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The excessive, drug-fueled Pink Fairies grew out of the Deviants, a loose-knit band formed in 1967 by members of the West London hippie commune Ladbroke Grove. Initially dubbed the Social Deviants and consisting primarily of vocalist Mick Farren, guitarist Paul Rudolph, bassist Duncan Sanderson, and drummer Russell Hunter, the group also featured satellite members Marc Bolan, Steve Peregrine Took, and players from the band Group X, later rechristened Hawkwind. After three noisy, psychedelic albums and a U.S. tour, Farren exited to become a music journalist; the remaining Deviants returned to London, where they recruited vocalist and former Pretty Things drummer Twink (born John Alder), who suggested the name Pink Fairies. Despite gaining a reputation for mythic debauchery, the group remained largely an underground sensation before signing to Polydor and issuing its 1971 debut, Never Never Land, a manic, decadent album featuring the live staples "Do It" and "Uncle Harry's Last Freak Out."
Shortly after the record's release, Twink departed, and the Pink Fairies continued on as a trio for 1972's What a Bunch of Sweeties; recorded with assistance from the Move's Trevor Burton, the album reached the Top 50 on the U.K. charts, and was the group's most commercially successful effort. Soon, Rudolph exited to become a full-time member of Hawkwind, and was replaced by UFO's Larry Wallis for 1973's hard rock excursion Kings of Oblivion. Twink rejoined the Pink Fairies' ranks a short time later, but the group nonetheless disbanded before the end of the year. In 1975, the Kings of Oblivion-era lineup reunited for a one-off London gig; an enthusiastic response led to the official re-formation of the nucleus of Rudolph, Sanderson, and Hunter, who added former Chilli Willi & the Red Hot Peppers vocalist Martin Stone before again disbanding in 1977. A decade later, the original lineup -- minus Rudolph, but including Wallis -- reunited for the album Kill 'Em and Eat 'Em before calling it quits yet one more time. ~ Jason Ankeny