Twink (musician)

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John Charles Alder
Birth nameJohn Charles Edward Alder
Born (1944-11-29) 29 November 1944 (age 74)
GenresPsychedelic music
Occupation(s)Musician, drummer, percussionist, singer-songwriter, actor
Years active1963–present
LabelsDecca, HMV, Parlophone, Sire, Columbia, Rare Earth, Midnight
Associated actsDane Stephens and the Deep Beats, the Fairies, Tomorrow, the Pretty Things, the Pink Fairies, PinkWind, the Rings, Syd Barrett, Stars

John Charles Edward Alder (born 29 November 1944), better known as Twink, is an English drummer, singer and songwriter who was a central figure in the English psychedelic movement, and an actor. In 2006 Alder converted to Islam and changed his name to Mohammed Abdullah, though he still records as Twink.[1][2]


Early life and career[edit]

Alder was born in Colchester, Essex, England, into a musical family. His father's mother was a concert pianist and soloist. Alder has said he was always interested in music as a child.

Alder's career began in 1963 playing drums with a rhythm and blues band from Colchester called Dane Stephens and the Deep Beats. After a year, the band evolved into the Fairies. The band were sometimes sent gifts and Alder, having long curly hair, regularly received bottles of Twink brand home perm lotion. It was at this time that he adopted 'Twink' as his stage name.

Twink reunited with Dane Stephens and Mick Weaver from the Fairies for two tracks on his 1991 album Odds & Beginnings.

The In-Crowd and Tomorrow[edit]

In 1965 Twink moved to London and lived in Chelsea. When The Fairies came to a halt, he joined a rhythm and blues/soul music band called The In-Crowd in August 1966, after its previous drummer had left the band. Other members were Steve Howe (guitar; later of Yes fame), singer Keith West & John 'Junior' Wood (bass).

A few months later the band was renamed Tomorrow. The success of West's solo recording Excerpt From A Teenage Opera resulted in the band breaking up, leading to a one-off single by the short-lived 'Aquarian Age' (Twink & Junior).

In his book White Bicycles, Joe Boyd cites a Tomorrow show at UFO and, in particular, Twink's performance as the zenith of 60's pop culture.[3][4] Tomorrow also jammed with Jimi Hendrix at UFO.[5]

At some point around early 1967, Twink completed a recording session with a group called Santa Barbara Machine Head, featuring two former members of Beat group The BirdsRon Wood and Kim Gardner (both later of 'The Creation', and also of The Rolling Stones and Ashton, Gardner & Dyke respectively) – and keyboardist Jon Lord (later of Deep Purple).

The Pretty Things[edit]

Twink replaced Skip Alan in The Pretty Things (alongside Phil May, Dick Taylor, Wally Allen & Jon Povey) and participated in the making of their classic album S.F. Sorrow. He was also a member of this group when they appeared in the Norman Wisdom film What's Good for the Goose. He became noted for outrageous behaviour, such as climbing the speaker stacks and diving into the audience when the band performed at a free open-air concert in London's Hyde Park.[6]

Think Pink[edit]

He recorded his first solo album, Think Pink, towards the end of his tenure with The Pretty Things. Supporting musicians were The Deviants, including Mick Farren (who produced the album), Paul Rudolph (who played guitar), Duncan 'Sandy' Sanderson; as well as Steve Peregrin Took (of Tyrannosaurus Rex) who contributed two of his songs; The Pretty Things' May, Povey, Waller and Victor Unitt; Viv Prince (ex-Pretty Things); John 'The Honk' Lodge (Junior's Eyes, Quiver); 'Junior' Wood and the enigmatic 'Pink Fairies Motorcycle Club and All-Star Rock and Roll Band' (the name taken from a story by Deviants manager Jamie Mandelkau, who may not have been aware of Twink's former band).

The Pink Fairies[edit]

The lineup of the Pink Fairies (Mark 1) featured Think Pink musicians Twink, Took and Farren – all three having left their respective bands – and was named after the 'Pink Fairies Rock 'n' Roll Club', a loose group of people including Took, Farren, The Deviants, Syd Barrett (formerly of Pink Floyd) and The Pretty Things. They were resident in Ladbroke Grove, the home of the UK Underground. The Mark 1 line-up performed one shambolic gig in Manchester and recorded Farren's solo album, Mona – The Carnivorous Circus, in late 1969 before falling apart. Took, Farren and former Entire Sioux Nation guitarist and bassist Larry Wallis and Tim Taylor then assembled the band that became Shagrat, with Farren departing before any recordings were made and drummer Phil Lenoir joining to complete the line-up.

