Big Boy Pete - Homage To Catatonia - The Psychedelic Adventures Of Pete Miller (1966)
Artist: Big Boy Pete
Album: Homage To Catatonia - The Psychedelic Adventures Of Pete Miller
Great collection of unreleased psych-pop weirdness by the guy who created the monsterous "Cold Turkey" on 'Chocolate Soup', supposedly recorded in the '60s... Great UK style psych gems... anyone familiar with the killer "Cold Turkey" will know what to expect....
Even in his home town San Francisco, few people are aware that the quietly spoken Englishman, Pete Miller, whose recording studio has serviced hundreds of bands since opening its doors in 1977, is in fact, Big Boy Pete. The enigmatic psychedelic legend from the sixties.
If you have never heard of Big Boy Pete, you may not be alone. But if you're an avid record collector, you will know that his 1968 45rpm disc "Cold Turkey" is now a prized collector's item. (It commanded a $400 reserve price at last year's Sothebys Rock and Roll auction in London). The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, U.S., includes this record in its list of Psychedelic Classics. Big Boy Pete's name is painted on the museum wall right next to the Beatles' name.
Pete's sixties recordings have been re-released in England for the past couple of years on the Tenth Planet label. They are now becoming available in the US courtesy of Gear Fab Records, Bacchus Archives (a subsidiary of Dionysus Records), and 3 Acre Floor Records.
But wait! There's yet another interesting facet of Pete's career. Probably not a single student of the Audio Institute of America (and there have been thousands in over 100 countries around the world), realise that Big Boy Pete is the Founder and President of this State licensed educational school for recording engineers.
Pete engineered his first recording in 1959. He was in one of the bands from the original British invasion of the sixties. (Lead guitarist of The Jaywalkers, who toured extensively with the Beatles and Stones in those glorious years). He also had a solo recording contract with Columbia Records under yet another name - "Miller". The single "Baby I Got News for You" is another sought after collector's 45. (bigboypete.com)
1. Sheer Lunacy 2:15
2. Crocogators 2:46
3. I Am Seldom 21 3:01
4. Knit Me A Kiss 3:46
5. 1.5000.000 Volts 3:31
6. Captain Of My Toy Balloon 2:09
7. John Celery 4:55
8. Paranoia 3:49
9. Chinaman 2:35
10. Music Created By Dust 2:00
11. A Dog Called Doug 2:27
12. The Procession 2:35
13. The Candleman 2:12
14. The Treacle Days 3:13
Big Boy Pete - Return To Catatonia (1999)
This mysterious British guitarist (real name Pete Miller) cut some oddball non-hits in the '60s that have amassed quite a reputation among psychedelic collectors. Starting out as a member of minor British group Peter Jay & the Jaywalkers, he went solo in late 1965 with "Baby I Got News for You," a Troggsish number with wads of fuzzy guitar. Billed simply as "Miller," Pete was backed on the recording by Peter Frampton and members of the Herd. For the next few years he concentrated on writing for British music publishers, and recording demos for himself. A second single, "Cold Turkey," this time billed to Big Boy Pete, was issued in early 1968. With its eerie blasts of spaceship-elevator psychedelic guitars and biting mod-psych vocals, "Cold Turkey" fully deserves its classic status, though few heard it at the time. In a further twist to the already odd Big Boy Pete story, Miller refused to tour; a different singer was sent out in his place, leading to a good deal of "who really was Big Boy Pete" speculation among serious '60s historians before the confusion was cleared up.
Miller/Big Boy Pete eventually relocated to San Francisco to work as a producer and engineer, occasionally releasing albums on tiny labels. "Cold Turkey" and (to a lesser extent) "Baby I Got News for You" were reissued on compilations of '60s British psych/mod rarities, and the Damned (under the guise of Naz Nomad & the Nightmares) covered "Cold Turkey." Several albums of unreleased late-'60s Big Boy Pete demos have been issued.
Big Boy Pete was former Peter Jay and The Jaywalkers member Pete Miller who also cut Baby I Got News For You as Miller, recording under a pseudonym. He first played in a rock n roll combo called The Offbeats, who recorded a six song EP Introducing The Offbeats in 1958, before joining Peter Jay and The Jaywalkers in 1961. His work with the Jaywalkers included a number of singles, produced by Joe Meek, from whom Pete would learn many recording techniques. In October '65, he quit the band to concentrate on recording demos, alongside session work. During this period, over 100 of his songs were accepted by Major Publishing houses in London.
Returning back to his native Norwich, Pete continued to record demo's - influenced by the contemporay sounds, of Sgt. Pepper, Satanic Majesties and Axis Bold As Love, and although rejected for being too far-out for the mainstream publishing houses, many of these tracks have now been compiled on the Homage To Catatonia and Return To Catatonia retrospectives.
However Big Boy Pete is best remembered for Cold Turkey which is an interesting and unusual psychedelic record well worth getting to hear. When the single started to create a buzz, Pete, tired of touring from his days with The Jaybirds, refused to go out giging to support the single so a 'bogus' Big Boy Pete was enlisted to do the dirty work.
Big Boy Pete later relocated to the 'States, where he runs his own Recording Studio, and record label.
Compilation appearances have included: My Love Is Like A Spaceship on Visions Of The Past, Vol. 2 (LP & CD); Cold Turkey on Chocolate Soup For Diabetics, Vol. 2 (LP), Electric Sugar Cube Flashbacks (CD) and Electric Sugar Cube Flashbacks, Vol. 4 (LP).
