In the age of R&B, few bands created as much excitement as The Pretty Things. They came up with The Rolling Stones, yet they were even wilder than Jagger & co.
When Phil May sang and shook his maracas with manic intensity, audiences knew they were in for a wild ride. Despite a reputation for crazy antics, the Pretty Things took their music seriously and developed into one of the most respected rock bands of the era. Their albums mirror the many changes that affected the music scene during the Sixties and early Seventies. The hot news of course, is that the Pretty Things are still touring, recording albums like ‘Rage Before Beauty’ and reviving their famous rock opera ‘S. F. Sorrow’ to critical acclaim.
Art students jamming at Sidcup College, in Kent, England, started the Pretty Things in 1963. Among them were guitarist Dick Taylor, a founder member of the Rolling Stones. Fellow student Phil May joined the sessions and they recruited rhythm guitarist Brian Pendleton, bass player John Stax and drummer Peter Kitley, later replaced by Viv Prince.
When the Pretty Things played at London’s Central School of Art in December 1963 they caused a sensation. Spotted by a talent scout, they were signed to Fontana. The art students became pop stars overnight.