Pink Fairies (Mark 2) was formed in early 1970 by Twink with Mick Farren's former bandmates, The Deviants. The two-drummer Pink Fairies line-up recorded a single The Snake / Do It, followed by the Never Never Land album, before Twink left in 1971 (although he would periodically return).


After a spell in Morocco Twink moved to Cambridge and worked with the 'Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band', initially with vocalist/guitarist Bruce Michael Paine (ex-Apple Pie & star of the San Francisco production of 'Hair')[7][8] and 'The Honk' playing bass, and also played in a band named ZZZ with Alan Lee Shaw and Rod Latter (who later reunited as The Rings). The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band, now with ex-Delivery bass player Jack Monck, backed American Blues guitarist Eddie "Guitar" Burns at King's College Cellar in January 1972. Jack's wife Jenny Spires, an old friend of Twink's and former girlfriend of Syd Barrett (ex-Pink Floyd), went with Syd down to the gig and he brought his guitar along and jammed with them at one point.[9] The next day, the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band, with guests Fred Frith and Syd Barrett, played on a bill with Hawkwind and the Pink Fairies.[9]

Within the next day or two Twink formed the short lived trio Stars with Barrett and Monck. Stars played a handful of shows which were well received.[10] However, Syd, fragile mentally, quit after reading a negative review by Roy Hollingworth in Melody Maker,[11] after which Twink moved back to London.


During the years 1972 to 1975, Twink periodically performed with fellow Ladbroke Grove community band Hawkwind during the transition from original drummer to his replacement Simon King. Twink also performed with the band Glider, but no recordings were released.[12]

1975 Pink Fairies Reunion[edit]

In July 1975, The Pink Fairies staged a reunion gig at the Roundhouse featuring the then-current line-up of Russell Hunter, Duncan Sanderson and Larry Wallis, joined by former members Twink and Paul Rudolph. A recording show was released as a live album in 1982.

The Rings and punk[edit]

Twink formed The Fallen Angels in August 1976 with former Steve Marriott Allstars band members Greg Ridley and Mickey Finn. On the way to their first gig, an injury sustained in a car accident left Twink hospitalised, following which this line-up disintegrated – The Fallen Angels eventually wound up backing Phil May on a solo album. Twink then worked as a vocalist with The Rings in early 1977, releasing one of the first punk rock singles, I Wanna Be Free, produced by former Sparks member Martin Gordon. Other members of the band included Alan Lee Shaw and Rod Latter of The Adverts. Twink left, and the other members of The Rings formed 'The Maniacs'.

Twink coined the term Acid Punk to describe his music and went on to release an EP Do It '77 in February 1978. It included the songs Psychedelic Punkeroo (about Syd Barrett; credited to 'A. Syd')[11] and Enter The Diamonds, both of which featured a band consisting of Twink (drums/lead vocals), Kid Rogers (of Kid Rogers and the Henchmen) (guitars/vocals), Fingers Falkner (keyboards) and Chris Chesney (lead guitar). According to Twink "It was the Psychedelic Punkaroo project, but Chiswick Records didn't like the track and I jammed Do It with the Lightning Raiders, which they preferred."[13] Duncan ('Danger Sun') Sanderson (bass, Lightning Raiders & ex-Pink Fairies): "Twink came round my house and dragged me down the studio while I was still asleep one morning, and Little John Hodge (lead guitar, Lightning Raiders) just came along to deliver a guitar. Twink had us jam through Do It, so we did it. Kid and John hadn't even heard the flaming song before. At the end he jumps up and says 'That's it, thanks lads!' We didn't even know it was being taped!" Twink's comment on this statement was that "A second take of Do It is a contradiction in terms."[14] The EP was credited to 'Twink & The Fairies'.

Twink next moved to Belgium, where he played drums on the recording of British punk Elton Motello's Victims of Time album (1978, Pinball).


After a long silence, in 1986 Twink released a solo single "Apocalipstic", which inaugurated his new, self-titled record label and a run of new solo releases up to the early 1990s.

