Soundtrack: click on the player below for a streamed selection of rare John McLaughlin recordings from 1963-68. Details of the music are given at the end of the extract.

Walking

Untitled Abbey Road Blues: Graham Bond Quartet, 16/5/63

Walking

Little Girl - Version 1: Duffy Power, autumn 1965

Walking

Yesterday: Howie Blake & His Combo, 18/1/66

Walking

Cruisin': Herbie Goins & The Night-Timers, early 1966

Walking

Hound Dog - single release version: Duffy's Nucleus, late 1966

Walking

Goodbye Porkpie Hat: Mike Carr Trio & Gary Cox, BBC Radio 15/6/67

Walking

Misterianimoso: Danny Thompson Trio, BBC Radio, 18/9/67

Walking

Nardis: John McLaughlin & Bob Cornford, rehearsal, early 1968

Walking

Quasimodo Jam - excerpt: Time is Now, live 9/11/68


Extract From Bathed In Lightning

Context: it’s 1965 and London is ‘Swinging’…

‘If I could somehow live my teenage years over again, I think I would choose to live them as a Mod. What it must have been like to be a Mod in London in the summer of 1965! To walk around the West End in a Carnaby Street parade, everywhere kids blindly chasing the same absurd dream, lives surrounded by and creating an atmosphere of the purest pointless pop the world has ever seen.’[i]

            That was the view of one slightly-too-young Anglophile American in 1973 – a mere blink of an eye in one sense, and yet a lifetime in another, after the legend of ‘Swinging London’ had captured the imagination of the world.

            ‘I have a memory of two fat years, 1964 and 1965, when you did nothing but run loose and waste time, buy new clothes and overeat and gab,’ reflected British pop’s first chronicler, Nik Cohn, before the ‘60s were even over.  ‘It was futile, of course - pop has always been futile - but it seemed elegant, it was easy living, and English pop was better than it’s ever been, than it’s ever likely to be again. No doubt there’ll be great records made, heftier achievements racked up – it’s just that there won’t be any time when you could open your Melody Maker, scan the clubs, walk down the street and hear so much noise for 7 shillings 6d.’[ii]

            For those around in London at the time who had enough free time, wealth or appetite for adventure, and for countless more worldwide who bought into the dream, a time for living in the moment had assuredly arrived. Where once cultural envy and aspiration had looked westward over the Atlantic, now things tilted the other way. To willing onlookers, everything about London life seemed iconic, colourful, moving forwards, rapidly forsaking the long-lingering repressions of the post-war years – from Michael Caine’s new, unselfconscious English cool in The Ipcress File to the Union Jack clothing of the Who, a band exploding worldwide from transistor radios with ‘I Can’t Explain’, a song celebrating youthful energy’s triumph over reason. The message seemed to be: don’t think about it, just do it. And so it was. Living the moment lasted maybe two to three years; documenting that moment, probing it, defining it, exploring it, trying in vain to retrieve it or relive it has lasted ever since. It is a blip in history the aura of which can never fade and a well of artefacts and fascination which has yet to run dry.

            Ian MacDonald, who grew up in that decade, summarised it thus, with the detachment of 30 years, in his book Revolution In The Head:

            ‘Spear-headed by the Beatles, the two-year ‘British Invasion’ of the American Top 10 established the UK as the centre of the pop world with a flowering of talent matched nowhere else before or since. As British Pop Art and Op Art became the talk of the gallery world, a new generation of fashion designers, models, and photographers followed Mary Quant’s lead in creating the boutique culture of Swinging London to which international film-makers flocked in the hope of siphoning off some of the associated excitement into their pictures. Long-standing class barriers collapsed overnight as northern and cockney accents penetrated the hitherto exclusively Oxbridge domains of television, advertising, and public relations. Hair lengthened, skirts shortened, and the sun came out over a Britain rejuvenated, alert, and determined to have the best of good times.’[iii]

            And what, amidst all this sunshine and swagger, was the 23-year-old John McLaughlin doing?

