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

2020-05-15
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. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Forrest Fang - Folklore – This is Forrest Fang's first album for Cuneiform, but his sixth overall. Through the years, Fang's music has gradually shifted from a more ambient/electronic music (Eno, Terry Riley) mixed with...  (1995) » Read more

Various Artists - 70's West Japanese Rock Scene – Apart from the Tokyo scene in the 70s, there were many progressive bands operating in the Kansai region, outside of Tokyo and in the west of Japan, in places like Osaka, Kyoto, and elsewhere. 70's...  (1996) » Read more

Various Artists - Montreal Sound Matter / Montréal Matière Sonore – Experimental and Avant-Garde are words that should be used loosely for they reach far too wide. On the surface, that is evidently what we have here in this conglomeration of mainly Canadian artists....  (2007) » Read more

Mandibulbe - Praxis – This French instrumental quartet brings a lot of influences to the table, although refined and presented in a fresh and progressive way. The band’s main composer is guitarist Guillaume Fenoy,...  (2011) » Read more

Coral Caves - Mitopoiesi – Coral Caves is an Italian band that proves good solid progressive rock doesn’t have to be overly complex to be good. I hear elements of early Genesis, mid-70s Pink Floyd, Camel, and of course a...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues