Soho McNally Robinson NYC
Mar 28 2007
WWWhatsup Online Pinstand
with thanks to Soho McNally Robinson and Meryl Zegarek
Until buying his book 'White Bicycles' last year I only knew of Joe Boyd as one of the proprietors of UFO - the London venue that, back in the 60s, spawned the UK psychedelic underground - and also for his tremendous early 70s Hendrix documentary. Reading the book I discovered that he, a Jersey boy, has had a remarkable career. Particularly in the 60s he was constantly in the front line of the musical developments that radicalized my generation: tour managing Muddy Waters' european visits; running the stage upon which Dylan went Electric; producing the Pink Floyd's first record; forming Cream; running the aforementioned UFO club; establishing the entire UK folk rock genre - these are a few of his achievements. The book itself is pretty self-effacing. Joe implies that, blessed with a good set of ears, he just went along with the flow. A little more levelheaded than the talents of the day, he naturally fell to administration. Much success followed. In many cases only for the fruits to be co-opted by sharper businessmen, often inadvertently aided by Joe himself.|
The premise of the book, which we here see Joe reading from at the Soho McNally Robinson bookstore in NYC, is that the 60's started in 1956, when the arrival of Dick Clark's sanitized version of rock'n'roll created an underground consciousness which clung to its gritty roots of blues and folk for sustenance; peaked on July 1 1967, with a cathartic performance by the group Tomorrow at UFO; and petered out in 1973, as oil embargoes, inflation, etc starved out the last of it's hedonistic anarchistic lifeblood.
The first clip below is the entire reading, in which he revisits those early days of the 50's, reminisces about the Pink Floyd, describes the peaking, and then tells the tale of that famous Newport Folk Festival when Dylan broke all the rules. It's a sizable download but well worth it. I've added a couple of shorter clips for tasters: 'Interstellar inspiration' is a typical anecdote, not included in the book, about how Joe inadvertently supplied the spark for a psychedelic masterpiece. 'Revolution' tells the tale of that 'Tomorrow' show that was, in his opinion, the apex of the period, and how it gave him the book's title.
|Clicking on the images will take you to the clips on YouTube/Google. The h.264's are iPod ready. There is a DVD. The book can be purchased through Amazon UK or Amazon US. There is also a CD of related songs, mostly produced by Joe Boyd. More info: www.joeboyd.co.uk.|
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