All the latest on the British pop scene from TL’s Trudy More.
Funny. Since the BEATLES announced their half-retirement from the pop scene they helped establish, PAUL McCARTNEY has been seen round much more. No longer obviously plagued by screaming fans, Paul can be seen many nights flitting around London clubs, sitting in dark corners with that incredible moustache of his.
Last time I saw him was in the Bag Of Nails club—visited by ERIC BURDON, GEORGIE FAME, THE WHO, as well as newcomers like JIMI HENDRIX—wearing a hat that made him look like a 30’s gangster! Hard to remember what came first in London in connection with the moustache craze. Was it the Beatles who grew theirs and set the trend, or was it for once in their lives the Beatles who followed a trend already exsisting [sic]? Whatever, fungus is springing up all over the place—droopy moustaches, thin moustaches, fat moustaches. JOHN LENNON looks like the first world war soldier he is playing in his first solo film, RINGO still looks like Ringo despite more hair, GEORGE HARRISON looks like Rasputin the Mad Monk, and Paul looks like a Mexican bandit! (See page 34.)
They seem much happier now on their own scenes, and have been able to collect about them their own group of friends. For instance, at a session for a track on their new LP, they were using an orchestra for the first time (41 pieces that is). They decided to film the session for inclusion in a TV show they are planning, so invited their friends along to participate. They went mad running around with cameras filming anything they felt like. Seven cameras were on hand for anyone to use when they wanted to. Paul conducted the orchestra. Gathered together for this occasion were CYN LENNON, PATTI BOYD, DONOVAN, MARIANNE FAITHFUL, MICK JAGGER, MIKE MONKEE NESMITH and his wife.
Talking about Mick and Marianne, they are setting tongues wagging and getting a lot of people wondering exactly what’s going on. Like I told you a couple of months ago, Marianne and her husband JOHN DUNBAR split up and Marianne moved out with baby.
She made a new record and was seen around looking more beautiful than ever in strange trouser suits worn with flowered shirts and big ties. Then she went to San Remo in Italy for the song festival, and before anybody knew anything, was phoning Mr. Mick Jagger in London begging for his company in Italy where she was apparently very lonely.
No sooner the word than the deed. Mick flew out, took her away on a boat and the two have been around together ever since.
They are having a fine time hiding from the press. Recently SONNY and CHER were over and gave a dinner party to which they had invited the couple—until they realized half the press would be there.
“Oh,” said Cher with sudden realization. “THEY won’t turn up now. “ And they didn’t.
Mick’s romance with CHRISSIE SHRIMPTON split after three years. Since then, she’s been seen around a lot with STEVIE MARIOTT, lead singer with the SMALL FACES. The Small Faces write songs for CHRIS FARLOWE whose records are produced by Mick Jagger. And they also go to the Stones’ recording sessions. Quite a mix up.
P.J. Proby is back. He was actually welcomed with open arms by a scene rather empty of eccentric characters. It had been very quiet around London in his absence. For a couple of days at least he seemed a changed character with his hair cut short and a fairly calm exterior. That was until he said “Who knows what PJ will do,” and made a few rousing statements like: “The scene’s changed in Britain. Now I’ll just listen to what’s up and coming and then copy it.”
Really, will PJ ever change?
The WHO are a group who seem to know what direction they’re moving in. When they first came on the scene it was with a huge bang, and an act which consisted mainly of smashing up guitars and stage equipment, and being extremely rude to everyone. They crashed their way through life to success via a very Mod audience. They identified with that audience who loved and adored them, and they left every one else breathless with indignation. That was a year ago. Today PETE TOWNSEND, their gaunt-faced song writer, is turning into one of the really big British musical names.
After completing a small pop revolution by bringing opera and pop together, calling it a mini-opera and putting the completed five minute idea onto their LP, A Quick One, Pete then decided to enlarge on the idea. Now he tells me he is working on a full scale opera which the Who might do, depending on what it’s like when it’s finished.
“It tells the story of a man who leaves home after his wife dies, and gets caught up in all the tragedies and dramas that life can present. In the end he gets killed because he gets involved in a war,” Pete told me. Since the opera will consist of 25 separate acts, things aren’t going to be quite as simple as all THAT!
SPENCER DAVIS and his wife PAULINE celebrate four years of marriage this year. Pauline’s one of the really long suffering, stoical pop wives. She never complains, always has a slow calm shy smile, always has a friendly word for anyone—no matter what time Spence may bring them home. They have two lovely little girls and seemed to have worked out how to conduct a happy marriage within the limits of pop.
On the subject of marriages, Lynn Pitney won a lot of hearts on her recent London visit. A very new bride of that young tycoon, she seemed very steady, not at all overwhelmed by the person she had hooked, not at all worried, and very sure that things were going to work out fine.
“After all I’ve known Gene for seven years and he hasn’t changed much,” Lynn told me in her London hotel room. “He’s just got a bit greyer round the hair be he’s still pretty much the same person. I think it’s time he got married anyway.”
Freckle faced Mrs. Pitney, as I said, is pretty sensible.
ENGELBERT HUMPERDINK isn’t the sort of name to send shivers of delight up your spine. More like a giggle and a fleeting thought of Pluto and Mickey Mouse. But Humperdink is the latest thing in British heart-throb ballad singers!
With a style close to ANDY WILLIAMS’, his real name is GERRY DORSEY. He changed it to Humperdink when he was re-launched onto the market after slogging away as a singer for five years with no success.
Obviously the time is right for Humperdink is now tremendously successful with his dark good looks and relaxed manner. A lot of people are comparing him to TOM JONES—especially his stage act. Whilst there’s a vague similarity and Humperdink’s manager is also Tom’s, I can’t see the tie-up myself. Tom is a far more aggressive and sexy singer.
The CAT STEVENS saga goes on. After only a few highly successful months on the scene, he walked away recently with the top vote as the most promising newcomer of the year in a poll conducted by a top British pop paper.
Cat is naturally knocked out by the whole thing. He is writing songs like a lunatic, his latest efforts being recorded by PAUL and BARRY RYAN and DAVID GARRICK. And a long list of famous artists waiting for each new song with bated breath. A Cat song certainly seems to have magic about it.
He is bound your way pretty soon and is fixing deals in New York with his new song writing company. Watch out for his work as well as his records. He’s a big talent.
To end with a note on DONOVAN. He is STILL saying everything is “beautiful.”