Artists: Pink Fairies

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Naked Radio
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Strange Fruit #192

Strange Fruit is a unique two-hour radio show exploring the world of underground, strange and generally neglected music. All shows are themed and all shows set out to give the most hardened of sound-hounds some new delight to sample. The show is also unique in providing homework for undergraduate students on North West Kent College’s Foundation Degree in Professional Writing (who dig up many of the odd facts featured in the links between tracks). The show is broadcast on Miskin Radio every Sunday from 10-00-midnight.

Every other week the show is now presented by Jeremy Smith and as the two promotional pictures that he sent consisted as one of him covered in mud and the other of him covered in guinea pigs he is obviously mad as a bagful of cheese, which means he will fit in here just fine!

 He writes: I’ve been a huge music fan ever since my parents bought me a transistor radio and I would listen to the sixties pirate music stations at nights under the covers. This love of live music has stayed with me to this day and I still love standing in a small club like the Borderline in London with some mates and watching a band with a pint in my hand. With the Strange Fruit radio show, I want to continue the trend of doing themed shows and playing the music I love

Strange Fruit 192 – Up the Pinks!

The great new Pink Fairies album and songs from artists that remind me of trippy days. 

Featured Album:  Pink Fairies: Naked Radio

Tracks: 

1  Hawkwind: Kings of Speed

2  Shagrat: Amanda

3  Microdot Gnome: Low Flying Bird

4  Pink Fairies: Golden Bud

5  Pink Fairies: Mick

6  Man: C'Mon

7  Mick Farren: Broken Statue

8  Quicksilver Messenger Service: Mona

9  Eno: Baby's on Fire

10  Sumerian Kyngs: Byrdman Wypers

11  Gong: The Pot Head Pixies

12  Spirit: When I Touch You

13  The Legendary Pink Dots: Mirror Mirror

14  Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come: Water

15  MC5: Teenage Lust

16  Mighty Baby: A Jug of Love

17  Microdot Gnome: Julian Hades

18  Pink Fairies: Runnin' Outa Road

19  Pink Fairies: Deal Deal

20  Nektar: Do You Believe in Magic?

21  Amon Duul II: Restless Skylight-Transistor-Child


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Latest news

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Gonzo Weekly #173
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Gonzo Weekly #229
Part Two of Jeremy’s EXCLUSIVE interview with Larry Wallis, Alan has arty hijinx in Lithuania, John looks forward to Record Store Day and other stuff, Richard profiles Warren Haynes, and Jon is wary of peculiar children... Groovy huh? It’s all free! Read More

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Pink Fairies Biography

Pink Fairies were an English band active in the London Ladbroke Grove underground and psychedelic scene of the early 1970s. They promoted free music, drug-taking and anarchy, and often performed impromptu gigs and other agitprop stunts, such as playing for free outside the gates at the Bath and Isle of Wight pop festivals in 1970, as well as appearing at Phun City, the second Glastonbury and many other free festivals including WinNndsor and Trentishoe.

The group was formed after the three musicians from The Deviants (Paul Rudolph, guitar and vocals, Duncan Sanderson, bass and Russell Hunter, born Barry Russell Hunter, drums), sacked their singer and leader Mick Farren during a disastrous tour of the West Coast of the United States. Prior to the tour these musicians had collaborated on the Think Pink solo album by Twink, former drummer of The Pretty Things, using the name Pink Fairies Motorcycle Club and All-Star Rock and Roll Band, taken from a story written by Deviants' manager Jamie Mandelkau. Twink (drums), Farren (vocals), Steve Peregrin Took (guitar) and Twink's girlfriend Sally 'Silver Darling' Meltzer (keyboards) hooked up in October 1969 for one shambolic gig at Manchester University, billed as The Pink Fairies, and went on to record Farren's solo album, Mona - The Carnivorous Circus. Within a few months Twink had left, followed by Farren, by which point Took had renamed the embryonic band Shagrat. In 1970 Twink recruited the remaining Deviants to a new Pink Fairies line-up. Took meanwhile continued with Shagrat as a vehicle for his own songs, and the two bands would appear as separate acts at the Phun City festival that summer.

Their music was upbeat good-time rock and roll, often jamming on The Beatles "Tomorrow Never Knows", The Ventures "Walk Don't Run", "Ghost Riders in the Sky" and other standards. Their sets climaxed with the lengthy "Uncle Harry's Last Freakout", essentially an amalgam of old Deviants riffs that included extended guitar and double drum solos. They were closely associated with the UK underground, being based in the Ladbroke Grove scene and playing festivals, benefits and free concerts. The band had strong connections with Farren's home town Worthing, playing gigs for the Worthing Workshop. These included an appearance on a float in the Worthing Rotary Club Carnival Procession and a free open-air concert in Beach House Park. Playing for in June 1970 free outside the Bath Festival, they encountered another Ladbroke Grove based band Hawkwind, who shared similar interests in music and recreational activities, a friendship developed which would lead to the two bands becoming running partners and performing as Pinkwind. Sensationalist coverage in the (Mick Farren edited) International Times olidified their rebel reputation.

Polydor Records commissioned the group to record a single, The Snake / Do It, and were happy enough with the results to offer the group an album contract. The debut album Never Never Land was released in 1971. It featured live favourites Uncle Harry's Last Freakout and Do It but curiously omitted The Snake. An appearance at 1971's Glastonbury Festival led to them being given one side of the Glastonbury Fayre various artists triple album. In July 1971 Twink left to travel to Morocco. The band continued as a three-piece occasionally augmented by former The Move bassist Trevor Burton on guitar. They released their second album What a Bunch of Sweeties in 1972, which featured some contributions from Burton. On the album's release and with a promotional tour pending Rudolph departed, going on to play on albums for Robert Calvert and Brian Eno. He would eventually replace Lemmy in Hawkwind.