            ‘Struggling, fighting, trying to find a way… I was struggling in my 20s,’ he reflected, 40 years later. ‘I was really struggling because I couldn’t find any guitar player that really spoke to me. The only people that really spoke to me were people like Miles and Trane and Bill Evans and their drummers. And by this time, of course, it was like late ‘64-65... This was some period, man… [But] for me, at that time, it was just normal. It was the music that was happening at that time. But when I look back at it now I see it was like a phenomenal period for jazz and for music in general. Man, just think of all that was going on in the early ‘60s, and I was caught up right in the middle of it.’[iv]

            Through his sessioneering for the stars (and for those who hoped to be), and through involvement in a string of soul music gigs over the next couple of years, John would never again come as close to the ‘mainstream’ of music as he would in this heyday of the ‘Swinging Sixties’.

‘I remember Dionne Warwick coming over and doing some recordings in London with Burt Bacharach,’ he recalled, ‘and I was one of the guitar players on that session. That was nice. And in fact, I did a movie with Burt around that time… I forget which one it was. But then I met him later, much later, when Miles invited me to his house in Malibu. He was a neighbour of Burt Bacharach at the time. And I remember Burt coming over once and I said to him, ‘Burt, I don’t know if you remember me but I played a session with you in London several years ago’. He didn’t remember me, of course. I was just like some guy in the band.’[v]

            The sessions with Dionne, produced by Burt Bacharach, occurred in November 1964, during days off on a European tour. The film, whose soundtrack sessions John was a part of (sometime in the first half of 1965), was What’s New Pussycat? For a musician of John’s sophistication, it was certainly a step up from the faux Diddley of ‘365 Rolling Stones’.

‘Burt’s a really fine musician,’ John reflected. ‘He’s written some fantastic tunes. He knows his harmony and he’s really a well-schooled musician. I could see that from what I was playing in the movie score.’[vi]

            John’s observation chimes with a more profound one by Ian MacDonald, who argued that ‘the only Sixties pop composer to have worked from full knowledge [of music theory] without forfeiting his creativity was Burt Bacharach… Invariably the most original pop songs have [otherwise] been written by artists cleaving to their own private ideas of musico-lyrical design… Without a complete technical training – rare in the pop world – pop writers usually become trapped between knowing too much to be roughly spontaneous and too little for a smooth transcription of their finer ideas, supposing they have any.’[vii]

            ‘One of my main pleasures is listening to jazz musicians,’ Burt said, at the time. ‘[But] pop music is being very good to me, and I do not look down on it.’[viii]      

            Much of John’s time as a studio musician in the middle sixties would be spent fleshing out some very slender ideas indeed, but the essential truths in MacDonald’s argument – that there is a certain freedom of possibility with naivete and that too much learning can be a strait-jacket to the muse – would apply to John’s musical development too over the next few years. Although never himself interested in pursuing a pop direction (despite writing a couple of pop songs in his time) a key part of John’s journey from the polite, if admired, modern jazz player of the Georgie Fame / Graham Bond era into the master and originator of a whole new stream in music 10 years later, in a whole new world somewhere between jazz, rock and other forms, would lie in finding a way to unshackle himself from conventions (in all genres) while not consciously trying to side-line his learning in the false hope of finding a totally spontaneous creativity. He would somehow have to channel that learning into building a new musical architecture of the highest skill within which total freedom as a player – knowing everything, yet forgetting everything - may occur. It would be a long process yet, with a cul-de-sac or two along the way.

            The first bit of unshackling that needed to happen was the removal of prejudice against pop music per se:

            ‘By the time the Beatles came out I was a jazz snob,’ he admitted. ‘I’m listening to Coltrane and the Beatles come out with their first record and I said, ‘What is this shit? This is not art.’ I mean, I wanted to hear Giant Steps, not ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’... It was only later when we were all dropping acid [and] they did Revolver [in 1966] that they really grabbed my attention. I checked out that album and said, ‘Wait a minute!’ because I knew they were doing the same thing I was doing... ‘cause it’s in the music. You can hear it, it’s beautiful. And then Sgt. Pepper’s came out and by that time I was a big fan. And I remained one of their greatest admirers. But I never had any desire to go that way myself. No, I was already swept away by jazz.’[ix]

