Pursuit of Authentic “Soul” Takes Wrong Turn From White Soul: Eat It - Humble Pie & Black Coffee

Posted by DanielS on Saturday, 07 January 2017 00:04.

Black Coffee and Humble Pie - Eat It: British musicians quest for authentic organicism in their rock n’ roll took a turn to estrangement from Whiteness.

To the British hippie looking to pursue his dream of rock stardom unfettered by the inorganicism of letters and to facilitate his effort to outflank musical competitors by dint of his capacity to assimilate black organicism - black soul - his motives might have appeared one and the same as self actualization in the hippie agenda - appearing as universal expression, absent as it were authentication through confrontation of his own mortality, in the draft and the stark contrast with the reality of MLK’s “dream”, let alone Malcolm X’s.

There was a significant difference in motivation between British and American hippies in that the British context lacked the personal being toward death that confronted American hippies through the Vietnam draft; and the collective being toward death confronting them directly in day to day life with blacks in numbers; especially absent, as Americans were, the deep, historically confirmed social group of their (White) people and place, which British hippies took for granted.

Taking that for granted, the British hippies had a distorted view on blacks, largely seeing the pleasantly presented musical aspects of blacks, initially by ((Chess Records))); or representations in (((American and British media))) of blacks as “arbitrarily” oppressed. Without the lived experience of having to deal with blacks in numbers, on equal nationalist footing (actually not equal - blacks had an advantage in the sense that they were allowed to organize in their group interests, having had strident and powerful Jewish backing as such), but by contrast, given British hippies’ capacity to rely on the superior warrant of their White historical people and place, their native experience lacked the existential circumstances of crisis which made for the profound element of hippiedom - its quest for midtdasein - especially for the White male part.

It is not that I lack of sympathy for their mistake, since when I was yet to be confronted on the precarious recourse of civic nationalism by blacks in numbers - as I would be in a few years, with “school integration” - I myself looked upon American southerner’s “prejudice” against blacks as “abhorrent.” I didn’t know from experience, but rather from what (((TV))) had told me. In fact, I incredulously asked my cousins from Alabama “why southerners were prejudiced against blacks?”

But whereas I merely needed to be bused to the black side of town, as I would be in 1971, to learn my lesson and eat humble pie, it could take considerably more to disabuse a British musician of his dream of being a part of the British rock n’ roll invasion of America. He had brushed-up for months on his black licks while he spun Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters records as an isolated variable in his house - safely ensconced in a White nation (while perhaps envious of American success and seeing his superior lack of prejudice as means to rise above the crude, nouveau riche Americans) - removed from the American black movement’s disconcerting contrast with the hippies’ weird, organic expressions of White male midtdasein. On the one hand, there was the contrast of the intimidating aggression of black power as compared to the hippie goal for peaceful communal being; and on the other hand there was the awkwardness of the weird and unkempt hippies by contrast to the studied dress and manner (horn-rimmed glasses, thin ties and uniform black suits) that the Marxist Highlander School of Tennessee taught black civil rights activists to carry themselves with - an air prim and proper, full of “integrity” and “dignity” was to be projected with black “civil rights activism.”

To the British hippie looking to pursue his dream of rock stardom unfettered by the inorganicism of letters and to facilitate his effort to outflank musical competitors by dint of his capacity to assimilate black organicism - black soul - his motives might have appeared one and the same as self actualization in the hippie agenda - appearing as universal expression, absent as it were authentication through confrontation of his own mortality, in the draft and the stark contrast with the reality of MLK’s “dream”, let alone Malcolm X’s.

While sleeping with White whores, Marxist trained MLK projected innocence and promoted “a dream” to the naive and disingenuous, that black and White children could blend to no harm; black Muslim trained Malcolm X preached to the black power militancy of his own, proclaiming along with Elijah Muhammad that “the black man would rule.”

He was not quite getting that the emulation of black organic being lacked the requisite delimitation of White midtdasein, the authentic, organic expression of its peoplehood; at that time organic White male being sought crucial reprieve from the habit of war, alleviation from monocultural (nee universal) male rites of passage and the overcompensating traditional male role of tribal aggression as a result. Having his ancient national recourse to duck the repercussions and the direct experience of living with blacks pursuing their own power nationalism and civic motives made it harder to dismiss the Enlightenment’s prejudice against prejudice and the Jewish hard-sell misrepresentation of prejudice against blacks was invalid. The British rock musician could more easily fancy his grand tour of The US market as a gospel barnstorm; imagine his band on an evangelical mission, to demonstrate non-prejudice and good will toward blacks et al; he could not fully appreciate that his vision was a controlled illusion of (((The Western Media and Powers That-Be, generally))) that might be woken up to reality if only cold water were thrown in his small face by tour’s end, when it was time to retreat home.

Still there was this great pitfall besides brackets for White males in their pursuit of authentic Being at this point. Their pursuit of midtdasein in correction of past over compensations that resulted of didactic incitement to arbitrary competition remained stigmatic against traditional gender roles -  midtdasein was not only going against the male role of aggressive competitor, but against his pursuit of sheer victory and achievement, going against the pinnacle of stand-out actualization above society, or rather atop, but still comfortably aligned, which was the linear traditional direction of male quest.

