Helen Newman only by chance caught Timebox playing at a London club one night, but Timebox and Patto ended up becoming a huge part of her life for years. She saw virtually every show in the London area. She followed them anywhere she could and says that it is a miracle she is still here after all of that careening around on her motorbike. She was a great fan and friend to the lads, and they often could be found hanging out at her place in London.
Helen, also known as Lady H, was married to drummer Tony Newman for fourteen years and was there for the Boxer years too. You can imagine the wealth of great memories she has!
Well, I am happy to say that she wrote recently to share a story regarding the origin of a phrase heard in the introduction of "Flat-Footed Woman" from 1972's "Roll 'Em, Smoke 'Em, Put Another Line Out" LP. With her blessings, her story is reproduced below.
Right: Ollie and Tony Newman. Note that it looks like Ollie is wearing a shirt that reads "All You Need Is Cash," a Rutles reference. (Photo courtesy of Helen Newman)
you probably know we were a pretty liberal lot in the 60's early 70's
– much revelry, drinking and smoking of substances. I lived in a
lovely central area of London, number 10 Albion Street, which was to see
many rock n' rollers. It was right opposite Hyde Park and my flat
was the basement of a Victorian terraced house with iron railings, a
gate at the top and stone steps from the pavement to my door and front
living area. The flat extended to the back, housing a kitchen,
hallway, bathroom, and stairs to the rest of the house. The top of
the staircase was actually sealed so you couldn't get anywhere
really, and the only way out was back through the front
I had recently returned from the Middle East, complete with a rather large hookah pipe and a supply of Lebanon's finest hashish. The lads, Patto, Ollie, and I think Clive and John plus perhaps Barney had come over. I had a rather 'speedy' friend, Ross Carver (hairdresser to the stars), who was always popping in, and used to see the van outside and would know that we were usually 'rollin'one'. We had the window open to the front as the fog of the in-use pipe was a little overwhelming, although the smell must have permeated the pavement above.
"Ok, lads, two of you round the back," came over as clear as could be, along with his noisy feet on the steps. The lads all made a dash for it, ignoring my comment that it was just Ross. Ollie was up the stairs to nowhere. Someone was hiding behind the boiler in the kitchen. Another trying to become invisible against the bricks of the small outside backyard. And I think Mike was in the bathroom with the door locked. One by one after a rather long time they ventured from their positions, reality sinking in and not too happy with my pal.
After this, they used the same tactics on others, really only working well with basement pot smoking dwellings, which were very common at this time, along with the police making needless 'busts' on people who were pretty harmless. There was even a Legal Aid society formed called 'Release' to help such folk.
Helen Newman, 2006
Visit this site to learn about one of Helen's ventures: Genuine Fake Furs.
100% Genuine Fake Fur. 50% of profits donated to animal causes. 0% cruelty.
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