            The melding together of influences, nevertheless, would be an ongoing process in those headiest of times. With so much music around, and with John being involved one way or another in such a variety of it, it would have been impossible for him to have avoided soaking up ideas, be it by choice or osmosis.  Even the uncompromising John Stevens found himself performing with a Beatle before the decade was out.[1] And while all that was going on, John McLaughlin would still be wrestling with the dilemma of being a born guitar player with horn-playing idols:

            ‘I always used to wonder why Miles and Trane didn’t have guitar players… I used to wonder, ‘Why isn’t there somebody out there doing it on guitar like these guys are doing it on saxophones and trumpets?’ So I was trapped in this frustrating place. And… when you’re a guitar player and you listen to Coltrane all the time and you’re hearing him ripping up and down his instrument, playing those sheets of sound... and you’re hearing Miles, of course, playing gorgeous melodies like always... just trying to get a conception for my own instrument that was anywhere near that level was tough.’[x]

            On the other hand, easy work was increasingly available off the back of the Swinging London bandwagon for which an ability to produce ‘sheets of sound’ on a guitar was not required. The first such gig of the year was for an LP called British Percussion, by an entity called (in especially ungrammatical Franglais) ‘Le London All Star’, to be released solely in France.*

‘On the cold and frosty morning of the 23rd February, 1965, 25 musicians assembled at Pye recording studios, London, for what was to be one of the finest recording dates of the year. Flexing his not inconsiderable muscles, arranger Nicky Welsh set to work one month after Xmas 1964 to arrange the music for a power house line-up of the finest musicians in England.’

            So wrote Bobby Graham – British rock’n’roll veteran, doyen of British session drummers in the early ‘60s and a man who had happily turned down an offer to replace Pete Best in the Beatles - on the English half of the LP sleevenotes to British Percussion. The French half said something to the effect that this ‘fabulous orchestra’ here assembled were not unknown in France, having already backed French pop star Eddy Mitchell (ne Claude Moine) on his various London recordings for two years. Mitchell, one of those quasi-American home-grown rockers with slightly odd names, like Johnny Hallyday, so beloved in France in the ‘60s was managed by a very wealthy man called Eddie Barclay, who also ran a French record label, Disc Barclay.

            The grandiose credit was only slightly disingenuous: in truth, Bobby Graham would assemble a team of ‘Musical Stuntmen’, in his affectionate parlance, to back Barclay’s French artists – Eddy Mitchell, Sylvie Vartan, Francoise Hardy and others - whenever they came over to London studios, desperate for a bit of the ‘English sound’. Perhaps as a way of underlining the cachet of recording in London, the French releases often credited the session players, which was rare on British releases. Hence the concept of ‘Le London All Star’ as a bona fide band.

Bobby’s core All Stars were himself on drums with Big Jim Sullivan and Jimmy Page on guitars, often with Alan Weighell on bass and Arthur Greenslade on piano: it was a quintet of regular collaborators whom Bobby believed had ‘an almost telepathic musical understanding’.[xi] Big Jim was notably absent from British Percussion; instead, on rhythm guitar and enjoying probably his first credit on a record sleeve, was one ‘Johnnie Mac Cloughlin’. British Percussion was Eddie Barclay’s semi-blank cheque to Bobby Graham to pull some people together, produce an LP and sell a slice of ‘Swinging London’ to the French. Sales-wise, it might have sunk like a stone; musically, both on its own merits and most especially as a sonic snapshot of an era, it’s a delight from start to finish. In a way, it is exactly how one imagines, through the prism of posthumous pastiches like the Austin Powers soundtracks, Swinging London sounded.

            Bobby Graham and Jimmy Page co-wrote three tracks, including the blistering opener ‘Stop The Drums’ – a souped-up riff from the school of Link Wray bookending a drum battle between Andy White and Ronnie Verrall. White was the man who had already earned his footnote in history as the session man who replaced Ringo on the Beatles’ first single; Verrall, drummer with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, would earn his in the ‘70s as the man who was Animal in The Muppets. And that’s exactly what ‘Stop The Drums’ sounds like.

