Phil May, the lead singer of the British band the Pretty Things, has died. According to a statement from the band’s management, May recently fell off a bike and required hip surgery that led to complications, resulting in his death. He was 75 years old.
Phil May formed the Pretty Things in 1963 with his friend Dick Taylor, who had been a founding member of the Rolling Stones. The Pretty Things were immediately successful, landing the singles “Rosalyn” (No. 41) and “Don’t Bring Me Down” (No. 10) on the UK charts in 1964. The next year, the band released two albums (The Pretty Things and Get the Picture?) and had two more charting singles with “Honey I Need” reaching No. 13 and “Cry to Me” getting to No. 28. A few years later, the Pretty Things released the psychedelic S. F. Sorrow, which is often acknowledged as the first rock opera.
The band remained active through the ’70s and then, beginning in 1980, released just one album per decade, culminating in 2015’s The Sweet Pretty Things (Are in Bed Now, Of Course...). According to the band’s management, Phil May played his final show on December 13, 2018 at London’s indigo at The O2.
Although the Pretty Things did not achieve the fame of many of their peers in the UK rock scene, they were beloved by musicians, including Aerosmith and, most famously, David Bowie, who covered “Rosalyn” and “Don’t Bring Me Down” on Pin Ups. In addition, according to Dick Taylor, Bowie’s famous “Oh! You Pretty Things” and also “The Pretty Things Are Going to Hell” are nods to the band.
Originally Appeared on Pitchfork