Moving beyond mere custom and habit of tradition, to reject this quest of pinnacle actualization as a priority nevertheless remained stigmatic from the newly hegemonic modernist standpoint also - its sanctioned pursuit of self actualization as a universal good and in a universal context, transcendent of group interests, was the offered reward for any man who’d compete for it and win it - but offering no sympathetic rest for midtdasein. No, the naively anti-social, a-historical, a-contextual pursuit of self actualization was not only the upshot of traditional objectivism itself, but exploited and exacerbated by Jewish tribal interests who maintained group organization for themselves while inciting profound group competition for others: pandering to female inclination to incite genetic competition in modernist feminism; and otherwise distorting beyond reason the modernist rule structure; saliently, by means of “civil individual rights” and the prohibition of group classification and discrimination by Whites as “racism”; i.e., aiding out-groups, and leaving midtdasein a highly unsympathetic quest by contrast. 

But another large pitfall of the hippie movement and why it did not succeed in becoming articulate in promulgating its organic motive of midtdasein, its profound importance, was that in an initial phase, at least, Being would move toward organic synthesis and against analysis - rebelling against the artificial divisions of analysis, whether the analysis facilitated by mere words or the more baroque analysis of academia and its traditions. Furthermore, males, especially in the disorder of modernity, tended not to be in the addressive position (how are you? can I have a date? Oh, I care about your feelings, why did he hurt you? etc.), a position that contributes to becoming articulate, a position that females occupy increasingly with the upshot of modernity, with the assumption that their intrinsic feelings and thoughts are worth consideration and worth more on the market - with incentive to maintain that increasingly competed for one up position through didactic incitement. Lacking that second person addressive position by contrast and incitement, males would tend to overcompensate, seeking stilted prosthesis in the detached third person position - e.g., a rock star to his audience.

This could result in a kind of estrangement, superficiality and naivete in the pursuit of authentic self actualization, particularly when pursued by alpha male musicians flouting education, “jive-talk” (as opposed to the basic talk), flouting the awkward sublimation, the nerdishness that is characteristic of a good part of authentic White male being. Again, this European soul, as it were, was distinct form the black power and civil rights movement which would view White organic variants as geeky White jive, lacking in the black man’s “sou- ee oo - ee ou—- ooouwel - oou - ouwhel” and “in-teg-ritae.”

Itchycoo Park: Over Bridges of Sighs.To rest my eyes in shades of green. Under Dreaming Spires. To Itchycoo Park, that’s where I’ve been. What did you do there? - I got high. What did you feel there? - Well I cried. But why the tears there? - I’ll tell you why - yyyyy. It’s all too beautiful, It’s all too beautiful. It’s all too beautiful, It’s all too beautiful. I feel inclined to blow my mind. Get hung up, feed the ducks with a bun. They all come out to groove about. Be nice and have fun. in the sun. I’ll tell you what I’ll do - What will you do? I’d like to go there now with you. You can miss out school. Won’t that be cool. Why go to learn the words of fools? What will we do there? We’ll get high. What will we touch there? We’ll touch the sky. But why..

Because authentic White male being will manifest the quirkiness of our optimal sublimation, the appreciation of which is a part of our K selection strategy, its authentic expression was revealed in initial spontaneous, organic expression - that is essential to why this celebration of the weird was a part of hippiedom as well. Blacks, and R selectors generally, are not circumspect enough in their concerns to be weird in the flighty way that Whites are - blacks are cool and overly comfortable, at home in the world, their patterns are too old, stable, masculine and no-nonsensical to be weird in the White way. If sufficiently understood, the appreciation of this optimal White male sublimation would serve to gauge authentic praxis, between the Cartesian extremes of empirical myopia and abstract universalism. This median male sublimation, as opposed to over-confidence, gives us sufficient empathy and pause to spawn intellectual creativity. But within the inciting context of modernity, the pursuit of midtdasein for White males, was but a flicker that was extinguished when it was no longer required consolation against the absurdity of the Vietnam war.

        Trout Mask Replica - celebrating the weird

Hippie midtdasein was reacting to the rupture of its patterns as it was subject to the destruction of modernity’s prohibition of discrimination on their basis, and particularly as discrimination on behalf of these patterns was attacked by Jews - who would pander to the antagonists of White men, including heavily, even to their co-evolutionary but nevertheless untrusting puerile White female. With Herbert Marcuse and the YKW pandering to her inclination to incite genetic competition - in the idea of “free love” and other taboos being altogether reversed, to where discrimination against blacks was the taboo - she will naturally look askance at the quirkier, speculative and protracted White male patterns given the requirement to survive the atavistic common denominator left in the disorder of modernity - masculine idealization will take on a more atavistic (read African) kind of behavior and hyper-assertive confidence; a more episodic and momentary measure, the acceptance of such measure becoming a litmus test conducted by females in initial interaction episodes - “isn’t prejudice (implied against blacks) terrible?”

Unfortunately this perspective was fed by a confluence of many streams antagonizing the White prejudice that protected its more speculative and ambitious patterns. These streams fed an overly simplistic line to the inarticulate hippie - particularly the hippie devoid of the reality testing context of blacks on equal civil footing and the draft. His motive of Being having taken the initial direction away from analysis and intellectualism, left him susceptible to estrangement from the next step in homeostasis - of midtdasein - a cultivated turn, the turn into the culture of his people, particularly as he was inarticulate to defend against the awkwardness of an “Itchykoo Park” (“lets feed the ducks with a bun”). He would be susceptible to attempting to prove his more masculine masculinity, vulnerable to the didactic incitement to subject himself to primitive rites of passage and the criteria of universal maturity. But just because the British music invasion was not generally a wave central to the essence of the hippie movement, does not mean it was not hugely influential - obviously it was. Though one could argue that the British knew enough about war, racial antagonism and ill fitting requirements, midtdasein was not the epicenter of their concern, largely because they still had their historical midtdasein in tact - the yearning for that was not new; liberalism and its quest was new to them.

