Saturday, 17 May 2008

The 1972 Bickershaw Festival revisited again

In my previous post Bickershaw Festival remembered after 26 years the maths was somewhat out. In fact, this magical festival - a mixture of disaster and wonderful music - took place 36 years ago. The news of the DVD release prompted me to investigate on the Internet and I was amazed at the memories of the festival on the Internet.

Some of the highlights were Donovan - he had the entire audience on its feet with full participation and a great experience.

Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band were probably the strongest point of the festival. Avant guard rock at its best at a time when Beefheart was probably at his best. Playing in the early hours of the morning, it was a second sleepless night until the end of the performance at 4:00 a.m. I am now resident in South Africa and have yet to meet a South African of any age that has actually heard of the band.

Country Joe and the Fish performed a great set with all their usual songs.

The Grateful Dead were eagerly awaited, and played (in the main) their 'newer' material - the country rock that became their mainstay.

The line-up also included some jazz. Maynard Fergusson played an extended version of Hey Jude. Cheech & Chong produced their brand of comedy. I have no recollection of The Kinks (must have been one of the rare opportunities to sleep) but could have sworn that I saw The Faces (Rod Stewart) and Status Quo there - though there is no mention of these on the sites that I visited. Must have been somewhere else! These events have a tendency to blend into one.

Personal video recorders did not really exist at that time, but cassette recorders did. Unfortunately these did not do a great job. Today's technology has the ability to record anything at a high quality. In those days it was a different story. Really expensive equipment was required to get a decent recording, and unless there was a proper film crew, video was out.

Were you there? Any memories, recordings, photos?

No comments: