5. Going Down To The City
  6. ’67
  7. Rokon

 

Around 1996 or 1997, HTD Records issued a live CD titled Out Of The Pink Into The Blues and credited to Mouse & Twink: Fairies, with Twink (drums), P. ‘Mouse’ Pracowik (guitar), Andrew Doran (vocals), Matthew Bailey (bass) & Chris Pinkerton (drums). “P. Pracowik” is presumably Peter Pracownik – occasional guitarist with Astralasia, Hawkwind, etc. – and better known for his excellent new age/fantasy artwork, examples of which form the cover images for both this album and the Pleasure Island CD. The album consists of poorly-recorded blues numbers, and although there’s some nice slide-guitar playing I really can’t find much positive to say about it.

  1. Out Of The Pink Jam
  2. Red House
  3. Going Home
  4. Find Yourself Another Fool
  5. Talk To Me Babe
  6. Oye Como Va
  7. Youngblood
  8. Stepping Out
  9. Tulsa Time
  10. Kansas City
  11. Rambling
  12. Out Go The Lights
  13. Midnight Rambler
  14. Midnight Rambler Return

Around the turn of the century there was a glut of bootleg-quality Pink Fairies archive recordings released on vinyl and CD, such as Mandies And Mescaline Round At Uncle Harry’s (New Millennium Communications 1997; Burning Airlines Recordings 2001), Uncle Harry (Get Back LP 1998), The Golden Years: 1969-1971 (Cleopatra Records 1998) and Do It! (Total Energy 1999), collecting live tracks and radio sessions mostly from the Twink-era line-up (and deserving a separate post to untangle them). At about the same time, Twink – by now resident in Los Angeles – began an association with the Italian-based Get Back label, and he is suspected of having been behind many of these archive releases on this and other labels, among them being the Twink LP From The Vaults (1999) – another collection from his personal archives which is aptly also known as ‘Odds & Beginnings Volume 2‘. Chronologically, the album includes a 1971 Pink Fairies BBC radio show recording of Tomorrow Never Knows (listed in error as a French radio session), three tracks recorded at Island Studios by the band Glider in 1976, one soft-rock live track by the group Jazz from 1984, a rather cheesy demo theme tune for a cartoon by Belgian artist Mac recorded in 1987, a great version of Psychedelic Punkeroo from 1988, and two newly-completed songs – Passing Clouds and The Pink Fairies Story. The Glider tracks – produced by Muff Winwood – are a worthy inclusion as they reveal a slick rock band with hints of the Canterbury Sound and even late-period Velvet Underground. Passing Clouds is a sound collage assembled over decades and reminds me slightly of the work of Holger Czukay – ironically, the last original song Twink released for many years might just be one of his best since Think Pink. The Pink Fairies Story, suitably, brings the journey full-circle with Twink reciting the Jamie Mandelkau short story that helped give the Pink Fairies their name thirty years earlier, over an acoustic tune similar to The Dream Is Just Beginning (the 1971 Pinks song which itself borrowed lyrics from the short story), and was recorded in memory of a great gig at The Country Club by The Pretty Things with Steve Peregrin Took guesting.

  1. Passing Clouds
  2. Psychedelic Punkaroo [rehearsal, 1988]
  3. The Pink Fairies Story
  4. Praying’s No Good [Jazz, 1984]
  5. Tomorrow Never Knows [Pink Fairies, circa 1971]
  6. The Continuing Story Of A Young Man’s Lament [Glider, 1976]
  7. The Season Is Winter [Glider, 1976]
  8. Take My Hand [Glider, 1976]
  9. Mr. Coconut [1987]

Also in 1999, Get Back issued The Lost Experimental Recordings 1970 – the long-forgotten demos recorded at Julian Briggs’ Wizard basement studio in Hornsey – followed in 2001 by The Never Never Land & Think Pink Demos – alternative versions of tracks that appeared on both Twink and Pink Fairies’ debut albums. Both collections were apparently recorded around the same time. Shortly afterwards, Get Back released Pink Jackets Required (2001). This CD proved the most controversial of all, as it purported to include unreleased 1969/1970 demos by Steve Peregrin Took’s band Shagrat. In the ’90s, Japanese label Captain Trip released both known Shagrat studio sessions from 1970 and 1971 as the CD Lone Star, but denied Twink’s request to be credited. The sleeve notes written by Twink for the Pink Jackets Required CD (“produced & directed by Twink, re-mixed and remastered at Westwood Studios in Los Angeles”) labelled the earlier Shagrat releases as bootlegs, and claimed that the four tracks featured were actually recorded in late ’69 and early ’70 by Steve Peregrin Took (guitar/vocals), Twink (drums/percussion) and Paul Rudolph (bass). These four Shagrat songs appeared both in “version 1″ form and, with added percussion, as “version 2″, augmented by three tracks from Think Pink on which Took had sung or played.