A song about how freedom (Alabama ‘69) from slavery and emancipation in general wasn’t nearly as far down the road as it should be…and in terms of how we recorded it (to add “authenticity”, I suppose), we recorded in a field behind where we used to rehearse. We positioned ourselves further from the mikes and recorded outside with a new snare and high-hat

If the British hippie was not experientially lacking and uneducated to the fact that discrimination against blacks is necessary; that slavery and exploitation of blacks was strictly the right wing’s doing, he might not seek authenticity in taking-up the cause of blacks. He would realize that he had enough on his hands and no responsibility for them. But given the alphas, their lack of sublimation and circumspection regarding their own group patterns, they would be prone to this wrong turn to try to assimilate the authenticity of the black cause as “underdogs” - which, like themselves, they were not, by the way, in a brute physical sense. This was sheer alpha competitiveness. The inexperienced and inarticulate alpha male’s narrow perspective could fall into the groove of emulating black primordiality and hyper-assertiveness - a second hand version - lacking the sublimation and circumspection on White systemic patterns that characterize the full authenticity and complexity of White midtdasein.

Humble Pie – Alabama ‘69 Lyrics: Yep. This one’s called “Alabama 69.”  I come from Alabama and I work a ten pound hammer. And my woman’s picking cotton for the boss man on the hill. They work us till they break our back. Beat us cos our skin is black. I guess I’ll have to slave till the whip is in the grave.


Yeah, when will we be free. I wanna walk down any road. And feel I have my liberty. Well, from day to day I live to die. The scars across my back don’t lie. Ain’t there anyone out there. To hear my freedom cry.


Well, I believe a man’s a man who earns his pay as best he can. The color of his skin don’t mean he ain’t just like you. Yeah, but white folk here don’t give a hell. They think that we were born to smell of sweat and dust and dirt; r plough until we die


Hallelujah. Let me hear you now. When will we be free. I wanna walk down any road. And feel I have my liberty. These shoes I’m wearing every day. Got holes the size of Frisco Bay. I’m praying for the time. When there will come a judgment day. Let me play you some lead here. Ooh, ooh. Well, we all know how long it is since Lincoln made those promises. That one day we would walk along the white side of the street. Now, but there were some bad folk around. That got so riled they shot him down. And there ain’t a cop in town. Who wouldn’t do the same for me.


Yeah, now, when will we be free. I wanna walk down any road. And feel I have my liberty. Well, now, now. When will we be free. Yeah, yeah. When will we be free. Ooh, yeah. When will we be free. Well, now, now. When will we be free. Well, now, now, now, now. When will we be free.

Universal Maturity

“Authentic and organic man”, unmediated by sublimation and social concern of their own folk in this context equals negritude and a lack of empathy and appreciation for the corollaries of distinctly White awkwardness, sublimation…

If you were to ask many White pop musicians of the fifties and sixties and in fact, ever since, many were trying to sound black, specifically to emulate black rhythm, gospel, soul and blues artists. Many singers were trying to sound black - not always with success. Rod Stewart “desperately wanted to sound black”, but couldn’t quite do it.  Others were successful - notably Steve Winwood and Steve Marriott.

But whereas Steve Winwood went from an orientation in black blues with The Spencer Davis Group to sublimate his musical efforts into the more far reaching social breath of English culture, psychedelia and the mysteries of the eastern cultures that the empire had encountered - i.e. to succeed in the cultivated turning into the riches of his social sublimation with Blind Faith and Traffic.... Steve Marriot did not take the turn where it was called upon by midtdasein - the call to turn from psychadelia’s initial organic emergence in being’s defense of organic synthesis against the rupture of analysis in education and intellectualism, the call to turn where this move, itself, began to go against his organic system. In fact, it was because Marriott and the rest of Humble Pie were so committed to becoming more black (with Eat It), that Peter Frampton left the group, not being able to relate to that quite.

When the money started coming in from the success of “Smokin” and the American tours, Steve decided that he would like to put “the real stuff” in there, so that we could actually record that for real.

After all, what did they really know about what it was to live with American blacks; or for that matter, what it was to be authentically motivated as a White man searching for communal peace in the absence of a nationalist underwriting of his folk, to be with the strains of his people nevertheless, as opposed to being drafted into the Vietnam war?

Pursuit of authentic black American soul caused them to lose (track of) their White English soul.

While Humble Pie blamed Eat-It’s commercial failure on Steve Marriott’s home recording studio as it overloaded base frequency, it would seem rather that Frampton’s instincts for a different direction were more in keeping with White interests and commercial success in America. But whatever the reason for Eat-It’s commercial failure, it was “the point where the freedom that [Steve Marriott and Humble Pie] had been given was starting to be questioned by (((the Gerry Moss’s))) of the world….because expectations of that record didn’t meet up with what [they] hoped it was going to do…that was going to be [their] coup de gras, that was going to be the big one..and instead of that, [they] literally did eat it.”

“His personal life was becoming a mess; at that point he was about to lose the love of his life, Jenny”

He was never the same after that.

Thus, when Steve Marriott and Humble Pie went for this more “authentic” black sound and inspiration in their 1973 album “Eat It” - what was supposed to be their break through - it failed, as it should have - it lost connection with authentic European being, it had assimilated Jewish universalizing misdirection for goyim. It was ‘73, the draft was over, altercast sympathy for midtdasein was over, the YKW were taking feminism into overdrive.

“Steve always had this idea of working with black, colored singers ....he produced three excellent singers - they become the blackberries - and Steve took them on the road with him in 73.”


