The Pretty Things meant a lot – farewell

Aug 2018 The Pretty Things meant a lot – farewell

THE PRETTY THINGS have announced they are retiring from electric performances at the end of the year.

All current and forthcoming dates throughout 2018 are being billed as part of a farewell tour.

Their announcement read: “I am sorry to tell you that this year will be the band’s last full year of touring. We are playing a major show at the end of the year in London, at The Roundhouse, with some major guests and we will be going out with a bang.”

This year is the band’s 55th Anniversary and the 50th Anniversary of “S. F. Sorrow”their seminal 1968 rock opera and a regular listed album in the media list of the “Top 50 and 100” Greatest albums of all time.

They had a major, high-profile, re-issue box of SF Sorrowout in July and they have their very last, new album out in the Autumn, on Snapper Records. The records will have major media profile as will the band, in this, their last year.

It will be the last chance to see this incredible, iconic, influential and seminal band.

This is their final publicity briefing:

After more than 55 years of continuous service, The Pretty Things – still featuring original members Phil May and Dick Taylor – remain a significant, challenging force in Rock ‘n’ Roll. Despite their veteran status, their contemporary relevance, undiminished energy and inspirational commitment
inspire emerging generations of new artists and young fans, while retaining their devoted, fanatical, core fan base.

Their career is a tribute to righteous, unswerving convictions, always chosen over a quick buck. It is no surprise that guitarist Dick Taylor chose to leave The Rolling Stones, which he had formed with Mick and Keith, to pursue a more raw level of energy with The Pretty Things.

And they still retain that energy, as befits one of this country’s most exciting live acts, while their recordings and song-writing maintain the same levels of inspiration and innovation that were set back in 1964, with the world’s first and best ever Garage anthem, ‘Rosalyn’.

Under-rated and often overlooked, The Pretty Things have had a seminal influence on Rock music. Their diverse and unexpected history has spawned countless imitators, many of whom have seen greater commercial success than their heroes, but The Pretty Things remain the original and the best.

Not content with being the first ever “garage” band, glowingly acknowledged by Iggy, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, and Nirvana, as a primal influence and guiding light, they created a world of rock and roll attitude (the first ever Rock ‘n’ Roll drugs bust and a lifetime ban from Australia and
New Zealand provide credentials!) and still found time to create a cult world of incredible ground-breaking music – which is as influential now as their attitude was then.

The Pretty Things were responsible for the world’s first-ever Rock Opera. Recorded in 1967 alongside The Beatles and The Pink Floyd at Abbey Road, S. F. Sorrow was the acknowledged template for The Who’s Tommy, and was, in 1998, another first, when it was recorded live at Abbey Road, with
David Gilmour on guitar, for the world’s first ever Global Broadband Netcast.

This template for the Classic Rock Opera was often copied, but never bettered. Their template for the live recording of a classic album was picked up a few years later, and the shelves are now filled with similar formats of great records -Forever Changes, Oddessey And Oracle, and many others…

Where The Pretty Things lead, it seems, the rest will follow…

Following S.F. Sorrow the band created another, incredibly significant first. They wrote and recorded the remarkable album, Parachute. Recorded at Abbey Road, it was voted Rolling Stone magazine’s first Record of The Year of the 1970s, outclassing Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, The Stones, and The Who.

More importantly, Parachute was the only Rolling Stone Record of The Year, ever awarded to Berry Gordy and Tamla Motown, who had cannily signed The Pretty Things the year before, specifically to access the emerging and influential Rock ‘n’ Roll album market.

Few realise that it took The Pretty Things to grant Berry Gordy his most valued wish…. Album credibility.

Parachute was recognised by Pink Floyd as the inspiration for Dark Side of The Moon… and the rest is history (albeit not that well known!).

In 1974, The Pretty Things were the first band to sign to Led Zeppelin’s new record label, Swansong. This association re-kindled a long-standing relationship with manager, Peter Grant, and the band’s old friends, Jimmy Page (who played with them on record in 1965), and Robert Plant. It also spawned two great albums, and gave the band their first ever US chart LP, with Silk Torpedo.

Their new profile spawned a lifelong friendship with Aerosmith’s Stephen Tyler – who acknowledges Phil May, the band’s singer, as his primal influence.

Throughout the 1980s, the band undertook the huge task of attempting to get all their recorded copyrights back from their original record companies, who had universally failed to pay them or render any accounts. They subsequently became the first of the 1960s bands in history to gain control of all their work.

And in 1995, after 10 years of court battles, they released another first – a dedicated 2-CD longbox that set the standard for all catalogue releases for the next 10 years.

The Pretty Things have remained busy, including:
* Awarded the first ever Mojo
Hero’s Award, presented by Seasick Steve and Kasabian.
* They played with Bruce Springsteen at Hyde Park (at his
* Headlined the Childline Rocks
show at the O2.

Through their entire career, The Pretty Things have written, performed, and created informed, intelligent, ground-breaking, and original music, enabled by powerful, melodic writing that has kept this incredible band alive for more than 55 years.

This should be a secret everyone knows.

End of the road:
Final Acoustic Show Ever!:
The Pretty Things,
The Cabbage Patch.
From: £14.30
Final Bow: The Pretty Things,
David Gilmour, Van Morrison
Bill Nighy
London, indigo at The O2