  1. The Sparrow Is A Sign [Think Pink version]
  2. Beautiful Deceiver (demo version 1)
  3. Still Yawning, Still-Born (demo version 1)
  4. Amanda (demo version 1)
  5. Strange Sister (demo version 1)
  6. The Coming Of The Other One [Think Pink version]
  7. Three Little Piggies [Think Pink version]
  8. Beautiful Deceiver (demo version 2)
  9. Still Yawning, Still-Born (demo version 2)
  10. Amanda (demo version 2)
  11. Strange Sister (demo version 2)

The “version 1″ demos had already been included on the Lone Star CD a few years earlier, which credited a line-up of Steve Peregrin Took (guitar/vocals), Larry Wallis (bass) and Dave Bidwell (tambourine) as having recorded them in early 1971 (Paul Rudolph himself has never claimed to have been in Shagrat). It was speculated that the percussion overdubs on the “version 2″ demos were newly-recorded for this release. Some Pink Fairies members and associates had made complaints over the years regarding lack of payments from the previous Twink Records and Get Back releases, and the fact that Steve Peregrin Took had passed away in 1980 prompted some of Took’s friends to condemn Twink in the strongest possible terms. It was pointed out that, at that time, the only releases that paid royalties to Took’s next-of-kin were Twink’s albums Think Pink and Pink Jackets Required, and while this was a valid point, it did little to restore his reputation amongst some of his peers.

Twink (vocals), with Jonathan Hall (guitar), Heath Seifert (bass) and Bob Lee (drums) – all from the band Backbiter – played a few shows in Los Angeles in 2001, one of which was recorded, and also recorded with local groups Smallstone, The Tyde and The Quarter After during his time in LA. After that, little was heard from Twink for many years. A planned reunion gig by the Larry Wallis-era Pink Fairies has been on indefinite postponement since 2007, while the Paul Rudolph line-up recorded a new version of Do It for a tribute album released in November 2010, both without any involvement from Twink. It would have been an unfortunate way to end an occasionally illustrious career, but recently Twink has come out of retirement to reclaim his contribution to rock history. A May 1996 gig in a record store in Connecticut was recorded and released on CD in 2012. Titled The Snake, the Whiplash Records CD was credited to The Fairies featuring Twink – Twink (vocals/percussion), Rick Rivets (guitar/vocals), Geo (drums) and Dana Place (bass).

  1. Pipeline
  2. Psychedelic Punkeroo
  3. The Snake
  4. Seize The Time
  5. My Babe
  6. Bo Diddley Jam
  7. Wild Thing
  8. Diamond Head
  9. It’s All Over Now
  10. Brand New Cadillac
  11. I Don’t Care

The Fairies featuring Twink – live in Connecticut 1996

At the end of 2012 Whiplash Records also released The RingsLive At The 100 Club as a stand-alone CD, and Twink – now living in Morocco and known as Mohammed Abdullah after having adopted Islam – was recording songs written for voice & drums and working on translations of the Quran & Hadith. 2013 brought a new reissue of Think Pinkon LP and CD from Sunbeam Records (SBR 5095 CD/LP), complete with bonus tracks as follows:

  1. 10,000 Words In A Cardboard Box [The Aquarian Age]
  2. Good Wizard Meets Naughty Wizard [The Aquarian Age]
  3. 10,000 Words In A Cardboard Box (alt. version)
  4. Dawn Of Magic (alt. version)
  5. Fluid (alt. version)
  6. Fluid (alt. version 2)
  7. Rock An’ Roll The Joint (alt. version)
  8. Suicide (alt. version)

This was followed by news that Twink was recording a new album at Gulliver Studios in Rome with Italian progressive/psychedelic outfit The Technicolour Dream (Marco Conti – bass/vocals, Fabio Porretti – guitar, Luciano Pavia – drums), mastered at Abbey Road by Peter Mew and released by Sunbeam in September 2013. Titled You Reached For The Stars, the album included new versions of a couple of classic tracks alongside new songs co-written for the project, and featured Brian Godding from Blossom Toes playing lead guitar on the track Moonchild. The eight bonus tracks included the April 2001 LA gig backed by the members of Backbiter, a reasonably good recording of a great gig that even stretched to a Bevis & Twink song.

