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"Could that many people gather together today with only minimal communal organisation and such a relatively small amount of trouble but so much pleasure? The question is irrelevant. They would never allow us."
Just some of the Free festivals and Fayres in offer in 1984, before the scene was trashed by the police at the beanfield. courtesy Sunny Sarah
Stonehenge Free Festivals chronology. 1972-75.
A festival is reported to have been held in 1972 but so far we have no hard information about who were the organisers , who performed or how the authorities reacted to the presence of the freaks . It was apparently held on the day of the summer solstice but thats all we have at the moment. Its quite likely that this was a totally low key event attended by very few people, or which never even took place.
am fairly sure there was a 72 stonehenge which we went to, but it was very
small and chiefly a real west country get together for the sunrise etc. so
it was a word of mouth thing and we came from about 30 miles away. I seem
to remember that the UFO man, Arthur Shuittleworth was involved in some way.
However, he might just have been there celebrating. He was from Warminster.
I'll try to remember more things, but due to the exceptional quality of entertainment equipment of the time, might not be able to!!!!
All the very best to everybody who was there.
"A group of drop-outs set up a sordid encampment adjoining the monument in 1974. After some months the Department secured their removal by an injunction from the High Court, after some rather bizarre proceedings lasting several days. All the trespassers claimed the same name—Wally. They then settled on the adjoining trackway from which they were eventually dispersed by the highway authority. They then squatted in Amesbury. Their leader has since died. The Department has no responsibility for any remnants of the sect who may survive in the locality."
The Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Kenneth Marks) 1977
Wallies at Henge 74 have a nice fryup in front of the Stones.
At this point the history of the 74-75 festivals is narrated by Roger Hutchinson- veteran of many of the free festivals of the 70s. He became interested in being involved in free festivals at Windsor when .......
"I met writer Jeremy Sandford and photographer Ron Reid (who together produced 'Tomorrows Children') who opened my eyes to the unique social nature of the festival. They both encouraged me to try and document these events as they had a inevitable ephemeral element where most participants did not take photos due to being either out of it or did not want the hassle of having a camera to look after. This was before the days of lightweight video so all there are only a few tatty snapshots and press photos of these festivals that were formative experiences for many like me. The man behind Stonehenge (whose real name I have forgotten but better known as Wally ) was also a visitor to our fire. My new passion of festivals met his spiritual passion to establish a conceptually and spiritually more pure event at Stonehenge and we talked the night away -me calmly tripped out and he having never come down from a particularly heavy acid trip in Cyprus a year previous. He was a exceptionally good man who was done down by the dropouts (the Wallies) and the state who put him in a mental hospital just before the second Stonehenge on a trumped up charge - an experience he never recovered from and committed suicide a year later in Essex despite the efforts of the band co-operative CRASS. The sprinkling of his ashes upon the monoliths of Stonehenge the following summer was a sad and moving occassion. "
The treatment of Wally Hope was a disgrace, after being " medicated " in a psychiatric institution in 1975, after being busted for possession of three tabs of acid, he was released a few weeks after the 1975 festival concluded. He was never the same , he had been given huge doses of Modecate to counter the effects of largactcyl ( which he had been surreptitiously avoiding taking due to its lobotomising effects ) and this had induced a condition known as 'chronic dyskinesia' the symptoms of which are .....
"dyskinesia is characterized by repetitive, involuntary, purposeless movements. Features of the disorder may include grimacing, tongue protrusion, lip smacking, puckering and pursing of the lips, and rapid eye blinking. Rapid movements of the arms, legs, and trunk may also occur. Impaired movements of the fingers may appear as though the patient is playing an invisible guitar or piano."
This was incurable in Wally's case , he was a shadow of his former vibrant self and , not wishing to go on in this vegetative state, he committed suicide in September 1975. You can read about his case in depth here , written by Penny Rimbaud who knew him well and tried to extricate him from the Psychiatric hospital in 1975.
Having worked in a psychiatric hospital myself in 1974, I have no doubt that Wally Hope was fucked over by the system , patients had few rights and were regularly abused by some staff members , who were a law unto themselves. There were people there who battled the system but they were up against entrenched prejeudice and ignorance and institutional inertia . You could literally disappear into the system and if there was no one on the outside batting for you, you could be incarcerated for years.