            From all-out attack, the Stuntmen – including a 15-man brass and wind section (one credited as ‘Albert Hall’[2]) - move effortlessly into classy arrangements of Herb Alpert’s ‘Mexican Shuffle’, Herbie Hancock’s ‘Watermelon Man’, Johnny Dankworth’s ‘Beefeater’ and other material emblematic of the times. Mixing the rich, full sound of a team of very fine musicians indeed, it was recorded in new-fangled stereo and delivered not only a master-class in sight-reading but in capturing a joie de vivre not often present in more run-of-the-mill session-men projects. The energy from recording such a beast in one day is tangible. As a nod to both past and future, the Page/Graham co-write ‘Lord Byron’s Blues’ gives a glimpse of the visceral, steeled blues sound that Jimmy would bring to the Yardbirds a year or so down the line, topped and tailed with a stately pseudo-Renaissance piano part reminiscent of the sprightly harpsichord theme from Margaret Rutherford’s Miss Marple films of the same period. Anyone looking for magical McLaughlin (or even Mac Cloughlin) moments on the record may be disappointed, but it remains a wonderful artefact of the times.

            Shortly after the British Percussion session, Bobby Graham formalised his role with Eddie Barclay’s label and for the next couple of years became its UK Managing Director. What this meant in practice was periodically flying over to Paris for huge lunches and late night scenes with Eddie Barclay and his associates and, in between, finding British acts to push at the French market. A passing association with the N’Betweens, an embryonic version of ‘70s stars Slade, was the closest he would come to discovering anyone of lasting talent. The irony, in hindsight, is that while Bobby spent his time auditioning no-hopers for French EP releases, two of the biggest stars of the next decade were already sitting in his studio waiting to make them sound like contenders.

            John McLaughlin may well have recorded on other EPs for Barclay, but late in 1965 he was certainly on a rather desperate example attributed to the Hairy Ones.[3] Fronted by Ray Merrill, a man from the Joe Loss Orchestra doing his best British R&B singer impersonations, the rest of the ‘band’ were all British Percussion veterans: John and Jimmy Page on guitars, Alan Weighell on bass, Kenny Salmon on organ and Bobby Graham on drums. Alongside suitably rough-edged covers of recent hits from the Rolling Stones and the Animals, and ‘Ring Dang Do’ which, curiously, had been a hit for no one, the Hairy Ones tackled Them’s garage-rock classic ‘Gloria’.

            Both Page and Graham had played on the flipside of the original only a year earlier, in a November ‘64 session produced by New York hot-shot Bert Berns and MD-ed by Arthur Greenslade:

            ‘I’d been allowed into the whole sort of impenetrable brotherhood, and it was great fun and games to start with,’ recalled Jimmy, of his session man career, ‘although it had its embarrassing moments, such as recording with Van Morrison and Them… I’d been booked as a guitarist with [the] group, and often, there’d be a [session] drummer, and bit by bit, as the evening went on, another session musician would appear, one sitting next to the bass player, another sitting next to the keyboards... You can imagine the tension, and what these chaps from Ulster must have thought – it was so embarrassing, you just had to look at the floor and play because they were glaring.’[xii]

            ‘I was used to playing with groups who didn’t exactly welcome me with open arms,’ recalled Bobby, ‘but the lack of reception, especially from Van Morrison, was obvious… But I think he [eventually] realised that Arthur Greenslade was just doing his job and wanted to get the best sound.’[xiii]

            That session with Them – rough-hewn players inexperienced in studios, the clock ticking – is a classic example of the 1960s British recording industry at work, side-lining dignity for efficiency but generating magic: on this occasion, ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’. Coupled with Van’s ‘Gloria’ – a garage-rock classic to be covered by all of America from Jimi Hendrix down before the decade’s end – it would be a Top 10 hit in February 1965. Debate would rumble on for decades over who originated and played the immortal riff on ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’: was it Jimmy Page or Billy Harrison, the ill-starred leader of Them who would end up kicked out of his own band by July?[4]

            Them’s first hit was the latest in a new trend towards harder, punchier British rock records – coming out of R&B, certainly, but laying the foundations for the hard rock sound of later years. As a session drummer, Bobby Graham had been a crucial part of the first two 45s in the new sound: ‘You Really Got Me’ and ‘All Day And All Of The Night’ by the Kinks, both huge UK hits in the latter part of 1964. Jimmy Page had played his part on perhaps the next stone in the foundation, playing second guitar on the Who’s dynamic debut single ‘I Can’t Explain’, a Top 10 in February 1965. Like ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’, all three had been produced by an American - in this case Shel Talmy. The Who’s next two singles with Talmy, ‘Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere’ and ‘My Generation’, both Top 10 hits before the year was out, continued the trend. It was simple, brutal, direct music speaking to and for the kids on the street – the Mod movement, as targeted by the group’s early stylist, Pete Meaden. At least one 23-year-old, with generally more sophisticated tastes, was also impressed:

