May 14, 2023

A 1969 letter by Michael Horovitz quoting the Third Ear Band.

In January 1969 International Time published a letter signed by Michael Horovitz, a poet and cultural agitator and editor of the underground magazine New Departures, citing the Third Ear Band and Dave Tomlin as participants in an event held the previous December 15th, 1968.

Just three days before the legendary  "A Hippy Gathering: An Alchemical Wedding" with John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Steam Hammer, Christopher Lodge and Rip Torn, in fact, Horovitz organized at All Saint's All in Powis Gardens "Brave New Departures Revisited."

This is the excerpt of the letter, taken from the issue 48 of International Time

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February 16, 2023

"Alchemy" in Padua...

A few weeks ago, while on vacation in some beautiful northern Italian cities, in Padua, I came across the window of a historic record store, GABBIA DISCHI, established in 1920. 

You can imagine my surprise to see that among the records in the window was also displayed prominently the recent vinyl edition of "Alchemy," released by Esoteric Recordings.

This was an unexpected event, also because record stores are becoming increasingly rare, unfortunately...


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January 01, 2023

The music according to Glen Sweeney in an old article from 1970.

Dear loyal listeners of the Third Ear Band, for however few of you are left, here is another archival tidbit from the distant past. 
From an April 11, 1970, issue of Disc & Music Echo, in a column devoted to musician's ideas of music, Glen Sweeney talks about his idea of music and reveals some unknown biographical anecdotes (e.g., I didn't know he had been a dishwasher for a living either).
It is interesting to note that a magazine as widespread as Disc could give the floor to an obscure protagonist of the underground of those days: in times of boorish homogenization such as the ones we are suffering, it would be as if today Mojo or Uncut gave space to  R. Stevie Moore or Eugene Chadbourne...

no©2023 LucaChinoFerrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

December 10, 2022

Steve Pank tells Glen Sweeney's fascination for the lay lines.

TEB first (road) manager Steve Pank writes here  a short piece about Glen Sweeney's fascination for the ley lines...
"Alfred Watkins (27 January 1855 – 15 April 1935) was an English author, self-taught amateur archaeologist, antiquarian and businessman. While standing on a hillside in Herefordshire, England, in 1921, Watkins experienced a revelation; he became aware that the mounds, marker stones and camps that he had been studying and photographing formed networks of straight lines across the countryside.

He saw on the British landscape arrangement of lines positioned along ancient features, like a very ancient mapping system, looking at maps for further investigation Watkins could see these alignments on maps. Further research showed that stone circles and early churches also formed part of the pattern. The mounds seemed to have been placed so that they could be used as siting beacons. Many of the lines passed through places whose names contained the syllabe ‘ley’. He subsequently coined the term ‘leys’ for them, they are now usually referred to as leylines. In 1925, Watkins published a book on the subject called "The Old Straight Track", and formed a group called The Old Straight Track Club to study them.

Glen Sweeney was fascinated by these patterns, and he saw the music of the Third Ear Band as representing the flow of the spirit over the British countryside. This was reflected in some of his titles of the band pieces, like "Stone Circle" and "Dragon lines." When John Michell published his book that dealt with ley lines and other issues called "The view over Atlantis", Glen asked for the band’s first national tour to be called "Atlantis Rising", and publicised John Michell’s book in the programme notes."
Steve Pank, November 2022
John Michell
(1933-2009) is considered a forerunner of the so-called "Astro-Archeology". During the 1960s and 2000s he wrote many books, some about ley lines and the relationships between megalithic structures (such as Stonehenge) and cosmic energy lines.
An agile guide for newcomers to these topics can be found on "A Little History Of Archeo-Astrology. Stages in the Transformation of an Eresy", printed in England in 1977, here in my Italian edition of 2008. 
on John Michell,
on Alfred Watkins

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November 16, 2022

Rare TEB recordings at Top Gear on January 1971!

Avant-garde folk musician, TEB expert and friend Sean Breadin points me to this YouTube (audio) post in which the Third Ear Band plays at BBC Radio 1 "Sunday Show" on  January 17th, 1971. 
Only three tracks ("Water", "Eternity In D" and "Druid") but of extraordinary charm and high intensity.  
Enjoy it!
 no©2022 LucaChinoFerrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

November 05, 2022

Roy Hollingworth's prediction about the great Paul Buckmaster.

"Melody Maker" columnist Roy Hollingworth had already figured it out, and in December 1970 he wrote a brief prediction of the success that the brilliant musician, composer, arranger, and producer PAUL BUCKMASTER would herald. 

