Of all the musicians who briefly played in admired, name British '60s rock bands, original Soft Machine guitarist Larry Nolan is one of the very most obscure. Actually an American, he joined the quartet that was the embryo of the Soft Machine in mid-1966, playing with Daevid Allen, Robert Wyatt, and Kevin Ayers. At that time they were going by the name of Mister Head, but soon changed their name to the Soft Machine. After the Soft Machine's fourth performance, on September 30, 1966, Nolan left. According to the book Wrong Movements: A Robert Wyatt History, Nolan did record with the Soft Machine on a couple of Kevin Ayers publishing demos in the summer of 1966. In the same book, Gilli Smyth calls Nolan "an excellent guitarist who never quite fit in."
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