Cet article de Peter Jones est paru dans le numéro 164 de l’hebdomadaire britannique Record Mirror, daté du 2 mai 1964. Il fait partie de la série « New Names », dans laquelle Jones présente régulièrement à son lectorat de nouveaux artistes prometteurs.
C’est l’un des tout premiers, sinon le premier, profil des Pretty Things dans la presse musicale, quelques semaines après la sortie du premier disque du groupe, le 45 tours Rosalyn / Big Boss Man. On peut d’ailleurs apercevoir Viv Broughton à droite sur la photo d’illustration, quand bien même le texte indique qu’il a déjà été remplacé par Viv Prince.
Jones promet un bel avenir au groupe. Il inaugure par ailleurs une grande tradition journalistique : les fautes d’orthographe sur les noms des membres du groupe, avec un très beau « Vic Taylor » !
In London’s West End, there are a number of night clubs that deal almost exclusively with beat music—but always jazz tinged beat. These clubs usually represent the most modern tastes in British music, and British audiences.
The groups and artists that play at these clubs happen to be the most exciting and most wanted groups on the scene—and as often as not club proprietors will take in unknown beat groups, and in a matter of a couple of months these groups will be the biggest names on the scene.
Clubs like the Marquee, the Flamingo, the Hundred Club, the Scene are all part of the hip scene. And recently a new group broke into this exclusive scene via the Hundred Club. The team was called the Pretty Things.
And in less than two months, this group has built up a reputation as one of the hottest new names on the London Scene. The boys themselves are a bunch of very competent professional musicians, and on stage they work themselves up into a frenzy of excitement performing a multitude of rhythm and blues styled numbers such as “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “Reelin’ and Rockin’.” And, of course, the number that they took their name from, Bo Diddley’s “Pretty Thing.”
The Pretty Things in appearance are similar to the Rolling Stones, but at this stage the Things (as they are often called) are wilder, with rougher edges. Nevertheless it looks as if they will really go places when their disc is issued on Fontana later this month.
Line-up of the group is Phil May, harmonica and vocal, Vic Taylor, lead guitar, John Stax, harmonica and bass guitar, Brian Pendleton, rhythm guitar, and Viv Prince on drums. The group was formed about seven months ago by Vic Taylor, formerly one of the Rolling Stones. Most recent addition to the group is drummer Viv Prince, who took over from Viv Andrews. Their disc “Rosalyn” / “Big Boss Man” is one of the few examples of a disc having the same sound and atmosphere as the group in the club.
All the boys come from Kent, and they have just signed a contract worth £15,000 a year to them. And they have had offers to tour Germany and the States. They are also lined up for plugs such as “Juke Box Jury,” “Ready Steady Go,” etc., plus a TV pirate film.
Which can’t be bad, for the group that is making its reputation in the hard school.
Source : worldradiohistory.com (PDF).