My first open-air Rock festival or how to spend a weekend in a small tent with three fellow long hairs and survive.
I have never been to a festival before, so when my friend Berts older brother Kevin asked us if we wanted to go with him and his mate we both jumped at the chance. I mean, the Faces were headlining and Rod was the Man for all us 16-year-old Glam Kids.
So the night before we all meet round Berts pilled into his car loaded up with a tent and some other stuff and off we set.
We arrived at about 8 pm set up the tent then Kevin and his mate disappeared, probably to buy some weed and left me and Bert to take in this exciting new world. I recognised the smell of the herb, My cousin had introduced me to it a few months earlier although I had not told Bert or any of my other friends as I was not sure what they would think of me. We started off a lot older in those days. To be honest it hadn’t done too much for me so I wasn’t that fussed. That would change a few months later leading to a weed habit that would take me years to kick.
Day One: I fall in Love with Genesis
I can’t remember the first acts. Mungo Jerry played, they had had a big hit with “In the Summertime” All that I can remember is being pretty broad with the music and spending time wandering around.
Until Genesis hit the stage.
Bert had introduced me to Genesis LP Nursery Cryme, Kevin had a copy and we both liked it so we were looking forward to it
And they did not disappoint. The Knife, Watcher of the Skies, The Musical Box and the return of the Giant Hogweed. Every one a Prog Rock masterpiece. Peter Gabriel was an amazing frontman using various stage props to get into character bringing the songs to life. I was hooked, head over heels and began a love affair with Genesis that lasted until Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.
Curved Air closed the show. They had recently enjoyed their first chart hit with Back Street Love, It’s a very good song so I was looking forward to them but sadly they made zero impression on me probably as I was unfamiliar with any of their other tracks.
Day Two: A day of some musical magic where Rod and the boys play almost sober.
Three bands did it for Me. Focus were a Dutch Four piece with an amazing guitar player and a bloke that played the keys, and yodelled !! They played a fusion of Jazz and Rock unlike anything else at the time, tracks that would extend. A bit like the Grateful Dead although the Dead’s sound was more Acid Rock. They were good, very good.
Then there was the Edgar Broughton Band. I had never heard of them. They came on just as it was getting dark. I loved their set they got the crowd totally engaged. I can still remember the crowd chant of “Out Demons Out” I did not have a clue what it meant but it was great fun. A bit like standing on the terraces at a football match.
Then came Rod and the Boys and they did not disappoint. They were one of the hottest acts around and I could see why. It broke my heart when the Faces split up. Sorry, Rod Stewart lovers but for me, he became ridiculous crooning on about sailing and wiggling his arse like some old perv.
But I still have “Every Picture tells a story” to remember him when he was the real deal.
Day Three. : Was there a day Three?
I honestly cannot remember a thing about day three. It was nothing to do with drinking or drugs, I did nether. Perhaps we went home. I remember having a great time starting a love affair with Genesis and Focus that I still maintain to this day.
It was also the one and only outdoor gig that I attended without a bag of Weed until many years later when I went to see Tom Jones at Newmarket with the misses.