Cet article de Peter Jones est paru dans le numéro 18 de l’hebdomadaire britannique Record Mirror, daté du 18 septembre 1964. « Les adultes nous haïssent davantage que les Stones », tout un programme ! Et pourtant, les Pretty Things restent très populaires chez les jeunes Britanniques, qui viennent en masse à leurs concerts. Peter Jones leur prédit un brillant avenir, même si leur prochain disque se fait attendre.
Like it or not, it’s a fact that some of our hit-making groups are not doing anything like the crowd-pulling they should on tour at the moments. No names, no pack-drill—but there’d be some red-faced hitsters up there in the charts if I gave some actual facts and figures.
But one biggish-name group doing nicely, thanks ever so, is the Pretty Things. They’ve made the tour once round, have been frequently invited back for more loot… and in the areas they haven’t yet visited are high on the fans’ “Group-we-want-most-to-see” ratings.
Of course, THAT name, THAT hair, THOSE clothes have helped. Because the fact is that the Pretty Things have only had one record out, “Rosalyn”… and that was a long time ago. Too long, say I. Especially when I learn, at Press time, that no follow-up is yet ready.
My point is that they could easily lose their pulling appeal if a new platter isn’t ready right away. For the Pretty Things are not exactly welcome, it seems, on television. And the goggle-box is the best way (a) to plug a disc; and (b) to keep interest going if one’s disc affairs are not exactly swinging.
I talked to drummer Viv Prince and vocalist Phil May, two amiably talkative young men who’ve packed a lot of experience into a short time. They are unmistakably “narked” about certain things.
Said Viv: “This lack of TV IS hard, but producers don’t seem to trust us, or something. WE know we’re popular right now—you can prove that by checking figures wherever we play. But the whole telly-scene is playing hard to get.” Of course, the producers’ side of it isn’t hard to understand—remember the Rolling Stones haven’t yet had a Palladium date!
Said Phil: “Our hair, our clothes—leads to trouble, you know. In pubs, we get shepherded to the public bar—or right outside if we’re unlucky. People DO hate us. Those who are aware of us in the adult classes hate us more than the Stones. In fact, there are signs that the Stones are being more accepted by the older folk.”
Said Viv: “People who actually meet and talk to us seem to like us. Others think we’re hooligans. But from the remarks and threats we get from people old enough to be our grandfathers, well… we think we know who are the troublemakers.”
Said Phil: “Our money has gone up and up. We know some of the national newspapers are gunning for us, what with those headlines about the flat and everything. But our duty is to the fans—they’re the ones who matter in our lives.”
Both Phil and Viv feel the group would go more and more way-out if the next disc is a big hit. Reason for no follow-up? Simply that they’ve been very busy and that they don’t want to record anything at all unless it is just right.
Any group who fail to conform the way the Pretty Things fail to conform is obviously in for a stormy passage. They realise that. But I know from my own inquiries that they are very much more popular than some of the big hit-makers of recent months.
And not only that—they know a darned sight more about the business than some of their knockers would have you believe. I’m predicting a big-break-through for the group even dance hall bouncers seem instinctively to mistrust and dislike. For the fans ARE the ones who count.
Source : worldradiohistory.com (PDF).