September 09, 2013

A new pretty picture of the Third Ear Band emerged from the Net!

This is a new unknown photo of the Third Ear Band taken at the Isle of Wight festival on August 31th, 1969 by Karen Francis.

Differentely from the set taken by Barry Plummer (read here the interview with him at this beautiful picture (as that one already known taken by Derek Halsall) show us the stage and the band in vivid colour. 
I've got a contact with Francis, and she's been very kind to write me these memories:

"Hi Luca
What a surprise! I remember odd bits about the 1969 IOW Festival of course but not too many specifics, after all I was just 18 years old then and I'm 62 now! I do recall the impact of the whole weekend as it was so enormous in my life back then - I had hitched a lift to the docks and bought a ferry ticket, walking to the site and spent the whole three days living on doughnuts and little else.
You asked about the Third Ear Band. They did make an impression on me and that is why I took their (rather bad) photo. I was in the front 'row' of 35,000 people, a little left of centre and up against a fence in front of which was the press area and where celebs like John Lennon and Yoko Ono occasionally sat. I had a little Kodak Instamatic camera and one film (12 photos) which is why I have so few photos!

I remembered the band because they were so different - I'd not heard anything like that and, to be honest, I wasn't sure whether I liked the music or not at the time. I could pick up the fact that the origins seemed to be all over the place, a bit gypsy, a fair bit of Indian influence and very 'modern' and alternative in outlook. As a very young person who had travelled some distance to see rock bands like the Who and Moody Blues, it was rather grown up and other worldly for me I suppose. Now that I am several decades older I can see how ahead of their time this band really was - if I could whistle back in time now I would appreciate their stuff far more and indeed I do have a copy of the remastered Alchemy so you see they did make an impression :-)

I expect that you have managed to source a copy of the 1969 IOW programme for yourself but, if not, this is what the description of the band said:
"The music is the music of the Druids, released from the unconscious by the alchemical process, orgasmic in its otherness, religious in its oneness, communicating beauty and magic via abstract sound whilst playing without ego enables the musicians to reach a trance-like state, a 'high' in which the music produces itself. This is the aim of the Third ear; to act as carriers of consciousness and to play a music that being non-conscious is an organic synthesis of all musics "...each piece is as alike or unalike as blades of grass or clouds".

I had no idea what that meant, still don't :-) 

I enjoy photography but am, and always have been, an amateur. I take photos of wildlife for pleasure, that's all [check her wonderful photo blog at ].
My photo is rubbish in my opinion but feel free to use is it if you wish.

Rubbish or not, dear Francis, I'm sure this is a really precious gift for all the TEB fans around the world!

  The original page of the festival programme dedicated to the TEB.

no©2013 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)


  1. Lovely!

    (You seen the 'complete' Hyde Park on YouTube? 8.30... beginning & end!

    1. Thanks Sedayne, but I know it, it's the same version included into the Lost Broadcasts DVD. Read my old review here at where Itried to analyze the sources...
      I missed to thank you for having send to me that ridicolous Third Ear ear plugs... Mty favourite ones are that in wax...