Twink (musician)

Last updated

Birth nameJohn Charles Edward Alder
Also known asMohammed Abdullah
Born (1944-11-29) 29 November 1944 (age 76)
Colchester, Essex, England
Genres Psychedelic music
Occupation(s)Musician, drummer, percussionist, singer-songwriter, actor
Years active1963–present
Labels Decca, HMV, Parlophone, Sire, Columbia, Rare Earth, Midnight
Associated acts Dane Stephens and the Deep Beats, the Fairies, Tomorrow, the Pretty Things, the Pink Fairies, PinkWind, The Rings, Syd Barrett, Stars

John Charles Edward Alder (born 29 November 1944), also known as Twink, is an English drummer, actor, singer, and songwriter who was a central figure in the English psychedelic movement.


In 2006, Alder converted to Islam, and changed his name to Mohammed Abdullah. However, he still records under the name Twink. [1] [2]


Early life and career

Alder was born in Colchester, Essex, in the United Kingdom. Many of his family members were also musicians, including his grandmother, who was a concert pianist and soloist.

Alder was interested in music from a young age. His professional career began in 1963 when he played the drums for Dane Stephens and the Deep Beats, a rhythm and blues band from Colchester. In 1964, after performing for a year, the band changed its name to The Fairies.

Due to the band's growing popularity, its members began receiving regular gifts from their music fans. Alder, who had long curly hair at the time, regularly received bottles of Twink brand home perm lotion. He eventually adopted 'Twink' as his stage name.

Twink later reunited with Dane Stephens and Mick Weaver from The Fairies for two tracks on his 1991 album Odds & Beginnings.

The In-Crowd and Tomorrow

In 1965, Twink moved to London, living in the Chelsea area. When the Fairies broke up in August 1966, he joined a rhythm and blues/soul music band called the In-Crowd whose previous drummer had left. Other members of the In-Crowd included Steve Howe (guitar; later of Yes fame), singer Keith West, and bassist John 'Junior' Wood. A few months later, the band decided to change their name to Tomorrow. The success of West's solo recording, "Excerpt from A Teenage Opera", resulted in the band's breakup and led to a one-off single by the short-lived band 'Aquarian Age' (Twink & Junior).

In his book White Bicycles, Joe Boyd cites a Tomorrow show at the UFO Club in London's Camden borough -and Twink's performance in particular- as the zenith of 60's pop culture. [3] [4] Tomorrow also played with guitarist Jimi Hendrix at UFO. [5]

In 1967, Twink completed a recording session with a group called Santa Barbara Machine Head. It featured two former members of the beat group the BirdsRon Wood (later of 'The Creation', The Faces and The Rolling Stones) and Kim Gardner (later also of 'The Creation' and Ashton, Gardner & Dyke), and keyboardist Jon Lord (later of Deep Purple).

Pretty Things

Twink replaced Skip Alan in the band the Pretty Things, joining Phil May, Dick Taylor, Wally Allen, and Jon Povey. He participated the making of their classic album S.F. Sorrow . He was also a member of this group when it appeared in the Norman Wisdom film What's Good for the Goose . Twink became famous for his outrageous behaviour such as climbing the speaker stacks and diving into the audience when the band performed at a free open-air concert in London's Hyde Park. [6]

Think Pink

Twink recorded his first solo album, Think Pink , toward the end of his tenure with the Pretty Things. Supporting musicians included the Deviants, including Mick Farren (who produced the album), Paul Rudolph (guitar), Duncan 'Sandy' Sanderson, and Steve Peregrin Took (of Tyrannosaurus Rex, who contributed two of the songs). It also included May, Povey, Waller, and Victor Unitt of Pretty Things, Viv Prince (ex-Pretty Things), John 'The Honk' Lodge (Junior's Eyes, Quiver), 'Junior' Wood, and the enigmatic 'Pink Fairies Motorcycle Club and All-Star Rock and Roll Band'. The name "Think Pink" was derived from a story by Deviants manager Jamie Mandelkau, who may not have been aware of Twink's former band.

Pink Fairies

The lineup of the Pink Fairies (Mark 1) featured Think Pink musicians Twink, Took, and Farren – all three having left their respective bands – and was named after the 'Pink Fairies Rock 'n' Roll Club', a loose group of affiliated musicians including Took, Farren, the Deviants, Syd Barrett (formerly of Pink Floyd), and the Pretty Things. They played in Ladbroke Grove, home of the UK underground. The Mark 1 lineup performed one shambolic gig in Manchester and recorded Farren's solo album, Mona – The Carnivorous Circus , in late 1969 before falling apart. Took, Farren, former Entire Sioux Nation guitarist and bassist Larry Wallis, and Tim Taylor then assembled the band that became Shagrat, with Farren departing before any recordings were made and drummer Phil Lenoir joining to complete the line-up.

Pink Fairies (Mark 2) was formed in early 1970 by Twink with Mick Farren's former bandmates, the Deviants. The two-drummer Pink Fairies line-up recorded a single called The Snake / Do It followed by the Never Never Land album before Twink left in 1971 (although he would periodically return).


After a spell living in Morocco, Twink moved to Cambridge and worked with the 'Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band', which initially included vocalist/guitarist Bruce Michael Paine (ex-Apple Pie and star of the San Francisco production of Hair ) [7] [8] and 'The Honk' playing bass. He also played in a band named ZZZ with Alan Lee Shaw and Rod Latter, who later reunited as the Rings. The Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band, now with ex-Delivery bass player Jack Monck, backed American blues guitarist Eddie "Guitar" Burns at King's College Cellar in January 1972. Jack's wife Jenny Spires, an old friend of Twink and former girlfriend of Syd Barrett (ex-Pink Floyd) went with Syd to the gig and brought his guitar along, and even jammed with them at one point. [9] The next day, the Last Minute Put Together Boogie Band, with guests Fred Frith and Syd Barrett, played on a bill with Hawkwind and the Pink Fairies. [9]

In the next two days, Twink formed the short-lived trio Stars with Barrett and Monck. Stars played a handful of well-received shows. [10] However, Syd, who was mentally fragile, quit after reading a negative review by Roy Hollingworth in Melody Maker. [11] After Stars disbanded, Twink moved back to London.


From 1972 to 1975, Twink periodically performed with fellow Ladbroke Grove community band Hawkwind during the transition from the band's original drummer to its replacement Simon King. Twink also played with the band Glider but did not release recordings. [12]

1975 Pink Fairies reunion

In July 1975, the Pink Fairies staged a reunion gig at the Roundhouse, featuring the then-current line-up of Russell Hunter, Duncan Sanderson, and Larry Wallis, joined by former members Twink and Paul Rudolph. They released the recorded show as a live album in 1982.

The Rings and punk

Twink formed the Fallen Angels in August 1976 with Steve Marriott and former Allstars band members Greg Ridley and Mickey Finn. On the way to the band's first gig, a car accident left Twink hospitalised, after which this line-up disintegrated. The Fallen Angels wound up backing Phil May on a solo album. Twink then worked as a vocalist with the Rings in early 1977, releasing one of the first punk rock singles, "I Wanna Be Free", produced by former Sparks member Martin Gordon. Other members of the band included Alan Lee Shaw and Rod Latter of the Adverts. After Twink left, the other members of the Rings formed the Maniacs.

Twink coined the term "acid punk" to describe his music and went on to release an EP called Do It '77 in February 1978. It included the songs "Psychedelic Punkeroo" (about Syd Barrett and songwriting [13] credited to 'A. Syd') [11] and "Enter The Diamonds", both of which featured a band comprising Twink (drums/lead vocals), Kid Rogers (of Kid Rogers and the Henchmen; guitars/vocals), Fingers Falkner (keyboards), and Chris Chesney (lead guitar). According to Twink, "It was the Psychedelic Punkaroo project, but Chiswick Records didn't like the track and I jammed "Do It" with the Lightning Raiders, which they preferred." [14] According to Duncan 'Danger Sun' Sanderson (bass, Lightning Raiders & ex-Pink Fairies), "Twink came round my house and dragged me down the studio while I was still asleep one morning, and Little John Hodge (lead guitar, Lightning Raiders) just came along to deliver a guitar. Twink had us jam through "Do It", so we did it. Kid and John hadn't even heard the flaming song before. In the end, he jumps up and shouts 'That's it, thanks, lads!' We didn't even know it was being taped!" Twink responded that "A second take of "Do It" was a contradiction". [15] The EP was credited to Twink and the Fairies.

Twink next moved to Belgium, where he played drums on the recording of British punk Elton Motello's Victims of Time album (1978, Pinball).


After a long period of inactivity, Twink released a solo single in 1986 called "Apocalipstic," which inaugurated his new, self-titled record label and a run of new solo releases up to the early 1990s.

In 1987, he rejoined the Pink Fairies for a reunion album. During the subsequent Pink Fairies tour, Twink met members of Plasticland, which resulted in the collaboration You Need a Fairy Godmother , released in 1989 on Midnight Records. He also joined a brief lineup of 'Magic Muscle' in 1988 for a tour and a live album, and he released a collaborative album with The Bevis Frond in 1990.


In 1990, Twink released his second solo album, Mr. Rainbow, with Robbie Gladwell on guitar and Andy Dowding on drums. Later in the decade, he collaborated with Hawkwind founder Nik Turner in the band PinkWind, writing about the semi-legendary Hawkwind/Pink Fairies jam sessions of the early 1970s. Turner brought in the Wind, and Twink provided the Pink. PinkWind released two albums (one credited to the HawkFairies). Some lineups also featured Judge Trev Thoms of Inner City Unit and Steve Took's Horns.

The Out of the Pink into the Blues album by 'Mouse & Twink: Fairies' was released around 1996 and "was recorded at the Pink Bridge [from the] mid-'70s till [the] '80s" by Twink and P. 'Mouse' Pracowik (Peter Pracownik of Astralasia) who were on guitar, Andrew Doran (vocals), Matthew Bailey (bass) and Chris Pinkerton (drums).

The 'Get Back' label released some archive collections from the Pink Fairies era. Twink's record label then released two 'Pink Fairies' albums recorded by Twink and Paul Rudolph in 1996/1997.

2000 – present

In the early 2000s, Twink spent time in Los Angeles before settling in Marrakesh, Morocco.

2013 saw the re-release of Think Pink on the Sunbeam label in CD, vinyl, and digital formats. It predated a new release called You Reached for the Stars. It also included a collaboration with the Italian group the Technicolour Dream, featuring guest guitarist Brian Godding from Blossom Toes. The album was recorded in Rome and mastered at Abbey Road Studios by sound engineer Peter Mew, who also worked on Pretty Things and Tomorrow recordings in the 1960s. In 2014, Twink started recording a new album, Think Pink II, with a similar concept of recording, featuring as many guests as on the original. The album was finished in 2015 and released in August the same year. [16]

In spring 2018, under the band name Star Sponge Vision, Twink and Jon Povey released a concept album of music inspired by the poetry of Aleister Crowley, titled Crowley and Me. [17]

Acting career

Twink appeared in the 1960s film Smashing Time with the other members of Tomorrow as the fictional band the Snarks. [18] Tomorrow was also due to feature in Blowup, and even recorded a title song for the film, but was ultimately replaced by the Yardbirds. Similarly, Twink appeared with the Pretty Things under their pseudonym "Electric Banana" in the film What's Good for the Goose .

Twink also worked as an actor during the late 1980s, appearing in several United Kingdom television series, including:



1970 Think Pink Sire Records album, unknown sizeRecorded July 1969, re-released by Sunbeam in 2013
1986Apocalipstic / He's CryingTwink Records7" single
1986Space LoverTwink Records # TWK 212" maxi-singleCredited as Twink & the Fairies, release contained 5 versions of the song: Rock 'n' Roll No. 1, Rock 'n' Roll No. 2, Psychedelicised, Instrumental, and Percussed
1986Kids Aid / InstrumentalTwink Records7" singleCredited as "Children of the World" - music composed by St Benedict's School music teacher Adrian Queen in 1986, all profits going to Cafod to support famine relief in Africa
1987Driving My Car / War GirlTwink Records7" single
1990Psychedelic Punkeroo / Seize the TimeTwink Records7"/12" single
1990Mr. RainbowTwink Recordsalbum, unknown size
1991Odds & BeginningsTwink Recordspart compilation album, unknown sizeFeaturing former Fairies colleagues Dane Stephens and Mick Weaver
1995Festival of the SunTwink Recordslive albumRecorded 1993 with Nik Turner, as Pinkwind
1996Purple HazeTwink Recordslive albumRecorded 1995 with Nik Turner, as Hawkfairies
1996Out of the Pink into the BluesTwink Records or HTD Recordsalbum, unknown sizeRecorded live at the Bridge from mid Seventies to Eighties, as Mouse & Twink: Fairies
1996Pleasure IslandTwink Recordsalbum, unknown sizeWith Paul Rudolph, as Pink Fairies
1997No PictureTwink Recordsalbum, unknown sizeWith Paul Rudolph, as the Hawk Fairies
2000The Lost Experimental RecordingsGet Backalbum, unknown sizeRecorded late 60's to early 70's
2015Think Pink IISunbeam Recordsalbum, unknown size
2018Think Pink IIIVE Recordingsalbum, unknown size

