Songworks #3: Feast of Stephen by Mike Heron (and John Cale)

Snow sculpture in Alaska

On the face of it, you couldn’t think of two bands more diametrically opposed than the Incredible String Band and the Velvet Underground. Yet in 1970 two of their number collaborated on an all-star album and, in particular, on one song: Feast of Stephen. Dramatis personae In 1970 Mike Heron of the Incredible String Band … Read moreSongworks #3: Feast of Stephen by Mike Heron (and John Cale)

Island Samplers – more than your money’s worth in old pence

Island sampler You Can All Join In front cover

In the early 1970s, inspired by the success of CBS’s The Rock Machine and The Rock Machine Turns You On, many record companies started putting out budget-price samplers. Island Records made some of the most popular samplers, and the Island samplers are still regarded with affection and listened to today. Fairport Convention, Jethro Tull, Traffic, … Read moreIsland Samplers – more than your money’s worth in old pence

Mike Heron for beginners: 3 albums and 5 tracks

Mike Heron

I’ve written a lot here about the Incredible String Band, including fairly detailed posts about Robin Williamson and about Mike Heron’s Smiling Men album. Here I’ll take a look at a few Mike Heron destinations to which you might choose to trust me to guide you. Like his bandmate Robin Williamson, his unpolished voice can … Read moreMike Heron for beginners: 3 albums and 5 tracks

Mike Heron: Smiling Men

Mike Heron: Smiling Men with Bad Reputations cover

Step this way – How Mike Heron opened the door for me This review of Mike Heron’s Smiling Men with Bad Reputations was previously published in the Incredible String Band fanzine Be Glad. Try this! Sometime around 1971 I wrote to Mike Heron and asked him, among other things, about the title and sleeve design of … Read moreMike Heron: Smiling Men