KEEP IT TOGETHER! (COSMIC BOOGIE WITH THE DEVIANTS AND THE PINK FAIRIES) by Rich Deakin (Headpress, 2007)
Okay, I promise not to be as jumbled-up confused as I was in my review of the NO WAVE histoire last Sunday (but sheesh, with a subject matter as frazzled as no wave rock how else could a storm trooper such as myself react anyway?), but man this bio pertaining to the late-sixties/seventies Deviants/Pink Fairies axis is the utmost in high energy jamz around! Like I said before, 2008's shaping up as a hotcha year for rockism-related reading and this particular title really fills the bill with regards to these "people's bands" who, safe to say, were way better than whatever visions of hippie nirvana that this tag would imply.
Frankly, for being part of the under-the-underground in London during those wild times tied into not only the radical press but way too many causes and ideals to keep up with, both the Devies and Fairies were thankfully able to transcend their hippie trapping and be solid bonafide punk rockers long before a good portion of the straight media began to sit up and take notice! Not too many other acts during the day (krautrock perhaps) could tackle having one foot in the psychedelic undergrounds of London/San Francisco and various hippie mewlings of an acoustic variety and the other in the urban madness of the Velvet Underground and Detroit, but these two sure did and what's best about it is that the Deviants and Fairies sure came out smelling a lot sweeter as time went by than the turgid remnants of those hippie havens ever did! Thankfully the Pink Fairies were never challenged to a softball game by ROLLING STONE or written up in their "Random Notes" section, nor would anyone conceive of such a thing to begin with! Great stories (some new to mine eyes!), great illustrations (ditto!) and while I'm at it great job from author Rich Deakin (not Lumpy's father...check spelling!) who certainly left no stone unturned in giving us the entire sordid saga behind not only Mick Farren contingent but the strange DNA that made up that entire wondrous scene that was known as the English underground.
While you're reading KEEP IT TOGETHER you might want to spin some choice Deviants/Fairies disques for the proper musical backdrop. May I suggest the recently-obtained Fairies platter LIVE AT THE ROUNDHOUSE/PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED on English Big Beat which combines not only the '75 Roundhouse farewell performance that actually kicked off a two-year revival of the band but the mid-eighties vintage 12-incher with Larry Wallis swiping the band moniker this time as well as Twink's DO IT '77 effort that once again "appropriates" the Fairies name for a get go at all that hot new wave money. The Roundhouse gig sure comes off snat for a bye-bye and best of all has that mid-seventies FM radio sound quality that makes one think this woulda been a good evening spin on your local prog outlet 'stead of whatever King Biscuit was playing that week. Wallis' PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED has more of that eighties hard-rock feel to it, not heavy metal by any stretch of the imagination (or what was being called HM at the time!) but it sure has the same sorta attitude, style and sound that popped up on many of these mid-eighties post-Detroit platters that the likes of Big Beat, Sonics and a whole number of Australian small specie labels were crankin' out like sausages. Read an early ish of my own crudzine if you wanna get a whiff of just exactly what was goin' on in those days when hard rock meant Twisted Sister and Van Halen and just about everybody didn't want to know things like Larry Wallis even existed! Twink's psychedelic punkerooing's surprisingly solid rock without any overt commercial come-ons to the prevaling motions of the day which makes it even more of a true punk icon in my book! Even the update of the PF classic "Do It" doesn't have a tinge of the commercial come on you thought it would! For those of you who are not in the know. both the book and the CD are a good intro to a musical time and place that I'm sure you'll enjoy a lot better'n anything that might be going on in the here and now!
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