July 02, 2015

The Mike Taylor biography written by Luca Ferrari now available on Amazon.co.uk

The Mike Taylor biography, written by Luca Ferrari and edited by English Gonzo Multimedia, is available at Amazon.co.uk at the page 

Here's the front and back cover of the book:

Inside the book, memories of Dave Tomlin (who played with Mike and  shared with him a flat in Kew) and Steve Pank about Taylor and the London underground scene with some references to the Giant Sun Trolley and the Third Ear Band.

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)     

June 14, 2015

"Paul Minns ruled the nature and shape of the Third Ear Band...". Interview with MARY HAYES, Paul Minns' former wife! (part one)

After many years one believes to know almost everything about a certain thing, but surprises are fatally behind the corner... 
On March 3rd, 2014 Mrs Mary Hayes wrote me an unexpected letter through my personal e-mail (read it at http://ghettoraga.blogspot.it/2015/04/good-chances-to-have-soon-interview.html).
So after some months we arranged a multi-parts story about Paul, her and his family, a way for investigating the true origins of the TEB from a different point of view...

"In 1967, I first met Paul when I was living in Oxford Garden W11. Paul lived close by in Elgin Road, W 11. Both addresses are in Ladbroke Grove - known as part of the Grove.
Historically and educationally, Paul's life was different in regards to his earlier Senior school years at the London's City School for Boys, on the river Thames - probably as a Chorister scholar and was a student of the oboe and piano.

Paul's experience of musical life started as a member for the British Youth Orchestra as an oboist player - and work wise, he became a book typographically designer. Paul, therefore, had two careers, one as a musician, and two, a career as a book designer, both areas he was a brilliant artist. Paul was not affected by musical tastes, he was a natural with his interest in playing the oboe, and obsessed with the oboe sounding beautiful in musical overtones, and would constantly practice getting the reed and oboe right in tone and expression.

Paul and Mary after  married with friends

At this period, the Third Ear Band was in its babyhood, created by Glen Sweeney, drummer, and Paul Minns, oboist.
Glen Sweeney's method was tinkering with musical articulation - osculating with musical rhythms - Drum rhythms, jazz orientated. For Glen Sweeney, the meeting with Paul was visually, a dream come true.

Paul Minns playing the oboe became intermingled with a vision of Asian and Indian harmonies matched by musical and classical overtones. Musically, Paul's playing of the oboe became imbued by hauntingly melancholic sounds by escalating expression in nature and harmonies in mysticism.

A very young Paul Minns (courtesy of Mary Haynes)

Both good - for Paul Minns was the first musical debut for the Third Ear Band. Paul Minns playing became a masterly use of the 'oboe' and its mysticism. Both bad, because Glen wanted glory in his own articulate mould - as a success story. Glen Sweeney pushed the group - and Paul Minns, by playing the oboe - ruled the nature and shape of the Third Ear Band from 1966 -1989, which in essence would have been forever expanded musically".

(end of part one - to be continued)

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)    

June 06, 2015

"New Forecasts from the Third Ear Almanac" CD out on July 6th, 2015!

The second brand new TEB's CD titled "New Forecasts from the Third Ear Alamanc", edited by Rob Ayling and Luca Ferrari, will be out on July 6th, 2015 at £ 9.99.
Gonzo Multimedia's boss Rob Ayling announces it in the Web site at http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/product_details/15841/Third_Ear_Band-New_Forecasts_from_the_Third_Ear_Almanac.html
where you can do a pre-order.

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)  

June 01, 2015

"The Scene". Rab Wilkie's memories from the past (part two)...

Here's the second part of Rab's memories about "The Scene", his meeting with Glen, Carolyn, Dave Tomlin, Barry Pilcher, the experience of "Albion" magazine and some little memories about the "MacBeth" recording sessions...
The part one is at http://ghettoraga.blogspot.it/2015/05/the-scene-rab-wilkies-memories-from.html.
Pictures of this second part are taken from the original issue # 1 of "Albion" magazine (May 1968). 

"'The scene' was all about - as it still is - where the most potent and transformative forces of Art come from; how these forces are accessed and let loose upon the world to work their magic.
This is a big subject: sources of inspiration. In the past (B.C., Before Computers & the Web), books and the printed word were key, but by the middle of the 20th century the media of vinyl records & radio had become more important - almost as important as discourse, conversation and banding together, e/g for alchemical experiments. And big cities are usually the magnet and social crucible for this.. especially during a crucial stage in history. When the vibrations are really intense and cover the whole spectrum, acoustically, visually, and mentally; when they easily become scalar or prophetic. A wish-path into the future is laid out for all to see and follow - if they have (third) ears to hear and (third) eyes to see.

