January 20, 2010

A brief involvement with the Third Ear Band. Memories of Rod Goodway.

This memory comes from Rod Goodway Web site (http://www.achingcellar.co.uk/pages/index.html), English underground guitarist (Magic Muscle), and is referred to Spring-Summer 1977.
I contacted him in September 2005 just to inform him Glen Sweeney had passed away...

"Thank you so much, Luca, for getting in touch. I'm afraid I had no idea that Glen (and even dear Paul) was dead. How sad. But I'm very grateful to you for passing on this news to me. I was put in touch with Glen and the Third Ear Band (back in 1977) by my friend Simon House... who also used to be in the band of course. 
As I have said on the Family Tree section of my Web site, I was in no fit state back then to be working so soon after a marriage break-up and severe health problems, but Glen and the rest of the band was very kind with me... and we made some great music together, even though we never got past the rehearsal stage. Glen had some tapes at the time, but I guess they got lost or wiped. I played guitar and sang, and the rest of the band improvised around what I was doing. Very much stream-of-consciousness stuff... but it sounded wild, weird and wonderful...
Thanks again for your time, Luca. 
Peace, Love & Music,

In his Web site, infact, you can read this memory of it:
"I ended up getting a call from Glen Sweeney. Now my whole attitude was kind of punk at that time but the thought of joining a reformed Third Ear Band was bizarre to say the least. So bizarre, what with my marriage cracking up and all, that I thought "great, I'll go along with it".
So in the spring of 1977 I started to go to London, go down to Shepherd's Bush and rehearse with The Third Ear Band once a week to start with. Every Saturday we'd go and rehearse and there were tapes; we recorded them ourselves, they weren't studio tapes but they were well recorded Glen Sweeney apparently played one of these tapes to Pete Drummond the Radio One DJ and he wanted us to do an "In Concert" immediately, for the BBC. I've got a piece here that says "whilst still at rehearsal stages, members have come and gone, but with only the problem of finding a bass player left, the remaining lineup was settled down finally to Glen Sweeney (percussion), Paul Minns (oboe), Mick Carter (guitar and violin) and ex-Magic Muscle guitarist/vocalist Rod Goodway. Musically things have changed dramatically. The extensive use of stringed instruments has been replaced by more inventive use of conventional rock instrumentation. The new material also lends a more attacking quality (“a type of medieval rock'n'roll” is what Glen Sweeney calls it) - a sharp contrast with the calm floating sound of yore. "I thought it was quite good because it had a lot of eastern tinges to it and that kind of is my dream, eastern-flavoured rock or mantra rock That was definitely what The Third Ear Band were into doing in 1977.
Sadly, and I take the full responsibility, my marriage breakup had caused more of an impact than I'd thought and my liver (you know, with the previous problem I'd had) couldn't take the drinking and stuff that I was involved in, and I had a liver failure. So I'm afraid - what with the liver and a mini nervous breakdown - I couldn't continue with The Third Ear Band and wrote many letters to Glen Sweeney and had many kind letters back. We parted amicably but sadly;
I'd work with the guy again any day. Great guy".
The paper cut Rod is talking about is a short piece of "New Musical Express" written by David Illic and edited on June 25th, 1977 - one of the few available about that period. 
After that, TEB failure will lead Sweeney and Carter to form a new pop band, The Hydrogen Jukebox, recording the album "Apocaliptic Anthems", years later published by Materiali Sonori as "Prophecies"...

(Rod Goodway photos taken from "Psychotropic Zone" at http://www.unimeri.com/PsychotropicZone/interview_015.en.php where you can read a very interesting interview with him)

no©2010 Luca Ferrari

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