17 hours ago
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Bulldog Breed "Austin Osman Spare"
A truly amazing story direct from the mouth of one of the musicians involved in the English freakbeat band Bulldog Breed back in the late 60's! Please read (reposted from youtube):
There are very few instances of Spare's work influencing musicians before 1970, but Bulldog Breed was one such example. Released in 1969 by Decca, the album is now a rarity. In a post on the Fulgur Yahoo Group (now closed) musician Rod Harrison described how he came to include a track on the artist:
"Well you certainly hit on a rare one there! As a matter of interest "Austin Osman Spare" was an acquaintance of my Grandmother. She had been been friendly with Austin and had been given many of his works! Before Gran came to London she had been a tutor at Bristol University (Piano and Art) My Mother also became interested in his Art as she herself was an artist. I recall that she worked just up the hill from Brixton at a place called Skolniks -- they were involved in commercial artwork somewhere around "Streatham high" as it was called then! Not too far from where Austin used to live! "My Mother and I went over to Ilford to see an Auntie of mine and as a child I was introduced to a world of Canvasses and painting -- mainly Austin's. This was shortly before my Mother had a very bad breakdown. I suppose I would have been about seven years old at the time. Everyone in my family was a bit artistic and even now I do the odd portrait or watercolour. I inherited a lot of prints and sketches of Austin's work, but with the passage of time they were lost (I think I left them in a bedsit in Ilford just round from the Bus station, 1969!) This was at a time when Bulldog were merging with T2! Keith Cross had turned up on the scene, most of my equipment had been stolen and I suffered a setback financially (as musicians do). I did a runner 'cos I couldn't pay the rent! "Austin lived in or around the Brixton area and was a good wartime painter but in later years I believe he suffered very badly with illness losing his limbs (gangrene) and dying somewhere about 1956. He had a belief that art should be within the reach of the common man. As to his involvement of the occult I really don't know too much about that- that was just how the lyric panned out. "I suppose you could say that he was a little influenced by William Blake and I am not too sure of his relationship with Crowley! "I was sharing a flat with a friend of mine just off Wanstead High Street and Bernie Jinks, Robin Hunt (whose family lived round the corner -- Nightingale lane) and numerous young ladies would come round for a bit of music practice! These two guys were always the ones with women in tow! I think that Robin, Bernie and I were sitting around on one such afternoon and since the pressure was on to write some material for the LP, for some reason Austin's name cropped up and we all worked it out from there! It was probably the introduction of the Artwork that inspired Robin to work on the Lyric! I had already got some idea of a Guitar part and with Bernie's' input the song came together in a very short time!"
Thanks to Philip Legard for this information.