Monday, July 07, 2008

White Bicycles - Making Music in the '60's by Joe Boyd

Boyd has a long history of working in the music industry, not as a musician, but as a producer, tour manager, booker, club owner and more. His story moves in many directions as he interacts with various artists from different genres.

Starting his career in jazz circles, Joe managed to work with some major stars in jazz and blues as he arranged and managed tours and festivals for these legends. He then moved into the folk scene in both the States and in England and helped to introduce the members of the Lovin’ Spoonful before getting involved with the Incredible String Band and Fairport Convention (and various members) in England.

The book covers his many moves and does so in an entertaining and easy-to-read fashion. Boyd has a wide variety of tastes and keeps the reader interested as he moves from scene to scene and country to country. He started the infamous UFO club, which had Pink Floyd as its initial house band. He produced Nick Drake and tells many a tale of this tortured soul. He produced “Dueling Banjos” and was so sure of its uncommerciality that he didn’t even put his name on it. Of course, it went on to become his only #1 hit. He also produced Maria Muldaur’s “Midnight at the Oasis” and even worked on the terrific documentary movie, Jimi Hendrix. He even owned the famous footage of Hendrix playing acoustic 12 string!

Oddly, considering the book’s title, he had little interaction with the band Tomorrow, other than booking them at the UFO club.

Most books on the 60’s music scene are based on the musician’s perspective. This gives another view of this wild and exciting time!