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Pretty Things – 1973 Phil May Handwritten Letter Contemplating His Leaving the Group

A long and evocative handwritten letter, with drawing, sent by Pretty Things co-founder and lead singer Phil May to a Los Angeles-area girl he had dated.  May met Vicky, from whom we obtained this, while the Pretty Things were touring America in support of their 1972 album Freeway Madness.  The band played Hollywood’s Whisky A-G0-Go on April 19, 1973, and May wrote this letter a few months later, posting it from Elverum Norway.

May writes (spelling and grammar preserved):

Somewhere in Norway?

I brought this letter with me intending to post it somewhere on route[referring to a second letter, not included here.]  But I might as well add some more shaky thoughts (we are on a train to Oslo or somewhere)(they are not the smoothest of trains) I wonder what youve got into since I last heard, it sounds like a summer of decision for you.  Maybe writing?  Skip [Alan, the Pretty Things drummer] has just had news that he’s a father, a boy!  Norway is not the most friendly place in the world, if only someone would smile here.  The country is a continual procession of falling, tumbling water, lakes and streams. I’ve been to Scandinavia, on and off,  for nine years, the good people here I could count on one hand.  I find it lifeless after America.  They have absolutely no soul here, roll on the end of this tour.

Friends told me that a trip to the Americas would affect my head, I doubted, but they were in someways right.  I certainly felt excited, but not radically changed, until we had been back for ten days or so.  It has proved quite unsettling in its after affect.  They say we will return in September, but my feelings about playing on with the group have been going around and around, we are very different people, each one of us, we share only our music, this is our only adhesive!  So its also my summer of decision. 

Maybe when you write back you could send me a copy of the photograph your mother took, outside of Baden Place [Vicky’s home.]  In fact anyone of us together would do. Another giant sheet of water slices past the windows, even the countryside lacks humour, it’s very sober visually! 

Yes, we all dream our dreams of Los Angeles, yearn for the sun and good warmth we each found there.  But maybe we will return, if not, we certainly won’t forget.

Love, Phil

At the top May sketches the mountains of Norway. An art student at Sidcup Art College, May formed the Pretty Things with another Sidcup student Dick Taylor, who had recently left the nascent Rolling Stones (Keith Richard was also a Sidcup student!)

With the original mailing envelope.  8″ x 11″, in excellent condition, with two horizontal mailing folds.

A great Pretty Things/Phil May collectible.  With Recordmecca’s written lifetime guarantee of authenticity.

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