Cet article de Richard Green est paru dans le numéro 253 de l’hebdomadaire britannique Record Mirror, daté du 15 janvier 1966. Les Pretty Things se seraient-ils rangés ? C’est ce que semble croire le journaliste, mais il n’en est rien, bien entendu. Même si l’incontrôlable Viv Prince ne fait plus partie du groupe, les autres n’ont pas dit adieu à leurs nuits de débauche. C’est d’ailleurs le sujet de leur dernier single, Midnight to Six Man.
Once upon a time, when Hyde Park was just a flower pot, there used to be a merry bunch of revellers living in a large house on Chester Street. People used to visit them with bottles of refreshment and the complaints were many. It came to pass, then, that the Pretty Things, still raving, had to move out.
Years passed and the Pretty Things were next seen behaving properly, quietly and not offending anyone. This being a strange phenomenon, we decided to investigate and eventually traced Dick Taylor (ex-Rolling Stones that he is) to a place of rest in Charing Cross Road.
“It’s not that we’re subdued, we just don’t make things so obvious,” said Dick. “I hardly drink at all, Viv’s gone and Phil can take it better.”
But follow me down to a hollow in Kensington of an evening and you may well find the Pretty Things having quite a go. Until the early hours, in fact. Which has, as the tale shall unfold, got a lot to do with their new single.
“We spent months trying to find something to record, but there wasn’t anything good enough about,” Dick told me. “We didn’t want to push anything out, so we waited. Then we had to go into the studio and do something, so Phil and I sat down and wrote ‘Midnight To Six Man’ in half an hour. We got the idea from all these people who you never see during the day. Then spend all their lives down clubs at night and that’s the only sort of place they ever go.”
So the record could almost be described as a self-portrait of the Pretty Things. On the surface, they’re now a changed group. Probe beneath the surface, and the old Chester Street ways are still there.
Phil May came over and plonked himself down in a chair, uttering the words: “What d’you want to know, then?”
I explained as gently as I could that I had already found out from Dick and Phil slid down in the seat a few inches, shook his mane and replied: “I’ll have a drink, then.”
Dick, who had refused all temptations such as drink during the interview, left to see the Pretty Things’ manager and I tried to elevate Phil from his gloom by asking about Viv Prince, former drummer with the group, who is now to be observed in places many and various with Freddie Lennon.
A moment of silence while a look of horror (?) crossed Phil’s face. Then he said: “Let’s just say it was group policy.”
He wouldn’t be drawn and even Brian Pendleton just smiled and commented: “We’ve got Skip Alan with us now. He used to have his own trio. He’s like a big Cuddly Dudley.”
Source : WorldRadioHistory.com (PDF).