Archive for the ‘Rock Music’ Tag

When The Driver Started To Hitch For A Ride’

Living in South London during the late 1960s and 1970s there were many opportunities to see rock bands perform. Nearby Croydon had several venues were major bands would play. A Saturday night trip to the Orchid, Fairfield Halls or the Greyhound pub was a regular occurrence.

Deep Purple were at the Orchid in 1971 an event I remember both for the performance and the trip home. As with most of these concerts, by the time the event was over and you had managed to get yourself together the last bus had long gone. Home was 10 miles away and most times it took so long to hitch a lift you ended up walking all the way.

On this occasion I was quickly rescued from the rain by a lady motorist of mature years who expressed some interest in the band before making it quite clear that there was a price to pay for her helping me. I had hitched a ride not just in her car but also her. When you are cold, wet and tired performing can be a problem. However the skills of the more experienced woman proved greater than my fatigue and the fee was duly paid.

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Rocking All Over The Wight

I only attended the last and most anarchic of the three Isle of Wight Festivals in 1970. Arriving on the Friday afternoon the signs were there that many people keen on seeing the event without paying. I parked my chopped Fanny ‘B’ by a hedgerow and built a small bivouac using some plastic sheeting and secreted a change of clothes in the undergrowth. Unknown to me at the time, all this home building was to be a waste of time.

I did not return to the camp until sometime the following Monday afternoon. I passed through the ticket gate just as a Canadian band Cactus was coming on stage. This is the last point at which I have a totally clear memory of the events over the next five days. I know much of what happened but not when, and sometimes not where. I can remember bathing in the surf of Freshwater Bay with the sounds of Sly and the Family Stone drifting down from the cliffs. I remember getting into the reserved seating area in front of the stage as the Who started to play the whole of Tommy. I remember continually passing joint after joint down the line people sitting on the chairs. (Yes I did inhale, a lot). I can remember being surprised at how short Jimmy Hendrix was and climbing up the speaker tower at the side of the stage to get a better look.

I can remember the river of piss that ran across the field from the men’s urinal that had been located on the higher ground to the south of the arena. I can remember getting so stoned I slept for two days and did not leave for home until the Wednesday. I remember the dirt, the mud, the lack of food, the fact I stank, but most of all I remember the music. Never have I been so close, so overwhelmed by the music.