After 55 years of live performing, The Pretty Things – the iconic, 1st wave, R&B cult heroes, formed by Ex Rolling Stone Dick Taylor, and singer, Phil May – will retire from electric performances at the end of this year.
Serial under-achievers, and the greatest band you never heard of, The Pretty Things have been a massive critical success and a huge influence on artists as diverse as David Bowie, Aerosmith, The Ramones, Bob Dylan, The Sex Pistols, The White Stripes, Kasabian and many, many more – who site their outrageous behaviour, incandescent stage performances and astonishing catalogue of remarkable, ground-breaking recordings as fundamental in the creation of their own work.
With a huge history of musical and cultural “firsts” at their core – the “longest hair in the world”, first ever rock and roll drugs bust, most arrests of any band, first ever “garage” single, first ever rock-opera, first U.K. band to win Rolling Stone Record of the Year, arrested for discharging a sawn off shotgun, first band to regain full control of its entire recorded catalogue and on and on… – The Pretty Things are an indelible part of the fabric of popular music and the social influence that it has created.
Still creating significant front-line records today and with such influential work as their ground-breaking masterpiece and world’s first rock opera – S. F. Sorrow – which celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year, in their back catalogue, they remain a hugely significant artistic and creative force. With no other first-wave artist but The Stones, outselling their frontline recordings today and probably no artist at all out-performing them live.
It should be compulsory for anyone with the slightest interest in popular music and the youth and social revolution of the 1960’s to see The Pretty Things before they hang up their guns at the end of this year. Their farewell show in London will feature guest appearances from significant old friends David Gilmour, Van Morrison and Bill Nighy and some new young gunslingers to make sure they go out like they came in – with all guns blazing and taking no prisoners.