Hidden Gems – Obscure 45s – No. 4: Boeing Duveen

Standard

Boeing Duveen was the trippy stage name for one Sam Hutt, a London gynaecologist, who also dabbled in the nascent drug scene in the early 1960s. He became one of the first “rock and roll doctors”, dispensing holistic cures and uh…substances, to musicians. I don’t think he’s the “Dr. Robert” of the Beatles’ song fame, however.

Hutt got psychedelicised and allegedly worked in the Notting Hill Free Clinic as well in 1967 and 1968. In between hanging out with the likes of Pink Floyd and Tyrannosaurus Rex producer Tony Visconti, he found time to record two sides of a single. Released in 1968, under the Boeing Duveen & The Beautiful Soup moniker, the single flopped but has since been afforded legendary status. The record itself seems quite rare – the last one I saw on eBay went for £260.00 – for six minutes of music!!

The A-side, Jabberwock, features freaky background screaming and Hutt singing lyrics cribbed from Lewis Carroll in an upbeat, but somewhat menacing, voice. The B-side, Which Dreamed It (and the better of the two, in my opinion) features more Carrollian lyrics, but sung in a languid Eastern style. The vocal melody is echoed by some excellent sitar-playing and there’s tabla thrown in for good measure. A true UK psychedelic classic!

It seems a shame Hutt never had the backing or maybe even time to record a full album. The Beautiful Soup faded shortly after the release of “Jabberwock/Which Dreamed It”. Hutt resurfaced later as mock country/western singer Hank Wangford and had some minor success in the 1980s and 1990s. He’s still playing to this day, as well, as…er…nude mountaineering. I don’t think he plays the Duveen tunes live, though.


Advertisements

6 responses »

  1. Excellent stuff! Hard to believe it’s so obscure – too bad there wasn’t a whole album.
    Have you heard “Jabberwock Song” by Essra Mohawk from the early 70’s? – another great song inspired by the poem.

    • I know – too bad it hasn’t been reissued as a 45 like some other obscure Brit-psych has. Originals go for outrageous amounts now. I haven’t heard that other Jabberwock tune – I’ll have to check it out!

  2. Pingback: Jabberwocky | Music To Eat

  3. This is good and surprising stuff from old Sam. He certainly ‘treated’ a few heads in his time, didn’t he? I think he even had to pull Gram Parsons out of some drug addled metaphorical hole at one time – perhaps that’s where he got the idea for Hank Wangford?

  4. Indeed he did – you’re correct about Gram Parsons being the inspiration for the Hank Wangford character. Parsons is the one who turned Sam onto country music.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s