The recording of the concert was organised at the last minute
and the equipment was poor as all that was available was a
rather poor mixer so we just stuck a stereo mic pair across
the stage for drums/backline and mixed in some PA mix for
front. We were positioned on the top of a sort of cloakroom
arrangement in a corner near the stage (in about an inch of
thick dust) but had a bad view of the stage from the equipment
area due to columns in the building. I spent most of my time
with headphones at the troublesome mixer so saw little.
The whole affair was a shambles with a fight breaking out
around the stage at one point destroying at least one of the
mics. I was pretty naive at the time and can not say I saw
Syd Barret but everyone was saying he was there. There were
a number of rambling untogether acts and I am pretty convinced
that the Syd Barret All Stars was mentioned at the time, as
well as "The last minute put together boogie band".
Recording was onto a 1/4track Revox at 7&1/2 ips (all
we had then) and I do recall listening to it after the gig
over the next months. Because we changed all our recording
equipment quickly to 1/2track (standard professional format)
the old 1/4 track tapes couldn't then be listened to. I recall
vaguely that it existed for some time but later attempts to
find it failed, e.g. when Robyn Hitchcock spent a day (around
1980) checking all the tapes in our library at Victoria Street.
It is possible that the tape was placed with a whole collection
of 1/4 track tapes that Gary Lucas had at the time (it was
his Revox) and I am trying to find out if he has any knowledge
of these. I've lost touch with him in the last few years since
he moved away from Cambridge but I think I can track him down
Mike Kemp, engineer
with Twink, Syd Barrett's bandmate in Stars
Opel #11, 5 December 1985
Trueman: After the Pink Fairies you next played in Stars.
How did that all happen?
I was living in Cambridge, after I'd left the Pink Fairies
I went back to London for a while & then moved to Cambridge.
And while in Cambridge I met Jack Monck & some local musicians,
though we didn't do anything serious.
Trueman: You hadn't known Jack Monck before then?
No. I met him through Jenny, Jenny Spires who was an ex-girlfriend
of mine, and she was also an ex-girlfriend of Syd's. It was
Jenny & Jack who brought Syd down to the Eddie Guitar
Burns gig at Kings College Cellar. And Syd had a jam that
night. And I think, I'm not sure if it's the next day, but
within the next day or two Jenny & Jack came round to
my house in Cambridge & we were talking & someone
said "wouldn't it be great to get Syd playing again."
It wasn't just me who said that, it was everyone. So Jenny
said 'Oh I'll fix up a meeting with him, we'll go & see
Syd & ask him if he wants to play with you & Jack.'
So that's what we did. We went round to his house & I
think his Mum answered the door & then Syd came to the
door & Jenny said, 'This is Twink & Jack, they want
to know if you want to form a band, just the three of you.'
So he said 'yeh, alright, come in'. And that was that. We
started rehearsing down in the basement of his house, that's
how it started. I think I'm right.
Trueman: Did you do much rehearsal?
Not really, we did about two weeks & then we had this
gig come up at the Corn Exchange.
Trueman: Who arranged those gigs?
A guy called Steve Brink. And I'm sure Steve's intentions
were good but he was just as crazy as everybody else, y'know.
If we'd had some sort of management direction then we wouldn't
have done any gigs for six months or maybe a year or something,
but we went straight into it. He came in & said 'I've
got this gig with MC5, I'm going to put you top of the bill.'
We said yes & he printed the tickets. This is very important
to me actually, the tickets said "Stars-Twink's new band",
and it looks as though, from that, that people think that
I actually got the bands name on the ticket like that because
I was more 'together' than Syd. But that's not true &
I'd like it to go on record that it wasn't anything to do
with me-it was the promoter trying to be overhelpful to me
& I'd never seen the tickets before they came out or anything.
Trueman: I think the gigs attracted more attention than
they should've done, as Syd hadn't been in the limelight for
quite some time.
Trueman: But you did some gigs in Cambridge apart from
the Corn Exchange.
Yeh well some of the gigs were great, some of them were really
good but the Corn Exchange gigs were awful. The one that I
remember best of all was the one that I enjoyed-the one in
the Market Square in Cambridge, in the open air, that was
great. And we did as few in the Dandelion Coffee Bar, I think
we did two there & they were also good.
Trueman: That was all around the same time.
Yes, all around the same time, 'cos the band didn't stay together
very long. Straight after that gig the bad press that we got,
I think it was Roy Hollingworth-Melody Maker, he did a piece
& he killed the band in fact, with that review. 'Cos Syd
came round with it in his hand the next day, he saw it &
says 'I don't want to play anymore'. So that was it. I mean
I expected that, I thought that that was a possibility that
something like that might happen, but it was a shame that
Trueman: What about the recording of the earlier gigs?
Well I don't know where the tapes are.
Trueman: Which gigs were recorded?
I think all of them were.
Trueman: And the rehearsals?
Syd recorded the rehearsals.
Trueman: On a portable cassette?
As far as I remember, yes, just on a cassette. And the
other one's were recorded on a really professional set up
by a guy from America that was based in Cambridge. He was
related in someway to Leonard Bernstein & his name's Victor
but I can't remember anything else.
