The Sunday Times 12th July 1964
'The long-hair musicians P.14'
Quite a timely despatch this one, the publication date two days before Bastille day in France 14th July- the celebration of a load of foppish long haired toffs had their bonces lopped off. The worlds current need to visit the hair salon is quite literally on everyones mind to get our locks lopped off.
Alas this is not the link- regrettably its the sad passing of another member of the sussed hall of fame namely; Phil May the bloody brilliant lead singer of the band The Pretty Things. Phil Mays voice was one of the most authentic Rhythm & Blues beat band instruments of the decade. He truly did justice to the Bo Diddley band name association and could stand toe to toe with anyone vocally. The article touches on the opinion that maybe they weren't the best looking band at the time and the band name was a nod to this. Yet painting the back of Phil's head on the cover of the UK's biggest selling Sunday paper didn't help matters, I'd like to think his portrait was to show his luscious tresses and that blokes were now (in 1964) - well, just hairy.
This Sunday Times article gives a day in the life of the long haired band from breakfast at the Gioconda cafe on Denmark Street, lunch at the Gioconda cafe, dinner at the Giocanda cafe (so chic I'm going to do that when eateries re-open) through to aperitif at a Soho pub (Vodka when the band had just been paid and beer towards the end of the week to eek out their wages) leading up to their evening London gig. Jeez Lousie that Giaconda glamour has triggered something in my belly now, the only time I've had all three meals in one venue was thanks to an avalanche started 8.30am got out 11pm it was bliss and rather chilly- The Delaunay here we come!
The cover art I was surprised to notice after all this time was fellow Brummie - pop artist Peter Philips, whom bizarrely has his birthday today 22nd May as I draft this post- 81 years young. Crikey the stars have fortuitously aligned for Phil and this Sunday Times issue, happy birthday Peter.
After the Pre Raphaelites association to Birmingham, Peter Philips is one of the best artists to come out of the second city. We gave Peter a few mentions last summer for our Anglozine 'Decima Look' collection, he's still working today and was a very smart dresser in the 1960's and so I can imagine him really digging this cover commission - he most probably had a mop mane too.
Peter Philips obviously went to art school as did Phil May and three other members of The Pretty Things for that matter- Sidcup to be precise. Phil goes on to mention how important the art school leanings and hairy camaraderie put him on the right road.
So man of the hour gets the last word:
"I don't know what I'd have done if I hadn't done this' ..............and thank god he didn't do anything but holler those R&B standards, God bless Phil and rest in peace.
Anti clock wise: Lennon, Jagger, Phil May, ITN newsreader ? (answers on a postcard please)
Cover art by Peter Phillips (dog eared) heres your close-up:
Eric's Hairdressers Denmark St a few doors up from Regent Studios that went onto become Helter Skelter books in 1995.
Phil and his fabulous babe magnet barnet.
The Dali film mentioned here is 'Un Chien Andalou' 1929 - dig that.
Right now you lot go and get your Barnet sorted tout suite + stay safe!!