Phil May, lead singer of the veteran British band The Pretty Things, died Friday from complications following hip surgery after a recent biking accident, The Guardian reports. He was 75.
May co-founded The Pretty Things in 1963 with guitarist Dick Taylor, who had been playing bass in The Rolling Stones before teaming up with Phil.
The Pretty Things started out a raucous blues-rock band, a scored a couple of top-20 hits in the U.K.: “Don’t Bring Me Down” in 1964, and “Honey I Need” in 1965.
As the ’60s progressed, The Pretty Things developed a more psychedelic-influenced sound, and in December 1968 they released what is considered the first rock opera, S.F. Sorrow. The record, based on a short story by May, tells the story of a character named Sebastian F. Sorrow from his birth to his death.
The group’s style later evolved to incorporate prog-rock and glam-rock influences. May left The Pretty Things in 1976 and formed a short-lived project called The Fallen Angels, but relaunched his old band in 1978.
The Pretty Things retired from touring in 2018, and played a farewell concert that year featuring guest appearances by Van Morrison and Pink Floyd‘s David Gilmour.
David Bowie was a huge fan of The Pretty Things, and included renditions of two of the band’s songs — “Rosalyn” and “Don’t Bring Me Down” — on his 1973 covers album, Pin Ups.
According to The Guardian, a new Pretty Things studio album is scheduled for release this year.
May is survived by two children — son Paris and daughter Sorrel — and partner Colin Graham.
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.