Lenny Helsing talks to The Pretty Things’ Wally Waller about the exciting remastering project that now gives us a brand new restorative re-release of the album “Rock St. Trop – Philippe Debarge with The Pretty Things” out now on Madfish/Snapper on both LP/CD formats.
With their truly magnificent S.F. Sorrow LP complete – yet still languishing in record racks – and the groundbreaking Parachute opus yet to be dreamed up; and with founder / lead guitarist Dick Taylor choosing to have a sabbatical from the group, the summer of 1969 looked a little dour for the Pretty Things. But that didn’t stop vocalist Phil May and bassist Wally Waller from creating an endless vat of songs within their infamous Westbourne Terrace digs. Furthermore, a new experimental idea brought to them by well-heeled French fan Philippe Debarge had just been agreed upon; a project that would involve Debarge taking on the role of lead vocalist, with the Pretty Things providing all the songwriting and musical backing – all other vocal duties would also be carried out by the group’s strong vocal arsenal: Phil May, Wally Waller, keyboards player and percussionist Jon Povey and the group’s new guitar maestro Vic Unitt – on loan from fellow underground freaks the Edgar Broughton Band.