Roy Harper – Hell’s Angels – A song recorded as an impossible single.

When Roy signed to the prestigious Harvest label set up to accommodate the burgeoning Underground talent, EMI was confident that they could make a big deal out of Roy. Unfortunately Roy was his own man and refused to play the necessary games. He went his own way.

When he recorded the wonderful Flat Baroque and Berserk album – his debut on Harvest – they wanted a single. That didn’t appeal to Roy. When they pressed he wrote some outrageous lyrics, had a late night session with his mates the Nice in the studio and recorded a  seven minute track that he offered them as a single. I don’t think they were impressed.

I was there at Abbey Road to witness this being recorded and it was quite a rollicking session.

The track, complete with Roy’s electric guitar, is on the album but for some reason was not released as a single.

Check out the lyrics. They might provide a clue. I don’t think it would have got much airplay.

Hell’s Angels – Roy Harper
if you think you need a better deal why don’t you just take one
like the Hell’s Angels
put your foot down, let’s get out of this town

fancy seeing all of you here, well I don’t know
fancy seeing all of you here
dressed up in your government gear, paying taxes
never thought you’d make it to here

hell’s angels
if you think you need a better world why don’t you just make one
like the Hell’s Angels
live your own law, lick your own paw

fancy seeing all of you slugs, well I don’t know
fancy seeing all of you mugs
drinking all your government drugs
well I don’t know
helping all your government thugs

free speech!
one each!

I am really enjoying these videos!

If you are at all interested in my writing on Blues and Rock Music you can check out my books here:

I would recommend the Blues Muse or In Search of Captain Beefheart to get you started:


537 Essential Rock Albums Pt. 1

Opher’s tributes to Rock Geniuses

If you would like some of my Sci-fi I recommend Ebola in the Garden of Eden or Sorting the Future to get you started:

If you would like a sixties novel I recommend Danny’s Story or Goofin’ with the Cosmic Freaks

Happy Reading!!



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