Taking a Trip: Marty Wilde’s “Abergavenny”

(This article has been updated and expanded in the book Song Book; it originally appeared in Shindig! issue #55)

By the late ‘60s, Beatlemania and the Summer of Love had delivered a one-two punch to the careers of many artists who were stars earlier in the decade. As TV impresario Jack Good put it, “they were all-round entertainers with nobody left to entertain”. Some attempted to update themselves by donning paisley-print tunics, flashing the peace sign, and jumping on the psychedelic bandwagon – but, more often than not, the music that resulted was cringeworthy.

It would be easy to label Marty Wilde’s ’69 album Diversions as an example of that desperate opportunism, but that label would be wrong – because from the start of his career Wilde had demonstrated a chameleonic ability to adapt. Continue reading