In my last Blog Post I described how I learned of the existence of the Sixties band, Precious Comfort Love Thrust. My ambition has been to write the unofficial ‘official’ biography of the greatest band who never existed.
With the limited material available it has been difficult to put into some chronological order the history of the band. However, Stef’s journals have been an invaluable source of information in that respect.
There were two in the suitcase I acquired when Stef sadly passed away at the Care Home. One contained her beautiful lyrics and the other was almost like a scrap book. It contained her musings, or press cuttings, the odd Polaroid photo crudely taped to the yellowing pages.
One of the most revealing sections of that journal is entitled ‘An Interview I Shall Never Give’. Here Stef writes and answers her own questions about being part of the band. Despite playing the crucial role of being their sole songwriter it would seem she was very much in the background. None of the press cuttings seem to reference her yet without her there would be no Precious Comfort Love Thrust.
She was part of the day to day life of the band, jotting down the mood of recording or touring with throwaway observations in her journal like ‘Labia wants out’ or ‘Dick is struggling’
Whenever one writes a music biography of a band normally the reader would come with some basic knowledge of who the band are and have at least heard one or two songs.
It’s likely the first time you ever heard about Precious Comfort Love Thrust is when I wrote about them or you happened upon the Twitter or Reddit sub I set up to share the contents of Stef’s suitcase.
Also normally a music biography can begin with explaining how the band formed. You know, so and so met each other at school, this person left that band to join etc. Yet, Precious Comfort Love Thrust seemed to just suddenly exist. They appeared as quickly as they disappeared.
What I have been able to work out is the Original Line Up consisted of:-
Labia Lefeure – Lead Singer
Richard ‘Dick’ Splash – Lead Guitarist
Kaku – Bass Guitarist
Vanda T – Rhythm Guitar
Regis – Drummer
In their short history the band would go through different line ups. Dick Splash left the band to be replaced by Curt Lingus.
Both Vanda and surprisingly Labia then left, the latter attempting a solo career which saw he take residence for a while in Las Vegas.
The final iteration of Precious Comfort Love Thrust was Labia returning with Kaku and Regis; the lead guitar being played by a host of session musicians.
Yet the history of the members of the band (or Love Thrusters as Stef called them in her journal) is unknown.
A vital part of any music biography is to be able to trace the early life of the band, to give context to the people that would become universally admired by fans. Yet I cannot find anything relating to the members of PCLT. No clue where they were born, who their parents were, where they went to school. Nothing.
The closest was a very small snippet of an interview Labia gave when she sung at the Sands in Vegas. It read:-
“I love being up here with the big band, singing the old songs. It’s like being back home in the clubs in the East End of London”
So we know that Labia (which I presume is not her real name) was born in London and sung in clubs before joining Precious Comfort Love Thrust. But how and why remains shrouded in mystery.
As for the others they are like ghosts. It’s as if they were purposely designed to blend anonymously in the background. Labia was the face of Precious Comfort Love Thrust; it would have been her face who adorned the walls of teenage fans and probably helped a few boys through those difficult years.
But did the girls have Dick Splash on their walls? Or perhaps others went dressed as Vanda or Kaku at concerts. Maybe in pubs today there is someone holding court that the greatest drumming you’ll ever hear was Regis on the track 4-Nication.
As I begun my study of the Journals of Stef Clancy I wondered about the others. Whether they resented Labia for being in the forefront whilst they were reduced to playing in the shadows? Did Labia have a hand in that? Was she some diva who demanded all the attention? And what was Stef’s role in all of this? Who was calling the shots?
Because whilst it’s possible to gather some information from the journal on all the band members including Stef herself, there is one person (or persons) where nothing appears – the Manager.
Who was the Manager? He (or she) put together a band, signed them to an obscure record label that only produced PCLT records then promptly went out of business. If legacy is an indication of greatness then PCLT’s management team would not appear on any list of Greatest Band Managers.
Is the story of Precious Comfort Love Thrust a story of missed opportunity? A group of talented individuals let down by incompetent management.
Or is it a story about ego? A band self destructing before they have even had a chance to begin.
And this is before we get to the strange appearance of Pirouette Angel……..Whatever that was all about.