If you've already been here and you want to read
the NEWS on Mr. Pavli as of August 2012: go here.
Pete Pavli is
probably the least-known collaborator on the long list of artists who
worked with Calvert - though he should / must
be counted among the most important and creative.
Apart from the odd guest-gig with befriended and former bandmates, Pavli
has - unfortunately - dropped out of the music-"biz" for quite
a while. As most of the musicians featured here, he started his musical
activities in the late 60's. He was a member of the powerful psychedelic
band HIGH TIDE. As their bass-guitarist he
played alongside the guitarist-virtuoso TONY HILL,
drummer ROGER HADDEN and SIMON
HOUSE, who'd later become Hawkwind's
keyboard- and violin-wizard.
He also played in the THIRD EAR BAND, a more
experimental outfit - probably most famous for supplying the soundtrack
to Roman Polanski's version of MACBETH.
Pavli is doubtlessly a great bass-player (regularly praised by fellow
musicians like Adrian
Shaw, a bass-master in his own right...) - however, he created the
most exciting and interesting pieces on / via his cello - the instrument
he studied under one of the great masters: Mstislav Rostropovich. Besides
he also tried out the more electronic side of music. In both fields he
collaborated with Calvert and also created
some impressive works on his own and in collaboration with other artists
like Michael Moorcock.
and Calvert met around 1980. They were introduced by Simon
House, as Calvert was searching for a musician to play cello
on the recordings of his forthcoming solo-album HYPE.
They got along well and during the next 2 years collaborated on two
projects, that have to be counted among the best in Calvert's
rich and diverse oeuvre: the ambitious electronic musical THE
KID FROM SILICON GULCH and the recordings of the REVENGE
I am not sure which came first - let's start with the REVENGE
This comprises 4 tracks [Revenge
(animated version) / Isadora
(animated version)], which were writen by Pavli:
"They were really
just pieces of music, but Calvert was very good at picking out simple
but effective melody lines, and putting them into lyrics.
We were both interested in the Futurists,
which is where the spoken piece Fascism/Futurism came from."
"...just pieces of music." - is quite a bit of an understatement!
The Revenge-tracks are songs, but certainly not in the usual rock-or-pop
meaning. They're all based on -sometimes simple/minimalistic, sometimes
intricate string arrangements, played by Pavli
- with the assistance of Simon House. The
same characteristics count for Calvert's
vocals - at times more spoken words, at times very poetical - and always
powerful and inventive in their imagery.
Three of these four songs are indeed circling about the ideas of speed
and movement, combining the a slightly nostalgic/historcal flair whilst
recurring to the times they are stemming from: the 20's and 30's - i.e.
the movement of Futurism (Fascism/Futurism),
the invention of (racing)-automobiles ('Bugatti'),
the pioneering works in modern dance ('Isadora'
In short, this is more experimentat music by nature - but nonetheless
(and why should this be an exclusion?) with a strange beauty to it.
The only bad thing about REVENGE is, that
it never made it beyond the demo-status - i.e. it's lack in sound-quality.
Hence, these tracks were hardly available for a long time - but fortunately
label has finally released them on cd. A definite recommendation. -
[ Read some more notes on REVENGE]
- and see below for a few notes of Pete
Pavli about the latest -not so fortunate- re-release of the Revenge-tracks.
The other project that Pavli and Calvert collaborated on, was no less
ambitious - and much more extensive. In 1981 Calvert premiered THE
KID FROM SILICON GULCH at the Theatrespace in London. This
certainly is one of the best works Calvert
has ever accomplished. This "Electronic Musical
for the Cybernetic Age" combined the classical film-noir-detective
genre with a futuristic computer-economy-crime - all wrapped in Calvert's
The KID also featured 12 (!) great songs.
They're all in the typical minimalist-Calvert style - but I wouldn't be
surprised if Pete Pavli, who collaborated
with Calvert on the entire project, has thrown in some ideas as well into
these. The official programme gives him the technical co-credit for "Tape
realization" - which must mean the preparation/recording of the various
backing-tracks of the songs, to which Calvert
and his fellow actors sang along.
