February 05, 2010

Ten rare wonderful b/w photos of the original Third Ear Band (1968-1969) available at Repfoto agency.

Repfoto. The Rock Library is a famous agency run by photographer Robert Ellis. You can check is vaste catalogue at https://www.repfoto.com/index.php5: there are over 97.000 images of musicians and rock music events from the last 40 years (1960-2009) on this site, viewed by over 20.000 unique visitors per month.

"Repfoto evolved from the work of photographer Robert Ellis", explains the fascinating notes of the site. "He began in the late sixties working on local newspapers before turning his attention to the emerging 'Folk' scene. He used to frequent a club of a Sunday night called 'The Fuggle & Pippin' in the back room of a pub in Malvern, buried in the English midlands. All traditional english songs, fingers in ears and curious instruments. The club joined a regional booking circuit for itinerant and visiting folk singers. Soon, top flight singers and bands were turning up and they, in turn, were regaling the audience with stories of other singers, places and happenings. A large contingent of club members pitched up at the 2nd Cambridge Folk Festival in 1968 on these recommendations. Naturally Robert took his camera. Here he met Karl Dallas, the senior folk writer for leading UK music paper Melody Maker. The next week saw Robert's pictures (of Tom Paxton!) in his column. In the late sixties, the electric version of folk music was just taking hold of the folk scene, but the new heavy rock band sound was sweeping all before it.

"Robert made a 'pilgrimage' to London's Royal Albert Hall to witness 'Tommy' by the Who (just turned up with his camera at the stage door!) This sealed the direction his photography was to take. Within two years, the MM's rival, the New Musical Express, decided to abandon its 'American Pop' policy, hired a new editor - Nick Logan - and embraced the 'English Rock Revolution'. Robert moved to London in 1971 and worked for the NME for the next four years. Then, a friend, colleague and inspiration, Barrie Wentzell, quit the MM and recommended Robert to replace him. Coinciding with that event, the apathy of NME to the major rock bands of the day was alienating Robert, who by then was heavily in demand as a touring photographer by those very same bands, (eg ELP, Genesis, Wings, Status Quo). He accepted the MM's offer but his tenure did not last long as he was seldom available for the work MM wanted. By the early eighties, other photographers were asking if he could place their photographs in the magazines he was by this time supplying, worldwide. Repfoto was born. To be continued".

With £ 9.99 payment you can watch for a month all the shots and decide to buy them (one old photo A4 size is about £ 100).

There are 10 TEB photos in the catalogue, from 1968 (line-up with Ben Cartland) to 1969 (line-up with Ursula Smith).
Here is a sampler of them, taken from different venues:

The band on the stage (L-R: Cartalnd, Coff, Sweeney, Minns) for a Harvest Records showcase at The London Roundhouse on August 1968  (©REPFOTO-Robert Ellis).

The band (same line-up) is playing here at the Fringe Festival in Camden on May 1969 (©REPFOTO-Robert Ellis).

A nice portrait of Glen Sweeney on stage at the Isle of Wight Festival on August 1969 (©REPFOTO-Robert Ellis).

no©2010 Luca Ferrari

1 comment:

  1. Cool, I'll sign up to see all the pictures. I read that the TEs memebers were stoned at the Isle of Wight festival and this photo of Glen seems to confirm it :-)
    It looks like TEB is mentioned on this Italian book about British folk-rock: http://www.musicalnews.com/articolo.php?codice=17929&sz=3