Trueman: Did you realise that the Eddie Guitar Burns gig
was also recorded - a guy in Cambridge has a professional
No, I did have once one of the Stars gigs, between me &
Jolly, who was a friend I was working with at the time. He
used to make badges. He had a tape but I don't know what happened
to it. The tapes were good-they were all Syd's songs, Floyd
material. I don't think we had any new stuff, but I can't
Trueman: So Syd wasn't still writing anything at the time?
I can't remember. I know he was painting at the time, he was
abeautiful artist, he did oil paintings, fantastic abstract
paintings. Iguess most of those are still at his house, Jenny's
got one of them.
Trueman: Are you still in touch with Jenny?
No. I don't know if Jack is. They were married but I think
they'redivorced or separated now.
Trueman: Have you seen Syd recently?
No. Well yeh-I bumped into him a few years ago in Harrods.
I was going down the escalator & he was going up. But
I haven't seen him for a while.
Trueman: One of the guys writing a book on the Floyd has
been to see him recently - Mike Watkinson. [Note, this is
my mistake, Mike hasn't been to see Syd yet.]
Yeh, he's been in touch with me but we haven't got together
Trueman: How long were the sets that STARS performed?
The gig list for the Corn Exchange gig was supposed to have
been: Octopus, Dark Globe, Gigolo Aunt, Baby Lemonade, Waving
My Arms In The Air, Lucifer Sam and a couple of 12- bar blues
I can't remember exactly, how long the sets were but I
think it was about 40-45 minutes. It's quite amazing actually,
when you think about it, that he was keen at the time to do
this and y'know he was really 'there'. He's a great guitarist
& a great musician.
Trueman: Did Fred Frith ever play in the Stars line-up?
We got a letter from him in New York saying that he played
once on stage with Syd.
He didn't play in Stars but I don't know whether he did play
with Syd, it might have even been the Eddie Guitar Burns gig.
Trueman: Was there somebody else there then?
I honestly can't remember. It could well have been that though.
Trueman: There's a rumour that Stars also did See Emily
Play in rehearsal.
Yeh, I think that's right, but I'm not sure.
Trueman: What happened to the proposed gig at Essex University?
We tried to do that without Syd, because Syd had said
that he didn't want to play anymore-but we had that booked
so we all went down there with the intention of playing, I'd
brought another couple of musicians in to cover for Syd. But
in fact the promoter didn't want us to play 'cos Syd wasn't
there-so it was a bit of a disaster.
Trueman: Were you still going to play Syd's material?
No. It was going to be other stuff. But it was the wrong
thing to do we should've pulled out. But we decided to go
down there and it didn't work out.
from Jim Gillespie
Sunday, July 24, 2005 7:01 PM
Subject: Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band - Cambridge
If this helps any of the questions people have been asking
The Cellar at King's College was always a venue for jamming
and always had lots of people there from the Town and not
just University.I played there myself lots of times between
November 1969 and June 1971.
I was present at Kings Cellar on 26th January 1972. Last Minute
Put Together Boogie Band played a first set with Twink on
drums, Syd Barrett on guitar and Jack Monck on bass. Then
Eddie"Guitar" Burns played and at end there was
a jam with Eddie, Twink, Jack Monck and a guy called Bruce
on guitar (sorry I have no other information on who this is
apart from his first name but I wrote this down the next day
so I figure it is correct).
I also went to what was billed as "Six Hour Technicolor
Dream" at Corn Exchange in Cambridge the next day 27th
January 1972. Hawkwind definitely played as did Pink Fairies
and also I can confirm, as I wrote it down, that Fred Frith
did indeed play guitar alongside Syd and Twink as part of
Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band at that gig.
I also saw an outdoor gig in streets of Cambridge with Twink
and Syd and this took place on 12th February 1972.
Finally a word of tribute to Steve Brink who has been mentioned
as organising the "Six Hour Technicolor Dream" gig.
He was a very important figure in encouraging & allowing
people to play music in early 70's Cambridge - a real catalyst.
Steve ran probably the friendliest shop I've ever been into
- a clothes and hippy paraphernalia shop called "What's
in a Name" and also had a market stall selling same type
of items.The electric band I sang with PUSSY FROM WORCS played
a couple of support gigs for him.One was at the Dorothy -
which he called "Ball in the Rockroom" - on October
26th 1970 along with local band Barney's Bonanza,Quiver, Formerly
Fat Harry and Kevin Ayers & The Whole World. The other
was a club he called "Porridge" at YMCA Cellar -on
June 20th 1970 - this gig was as support for Quiver.Steve
also organised a big gig called "Bring a Blanket"
at The Corn Exchange on 5th June 1971 with Trident, Rambling
Sid, Skin Alley, Steve Peregrine Took and Pink Fairies. The
ticket for the night also included a place on buses after
the gig which took people out to Ivy Todd Farm, Ashdon where
Help Yourself struck up and Pink Fairies did another set.
Steve also organised an all-in package trip (travel, ticket
and refreshments) to the Bath Festival in the summer of 1970
and this was a real feat of orgnanisation considering the
state of the people involved. I still remember his words as
he spoke to me at that festival - "You're based here,
the others are based over there, and I'm BASED IN THE SKY..........."