What were the various sources of inspiration to the band back then, and how did they work for each of its members? For me it was a flood of influences, but some details stand out.

Late summer 1967:
Glen had begun to use a tom-tom: for an AmerIndian beat.
Carolyn played cello: a touch of Western classical.
Clive had a sitar: India.
Barry, unbridled, was loud & chaotic on sax: "New Music".
Dave had played trumpet, but that was before I arrived; and the oboist had not shown up yet.
Some or all of them had played with Dave when his group
was known as the Sun Trolley

There were musicians everywhere, wandering the streets, dropping in, instruments in hand or tucked under-arm; ready for any jam or happening. (The poets made do with pad & pencil; artists preferred black india ink).


One day I dropped in on Steve and noticed a thick book lying by the window. Its author was Ramakrishna, written in India a few decades earlier. I opened it and read that the world would hit some kind of climactic enlightenment around Christmas 1967.
"Wow! That's only a few months from now," I remarked.
Steve had to turn the volume down on the latest Beatles record to hear me. ("Sergeant Pepper"). 

Steve's inspiration was William Blake, hence the name of his magazine: Albion. The cover art says it all, updating the vision and rolling it out into the future. Steve was exulted, David Loxley, an artist with Hapshash & the Coloured Coat, had completed his work for the cover. I'm not sure how much of it was Steve's own ideas, but Albion is shown in the throes of impending revelations &/or devastation. A leering Dragon bends toward a naked young female -- the White Goddess or every-maiden - lying supine and apparently asleep in a rose bush with two flying saucers hovering in the sky above them. And here and there, at the edges and within bushes, are sigils and symbols as clues for further study: Tolkien runes, the Glastonbury Zodiac, a magical seal, pentacle, and what seems to be a diagram of a human iris, used  diagnostically in iridology. The Holy Grail is central, above the main figures and below the banner title, ALBION.

The back cover is simpler: a Tarot card in the centre with one of four figures at each corner: the Four Living Beasts of Ezekiel's vision. Except that the traditonal Bull has become a rampant Unicorn. The central figure is the sky-dancer of The World, the last card in the Major Arcanum, signifying completion of the Work and cosmic conciousness.
The Angel, upper left, is the source of music. S/he is blowing a trumpet; a lyre nearby. Perhaps this is Gabriel, divine herald of realisations.
(Steve might have played a horn at one time (?) but philosophy, social action, and literature were his stronger suits, I suspect). 

These are timeless elements. The revelation and the music are still unfolding, evolving. Disclosure keeps happening, and every 'happening' is a revelation - in the 1960s sense of an unplanned, free, and spontaneous event. A jam. Beyond the Matrix. And at the best of times, Transcendental.
The way up, however, might begin with - or sometimes loop downward into - e/g "MacBeth". The movie in which a band of anonymous musicians in the balcony, a pair of legs dangling down into space, strums & drums forth a trance comment on skullduggery unfolding below.
I didn't see the movie until some years after I'd visited the band at the recording studio as they were recording the soundtrack for "MacBeth" (May 1971). I was en route to India via Spain and stopped in London for just a few days. They were busy and immersed in the process, so I didn't stay long, perhaps an hour or so. Scenes from the movie were shown on screen, and they were going through a couple of scenes, recording and re-recording each scene until they were satisfied with the take. It was a bit eery with an occasional chuckle. Dim inside and a bright day outside. Glen summoned up a Polanskyish version of Scottish ghosts. He had a darkly wry sense of humour.

The only on-stage moment I recall with the band, when I was present, was at the Covent Garden market. Other sessions were jams at somebody's flat, usually Glen's & Carolyn's. And just before meeting Glen, at Clive's place in Earl's Court. He had recently acquired a sitar. But earlier still, in Toronto, I'd played a bit of sax with Barry and listened to his jams with local musicians.

I haven't been in touch with anyone for a long time. Clive and I exchanged some emails about 15 years ago. But if anyone's interested, here I am - in Ontario. It'd be great to hear from them. The only stuff I have from that period can be found on the internet, like "Albion" (an original copy was for sale on E-Bay recently, for something like $350!)".