  1. Dead End
  2. The Dream Is Just Beginning
  3. Afterglow
  4. Moonchild
  5. Inside The Old Ones
  6. Lady Love
  7. You Reached For The Stars
  8. The Dream Is Just Beginning (acoustic) [bonus track]
  9. You Reached For The Stars (acoustic) [bonus track]
  10. The Snake (live, 2001)[bonus track]
  11. Heavenly Man (live, 2001)[bonus track]
  12. 10,000 Words In A Cardboard Box (live, 2001)[bonus track]
  13. Wargirl (live, 2001)[bonus track]
  14. Teenage Rebel/Fractured Sky (live, 2001)[bonus track]
  15. Suicide (live, 2001) [bonus track]

The album made some confident nods towards the Think Pink era, rather than to the rawness of the Pink Fairies albums, so Twink’s news that he is currently working on Think Pink 2, again with The Technicolour Dream, should be interesting. In addition, he was reported to be writing his autobiography and even plans some live shows for 2014.

With thanks to Mohammed Abdullah for corrections.

 

A purely hypothetical ‘Best Of’ Twink’s post-Pinks career might look something like this:

  1. HawkwindSilver Machine (live)
  2. Twink/Monck/Kelleher/Bacon – Yeah! Heavy And A Bottle Of Bread
  3. GliderThe Season Is Winter
  4. GliderThe Continuing Story Of A Young Man’s Lament
  5. The RingsI Wanna Be Free
  6. Twink & The FairiesDo It 1977
  7. Twink with Elton MotelloApocalipstic
  8. Twink & The FairiesSpace Lover (rock ‘n’ roll version #1)
  9. Magic MuscleOne Hundred Miles Below (live)
  10. Twink & PlasticlandThe Snake (live)
  11. Twink & Plasticland10,000 Words In A Cardboard Box (live)
  12. TwinkPsychedelic Punkeroo (rehearsal)
  13. Bevis & TwinkThe Fairy
  14. Bevis & TwinkGryke
  15. TwinkPsychedelic Punkeroo
  16. TwinkThe Snake
  17. TwinkGet Yourself Home
  18. Pink FairiesAs Above So Below
  19. Pink FairiesLove Punks
  20. Mouse & Twink: FairiesStepping Out (live)
  21. TwinkPassing Clouds

 

See also:

How To Buy: Pink Fairies

Wikipedia: Twink

It’s Psychedelic Baby: Interview with John ‘Twink’ Alder (November 2012)

Sunbeam Records: Think Pink (2013)

Bompstore: You Reached For The Stars (2013)

 

32 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. anthony langan / Feb 17 2012 22:05

    hi i have 3 copies of the twink record kids aid children of the world twk4-7 if interested

    • rockroots / Feb 21 2012 00:38

      I guess I’m not going to rest easy while there’s something missing from my collection so, yeah, I’d be interested. Are you going to put them on ebay?

      • rockroots / Mar 12 2012 15:33

        >: ( I hate ebay!

      • anthony langan / Mar 12 2012 16:03

        hi the winning bidder is from the usa looking at what she buys there are no music purchases in any format that she has bought,the person behind her in the bidding is also in the usa and he buys all things to do with charity records like band aid live aid ect so none of them seem to be twink fans very strange if i get another copy i will let you know cheers anthony

      • rockroots / Mar 12 2012 16:33

        OK, thanks mate.

      • anthony / Mar 14 2012 21:09

        hi ive posted a video on you tube of the twink produced and issued “kids aid” single see it here
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ew7F9INeotk
        cheers anthony

      • rockroots / Mar 18 2012 15:06

        You’re a star – thanks for that!

  2. Mohammed Abdullah / Feb 17 2012 22:50

    I was previously “professionally” known as TWINK and sometimes John TWINK Alder. Six years ago I embrased Islam and changed my name to Mohammed Abdullah. If i can help you with anything please let me know.

    • rockroots / Feb 21 2012 00:49

      Wow, really? Thanks for commenting! I suppose I should ask if you’re still making music, but I’d also be interested to know how such a fundamental decision came about and how it’s changed your life. And also, if it has altered the way you look back on your musical career.

      • Mohammed Abdullah John Alder / Mar 27 2012 15:45

        I would like to responed to you questions however, firstly I find some of the comments posted in you article offensive and false and should be deleted .In particular the Mick Farren & Larry Wallis “quotes” and also the link PINK FAIRIES : PINK JACKETS REQUIRED.

      • rockroots / Mar 27 2012 19:15

        I’ve altered the article as requested, and I’m genuinely sorry to have caused offence – I hope you can tell that I’m a big fan of your music, but I wanted the article to have some critical balance and to serve as a guide to some of your less well-known releases. I hope it meets your approval.

