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The BickershawProgramme:
                                            America.
 


   
By Stella Parallaks
    In mid April Dan Peeks had a bad accident in Spain , severely lacerating two fingers on his right hand when he fell through a window. He underwent surgery to patch up the tendons , but at the time of writing there was still some doubt that America would be able to make this festival. 
  • Front cover
  • Back cover
  • Brotherhood of Breath
  • Brinsley Schwarz
  • Captain Beefheart
  • Captain Beyond
  • Cheech and Chong
  • Country Joe.
  • Donovan
  • Dr John 
  • Family
  • Flaming Groovies
  • Grateful Dead.
  • Hawkwind
  • Jonathon Kelly
  • Linda Lewis.
  • Incredible String Band
  • Neophonic Orchestra
  • New Riders.
  • Pacific Gas and Electric 
  • Sam Apple Pie
  • Stackridge
  • Al Stewart
  • The Kinks.
  • Joes Lights 
  • Mike Westbrook
  •  
        Dan had been on holiday with another third of the group, Gerry Buckley, while the remaining member Dewey Bunnell, was taking it easy in Morocco. The getaway came at a time when the music press was having trouble describing their doings in terms of other than those usually reserved for  such phenomena as million pound super transfers, black rapist vicars and multiple assassinations. A rest was obviously needed. Their manager , Jeff Dexter, gave me a straightforward description of the bands reaction to their meteoric rise to fame. It had freaked them out . Not altogether surprising when you consider their average age is 20 and that they've perpetuated the sort of super rapid take-over of the American charts that just doesn't happen anymore. A number one album and number one single simultaneously and toppling ( as they used to say ) Neil Young himself after months of disparaging comments about the undeniable similarities between their stuff and CSN&Ys.
       Jeff has spent a decade in the music business becoming known principally as the Roundhouse Dj and this is his first group.  With gross hyperbole he says, " this is the sort of thing you work to get for years and when it just happens you just have to say , well  goodness me ."    Most people would have expected a band making it this big this quick to have either a heavy image or a heavy sound . When the National Elf went electric for instance , both came into play : and Bolan had several years hard professional  experience to boot . America have none of these things . It seems that the explanation of their success lies primarily in the simple appeal of their gentle music .Plus of course its intelligent promotion -such as the decision to stick to the small club circuit in the states and avoid the hassle and muscle of the bigger venues. With any luck we'll be getting a taste of that cool, summery sound this weekend. If Dan's injury hasn't messed up the rehearsals too much they should be doing an entirely new set. 

         As it happens , America did not actually play Bickershaw, although they were there. It was most likely the finger injury, but it also could have been the weather, whatever, we never did get to hear the summery music , although god knows we could have done with ANYTHING that made it seem warmer than it was.

     

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    Other Bickershaw links.
     
    • The Bickershaw diaries-

      Mike Plumbleys saga at Bickershaw, with more photos and extensive first hand observations of his time at the festival. 

    • Repfoto- massive collection of commercially available photos of Bickershaw for sale and view
    • Mothergrumble Magazine-article on Bickershaw and Lincoln 72

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