The Dave Russell Interviews reborn ( Notting Hill Arts- 1967-72)


Hello Good People who read this blog

If you go back in time to my earlier entries you will find some interesting stories about Notting Hill in the 60s and 70s and also Anti-Media activities in the 80s , bits about the gigs before Club Dog etc….

However I have been having problems with technology and the Dave Russell interviews being repeatedly deleted .

Therefore I have re-issued part one of this interview on Youtube. It’s the first time I have ever done anything like this so don’t expect miracles!

Enjoy ! and to read onthe background to the things mentioned in this interview go back to my previous post called

Notting Hill and the Arts 1967-1972: an interview with Dave Russell – Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Gong and more…(Episode One)

This was written back in the winter of 2007 and the weather today is about the same.

here is part two of the interview for more information go to my previous post

(Episode two) Notting Hill and the Arts 1967-1972: an interview with Dave Russell -Psychedelic rock bands, Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Ralph McTell, Davy Graham, lightshows, poets, and drug-taking in a crypt

Part two

Part Three

of the interview below please see this post for more details:

(Episode Three) Notting Hill and the Arts 1967-1972: an interview with Dave Russell – Jazz, Psychedelic Rock Bands, Poetry, Frestonia, Release and Pete Brown’s Battered Ornaments

The final part

read more on

(Episode Four) Dave Russell – Notting Hill 1967-1972 The Free School, Destruction in Art Symposium, Friends/Frendz magazine and the Rural Retreat

Love and peace

Born2rant

(Episode Four) Dave Russell – Notting Hill 1967-1972 The Free School, Destruction in Art Symposium, Friends/Frendz magazine and the Rural Retreat


(Episode Four) Notting Hill 1967-1972: an interview with Dave Russell – More about the Crypt ( arts and community centre), The Free School, Destruction in Art Symposium, Friends/Frendz magazine and the Rural Retreat

*I mention “Friends magazine” but it seems that they also spelt it “Frendz magazine”. For more info on the magazine including examples of articles go to this link: http://www.ibiblio.org/mal/MO/philm/friends/

Hello good people who read this blog. After an interlude of some time finally here we are …

Here is the final part of the Dave Russell interview about the Arts and Community Centre ( the Crypt) and beyond:

The Free School
In his interview I asked Dave about the Free School which is often associated with Pink Floyd ( who played at the Crypt too) . He said it had moved about a bit and referred me to another site. So I “borrowed” this map on Tom Vague’s site ( see links to “History Talk”). Dave said that he had done lots of archiving of materials and had helped Tom with the map so I am hoping it is ok to borrow it for my site. You will see on this map the location of the Free School changes as well as some of the other important sites ( and there were more not included on this map) double-click on the image to enlarge.

mapofportobello.jpg

from http://www.portobellofilmfestival.com/talkpics/talk-vague02.html

Destruction in Art
Dave mentions the destruction in Art Symposium who encouraged the smashing up of things. Here is another reference to it from Wikipedia complete with 1966 poster.

“The Destruction in Art Symposium (DIAS) was a gathering of a diverse group of international artists, poets, and scientists to London, from 9th11th September, 1966. Included in this number were representatives of the counter-cultural underground who were there to speak on the theme of destruction in art.”dias_poster.jpg

The Honorary Committee, led by Gustav Metzger, attracted the attention of both the international media and international art community to the symposium.

Michael Moorcock, Friends magazine, and Hawkwind

I asked Dave about these in the interview .Here is a second clip of the fantastic BBC4 Hawkwind documentary which was one of my main inspirations for writing this entire blog.It reminded me of a time long gone of artistic and creative revolution in London. The clip starts with sci-fi writer Michael Moorcock talking about happenings in Notting Hill ( or Ladbroke Grove) and documents further alternative strands in the area , plus Hawkwind and drugs.

Hawkwind Documentary

Flyers and Iain Jacobs

Iain Jacobs now an established photgrapher in Spain has contributed greatly to my research. He was one of the organisers of the Arts and Community Centre. He was 19 when he first joined their ranks. He also performed in The People Band and designed some of the flyers for the centre which migrated to various venues but was mostly at The Crypt , Lancaster Road.

He has very kindly sent me a quantity of flyers to help document this in my blog. I would very much have liked to have interviewed Carlyle Reedy , orginally from the U.S. ,who was the founder and main organiser of the Arts and Community Centre Notting Hill .At present she is not available but I am sure in time I will meet her and hopefully she can help me to document more.

Thanks again to Iain Jacobs for supplying me with the following documents:(click on them to enlarge)

accnh_brochure_cover.jpg

This is the brochure cover to the A.C.C.N.H.

accnh_brochure_inside.jpg Inside of Brochure

accnh_poster_01.jpg

The Continuous Music Ensemble poster

crypt_poster_01cardewamm.jpg

Cornelius Cardew Poster

crypt_poster_05third-ear-band-etc.jpg

The Third Ear Band

Some General Posters for the Arts and Community Centre Notting Hill:

crypt_poster_02general.jpgcrypt_poster_06.jpg

Poster for the Exploding Galaxy

crypt_poster_08cartoon.jpg

more info on The Exploding Galaxy
I found this on the “disinformation” website in relation to Genesis P-Orridge:
This would be around 1969

“After a near-death experience left him determined to follow his notion of becoming a beatnik writer, the young P-Orridge’s instinct for finding other “genetic terrorists” like himself led him to the psycho-therapeutic bootcamp of the Exploding Galaxy/Transmedia commune (which also included filmmaker Derek Jarman). Members were required to sleep in a different location every night, to take meals at different times during the day, and to act out assigned roles and attitudes, often in costume and with unerring earnestness, going so far as to have atypical sexual encounters (in character!) or risk getting badly beaten up if a situation warranted it.

The commune’s anarchistic spirit and insistence on life as art and art as life inspired the performance art events of COUM (pronounced “coom”) Transmissions. Staged primarily by P-Orridge and part time pin-up model Cosey Fanni Tutti (born Christine Carol Newby, 1951), COUM’s outrageous “happenings” were parallel to the work of Viennese Actionist Otto Muehl and Hermann Nitsch’s Orgies Mysteries Theater. COUM’s shamanic improvisations involving enemas, blood, roses, wire, feathers, sexual intercourse, milk, urine, licking up vomit, crucifixion, maggots and self-mutilation were often not conceptualized until the very moment of the performances, if at all. “Quoted from http://www.disinfo.com/archive/pages/article/id1246/pg1/index.html

It all sounds like an average Saturday night out to me! ( my attempt at humour) I don’t think anything quite that extreme went on at the Crypt in Notting Hill!

The Poetry Workshop

crypt_poster_04poetry-workshop.jpg

Jazz gigs at The Ladbroke Hotel

lh_poster_01.jpg lh_poster_00sounds.jpg

The People Band ( was in previous entry but I like this poster a lot!)

crypt_poster_07.jpg

Well that’s all for now….I hope to bring you more of something soon!

Have a good weekend and be creative without dollar/euro/pound signs in your cartoon eyes .

DAVE RUSSELL ( the man I interviewed and Notting Hill resident since the sixties)

Before I go one last vid. This is Dave Russell with ” Hades W10″ also known as “Nobody gets off at this bus stop” (The people in the background are quite interesting and entertaining …he usually gets a much better response than this!) after that he plays another one of his own songs “Crackdown Tribunal”. Dave is an intellectual creative rebel well-versed in folk, blues, jazz, punk and poetry. He has recorded countless albums of his songs as well as covering the rawest blues songs and setting music to William Blake and other  poetry. He has covered some Madonna songs which are so riotous that you’d think they were written by Dylan, Robert Johnson or John Lydon.

He revels in  words as well as music and has written two novels and a book of poetry. He plays all the acoustic clubs in London that are any good and avoids the soul-less ones looking for pretty pop stars.

At present he has no website or myspace although I hope one day this will happen.

(p.s. he is also a really nice bloke and my friend who has been very tolerant of me over the years)

see also

Notting Hill and the Arts 1967-1972: an interview with Dave Russell – Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Gong and more…(Episode One)

(Episode two) Notting Hill and the Arts 1967-1972: an interview with Dave Russell -Psychedelic rock bands, Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Ralph McTell, Davy Graham, lightshows, poets, and drug-taking in a crypt

(Episode Three) Notting Hill and the Arts 1967-1972: an interview with Dave Russell – Jazz, Psychedelic Rock Bands, Poetry, Frestonia, Release and Pete Brown’s Battered Ornaments


(Episode Three) Notting Hill and the Arts 1967-1972: an interview with Dave Russell – Jazz, Psychedelic Rock Bands, Poetry, Frestonia, Release and Pete Brown’s Battered Ornaments


Carlyle ReedyCarlyle Reedy

(Episode Three) Notting Hill and the Arts 1967-1972: an interview with Dave Russell – Jazz, Psychedelic Rock Bands, Poetry, Frestonia, Release and Pete Brown’s Battered Ornaments.

Hello Good People who read and contribute to this blog!

Thanks for waiting, there have been technical problems galore which after complaining to TalkTalk and reformatting the computer are gradually clearing up.

I have finally uploaded the third installment of the Dave Russell interview about The Crypt in Notting Hill . He also tells us a bit about Frestonia and Release.

Episode Three of the Dave Russell interview about The Arts and Community Centre Notting Hill

At the start of this post I have put a photo of Carlyle Reedy who started up and ran the club from 1967 to 1972. She is fairly reclusive at present but I hope to meet her soon.

Dave talks about them charging half a crown which is 2/6 ( two and six) in predecimal money which is 12 and a half pence in today’s money . Here is a poster kindly sent to me by Iain Jacobs for the club which has the price and several other interesting points. If you point your cursor over the picture you can enlarge it and read the details. You will see several well known names in music.

Pete Brown’s Battered Ornaments Poster

Pete Brown who is best known for co-writing most of the hits for the band Cream was a performance poet.

Here is a bit I nicked from Wikkipedia:Pete Brown (born December 25, 1940 in Ashtead, Surrey, England) is a British performance poet, lyricist and musical producer, best known for his collaborations with Jack Bruce. He worked also with The Battered Ornaments, and formed his own group Piblokto!. He was part of the poetry scene in Liverpool during the 1960s and in 1964 was the first poet to perform at Morden Tower in Newcastle. In 2004 he formed Brown Waters, an award-winning British film production company[1], with Mark AJ Waters and Miran Hawke….

Brown was originally brought into the Cream fold as a writing partner for drummer Ginger Baker, but the group quickly discovered that he worked better with bassist Jack Bruce. Of the situation, Bruce later remarked “Ginger and Pete were at my flat trying to work on a song but it wasn’t happening. My wife Janet then got with Ginger and they wrote ‘Sweet Wine’ while I started working with Pete.”

Together, Brown and Bruce wrote the majority of Cream’s numbers, including the hits “I Feel Free“, “White Room” and (with Clapton) “Sunshine of Your Love“.

After the breakup of Cream, Bruce and Brown continued to write songs together for Bruce’s solo career. Brown wrote the lyrics for Bruce’s albums Songs For a Tailor, Harmony Row and Into the Storm.”

Chris Spedding is another well-known name who has worked with many people in the music business. Here is a bit taken from his website. It’s a very brief description of his career.

Guitarist/Singer/Songwriter Chris Spedding has been a mainstay of the British session scene since the late 60s, playing with just about everyone from Nucleus, Jack Bruce, John Cale, Elton John, Mike Batt, to Paul McCartney & The Bay City Rollers (anonymously!).
In 1975 Spedding had a hit record called “Motorbikin'”. In the late 70s he moved to the States and worked with Robert Gordon, Jerry Harrison, Dick Rivers and Johnny Hallyday.
Recently, Spedding played with Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry, in the summer of 2005 he released a solo album “CLICK CLACK”. And plays The War Of The World tour!”

Chris’ website is http://www.chrisspedding.com/

It’s funny that I had The Wombles on my Christmas blog because I think Chris may have known them well.

I used to think The Wombles were a very lame excuse for people in the music business to make lots of money out of little children. I still think that but now seeing them on youtube makes me smile and they are almost cool…in fact I’d like be one on stage and do the dances etc…ok I’m being really uncool and must carry on.

getting back to the poster..in brief (as it’s late now and I need to lie down) …Jamie Muir was a free form percussionist and later played in King Crimson and is now a painter.

Charlie Hart has also done 10 billion zillion things here is a short extract from the biography on his website featuring a picture of Pete Brown’s Battered Ornaments:

” As a student Charlie played organ in the psychedelic band 117. The group appeared frequently at the Middle Earth/UFO clubs and recorded at a legendary session with Mick Jagger and Andrew Oldham at Olympic Studios. By that point, Charlie was heavily into black music and the most sensible plan seemed to go to Africa, so he spent a year in Ghana. Highlife and traditional music became an obsession and the next year Charlie returned to sit in with highlife bands and study marimba.

After college he was asked to join Pete Brown’s Battered Ornaments with Chris Spedding, Dick Hextall-Smith and George Khan and he was introduced to the delights of the M1 and the Blue Boar. At that time he also started playing double bass with the People BandTerry Day, Mel Davis, Lyn Dobson, Mike Figgis, Davey Payne and they toured with the People Show. With Davey Payne and Terry Day he formed OMMU and they toured Holland frequently.

OMMU then joined Ian Dury, the eccentric art-school lyricist and Kilburn and the Highroads were at the front of the early 70s Pub-rock boom, free jazz meets rock and roll. Wreckless Eric was in the same stable, and Charlie played keyboards on his first LP. “

His website is http://www.charliehart.com

George Khan was a tenor saxophonist and all of them I’m sure were great ..I just don’t know them and I have to go to bed now! This took longer than I thought.