Steve Marriott had been talking to the group about having backing singers from early on. During the recording of Eat It Steve Marriott had been in touch with Venetta Fields and asked her to find two other girls to help her out. Fields chose Clydie King and Sherlie Matthews (Both previously with Raeletts) to become the blackberries and flew to London. When Marriott asked them to perform on tour with Humble Pie Sherlie Matthews declined due to other commitments such as her two children and her husband. Matthews chose Billie Barnum to be missing member of the Blackberries.

The alpha male who could pull this off is already well prepared to assimilate and model not just negrophilia and the actualization of this (Enlightenment and Jewish altercast) pop-stardom, but to establish the pathway to wiggerdom for many a White teen as they emulate the “universally authentic” organicism - of a “man,” a “woman”, etc.

As mentioned a moment ago, there were distinct advantages to keeping White midtdasein on track for Americans at the time - even after the life and death confrontation of the draft was ended, the day to day confrontation with the full reality of blacks remained (not just their music or Jewish lawyer’s tales of their oppression). Confronted as they were with the harrowing reality enabled them to see a bit more clearly around the corners of the Jewish media’s misrepresentation of civil rights - at least not to see it as their native cause, let alone identify as black to the soul (as in “Black Coffee: My skin is White but my soul is black”). You really did not see hippies negrophilic to the point of becoming wiggers. P.C. had not taken total hold yet, there was still a lingering respect for the rogue aspects of European culture that they manifest and for the clear fact that they were truly not in every way privileged.

But by 1973 the Vietnam was over and in America, White male being was now shunted by the powers-that-be as mere indulgence; while their attack from feminism was being ramped-up to fever pitch, often in hideous tandem with black advocacy - endless, shrill guilt trips - and a mortifying threat - through even a modicum of their experience they could sense that black identity, black power and black civil rights were a completely different motive, heading in a completely different direction from the liberation of White male being. And that their motive to being was in an incommensurate (though potentially complementary direction) with feminists, they were being goaded into an incredulous expectation that our more sublimated and human patterns should fit comfortably next to wild African animals.

With White male Being no longer under the didactic threat of the draft, Jews and feminists no longer feeling obligated to altercast American White male Being, whether its legitimate organic expression or the affected black imitation - that White American audiences were not going to be persuaded to identify with anyway - the Jews would task cooperation from the Italian American mafia to make up for their (((Moss’s))) failed investment in Marritott’s ability to sound black, to market something that could appeal to both teenage girls and boys not having a taste for the neo-greaser movement that was the sudden disco fad. Thus, they marketed X-Humble Pie member, Peter Frampton, making his “Comes Alive” rock album the best selling live album of all time - not exactly deep culture, but more accessible as it was to traditional White teenage girls than “hippie-being.”

Frampton had left Humble Pie, rejecting the more hard core blues direction that Marriott wanted to take the band; Frampton was instead prepared to issued forth a commercial appeal to more traditional White American teens, who were not going to be converted wholesale to negrophelia and wanted a more uninhibitedly European sound and sexuality - more in line with their albeit still superficial freedom, than chants of deep, African liberation.

(((Moss))) and the Italian mafia saw an opportunity to capitalize on the times need to appeal to the semiotics of White male midtdasein to transition to the more faux-traditional, but shallow and irresponsible gender relations - viz., by backing Humble Pie defector Peter Frampton instead with his “Frampton Comes Alive Album.” The Mafia invited Marriott to Little Italy in New York, and he was made to understand that he should not interfere with Moss or Frampton. The project for White midtdasein would have to wait for another time.

Humble Pie, Black Coffee: The effort to manifest authentic soul had Steve Marriott take a turn into estrangement - over identification with black American soul caused him to - well, its a bit melodramatic to say “lose” his White English soul, but - to lose track anyway.

Humble Pie - ‘Black Coffee’ Lyrics

Artist: Humble Pie

In America, well it’s the land of the free
You can get what you want if you’ve got some do re me
Well travelling far and I work like a slave
Now how can you get and you know I get L.A.?
I get me a job and I build me a place
I got a spit of black coffee, oh how good it tastes
I said a dime is all it costs in the States
For a cup of black coffee, how good it tastes

(Black coffee)Alright
(Black coffee) Oh
(Black coffee) It’s what I want now, it’s what I need
(Black coffee) To suit my soul, to suit my soul now
(Black coffee) It’s what I want, it’s what I need
(Black coffee) It’s where it’s at, it’s where it’s at
(Black coffee) Oh

Black coffee is my name
Black coffee is not a thing
Black coffee, freshly ground and fully packed
Hot black coffee, boys, mmm that’s where it’s at, mean it.

Way back you all know since I don’t know when
See I got to move on before I was 10
You see my skin is white but my soul is black
So hot black coffee, that’s where it’s at.

(Black coffee) That’s what I’m talkin’ about boys
(Black coffee) That’s what I mean
(Black coffee) Ooh you’ve got to feel it in your hand
(Black coffee) Hmm yeah
(Black coffee).

Well you hear that
Some black tea, well it can’t compare with me
Black tea (can’t compare with me) that’s right
Black tea, well it’s as good as, it’s as good as, it’s as good as it can be
But it’s a cup of black coffee that a working man needs to see, yeah.


Hot’n'Nasty review of Humble Pie:

Humble Pie were the stinkiest, skeeziest band of their era. Unlike peers such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Free, they had no ambitions toward spiritual uplift or magical enlightenment. Nor did they attempt to add symphonic grandeur or modernist edge to their sound. It was as though they had taken the most disreputable themes of the Rolling Stones as a base to build on, or, rather, tunnel down from. Lyrically they offered no expansive vistas, no deserts or mountains or streams, and no visions of progress or redemption. They were an indoors band, and indoors meant either the bar or the coke den or brothel.