Yes, the Bad Boy from Norwich, UK that recorded a ton of very psychedelic material on his own between 1966-1969.Big Boy Pete was truly a Pioneer of the English Freakbeat scene. England's best kept secret!! The CD version of the Tenth Planet LP released in 1998. Includes all the original artwork and liners by David Wells
1. 'Twas Not So Short Ago (May 1967 Sheena Music, BMI)The turbans are coming…the pillars crumble, farewell olde blighty…the scent of a memory vanishes…day trip to Liverpool Street on the L.N.E.R…faceless raincoats slide into the Pussycat…strippers dart from club to club…swinging Carnalby Street…the ion crowd is gone. 3:342.
2. Me (November 1967 Sheena Music, BMI)London American boy….Rosettis and Elpicos…boxed in by winter…trying every which way to make the great escape…face to face in a house of mirrors…down the river of no return…World War II pilot's throat mic strapped around the gourd…can't focus, can't spit a sixpence. 2:183.
3. Summerland (June 1967 Sheena Music, BMI)Gleaning the corn with the Grim Reaper…medieval mistress puggle jumping rings around the roses…violet twilights by Pan's pool…the critters visit, the birds do not lie…crispy hillbilly moon, cool as a melon…fairytales of plagues, teddy bears and blueberry tears…I make I laugh. 2:494. 4. Nasty Nazi (May 1968 Sheena Music, BMI)Mooncalf and Lunkhead…electrogli de in Lacons ol'nog…Fagash Lil on the back…teds without a cause…hogwild kieselguros…rotting leather fruit from another world…spot o' bovver- no problem. 3:215.
5. The Raid (December 1968 Sheena Music, BMI)Triple witching hour…club closed…loaded mice…band severely relaxed…around a candle, two moths race to die…an eighteen foot policeman in the window…bobby trap at the pink house….case of the willies? 2:106.
6. Creosote and Cream (July 1967 Sheena Music, BMI)Tango in monochrome…charc oal sketch of a naked summer…march of the pollen heads…barefoot through the smouldering fields…in the heart of the fire, an iceberg…fork in the road to Selma…ying yang gumbo…crumpled dreams…by their roots ye shall know them.3:127.
7. Crystal's Tune (September 1966 Sheena Music, BMI)Across the waves a silent stampede of pure white sirens hug the planet…adrift beneath the earth and sky…ship of the moon, but no reflection in the water…burning question, but answer comes there none…keeper of the flame….last stop to innocence. 2:558.
8. Strontium Ninety Nel (July 1967 Sheena Music, BMI)Nellie the robot…triple breasted clone…radioactive bums…test tube tart with tumorvision…magnes ium boots…psychotically cellular figment…disposable bins…take off your clothes and repeat after me "help yourself". 2:389.
9. Convercircles (December 1967 Sheena Music, BMI)Bonfires in the brain…spirals of smoky dialogue without a safety net…an idea- a firefly swiftly rises and flickers out…a cauldron of brave leafy words…sufficiently enwizarned…flashes of lightning, of meteors, of comets…but no miracles occurred. 2:0910.
10. The Day Stares Straight Back (February 1968 Sheena Music, BMI)Morning glory…ten to eight…factory horn shreds the fog... a gaggle of sheep straddle ruty Raleighs…the zombie express takes prisoners to the smokestacks…a thousand towns, a thousand beds, a thousand lies. 3:4311.
11. Henry Nut (Part Two) (November 1966 Sheena Music, BMI)A sterling performance by the alchemy revue featuring the Lower Waveney dwyle flonkers…Alvin on acid/Douglas in Welloies/Jimmy Cricket/Frobisher's gnome…all L drivers…a chemical conundrum…stuff and nonsense- no excuse! 2:3712.
12. Hung Up (February 1969 Chappel Music)I hang my quill upon the melody line…"Just finished a new song"…"That's nice dear, what would you like for tea?"… a million miles apart..Dad's old out of tune piano..snow jobs from Westminster…betray al, disillusionment, a wilderness of toads.. know your enemies..our island of eternity? I think not. 2:4513.
13. Sums (August 1968 Campbell Connelly)Safety in number…Socrates over Hercules…Phaedra on Plato…figuratively speaking, of course…love is an equation…kneetrembl ers equal broken knickers…snoggin' at the flicks with Gidget and Sabrina…I'll show you mine if…3:1914.
14. The Shelter (November 1967 Sheena Music, BMI)My companion, the cuckoo summons…a prayerful time…the sky has ended…time to light the lantern, blow the whistle, or this winter the willow will freeze for good…weekend treehuggers get your ration coupons…oh well, I guess that's showbiz..last tube to Paddington..the turbans have landed.2:57Total Time-40:47
1. 'Twas Not So Short Ago 3:36
2. Me 2:20
3. Summerland 2:53
4. Nasty Nazi 3:24
5. The Raid 2:12
6. Creosote And Cream 3:15
7. Crystal's Tune 2:58
8. Strontium Ninety Nel 2:40
9. Convercircles 2:12
10. The Day Stares Straight Back 3:45
11. Henry Nut 2:40
12. Hung Up 2:39
13. Sums 3:24
14. The Shelter 3:04
Big Boy Pete - World War IV (1969)
2. Movement 2 (Largo)
3. Movement 3 (Transience)
4. Movement 4 (Echelon)
5. Quietus 6. Finale
Big Boy Pete - Psycho Relics (1965 - 1969)
1. Baby I Got News For You (Demo) 2:34
2. Flying Solo 2:33
3. Farewell Welfare 4:16
4. London American Boy 2:57
5. She's The Only Woman 3:48
6. Sweetmeat 3:07
7. Listening To The Wind 3:46
8. Freeloader 3:08
9. There Is A Town 3:53
10. Shiralee (Part One) 3:42
11. Shiralee (Part Two) 5:32
12. A Light In The Sky 3:10
13. Have You Wished? 3:07
14. Blue Dan 1:55
15. The Mother Seeds (Land of Schlimpf & Whatzit) 3:18