Next time maybe a bit of ranting, maybe a bit of Frestonia maybe a bit about Steve Hillage maybe some more posters from the 60s and 70s and 80s that are not published anywhere else or nicked ! I will see ..for now

Thanks for reading and bedtime!

but music before bed

see also

Frestonia-Your essential entertainment & lifestyle guide

(Episode two) Notting Hill and the Arts 1967-1972: an interview with Dave Russell -Psychedelic rock bands, Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Ralph McTell, Davy Graham, lightshows, poets, and drug-taking in a crypt


Interview with Dave Russell on the Arts and Community Centre Notting Hill in the 60s and 70s( Part Two)

Following on from my previous post here is episode 2 of my interview with Dave Russell from a couple of weeks ago. Here he continues to tell us of the gigs and wild arts happenings in Notting Hill 1967-1972 occurring first at The Ecumenical Centre in Denbigh Road Notting Hill which later moved to the bigger venue in the crypt of the Methodist Church in Lancaster Road otherwise known as “The Arts and Community Centre Notting Hill” where psychedelic bands such as Gong, Pink Floyd, Hawkwind performed, here he also tells us of acoustic musicians, poets and drug use on church premises.

Dave Russell interview episode 2

I’ll edit and upload the next episode of this interview in a couple of days time.

This is Ron Geesin with “Spiky Diving Bells”

Now I’m cheating by using a documentary of Hawkwind in the early Notting Hill years
(for those of you from outside the UK :Ladbroke Grove is a road and an area in the North End of Notting Hill where it was a bit rougher than than the south, Notting Hill is in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea but was a much poorer area)

I apologise for name-dropping but I just cannot post that Hawkwind clip without saying that I used to know both Mick Slattery and Terry Ollis who both feature in that clip and have casually played music with both of them..although I’m not sure what they think of me! I’ve also met Lemmy and Nik Turner but they won’t remember me and I don’t remember a lot about them!

This is the Amazing Davy Graham who is still gigging and very influential to British Folk musicians in the 60s

…..and here is Dave Russell himself performing

Back in a couple of days with episode three
Love and Peace
Born2rant

Apologies to anyone who doesn’t have broadband!

I’ll write some more stories soon but unfortunately some of the craziest ones I could write I won’t because I respect my old friends too much not just the ones in this post!

Gong Live Now and Then


Hello good people

My blog was hacked into earlier this week which of course can make you a bit paranoid also very strange behaviour on my computer so I am offline a lot more!!!!! than usual in case anyone’s trying to contact me.

I thought I’d post a video of Gong who were had a great influence on me and other musicians I knew.

I think Gong is one of those totally underestimated bands that broke new ground in many ways. At the outset a lot of their music didn’t take itself too seriously and in fact they were very silly a lot of the time and sometimes disturbing . I guess because of their hippie characters and stories of gnomes and flying teapots and taking lots of drugs a lot of people might have ridiculed them.

However in my opinion it’s good to be silly ( if you knew my music you’d understand!). I think that to be creative you have to be prepared to play the fool. You have to be prepared to be a child and play in a sandpit of sounds and colours , to experiment and if you sing about death, or silliness, or drugs,or sex or any angle of life or personality or human experience or modern life, nothing should be taboo( only blandness and constant plagiarism).But then I am opinionated!

I believe to be truly creative and imaginative you have to be prepared to get messy and for no one necessarily to understand what you are doing.

Plus the live element of music with individuals in a band jamming to a point where they can guess by intuition the key change, the tempo change. That’s what made Gong and other bands so great and what is lacking in commercial music , in computer programmed music, and in the spirit of youth so petrified of standing out from the crowd and doing something NO ONE has ever done that they churn out music from a safe category.

Come on younger musicians prove me wrong! Go do something wild not just to get a record deal but for the progression of music/art/culture/vision/spiritual evolution!

In the meantime this is a weird combination that’s why I am putting it up.

A film I found of some footage of Gong at the Gong Unconvention in Amsterdam 2006

Here they are performing  “The Witch’s Song / I am your Pussy”  (Gilli Smyth/Daevid Allen)  from the  1973  album “Radio Gnome Invisible, Pt 1: Flying Teapot” ( not Angel’s Egg as I wrote before…it’s been a long time since I used to listen to these albums regularly!) .Young people , well younger than me anyway, into System 7 may recognise Steve Hillage in the middle in his black T-shirt to his left and right are Gilli Smith and Daevid Allen I don’t know the others….help me out!

For more excellent footage from the Amsterdam Gong Unconvention on youtube that cannot be embeded try this link

here’s Gong in 1972

Being experimental on French TV 1971

If you want to change anything you have to take risks!

Back Monday…Love and Peace

I can’t resist putting this one at the end!

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