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One of Steve Howe's several obscure pre-Yes projects, Bodast filled the gap between his stint in Tomorrow and his recruitment for Yes. Apart from Howe, the lineup consisted of Clive Skinner (vocals, guitar), Dave Curtis (vocals, bass), and Bobby Clarke (aka Woodman) (drums). Curtis and Clarke had previously played together in ex-Searcher Chris Curtis' short-lived group Roundabout, comprising the portion of the band that didn't end up in Deep Purple, and Clarke went back to playing in the house band (playing skiffle) at the legendary 2 I's coffee bar in Soho during the late '50s, and subsequent gigs with Screaming Lord Sutch and Vince Taylor's band. Curtis' previous work had included recording backed by his own band, the Tremors. As a psychedelic-cum-progressive rock outfit, Bodast was a strange link between those skiffle and early rock & roll roots and early-'70s art rock. Bodast slogged around the underground circuit in 1968 and 1969, never releasing any official product; some interest on the part of Deep Purple's label (Tetragrammaton) came to naught, and they seldom played live, although they spent lots of time writing and rehearsing original material. Howe actually turned down offers from the Nice and Jethro Tull out of loyalty to the group, but finally gave up after the Tetragrammaton deal failed to come through. They did record some unreleased material in 1969 with ex-Tomorrow vocalist Keith West producing. These tapes, eventually released in the '80s, showed them to be an average band reflecting the transition of British underground rock from psychedelia to progressive rock; it's of interest mostly to Howe fans, but even then, it isn't among his more notable work. ~ Ritchie Unterberger & Bruce Eder

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