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ALDERMASTON FREE PEACE FESTIVAL

SHOTS FROM THE HIP

Charles Shaar Murray

So the evening before the interview I went down to the Grove to talk to Steve Peregrin Took. He was watching Callan on his colour set in the flat he shares with Russ of The Pink Fairies, and various mutual friends were dotted around the room. We all got blasted and then we talked about the good old days. Took, formerly the London and Home Counties Mandrax Champion, now works as a solo singer-guitarist, 'Ladbroke Grove's answer to James Taylor' and he is working on a single with the bass player from Curved Air. A tall skinny, immensely friendly guy, his stubble and leather and shades make him look more like a biker than a former flower child. He'll probably go down in rock mythology as the Pete Best of the Seventies.

'It's really strange,' he said. 'Little girls come up to me and touch me and squeal and run away. The other day at the Aldermaston gig, all these little girls started screaming "Marc Bolan, Marc Bolan" at me, so I screamed back "Steve Took, Steve Took" till they went away.'

He has one or two memories of his one American tour with Tyrannosaurus Rex. 'We were staying at the Chelsea in New York and Marc didn't like it. He kept running his finger under shelves and going "Oh! Grubby!" and so we had to move to this big fuckin' hotel where they kept staring at us all the time. So I said to June, Marc's wife, that I didn't want to be a part of no fuckin' freak show. She said "I like to be surrounded by nice things."' Took puts a world of scorn into the word ''nice'.


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