The Stonehenge Free Festival
Stonehenge Free Festivals ran for eleven years on sites adjacent to the Stones. See the map below for the locations and the increasing size of the festival over the first four years.
The first festival took place in 1974 after a meeting at Windsor Peoples Free Festival 74 (see Windsor Free 74) where Phillip Russell (aka Wally Hope) drummed up enthusiasm with other tribe leaders like Sid Rawle. It was a small affair that failed to attract much attention from either like-minded people or the media but by all accounts everyone had a happy time and the weather was hot. A few bands played and the event faded out until there was just a group of Wallys with Phillip as their nurse-maid who camped along the track until they moved into a squat in nearby Amesbury during the winter months.
Legendary Hippie electronic freak band Zorch played at the Stones in 74 .
"We knew Wally Hope who got it all together. This was the first one there. So the band all piled in to the old green van and made it there."
the will of the gods.
set up stage facing the Stones,
200 yards away .1974, it
wasn't heavy at all . Not many people there . Best so far. First day
the whole band played and we went down pretty well."
Another article about Wally Hope by Crass band member Penny Rimbaud can be found here.
Maya Magazine ran this short piece about the Wally's activities in 1974
Look to the revolution to rename every citizen with one sound and the composite name of all citizens to be the analogue of the deepest terrestrial vibration so that when we are called we will all hear.
Since Midsummer's day of this year, the year of the Tiger, 30 people have been living on and around Stonehenge, all answering to the name of Wally. Dancing, frolicking, acting out the Gospel of Free using Stonehenge as a cosmic wrist-watch with domes and dogs, and horses, and music , and troubador costumes , and glant T shirts embroidered with the Eye of Horus.
At the beginning of the French Revolution there was a movement known as the Jaquerie in which everyone called themselves Jacques.
Your name is your mantra. Eskimoes believing in the Seven Ages Of Man, that one changes, as is known, totally , every 7 years , have a different name, every 7 years. The Canadian Government, who, as all Governments, try to undermine the recording angel, by keeping tabs on people for no reason, are confused. How can a baby mean Priscilla, or Sebastian, or Donald... maybe one only hits the mantra by which one is known for a few seconds. One can only be known by God.
How can one own land ? The Indians roared wlth laughter when the first white man arrived in the North Indies and offered the Indians gold in exchange for their land. The Indians wandered all over it, and thought it as an earthly sky. How much is a cloud worth? But when they saw what whitey was up to they became embittered. Shambala, the founder of the Dreamer Religion said: the white man drives stakes into My Mother's Heart, he cuts her hair, he slashes open her womb, before she is ready to give him her fruit.
Suns of the Sun, the Wallys, are letting the mysteries of Stonehenge work through them, despite the barbed wire that surrounds it, despite the Army bases, and despite the state nets of secular legalisms. Freedom is a career.
Wally Green completed his walk on crutches from Hyde Park to Stonehenge; the distance is about 85 miles. Will anyone who agreed to sponsor him send the money to him c/o Bit, 146 Great Western Boad, London ¢9.
About 30 Wallys are squatting a house in Amesbury, close to their encampment by Stonehenge. They intend staying until the Christmas Party on December 21st.
Guy Rowe was also there
I went down to the henge in 74 from Watchfield, the old R.A.F base near swindon, it was not until years later locally here that I met craig scott who works for derby city council gardens section and recognised him from back in those days.
The photo from the documentary - I would have been there about 3 weeks in 84 when that was taken, so I would have been... pretty...... well.
It's just a small tribute to ad about the 74 festival but this is to remember Dick Holman from Wantage who got up on the small stage then to deliver his poem: "He was Herbie the cosmic parrot - he kept on keeping on....." which Dick did several times a day as he did at Watchfield.
Tom sent us this account of how he started off at Windsor and then moved on the Henge - thanks to that bastion of the establishment- the Daily Mail !
For the past 3 months, I'd been working fulltime as a volunteer on a north london parish council playscheme. My contract was coming to an end and I needed a break. Out of the £5 a week pocket money I'd been getting I managed to save enough for a bus ticket to windsor park.
The site was great, so was the weather and the vibe, loads of sunshine and colour, the atmosphere was remarkable and people who, although strangers, made you feel safe and able to relax.
Early one morning, I'd just got up and was sitting besides my tent, I noticed a group of people a few yards away preparing breakfast. A couple of young guys, with their girlfriends, I remember feeling a twinge of envy, tho no more than a twinge! at that precise moment one of the young girls got up and walked straight over to me and without saying a word gave me half of her breakfast of dried fruit, then walked back over to her friends. Totally blew my feeling of being on my own right out the window!
Windsor stage © Roger Hutchinson
Can't recall much in the way of music, execpt that their were an awful lot of single guys with guitars who couldnt play them. An army of bad guitarists who flocked to every festival, too fucked to bother about things like tuning up. I know, I was one of them hahaha!
The day before the bust, I went into the town and phoned up windsor council and explained that there was an enormous effort being made on the site to clear litter and deal with things like sanitation. Trenches had been dug for shit pits etc. I explained to the council how we needed help with things like black plastic bags and they said that they would come on site the next day with loads of stuff, to help keep the site clean. They never got the chance, courtesy of the boys in blue who turned up to conduct their own form of ethnic cleansing.
I find it hard to get my head around the contrast between the wonderful atmosphere that hung around the event like a particularly pleasant incense, and the terrible atmoshere forcibly injected into the event by the Thames Valley police.
On the day of the bust, police flooded the site and hung around waiting for orders. A meeting was called in front of the main stage, with various people going onto the main stage to reassure people with talk of negotiating with the police, who were obviously going to give us a good kicking, I got up on the stage and grabbed the mike and explained that their was going to be a police riot and that we should make a note of the number on the epaulettes of any cop seen kicking the shit out of anybody.
A thin blue line of cops formed at the bottom end of the site, a young hippie girl undid her top and pulled out her breasts and proceeded to do a wild dance right in front of the cops shaking her tits right under their noses! Then the line started advancing up the site anything, anyone in their way got trashed tents, people, personal belongings.
Lots of confusion, fear, horror.
A small skinny hippie with a toddler clutched tightly to his chest ran past me like a greyhound. I'll never forget the look off total fear/sheer terror on his face as he flew past moments later a huge cop built like a rugby player went fying past in pursuit, he flung himself at the skinny hippie in a classic rugby tackle around his legs and brought the skinny hippie to a violent halt, the hippie slammed to the ground with the toddler in his arms, the infant hitting the dirt with such force that I felt sick.
I'm ashamed to say that I ran away, mostly because I was afraid of losing my temper and making things worse, and cause I was expecting to be jumped by the cops mates. The burly cops helmet went flying as he brought down the hippie,
I scooped it up as I ran.
I found a bunch of journalists and proceeded to yell insults at them, assuming they were going to do an airbrush job on what was happening. Then yelled abuse at the cops, who just laughed.
Never forget the seige of stage 1, some young guy on top of the scaffolding, with a guitar raised above his head silouetted against the sky, beating back the cops underneath, with his battered acoustic guitar!!!
Resisting the stage invasion 1974 © Jenny
End of the day, down in the dumps, exhausted, shocked, wondering around seeing tents, personal belongings piled into big heaps, upset people wandering home, felt like shit!
Instead of fucking off. I got this crazy idea to stow away in the back off a furniture removal lorry that had the disassembled main stage inside, absolutely did not want to do what the boys in blue wanted. Jumped in the back off the lorry only to find a whole collection of shellshocked people, who'd had the same idea!
Shortly afterwards the lorry moved off and slowly trundled through London, was really surprised to see all these newspaper boards in the streets with headlines about the police violence at windsor park! The lorry was heading for Exeter, but intended to stay overnight at Stonehenge, which was what happened.
The next morning, a group of us were standing around a fire, rubbing the sleep out of our eyes, when a guy in a suit walked up introducing himself as a journalist from the Daily Mail, he said that he had heard that the windsor festival was moving to Stonehenge.
We all looked at each other, the idea hadnt occured to anyone, but it sounded spot on then I turned to the journo and said "yes, thats right" and pointed to the lorry behind us saying it contained stage 1 from the windsor festival
The journo was delighted and scurried back to London.
Not the Daily Mail article but an ultra rare newsletter confirming that stage A from Windsor was moved by truck to the Henge.
Thanks to Chris Hewitt of Ozit records for the image.