Humble Pie – Alabama ‘69 Lyrics
Yep. This one’s called “Alabama 69”

I come from Alabama and I work a ten pound hammer
And my woman’s picking cotton for the boss man on the hill
They work us till they break our back
Beat us cos our skin is black
I guess I’ll have to slave till the whip is in the grave

Yeah, when will we be free
I wanna walk down any road
And feel I have my liberty

Well, from day to day I live to die
The scars across my back don’t lie
Ain’t there anyone out there
To hear my freedom cry

Well, I believe a man’s a man who earns his pay as best he can
The color of his skin don’t mean he ain’t just like you
Yeah, but white folk here don’t give a hell
They think that we were born to smell
Of sweat and dust and dirt
Or plough until we die

Let me hear you now

When will we be free
I wanna walk down any road
And feel I have my liberty

These shoes I’m wearing every day
Got holes the size of Frisco Bay
I’m praying for the time
When there will come a judgment day

Let me play you some lead here
Ooh, ooh

Well, we all know how long it is since Lincoln made those promises
That one day we would walk along the white side of the street
Now, but there were some bad folk around
That got so riled they shot him down
And there ain’t a cop in town
Who wouldn’t do the same for me

Yeah, now, when will we be free
I wanna walk down any road
And feel I have my liberty

Well, now, now
When will we be free
Yeah, yeah
When will we be free
Ooh, yeah
When will we be free
Well, now, now
When will we be free
Well, now, now, now, now
When will we be free



Posted by Ian McGlagan of Small Faces on Thu, 22 Dec 2016 04:29 | #

        Small Faces
        Steve Marriott, Ken Jones, Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan.

NPR, Interviews Ian McLagan of the Small Faces, 5 Dec 2004:

DAVE DAVIES: Ian McLagan, welcome to FRESH AIR.

IAN MCLAGAN: Thank you, Dave, nice to be talking to you.

DAVIES: You came of age at a time in the mid-‘60s - it was really the dawn of British rock and roll - and have been doing music all these years. Tell us how you got into music.

MCLAGAN: Well, that’s an interesting - actually, my mom paid for me to have piano lessons, but I didn’t want to have piano lessons. It took me several years to figure out that that’s what I was going to do with the rest of my life. But I wanted to play snooker with my pals, and - who eventually formed a skiffle group and which I joined as the tea chest bass player.

DAVIES: Now, I think you’ve got to explain for an American audience what sniffle and snooker is.

MCLAGAN: Oh, skiff - OK, snooker is what pool should be, with a much larger table and smaller, tighter pockets.

DAVIES: Snooker, right.

MCLAGAN: Yes, and they used to have a lot of snooker holes in England at that time - very popular. And I still like to play whenever I can. Skiffle was what preceded the Beatles. In England, Lonnie Donegan was in a Dixieland jazz band in England - Ken Colyer band and then the Chris Barber band. And in the intermission, he would play his version of blues.

I call it kind of speed folk. It was very up-tempo and influenced by the blues and Lead Belly and all those guys. But it wasn’t the blues. It was kind of - it was folk. It was skiffle. That’s what it was called, and it became very popular. Almost everyone in my generation who ended up in a band started out playing washboard, guitar, banjo or tea chest bass.

It was a very kind of - it was like punk in its way, you know, that it was very, you know, up and at it. It was all kind of made up instruments - didn’t have to be talented. You just sort of had to bash away.

And bit-by-bit, I kind of fumbled my way into playing by - I got a guitar. And I started playing a basic Chuck Berry riff, and then transferred that to the piano, which was sitting in the sitting room still, and which I hadn’t played. But then when I heard “Green Onions” - Booker T. & the M.G.s, I thought well, boy, this sound’s for me. I’ve got to get one of those, whatever it is. And it turned out to be Hammond organ.

DAVIES: When you were a teenager in the early ‘60s and just scratching around in the music business, it was a time when British rock was really just taking form.

I mean, The Beatles and The Stones and The Who were all just getting going. And give us a sense of what the scene was like. I mean, were you aware that something kind of new and different and exciting was happening?

MCLAGAN: Oh, yeah. I mean, it was in the air. You know, I loved The Stones. I used to see them every Sunday after I discovered them, you know, and then I’d follow them. I’d catch them on a Wednesday somewhere else, you know. And then I’d find they were playing somewhere else on Saturday night, and I’d go there.

And then when The Who came out, actually I met Pete pretty early on at Jim Marshall’s drum shop, as it was, before he made guitar amps. I met Mitch Mitchell. He used to serve behind the counter there. It was later that he ended up as drummer with Jimi Hendrix, of course.

And, you know, there was a buzz going on, and Townshend was like, the first time I met him, he said so how you doing? Like what’s your bag? He was all interested in what I was doing. I was interested in what he was doing.

And you know, we’d all heard the music. You know, we wanted to play it. And then the next thing was to try and get gigs, and then you know, I became manager and a kind of agent of my band, although I wasn’t the singer. I was just the rhythm keyboard player.

But it was very exciting, just constantly trying to get gigs and playing and finding out where the clubs were and checking other bands out and thinking they ain’t that good. We’re better than them, you know. It was - I was too committed to know that, you know, I was - I was just having the best time.

DAVIES: You were listening to a lot of American blues. Were a lot of British teenagers into that then? I don’t think American kids were so much. Where did you get the records?

MCLAGAN: Well, that was - they were difficult to find. You know, the thing is one night, Humphrey Lyttelton had a jazz program. I think it was on Monday night on radio, was BBC 1, I suppose, it was then. And he played “Muddy Waters Live at Newport” “Hoochie Coochie Man.”

