3/9/14 – Tomorrow – My White Bicycle – 1967

Tomorrow 1967One of the great lost psychedelic groups Tomorrow released My White Bicycle in May 1967, it failed to chart and by the time their album came out in 1968 the psychedelic era was already starting to lose momentum and the band broke up. They had previously recorded three singles as The In Crowd, one of which, That’s How Strong My Love Is reached  No.48. They changed their name to Tomorrow and released two singles in 1967, My White Bicycle and Revolution. The band featured Keith West on Vocals, Twink on drums who would play with The Pretty Things on landmark album S.F. Sorrow and later with The Pink Fairies. Steve Howe  joined Yes, bass player John Junior Wood didn’t seem to  resurface.

My White Bicycle was covered by Scottish rockers Nazareth in 1975, a one -off single inbetween their Hair Of The Dog and Close Enough For Rock and Roll albums, it reached No.14 on the UK chart. Like Traffic’s Hole In My Shoe it was also covered by Neil from The Young Ones as a parody to lesser success.

This from Wikipedia on the origins of the song:

White bicycle plan: Initiated by Luud Schimmelpenninck, the white bicycle plan proposed the closing of central Amsterdam to all motorised traffic, including motorbikes, with the intent to improve public transport frequency by more than 40% and to save two millions guilders per year. Taxis were accepted as semi-public transport, but would have to be electrically powered and have a maximum speed of 25 m.p.h. The Provos proposed one of the first bicycle sharing systems: the municipality would buy 20,000 white bikes per year, which were to be public property and free for everybody to use. After the plans were rejected by the city authorities, the Provos decided to go ahead anyway. They painted 50 bikes white and left them on streets for public use. The police impounded the bikes, as they violated municipal law forbidding citizens to leave bikes without locking them. After the bikes had been returned to the Provos, they equipped them all with combination locks and painted the combinations on the bicycles.

It seems that Tomorrow weren’t given the budget for a colour album sleeve, patently cruel for a band with such a psychedelic leaning. This lack of commitment from their record label EMI might explain their lack of success. It would be interesting to know why they made this decision despite having a song that fitted in perfectly with the sound of the times.