Your (Admittedly Very
Basically Designed At The Moment) Local Mellotron
- celebrating music inspired by the Mellotron and Chamberlin
SCROLL DOWN FOR MELLOTRON LINKS!
There has been very little activity on this site, including the promised design upgrade, basically because we've been BUSY.
So, here goes:
1. Much missed will be ROBERT KIRBY (16 April 1948-3
October 2009) and TONY CLARKE (21 August 1941-4
A huge part of of our musical legacy has gone with the passing of such musical giants - who also happened to be incredible, considerate gentlemen,
and always quick to praise the talents of others - as anyone who was at MelloFest One and Two will testify.
An obituary by Nick Awde of Robert is at
His obituary of Tony is
(Note that these are dry and concise, reflecting the style required by most British newspapers.)
For interviews with Robert and Tony at MelloFest One, go to:
If anyone has a recording of Tony at MelloFest Two, could they let us know?
2. A report and images of MELLOFEST TWO are long overdue. We're working on it.
3. MELLOFEST SIX is planned to happen
towards the end of the year. After the summer.
A formal concert structure, ticketed, special guests, no chat, just the music. Maybe a special viewing of
Mellodrama the Mellotron documentary by Dianna Dillworth. And yes, it'll be London again.
Unless there's a whole lot of you out there from somewhere else to bend our ears... (please!).
4. What's this? MelloFest Six? What happened to Three, Four and Five?
Well funny you should ask. MelloFest was always intended to be an adaptable concept (One was a book launch, Two was a happening)
so while we've been exploring a wide option of virtual MelloFest possibilities, we also decided to make the debut album
(actually it's an EP) from Nick Awde & Desert Hearts the next MelloFest, i.e. number Three.
Rather obviously titled
"CLOSE TO THE EDGE
B/W ROCKET MAN/MERYL STREEP" the EP features the new M4000 Tron on
each of the three
tracks, including some ripping strings on the cover version of Yes's 1972 classic epic, choirs (and wolf choruses) on the Elton John track, and snippets
of strings and bass clarinet on the Nick Awde original "Meryl Streep" (which is actually more about Carrie Fisher, Kim Deal and Gina Gershon).
Musicians include whizz guitarist Fred Hill, Dean Friedman (as in "You can thank your Lucky Stars..."), Knox of The Vibrators, Andy Ward (formerly of Camel) ,
Nick Pentelow (ex-Wizzard) and Lyndon Connah (ex-Level 42). Bizarre? You bet, but it rocks. MelloFest Three should be officially out this March on CD. Details to follow.
And MelloFest Four?
More of the same. Namely a full album from Nick Awde and Desert Hearts, slated for release early summer. Title? "MELLORETRO". The gear?
Our trusty M4000 (we figure to use the vibes on this one, plus the solo sax) and a down-and-dirty Minimoog. If the band goes live with this one, will we
need FOUR Trons onstage? Yes. Is there a venue able to take such magnificence? We'll see...
MELLOFEST FIVE - we're working on it. Details to be divulged soonish.
Watch this space for soon-to-come reports, pix
and other links from the 2ND INTERNATIONAL MELLOFEST 2009
which took place on MAY 2 at the Luminaire in Kilburn, North London.
MELLOFEST 2 was the next step of our new festival series celebrating the Mellotron keyboard and the music it inspires. Onstage on May 2 were three Mellotrons (two white and one black) plus a guest list of classic rock and contemporary artists. The 'unplugged' night featured more music and less talk than MelloFest 1..
The FIRST INTERNATIONAL MELLOFEST 2008 [CLICK HERE FOR THE JAPANESE VERSION] proved to be the unique experience it had promised. After all, how often do you find a brace of Mellotron 400s nestling onstage plus such an august gathering of keyboard players (amongst so many other great musicians)? The event featured discussions and live Mellotron-inspired music from very special guests plus the official launch of Nick Awde's new book 'Mellotron: The Machine and the Musicians that Revolutionised Rock'. Talking about their music and in some cases also playing it were: David Cross (King Crimson), Nick Magnus (Steve Hackett Band), Martin Orford (IQ), Jakko Jakszyk (21st Century Schizoid Band/Tangent), Dave Cousins (Strawbs) & Robert Kirby (Strawbs), Robert Webb (England), and Tony Clarke (Moody Blues).
For further details on "Mellotron" the Book, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44-(0)7961 154590.
SOME NICK AWDE BOOK REVIEWS & MENTIONS...
One from Sid Smith, author of rock biography 'In The Court of King Crimson' (amongst other things), on his Postcards From The Yellow Room - and why not take the time to browse the rest of Sid's insights on music on his blog site?
