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John Charles Alder

Background information
Born 29 November 1944 (1944-11-29) (age 65)
Origin England
Genres Psychedelic music
Occupations Musician
Instruments drums
Years active 1963 – Present
Labels Decca Records
Parlophone Records
Sire Records
Columbia Records
Rare Earth Records
Midnight Records
Associated acts Dane Stephens and the Deep Beats
The Fairies
The Pretty Things
The Pink Fairies
The Rings
Syd Barrett

John Charles Alder (born 29 November 1944), better known as Twink, is an English drummer, singer and song writer who was a central figure in the English psychedelic movement, and an actor.



Early life

Alder was born in Colchester, Essex, England, into a musical family. His father's mother was a concert pianist and soloist. Alder has said he was always interested in music as a child.

The Fairies

Alder's career began in 1963 as a member of a rhythm and blues band from Colchester called Dane Stephens and the Deep Beats. After a year, the band changed its name to The Fairies.

The Fairies were sent gifts and Alder, having long curly hair, regularly received bottles of Twink brand home perm lotion. It was at this time that he adopted 'Twink' as his stage name.

In 1964 The Fairies recorded the single "Don't Think Twice It's Alright" for the Decca Records label. In 1965 they recorded two singles, "Don't Mind" and "Get Yourself Home", for HMV.

The band split at some date before 1967.

The In-Crowd and Tomorrow

In 1965 Twink moved to London and lived in Chelsea. When The Fairies came to a halt, he joined a rhythm and blues/soul music band called The In-Crowd after its previous drummer had left the band. Other members were Steve Howe (guitar) and Keith West.

A few months later the band was renamed Tomorrow. The success of West's solo recording Excerpt From A Teenage Opera resulted in the band breaking up.

In Joe Boyd's book White Bicycles he cites a Tomorrow show at UFO Club and, in particular, Twink's performance, as the zenith of 60's pop culture. [1][2]

The Pretty Things

Twink replaced Skip Allen in The Pretty Things and participated in the making of the album S.F. Sorrow. He was also a member of this group when they appeared in the Norman Wisdom film, 'What's Good For The Goose'. He became noted for outrageous behaviour, such as climbing the speaker stacks and diving into the audience when the band performed at a free open-air concert in London's Hyde Park.[3]

Think Pink

He recorded his first solo album, Think Pink, with The Deviants, including Mick Farren (who produced the album), Paul Rudolph who played guitar, as well as Steve Peregrin Took.

The Pink Fairies

Twink with the Pink Fairies at Glastonbury Fayre in 1971

The line up of The Pink Fairies (Mark 1) featured Think Pink musicians Twink, Took and Farren, and was named after the Pink Fairies Rock 'n' Roll Club, a loose group of people including Took, Farren, The Deviants, Syd Barrett (still at the time in Pink Floyd). They were resident in Ladbroke Grove, the home of the UK Underground.

Pink Fairies (Mark 2) was formed with Twink and former Deviants (but without Mick Farren). He left The Pink Fairies in 1971 (although he would periodically return) and after a spell in Morocco moved to Cambridge where he played with Syd Barrett, in Stars, after which he moved back to London.

In 1987 he rejoined The Pink Fairies for a reunion tour.

Hawkwind and PinkWind

He periodically performed with fellow Ladbroke Grove community band Hawkwind.

He also collaborated with Hawkwind founder Nik Turner in the band PinkWind. Turner brought in the Wind and Twink, as a member of The Pink Fairies provided the Pink. PinkWind released two albums. Some line-ups also featured Judge Trev Thoms of Inner City Unit and Steve Took's Horns.


Early in 1972 Twink played in the short lived trio Stars with Syd Barrett and bassist Jack Monck. Stars played a handful of shows which were well received. However, Syd, fragile mentally, quit after reading a negative review by Roy Hollingworth in Melody Maker.[4]

The Rings and punk

Following an injury sustained in a car crash, he worked as a vocalist with The Rings in early 1977, releasing one of the first Punk rock singles I Wanna Be Free, produced by former Sparks-member Martin Gordon. Other members included Alan Lee Shaw and Rod Latter of The Adverts. I Wanna Be Free featured on the Long Shots, Dead Certs And Odds On Favourites (Chiswick Chartbusters Volume Two) Compilation album (1978: Chiswick Records).

Twink coined the term Acid Punk to describe his music and went on to release an EP Do It '77 in 1978. It included the songs Psychedelic Punkeroo - about Syd Barrett (credited to 'A. Syd')[4] - and Enter The Diamonds, which both featured a band consisting of Twink (drums/lead vocals), Kid Rogers (of Kid Rogers and the Henchmen) (guitars/vocals), Fingers Falkner (keyboards) and Chris Chesney (lead guitar). According to Twink "it was the Psychedelic Punkaroo project, but Chiswick Records didn't like the track and I jammed Do It with the Lightning Raiders, which they preferred." [5] Duncan ('Danger Sun') Sanderson (bass, Lightning Raiders & ex-Pink Fairies): "Twink came round my house and dragged me down the studio while I was still asleep one morning, and Little John Hodge (lead guitar, Lightning Raiders) just came along to deliver a guitar. Twink had us jam through Do It, so we did it. Kid and John hadn't even heard the flaming song before. At the end he jumps up and says 'That's it, thanks lads!' We didn't even know it was being taped!" Twink's comment on this statement was that "A second take of Do It is a contradiction in terms."[6]


In 1986 he released a solo single "Apocalipstic", which inaugurated his new, self-titled record label.

During the 1987 Pink Fairies reunion tour Twink met members of Plasticland which resulted in the collaboration You Need a Fairy Godmother, released in 1989 on Midnight Records.

In 1990 Twink released his second solo album, Mr Rainbow.

Acting career

Twink acted widely during the late 1980s, appearing in United Kingdom television series including:-


with The Fairies

with Tomorrow

with Pretty Things

with Mick Farren

  • Mona (The Carnivorous Circus) (1970)


  • Think Pink (Sire Records, 1970)
  • Do It '77 12" EP (Chiswick, 1978) (as Twink and the Fairies)
  • Apocalipstic single (1986)
  • Space Lover 12" EP (1986)
  • "Driving My Car" 7" single (1987)
  • Mr. Rainbow (1990)
  • "Psychedelic Punkaroo" 7"/12" single (1990)

with Pink Fairies

with The Rings

with Plasticland

  • You Need a Fairy Godmother (Midnight Records, 1987)

with The Bevis Frond

  • Magic Eye (1991)

with Santa Barbara Machine Head

  • Pre Purple People compilation (2001)


  1. ^ PUNKCAST#1129
  2. ^ Boyd, Joe, White Bicycles - Making Music in the 1960s, Serpent's Tail, 2006. ISBN 1-85242-910-0
  3. ^ "Hyde Park Free Concert 7-28-68". August 2005. Retrieved 2008-01-10.  
  4. ^ a b Interview with Twink, Ivor Trueman. Opel #11, 5 December 1985
  5. ^ Twink/Bevis Frond interview (1989), Ptolemaic Terrascope
  6. ^ International Times (1978), Volume 4, Issue 4

External links

  • Interview with Twink By Ivor Trueman, Opel #11, 5 December 1985
  • Twink - interview (Ptolemaic Terrascope #3 1990)
  • Alan Lee Shaw's Gallery includes a photo of The Rings.

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