From the collection of the late Alan Jones, kindly suppiled by Ken Horne
The next day an article appeared on the front page of the Daily Mail, in the middle of the page, something about the festival moving to stonehenge and carrying on from there. The headline was bleating on about a new Camelot!
Thanks Daily Mail u know not wot u did! Maybe someone can go thru the Daily Mails archive and dig up the article!
There were a lot of people who had arrived at stonehenge for the solstice but for the most part they looked like ordinary tourists, so this gave the impression of some kind of event happening.
Over the next few days, courtesy of the mail spreading the word, lots of people began turning up and a festival was born!
The security guards were pissed off with people setting off the sensors around the stones so a deal was negotiated whereby we'd stay away if they agreed to let us in for a holy ceremony,we were allowed in late one night, there must off been upwards of several hundred of us, all very calm and quiet except for the resident bad guitarist, some guy badly strung out on speed, who mounted a stone and intermitently bashed out a sound intensley discordant, his voice crying like an animal hopelessly tangled up in barbed wire, naked horribly painful, yet somehow it worked and was totally appropiate, everything else was dead quiet.
We all gathered in a circle and held hands, and gradually we all began to chant OM only it came over more as an MMMMMMMMMMM that got louder and louder, as this was happening the entire landcape started rumbling like constant thunder, in the distance, a deep throated growling uuummmmmmmmmmmmmm sound.
I looked up and in the night sky I could see a string of lights approaching the Stones, It was a convoy of military transport planes using the Stones as a navigation beacon, the closer they got the louder the rumbling became until our ohm chant became a roaring thundering sound that made everything shake and tremble, the ground the stones, the entire landscape!
I stayed at the stones, met Wally Hope and lost my blue suede shoes (thats true as well) got seduced by a hippy girl from east anglia and ended up in Norfolk.
Think thats it!
Right - press clipping from the collection of the late Alan Jones, kindly suppiled by Ken Horne
from the collection of the late Alan Jones, kindly suppiled by Ken Horne
The dismantling of the Wallies bender (although we must admit it doesn't look much like it would bend under any circumstances ) .
We would love to hear from Carol and Dave Wally , if you are still out there- contact us !
The following two pics may be from either 74 or 75 , sent to us by Kay, can anyone confirm the year ?
Now this pic is of 2 lads on a mission, the lad on the front I didn't know his real name, seeing as the word man was a one size fits all back then.
The kid on the back was a stage hand and runner for gang at the stage, fetching supplies and generally helping out. His name was Troyboy and he became friends with the organisers of the music and big stage, he was 7 years old in that pic and often seen sitting at the edge of the stage in pics.
The gang at the stage area adopted him and he slept in their truck, he soon became part of their crew.
This pic is of Barron and Jerry, if my memory serves me well they were brothers... i became good friends with them and only ever saw them at festivals.
In the back ground of this pic you see the truck which was used to transport the yellow TP as well as fellow travelers. The yellow TP being the first on site for the stage builders and camp site organisers, later to be used as a doss tent for wandering souls during the festival.
Standing by the truck is Reg Meuross (singer/song writer) good friends of quite a few of the bands there. Also standing there is Ben , a fellow companion who lived at the Kingston Club Community Center, located in Combe Martin, North Devon. Which is also where Reg lived as well as myself any many others who attended the festivals. The truck had picked us all up from the KIngston Club and collected as many people on the way as the truck could hold and support.
Blessings an stuff
I've just been looking through your page , it brings back memories , I was at Windsor and the henge 74 onwards , also all the festies of the long hot summer of 76, I lived at the stones and then down at the amesbury squats for 3 years.
dont feel we did wally down as you say , or that he was our nursemaid ,
true we were all very young and idealistic , but we never knew where he
went or when he would turn up , and I have nothing but good memories of
him and his great charisma, I last spoke to him at watchfield and he himself
said I am a broken man , it was heartbreaking , the change .
if you would like some memoirs of festivals , I am sure it can be arranged
A band onstage at Stonehenge free festival 1975 © Dave Jeffries, courtesy Clive
The stage at Stonehenge 1975 © Pema Design
second festival in 1975 was far better advertised by a number of groups
due to the re-focusing energies after the previous Windsor festival where
the police broke it up. There was a subconscious feeling that where was
a need to start afresh and rid the free festival movement from the urban
infection that made Windsor so hard to co-ordinate. Phillip
Russell / Wally Hope was arrested shortly before the start on a
dubious drug charge (he didnt do them any more) and held at a psychiatric
hospital where he became very screwed up due to a highly suppressive drug
regeme. He later committed suicide after escaping and became a sort of
martyr for the free festival movement.