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)    

May 26, 2015

An old French band with vague references to the Third Ear Band's sound.

"Early 70’s, a group of musicians around Jean-François Gaël, André Chini, Philippe Gumplowicz, Pierre Buffenoir and Youval Micenmacher formed Sonorhc in 1971 near Paris. This discreet band had released only three albums in twenty years: «Purf» (LP-1972), «Outrelande» (LP-1982) et «K’an» (CD-1991). 2014, Fractal Records propose today the first official reissue of the two first albums in a beautiful remastered edition after more than forty and thirty years respectively (!); two rare albums, difficult to find and much sought after by collectors.

The musical world of Sonorhc is oriented to collective improvisation and the research of tones; they create a sound full of invention, rich technically, made by many differents instruments which incorporated judiciously elements from the rock music, free-jazz, acid-psych, concrete, ethnic and experimental making them as one of the most atypical French Underground group, and seems somewhere more closer to the German “krautrock” bands like Between, Agitation Free, Deuter, Limbus 3, Dzyan or the UK group Third Ear Band. But as the most well-known French band Magma, Sonorhc owns their original and strange logo and shows a strong collective: Jean-François Gaël studied musical composition with Michel Puig, guitar with Roger Chaput, electro-acoustic music with Pierre Schaefer at the GRM, and had composed many movie soundtracks later. Pierre Buffenoir taught guitar at the Conservatoire d’Ivry. André Chini is composer of contemporary music in Sweden. Philippe Gumplowicz is a music teacher at the University of Evry and with the percussionist Youval Micenmacher had recorded the 1978’s album “Marron Dingue” with the band Arcane V (see the Nurse With Wound list).

Jean-Francois Gael and Pierre Buffenoir
The present edition “2 albums in 1” includes the first “Purf”, a pure jewel of the genre and this one, for example, could had been easily one of the landmark album of the legendary 70’s Futura Records “son” or “impro” series and “Purf” well worth alone the purchase of this disc (!!), plus the second “Outrelande” a compilation of tracks recorded from 1973 to 1982, and with for both their original cover. To summarize these 74 minutes with Sonorhc, just 3 words as the American blog “Mutant Sounds” has wrote : “A Total Mindbomb”. THIS IS A «MUST» HAVE ! CD limited edition 300 copies."

As usual, it's difficult to say if a band (a really great band!) like Sonorhc sounds as like the Third Ear Band. Listening to their first album, published by Disques du Cavalier in 1972 (as CVR MG650), it brings me back to several different references to bands as Popul Vuh, Magma, Agitation Free... Sometimes also a Paul Minns' oboe is heard but...
Anyway you can test your personal impressions listening to the track here below and write us what you think about it:

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)  

May 21, 2015

"The Scene". Rab Wilkie's memories from the past (part one)...

After a first contact by mail, I asked Rab if he could tell something about his meeting with our Holy Band.
Even if with some wrong memories (for example, Dave Tomlin never played a trumpet or a tambourine...), this is a very interesting personal recollection of the climax lived in the end of Sixties/beginning of Seventies. A precious little contribution to the Third Ear Band's story... 

"Hi Luca,
What a pleasant surprise to hear from you! (One never knows what to expect when leaving a message on the internet). I'm not sure I can help you much more with 3rd Band info, but I'll add a few things here, just in case they're
of interest. (I'm more a writer than a talker).
I met the band around August 1967. I was age 21. And hung out with them for several months until April 1968. In May 1971, on a flying visit, I popped in to see them during a recording session for MacBeth. That's about it, as far as in-person interactions go with the main members of the band. But it was a big scene overall, with all sorts of people, artists & musicians, coming & going, and things going on.
I first made the connection to this scene in Toronto, Canada, in 1965 when I roomed in a house in the Yorkville Village area - Toronto's hip version of the East Village in Manhattan. Barry Pilcher was staying in the same house.
He had recently arrived from London where he had played sax with the Hydrogen Jukebox & Dave Tomlin, also with Glen and others. 

The following summer I lined up a job for him as a forest ranger on a fire lookout tower in northern Ontario. We each manned a tower (May-September) in the same area, about 20 miles apart; and would chat by radio-phone some evenings. (One night he was almost struck by an incoming meteorite).
That autumn he returned to London, and I flew over to visit relatives in Plymouth, Devon.

