February 25, 2010

A brief interview with Dave Tomlin, Giant Sun Trolley founder.

Thanks to journalist Andy Roberts (his last book is titled "Albion Dreaming: A popular history of LSD in Britain", published in 2008 by Marshall Cavendish) I have had the opportunity to contact  Dave Tomlin, founder with Sweeney of Giant Sun Trolley and guest musician in some other TEB recordings (“Lark Rise”, on “Alchemy”, composed by him, and “The Magus” album…). 
Even if concise, Tomlin explains here some obscure things about his experience with Sweeney and the TEB...

When/where/how you met Glen in the Sixties? What you was doing in that period? 
"I met Glen at the London Free School where I was teaching music in 1966. Up until that point I was saxophonist playing modern jazz with The Mike Taylor Quartet having just recorded the LP 'Pendulum' which had just been released [Released in 1965, this very rare record it's been re-released on CD in 2007 by Sunbeam Records. Interesting to know that Tomlin recorded in studio also with The Bob Wallis and His Storyville Jazzmen in 1959. A CD, realised in 2007, is now available...]".
Who had the idea of Giant Sun Trolley? Which's the meaning of the band name? 
"The Sun Trolley takes its name from a poem I had written that year. It is rather naive and very hippy: 

"The Giant Sun Trolley is coming
League transversing it globally encircuits
Beneath the eversun
Where lances of pain become rays of warmth
Emanating mindwards and on
Till, reaching the epiphany of space and time
Flashes in ozonic splendour for Cosmic Man."
©1967 Dave Tomlin 

Sometimes to Glen the Giant Sun Trolley was basically a duo - you and him... but in other interviews we realize that probably was a trio, with Roger Bunn in it... Can you make us the things more clear?
"The group was composed of myself and Glen plus occasionally Dick Dadem on trombone and Roger Bunn on bass…"

Which was the project behind the Giant Sun Trolley? Glen talked about it as "a music guerrilla"...
"The group was 'free-form' so had no repertoire, and each week used different musicians to augment the group at UFO. There were no recordings. The guerrilla music was played without permission in local parks which meant we had to do a runner whenever the authorities turned up. All these details are contained in my three books "Tales from the Embassy" vol. I, II, and III [if someone is interested to buy it, please contact him through blog's editor e-mail address]. The empty Cambodian Embassy in London was squatted for fifteen years by myself and others. Glen sometimes rehearsed the Third Ear there before going to Italy. He formed this group in about 1967 when I left Sun Trolley to go travelling…". 

What do you remember about your involvement with TEB in "Alchemy" recording sessions, where you recorded "Lark Rise", a your composition? 
"I composed 'Lark Rise' on violin whilst travelling with horses and carts and came into London just as Glen was recording 'Alchemy' and did just one track before leaving". 

Do you know if some GST musical recordings (probably live) exist? 
"Sun Trolley made no recordings...". 

Did you considered Glen a friend of you? 
"Yes, Glen was a friend and I used to visit him in his last days in the hospital". 

Do you think there is a place now - in contemporary arts - for projects as GST and TEB? What are you doing now? 
“No, there is no use for anything like GTS or TEB now, everything dumbed down and too commercial. Not doing anything now except writing”. 

no©2010 Luca Ferrari

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