The Pretty Things have influenced many artists and had an impact of both Bob Dylan and David Bowie.
Ahead of their Australian tour for David Roy Williams, founding member Dick Taylor told Noise11.com that even Bob Dylan once name-checked his band. “Bob Dylan referenced The Pretty Things in his song ‘Tombstone Blues’ with the opening line “The sweet pretty things are in bed now of course”,” Dick said.
The Pretty Things finally got around a few years ago to returning the favour with the title of most recent studio album ‘The Sweet Pretty Things Are In Bed Now Of Course. “We used to know Dylan,” Dick said. “Brian Pendleton, our rhythm guitarist got really friendly with him. We presume that was an oblique reference to us.”
And then there is Bowie who repeatedly name-checked The Pretty Things in song and modelled his early image on singer Phil May.. “Bowie with ‘Oh You Pretty Things’ and ‘The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell’ was also a nod to the band,” says Dick.
Asked if Bowie’s image was modelled on The Pretty Things frontman Phil May. “Absolutely,” says Dick. “He was our number one fan for the first few months of our career. When we were doing local gigs he would always be there. We did quite a few gigs up to ’68 where he was our support. Certainly right at the start he followed us religiously.”
Bowie also paid tribute to The Pretty Things once again on his ‘Pin-Ups’ album covering two of their songs ‘Rosalyn’ and ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’. “It was very much appreciated the fact that we were the only band he did two numbers,” he said. “We didn’t write the songs so we never made a penny but at least it raised our profile.”
With Dick Taylor and Phil May now in their mid 70s, The Pretty Things will return to Australia once last time.
The Pretty Things Australian Dates
October 3, Sydney, Factory Theatre
October 4, Brisbane, The Zoo
October 6, Melbourne, Thornbury Theatre (performing SF Sorrow)
October 7, Melbourne, Caravan Club
October 10, Geelong, Barwon Club
October 12, Melbourne, The Tote
October 13, Adelaide, Fowlers Live
October 14, Perth, The Charles Hotel
Fans in Melbourne will be treated to one complete performance of SF Sorrow on October 6.