  3. Mohammed Abdullah John Alder / Apr 6 2012 00:39

    Thank you very much and I will get back to you and answer your question at a later date. Love, Peace & Happiness :) Mohammed

  4. Chris McRae / Jun 28 2012 08:06

    Hi, I have messaged you Mohammed on Facebook, I am unsigned and a retturning musician after a 25 year holiday, I love DO IT and have since I first heard it a LONG time ago, I write my own Albums, second is just completed and am currently on my third, although it is my own material there is one cover I would love to do, DO IT but as a musician and one I hope with some soul, I would like to know if I can have permission to use it ? unfortunatley I dont sell in the thousands, or if truth known , the hundreds so royalties would be a big THANK YOU if I could get the required permssion, a long shot I know, but I been on this planet a lon time and realise sometimes if you dont ask ? you dont get, so I am asking. Thaks for your time, Peace.

    Chris

  5. Matthew Pritchard / Jan 6 2013 21:41

    I’d also love to hear about the conversion to Islam, and wonder if this gives you any internal conflict with your past? Very interesting that would be.

    • Twink / Nov 20 2013 04:47

      I had been searching most of my life for the truth, peace & happiness and when I found Islam it held everything that I needed. There is absolutely no internal conflict with my past. How could there be? All that has happened has brought me here right now.
      If anyone has specific questions relating to this unbalanced ROCKROOTS Twink presentation please feel free and I ‘ll do my best to answer.

      • Twink / Nov 20 2013 16:24

        A correction for the Tomorrow album refered to above. The album was recorded in 1967 at Abbey Road Studios along side The Beatles recording both “Pepper” album &” Magical Mystery Tour” EP. The album was released on Parlophone in 1968.
        “Ten Thousand Words In A Cardboard Box” by The Aquarian Age – “This single and unreleased track, were included on a CD re-issue of the self-titled Tomorrow album in 1999. This is incorrect ! The track “Me” was not an Aquarian Age track! EMI made a mistake, it was recorded by Zion De Gallier and released by EMI in 1968. Zion aka Dane Stevens was the The Fairies vocalist and recorded their first single “Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right’ with them for Decca Records in 1964

  6. Twink / Nov 20 2013 04:55

    The album “You Reached For The Stars” by Twink &The Tecnicolour Dream was released by Sunbeam Records in September 2013. Martin Stone was unable to guest on the album due to overload with his own professional commitments however Brian Godding, Blossom Toes, is featured lead guitar player on the track “Moonchild”.

  7. Twink / Nov 20 2013 05:04

    I am currently working on THINK PINK 2 with The Techniclour Dream and I’m am planning to include some special guest performances. I have enough songs & ideas for a double album.
    Some shows for 2014 will be announced soon.

  8. Twink / Nov 20 2013 19:33

    Correction to time-line. “In October 1969, Twink, Took the ex-Deviants singer Mick Farren performed a gig billed simply as The Pink Fairies and all 3 paricipated in a Mick Farren solo album in 1969″ – Mick’s album was allready underway when we did this gig in Oct 69 and we had finished recording long before December.

    • Twink / Nov 20 2013 20:05

      should read …… “………….solo album in Dec 1969″.

  9. Twink / Nov 20 2013 19:52

    Correction. “The Think Pink album also credits The Pink Fairies Motorcycle Club & All Star Rock & Roll Band”.
    The original release does not credit TPFMCAASRRB however some subsequent re-issues do.
    Tony Wiggins, a Deviants tour manager, came up with the name The Pink Fairies.Taking the name of my old band The Fairies and simply adding in Pink.

  10. Twink / Nov 20 2013 20:23

    The demos for Think Pink were obviously recorded before the album sessions. The Never Neverland demos were recorded in the winter of 69/70. There has been all kinds of speculation regarding the Think Pink demos, only those on a need to know basis were aware of them.
    The following from Psychedelic Baby Magazine interview :-
    “Some of the songs had demo sketches already recorded and final guitar parts, vocals parts and other instruments were worked out in the studio. 10,000 WORDS IN A CARDBOARD BOX was originally written recorded by THE AQUARIAN AGE as was TIPTOE ON THE HIGHEST HILL ( demo recorded at EMI, Manchester Sq, London produced by Mark Wirtz with other titles). THREE LITTLE PIGGIES & THE SPARROW IS A SIGN were put together in the studio.”

  11. Twink / Nov 21 2013 01:04

    This whole piece WHERE TO GET TWINK RECORDS really needs to be re-written as it’s riddled with errors. As time goes on I’ll revisit from time to time to point them out. All the best, T

    • rockroots / Nov 22 2013 03:17

      Thanks for the corrections – obviously if there are mistakes here I am quite happy to make changes, I want it to be as accurate as possible and I appreciate you taking the time to point them out. Looking forward to Think Pink 2!

