Dave Sinclair and Robert Wyatt

After Dave read my Japanese blog with some translation help from his friend in Kyoto, he sent me a version of my account in English.
It’s very interesting for me as I wrote my article according to my memory of conversations with Dave and Robert, but this time Dave added some new info, including a bit about Kevin Ayers! Please enjoy reading Dave’s account below...


Dave Sinclair and Robert Wyatt.

Well, I first made my debut on the 24th November 1947 in Herne Bay Kent ( a small seaside town, 10km North East of Canterbury City ). As a matter of fact, I am pretty certain that both myself and Kevin Ayers were born in the same nursing home on the Downs, right on the sea front.

A few years later, at the age of 12, I went on to attend the Simon Langton Grammar School in Canterbury, where my brother John was already a pupil. In fact John Sinclair was in the same year group as Hugh Hopper, and Robert Wyatt. Also attending the school at that time, were Brian Hopper, Mike Ratledge. and Tony Coe, who were senior to us all.


John Sinclair playing the pipeorgan in Canterbury Cathedral

Of course, Tony Coe, went on to become a phenomenal jazz musician, playing clarinet, flute and sax. One of the earlier sessions he is more widely known for was playing the immediately recognisable 'Pink Panther' theme.

My first ever sight of Robert was during the year prior to my becoming a Langton pupil, when my father was driving me and my brother to our respective schools in Canterbury. My father stopped his car to allow some Langton students, dressed in school uniform, to cross the road by the old clock tower.

My attention was immediately drawn to one particular student who stood out dramatically from the others in that group. Apart from having very long hair ( almost unknown at that time ) and both hands in his pockets, his school blazer was inside out as was his cap, which he was also wearing back to front !

I still have the striking image in my mind of that student taking purposeful strides across the road.

In amazement, I asked my brother if he knew who he was. He replied immediately, but rather casually ...oh, that's Bob Ellidge ! ( known now of course, as Robert Wyatt )

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Dave Sinclair & Robert Wyatt

When Yoshi recently asked Robert about this episode, Robert explained that he felt it was important for him at the time to attempt to defy the perception of 'normality'. In fact, for Yoshi, it also brought to mind the later image of Robert in the Soft Machine photo, where a jacket, shirt and tie, had been drawn or painted onto his naked body.

Editor's note: I believe that the memory of this episode, being 50 years ago now, must remain an integral part of Dave and Robert's history.
posted by Crescent Label Master at 18:09| English Version



古くはCARAVAN時代の“For Richard”(2nd album: If I Could Do It All Over Again 1970に収録)から、今日のStreamに至るまでのデイヴの演奏・作曲能力の高さは折り紙つきですが、このコラムでは、そんなデイヴの天賦の能力はどこから来たものなのか?少し掘り下げてみることにします。

まず、デイヴの父系から見てみましょう。デイヴの祖父は、カンタベリー在住で、多才な芸人やコメディアンであるだけでなく、凄腕の写真家でもありました。カンタベリーのほぼ中心、ノースゲートで写真館をやっていましましたし、その他にカンタベリー郊外のウインチープというところで、“King's Head”というパブを運営していました。

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パブ King's Head ・・・昔と今


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デイヴの父の弟は、Richard(Dick) Sinclairといい、直接この音楽遺伝子を継承していて、生まれながらにしてエンターテナーでミュージシャンだった一方で、天才的な工芸家で主に木工の仕事をしていました。その息子であるリチャード(元CARAVAN、デイヴの従兄弟)もこのGreenmanさんの遺伝子を引き継いでいることは言うまでもありません。


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この、デイヴのご母堂の旧姓はBlow。そう、デイヴの母系の上流には、17世紀のバロックの大作曲家兼オルガン奏者、John Blowがいるのです。(John Blowは1708年にウェストミンスター大修道院に埋葬されています。)そして、このデイヴのご母堂の兄の子が、先のコラムで触れた、Nigel Blowなのです。



このように、デイヴの音楽家としての血統には、2つの大きな潮流があることがわかります。1つは父系からGreenmanさんの「聴きとる」特殊能力であり、もう1つはJohn Blowの「オルガン演奏と作曲」の能力なのです。以上のようにデイヴの血統を探ってみると、彼の並外れた音楽能力にはきちんとした理由があるのだなと、納得しないわけにはいきません。
posted by Crescent Label Master at 05:27| コラム

Dave Sinclair's Musical Background

Dave Sinclair, even over the age of 60(today he becomes 63 years old !), has continued to regularly produce new music. His creative senses, like fresh water flowing from a spring, are still natural and rich. In fact, compared with contemporary musicians in the Canterbury scene, it should be said 'amazing'.
From way before the CARAVAN classic track For Richard (2nd album: If I Could Do It All Over Again recorded in 1970) right up to today's Stream, Dave's playing and composing skills have been appreciated of course.
In this column, I want to discover where Dave's innate ability came from...

Firstly, let's look at Dave paternity. Dave's grandfather, an all round entertainer and comedian as well as a keen photographer, lived in the city of Canterbury. Apart from running the King's Head pub in Wincheap, he also had an established photographic studio in Northgate, close to the city centre.

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King's Head pub ... then and now

Dave's grandmother, whose maiden name was Greenman was a gifted musician and singer ( contralto ). On the 1904 ! poster that Dave's father had kept safely for many years, both Dave's grandparents names are listed as participants in a musical show that was to be held on Herne Bay pier. And so it was around this time that they first met before subsequently marrying.

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In fact, Dave's paternal grandmother seems to have had a special musical ability. Apparently, after returning home from a musical show, she was able to remember all of the music that had been played, and could work out the chords and melodies on her piano.

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Dave's father's mother ; Dave's daughter Felicia bears a remarkable resemblance to her!

This special musical ability must have been passed on to Dave, having completely by-passed Dave's father.
Dave's father's younger brother was Richard( Dick ) Sinclair, who must have inherited the music gene directly, being a natural entertainer and musician as well as a gifted craftsman, mainly working with wood. It goes without saying therefore that his son, Richard, ( ex.CARAVAN, Dave's cousin ), also has the Greenman genes.

Now, to Dave's mother's side.
( Note: when I visited Dave's mother's house, she was quite surprised to see me reading an article in an old local newspaper, written about Dave Sinclair, even though she wasn't surprised at all when I talked with her in English. I found this very interesting !
Like most Japanese people, I find it far less stressful reading and writing English than speaking and listening to it. However it seems that for a genuine English lady like Dave's mother, it was a strange sight to see a Japanese person reading an English newspaper !)

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Dave and his mother

Dave's mother's maiden name is Blow, and she is a direct descendant of John Blow, who was a great Baroque composer and organist from the 17th century, and who was interred in Westminster abbey after his death in 1708.
And the son of Dave's mother's elder brother is Nigel Blow, whom I mentioned in a previous column.


John Blow

Thus Dave's musical background has two major influences, one from his fathers side, the Greenman musical ear, and the other from his mothers, the great organ playing and composing skills of John Blow. No wonder Dave has been blessed with such extraordinary musical talent.

Dear Dave,

Very Best Wishes for your 63th Birthday !!!
I really hope that this article will be a good birthday present for you....

From Crescent Label Master
posted by Crescent Label Master at 04:59| English Version