the aptly named Acidia
light show , at Stonehenge 1975
The festival was held in an open field with adjoining woodland to camp in and at its height there were 2000-3000 people present on midsummers eve. The weather was hot and sunny. A number of bands played including Here and Now , Hawkwind, Zorch and Trucker who had a previous guise as the pop band Dozy, Beaky Mick & TItch. The midsummers eve music took a big down turn when a band took the stage very worse for wear on downers and booze and proceeded to argue and fight as they struggled to play a turgid and depressing set. The squaddies and aircrew men from the bases around Salisbury Plain mixed with curious local people to a point where it became quite disturbing to the festival crowd. This was because the local press had run an article that was quite sympathic to the event and so there wasnt the usual media hyping.
For some, it was a desperate night of violence and destruction around the stage as the event went into free fall. Freaked-out squaddies, most out of their faces on a cocktail of chemicals, stumbled about, getting into grief with the pissed local youth. But as dawn approached and people started moving to the Stones to see the sun rise, a uniting of the real festival spirit naturally occurred.
Photos of the 1975 festival -courtesy of Martin and Lynda Williams.
|It has been said that what happened to a number of people by the Heel Stone, at that time still outside the wire perimeter fence, as the sun rose, was an intense spiritual experience which fired them up to sort out the mess back at the festival site. After that cathartic night and morning, the festival settled down to a more relaxed and organised place with the natural environment being repaired and maintained.|
Martin Williams remembers 1975 thus ....
It was admittedly pretty minimal in 75, band-wise, more of a communal meditation/trip.
The surreal photoshoot !
Ultra rare poster for the 75 festy in process of being restored. Drawing by Mary Guyver
the flyer with the naked girl in front of the stones on the yellowing paper was drawn by me in the company of willie x at no 5 truro st chalk farm , as a rush job to get something out , nearly had a heart attack when i saw it again , we were making it up as we went along at the time .
The scene at dawn by the Heel Stone certainly proved to be theraputic for a number of people after the crazy scene around the stage , as this intrepid traveller noted after seeing Zorch play at the Henge
Eventually I wandered off, reassured by you that I wasn't going mad but still unhappy that I didn't know how to fix it. After a number of other encounters (there was some good people there) through the night I was taken by van to see the sunrise down at the Stones. Well , even today, I swear that I experienced an epiphany in front of the Heel Stone the next morning.
As the sun rose I felt its power flowing into me transforming me from a old wrinkled party balloon into a thrusting airship!
I strode back, reborn, along the ancient processional path that led across the fields with a mission to get things moving in the right direction and I worked all that day clearing the site of litter and helping in the free food kitchen until you started to play...."
Harry's stage van © Dave Thurston
I had a call from Tony Andrews who wanted to take some of his new Turbo PA to Stonehenge, and try it out with Zorch who were ( and are) close friends.
He suggested we use my 1000 cu ft threepennybit removals van that I had converted into a living van, with six beds, and which had roof hooks for 2 inch aluminium scaffolding that you can see supporting the projection screen at the Zorch stage on your site photos. On the way into the site we had some scuffles with another crew who didn't want us or our (excellent) PA presumably because they were worried about being drowned out.
We negotiated with the wild eyed furies, and set up some distance away from them. A few days of fine music, excellent conversation and bug-eyed UFO spotting later, and a night or two of accompanying those who may have indulged in a bit too much and for whom the fabric of space time was rending, time to pack up and leave, back to home base .
Some kind person had emptied our radiator in revenge. A few miles down the road and we had steam in the cabin and a long wait while she cooled off. The free service we had given had indeed cost us dearly, and the next few weeks were spent trying to get the cylinder linings that had cracked, replaced. Our beloved home, which later provided the mobility for Glastonbury 78, deeply vale Pyramid and numerous other festivals, was never the same again. The visit to Woodhenge, which is a smaller but much more complex Henge, free to visit, a few miles east of Stonehenge, was fabulous. Wild flowers dotted the site which is features concrete markers where the moveable posts of this 5000 year old analogue computer once stood, and skylarks sang their hearts out, as they have done from time immemorial.