In 1987, he rejoined The Pink Fairies for a reunion album. During the subsequent Pink Fairies tour, Twink met members of Plasticland which resulted in the collaboration You Need a Fairy Godmother, released in 1989 on Midnight Records. He also joined a brief line-up of 'Magic Muscle' in 1988 for a tour and live album, and released a collaborative album with The Bevis Frond in 1990.


In 1990, Twink released his second solo album, Mr Rainbow with Robbie Gladwell on guitar and Andy Dowding on drums. Later in the decade he collaborated with Hawkwind founder Nik Turner in the band 'PinkWind' – in reference to the semi-legendary Hawkwind/Pink Fairies jam sessions of the early '70s. Turner brought in the Wind and Twink provided the Pink. PinkWind released two albums (one credited to 'The HawkFairies'). Some line-ups also featured Judge Trev Thoms of Inner City Unit and Steve Took's Horns.

The Out of the Pink into The Blues album by 'Mouse & Twink: Fairies' was released around 1996 or 1997, and was "recorded at the Pink Bridge mid '70s till '80s" by Twink and P. 'Mouse' Pracowik (Peter Pracownik of Astralasia) on guitar, with Andrew Doran (vocals), Matthew Bailey (bass) and Chris Pinkerton (drums).

Some archive collections from the Pink Fairies era were released by the 'Get Back' label. Twink's record label then released two 'Pink Fairies' albums recorded by Twink and Paul Rudolph in 1996/1997.

2000 – present[edit]

In the early 2000s Twink spent some time in Los Angeles, before settling in Marrakesh, Morocco.

2013 saw the re-release of Think Pink on the Sunbeam label, in CD, vinyl, and digital formats. This was followed by a new release You Reached for the Stars – a collaboration with Italian group The Technicolour Dream, plus guest guitarist Brian Godding from Blossom Toes. The album was recorded in Rome, and mastered at Abbey Road Studios by engineer Peter Mew, who also worked on Pretty Things and Tomorrow recordings in the 1960s. In 2014 Twink started recording a new album, Think Pink II, with a similar concept of recording with many guests as on the original. The album was finished in 2015 and released in August the same year.[15]

In spring 2018, Twink and Jon Povey released a concept album of music inspired by the poetry of Aleister Crowley under the band name Star Sponge Vision entitled Crowley and Me.[16]

Acting career[edit]

Twink appeared in the 1960s film Smashing Time with the other members of Tomorrow as fictional band "The Snarks".[17] Tomorrow were also due to feature in Blowup, and even recorded a title song for the film, but were ultimately replaced by The Yardbirds. Similarly, Twink appeared with The Pretty Things under their regular pseudonym "Electric Banana" in the film What's Good for the Goose.

Twink worked as an actor during the late 1980s, appearing in several United Kingdom television series including:-



  • Think Pink – album (Sire Records, 1970 – recorded July 1969) (re-released – Sunbeam, 2013)
  • Apocalipstic / He's Crying – 7" single (Twink Records, 1986)
  • Space Lover – 12" maxi-single with 5 versions of the song: Rock 'n' Roll No. 1; Rock 'n' Roll No. 2; Psychedelicised; Instrumental; Percussed (Twink Records # TWK 2, 1986) (as Twink & The Fairies)
  • Driving My Car / War Girl – 7" single (Twink Records, 1987)
  • Kids Aid / Instrumental – 7" single (Twink Records) (as Children Of The World - composed by St Benedict's School music teacher Adrian Queen in 1986, all profits going to Cafod to support famine relief in Africa)
  • Psychedelic Punkeroo / Seize The Time – 7"/12" single (Twink Records, 1990?)
  • Mr. Rainbow – album (Twink Records, 1990)
  • Odds & Beginnings – part compilation album (Twink Records, 1991) (featuring former Fairies colleagues Dane Stephens and Mick Weaver)
  • Festival of the Sun – live album (Twink Records, 1995 – recorded 1993) (with Nik Turner, as Pinkwind)
  • Purple Haze – live album (Twink Records, 1996 – recorded 1995) (with Nik Turner, as Hawkfairies)
  • Out of the Pink into The Blues – album (Twink Records – or HTD Records?, 1996?) ("recorded live at the Bridge from mid seventies till eighties", as Mouse & Twink: Fairies)
  • Pleasure Island – album (Twink Records, 1996) (with Paul Rudolph, as Pink Fairies)
  • No Picture – album (Twink Records, 1997) (with Paul Rudolph, as The Hawk Fairies)
  • The Lost Experimental Recordings – album (Get Back Records, 2000 – recorded late 60's to early 70's)
  • Think Pink II - album (Sunbeam Records, 2015)
  • Think Pink III - album (VE Recordings, 2018)

