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Pete Pavli - 1981, after a performance of THE KID FROM SILICON GULCH
> "Peter Pavli - From the age of 15 his career has developed in varied and extraordinary directions.
Studied advanced bowing technique unter Rostropovich
for 5 years.
Later, sold bow and cello.
Studied advanced fingering method under Tortelier
for 5 years.
Sold cello, bought motorbike.
Abandoned music to work with Robert Calvert and
Michael Moorcock
- from 'The Kid from Silicon Gulch' programme booklet.

[ 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.

HYPE - the album coverPavli 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 demo-tracks.
I am not sure which came first - let's start with the REVENGE project:
This comprises 4 tracks [Revenge / Fascism/Futurism / Bugatti (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' Duncan).
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 the Voiceprint 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 sparkling humour.

The Cast of THE KID: Calvert, Jill Riches, Pete Pavli

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 PAVLI.

Jill Riches + Pete Pavli 1981 - after performing THE KID...

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...
Scene from THE KID: Sgt. Karelli arresting the CountessHowever, 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 Cabaret".

The Kränkschaft Cabaret - Jill Riches, Pete Pavli + R. Calvert

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. Click HERE to listen....

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 HILL.

Tony Hill / Pete Pavli / Adrian Shaw - July 2003
Tony Hill - Pete Pavli - Adrian Shaw
at Woronzow's '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:

“I started 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.”
So far two books have been published, you can obtain them both via Amazon-UK:
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:

“Meanwhile 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'.”
> What < is available on Amazon.com (by Pete Pavli)
And this isn’t all Mr. Pavli is doing:
“I 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!”

I haven’t 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 above projects!

News 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. 2013.

LINKS - More on Pete Pavli

  • check out the Voiceprint label pages for the cd-version of REVENGE

  • check out TONY HILL's website for more informations on the works of HIGH TIDE