Riding “White Bicycles”

Posted on March 22, 2007
Filed Under Books, Music | Leave a Comment


dd this to your Sixties book list:

whitebicyle.gif“White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s,” by Joe Boyd, an American who moved to London in the Sixties and who was a leader in the English music revolution that brought forth Pink Floyd, Soft Machine and The Incredible String Band.

Boyd was born in Boston in 1942 and graduated from Harvard in 1964. He subsequently got involved in the burgeoning new music scene in the early sixties on both sides of the Atlantic: He was a production manager at the Newport Folk Festival when Bob Dylan shook up the music world and went electric; when Muddy Waters came to London he was tour manager; when the Summer of Love got going, Boyd was running UFO, a hip London psychedelic club; he gave Pink Floyd their start at UFO, even producing their first single, “Arnold Layne”; later he produced such acts as Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, The Incredible String Band and other leading edge acts.

His book is a social history of the era, a memoir of the times; with bittersweet remembrances and reality checks. For example, his UFO club, site of psychedelic concerts and film screenings, of visits by Yoko Ono and clothing-optional Happenings, lasted only about nine months: a microcosm, Boyd said, of the inevitable end of the 1960s counterculture. A companion CD to the book has also been released, containing tracks by Eric Clapton & The Powerhouse, Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, The Purple Gang, Fotheringay, The New Nadir and many others.

NPR’s “Fresh Air” recently talked with Boyd; click here for the complete interview.


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