The dog

When I was young and collecting LPs, that was an expensive hobby. Yes, an album was indeed under £2, but when your pocket money was just the equivalent of 50p per month, that was tough.

Very few bands produced more than one album a year, and we were always on the hunt for new people to explore. There were several factors we used to decide whether an artist might be of interest:

  • word of mouth
  • appearances on John Peel, Old Grey Whistle Test or other shows
  • reviews
  • comparisons with similar bands
  • friends having copies
  • sampler LPs
  • anyone in the band who had been in other bands we liked
  • the record label
  • the instrumentation of the band

One factor that often swung it for me was the use of the mellotron. There was a style of music I loved that was well suited to this machine, and many of my absolute favoutites even now used a mellotron (King Crimson, The Moody Blues, Barclay James Harvest, PFM…). One band I found that had at least two mellotron players was Pavlov’s Dog, from St Louis.

The band’s first album… no, let’s come back to that. The band’s first commercially released album, on two different record labels, was called Pampered Menial. There were three guitarists, two keyboard players (both using mellotron), drummer and a strings player.

Naked cleaners

I was looking for something for a friend and found, quite by accident, that a phenomenon I thought had come and gone was still around, that is, naked cleaners (ie people who come to your house, strip naked and then clean it).

Funnily enough, one of the companies is based literally around the corner from where I live.