And that pretty much changed my life. That album, which I eventually bought with great difficulty from the local record store in Hounslow, where I lived, that and Thelonious Monk, “Monk’s Moods,” just changed my life.

And I figured, well, Monk’s a great blues player, and whoever is playing with Muddy is a great blues player, and that was of course Otis Spann. And Otis is probably my main influence on the piano, you know.

DAVIES: So you’re with the Muleskinners. They split up, and you find yourself bandless and then get recruited to an established group with a record contract, right? Small Faces?


DAVIES: How did that happen?

MCLAGAN: Well, strangely, I was in another band in between, but they weren’t that keen to work. And the van broke down one night, and they kind of laughed, and we were supposed to be going up to Scotland, which is, you know, like a six or seven hour drive back then, before the motorways, you know.

And so we set off again the next night, the next afternoon, and the van broke down again. I said that’s it. I quit. And so I was depressed. And I went to see my girlfriend that night, and on the way back I bumped into a friend of mine, Phil, who said so how’s the band? And I said, oh, I just left. And he said, oh, you should join the Small Faces.

I said, oh yeah, that’s very funny, Phil. It was all sarcastic. And the next morning their manager called me, and that afternoon I joined the band.

DAVIES: Was that just a coincidence?


DAVIES: Amazing.

MCLAGAN: He just - because they had had that one hit, you see. And I’d seen them on television, and my dad said check this band out, they’re great. And I looked at them. I thought, boy, they’re great, a great singer, and they look great. I thought, that’s the sort of band I’d like to be in, you know. And within, you know, a few months, I was a member.

DAVIES: Ian McLagan recorded in 2004. He died Wednesday. We’ll hear more of our conversation after a break;

DAVIES: This is FRESH AIR. And we’re listening to my 2004 interview with keyboard player Ian McLagan, who died Wednesday at the age of 69.


DAVIES: Your big hit in America with Small Faces was “Itchycoo Park,” and maybe we should hear that. Tell us about that song.

MCLAGAN: Well, strangely enough, Steve and Ronnie, Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane, wrote together, and it was hard to break into that partnership, although occasionally I would write with kind of a little germ of mine that Ronnie would help, and then that would come out as Marriott, Lane, McLagan.

I could never just separate them, but in fact I didn’t realize that Ronnie Lane wrote that song, almost as one of his. You know, the way a partnership works, it’s one or the other mainly, and the other one helps.

Well, that was a Ronnie Lane composition. And years later, when I was living in L.A., he called me from Austin in 1990 and asked if I would tour Japan with him, and I said I’d love to. I said just one thing, Ronnie. What’s that? I said let’s not do “Itchycoo Park.” I said, I’m sick of that song. He said, but Mac, I wrote that. I said, I’m sorry, I hate it (laughter).

DAVIES: Do you really hate the song?

MCLAGAN: Yeah. Well, see, I don’t think it is all too beautiful. I just - I mean, I’m a lucky guy. I’m a happy guy, but I don’t think it’s all too beautiful.

DAVIES: And that’s so much like most of the music you were doing.



DAVIES: That was “Itchycoo Park” by Small Faces. On keyboards was my guest, Ian McLagan. “Itchycoo Park” is - it’s a song that’s sort of more in the psychedelic vein rather than the blues that you were playing. Is that what you don’t like about it?

MCLAGAN: Well, it was - yes, but it’s the - you know, we were, Ronnie, Steve, and I took acid in 1966 and took acid again the next week and took a lot of acid over a period of time. And the music did change, and I think in some ways for the worse.


I mean, it’s like movies made around that time are - some of them are so hopeless, you can’t - I can’t look at them now. They’re just so desperately trying to prove that they’ve taken acid, you know. And it’s all too beautiful was the chorus of “Itchycoo Park,” and it’s that whole thing.

You know, I don’t think you have to prove it. You know, the experience was pleasant, and now let’s move on. Let’s go back to what we were doing. But we never did, really.

DAVIES: It’s also remarkable that you were in a band that had a lot of hits - I mean 14 hits in the U.K., if I remember. And yet you didn’t make any money. You couldn’t even afford your own apartments for a long time. Why?

MCLAGAN: We had management. We had very good management, or should we say thieves? We were just unlucky in that way. I mean, we were enjoying ourselves, you know, making the music and touring, but we never actually managed to get any royalties, publishing or any money from the gigs.

We were paid a wage of 20 pound a week, and that’s pretty much - we were living in a house together at that time. That was paid, and our food was paid, and our clothes were paid, and that was about it. So we got out of it.

DAVIES: You were awfully young. I mean, you were, what, 20, 21, and some of the guys were younger.

MCLAGAN: I was the oldest, yeah. Kenny was 16. You know, I mean, we were ignorant about business. I mean, boy. I mean, we were so thrilled to be able to, you know, play music, really, that it never occurred to us.

We never had a bank account, and our parents kind of suspected it and went to have a meeting with our manager, Don Arden. And he threw a red herring in front of them. He said people in show business spend money and they spent theirs. And anyway, they’re on drugs. And the parents then just left the office so downhearted, you know, and of course we weren’t on drugs. We were smoking pot.

DAVIES: Right, but…

MCLAGAN: I mean, it was suggested - the suggestion was, and what they thought, is that we were on heroin or something. You know, it was - that was the end of the inquiry into where the money was, you know.



DAVIES: You played with Bonnie Raitt and a whole lot of other artists. I mean, you became a fairly sought-after session musician, I guess. You declined a chance to play with the Grateful Dead. Why was that?

