Cet article non signé est paru dans le numéro 18 du mensuel britannique Beat Instrumental, daté d’octobre 1964. Phil May et Viv Prince s’affirment comme les porte-paroles du groupe. Ils proclament haut et fort qu’ils s’en fichent que les adultes ne les aiment pas, mais qu’ils demandent juste un peu plus de respect qu’ils n’en reçoivent de leur part. Leur deuxième single s’est fait attendre (« trop de travail, pas assez de bons morceaux » d’après Viv), mais sa sortie ne saurait tarder et Phil espère bien que ce sera un énorme carton.
The Pretty Things stand high on the list of the “most-hated” performers on the scene. And they care not one iota, jot or tittle. They’re jeered at, roared at, pointed at—even banned from pubs and restaurants.
I asked Phil May and drummer Viv Prince how they felt about it. Said Phil: “We simply don’t care. All right, people say we are copying certain other groups. We’re not. We’re US. We know people don’t like our hair, the way we behave or the way we dress. But we’ve got a big fan-club and our money has gone up a lot for one-nighters and that’s good enough for us.”
Viv added: “We are what we are. We go into a pub for a drink, into the saloon bar… and get chucked out into the public bar. So what? People stare at us—but we’ve found that when they actually talk to us, they rather like us. Hair isn’t everything—we don’t laugh at bald-heads.”
As we chatted, all eyes were on the flowing manes of Phil and Viv. The atmosphere was decidedly “fraught.” Businessmen shook carefully-barbered heads in baffled amazement. The dominant sound was “Tch, tch.” Phil and Viv talked on, unconcerned.
“See the distrust in their eyes,” said Phil quietly. “Well, we’re glad we’re not like THEM. You know, often it’s people old enough to be grandfathers who cause the most trouble. They get positively violent… and then call US hooligans. We don’t believe in creating trouble.”
“Look at the number of engagements we’ve done recently. Just about every single night. And we get booked back. The Fan-club gets bigger every day. That’s our audience. The adults? We don’t care about them. We don’t really WANT them to LIKE us. But we do want a bit more tolerance from them.”
The Pretty Things just about made the charts with “Rosalyn,” their first release. Since then, their following has grown enormously. But finding a suitable follow-up disc has been hard. “Lots of work, not enough good material,” said Viv. “And we just didn’t want to come out with a load of rubbish for the sake of having a release.”
Said Phil: “Eventually we’ll get a lot more way-out on stage. And we’ll probably work more to a folksey sort of field. But first we need a really big hit record. Must have one out for the first week in October.”
Phil and Viv settled comfortably in their chairs. “Remember Scotland?” said Phil. “Ridiculous. The bouncers in a dance hall there turned us out of a lounge while we were waiting to go on stage. Said they didn’t want any long-haired English hairies in there. Viv’s chair was kicked from under him.”
The two Pretty Things had to go off to pick up the band-coach. It was at the back of the public-house where we’d sat. They searched for the back entrance. And a batch of businessmen watched them go and shouted, simultaneously: “Oh, no, no, no, it’s UPSTAIRS to the ladies for you hairy nits.”
Viv and Phil pretended not to hear.
Source : worldradiohistory.com (PDF).