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The Pink Fairies were an English rock band active in the Londonmarker (Ladbroke Grove) underground and psychedelic scene of the early 1970s. They promoted free music, drug taking and anarchy and often performed impromptu gigs and other agitprop stunts, such as playing for free outside the gates at the Bath and Isle of Wight pop festivals in 1970, as well as appearing at Phun City, the second Glastonbury and many other free festivals including Windsor and Trentishoemarker.


The group was formed when the three musicians from The Deviants (Paul Rudolph) (born 14 June 1947, Vancouvermarker, British Columbiamarker, Canadamarker) – guitar and vocals; Duncan Sanderson – bass (born 31 December 1948, Carlislemarker, Cumbriamarker); Russell Hunter – drums (born Barry Russell Hunter, 26 April 1946, Wokingmarker, Surreymarker), having sacked their singer and leader Mick Farren (born Michael Anthony Farren, 3 September 1943, Gloucestermarker, Gloucestershiremarker), returned from a disastrous tour of the West Coast of the United Statesmarker and hooked up with Twink, former drummer of The Pretty Things. Prior to the tour these musicians had collaborated on Twink's Think Pink solo album, and while they were away on tour Twink, Farren and Steve Peregrin Took had used the Pink Fairies Motorcycle Club and All-Star Rock and Roll Band name, taken from a story written by Jamie Mandelkau, as an umbrella for their activities, including one shambolic gig in Manchestermarker and the recording of Farren's solo album, Mona – The Carnivorous Circus.

Their music was upbeat good-time rock and roll, often jamming on The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows", The Ventures "Walk Don't Run", "Ghost Riders in the Sky" and other rock and roll standards. They were closely associated with the UK underground, being based in the Ladbroke Grovemarker scene and playing festivals, benefits and free concerts. The band also had strong connections with Farren's home town Worthingmarker, playing gigs for the Worthing Workshop. These included an appearance on a float in the Worthing Rotary Club Carnival Procession and a free open-air concert in Beach Housemarker Park. Playing for free outside the Bath Festival, they encountered another Ladbroke Grove based band Hawkwind, who shared similar interests in music and recreational activities, a friendship developed which would lead to the two bands becoming running partners and performing as Pinkwind.

Polydor Records commissioned the group to record a single, "The Snake" / "Do It", and were happy enough with the results to offer the group an album contract. The debut album Never Never Land was released in 1971, but omitted the single's A-side. An appearance at 1971's Glastonbury Festivalmarker led to them being given one side of the Glastonbury Fayre various artists triple album. In July 1971 Twink left to travel to Moroccomarker. The band continued as a three piece occasionally augmented by former The Move guitarist Trevor Burton. They released their second album What a Bunch of Sweeties in 1972, which featured some contributions from Burton. On the album's release, and with a promotional tour pending, Rudolph departed going on to play on albums for Robert Calvert and Brian Eno. He would eventually replace Lemmy in Hawkwind.

Mick Wayne (born Michael Wayne, 1945, Hullmarker, Yorkshiremarker — died 26 June 1994, in the U.S.marker), was Rudolph's replacement and this new three piece recorded one single, "Well, Well, Well" / "Hold On", but Sanderson and Hunter were unhappy with the musical direction Wayne was taking the band. Convincing Larry Wallis to join the group as a second guitarist, they then sacked Wayne passing song writing and singing duties onto the inexperienced Wallis. This new three piece then recorded the 1973 album Kings of Oblivion. Out of contract with Polydor, the band continued touring to a decreasing audience until finally calling it a day. Wallis went on to join Lemmy in the first incarnation of Motörhead, then became the in-house record producer for Stiff Records. Sanderson joined The Lightning Raiders. Hunter left the music business.