By that point in his career, Paul had already worked with Third Ear Band live and in the studio, David Bowie, Elton John and Leonard Cohen, but within a few months he would be a major contributor both to the composition and realization of the TEB's "Macbeth" soundtrack, but also to that misunderstood masterpiece that is Miles Davis' "On the Corner," also released in 1972... Later, History attested that Hollingsworth's prediction was correct and today it continues to be a great regret for many friends and fans to have lost a personality of this stature. The pretext of this little archival find allows us once again to remember and celebrate him as we should.

no©2022 LucaChinoFerrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

October 25, 2022

New dates discovered of The Giant Sun Trolley live gigs?!?

During my research on the Edgar  Broughton Band for the book I'm writing, as well as some articles on the Third Ear Band I'm posting in this archive, I found references to dates of concerts by The Giant Sun Trolley

Dates unknown to this day that seems to suggest that the duo Tomlin-Sweeney (sometimes a trio with Roger Bunn), had played little and almost exclusively in London.
In fact, I have found dates of concerts in the provinces dating back to 1967, all in Coventry, where the band was introduced only as GIANT TROLLEY or GIANT TROLLY.

Asking Carolyn, Glen's missus, she doesn't remember much ("Sorry can't be positive about these memories. The only gig I can remember Dave doing with Glen which was outside London was a jazz and poetry..."); so she asked Steve Pank, former driver and manager of the band, and he replied that "GST didn't play anymore after UFO"... 

So I asked Dave Tomlin, now living in Hamspead Heath London "reasonably well although pretty old now. However, no complaints." Because I sent him a list of dates to check, he wrote quite laconically: "The list of Sun Trolley dates are fake unless some other group took over the name but I never heard of them."

At this point, any fans memory is well-accepted. 

Here is a list of documented appearances, which update the chronology on the band, taken from newspapers of the period (most of all from the Coventry Evening Telegraph):


September 23th, 1967 

Coventry, The Newlands (Flamingo Club) 

November 11th, 1967

Coventry, The Walsgrave

November 24th, 1967 

Coventry, The Walsgrave 

"Stars of Radio One!!!" 

December 10th, 1967 - Coventry, Hotel Leofric

with Jimmy Cliffe and The Shakedown Sound

December 16th, 1967 

Coventry, The Red House Hotel, Carnaby Club

December 23th, 1967

Coventry, The Walsgrave (Flamingo Club) 

"A big Christmas rave-up with THE SUN TROLLY" 

February 2nd, 1968

Coventry, The Walsgrave

"Another sensational night with THE SUN TROLLY"

February 11th, 1968 

Coventry, The Red House Hotel, New Carnaby Club


This is a rare photo Dave sent me with him (on right) and Joe Gannon (left) playing in London 1966 for  announcing the forthcoming Notting Hill Carvival in 1967. The picture is copyright Adam Ritchie and any use is under permission.
Gannon did the light-shows of the Pink Floyd in 1966 at Roundhouse.

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September 09, 2022

The Ferlaina Archive and the extraordinary discovery of unrealised TEB photos at Hyde Park! - part fourth.

This is the fourth and last part of the story... 

(first part here, second part here, part three here).


What is exceptional is that photographer Pino Callá was in the fateful "right place" at the "right time"; he could not have been aware in those days of the historical importance that event would have in the youth counterculture of the time.

"Surely he was sent by some magazine to do a story. However he was very shrewd," Ferlaina says, "because first of all there are pictures of Mick Jagger in the trailer, so that means he followed it well. He was good because he photographed everything, he photographed the Rolling Stones from every angle, but he didn't limit himself to them, as anyone else would have done. He photographed everybody there, he documented everything. He did a 187-shot shoot."

Having become the rightful owner of these photos, Ferlaina has tried to enhance the heritage by promoting exhibitions and producing a self-published catalog of the Rolling's photos in Hyde Park, but his focus in recent times has turned to selling the archive.

"What I've managed to do," he admits, "is to make a point of attention that has been vented in a few markets ... that's enough for me, I don't want to be a gallerist or a photo agency. Mine is a work of a scholar, researcher, I don't want to organize and take care of logistics.... I would like to sell the whole archive or even a part of it (e.g., the Rolling Stones shots with the Led Zeppelin collection)... I am willing to consider any interest and offers. In the meantime, though, but I would like to make a photo book with these photos, perhaps in collaboration with Ghettoraga!?"

Glen Sweeney in the backstage.

