Cet article de David Griffiths est paru dans le numéro 227 de l’hebdomadaire britannique Record Mirror, daté du 17 juillet 1965. Dick Taylor et Phil May doivent évidemment répondre aux habituelles questions capillaires, mais ils ont aussi l’occasion d’évoquer leurs projets d’avenir, comme propriétaires d’une boutique de prêt-à-porter pour femmes à Londres ou d’un bar à Tanger… On retiendra ces paroles prophétiques de Phil : « Quand je me suis lancé dans le show-business, c’est parce que je ne voulais pas d’un job dans la demi-mesure. Je voulais soit un succès énorme, soit un échec abject. »


PRETTY Thing Dick Taylor was gazing out of the window of his flat in Kensington, London, recently when a group of girls happened to look up at him. They held a quick conference, then asked: “Are you Dick Taylor?”

Not wishing to have his daydreaming interrupted, Dick replied: “Who’s Dick Taylor?”

At which, one of the girls said: “See, I told you it wasn’t!” And they departed peacefully.

“It was an unusual thing to happen in London,” Dick told me. “There are so many people walking around with long hair and strange clothes that an entertainer isn’t likely to attract much attention. But when we’re out of town it all begins to happen.

For the bearded Dick conspicuousness is not much of a problem. But for the most arresting Pretty Thing, Phil May, it is hard for him to find a single moment away from home when he is not the object of curious stares. For Phil has probably got quite the longest hair of any “name” performer—now that his Screamin’ Lordship, David Sutch, has had a haircut or two.

I asked Phil, who’s 20, if he thought he’d have to change as he got older so that, if he stayed in the business, he’d dress as soberly as—for example—Tony Bennett and Andy Williams by the time he’s their age.

“The thought has crossed my mind. But I think the business has been getting steadily more and more way out. Today it’s possible for young people to start living a freer, swinging life much earlier than ever before, and they can carry on doing it much longer as well. It used to be that youngsters only had a very short time between leaving school and settling down, all married and looking after home and babies.

So I don’t think there’s such a driver to settle down and “look respectable” as there was.

“No, I’m not just talking about people in show business. I went into it because I didn’t want a kind of halfway job that would bring me just modest rewards. I wanted a lot of success, or to be an obscure failure.

“On the whole, The Pretty Things try to lead their own lives away from the job and I try not to worry about how well our records are doing.”

Phil did admit, however, that the fate of their latest disc, Cry To Me, does mean a lot to them because he and Dick, in particular, are trying to expand their business interests. They’ve bought a ladies’ boutique in London, are negotiating for another up North, and Phil is hoping to buy a bar in Tangier, preferably in partnership with one of his colleagues.

The way he’s going, it sounds as though he’ll end up a millionaire himself. “Well,” chuckled Phil, “that would cause a lot of cares and responsibilities—but it’s a problem I’m prepared to face up to.”

Source : WorldRadioHistory.com (PDF).