With the Fairies

1964 Don't Think Twice It's Alright / Anytime at All Decca Records 7" single
1965Get Yourself Home / I'll Dance HMV 7" single
1965Don't Mind / Baby Don'tHMV7" single

With Santa Barbara Machine Head

1968 Blues Anytime Vol. 3 Immediate Records three tracks, unknown sizeVarious artists, recorded 1967

With Tomorrow

1967 My White Bicycle / Claramount Lake Parlophone Records 7" single
1968 Tomorrow Parlophone Records/Sire Records album, unknown size
1998 50 Minute Technicolor Dream RPM Records album, unknown sizeRecorded 1967

With Pretty Things

1968 S.F. Sorrow Columbia Records/Rare Earth Records album, unknown size
2009 The Pretty Things/Philippe DeBarge Ugly Things Recordsalbum, unknown sizeRecorded with Philippe DeBarge in 1969

With Aquarian Age

196810,000 Words in a Cardboard Box / Good Wizard Meets Naughty WizardParlophone Records7" single

With Pink Fairies

1971The Snake / Do It Polydor Records 7" single
1971 Never Never Land Polydor Records album, unknown size
1982 Live at the Roundhouse Big Beatalbum, unknown sizeRecorded 1975
1987 Kill 'Em and Eat 'Em Demon Recordsalbum, unknown size
1998The Golden Years: 1969–1971Cleopatra Recordscompilation, unknown sizeAll include live tracks and radio sessions from 1969 to 1971, most featuring Twink
1998Mescaline and Mandies Round at Uncle Harry'sNMCcompilation, unknown size
1999Do It!Total Energycompilation, unknown size
1999From the Vaults (a.k.a. Odds & Beginnings Volume 2)Get Backalbum, unknown sizeCredited to Twink, includes some of the Pink Fairies tracks released on the above-mentioned compilations, plus some Twink solo material.
2000The Lost Experimantal Recordings 1970Get Backalbum, unknown sizeRecorded winter 1969–1970
2001The Never Never Land And Think Pink DemosGet Backalbum, unknown size
2005Chinese Cowboys: Live 1987Captain Trip Recordsalbum, unknown sizeRecorded 1987

With the Rings

1977I Wanna Be Free / Automobile Chiswick Records 7" singleRecorded December 1969 with Mick Farren
1995The Rings live at the 100 ClubCDAbout 30 minutes in length, recorded before the single was issued, only released on the CD reissue of Twink's Odds & Beginnings album


1970 Mona – The Carnivorous Circus Transatlantic Records TRA 212LPRecorded December 1969 with Mick Farren
1978Do It '77 - Psychedelic Punkeroo - Enter the Diamonds Chiswick Records SWT 2612" EPWith Twink and the Fairies
1989You Need a Fairy GodmotherMidnight RecordsMIRLP 144LPLive album with Plasticland
1989One Hundred Miles BelowBig One GuitarOBG LP 9005LPLive album with Magic Muscle
1990Magic EyeWoronzowWOO 13LPWith the Bevis Frond as Bevis & Twink
2013You Reached for the StarsSunbeamSBRCD 5098LPWith The Technicolour Dream
2018Crowley and MeMega DodoDODOLP 28LPWith Star Sponge Vision
2019Sympathy for the Beast: Songs from the Poems of Aleister CrowleySunbeamSBRLP5106 [19] LPWith The Technicolour Dream featuring Jon Povey
2019Think Pink IV: Return to Deep SpaceNoiseagonymayhemNAM050LPLPWith Moths & Locusts and Heavy Friends

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