For all fans of the Third Ear Band, however, Ferlaina has already planned an event for the next year: from January 20th to February 23th, 2023 , at the archive in Milan (via Muzio Scevola, 4), there will be a photo exhibition of all the band's shots (and the King Crimson's one) in Hyde Park!

To stay up-to-date on Archivio Ferlaina initiatives, this is the website address:

Richard Coff and  girlfriend

Paul Minns, his wife Mary Haynes and son.

Paul Minns playing oboe on stage.
 no©2022 LucaChinoFerrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

August 29, 2022

In August 1969 "Beat Instrumental on "Alchemy" with a veiled irony...

In August 1969, clearly out of time, "Beat Instrumental" devoted a blurb to "Alchemy", which had come out two months earlier. It's four shrill words that echo, with veiled irony ("seeking the fifth dimension"...), the notes written by Glen on the inside cover. But at the end they recognized, goodness gracious them, that "they aren't a bad band at all."


no©2022 LucaChinoFerrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

August 23, 2022

The Ferlaina Archive and the extraordinary discovery of unrealised TEB photos at Hyde Park! - part three.

This is the third part of the story... 
(first part here, second part here).

"So I engage in the sale of photographs, especially from the 1970s - things like Living Teathre... - and art books and catalogs. At home I have particular books, for example on Conceptual Art.... which I have 'fed' on over the years, but they didn't sell much, it was almost like an exchange of stickers between enthusiasts ... but the photos, those did sell well. I used to buy them on eBay, for example, for 50-60 euros and resell them for 100, you didn't have a huge margin but it worked..."
Ferlaina during the interview.
At some point Ferlaina had the intuition to broaden the commercial discourse to music, his great passion, and began to frequent antique markets as a buyer, finding very interesting material without worrying about copyrights and agencies. One day he happened to go there early in the morning, at five o'clock, and came across a stall with boxes...

"I asked the people selling them if they would give me first refusal to see them before the others.... 'How many are you selling them for,' I asked him? 'Five euros each, but if you get some I'll make even less. I selected an initial bundle and went home in seventh heaven. I saw that the name of an agency was printed behind the photos and, not knowing anything about it, I inquired, worried about the possible legal consequences (embezzlement...). I found out that the agency no longer existed--but who was the photographer? I would have liked to involve him in some initiative, like organizing an exhibition. At that time I had organized an exhibition at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni of Novegro (Milan), on "Photography and otherness", and I had become interested in the work of an Italian stage photographer, Franco Cattarinich, a great master of technique."
Ferlaina meets the photographer and discovers that the latter, having started his own agency in 1980, has a basement full of old photos purchased from other photographers that he never marketed. Ferlaina asks to see something and makes an offer, but hesitates. He insists, peeks through the envelopes at the words "Rolling Stones London," and decides to offer a cash sum. He ticks it off. It's the beginning of a long negotiation that will lead him to acquire as many as 21 boxes of photos and negatives totaling thousands of pieces (as of today still to be cataloged).
Ferlaina Archive in Milan.
As he began to delve into what he had purchased, he came across the nearly 150 shots of the Stones' Hyde Park concert. But who is the photographer? - I asked him. "On the photo envelopes was this name, Callá," he says. "I did some research and found out that he was the director of "Colpo Grosso" ["Big Shot", a trivial broadcast of the 1970s, ed.] and "Disco Ring" [a music broadcast of the same era, ed.] Pino Callà, a RAI director who has been living in New York for years. In the late 1960s he was a freelance in London. Now he lives in Milan." 
In fact a Callà's Wikipedia page does exist here as a Facebook's one here. 
(end of part three - to be continued)

A group of Hell's Angels.    
The audience.

The Third Ear Band playing on stage.

Paul Minns with Paul Buckmaster on stage.

 no©2022 LucaChinoFerrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

August 19, 2022

Glen Sweeney and Richard Coff talk about TEB's music to "Beat Instrumental" in 1969.

Here's another little archive tidbit, this time a short article about the band in which Sweeney and Coff talk about the music. The monthly magazine 'Beat Instrumental' published it in September 1969, a few months after the release of 'Alchemy' and with the four-man line-up with Coff and Ursula Smith. Few words but interesting...

 no©2022 LucaChinoFerrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

August 14, 2022

The "underground" movement according "Disc & Music Echo" and John Peel in 1968.

On November 2nd, 1968 a five-pages article about the "underground music" edited by Hugh Nolan was published by "Disc & Music Echo" with a short profile of the Third Ear Band by legendary DJ John Peel. Title: "Underground  - not so much pop music more a way of life".

Peel writes: "Another I've not heard yet. I must rectify this as such authorities as Pete Drummond speak well of them."