In January 1967 I moved to London and met up with Barry again. He was the only person I knew in the city at that time. But a couple of months later I decided to become a monk and spent six months in a Thai Buddhist monastic centre near Richmond. I moved back into the hub of things in mid August where I reconnected with Barry and some of his musician friends, including Glen, Carolyn, and Clive Kingsley who was playing guitar with the band. Barry played sax with them. 
This was just before they decided to call themselves the Third Ear Band, and the band itself had not quite formed. Various musicians came and went, and Barry & Clive apparently did not quite fit. Glen of course was the mainstay, with Carolyn. (Barry & Clive eventually went off to do their own things. Clive ended up in small coastal village in Cornwall; Barry got married and moved to Ireland but continued to play gigs here & there).
On one occasion I joined the Third Ear on stage at a venue in Covent Garden at a "happening". The only instrument I owned then was a bagpipe chanter, so that's what I played. The other attraction was a dance troop, Exploding Galaxy. (My main instrument was alto sax, but it was a while before I could afford even to rent one.. and then I left, returning to Toronto). 

Pilcher and Glen in 1991
So, aside from the meeting at Glen's & Carolyn's flat - which I described previously in my first message to you - where the idea of a name for the band was discussed and more or less decided, I can't say that my influence or interplay amounted to much. And with so many people & things always happening, on the periphery, I'm not surprised that to Glen & Carolyn I've become a forgotten footnote. But at the time, amidst the chaos, they helped many of us - including myself - stay focused. They were always very open and friendly, sharing their enthusiasm and experience with the scene; and
music was at the heart of it.
"The scene" of course involved much more than music, and I became more involved with the literary & mystical side of it. With crazy poets & publishers of the "Underground press". I was involved with Steve Pank and Muz Murray as they planned to start a "mystical scene magazine". The result was two different magazines, Muz with "Gandalf''s Garden" and Steve with "Albion".
I co-edited Albion with Steve, but it did not survive beyond the first issue. (I left a month before it hit the streets).
Meanwhile, poets such as Neil Oram & Harry Fainlight were roaming around Notting Hill and Westbourne Park doing poetry, Ginsberg parachuting in to dance and bop balloons at Chalk Farm, etc; and John Michell was re-writing "The View Over Atlantis" after his first manuscript had gone up in flames. (There had been a fire in his flat when he was out).
But at least we managed to publish in "Albion" John's Caxton Hall talk on Stonehenge & Flying Saucers.
John has been in a slump about the fire. When Barry and I dropped in at a friend's flat on Westbourne Park Grove one Saturday morning in November, John was there, staring into space, sitting on the floor, his back against the wall. It was chilly and the room was unheated... no shillings left for the gas meter. But he seemed not to notice even though coatless.
One of the women offered him a hot mug of tea, which he absently took with a slight nod of his head, and held tightly, warming his hands.
It was a long time before he took his first sip. The mood was morose.
Everyone seemed sluggish. Then Dave Tomlin rattled a tambourine, drums were revealed, and from my pocket I pulled out my chanter.

A moment later, the whole crew had formed a procession and were heading out the door towards Portobello Market, Dave in the lead like the Pied Piper of Hamelin. (Except I had the pipe and he was Tambourine Man).
As we were about to march into the open-air market, a horse in front of us bolted, scared by our loud Janissarian arrival. But disaster was narrowly averted as Dave rushed forward and grabbed the horses reins, calming him almost instantly. (Scientology had worked for Dave. His presence of mind was legendary).
But that wake-up incident pretty well ended our event. It was time to get on with the day and the 'happeners' scattered, going our separate ways.
Barry and I headed back towards Notting Hill Gate.
"Where's John?" I asked. "Did he come with us to the Market?"
Barry was silent, thoughtful. His eyes skewed upward as if looking for a bird in the clouds...". 

(end of part one - to be continued) 

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)   

May 15, 2015

Discogs Web site quotes Ghettoraga as the main reference for the TEB!

Just a little reason to brag for this Archive is Discogs Web site's staff has put the Ghettoraga link on the Third Ear Band record as the main source about the group (read at here). 
With ab0ut 6 millions titles (by 3.8 millions artists), Discogs (http://www.discogs.com/) is probably the best indipendent "Database and Marketplace for music on Vinyl, CD, cassette". 
An important recognition of the work made here from that December 1st, 2009...

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)  

May 09, 2015

Lost & found. News about Barry Pilcher...

