They put this whole Famepushers package together. They did a beautiful con, but it was Dave who did all the conning, It was he who arranged for Aer Lingus to do the airplane, it was he that arranged for Head Limousines to meet them in New York. They couldn't get the band into America. They had to get a private plane to fly them in to New York without immigration."
That was wonderful. First visit to New York and it lasts just '24 hours'! The smart people, like Richard Neville, took the free flight, maybe even went to the gig, and then stayed in New York. I just rushed about for the day, helped by Sam Hutt who was distributing medicament in our room in the Manhattan Hotel on 7th Avenue, just up from the most sordid block on 42nd Street. Brinsley Schwarz did play, but I don't know who noticed. We were more interested in Quicksilver Messenger Service and Van Morrison. Then it was all night wanderings, speeding out of our minds, giving a whole dollar to a bum who went apeshit, getting very embarrassed in a headshop when I didn't realise that New York 'papers' were London 'skins' and therefore looking vaguely for a copy of the New York 'Times' in the midst of the massed hippie paraphanalia. Then back home still going very fast and being grabbed in the office by a German TV crew - there always seemed to be German TV crews wandering round - and being told by Pete Avery, a friend of Alan's, that if I didn't stop talking he'd kill me. All I wanted to do was get back to New York, but I didn't until 1972, when I was fleeing the crumbling debris of my relationship with Rosie Boycott.
Famepushers vanished soon after Brinsley Schwarz. Presumably they lost their ten grand, and probably more."Update March 23 2000: Will Birch's book, "No Sleep Till Canvey Island", is an in depth history of the British Pub Rock scene of the '70s containing a wealth of information on Brinsley Schwarz, Famepushers, Barney Bubbles, Stiff Records, Friends magazine, and other stuff mentioned on these pages. Now available in association with Amazon.co.uk.
The interview texts are from
"Days in the Life: Voices from the London Underground 1961-71" by Jonathon Green,
used here with permission. Any reproduction is prohibited without permission from the author.
Days in the Life excerpts © Jonathon Green
contact: Phil Franks (freax AT arrakis.es)
Freax/Friends website produced by Malcolm Humes