Spectral Nether Street
Steve Howe’s recording career began as early as 1964 under the production of Joe Meek when he was the lead guitarist of the savage R&B outfit The Syndicats. He then joined The In Crowd, who soon became Tomorrow, legendary pioneers of UK psychedelia who along with Pink Floyd and Soft Machine changed the face of pop music forever. When Tomorrow’s singer Keith West’s first solo single became a huge success (it was a part of the “lost” Teenage Opera project by Mark Wirtz) all band members went their separate ways. Drummer Twink joined The Pretty Things and then formed The Pink Fairies, bassist Junior Wood -along with Twink- tried luck in Aquarian Age and Steve Howe accompanied West on tour before finally giving birth to Bodast in 1968.
Bodast was formed by Steve Howe (Guitar), Dave Curtiss (bass, vocals) and Bobby Clark (drums). The name was creatied by taking the first two letters of their names (BObby, DAve, STeve). Curtiss and Clark where veterans of the early UK scene, having been members of Screaming Lord Sutch’s Savages or Vince Taylor’s Playboys, and they had also worked in France backing Françoise Hardy.They were soon joined by Clive Skinner (vocals) and Bruce Thomas (bass), and also acted for a while as Canto.
While back in the era no recordings of Bodast saw the light of day, the fact is that they did record a whole LP under the production of Keith West. Ten incredible songs that are the missing link between Tomorrow and Yes, a stunning progressive opus which still has it’s share of psychedelia, and which should have been a classic since day one but, sadly, the album was filed and left unreleased, and Bodast finally disbanded. Howe got some offers to join other established groups. He took the one from Yes, with whom he soon entered the studio to record The Yes Album, to which he added parts of the lost Bodast compositions (the most evident being Nether Street, an important part of it ended up in Starship Troopers). And the rest, as they say, is history.
The Bodast LP finally saw the light of day in 1981, when Cherry Red issued 8 of the recorded songs as The Bodast Tapes. The original tapes had been newly remixed by Steve Howe himself. It was, again, issued in the 1990s by C5, same remix, with the addition of two extra tracks. That version was also available on CD. In 2000 RPM released a new CD version, this time rescuing the original 1968 mixes, and with the addition of four tracks by Canto (essentially the same band, who changed the name for a while).
Now, for the first time ever on vinyl the original 1968 mixes, which are rawer than those early eighties ones done by Steve Howe, are issued by Wah Wah Records Supersonic Sounds, on a limited edition of only 500 copies, housed in a nice three backflaps sleeve like they did them in the UK in the sixties!