1981

1981
In memory of my dear old brother - Horringer Court 1982

The Pussyfoot

The Pussyfoot
The Pussyfoot by vocalist Terry Barfield

Tintern Abbey by Don Smith

Tintern Abbey by Don Smith
Tintern Abbey by Don Smith

The Carnaby

The Carnaby
By Andy Andrews

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Unheard Tintern Abbey - from acetates - Donald Smith original guitarist

Thanks to Tintern Abbey's original guitarist, Don Smith, I am able to bring you previously unheard songs by the band, including the illusive 'Snowman', an unknown track 'Tanya', and the original demo for their only single bearing the track 'Black Jack'.

Don Smith, Tintern Abbeys' original guitarist who featured on their sole single, began his relatively short musical  career with a band called the "Turnkeys" In Richmond in the mid 60s. After he had been playing guitar for less than two years, by chance they scored a part (2 music tracks) in a black & white film (The Little Ones/1965) when they were  overheard rehearsing by the daughter of Director Jim Connolly.

 It was During 1966/7, at the height of the Kings Road scene during many visits to clubs in the area, that the original  line up of Tintern Abbey was formed by Don Smith after meeting David MacTavish at the Overseas Visitors Club in  EarlsCourt London.  Smith brought John Dalton into the band after a meeting in the Cromwellian Club in South Kensington and  Mactavish brought Stuart Mackay into the band after a meeting at the dole office, and it was this grouping of musicians  who formed the quintessentially psychedelic Tintern Abbey.

With the help of a girlfriend of David Mactavish, the band gained financing and much promotion courtesy of Nigel Samuels  (International Times), and an acetate demo was cut  on the 29th July 1967 (Paid for by a friend of Mactavish,not Samuels)  at R.G.Jones OAK studios, featuring Busy Bee/Bumblebee (Beeside) and Black Jack, which was turned down in favour of  Vacuum Cleaner for the Deram release.  After their single release, the band began work (with John Pantry  engineering), on 'Snowman'.  Demo acetates were cut, but the John Pantry-engineered IBC master-tape still survives  (presently with bassist Stuart MacKay).  It was during this time that Don believes the balance within the group went  adrift, with him taking uppers, time keeping (Late arrivals to rehearsals etc) lead to disputes and Don was effectively  "invited" to leave the band, and so it was that the classic Tintern Abbey came to an end.  The bands history here onwards  is well documented elsewhere.  Don moved to Turkey for a year where he played with a popular Turkish group.  Upon  returning to England, he gained employment with ITV as a sound engineer for three years and then as a freelance boom  operator in the film business and ceased to play guitar professionally

Interestingly, apart from one  promo gig in Holland, this Tintern Abbey played no UK gigs.

Original Tintern Abbey demo, 29th July 1967 featuring 
Black Jack / Busy Bee




       



Snowman






Tanya 

This particular track was about a Chinese girl who liked to hang out in Trafalgar Square(Nelson/the tall man) chatting up tourists.





IBC acetate:  Vacuum Cleaner / Busy Bee (Uncompressed)






Prerelease 33.3 rpm acetate recording dated 4th November 1967.




Vacuum Cleaner:




Beeside




Page Full of Hits one sided acetate - Busy Bee (33.3 rpm)



25 comments:

  1. Unbelievable finds.... never heard 'Black Jack' before...

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  2. Thanks so much, you rock!

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  3. My God...this is amazing. So cool to hear the demo of Beeside

    Should I be able to see a link to Snowman? Is it a fully finished, pro studio follow up to the Deram 45?

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  4. I know some of us don't post our thanks often enough,Sir Henry, but your wonderful blog is an oasis in the desert for us psych fans. Thank you so much for your dedication to finding the rarest of the rare of UK psych and posting it for our pleasure. You are a treasure,sir!

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  5. scott charbonneau29 December 2011 at 19:17

    Major find - these tracks as well as Tintern's original guitarist. Perhaps he'd be willing to tell his side of the story?

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  6. I bow before you.

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  7. Thank you so much for all you are sharing on this blog!

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  8. Thank you all for you interest and support.

    Scott, I will put up a some notes made from a conversation with Don about his time before, during and after Tintern Abbey.

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  9. Such a wonderful way to ring in the new year. Thanks so much.

    Tho please note that under "Prerelease 33.3 rpm acetate recording dated 4th November 1967" the version of Vacuum Cleaner is actually the same as Beeside. Not that I have any objection to hearing it twice or a hundred times, mind you...

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  10. Thank you Popville - I have now rectified matters.

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  11. Life changing, thank you so much Sir!!

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  12. One more Tintern Abbey fan here, saying Far out! May the new Gregorian year be kind to you and Donald.

    ~C.A.~ Σ:+)

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  13. I have 2 Oak acetates with Tintern Abbey cited as the performers too!

    One record (quite crackly) has a slowed down cover of CWOAB'S FIRE and an unnamed instrumental on the other side. Instrumental is 2.58 minutes long.

    The other record is two more covers and both a fairly similar to the originals but less instrumentation. A HOUSE IS NOT A MOTEL and YOU SET THE SCENE both originally recorded by LOVE.

    It is hard to read the date as it is smudged and faded over time but think it is January 1968.

    I may get a friend to scan them

    regards, Dave P

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  14. Wow! What a wonderful surprise, can't wait to listen, thanks for sharing these treasures. Happy new year!

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  15. This is a generous upload. You not only give this to us, but you do in one meal size portion. I’m sure you could have driven us mad by making an announcement than one by one, over the course of many months, put out the tracks. We owe you thanks for tracking down Don Smith and look forward to any other information on this group.

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  16. What a find. Thanks Sir Henry for your willingness to share this sort of thing with people.Keep up the great work.

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  17. Wow, this is truly amazing stuff. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  18. I'm obviously a little late finding these but would just like to add my thanks for sharing these wonderful clips.
    Did you ever hear back from Dave Pinter?
    The prospect of Tintern Abbey covering Love is beyond exciting.

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  19. Hello Sir Henry,

    After stumbling by chance upon the demos of Busy Bee on youtube, in turn I stumbled upon by chance upon your excellent blog.

    Thank you for posting these Tintern Abbey gems - it would be nice if these finds set the wheels in motion for a long overdue full length album compilation.

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  20. Is there another way I could download these? The Divshare links aren't working for me at all. Thank you

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  21. Wow! What a wonderful surprise, can't wait to listen, thanks for sharing these treasures. Happy new year!

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  22. My God...this is amazing. So cool to hear the demo of Beeside Should I be able to see a link to Snowman? Is it a fully finished, pro studio follow up to the Deram 45?

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  23. Free music zine here in PDF format containing a detailed interview with original Tintern Abbey guitarist Don Smith - check it out! - http://www.helioschrome.com/psychtrailmix.html#issue7

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