MCLAGAN: Well, I didn’t actually decline the chance - it was a chance, I wasn’t given the gig. A friend of mine, who was a friend of Jerry Garcia’s said they’re looking for a - their current keyboard player has died and they’re looking for someone else. He said you could - you want to - they want you to play to a tape and submit it, you know? And he said you’d make a quarter of a million a year, you know? You could live anywhere you want, blah, blah, blah. [...]  And I went out and bought a Grateful Dead CD. And my wife went out to do some shopping and came back to the hotel room and I was sitting in a blue funk in a brown study in a green swarm of hell and she said what’s the matter? I said I can’t play this music, it sucks. I mean, just my personal taste, I couldn’t - didn’t understand it, didn’t get it, you know, still don’t really. I mean, I know they make a lot of money; they got a lots of fans. Sorry if I’ve upset anyone but, you know?

DAVIES: Wasn’t your cup of tea?

MCLAGAN: Wasn’t my cup of tea. No more than Phish or that jam band. That’s so tediously boring. But, you know, I like a tune. I like a tune and a singer and a solo and now more of the tune. You know, I just couldn’t even do it, you know?

DAVIES: A lot of the guys that you shared, you know, a touring, recording and performing life with - I mean, Ron went on to some pretty remarkable things. I mean, Ron Wood still plays with the Stones. Rod Stewart, you know, does his thing out there and plays at arenas. I mean, you do music but at a sort of more modest scale there in Austin and I’m kind of wondering do you like it better that way or do you wish you were out there in front of these huge crowds doing it differently?

MCLAGAN: It’s such a good question, you know, when I first joined the Small Faces, I was so happy because as I said I was playing every night, playing with people who wanted to play. And we’d play after gigs. We’d just play, you know, in a hotel room. We’d just, like, be playing and talking, listening to music. Well, I did an interview for a magazine called Beat Instrumental, which was about gigs and musicians, and, you know, in the current scene, back in ‘65. And they asked me, what did I see in the future, you know, and it’s amazing what you say sometimes. And I actually said this, I said, I picture myself in a smoky club playing rhythm and blues. Well, hello, it came true and I shouldn’t complain because I love it still. I just wish I could make more money at it but it’s what I love to do.


DAVIES: Well, do you play “Betty” (McLagan’s Hammond organ) because of the sentimental attachment, or does she have a sound that you just can’t get anywhere else?

MCLAGAN: She, well, I’ve worked on her. I mean over the years, she’s a bit of a hybrid. She’s a racehorse, you know, not just a plow horse. She’s built for speed and built for sound, built for volume. She can, you know, electric guitarists like to think they’re loud, you know, they can’t top me.


MCLAGAN: I can finally compete.

DAVIES: Well, Ian McLagan, thanks so much for speaking with us.


Posted by mancinblack on Fri, 23 Dec 2016 04:22 | #

The eighty two year old John Mayall gave an interview back in September in which he said “Eric Clapton was the main one that pioneered the love of Blues (in Britain)”. Clapton’s fans referred to him simply as “God”, so here is a link to the word of “God” from a stage in Birmingham, in 1976. This always makes me smile, as it shows what a “hands on experience” can do for a man.


Posted by DanielS on Fri, 23 Dec 2016 05:08 | #

Mancinblack, how tight a corollary does the use of the term “wog” have with “blacks” (people of African descent) or “Jews”?

I’m sure it has a high correspondence to Middle Eastern and Asian Muslims, which is fine, they deserve to be among groups prioritized as adverse to native English interests, but I wonder if to some extent it (“wog”) reflects a sanctioned prejudice - “its more ok and easier to attack these people”, who may not be as acute a problem, as opposed to those people, who are a bit too backed by the powerful and the populace to target as a priority for non-cooperation and exclusion.

Would Clapton have called Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker and some of those Jewish record executives “wogs” and demanded that they get the hell out of Britain?

I’m asking in all honesty - I only have the vaguest idea of how the word “wog” tends to play out in patterns of ordinary usage in Britain…


Posted by Jimi Henry on Fri, 23 Dec 2016 05:38 | #


John Lee Hooker: “I got a song here dedicated to the memory of Jimmy Morrison, Jimmy Joplin ....and Jimi Henry.”



Posted by mancinblack on Fri, 23 Dec 2016 06:59 | #

Clapton used it to refer to Arabs and as I understand it he was concerned about the number of wealthy Arabs buying property in London, prior to the back stage incident involving his wife. He obviously didn’t include blacks in his use of the word as he mentioned West Indians separately, however in the sixties and seventies it was commonly used to refer to blacks via an association with “Golliwogs”. Personally, I’ve never heard it used in connection with Jews or Muslims from the sub-continent. In fact I can’t remember the last time I heard the word “wog” in conversation. I guess I must move in more polite circles )

I doubt very much that Clapton would have told the artists you mention to vacate the the country and I have no idea what his opinion of Jews in the music industry were.

Today’s “sanctioned prejudice” appears to involve East Europeans and in particular Poles, I’m afraid, as it’s far more damaging to White interests than the word “wog” could ever be. It’s also something I don’t quite “get”.


