Rod had run into Andy Rickell he had been playing with White Rabbit for
quite a while. Andy had just got back from touring Italy & France
with Linda Lewis on vocals, Pete Pavli on
bass, Mick Aron on organ & Ron Berg on drums. Rod started doing the
occasional gig with them which became more frequent with time.
on stage is a delegate of the Exploding Galaxy commune in Balls Pond Road,
poet Michael Chapman, a six foot six giant with a shock of orange thatch
perched askew upon which sits an upturned waste paper basket, who performs a
"A Fly", consisting solely of the letter
“Z”. Next is a mime turn of inconsequence, who is obliged to
act prematurely though reluctantly, consistent upon the firm
resistance of the audience to the same, as well as the matter of their
improvised participation in it with the added prop of a case of bruised and
abandoned tomatoes (this man
went by the name of David Bowie. I wonder what happened to him, L.). He in
turn is followed by a solid if not extraordinary combo called The White
Rabbit, who play in a sub-Doors and Jefferson Airplane style, and do anthems
like "Somebody to Love", "Crystal Ship”
and "Morning Dew". The Crazy World of Arthur Brown throngs the
gathering like a banquet of lusty lords. King Arthur wears clown whiteface
and long wizard robes. He hangs bony and gaunt, pumping his
arms in a cyclic movement, suddenly springing to one side and hopping
back to the other in frenzied dance, wide-eyed and weird, while organist
Vincent Crane, lank hay-coloured hair whipping his chest, attempts to ride a
wall of sound and drummer Carl Palmer does his best to keep up with it
article is signed Penny Reel, and I wonder what the author was on at the
time of writing it, but then again it seems to have been quite a night at
We supported Captain Beefheart
at Middle Earth and he came up to us afterwards and said how much he'd
enjoyed our set. The bass player in White Rabbit was Pete Pavli (immediately
after, he went on to join High Tide) who never wore shoes in those days,
ever. And Captain Beefheart
looked down at Pete Pavli's feet and said: "Look you'll catch
something; you'll hurt yourself you really should buy some shoes. " And
Pete said. "I can't afford any shoes, I’m
too poor, and anyway, if I have any money it has to go on other
things”. And the good Captain
said: "Look here's some money" and gave him a five pound note (remember,
a decent hotel room in Bloomsbury was only about £ 2.50 then, L), "Go on and buy yourself a pair of shoes; now promise me you won't
spend it on dope, buy yourself a pair of
shoes before you catch something" Amazing, what an amazingly
wonderful man, you know!
Did he buy the shoes?
No, he spent it on dope (loud
laughter). Not naughty dope, really, just some smoke. But yes, I'm afraid he didn't really
keep his word. But the good
Captain is a wonderful man; I met him twice and I've always been a fan.
Having originally been inspired by Howling Wolf myself as a blues singer,
and then the Captain, the similarities in their voices sometimes find their
inflections into my own voice, and I don't mind admitting that one bit. It
was because of the Captain’s influence that Android Funnel got back in
touch with me after the JP. Sunshine recording scene had fizzled out and
after White Rabbit had split up. Because you see, the recording scene (J P.
Sunshine) was running concurrently with The Artwoods and White Rabbit. Artwoods and White Rabbit was earning the money to give us the time and the
equipment to go around and make JP. Sunshine music.
That was around '68?
RR Which was in '68, and the whole thing sort of broke up in '69, all of it.
White Rabbit Linda Lewis went on to Ferris Wheel, Ron Berg went to
Blodwyn Pig, Mike Aron supposedly joined Pete Brown's Poetry And Blues
Band, Paul Pavli went to High Tide, Andy Rickell went down to Puddletown to
work with Arthur Brown.