White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s

White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s

Joe Boyd

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 1852424893

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The essential memoir from legendary producer who knew Dylan, Nick Drake, Pink Floyd and many more

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Charles Thompson, Jimmy Woode and Jo Jones and wait for Coleman. No one would say anything: Coleman was beyond criticism. Hours were then spent begging for seats on flights packed with autumn business travellers and we were often forced to rush straight from airport to concert hall. Coleman could walk more slowly than any man I ever met. When I shepherded him through an airport or a train station, I tried to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other as carefully as possible, never

occasionally at the audience with a shy smile, the barest hint of a desire to please. None of the others gave evidence of any such concern. They attacked the audience with volume and speed from the off. Their own songs, Motown B-sides, even ‘Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart’ were all delivered with power, turn-on-a-dime tempo changes and rich harmonies screamed in perfect pitch by four voices, two of them usually falsetto. There were no long Frisco-style jams: the intricate arrangements

man George Martin was so monumentally successful with the Beatles in EMI’s Abbey Road blinded them to the limitations of the formula. Horst was a cartoon German – vulgar, loud and monumentally pleased with himself – but I liked him: he was genuinely enthusiastic about the music and fearless in his tastes. When he heard the Floyd, he got it immediately and we proceeded to draw up a contract signing them to Polydor through my new company, Witchseason Productions. I had been stumped for a name

‘Aren’t you Joe Boyd?’ ‘Aren’t you Chris Blackwell?’ Blackwell is the only child of Blanche Pereira, heiress to a palm oil fortune and an estate on the north coast of Jamaica, just down the hill from Noël Coward’s Firefly and along from Ian Fleming’s Goldeneye. Local lore has it that she was a staunch friend of the former and a lover of the latter. When I stayed at Goldeneye in the early ’80s, my girlfriend and I were invited round for tea. As we arrived, we could see servants manicuring the

with everything that was lost and won When the day is done. The sale of Witchseason included a provision that Nick’s LPs must never be deleted, although I didn’t need to argue the point with Blackwell – he loved Nick, too. When he died, his sales were non-existent. Slowly, they began an annual increase that grew steeper year by year. Thoughtful articles by Arthur Lubow, Brian Cullman and Peter Paphides helped. In the late ’70s, his family and I started to get an occasional pilgrim from a

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