Right :Harry inside the stage van © Dave Thurston
Mendip Free State flag © Dave Jeffries, courtesy Clive
The late lamented Roger Hutchinson was the guy who designed the poster for the 1975 festival , here is his tale of how it came about. If you wish to view larger versions of the artwork click on the image.
After the meeting with Phil Russell/Wally Hope at Windsor Peoples Free Festival in 73, I visited the first festival at Stonehenge on midsummers day in 74 where Phil emerged from a tent and embraced me and greeted me like a brother. A mate, whose car had transported us there, was itching to get back to Essex where he had a hot date that night, so no sooner had I got there then we were off again into the traffic.
A few months I later went back down with the intention to camp with the Wallies and talk with Phil Russell again and work out how to publicise the next festival in 75. The August weather was cold and wet for the small bedraggled encampment of about twenty people, on the exposed track, quarter of a mile west of the Stones.
As Phil and I struggled to light a fire in the rain to cook the large pans of communal veg stew, we talked about the imagery that would convey the right message to attract people of a similar motivation to give the festival a strong spiritual foundation. As for the current state of motivation on the Wally site, it appeared that Phil was depressed by the lack of support for the tasks that needed to be done to keep the encampment viable.
In a polythene covered dome the other wallies sat sheltering from the showers and bumming roll-ups off each other while listlessly waiting for the food to cook. My travelling companion didn't like the situation and so we privately agreed to not stop and move on elsewhere. So we drove off with a promise to Phil that I would get the poster together and see him soon. That was the last time I met him.
That winter 74/75 I worked out a plan where the printing costs and all the postage could be covered by the sale of some of the posters. As to the design of the poster itself, one night I dreamt of a giant Druid looking down on the free festival, the size of which, covered the plains. He showed me large stone tablets that told the secrets of the stones written out in a strange script that I tried hard to decipher but each time I read a sentence over, its meaning changed....
It was a vivid section of a long and confusing dream that stayed with me into wakefulness and I sat at the drawing board later, sketching the design out with the Druid towering over a festival site and the strange lettering. The Druid refused to take creditable form from my imagination and pen and I pondered to whom he had a resemblance that haunted my mind.
At the Albemarle Youth Club in Harold Hill, later that week, I saw Ian Dury with his early band Kilburn and the Highroads and was having a great bop when I met Pete who was a musician in a local band. I stopped in the middle of the hall as the penny dropped to where I had seen his face before - the Druid!
After the gig I arranged to get him to come to my place so I could sketch him, so a few days later he was sat in my room with a sheet over his head and a spotlight between his legs. I made a careful pencil drawing and spent the evening getting to know each otherbetter, which led to other interesting future ventures.
Between other activities I finally finished the poster and took it to a local printer in Harold Wood who liked the poster so much that he would print it for a 1p a poster. A week later a 1000 offset litho posters was collected and I took a bundle up to London and sold most of them for 15p at places like the Hammersmith Odeon, Chalk Farm Roundhouse and the Rainbow. I chose rock concerts where the audience might be into festivals and it was easy to sell them in fair numbers. This income covered my transport, (I didn't go the the gigs) printing, envelopes and stamps. Armed with the Alternative England and Wales, Alternative Europe and Whole Earth Catalogue, I started sending them out all over the place, with a short note inside, to ask if they would display the poster where the people could see them.
© Roger Hutchinson
The poster was so popular that I got another 500 printed and some of these went with me as I headed back to Stonehenge in June 75. I was sad and angry when I learnt that Phil had been arrested a few weeks earlier by the police on a trumped up charge and his whereabouts was unknown (His potential to act as a revered leader to a growing band of social misfits was recognised by the powers that be and so the State made its move to remove him from the free festival equation) His absence was felt at first, as the second Stonehenge Free Festival got off to a rough start but everyone rallied and the festival ran smoothly to its conclusion.
As for me and the posters, I wanted for nothing, as I strolled from encampment to solitary tent selling or bartering the poster. The best encounters were with the people who had come from overseas on the allure of the poster. They were having a great time (free festivals were illegal in most other countries) and thanked me most generously for guiding them to this place.
Copies of the posters are still available in B/W and in hand-tinted colour. Contact Rogers wife Gill for further details.