            ‘The Who was a group that I always loved,’ said John, many years later. ‘I know Pete and he’s one of the sweetest guys I ever met, and I really like that band - I just like the vibe. The music’s very simplistic, so I didn’t really see much analogy between what Pete was doing in music and what I was doing in music but, nevertheless, I liked them then and I like them today.’[xiv]
*

Another session date for John in early ‘65 was for Vashti (Bunyan), a protégé of Andrew Loog Oldham who would later make one album for ‘underground’ mover and shaker Joe Boyd before disappearing and coming back for an Indian Summer in the 21st Century as a prodigal emissary from a magical, bygone time. Two songs were recorded for a Decca single, released in May, the A-side being a version of ‘Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind’ – one of the Rolling Stones demos on which John had played the previous year.

            ‘I remember the session for ‘Some Things…’ very well,’ says Vashti, ‘in that I was a hopelessly shy girl completely overwhelmed by the amount of musicians that were there. I had been used to singing by myself with a guitar - and then suddenly I was surrounded by flugelhorns and trombones and all kind of guitars and percussion, piano and strings... You name it – Andrew had it. And I loved every moment. Big Jim Sullivan and Jimmy Page and John - all playing guitar. I wonder if John remembers it?’[xv]

            ‘I’d never ask John to read,’ says Andrew. ‘I’d ask him to sneak into the spaces from verse two on. The other guitars would be the nuts and bolts.’

            A couple of years later, Vashti can be glimpsed in Peter Whitehead’s iconic if idiosyncratic film Tonite, Let’s All Make Love In London – a patchwork critique of Swinging London at its mythical apogee, 1967’s ‘Summer of Love’. With Andrew Oldham hovering in the control room, the cameras capture a fragment of ‘Winter Is Gone’, Vashti’s beautiful, self-written sequel to ‘Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind’, yet destined not to be released at that time. Between verses she smiles affectionately at a guitarist. We see his hands, his guitar but never his face. Vashti can’t recall who it was. If it were John, it’s unlikely he would remember either.[5] He is, perhaps, the world’s worst nostalgist – an observation which prompted another, contrasting John with doomed Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones, from Andrew Loog Oldham:

            ‘The difference about John’s approach - which is life-giving, as opposed to the Brian Jones model, which was life taking - is that John did start off with the goods of now. Somewhere along the line he obviously decided he had to retrieve a greater portion for protection against tomorrows. In some ways, the ‘70’s were heavier than the ‘60’s turned out to be. If only because the monkeys in charge of the cages - those maniacs running the record companies and the agencies - suddenly, they all believed it was them as much as the artists. Brian Jones was unable to really enjoy the moment of the many great things he played because whilst he was doing it, he could not wait to be done with it so that he could bathe in the applause. No nostalgia is good, unless the data from it serves the work of today.’

            Over the next couple of years, probably beginning early in 1965 if not before, John would provide guitar for another female singer, this one already with a long track record in the affections of the British public, from her early days as a child star in the 1940s, and a remarkable capacity to move with the times: Petula Clark.

            ‘She was always prepared to listen to others,’ said Bobby Graham, himself involved in many of Petula’s sessions, ‘and while many others I worked with always knew best, she would value the opinion of anyone who had an opinion to express. The flexibility of her approach was a revelation. I liked her a lot. She was always smiling… a very warm, lovely lady.’[xvi]

            ‘It`s all a long time ago!’ says Petula. ‘However, I know that I was truly blessed with the very best of British musicians on my recordings. Indeed, when I started working in the States after ‘Downtown’ [1964], etcetera, had become huge hits over there, the studio musicians in NY and LA were often in awe of what they called ‘The London Sound’! It seems that the rhythm section impressed them the most. As far as I recall, Big Jim Sullivan was one of the first ‘usual suspects’, then Jimmy Page and John McLaughlin. Big Jim took off on tour with Tom Jones; Jimmy did pretty well for himself; and John, well, I have been an avid fan of his for years. I’ve had the joy of seeing him play live many times. I love him, his musical mind and spirit, and his ability to express his feelings through his music. Genius!’


