January 26, 2010

"A very precious little group at one time" by Richard Williams ("Melody Maker", June 6th, 1970) - part two.

Here's the second part of the nice article written by Richard Williams for "Melody Maker" (issue of June 6th, 1970). A rare occasion to read Glen Sweeney talking about TEB experience...
"(...) Anyway the roots of our music are jazz, pop and folk, so I don't see how anyone could find it difficult.
"At the moment, because we're working on the Continent and making decent bread, things are rather easy and the creative ability has sunk, so that we've played a few bummers lately.
"We prefer to work with no preconceived ideas: it's much more exciting that way. For instance, we're doing a concert in June at the Festival Hall with a group of French avant-garde musicians, and we'll just go on and play without thinking about what we're going to do in front.
"Anyway, I can never see the separation between the artist and the audience. To me it's all communion, entertainment, and communication - all these things can happen while you're playing, depending entirely on the audience's heads.
"By the first or second number you've discovered that the audience's heads are maybe into entertainment, which means that they've been working in a factory all day and they want to be taken out of themselves.
"But on a normal trip I think we tend to push them back into themselves, to make them more aware of what they are. However we're beginning to play a lot more rave-up things, which I suppose are entertainment.
"The ideal thing is communication, with no separation between audience and band. I admire what John Stevens is doing with SME, bringing the audience into the music, but that would be difficult for us because of the invisible environmental image we have. People come up and say 'you shoudn't do that, it's not what you do'".
Glen and the Third Ear are involved in a very quiet and honest way with the kind of mysticism which means Stonehenge and Glastonbury Tor.
"The trouble is that you can't be mystical without being called pseudo-mystical, and it's the fault of our previous education.
"I'm at Glastonbury most of the time, but we're all completely honest about it. We'll even use it honestly to make money, because the ancient Egyptians who were into it all said that you had to be rich because only then can you resist tempation.
"As long as I like it, I'll do it. And the Hare Krishna people are right... two records in the chart, and they're very honest.
"We played with the Druids sometimes. They're a bunch of fine old men, and when we played with them at the Tor there was this old chap of about 90 steaming up the hill, loooking like he was about to die. I think they're the true guardians of the mystic traditions int his country.
Talking of the Old Druids got us on the intolerance shown by the so-called 'alternative society' towards member of older generations, and Glen said: "It's all very well, but you have to find a way of feeding it back into the 'straight' society.
"I can't see the point of importing the 'Kill The Pigs' scene into Britain beacuse most of our policemen are really nice chaps - they're certainly not pigs. But I suppose it'll come, because we have to copy America.
"It's like pollution and ecology. We've been into that for ages, but if I say so now it's going to look like a hype because everybody and his brother are in to it, at the same time as they throw their Coke bottles into the river. But we've got to stay with it.
"But I really want to do is get to the straight on their own level, through the jazz thing, and get at the younger people through the underground aspects of the music. Then maybe we'll get the two to meet at some middle level".
©1970 Richard Williams-"Melody Maker"
no©2010 Luca Ferrari

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