With The Fairies[edit]

With Santa Barbara Machine Head[edit]

With Tomorrow[edit]

With The Pretty Things[edit]

With Aquarian Age[edit]

  • 10,000 Words in a Cardboard Box / Good Wizard Meets Naughty Wizard – 7" single (Parlophone Records, 1968)

With Pink Fairies[edit]

  • The Snake / Do It – 7" single (Polydor Records, 1971)
  • Never Never Land – album (Polydor Records, 1971)
  • The compilation cd's The Golden Years: 1969–1971 (Cleopatra Records, 1998), Mescaline and Mandies Round at Uncle Harry's (NMC, 1998) & Do It! (Total Energy, 1999) all include live tracks and radio sessions from 1969/1971, most featuring Twink.
  • From The Vaults (a.k.a. Odds & Beginnings Volume 2) – album (Get Back, 1999, credited to Twink) includes some of the Pink Fairies tracks released on the above-mentioned compilations, plus some Twink solo material.
  • The Lost Experimantal Recordings 1970 – album (Get Back, 2000 – recorded Winter 1969–1970)
  • The Never Never Land And Think Pink Demos – album (Get Back, 2001 – recorded Winter 1969–1970)
  • Live at the Roundhouse – album (Big Beat, 1982 – recorded 1975)
  • Kill 'Em and Eat 'Em – album (Demon Records, 1987)
  • Chinese Cowboys: Live 1987 – album (Captain Trip Records, 2005 – recorded 1987)

With The Rings[edit]

  • I Wanna Be Free / Automobile – 7" single (Chiswick Records, 1977)
  • The Rings live at the 100 Club – (about 30 minutes in length, recorded before the single was issued, only released on cd reissue of Twink's Odds & Beginnings album, 1995)


Year Title Label Cat# Format Notes
1970 Mona – The Carnivorous Circus Transatlantic Records TRA 212 LP Recorded December 1969 with Mick Farren
1978 Do It '77 - Psychedelic Punkeroo - Enter The Diamonds Chiswick Records SWT 26 12" EP With Twink And The Fairies
1989 You Need a Fairy Godmother Midnight Records MIRLP 144 LP Live album with Plasticland
1989 One Hundred Miles Below Big One Guitar OBG LP 9005 LP Live album with Magic Muscle
1990 Magic Eye Woronzow WOO 13 LP With The Bevis Frond as Bevis & Twink
2013 You Reached For The Stars Sunbeam SBRCD 5098 LP With Technicolour Dream
2018 Crowley and Me Mega Dodo DODOLP 28 LP With Star Sponge Vision


  1. ^ "How To Buy: Twink Records | Rock Roots: The Irish Rock Music Archive". Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  2. ^ Atagong, Felix. "An innerview with Mohammed Abdullah John Alder, better known as Twink". Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  3. ^ "PUNKCAST#1129". Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  4. ^ Boyd, Joe, White Bicycles – Making Music in the 1960s, Serpent's Tail, 2006. ISBN 1-85242-910-0
  5. ^ "Interview: Twink (Pink Fairies,Tomorrow,The Pretty Things,Stars)". Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Hyde Park Free Concert 7-28-68". August 2005. Retrieved 10 January 2008.
  7. ^ "Bruce Michael Paine's YouTube profile". 14 February 2007. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  8. ^ "Bruce Michael Paine biography". Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  9. ^ a b [1] Archived 9 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "MC5 & Stars poster". Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  11. ^ a b "Interview with Twink". 5 December 1985. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  12. ^ "楽天が運営するポータルサイト : 【インフォシーク】Infoseek". 1 January 2000. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  13. ^ "Mangling The Rumour Mongers" (PDF). Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  14. ^ "''International Times (1978), Volume 4, Issue 4''". Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  15. ^ "TWINK AND THE TECHNICOLOUR DREAM: YOU... - Technicolour Dream - ROMA - "My Mask is my Master"". Facebook. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  16. ^ "Star Sponge Vision set to release "Crowley and Me"". House Of Prog. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  17. ^ "Tomorrow in Smashing Time 1967 Steve Howe". YouTube. 5 August 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2014.

External links[edit]