Just 17 years old when he joined Miles Davis’ quintet in 1962, drummer Anthony Williams spent his teen years playing in the clubs of Boston. By the end of the decade though, Williams was off in a completely different direction. New York City was a fertile ground at the time, and the seeds of fusion were being sown. Williams (among many others) jammed with Jimi Hendrix, and there’s little doubt of the guitarist’s influence on what would follow.
After ending 1968 with the rockin’ single “Second Generation Woman” (again without chart success), Family enlisted IBC producer Glyn Johns for their next album, Entertainment. Best known for his work with the Rolling Stones, Johns striped back the production, bringing the rhythm section and Charlie Whitney’s guitar work to the fore. The record is still primarily an acoustic affair, but with a substantially greater rock-n-roll feel.
The Genesis story began at the Charterhouse public school in Surrey. Tony Banks and Peter Gabriel and guitarists Mike Rutherford and Anthony Phillips were all classmates in two competing bands. Adding drummer Chris Stewart, they joined forces in 1967 with the hopes of becoming a songwriting collective. The band's earliest efforts were proffered through the old school tie, when pop producer and fellow Carthusian Jonathan King agreed to produce some demos. The contact eventually led to a recording contract from Decca.
Somewhere early in the continuum of rock-n-roll is the genius of Frank Zappa. Raised in the high desert outside of Los Angeles, legend has it that a young Frank was granted a long-distance phone call for his fifteenth birthday: the recipient was composer Edgard Varese... Zappa’s first release was in late 1966. Credited to The Mothers of Invention, Freak Out!
The painfully documented history of King Crimson informs us of their birth on January 13th, 1969 at the basement of the Fulham Palace Café, London. With the arrival of Ian McDonald, the trio of Giles, Giles and Fripp had expanded a year earlier. Lyricist Peter Sinfield, McDonald's songwriting partner, became the band's fifth member; this included the duties of road manager, light artist, resident hippie etc. Yet at Robert Fripp's persistence, fellow Bournemouth guitarist Greg Lake joined on bass and vocals, replacing Peter Giles.