The Funky Features boys
met Procol Harum in 1967 on their first tour to promote "Whiter
Shade of Pale," and we have all remained fast friends ever
since. I moved to England in 1970, and one quiet Sunday morning
(when Sundays were Sundays...NOTHING was open after 10 am
but the pubs) I was on my way to the newsagents and the dairy
around the corner (and opposite the famous Olympic recording studios
where the Stones recorded most everything they did and from where
"All You Need is Love" was telecast live around the
world) when a car pulled up blowing its horn. It was Ronnie Lyons,
Procol's old manager, with Robin Trower sitting next to him. "What
are YOU doing here!!??" laughed Robin as he beamed in utter
surprise at me. They had recognized it was me from the BACK, when
the last time they saw me was in San Francisco and had NO idea
I had moved to England!
Maybe I really AM funky!
Robin was mixing his first
album, "Twice Removed from Yesterday," and we both decided
I should do the cover, at which point I dashed home, doodled various
thumbnail designs in pencil for two hours and bopped back around
the corner and into the control room. Robin looked them over,
said, "I like that one," and that was that. I had no
idea of color for the design he selected so I asked him his favorite
color..."Blue," he smiled.
This is my first oil painting,
because acrylics couldn't stay wet long enough to blend, and I
had never heard of an airbrush. Painted in a friend's basement
studio at 72 Castlenau Road, Barnes, it's 36" square, and
belongs to my ex-girlfriend and her husband in England and hangs
prominently in their house in Sheen (well...last time I looked!).
This picture of
Blind Faith (Rick Grech followed by Ginger Baker, Steve Windwood,
and Eric Clapton) was taken EXACTLY one
year before I moved to Barnes and is the view from Olympic Studios
down the high street of the village. I lived around the corner
just to the right of Ginger's head in Elm Grove Road, and I was
walking in the same direction, but across the street by Rick's
shoulder when Ronnie and Robin pulled up right where that white
car at Ginger's left shoulder is parked.
The Jensen in the foreground is Ginger's, I believe.