Posted by Eric Clapton on Sat, 24 Dec 2016 08:02 | #

Mancinblack, it seems Clapton was quite broadly racial in that tirade…I guess this answers my question, blacks were on the out list indeed:

Do we have any foreigners in the audience tonight? If so, please put up your hands. Wogs I mean, I’m looking at you. Where are you? I’m sorry but some fucking wog…Arab grabbed my wife’s bum, you know? Surely got to be said, yeah this is what all the fucking foreigners and wogs over here are like, just disgusting, that’s just the truth, yeah. So where are you? Well wherever you all are, I think you should all just leave. Not just leave the hall, leave our country. You fucking (indecipherable). I don’t want you here, in the room or in my country. Listen to me, man! I think we should vote for Enoch Powell. Enoch’s our man. I think Enoch’s right, I think we should send them all back. Stop Britain from becoming a black colony. Get the foreigners out. Get the wogs out. Get the coons out. Keep Britain white. I used to be into dope, now I’m into racism. It’s much heavier, man. Fucking wogs, man. Fucking Saudis taking over London. Bastard wogs. Britain is becoming overcrowded and Enoch will stop it and send them all back. The black wogs and coons and Arabs and fucking Jamaicans and fucking (indecipherable) don’t belong here, we don’t want them here. This is England, this is a white country, we don’t want any black wogs and coons living here. We need to make clear to them they are not welcome. England is for white people, man. We are a white country. I don’t want fucking wogs living next to me with their standards. This is Great Britain, a white country, what is happening to us, for fuck’s sake? We need to vote for Enoch Powell, he’s a great man, speaking truth. Vote for Enoch, he’s our man, he’s on our side, he’ll look after us. I want all of you here to vote for Enoch, support him, he’s on our side. Enoch for Prime Minister! Throw the wogs out! Keep Britain white!


...good boy eric.


Posted by mancinblack on Sat, 24 Dec 2016 08:33 | #

Good boy indeed.

I think I made some fairly racial comments but they weren’t directed at any one particular minority, it was a kind of feeling of loss of identity and losing my Englishness



Posted by DanielS on Sat, 07 Jan 2017 00:49 | #

I’m moving this post here to Central now. I had it in News and Views while it was not quite ready for prime time; and have worked it, I’m sure you will agree over-worked it.

I’ve been reluctant to bring it to Central not only because it needed correction and development, but because it could have seemed like I am registering a major complaint against “British hippies.” The issue is there really only to highlight, by contrast, pursuit of authentic midtdasein.

Finally, I had this article in News & Views because it is somewhat repetitious of things I’ve said before - but I do that for a reason, because I wanted to apply and develop these concepts through different content. However, in that development, I can see that “the system” that I am following, using, does hold up in its capacity to make sense - as another illustration of that fact, I move the article here to Central MR.


Posted by Small Faces coming from the East End on Mon, 09 Jan 2017 11:17 | #

Small Faces coming from the East End

21:20: Enjoying their new artistic freedom to the full, the small faces pioneered the concept album. with Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake, now regarded as a classic. Side one contained what was to become a worldwide hit, and a song that they’ve become identified with - Lazy Sunday.

Ian McLaglen: Lazy Sunday was as musical as anything. Yeah, that was a side of Steve that he kind of hated in a way, that it came out; but he couldn’t resist it either. He wanted to be soul man, blues man, you know ...and this other side of him would come out and he’d kind of, he’d laugh and rightly so, but he was never really reconciled to it.


Posted by John Peel branches off on Sat, 25 Mar 2017 23:59 | #

  Tobias Langdon, “THE DEATH OF JOHN PEEL”, 25 March 2017:

If you’re a stale pale male of a certain age and intellect, John Peel might at times have been the most important person in your life. Indeed, he may still be. He was the BBC disc-jockey who reigned as Britain’s musical arbiter elegantiarum from the late 1960s until his premature death early in the twentieth-first century. Champion of both the melodic and the discordant, he helped launch the careers of everyone from Altered Images to Zvuki Mu, from Dr Feelgood to The Datsuns. He was regarded as a national treasure at the death of his death in 2004 and his lustre remains undimmed thirteen years later.

White Flight

How could it not? John Peel was on the right side of history. He loved music and hated racism, firmly convinced that there is only one race — the Human Race. He contributed regularly to the Guardian and his shows always contained a healthy quota of Black music. He championed the same things in his politics as he did on the air: vibrancy, diversity and continual change.

But here’s a curious thing. Like his BBC colleague Andy Kershaw, he didn’t live as he listened. Both of them loved Black music while keeping well away from Blacks in their private lives. Peel abandoned ethnically enriched London to live with his attractive White wife and four children in rural Norfolk. Kershaw travelled even further from London, choosing to live on the Isle of Man in the middle of the Irish Sea. Greg Dyke, the former (and possibly Jewish) Director-General of the BBC, once described the corporation as “hideously white,” saying that it needed to employ many more non-Whites. Norfolk and the Isle of Man are much more deserving of that label than the BBC.

So was John Peel’s funeral:

It was a strange sound, coming from somewhere else. It took everyone by surprise. For a moment no one knew what it was. … It was the sound of thousands nearby cheering — a spontaneous, uncontrollable cheer of gratitude, of appreciation of talent, of respect, of love. The people who gave it were not celebrities, but fans. Most of the two thousand people who stood outside the radio DJ John Peel’s funeral at Bury St Edmund’s Cathedral on Friday 12 November 2004 and cheered his coffin as it was borne outside were, simply, his listeners. (The Peel Sessions, Ken Garner, BBC Books 2007)

        Stale pale mourners at John Peel’s funeral

Nearly all of those fans were White and most of them were men. It was a stale pale male occasion for a stale pale male icon. John Peel’s show did not appeal to many non-Whites. It was too intelligent, too ironic and too eclectic. But one of the show’s ironies was unintended. John Peel and his BBC producer John Walters were White males who devoted their intelligence and talent to an institution that hates Whites in general and White males in particular. In short, Peel and Walters were suicide liberals and spent their lives sawing at the wrong side of the branch they were sitting on.

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