A little-known fact is that Drummond was a great friend of Glen and Carolyn since the beginning, so much so that to this day he still uses to have a lunch or take a walk around London with Carolyn... 

 no©2022 LucaChinoFerrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

August 01, 2022

The Ferlaina Archive and unpublished photos of the Third Ear Band in Hyde Park 1969 free concert - part two.

Here is the second part of the extraordinary accidental discovery (read the first part here).


On 1st June I took the train and went to meet in Milan, Lambrate area. There, a stone's throw from the station, is the photographic archive where many treasures unknown to most are kept. So many photos that tell the story of 20th century Italian culture through the world of entertainment, especially live concerts and television appearances. Portraits of Italian cultural personalities such as Pasolini or Moravia, singers such as Modugno or Dalla, directors such as Fellini... mostly unpublished or rarely circulated shots (which may have appeared in a magazine or newspaper article).  

Giuseppe Ferlaina (June 1st, 2022).

Giuseppe Ferlaina himself turned out to be a character with an important story to tell, strong passions (Erik Satie), great ambitions (writing, between art and philosophy). Speaking of "Vexations", Satie's composition-paradox, he says, for example: "Even today Satie is an undefeated master, because he dilutes the music, at a certain point you don't hear it any more, entering the mechanism of compositional praxis... you don't hear it any more, he liquefies it, which with "4'33"" Cage evokes it, he only represents it. Satie doesn't make a representation... No one else succeeded in obviating the work like Satie... All the avant-garde, the happenings, Fluxus, where do they come from? They come from there, an absolute master!" 

Born in Naples in 1970, after graduating, he first moved to Milan in 1989, only to return almost immediately to Naples, working in a photography studio as a fashion assistant. In '94 he returned to Milan again and worked for a few agencies doing simple auditions, but was dissatisfied because he had an idea for more creative work and returned to Naples again, before finally moving to Milan in 1997. At that point, 'disappointed with the economic results achieved', he went to work as an agent for the prestigious Treccani publishing house; then as commercial director for Vallecchi. Marriage and the birth of two children forced him 'to put his head down' and accept a more coventional job as an employee in a cooperative. "In the meantime, I still continued to study, particularly philosophy of art... I had to, like it was medicine..."

Once this experience was over, he took up photography again and came up with the idea of the archive, opened around 2012. "I was already buying photographs, I was interested in the 1970s, in artistic research. Everything was born out of love for art, despite the fact that I had graduated without practically opening a book..."

(end of part two - to be continued)


Mick Jagger in Hyde Park, July 1969.

Jagger reading the poem for Brian Jones.

 no©2022 LucaChinoFerrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first.

July 13, 2022

Can you believe that in a photo studio in Milan I found 26 unreleased photos of the Third Ear Band?


It was a classic stroke of luck, sort of like when an occasional customer at a junk store comes across a dusty Van Gogh, hidden in a corner of the store under cheap prints and a lamp from the 1960s.
A dear friend of mine, an excellent electric guitar/bass player, in a flea market buys a portfolio of four unpublished black-and-white photos of Led Zeppelin, taken at the ill-fated but legendary Vigorelli Velodrome gig (in Milan) in 1971: all happy and proud about this find, he tells me that it was a photographer from Milan, a certain Ferlaina, who sold them to him.
He also tells me that the photographer has a Web site at 

He days: "Drop by and you will see that he has interesting things."

I go in there and am immediately heartbroken when I realize that in his archive there are over 200 shots from the legendary concert that the Rolling Stones played in Hyde Park on July 1969. A concert that unfortunately, by the naïve logics of the time, was filmed extensively only to document the commemoration the Rolling did of their founder genius Brian Jones, but no footage was devoted to the other groups involved by Blackhill Enterprises - King Crimson, Alexis Korner & the Blues Incorporated and the Third Ear Band (read more HERE). 

It doesn't take me long to call the studio and talk to Mr Ferlaina who, very kindly, explains that yes, in addition to the Rolling Stones, "there seem to be pictures of other musicians." I jump in my chair and ask him to send me some examples: after a few minutes shots of Alexis Korner, Robert Fripp, and... Of Glen Sweeney playing on stage with Richard Coff! Then shots taken backstage where Glen is hugging Carolyn Looker and Paul  Minns is with first wife Mary Haynes and Tristan, their first son!
Even of Edgar Broughton that day in the audience with Lauren Loz, his wife...

(1- to be continued)

Edgar Broughton with his wife Laurie. 

 no©2022 LucaChinoFerrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first.