The Archive.

John Peel's confusion.
Which Bath did he actually attend?.

This is the only celebrity recollection about Bath I could find on the net. But John is somewhat confused as to which Bath he actually attended. 69 or 70. I think he was at both ,as he wanders between bands that were only present during one year and then others that played in 69 and 70. .
Peel sez.....
     Those late 1960s rock festivals, despite havingbecome the stuff of legend, are a bit of a blur in the memory. A blur composed of snapshots rather than moving pictures at that. There are bands there, of course, and faint echoes of performance -where was it I saw the Everly Brothers? - but most of the memories are of people and places rather than of music. I seem to remember going to the very first Glastonbury with Marc Bolan and his wife June, but when I mentioned this a couple of years ago to Michael Eavis he told me I couldn't have done.
     Perhaps he's right. I know for sure that I went to the first Isle of Wight Festival, not because Jefferson Airplane played there but because I gave my only pair of socks to a shivering woman and almost immediately regretted doing so. I can do better with the Bath Festival Blues '69, apparently the event that fired the Eavis imagination and led to 25 years of Glastonburys. I have a photocopy of the programme for Bath '69, a document which included a foreword by (Sir) Michael Tippett. Michael hoped he could 'manage time during the 10 hours to look in on what is happening.' He wanted, he said, to hear as many bands as he possibly could. Did he, I wonder, catch Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac or did he make do with the opening bands, The Deep Blues Band and Just Before Dawn?
  Actually, if we remember the music from festivals at all, I suppose it is the big names we remember, but I often wonder about those bands we've never heard of before and often never hear of again that get to open the proceedings. Where are the Deep Blues Bands and Just Before Dawn now? What are their memories of the Festival of Blues? Were they aware that Sir Michael Tippett yearned to look in on them?

He's definitely talking about 1970 in this section. 

  Did I really sit on a four-poster bed with Frank Zappa trying to interview him before the Mothers Of Invention played at Shepton Mallet? And did he really only want to talk about money? I was supposed to compere along with Mike Raven, at Shepton Mallet but was repeatedly refused access to the stage by Hell's Angels who had taken over security duties. Eventually I gave up and lay in our Dormobile beneath the stage and heard, in the small hours of the morning, Pink Floyd playing Atom Heart Mother.

     Shepton Mallet promoter, Fred Bannister, had tried to ensure that the paying customer was free from what we would probably, at the time, have styled hassles'. Food and drink was supposed to be on sale in plentiful quantities and at fixed prices,  and stewards - 'many are students, they are there to help you' claimed the programme - would check that food quality was of an (unspecified) standard.  Films were shown over the weekend, Glastonbury-style, and included Hellzapoppin', Bride Of Frankenstein and Psycho.

       Peel is on the ball here. the film tents were very good, the only  places you could go to dry out and which were reasonably warm .Food however was quite expensive and seemed to consist only of Coke and warmed up pies.  I can remember huge stacks of coke boxes outside the usual red caravans that served the muck. Given the weather though warm drinks were much more appropriate, but any where that served them had such huge queues that we didn't bother or they had shut down late at night when you really needed warming up. Still, hats off to Mr Bannister for trying. Although he was criticised for being a "bread head" ,he generally ran a better calibre festival than most. If it had not been for his like we would not have had these experiences and he did initiate a lot of good practices which continue to this day at the best festivals . 


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Ross Mortimore's streaming Quicktime movie of the crowd features clear images of the stage PA , Colosseum onstage and bikers with Canned Heat at Bath as a soundtrack provided courtesy of Bob C .

Bandwidth and copyright restrictions mean we cant host audio/video so you will have to do with stills at the moment until we can do an alternative stream elsewhere. Please don't bug us to add it , we will do it when we have the time.

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To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1970 Bath Festival we have brought out a special commemorative set. Anyone interested can view it on

A limited edition of reprints of the 1969 and 1970 Bath festival posters and Freddie Bannisters books on the Bath ,Lincoln 71 and Knebworth festivals can be bought online from the link below :
Rock festival memorabilia from various festivals can be viewed at the main Rock memorabilia page

Led Zeppelin at Bath photogallery

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