[1] Stevens appears with John Lennon and Yoko Ono on the improvised ‘Cambridge 1969’ recorded at Lady Mitchell Hall, Cambridge on March 2 1969 and released on the duo’s Unfinished Music No.2 LP that year. In BBC4’s Jazz Britannia, another Spontaneous Music Ensemble member, Trevor Watts, recalls the Lennons jamming with them one night and John leaving with the words, ‘Right lads, see you on Top Of The Pops, then…’ 

[2] Apparantly this really was the fellow’s name. Nevertheless, it wasn’t unusual for session men to adopt absurd pseudonyms to avoid being associated with rubbish: drummer Clem Cattini once called himself Rupert Bear in the credits of something where a pseudonym was deemed appropriate. Happily, his subsequent career – playing on a reputed 45 UK No.1 hits - was far from chequered.

[3] Bobby Graham also produced an EP for Barclay credited to ‘Le Frizzy One’ – namely, the singer from British rock’n’roll also-rans Billy Gray & the Stormers. What must the French have made of all these Tourette-ish monikers?

[4] Billy Harrison is fiercely protective of his claim to the riff and the record. At a Belfast ‘60s R&B reunion concert in 1994, Billy Harrison walked to the stage, wagged his finger and glowered at ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Eric Bell who had just begun to perform Them’s arrangement of ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’. Some sources suggest Jimmy Page doubled Billy’s playing on the record, though it sounds like only one guitar was used in the finished mix. If I were to venture an opinion, I’d say it’s Billy’s guitar we hear on the record, playing Billy’s riff. Period TV clips show Harrison playing it with ease; if Page had played it on the record it would have sounded slicker. Billy never became much of a guitar player, in technical terms, but he conceived the music for ‘Gloria’ and ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’ and played on the recorded version of at least one of them, probably both. That’s enough for anyone’s Hall Of Fame. 

[5] John can be seen among a small group of studio players, with Brian Epstein in the control room, in a piece of verite from probably early 1967 (seemingly a Cilla Black session), used in the 2012 BBC4 documentary The Richest Songs In The World. A guitarist which might be John can be seen among a much larger orchestra in EMI’s Abbey Road studios in a clip from a 1965 documentary film on Burt Bacharach, in one of two sequences where Burt is rather camply conducting Cilla Black’s recording his song ‘Alfie’. Some also believe that a man seen in profile for a few seconds in the audience at a Thelonious Monk concert broadcast on BBC TV’s Jazz 625 in 1965 is John. The latter two clips can be seen on youtube.


[i] ‘The Who’s Mod Generation: Quadrophenia Through The Years’, Greg Shaw, Phonograph Record, 12/73

[ii] Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom (Weidenfield & Nicolson,1969), Nik Cohn

[iii] Revolution In The Head: The Beatles Records And The Sixties (Fourth Estate, 1994), Ian MacDonald

[iv] ‘A Candid Chat with a Musical Provocateur’, Bill Milkowski, 16/4/04 Published: http://www.abstractlogix.com/interview_view.php?idno=23 Accessed 28/8/12

[v] ‘A Candid Chat with a Musical Provocateur’, Bill Milkowski, 16/4/04 Published: http://www.abstractlogix.com/interview_view.php?idno=23 Accessed 28/8/12. John continued:  ‘But it was nice because both [Burt Bacharach] and Miles came to the first ever performance of The Mediterranean, which was done in Los Angeles with the LA Philharmonic. I remember Miles liking the second movement a lot. You know, it had this kind of Spanish mood. Finally, about two or three years later when I saw him at a festival I gave him a cassette of that particular recording (The Mediterranean: Concerto for Guitar And Orchestra, released in 1990 on CBS). We were hanging out in his hotel room and I said, ‘Miles, I got a present for you,’ and I gave him this cassette. And he was like (doing a raspy Miles imitation), ‘Foley, bring the ghetto blastah’. So he put the cassette in the ghetto blaster while he was eating a salad. He didn't say a word and he listened to the whole thing, all three movements. And then at the end he says, ‘John, now you can die!’ (Laughter) He's was too much! What a sweety. Oh man, I miss him!’

