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John Charles Alder
|Birth name||John Charles Edward Alder|
|Born||29 November 1944|
Colchester, Essex, England
|Origin||Colchester, Essex, England|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, drummer, percussionist, singer-songwriter, actor|
|Labels||Decca, HMV, Parlophone, Sire, Columbia, Rare Earth, Midnight|
|Associated acts||Dane 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, actor, singer and songwriter who was a central figure in the English psychedelic movement. In 2006, Alder converted to Islam and changed his name to Mohammed Abdullah, though he still records as Twink.
Early life and career
Alder was born in Colchester, Essex in the United Kingdom. Many other members of his family were also musicians, including his grandmother, a concert pianist, and soloist.
Alder was interested in music beginning from a young age. His professional career began in 1963 while playing drums for Dane Stephens and the Deep Beats, a rhythm and blues band from Colchester. In 1964, after performing for a year, the band changed their name to The Fairies.
Due to their growing popularity, the band and its members began receiving regular gifts from fans of their new music. Alder, who had long curly hair at the time, regularly received bottles of Twink brand home perm lotion. He adopted 'Twink' as his new stage name.
Twink later reunited with Dane Stephens and Mick Weaver from Fairies for two tracks on his 1991 album Odds & Beginnings.
The In-Crowd and Tomorrow
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. The Tomorrow group also jammed with Jimi Hendrix at UFO.
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 Birds – Ron 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).
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 behavior, 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.
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; 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 is taken from a story by Deviants manager Jamie Mandelkau, who may not have been aware of Twink's former band).
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) 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') 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, bringing his guitar along and jammed with them at one point. 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.
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. However, Syd, fragile mentally, quit after reading a negative review by Roy Hollingworth in Melody Maker, 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 the original drummer to his replacement Simon King. Twink also performed with the band Glider, but no recordings were released.
1975 Pink Fairies reunion
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
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 resulting from a car accident left Twink hospitalized, 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') 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." 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." 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 period of inactivity, 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
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.
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.
Twink appeared in the 1960s film Smashing Time with the other members of Tomorrow as the fictional band the Snarks. 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 also worked as an actor during the late 1980s, appearing in several United Kingdom television series including:
- 'Allo 'Allo! a BBC1 British sitcom.
- David Copperfield, a 10-part serial adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel.
- Chocky's Challenge, which was based on Chocky, a science fiction novel by John Wyndham. The three Chocky series were produced by Thames Television.
- Lovejoy, a BBC series
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- 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
- Don't Think Twice It's Alright / Anytime at All – 7" single (Decca Records, 1964)
- Get Yourself Home / I'll Dance – 7" single (HMV, 1965)
- Don't Mind / Baby Don't – 7" single (HMV, 1965)
With Santa Barbara Machine Head
- My White Bicycle / Claramount Lake – 7" single (Parlophone Records, 1967)
- Revolution / Three Jolly Little Dwarves – 7" single (Parlophone Records, 1967)
- Tomorrow – album (Parlophone Records/Sire Records, 1968)
- 50 Minute Technicolor Dream – album (RPM Records, 1998 – recorded 1967)
With Pretty Things
- S.F. Sorrow – album (Columbia Records/Rare Earth Records, 1968)
- The Pretty Things/Philippe DeBarge – with Philippe DeBarge, album (Ugly Things Records, 2009 – recorded 1969)
With Aquarian Age
- 10,000 Words in a Cardboard Box / Good Wizard Meets Naughty Wizard – 7" single (Parlophone Records, 1968)
With Pink Fairies
- The Snake / Do It – 7" single (Polydor Records, 1971)
- Never Never Land – album (Polydor Records, 1971)
- The compilations 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
- 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)
|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 The Technicolour Dream|
|2018||Crowley and Me||Mega Dodo||DODOLP 28||LP||With Star Sponge Vision|
|2019||Sympathy for the Beast: Songs from the Poems of Aleister Crowley||Sunbeam||SBRLP5106||LP||With The Technicolour Dream featuring Jon Povey|
|2019||Think Pink IV: Return to Deep Space||Noiseagonymayhem||NAM050LP||LP||With Moths & Locusts and Heavy Friends|
- "How To Buy: Twink Records | Rock Roots: The Irish Rock Music Archive". Rockroots.wordpress.com. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- Atagong, Felix. "An innerview with Mohammed Abdullah John Alder, better known as Twink". Atagong.com. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
- "PUNKCAST#1129". Punkcast.com. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
- Boyd, Joe, White Bicycles – Making Music in the 1960s, Serpent's Tail, 2006. ISBN 1-85242-910-0
- "Interview: Twink (Pink Fairies,Tomorrow,The Pretty Things,Stars)". Hit-channel.com. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- "Hyde Park Free Concert 7-28-68". Ukrockfestivals.com. August 2005. Retrieved 10 January 2008.
- "Bruce Michael Paine's YouTube profile". Youtube.com. 14 February 2007. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
- "Bruce Michael Paine biography". IMDb.com. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
-  Archived 9 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- "MC5 & Stars poster". Makemyday.free.fr. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
- "Interview with Twink". Pink-floyd.org. 5 December 1985. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- "楽天が運営するポータルサイト ： 【インフォシーク】Infoseek". Every1ofus.hp.infoseek.co.jp. 1 January 2000. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- "Mangling The Rumour Mongers" (PDF). Terrascope.co.uk. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
- "''International Times (1978), Volume 4, Issue 4''". Internationaltimes.it. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
- "TWINK AND THE TECHNICOLOUR DREAM: YOU... - Technicolour Dream - ROMA - "My Mask is my Master"". Facebook. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- "Star Sponge Vision set to release "Crowley and Me"". House Of Prog. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
- "Tomorrow in Smashing Time 1967 Steve Howe". YouTube. 5 August 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
- "Twink And The Technicolour Dream - Sympathy For The Beast (2019, Vinyl)". Discogs.com. 1 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
- Interview with Twink at the Wayback Machine (archived 27 October 2009) By Ivor Trueman, Opel No. 11, 5 December 1985
- Twink – interview (Ptolemaic Terrascope No. 3 1990)
- Alan Lee Shaw's Gallery at the Wayback Machine (archived 27 March 2016) includes a photo of the Rings.
- Pinkwind at Isle of Wight Festival 1970