Mick Wayne (born Michael Wayne, 1945, Hull, Yorkshire and died 26 June 1994, in the U.S.A.), was Rudolph's replacement, having recorded with Sanderson, Hunter and Steve Peregrin Took on sessions for Took at Olympic Studios and later on loose sessions (along with sundry other underground musicians) in Took's flat in the basement of manager Tony Secunda's office, the fruits of which were released by Cleopatra Records in 1995. Feeling that Took's exceptionally heavy drug consumption would not make him a going concern, the remaining three instead formed a new version of The Pink Fairies (much to Took's subsequent chagrin), releasing the single Well, Well, Well / Hold On, as well as doing a radio session for Radio One. However Sanderson and Hunter became unhappy with the musical direction Wayne was taking the band. They convinced Larry Wallis, who had played with UFO and later Steve Took's Shagrat, to join the group as a second guitarist. Shortly after they sacked Wayne, passing song-writing and singing duties onto Wallis. This new three piece then recorded the 1973 album Kings of Oblivion. Out of contract with Polydor, the band continued touring to a decreasing audience until finally calling it a day. Wallis went on to join Lemmy in the first incarnation of Motörhead, then became the in-house record producer for Stiff Records. Sanderson joined The Lightning Raiders. Hunter left the music business.

Ted Carroll, head of Chiswick Records, organized a one-off reunion concert at The Roundhouse on 13 July 1975 featuring all five previous major members of the group (released in 1982 as Live at the Roundhouse 1975). Following this concert, Wallis, Sanderson and Hunter decided to give the Pink Fairies another try. This line up eventually gave numerous 'farewell tours' before disbanding. After a period of inactivity they entered the burgeoning punk scene as one of the few 'hairy' bands revered by the new guard. Recruiting former Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers guitarist Martin Stone, they toured and released the single Between the Lines / Spoiling for a Fight on Stiff Records but with little interest being shown in them, they once again split up. Rudolph and Wallis resumed playing for Farren in 1977/78, releasing the EP Screwed Up as The Deviants again on Stiff, but Rudolph returned to his native Canada prior to the recording of 1978's Vampires Stole My Lunch Money and follow up single Broken Statue. In the early 1980s, Wallis and Sanderson recorded and played live, the albums Previously Unreleased (1982) and The Deviants' Human Garbage (live 1984) being released. The band went under many names including The Police Cars, The Police Sleighs, The Donut Dunkers Of Death and finally The Love Pirates Of Doom, the most settled line up being Wallis, Sanderson, drummer George Butler (ex-Lightning Raiders) and second guitarist Andy Colquhoun (ex-Warsaw Pakt & Tanz Der Youth).

In 1987 Jake Riviera, head of Demon Records, offered a recording contract for a re-formed Pink Fairies. Of the five group members, Paul Rudolph was not involved so the second guitarist position was taken up by Andy Colquhoun, who had previously played alongside Wallis in Farren's bands. This band released the album Kill 'Em and Eat 'Em and toured following a sell-out show and London's Town & Country Club before once again splitting up in 1988. After Twink's ignominious departure they had carried on until Wallis too left at which time the remaining members toured and recorded as Flying Colours. An archive live album Chinese Cowboys: Live 1987 was issued in Japan in 2005 on Captain Trip Records.

Following this period the magazine UHCK (Uncle Harry's City Kids) collaborated with the band to produce two tape releases (Silence Of The Hams & Son Of Ham) and two CDs (Son Of Ham extended version & Hogwatch) for subscribers, all featuring entirely unreleased music by members of the band in various side projects (The Deviants, Lightning Raiders, etc.), radio sessions and specially written material. In common with many 'official' Pink Fairy releases the artwork was by the late underground cartoonist Edward J Barker (I.T, Nasty Tales) famed for his Largactalites cartoons and his pig and crow caricatures. Much of the magazine was actually written by ex-band members and by longtime associate, road manager, 'wet nurse' and manager of Dingwalls, Boss Goodman, who went on to become a renowned chef, once cooking for US President Bill Clinton at the Portobello Gold.

In the mid-1990s Twink collaborated with Paul Rudolph and the pair recorded 1996's Pleasure Island and 1997's No Picture, released as the Pink Fairies on Twink's own label. Twink also issued a plethora of albums featuring outtakes, alternate versions, BBC sessions and live material including: The Golden Years 1969-1971, Do It, Live at Weeley Festival 1971 and Mandies and Mescaline Round at Uncle Harry's.

During the early 2000s Polydor remastered and released their Pink Fairies back catalogue with bonus cuts and issued the sampler albums Master Series and Up the Pinks: An Introduction.

The Kings of Oblivion line-up (Wallis, Sanderson, Hunter) were scheduled to play at one-off gig on 22 January 2007 at the Roundhouse, London and record a BBC session for Stuart Maconie's Freakzone radio programme, but activities were cancelled at the last minute due to ill-health. In 2007 the biography Keep it Together! Cosmic Boogie with the Deviants and Pink Fairies by Rich Deakin, Mick Farren's webmaster, was published by Headpress. In September 2009, the What a Bunch of Sweeties line-up (Rudolph, Sanderson, Hunter) reunited in the studio to record a new version of Do It for the various artists CD Portobello Shuffle.

In 2011 Farren & Colquhoun returned to the UK from Los Angeles after nearly 20 years exile. They teamed up with the Pink Fairies (and Deviants) rhythm section of Hunter & Sanderson - along with 2nd guitarist Tim Rundall and percussionist Jaki Windmill for a number of appearances. This line-up performed at the 'Spirit of 71' stage at the 2011 Glastonbury Festival - 40 years after the Pink Fairies previous appearance at that event - under the name Mick Farren & The Last Men Standing.

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