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Alcohol, AlbertHofmann’s “problem child”, Aldous Huxley’s“first love” and marijuana.


Mick Hutchinson of lysergic rockers CLARK-HUTCHINSON gives RICH DEAKIN the inside dope on music, booze, cycling, LSD and THC in no particular order.


or the uninitiated, Clark Hutchinson recorded a trio of albums for the Decca/Deram/Nova stables between 1969 and ’71 – four if you include their Blues album, unreleased at the time. Lauded by John Peel and Miles of the underground newspaper


L to R: Mick Hutchinson, Andy Clark, Del Coverley, Steve Fields


International Times, anyone who read the hype surrounding Clark Hutchinson could be forgiven for thinking that the new saviours of rock ’n’ roll had been discovered, albeit suffused with hints of jazz, flamenco and Indian ragas. That their LPs were received with only a modicum of success confirms that they failed to live up to their expectations, commercially at least. This, however, is certainly no reflection on their musical prowess. Andy Clark was a talented multi-instrumentalist adept at playing organ, saxophone, bass, guitar, flute, harmonica, percussion and bagpipes, whilst guitarist Mick Hutchinson received the kind of plaudits usually reserved for guitar maestros like Hendrix, Clapton or Beck. With comparisons to Django Reinhardt and predictions that Hutchinson would be a guitar legend within two years of releasing their debut album, it seemed that the world was Clark Hutchinson’s for the taking. So why didn’t it happen?


Like so many bands and musicians of their era, they eventually disintegrated amidst a welter of spiralling drink and drug use. But first we pick up the story in the mid-60s soon after Mick Hutchinson had played in a mod influenced R&B/beat combo called The Sons Of Fred who released a string of singles between ’65 and ’66. Prior to being in The Sons Of Fred even, Hutchinson had nurtured an interest in the musical styles of India and the East, “I used to tune the 3rd string down to D and play it like a sitar.” So when he was introduced to an exceptional tabla player called Sam Gopal, he jumped at the chance to play with him.


Perhaps more famously, they even played at that most epochal of British counterculture happenings – The 14 Hour Technicolor Dream at The Alexandra Palace in April ’67. It was around this time that Mick Hutchinson was staying at the Middle Earth club in Covent Garden. In his own words, he’d been thrown out of home for being a “filthy hippy”. “I didn’t have anywhere to go, so they let me live in the club, which was nice of them. Pete [Sears] and I used to stay in there and get completely fucked. We sometimes used to borrow Graham Bond’s Hammond organ and jam all night!” Then Hutchinson had a chance encounter with a kindred spirit called Andy Clark at a bus stop. Both had long hair so they struck up conversation


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