BOOK - written by Marcus O'Dair
464 pages / lots of pages with black & white photographs / Serpent's Tail
published: 2014

The best book about Robert Wyatt until now. It is in fact the authorised biography. O'Dair gives us an enormous insight in Robert's life, his problems, both with music, drinking and often his own feelings and shyness and his fear of failure before concerts. But there is also lots of information about his youth, his family, the early days with Wild(e) Flowers and Soft Machine, the fact that he was kicked out of his own band and the trouble it gave him. Of course the change in his life after he fell out of the window. His new start and another new start, but always throughout the book the fact that Wyatt is simply amazed as someone asked him to play on a record or concert. The book is full of facts and stories. Be warned: if you start reading you canít stop anymore. Need I say more?


BOOK - written by Graham Bennett
416 pages / 16 pageswith pictures, black & white / full color / SAF Publishing
published: 2005

An excellent book, with forewords by Hugh Hopper, Daevid Allen and John Etheridge. All about the so called Canterbury Scene, the various incarnations of the band, the problems and the various legacies. In the appendices a family tree, concert files, discography, recording sessions, recordings for radio, television and film. In the middle part a chapter with many pictures, some of them previous unknown and mostly made by Mark Ellidge, Robertís brother. If you want to know everything about Soft Machine buy this book and read it twice or even more. Recommended.


BOOK - written by Michael King
pages unknown / many black & white pictures / SAF Publishing
published: 1994; reprint 1996

Wrong Movements is another excellent book about Robert Wyatt, but also about Soft Machine. It is like a scrap-book, full of pictures, drawings, newspaper clippings, lists and many other things. There are contributions and quotes from many people Robert knew and knows. Youíll read everything you always wanted to know about the troubles Robert had and what he did after he left Soft Machine. You just keep reading and looking. Hard to find and very expensive nowadays. Recommend as well.


BOOK - written by Daevid Allen
140 pages / many black & white pictures & drawings / SAF Publishing
published 2007

The alien Australian was there in the very beginning of Soft Machine. In his book you can read his vision of the beginning of Soft Machine and his role. That part is not very long, because he didnít stay very long in Soft Machine. Why, how and what; itís all in this book. Of course thereís more about Daevidís solo records and the first Gong bands. Very interesting as well. A nice book and as with the ones above, many pictures, drawings, newspaper clippings and also artwork from Daevid himself. The magick theatre starts here!


1. Facelift
2. Eamonn Andrews
3. Backwards/Mousetrap Reprise
4. Out-Bloody-Rageous
5. Robert Wyatt vocal improvisation
6. Esther's Nose Job

Recorded: March 2nd, 1970 at Thťatre de la Musique, Paris, France
Released: 2008

Robert Wyatt: drums & vocals
Hugh Hopper: bass
Mike Ratledge: Lowrey organ & Hohner pianet
Elton Dean: alto sax 7 saxello
Lyn Dobson: soprano sax, flute, voice, harmonica

The first and still only official DVD of Soft Machine (not counting the ones which come with a cd). It was recorded for the French television programme Pop 2 in 1970 and broadcasted in two parts. A unique document from a very special five-pieces Soft Machine with Elton Dean and Lyn Dobson. Filmed in colour and with an excellent sound. The box contains an informative booklet with pictures and liner notes written by Aymeric Leroy. Youíll love it! The public went wild! Look at them go! The Soft Machine is less than obviousÖ

Paul Lemmens © 2014