These fellow actors were: Jill
Riches (later to become Jill Calvert) and... PETE
His main role was the slightly dumb-witted SERGEANT
KARELLI - as Karelli he also had to sing "How
can you call me Pig?" - a fabulous lament-song for
an ever so straight family man and police officer...
this wasn't his only role in THE KID. Pavli also lent his voice to a couple
of cunning computers, that the detective-protagonist BRAD
SPARK - played by Calvert himself -
had to question along his trail through the cybernetic odd-yssee.
Again: this was a fantastic project - and as part of the re-launch of
this site, I've included an extensive special
feature on it. So, I spare myself further repetitions,
but recommend that you read all about THE KID,
it's protagonists and actors, listen to the songs etc etc... - HERE.
Following the staging of THE KID, Calvert
further explored his acting/stageshow-projects and staged - mainly during
1981/82 - a couple of so-called "Cabaret"-shows
- mostly under the title "Kränkschaft
These shows featured an eclectic mixture of songs, sketches, poem-recitations,
stand-up comedy and improvisation. Most of them were realized and performed
by the same team as THE KID. In these shows Pavli
worked on the musical side of things, as Calvert's partner in various
sketches and as a "supporting actor."
More on these shows - including texts and soundfiles from the original
performances - can be found HERE.
Sadly, after these shows Calvert and Pavli never worked together again.
For the same reason, that a couple of other artists named: Mr. Calvert's
strenuous ego - as a result (mainly) of his manic depression.
But Pavli didn't stop making music. At the
same time he became a close collaborator of Sci-Fi and Fantasy (and
essayist, novelist...) writer Michael
Moorcock, when the latter revived his band THE
DEEP FIX. Again he did a lot of demo-recordings with Moorcock,
based on various of his novels like the award-winning "Gloriana"
and "The Entropy Tango". But...
again....most of this material never developed beyond that stage, even
if some of it was slightly more adavanced than the REVENGE
tracks, that Pavli had recorded with Calvert.
Only a handful of these songs were officially released. One of them,
"The Brothel in Rosenstrasse",
has been taken on the re-release version of Moorcock's
and The Deep Fix only official album: "The
New Worlds Fair". This song is particularly interesting
in this context, as it uses the same basic backing-track as "Bugatti",
one of the songs from the REVENGE recordings.
Here you can listen to / compare both versions (which is a bit unfair
in technical reasons, but still....)
A few other tracks from that period, like GOOD
GIRL, BAD GIRL, were properly recorded and eventually found their
way onto various (often Hawkwind-related) samplers. One of these tracks
is the truly mesmerizing instrumetal TIME CENTRE.
For a more detailed version of Pavli's and Moorcock's
collaborations during this period - featuring more soundfiles from those
rare demo-recordings - go to the pages, describing the collaborations
/ relations of Calvert and Mike Moorcock.
Just go HERE.
After none of these ambitious recordings found a record company willing
to release them, both Moorcock and Pavli
slowly retired from the musical scenery... a sad thing, indeed. These
days, both of them can only be lured back onto the stage by befriended
musicians, requesting their services. So you can hear Pete Pavli on
various tracks on the latest solo-albums of his friend ADRIAN
SHAW - and recently he also guested at a gig by his former
bandmate from HIGH TIDE days, TONY
|Tony Hill - Pete Pavli
- Adrian Shaw
'Summer Pudding' all dayer; 'The Standard', Walthamstow,London
- July 2003 -
pic by kind permission of www.tonyhillsfiction.co.uk
All in all it seems, that Pete Pavli's
'fate' as a musician was to be the "demo-man" - he created
numerous great pieces, that never made it beyond demo-recording quality
and that were never officially released. In short: a shame!
So, if some music-lover/mixing-desk-wizard out there is looking for
a valuable occupation: gather the tapes of these recordings, get the
best out of it and make them avialable to the public, after all.
Well, I hope these are not the final words on Pavli's musical activities...
- come on, Pete, surprise us!
|UPDATE: August 2012
|It took a bit
of time, but now Mr. Pavli DID surprise me - and I am happy to pass
on the news on his recent activities in music and literature.
Yes, literature - and that’s how it came into being:
writing about 7 years ago when I had just fallen seriously ill and
was stuck at home after a big operation. I couldn't play music,
I couldn't even leave the house; I had to find something to do every
day so I started writing short stories, mainly black comedy with
surreal plot lines and characters. Over a period of 4/5 years I
produced a batch of a dozen or so pieces.”
far two books have been published, you can obtain them both via
There’s > Bat
Baby and other Stories <, a collection of those
short stories - and > The
Signing <, a half-hour sitcom script. Watch out:
both books are published under Pete’s full name: Peter Pavli.
|But the musician
known as Pete has been busy as well:
I had started to recover and began to compose using Cubase on my
computer, and producing short instrumental pieces similar to the
pieces that Bob Calvert had first heard when he came to visit me
in the 80's, and which, with his vocals, became the Revenge songs.
This new material emerged over a period of 2/3 years and finally,
a few months ago, I decided to release some of these as my first
solo cd called: 'What'.”
< is available on Amazon.com (by Pete Pavli)
this isn’t all Mr. Pavli is doing:
am currently working with a talented female singer/songwriter who
has sworn me to secrecy, but we hope to put out an ep of strange
and wonderful music in the next few months. So, the music goes on,
and we 60's kids will never stop until we drop. Cheers!”
read the books or heard Pete’s new music, but in regard
of his earlier work I strongly recommend to check out all of the
from Feb. 2013 - some notes by Pete Pavli about the reissue of the
REVENGE tracks, combined with Calvert-reading
of Centigrade 232:
Re. the latest Bob Calvert release 'Revenge/Centigrade 232'. Last
year Voiceprint talked to me about a reissue of the four Revenge
tracks that they had put out a few years earlier. They said they
were thinking of making a double cd with some of Bob's poetry on
one, and the Revenge tracks on the other. They asked me if I had
any bonus tracks that I could add to the cd and I said I hadn't,
but, I was going to get my old friend Ade Shaw to add a drum track
to two of the songs and remaster the four to improve the general
poor quality recording. I then asked if we could leave the 5th track
of the original revenge cd, 'Turn The Tape Over', which had nothing
to do with Bob calvert, off this reissue. Voiceprint said no, it
was 'historical' and should be left on. (Just to put this track
in context, the Revenge tracks first came out on cassette, the four
songs on one side, then, because we wanted to put something on the
other side to let people know that they shoud 'turn the tape over',
we concocted this joke track that had a robotic voice repeating
'turn the tape over, on top of a generated sound. In other words,
a spoof track.) I then said could I at least add some extra instrumentation
on it to try and make it listenable. This was also agreed. So, Ade
did the drum tracks and remastering, I added to Turn The tape Over.
I then sent these to Voice print. So, I thought the final cd would
have the four remastered tracks, plus the redone Turn The Tape Over.
In fact, when I received my copy from Voiceprint, I found that they
had not only put the four un-remastered tracks on, they had put
the new remastered tracks on as 'bonus tracks', and then put the
old version of Turn The Tape Over on, not once, but twice. I don't
know what happened to my new version. So, Bob Calvert fans, I'm
sorry, I feel that you've been ripped off with this cd, and you
have around 14 minutes of the new remastered stuff, which is ok,
then another 35 minutes of repetition. Maybe it's worth it to have
Bob's poetry on the other cd. I hope so, because the music cd is
a cynical and greedy padding out by Voiceprint to make it feel like
a better deal than it is. I can only apologise. Pete Pavli. Feb.
- More on Pete Pavli
check out TONY
's website for more informations on the works of