[vi] Power, Passion & Beauty (Abstract Logix, 2006), Walter Kolosky

[vii] Revolution In The Head: The Beatles Records And The Sixties (Fourth Estate, 1994), Ian MacDonald

[viii] ‘Anyone Who Had A Hit…’, Ray Coleman, Melody Maker, 12/9/64      

[ix] ‘A Candid Chat with a Musical Provocateur’, Bill Milkowski, 16/4/04 Published: http://www.abstractlogix.com/interview_view.php?idno=23 Accessed 28/8/12. John continued by emphasising that he had already experienced an epiphany in music: ‘But don't forget, I must've been 15 when I heard all that music - Miles, Trane, Cannonball, Red Garland, Jimmy Cobb, Philly Joe Jones. I mean, this was the big revolution for me [and] a whole big revolution in jazz too. A whole new school of jazz came out. And this was not neo bebop, this was the new thing… And I got swept away by that. So the idea of going ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah’. I mean... No way. It was impossible. But for good or for bad, there was only one idea I had. I wanted to be a jazz guitar player and be able to play with the great players.’

[x] ‘A Candid Chat with a Musical Provocateur’, Bill Milkowski, 16/4/04 Published: http://www.abstractlogix.com/interview_view.php?idno=23 Accessed 28/8/12

[xi] The Session Man: The Story Of Bobby Graham (Broom House, 2004), Patrick Harrington and Bobby Graham

[xii] ‘Jimmy Page: The Life And Times Of A Guitar Prophet’, John Tobler, Musician, 1/84

[xiii] The Session Man: The Story Of Bobby Graham (Broom House, 2004), Patrick Harrington and Bobby Graham

[xiv] Interview with the author, 17/1/96

[xv] Vashti: ‘[The B-side] ‘I Want To Be Alone’ also maybe had John playing on it. But I just can’t recall.’

[xvi] The Session Man: The Story Of Bobby Graham (Broom House, 2004), Patrick Harrington and Bobby Graham

  Details of streamed music:

1. Untitled Abbey Road Blues - Graham Bond Quartet, 16/5/63. First released on the Graham Bond box set Wade In The Water (Repertoire, 2012)

2. Little Girl - version 1 - Duffy Power, Autumn 1965. Only available on the Duffy Power compilation Vampers & Champers (RPM, 2006) which is now deleted. Along with ‘Hound Dog’, below, this track is the hardest to find of the various Power/McLaughlin recordings.

3. Yesterday - Howard Blake & His Combo, 18/1/66. From the Howard Blake EMI LP Hammond In Percussion, never available on CD.

4. Cruisin’ - Herbie Goins & The Night-Timers, early 1966. A John McLaughlin composition, first released as a Night-Timers B-side in 1966, after John had left the band. Available on CD on the expanded Herbie Goins & The Night-Timers album No.1 In Your Heart (EMI, 2008)

5. Hound Dog - single release version - Duffy’s Nucleus, late 1966. Released as a UK single A-side and French EP lead track in January 1967. Never available on CD in this version.

6. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat - Mike Carr Trio & Gary Cox, BBC Radio 15/5/67. Recorded live for BBC Radio’s Jazz Club. Never released commercially.

7. Misterianimoso - Danny Thompson Trio, BBC Radio 18/9/67. A John McLaughlin/Tony Roberts composition recorded live for BBC Radio’s Jazz Club. Never released commercially.

8. Nardis - John McLaughlin & Bob Cornford, rehearsal, early 1968. One of many jams available freely from the late pianist/composer Bob Cornford’s website. Never released commercially.

9. Quasimodo Jam - excerpt - Time Is Now, live 9/11/68. Recorded live at the Quasimodo Club, Berlin, this is an extract from a 50 minute improvisation containing semi-composed sections, such as this one. It is the same theme which can be heard in the brief film of Time Of Now from the Essener Songtage event from a couple of months earlier.