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DUNCAN (SANDY) SANDERSON

Duncan “Sandy” Sanderson, long-time Deviants/Pink Fairies bassist, would first have informally collaborated with Steve during Took’s participation in chaotic jamming sessions on Deviants/Pretty Things double bills circa 1968-9. He was also one of the pool of bass players (along with John “Honk” Lodge and “Junior” Wood) who worked on the various tracks on Twink’s “Think Pink” album.

In early 1972, Sandy helped out on second acoustic guitar at a Steve Took solo performance under the Notting Hill flyover. (Steve would later repay the favour by deputising for Sandy on bass for the Fairies on one occasion.) That same year, Sandy was roped into the band Tookie was forming with his flatmate (and Sandy’s PF bandmate) Russell Hunter. The trio made a number of abortive attempts to re-record the acoustic Shagrat track ‘Amanda’ as an electric number, typically ending up falling asleep during the take.

Paul Rudolph’s departure from the Fairies that summer reduced the mighty “People’s band” to just a rhythm section of Sandy and Russ. As a result, the latter two suddenly found that Took’s band had, by default become their top musical priority! Luckily, Steve’s manager Tony Secunda had booked the band into a session at Olympic Studios in Barnes to record versions of Amanda, Blind Owl Blues and Mr Discreet.

Even more luckily, ex Junior’s Eyes/Bowie-circa-“Space Oddity” guitarist Mick Wayne was doing session work in the studio that day and was recruited in as the fourth man. For a moment, the band seemed to be a going concern, but Steve’s indecision as to the direction of the music eventually induced his three bandmates

The choice soon back-fired on them as the Mick Wayne PFs released the much maligned “Well Well Well/ Hold-On” single and played several ill-received gigs (including a Wembley Arena gig third on the bill to the Faces and the New York Dolls just days before Billy Murcia’s death) all of which threatened to undo the good work done by the Rudolph-era Fairies in 1970-72. The situation was only saved by the supplementing and then replacement of Wayne with ex-Shagrat guitarist Larry Wallis, forming the line-up which recorded the legendary “Kings Of Oblivion” album.

While all this Fairies’ reactivation action was going on, Sandy found time to visit Took in his flat beneath Secunda’s office in Mayfair. The Missing Link/Crazy Diamond CD releases of the sessions bizarrely credit Sandy as drummer on tracks! However it’s likelier that if Sandy contributed, he stuck to his usual bass guitar.


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