Where Mr. Barry Pilcher has been all these years? Elusive character of the TEB story, just recently evokated by Rab Wilkie's memories in a interview that we'll publish here very soon, in these last years the Web has got him living alone in the isle of Inishfree (Ireland). In 2013 he came back to humans sharing a flat with his wife in Essex...
Here's two amazing articles taken from the Net that reveal that extraordinary person who is Barry, a perfect Third Ear Band's soul!

No Man Is An Island
by Cathal McNaughton
Reuters Edition U.S. May 3, 2012

For almost 20 years Barry Edgar Pilcher has lived alone on the island of Inishfree. 

He is the sole permanent inhabitant of the tiny windswept island off the coast of Co Donegal in Ireland where he writes poetry and plays music. Once a week – weather permitting – Barry, 69, makes the 15 minute boat journey to Burtonport, where he does his weekly shopping in a petrol station. He posts letters and picks up the modest provisions he will need for the week and then it’s back to his ramshackle cottage where he lives and works in a single room.

Without basic sanitation, running water or a telephone and with a leaky roof and problems with dampness, Barry’s cottage is without any modern comforts. He has a peat-burning stove to provide warmth but he has to be frugal as any fuel has to be carried back from the mainland. 

Barry spends his days corresponding by mail with other artists across the world – he is part of a mail art group whose members send each other drawings and pictures in the post. When the weather is warm he likes to ramble around the beautiful island playing his music – when I visit it’s a mild spring day and he takes me on a tour, stopping to play his saxophone on the beach. He tells me he takes inspiration from nature: “I’m playing a symphony to the shells today,” he says. His music is amazing and I am privileged to be at this exclusive concert for one.

Originally from south London, Barry moved to Inishfree in 1993 to ‘get away from the rat race.’ He bought this cottage from a member of a cult-like pagan group known locally as The Screamers, who had made Inishfree their base for several years. In his garden there is a stone circle left behind by the group who he tells me worshipped outdoors, screaming to release energy.

When he first arrived on the island there were a number of other people living there – one by one they have all left. “There is no school here for young people, no prospects, no future,” he explains. Later that day in his old fashioned kitchen Barry prepares a simple Vegan meal and surprises me by telling me he is thinking of moving back to the UK. “I miss going to gigs and visiting friends. I don’t think I’ll live here forever,” he says"."
(© 2012 Reuters- Cathal McNaughton)

"Loneliest' man's new life in suburbia"
Inishowen News
August 16th, 2013

MUSICIAN Barry Edgar Pilcher – once dubbed Ireland’s loneliest man - has put the remote Co Donegal island house he called home for 20 years on the market.
The saxophonist who was the sole permanent resident of Inishfree island off the Burtonport coast, has put his ramshackle 'Raven Cottage' up for sale. The seventy-year old artist moved back to Essex, England, five months ago and has since been adapting to his new life in suburbia.

Saxophonist Barry Pilcher enjoying his new life in Dagenham, Essex, with wife Eve.

He is also writing a book about life on the island, off Burtonport, where he devoted most of his time to composing music and writing poetry since moving there in 1993.
"Life is really good at the moment. I've been so busy I haven't had time to miss the island. When you’ve been on your own for so long, you appreciate people even more than before," he said.
"It’s really nice being with my wife and daughter after being apart for such a long time. I also like the nearby shops, the hot running water and the steady internet connection.
"After the quietness, I am fascinated by the city noises too - like the Tube in London -I sort of hear the music in it."
While many his age are winding down, it seems life is just beginning for Barry whose story of splendid isolation was picked up worldwide. He has found himself in demand as a saxophonist across Europe and recently played a number of guest gigs in Belgium and Germany.
"I was essentially putting a body of work together all the years I lived alone on Inishfree and I am now trying to put it out there. I am also writing a book about the island - a collection of poems, stories and photographs,” he added.
Barry and wife Eve (70) are now planning a private sale of their property on Inishfree. The couple, who have one daughter Alice, are on the island this week to clear out the rest of Barry's belongings. Given the stagnant market and the cottage’s rareness however, they have yet to settle on an asking price. The property, the island’s former post office, has a number of unique features including a one-acre garden leading onto the beach and a living room with a sleeping platform. It has an adjoining barn, a conservatory and several other rooms including one formerly used by islanders to cast their ballots. They also plan to sell sites on a separate nine-acre seaside plot and two-acre inland plot they own on the island which is a square-mile in size and accessible only by boat. Meanwhile, Eve admits that their living arrangement for the past two decades - where they spent only three weeks of the year together - "was definitely unique". She said Barry’s return to their rented semi in Dagenham has been "challenging on every level". "I am finally realising what a relationship really is but so far so good. It's lovely having him back," she beamed. Potential buyers can contact Barry through his Facebook page".
(©2013 Inishowen News) 

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)     

May 04, 2015

"New forecasts from the Third Ear Almanac" ready in a couple of months...

