Exposé Online banner

Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP

We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018.

by Peter Thelen, Published 2020-05-15

Phil May was born Philip Wadey in Dartford, Kent, on November 9, 1944, and he was raised by an aunt and uncle whose surname was May. Although he later returned to his parents, he eventually decided to retain May as his surname. While attending Sidcup Art College in 1963, he joined together with guitarist Dick Taylor, who had just left an early version of The Rolling Stones, to form The Pretty Things. After playing blues rock for a few years, the band moved into psychedelia, making a big splash with S.F. Sorrow, which is regarded as the first rock opera.

May became a noted counterculture in England, associated with long hair, drugs, and bixexuality, though the band never reached the heights of popularity enjoyed by some of their contemporaries. With the passage of time, S.F. Sorrow came to be regarded as one of the high points of psychedelic rock.

He died on 15 May 2020, aged 75, in a hospital in King's Lynn, from complications following hip surgery after a cycling accident.


Filed under: Obituaries

Related artist(s): The Pretty Things

More info
http://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/may/15/phil-may-frontman-with-the-pretty-things-d

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Steven Wilson - Insurgentes – Steven Wilson has single-handedly re-shaped modern prog rock through his various bands and projects that include Porcupine Tree, No Man, Blackfield, Bass Communion, IEM, etc. So for him to take time...  (2009) » Read more

The Underground Railroad - Through and Through – The Underground Railroad was formed with the express intent of playing music in the style of Genesis, but they have luckily strayed from the strict observance of that intention. There is a remnant of...  (2001) » Read more

Zauber - Il Sogno (AKA Zauber) – Here is another rarity from the vaults. Zauber was a five-piece who produced only this single album in the late seventies, until their recent reformation (see Mike's New Italian article in issue...  (1995) » Read more

Ayuo Takahashi's Rok Grouppa - Blue Eyes, Black Hair – This is a very unusual release, at least in the context of the other material Belle Antique has to offer, and another archival one as well (most of the recordings here are from the 1989 timeframe)....  (1996) » Read more

Russell Mills / Undark - Pearl + Umbra – I’d give a list of the well-known guest musicians who contribute to this album, but Exposé reviews need to be under 300 words. So I’ll mention a few of the highlights: Brian Eno,...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues