My interest in drums started when I was at Tulse Hill Comp. when my mum Eileen bought me a film sound track album of Gene Krupas’ life story played by Sal Mineo. Next was drum battles between Buddy Rich & Gene Krupa on the Verve label. So I started out listening to swing jazz, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington etc., whilst at school my group were playing Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis. Gene Vincent and Little Richard.

Skip Alan and Ginger BakerI then went on to play drums in a band with a girl singer called Elenor who was one of the Vernon Girls from the TV show 6.5 special (which was before Ready Steady Go). The pianist Barry Kingston worked at Southern Music, Denmark St. who introduced me to the world of demo sessions. I used to drive my dads old Commer van (with no licence as I was 16) and put sixpence in the meter and hang out in the Giaconda café all day waiting for session work. The writers would put their songs on acetate to take to the record companies. I did sessions for Donovan, Lesley Duncan and a couple of no.1 singles for the Ivy League with Carter..Lewis to name but a few. At that time Big Jim Sullivan would be on many guitar tracks.

Alan and Dov Skipper - Jason and John Bonham - All Drummers!It was through hanging out at the Giaconda that Steve O’Rourke who was a booker for Brian Morrison the Pretties manager (who later became Pink Floyd’s manager) asked me to play for the Pretties in 1965 as Viv was too out of it to play. At this time they had a couple of hits in the top five, so I couldn’t believe it and did a few gigs. Mitch Mitchell (later drummer for Jimmy Hendrix) also stood in for Viv whose looning was now out of control.

I hope you enjoy the music.

All the best Skip 2010

The Pretty Things