John Fahey: official Takoma 1972 biography by Barry Hansen

I am very grateful to Vincent Smith, who has spent some time scanning copies of two US Takoma catalogues, a selection of UK press clippings, and particularly this 'official' biography written by Barry Hansen for Takoma in 1972. As with the other posts from Vincent's archive, all these images can be enlarged by clicking on them.

UK Press Articles and Reviews

Some articles from Vincent Smith's archive, mainly drawn from the 'Melody Maker', from the late 60s - early 70s (click to enlarge the images)

Light at the end of the tunnel maybe? The 1969 Melody Maker article on Fahey 'Syncopated Classics...' quotes him as saying of his Takoma albums "But there was one we had to withdraw because we were losing 30 cents on each one. It had photographs, a book, and a double cover. We didn't know how much it was going to cost but some of it was bad anyway". He's clearly talking about 'Voice of the Turtle', and this interview, which I had long since forgotten until Vincent sent it in, may be the source of the entire myth, but Fahey himself is confused. The album Takoma withdrew because it was making a loss was not 'Turtle' but 'The Early Sessions' (Takoma C-1000). Putting out the bulk of the '63 and '64 recordings from Volumes 1 & 2 as a double album at a single album price was not the best of ideas anyway, as most buyers would regard them as a better value alternative to either the '67 'magnificent mono' recordings, or the subsequent stereo versions. The '67 releases were not a great success either, and that no doubt lay behind the decision to repackage and stereo mix those recordings before too long had passed.

Takoma Records 1969 Catalog

Takoma Records 1973 Catalog


The Television Song

'The Television Song, aka TV Rag' is an outtake from the Adelphi sessions that produced the 'Dance of Death' album. Fahey taught the tune to Ragtime Ralph (Ralph C Johnson): "John taught me a song that appeared on "Ragtime Ralph Volume Four", my only 12 inch vinyl...the song was "Ragtime Piece In G" which Fahey had originally called "Television In a Garden Rag" and had apparently been released on some weird ep in Finland I believe..."

Television download

Thanks as always to the donor for this; it's good.