After having checked the proofs of the booklet that will be included in the second Gonzo Multimedia's CD, where I've written some things about the first Italian TEB's tours, Rob Ayling confirms the second brand new TEB's album - with a digital rendition of "New forecasts from the Third Ear Almanac" - will be ready in a couple of months.
Here's the original front and back covers:

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)   

April 30, 2015

Rab Wilkie's memory about the origin of the TEB's name.

On April 7th, 2015 Rab Wilkiea practicing astrologer for over 35 years and an anthropologist for about 20 years involved by chance with the beginning of the Third Ear Band, posted these very interesting lines about the origins of the TEB's name at the old page  http://ghettoraga.blogspot.it/2010/07/origins-and-meanings-of-third-ear-band.html

"The naming of the band was very much the result of a group-think, everyone contributing an associated thought or three, and in the end Carolyn's seal of approval probably decided it, but my recollection is of my own strong advocacy for "Third Ear", and actually first suggesting it as an option. I suspect that I'd recently read "The Third Ear" by Lobsang Rampa and tied it in, mystically, with hearing divine sounds. Later that year (1967) I helped Steve Pank edit "Albion" and wrote the article about Tibetan monks, which appears with the TEB ad". 

Little changing the sense of Carolyn's memory about it, Rab actually alludes to that very famous (a Sixties real cult book!) Lobsang Rampa's "The Third Eye", about the nature of a third mystical eye in the human mind. The complete original version of this book, first published in England in 1956, is available for free download at http://www.lobsangrampa.org/data/en/The-Third-Eye.pdf

"Published in 1956, T. Lobsang Rampa's book The Third Eye created a huge sensation", writes Dan Anon at "Tibeto-logic" Web site. "And for obvious reasons. I believe
that still today it is the all-time bestselling book about Tibet in any language. In chapter seven of the book, the young Tibetan acolyte (who would only in later Rampa books take over the body of the Englishman Cyril Hoskins), in the presence of his teacher, has a hole drilled into his forehead, through the skin, flesh and skull.

"A splinter of wood is placed there and left for some time before being removed. TLR's teacher Mingyar Dondup (which must be, in real Tibetan spelling Mi-'gyur-don-grub, a person who seems 
otherwise unknown in the annals of Tibetan history) often told him that, “with the Third Eye open, I should be able to see people as they were.” In practice, as one may read in chapter fourteen, what having an open Third Eye meant for Lobsang Rampa was to be able to read the thoughts of other people more or less directly, but also to see their true feelings and intentions (and illnesses) by viewing the colors of their astral bodies. The Third Eye has a function which might at first seem to correspond to the 'intuitional' function of Plato’s
third eye, but in fact it is entirely oriented toward the realm of human action. It has no transcending function, no ability to intuit higher transworldly metaphysical truths of any kind".

They can be clear the possible connections with the Third Ear Band's idea of a third ear able to get the inner dimension of a person...

About the controversial figure of Lobsang Rampa, you can read something at the Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Lobsang_Rampa

An official Web site of him also exists at

Soon some memories by Rab about the meeting with Glen, Carolyn and Steve Pank in London in 1967...

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)    

April 24, 2015

First of the two new Third Ear Band's CDs available for pre-order!

The first one of the two new TEB's CDs titled "Necromacers of the Drifting West" is now available for pre-order at the Gonzo Multimedia Web site at http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/product_details/15830/Third_Ear_Band-Necromancers_of_the_Drifting_West.html
It will be realised on May 25th, 2015.

Edited by Luca Ferrari, the CD includes the National Balkan Ensemble's (pre-Third Ear Band) tracks published by Standard Music Library in 1970 (at last here in a official edition!), the wonderful unrealised "Raga in D" (from the very first "Alchemy" studio session) and "Raga n. 1" (from the Februry 1971 session for the never realised "The Dragon Wakes"); and "Water", "Eternity in D" and "Druid (one)" from a BBC "Sounds of '70's" radio broadcast (February 17th, 1971)...
Well-known tracks to every serious TEB's fan, sure, but for the first time now in a great sound quality version!

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)   

April 15, 2015

Good chances to have soon an interview with Mrs Mary Hayes, Paul Minns' first wife!

Last year, on March 3rd, 2014, from the unscrutable waves of the Internet, Mrs Mary Hayes came out with this message to my personal e-mail:

Mrs Hayes in December 2011.
"Hello Dopachino.
Sometime ago, I saw your archive on the Third Ear Band. My name is Mary Hayes, and it has been on my mind for quite a few years that I should write to you in reference to Paul Minns, the oboist of the Third Ear Band. 
I am not sure if you have the full biography details of Paul Minns personal life and family, and therefore, feel I should give you a brief background. I was Paul Minns first wife, Mary Minns, we were married in 1969, and we had three children, Matthew Minns, Tristram Minns and Amber Amber Minns. 
We divorced in 1980 or thereabouts. Paul Minns later married Katherine, who is now deceased, they had no children, and therefore, Paul's children would be relevant to any biography details published in archive material or on line. I remember, at the time of coming across your archive that you were going to carry out an interview with Caroline, Glen's partner, so you may already have this information. The Third Ear Band Archive looks very good, and captures the essence of the Third Ear Bands character and music. The music was all improvised, Paul's oboe, being the central musical component of the bands musical expression. 
Mary Minns nee Mary Hayes".

It is obvious that  I was really surprised of this, because I was ignoring Paul was married with another woman before his relationship with Kathryn Ade, his wife at the time when I knew him. Whem I met him in the '80's he never told me about this, even because I was not so involved into collecting informations about private biographies...
Tristram Minns
Anyway, from that day of March 2014, I've tried to have a proper interview with her, but for some reasons nothing happened. 
Now we are still in contact and there are good chanches Ghettoraga Archive can collect another important testimony about the Band's history.

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)   

April 11, 2015

Antonello Cresti on the Third Ear Band (from his latest book).

Here's the excerpt about the Third Ear Band taken from Antonello Cresti's last book titled "Solchi Sperimentali" (with kind permission of the publisher):

"It's difficult today, after so many years, to render the Power of Spreading Out made by the Third Ear Band. The impact of their first album, and, at-large of all their music, even if a non-mass heritage, can be defined as 'erupting'; it's not important which categories one can use to value it. If with a limited view we could consider this band just as the inventor of the world music, as the union of stimula coming from different times and places, we would appoint to these artists a very considerable place in the young music's history; but watching this closer, just considering the fact  Rock world had started  in a more or less calligraphic way to watch most of all to the East, we'd discover that in the Third Ear Band there's nothing of esotheric or descriptive. So their music is pure sound  philosophy translated in action: here, their raga becomes a method for improvising, the conceptual universe is that syncretic of the more radical and educated English hippie movement. Even if integrally instrumental, TEB's music perfectly communicates a climax where interests for Eastern philosophies, pagan traditions recovered, countercultures, drugs... was welding together. It's a music of experience that the band plays in "Alchemy", where any details is functional for involving the listener in a different way to conceive the sound: Glen Sweeney & C. break the rock and folk tradition for watching to where? Surely it's not the jazz the landscape where they move, and it can be surely traced references to the contemporary music and the barbaric music, but we would hurt to the band's originality: their power was to go to the nucleus of the music communication.
Under this view, the tunes included in their first album (and even more in their second published in 1970) seem very hard to understand, but this is just an appearance because their aim is that to communicate beyond all limits of the aestethics and even the rational. From this point of view is hard to imagine a music can be more spiritual than this... Surely also the form, charaterised by an acoustic ensemble with strings, boe and percussion, and the severely circular form of compositions, or this capability to evoke dance movements in a so essential way, are traits that made the Third Ear Band music an unescapable reference for any record collection of 'Elsewhere'. But the more terrific thing about this music is the several meanings under of it.

Their first wonderful, apocalyptic album shows more caught up moments, while "Third Ear Band" is oriented to the suite with its four tunes dedicated to the natural elements. Maybe the only one "softening" is in the "MacBeth" music, composed for the Roman Polanski's movie (1972), where we can find more traditionally descriptive arrangements, reverberating medieval music with the use, even if moderate, of typical rock instruments.

One could hazard Third Ear Band's short existence was the most radical experience in the British underground: also in the period of their last reunion, happened between the end of '80's and the beginning of '90's, their music seemed to come from other depth of thought than the new age.

Glen Sweeney, this minimalist of the percussive art, passed away around ten years ago, in silence, as like he had always lived. With him we have lost one of the greatest voice of the first  British Esoteric Wave, that that was near to thinkers as John Michell and others...".

A psychedelic Antonello Cresti with his new book.

(Italian version)
"E’ difficile resocontare oggi, a distanza di tanti anni, la Potenza della operazione di “spalancamento” operata dalla Third Ear Band. L’impatto del loro primo album, e, in generale, di tutta la loro musica, per quanto patrimonio non di massa, non può non essere definito come deflagrante, quali che siano le categorie che intendiamo utilizzare per compierne una valutazione; se, in maniera riduzionistica, ci limitassimo ad immaginare questo ensemble come inventore della world music, intesa come unione di una serie di stimoli provenienti da tempi e da spazi diverse, già affideremmo a questi artisti un posto di assoluto rilievo nella storia della musica giovane, ma a ben vedere, considerando che il mondo del rock già aveva cominciato a guardare in maniera più o meno calligrafica soprattutto ad Oriente, ci accorgeremo che nella Third Ear Band non c’è nulla che sia descrittivo, esotico. Ecco allora che la musica espressa da questa formazione è pura filosofia del suono tradotta in azione: il raga diviene un metodo di approccio per improvvisare, l’universo concettuale è quello sincretico dell’ala più colta e radicale del movimento hippie inglese. Anche se interamente strumentale la musica della Third Ear Band comunica perfettamente un clima in cui andavano saldandosi interesse per le filosofie orientali, recupero della tradizioni pagana autoctona, controcultura, droghe… E’ musica esperienziale quella di “Alchemy”, nella quale ogni dettaglio è funzionale a coinvolgere l’ascoltatore in una diverso modo di intendere la materia sonora: Glen Sweeney e compagni rompono apparentemente con la tradizione del rock e del folk per guardare dove? Non è certo il jazz il panorama sin troppo irreggimentato in cui si muovono e i riferimenti alla musica contemporanea, alla musica barbarica certamente possono esser rintracciati, ma ci sembrerebbe quasi di fare un torto alla originalità del gruppo la cui forza sta nell’arrivare intuitivamente al nucleo inscindibile della comunicazione musicale. In questo senso i brani che compongono il loro lavoro di esordio (e ancor più compiutamente quelli inseriti nell’omonimo album del 1970) appaiono difficili, ardui da comprendere, ma appunto si tratta solo di “apparenza” poiché l’intento è quello di comunicare fuori dalle gabbie dell’estetico o addirittura del razionale. Da questo punto di vista è difficile immaginare una musica che, nel suo andamento primigenio, sia più spirituale di questa… Certamente anche la forma, dall’organico in acustico suddiviso tra archi, oboe e percussioni, alla forma rigorosamente circolare delle composizioni, alla capacità di evocare movimenti di danza in maniera così essenziale, sono tutte caratteristiche che rendono la Third Ear Band un riferimento ineludibile per ogni discoteca dell’altrove, ma ciò che è ancora più terremotante è, come abbiamo detto, la lunga serie di significati che agiscono sotto la corteccia formale di questa musica.

L’esordio, bellissimo e apocalittico, predilige ancora episodi più conchiusi, mentre “Third Ear Band” guarda alla suite, con quattro brani dedicati agli elementi naturali. Unico “ammorbidimento”, forse, nelle musiche per il “Macbeth” filmico di Polanski (1972), in cui vengono accolti elementi di arrangiamento più tradizionalmente descrittivi, dal richiamo alla musica medievale, all’utilizzo, per quanto discreto, di strumenti cari al rock.

Verrebbe da azzardare che nella loro breve parabola la Third Ear Band è stata l’operazione più radicale emersa dall’underground britannico: anche al tempo della loro reunion, avvenuta tra la fine degli anni ottanta e i primi anni novanta, la loro arte, in piena epoca new age, sembravano provenire da altre profondità di pensiero.

Glen Sweeney, questo minimalista dell’arte percussiva, ci ha lasciati circa dieci anni fa, in silenzio, come sempre aveva vissuto. Con lui se ne è andata una delle grandi voci della prima ondata della Britannia Esoterica, quella affine a pensatori come John Michell e altri…".
(Riprodotto per gentile concessione dell'editore. Tutti i diritti riservati) 

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)