toulouse, 2008. photographs by rory lindsay.
A quick glance at my iTunes play count reveals that this song is well up there in my own Top 50. Like several others on their debut LP, the song\’s inspiration lay in Brown\’s well documented infatuation with Renée Felden, a young woman introduced to the boys living out of 1595 Broadway through mutual acquaintance, Tom Feher.
According to bassist, Tom Finn – who eventually secured Felden\’s affections – on the original session the drums were laid down by an anonymous jobbing 802 Union professional; the bass provided by classical cellist, Seymour Barrab; and the strings – oboe and cello – by friends of Michael\’s dad, including George Marge.
Recorded in the bleak winter of 1966, this is the sound of unrequited passion without the almost inevitable acrimony.
Written by Michael Brown. Produced by Harry Lookofsky; Steve Jerome; Bill Jerome at World United Studio, 1595 Broadway NYC.
▼ THE LEFT BANKE: PRETTY BALLERINA from \”WALK AWAY RENÉE / PRETTY BALLERINA\” LP (Smash Records) 1967 (US)