Ted Carroll, head of Chiswick Records, organized a one-off reunion concert at The Roundhousemarker on 13 July 1975 featuring all five previous members of the group (the concert was released later in 1982 as Live at the Roundhouse 1975). Following this concert, Wallis, Sanderson and Hunter decided to give the Pink Fairies another try. Recruiting former Chilli Willi & The Red Hot Peppers guitarist Martin Stone, they toured and released the single "Between the Lines" / "Spoiling for a Fight" on Stiff Records but with little interest being shown in them, they once again split up. Rudolph and Wallis resumed playing for Farren in 1977/8, but Rudolph returned to his native Canada prior to the recording of 1978's Vampires Stole My Lunch Money. In the early 1980s, Wallis and Sanderson recorded and gigged, the albums Previously Unreleased (1982) and The Deviants' Human Garbage (live 1984) being released.

In 1987 Jake Riviera, head of Demon Records, offered a recording contract for a reformed Pink Fairies. Of the five group members, Paul Rudolph was not involved so the second guitarist position was taken up by Andy Colquhoun, who had previously played alongside Wallis in Farren's bands. This band released the album Kill 'Em and Eat 'Em and toured before once again splitting up. An archive live album Chinese Cowboys: Live 1987 was issued in Japan in 2005 on Captain Trip Records.

In the mid-1990s Twink collaborated with Paul Rudolph and the pair recorded 1996's Pleasure Island and 1997's No Picture, released as the Pink Fairies on Twink's own label. Twink also issued a plethora of albums featuring outtakes, alternate versions, BBC sessions and live material including: The Golden Years 1969-1971, Do It, Live at Weeley Festival 1971 and Mandies and Mescaline Round at Uncle Harry's. During the early 2000s Polydor remastered and released their Pink Fairies back catalogue and issued the sampler albums Master Series and Up the Pinks: An Introduction.

The Kings of Oblivion line-up (Wallis, Sanderson, Hunter) were scheduled to play at one-off gig on 22 January 2007 at the Roundhouse, London and record a BBC session for Stuart Maconie's Freakzone radio programme, but activities were cancelled due to ill-health. In 2007 the biography Keep it Together! Cosmic Boogie with the Deviants and Pink Fairies by Rich Deakin, webmaster of Mick Farren's website, was published by Headpress. In September 2009, the What a Bunch of Sweeties line-up (Rudolph, Sanderson, Hunter) re-united in the studio to record a new version of "Do It" for the various artists CD Portobello Shuffle.



Compilation albums

  • 1975 - Flashback (Polydor)
  • 1999 - Live at the Roundhouse / Previously Unreleased / Do It '77 (Big Beat)
  • 1999 – Master Series (Universal)
  • 2002 – Up the Pinks – An Introduction to Pink Fairies (Polydor)


  • 1971 - "The Snake"/"Do It" (Polydor) – Rudolph; Sanderson; Hunter; Twink
  • 1973 - "Well, Well, Well"/"Hold On" (Polydor) – Wayne; Sanderson; Hunter
  • 1976 - "Between the Lines"/"Spoiling for a Fight" (Stiff) – Wallis; Stone; Sanderson; Hunter
  • 1977 - "Do It '77"/"Psychedelic Punkeroo"/"Enter The Diamonds" (as Twink and the Fairies) (Chiswick) – Twink

Live Albums and Other Releases

  • 1982 – Live at the Roundhouse 1975 (Big Beat) – Wallis; Rudolph; Sanderson; Hunter; Twink
  • 1998 - The Golden Years: 1969–1971 (Cleopatra Records) – Rudolph; Sanderson; Hunter; Twink (live, BBC sessions, Twink solo material)
  • 1998 - Mescaline and Mandies Round at Uncle Harry's (NMC) – Rudolph; Sanderson; Hunter; Twink; Burton (BBC sessions, live)
  • 1999 - Do It! (Total Energy) – Rudolph; Sanderson; Hunter; Twink (live, Twink solo material)
  • 1999 - Live at Weeley 1971 (Get Back) – Rudolph; Sanderson; Hunter (live)
  • 2005 - Chinese Cowboys (Captain Trip) – Wallis; Colquhoun; Sanderson; Hunter; Twink (live 1987)
  • 2008 - Finland Freakout 1971 (MLP) - Rudolph; Sanderson; Hunter (live)


  1. Twink site
  2. Forced Exposure # 11, winter 1987 – Larry Wallis interview by Nigel Cross
  3. Funtopia

External links

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