Which Zorch gig I saw - it was at Stonehenge 75 where I think I saw two sets or perhaps I was seeing double! Thanks to microdot, I know I didn't bring any cultural baggage along as I welcomed Zorch's show as the best development in the infant electronic music field. The Lights, Music and Dancing under a full moon above a silvery Salisbury Plain, were just perfectly one and I felt I was experiencing a brave step forward.
I had earlier visited Zorch on the Saturday night when Laughing Sams Dice were fighting each other on the stage in drunken stupor which created some very bad vibes and caused me considerable distress. I fled down the field to escape the turgid row and discover a darken stage and a group of people huddled around a fire. I remember telling someone about what was happening up at the main stage and I was invited to sit down. I tried to explain my perception of how IT WAS ALL GOING WRONG! and members of Zorch emphasising with me and telling me I was right and something needed to be done. Eventually I wandered off, reassured by Basil that I wasn't going mad but still unhappy that I didn't know how to fix it.
After a number of other encounters (there were some good people there) through the night I was taken by van to see the sunrise down at the Stones Well, even today, I swear that I experienced an epiphany in front of the Heel Stone the next morning. As the sun rose I felt its power flowing into me transforming me from a old wrinkled party balloon into a thrusting airship! I strode back, reborn, along the ancient processional path that led across the fields with a mission to get thing moving in the right direction and I worked all that day clearing the site of litter and helping in the free food kitchen until you started to play....
I was the bod wandering around at that festival and others, selling or bartering the poster that I created to promote the festival throughout Europe.
Enough for gods sake!
Ms Fenn © Dave Jeffries, courtesy Clive
A mate and I were meant to be going to a concert at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 21st June with the Eagles and some other bands. On the Friday we went to the Greyhound in Fulham Palace where someone we knew told us about the Stonehenge festival. We hassled around and got some necessary supplies (don't ask) the went to Wembley at about 8:30am and by a stroke of luck managed to sell our tickets to someone and we were on our way. Fortunately my mate was a fast driver and we got to Stonehenge about 11:00 am.
I was a great site next to the woods and every seemed v friendly and there was a great atmosphere. I bumped into another friend and we all had a great time. As far as I remember the music was great and I had a really good time. I can't remember much else except that I met an American young lady with a tent some time early, (before dawn) on the Sunday and we spent a pleasurable few hours getting to know each other. I got back into London early on the Tuesday morning. My main memory of it was that the sun shone and I had a great time!
I was the drummer in the Hertfordshire band Wandering Spirit who played twice in the warm sunshine at the 1975 Stonehenge Festival.The second time was in the afternoon on the Zorch stage-we played for nearly an hour set up with the stones visible in the distance. A wonderful experience-I still have a recording of our set.This was the first of 3 years in a row going to the Fest. but the only time we played there-we also played at Windsor in `73 &`74 and at Watchfield in 75. One memory I have was as we arrived on the friday evening the sound of Time Of The Season by The Zombies was blaring out and it seemed so right......A time before this festival got bigger with more police hassles and the vibe changed.
Great to be a part of a scene of Alternative thinking that I continue with today involving ecological/vegan/animal rights/social change but without the drugs-we have to move on.
Love `n Peace,
Wandering Spirit get it on . Zorch stage .
I find it quite strange that there has been no mention of the Wallys role in the organising & set up of the festival in '75. We were loosely based at the Polytantric in Chalk Farm Road near Camden Town, N. London which was an arts co-op ( and the birthplace of Crass ) Some of us were living in Cornwall Terrace.. one of the many street squatting communities situated near Regents Park.
The Wallys name was used as a tribute to Wally Hope, who was arrested by the police so couldn't be present.
Kevin Edwards ( Kevin Wally ), Wally Arthur, myself as Mike Wally and many others whose names I can't recall, were involved in organising the festival. It would be wonderful if you guys were able to document more names & faces to that event. It was a great tribute to Wally that Stonehenge '75 was nearly trouble free.
I can recall one point during the festival when we nearly ran out of fuel for the generators & I made an appeal to the crowd for a whip round. We filled a fire bucket with the wonderful generosity of that crowd.
The police presence was low key, which we saw as a great victory, compared with what had gone before. I feel you're missing a lot of history about that event. Yes it was a small gathering but it was a success.
Henge History : 1972-1984
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