      • Twink / Dec 4 2013 20:38

        I would like to see the word “apparently” taken out of this overview. And no mention of The Pretty Things Platinum album SF Sorrow, Electric Bannana & Phillippe Des Barges studio recordings all of which I worked on. The Santa Barara Machine Head recordings with Kim Gardner, John Lord, Ron Wood & myself are also overlooked.
        I would like to see the “Out Of The Pinks Into The Blues” review dropped as it is not Twink Records.

      • Twink / Dec 5 2013 00:36

        Mohammed Abdullah John Alder EXTRACT FROM HOW TO BUY TWINK RECORDS EDITED 4/12/2013 From The Vaults (1999) – another collection from his personal archives which is aptly also known as ‘Odds & Beginnings Volume 2‘. Chronologically, the album includes a 1971 Pink Fairies BBC Radio Show recording “Tomorrow Never Knows”, three tracks recorded by the band Glider in 1976 at Island Studios & produced by Muff Winwood & featuring Roger Del’ia, Andy C. & Chas MacKay, one soft-rock live track by the group Jazz from 1984, a demo theme tune for a cartoon by Mac, a Belgian artist recorded in 1987, a great version of “Psychedelic Punkeroo” from 1988, and two newly-completed songs – “Passing Clouds” and “The Pink Fairies Story”. The Glider tracks are a worthy inclusion as they reveal a slick rock band with hints of the Canterbury Sound and even late-period Velvet Underground. “Passing Clouds” is a sound collage assembled over decades and reminds me slightly of the work of Holger Czukay – ironically, the last original song Twink has released to date might just be his best since “Think Pink”. “The Pink Fairies Story”, suitably, brings the journey full-circle with Twink reciting the Jamie Mandelkau short story that gave the Pink Fairies their name thirty years earlier, over an acoustic tune similar to The Dream Is Just Beginning (the 1971 Pinks song which itself borrowed lyrics from the short story) and recorded in memory of a great gig at The Country Club by The Pretty Things with Steve Peregrin Took guesting. Please make the corrections.

      • rockroots / Dec 5 2013 03:58

        Yes, very good point about the Pretty’s albums! I hope to rework this over the weekend. Maybe you could just clarify a few things – I understand you didn’t play on all of the original Electric Banana LPs? At what point were the Santa Barbara tracks recorded (and were you still with one of your other bands at the time)? And what’s the deal with the ‘Pinks Into The Blues’ CD – as I’d like this to be some kind of guide to your back-catalogue, I’d like to keep some mention about it, even if it’s just to let people know if it’s not genuine. I just got my hands on your latest CD with the Technicolour Dream, so I’ll add a bit about that too. Thanks!

  12. Twink / Dec 15 2013 02:48

    Thank you for the corrections so far. I play on the 1969 Electric Banana album EVEN MORE ELECTRIC BANANA. The trax I play on were recorded for the Norman Wisdom film “What’s Good For The Goose” 1) “Alexander”, 2) “Eagle’s Son”, 3) “Blow Your Mind”, ‘4) “What’s Good For The Goose” 5) “Rave Up” & 6) “It’ll Never Be Me”.
    I was with TOMORROW at the time of recording the Santa Barbara Machine Head trax in mid 67. I shared a flat with the late John Lord and he invited me along to play on the session which was produced by Gus Dudgeon.
    All the best,
    T

  13. Twink / Dec 15 2013 02:53

    Btw some news from Carlton at Easy Action Records :-

    The Concert by “The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band” featuring Bruce Michael Paine, Jack Monck & johnTWINKalder is due to be officially released in Spring next year 2014 and will be available from usual sources such as Amazon, HMV etc .. The recording does indeed feature guest appearance by Roger “Syd” Barrett who appears on two songs only. Also guesting is Fred Frith. The concert was recorded on the same day in January 1972 as the “Hawkwind” set which we (Easy Action ) ‘Officially’ released as an album a couple of years ago. That album was licensed from EMI Music so is not ‘semi-offical’ under any circumstances.
    Also on the bill were “The Pink Fairies” and yes we have that show also. We are the owners of the tapes having purchased them three years ago after they failed to sell at Christies. The tapes for “The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band” are currently being restored and mastered and we are hoping to have our first review in “Shindig” magazine shortly after Christmas. Twink has been interviewed extensively by rock DJ Jon Kirkman and we are currently pondering on artwork .

    Seasonal Greetings,
    T

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