Here's one we're especially proud of – Mellotron pioneer Geoff Unwin in the Liverpool Echo ("I gave Lennon a few rock tips...").
ESSENTIAL MELLOTRON LINKS...
Planet Mellotron - the first stop for any serious Tron browser, packed to the gills with reviews and lists of albums and bands that used the Mellotron, all courtesy of the pen (and ears) of Andy Thompson.
Streetly Electronics - home of the original Mellotron and now making the M4000, courtesy of John Bradley and Martin Smith. And still based in the UK's rockin' MIdlands!
Mellotron Archives - the US home of the Mellotron (and Chamberlin), run by David Kean, and linked to Sweden's Markus Resch - makers of the MkVI.
Mike Pinder - site of the Moody Blues' Meistermellotronist - what more can we say?!
Don Tillman - a site with many facets... start with 'Don's Mellotron Page'.
Rick Blechta's aptly named Rick's Mellotron Page - enjoy browsing the rest of a remarkable site, including the fabled "Mellotron Recording Society of Toronto_".
Perhaps my favourite of all: King Crimon's Mellotrons, Robert Cervero's visit to the King Crimson treasure trove of Trons used on all the classic albums (and his mini-site on Fruupp [Ian McDonald-produced 70s UK band] - see below).
Two pages from the IEEE (and no, I have no idea what it stands for either) Virtual Museum: one in general on The Mellotron, complete with video clip of Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones onstage doing the intro to 'Stairway to Heaven', plus a series of short linked articles entitled 'Songs in the Key of E', the last being 'Digital to the Forefront: Synthesizers, the Mellotron, and the Fairlight CMI'.
Hirofumi Takamiya’s Tokyo Mellotron Studio.
Robert Webb of England delivers a double whammy on the Garden Shed Music site with his Mellotron Information page, featuring links to 'The Mellotron on "Garden Shed" by Robert Webb 2005' and 'History of the Mellotron'.
A personal history of the Beast, My Mellotron Special, at Erik's Prog Corner - and you'll also find a rewarding trove of links to Erik Neuteboom's thoughts on prog rock in general and proggers in Europe in particular.
An eclectic yet informative list of albums on Mellotron, the Music, and the Albums That Use It at www.hippy.com - very short but nuggets abound, such as one reader's comment: "The only country recording I can think of that includes a Mellotron, is Freddy Fender''s 'Wasted Days and Wasted Nights'."
The 'Other Mellotron Book' is Frank Samagaio's pioneering (and appropriately named) 'The Mellotron Book' - it takes a more technical look and makes the perfect complement to Nick Awde's 'Mellotron' - if you can't own two Trons, then surely two books on them is some compensation! Buy it from Amazon or contact Frank for more details.
INTERNATIONAL GAZEETER (handy when your tapes gop AWOL in foreign climes)
[A LIST OF MELLOTRON EXPERTS PER COUNTRY SLOWLY BEING COMPILED... WATCH THIS SPACE]
THOSE ALL-IMPORTANT MELLOTRON-RELATED LINKS...
King Crimson lyricist extraordinaire Pete Sinfield's verbal Mellotron experience.
Amazing YouTube orchestral demo of the Ondes Martenot
AND THE FIRST OF MANY ESSENTIAL LINKS TO MELLOTRON-RELATED MUSICIANS...
Robert Cervero's fansite for Fruupp - 70s UK band produced by King Crimson's Ian McDonald
LINKS FOR MUSICIANS
Call Dan at Elbow Productions if you're a serious up-and-coming musician in search of gigs in London.
Mellotron progressive rock prog rock British invasion Tony Banks (Genesis), Mike Pinder (Moody Blues), Ian McDonald (King Crimson, Foreigner), Woolly Wolstenholme (Barclay James Harvest), Greg Lake (King Crimson, Emerson Lake & Palmer), John Wetton (King Crimson, UK, Asia), Nick Magnus (Autumn, Steve Hackett Band), Martin Orford (IQ, Jadis), Roine Stolt (Flower Kings, Transatlantic, Tangent), Jakko Jakszyk (Level 42, 21st Century Schizoid Band, Tangent), John Hawken (Renaissance, Strawbs), Doug Rayburn (Pavlov's Dog), Tony Clarke (Moody Blues), David Cross (King Crimson), Dave Cousins (Strawbs), Blue Weaver (Strawbs, Bee Gees), Robert Kirby (Strawbs), Robert Webb (England), Dave Gregory (XTC), Andy McCluskey (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark). Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson) provides a drummer's view of working with four classic Mellotron bands, and there are perspectives from Geoff Unwin, the first Mellotronics demonstrator, John Bradley & Martin Smith of Streetly Electronics, the original makers of the Mellotron, and Planet Mellotron's Andy Thompson Nick Awde