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Jazz singer George Melly laments the end of the counterculture in some unknown newspaper.He was probably right in many ways, Windsor was the end of an era, but other things, more regulated perhaps, but still involving the same constituency, did take its place to some extent. 



Windsor Lament : by George Melly. 
   EVERY YEAR, for an impossibly long time, an enterprise called the National Jazz Federation has run some kind of festival somewhere in the Home Counties. This has I always been a frankly commercial enterprise, catering for traditional-jazz fans during: the trad boom, Pop lovers during the pop explosion and, since then ,rhythm and blues, psychedelic rock, heavy metal, glitter, or whatever else promises to draw the maximum crowd commensurate with the 'space available. 
   The NJF runs a tight ship. The site is always surrounded by sturdy barriers and patrolled by security men; very few people get in without tickets. Lavatories are adequate, the camping area as neat as a RAF base, purveyors of food are under licence and what they charge, while inflated, is controlled to some extent.When the music finishes, and it finishes on the dot, the site is cleared with surprising if brusque rapidity. 
   I've sung for two years at Reading, the current home of the festival, and its a very pleasant occasion for the artist. Cut off from.the public by impenetrable barriers of corrugated iron, we wander an enclave where a drinks tent, the hospitality caravans of the record companies, the food stalls offering delicious Jamaican patties and Greek sweetmeats, the French cafe tables with their umbrellas, all combine to make life very bearable under the wide blue sky. Everybody in there - performers, Agents, PROs, the Press, carefully blase groupies -have run a vigorous security check and either wear or carry some identifying badge. 
   I donít see that anyone who pays to go to the Reading festival can complain, as they know exactly what they're getting; the acts as advertised at the times promised and an atmosphere, authoritarian certainly, but reliable and orderly. 
  Nevertheless, Reading is in no way a survival of the legendary pop festivals of the sixties and was indeed never truly part of them. The Isle of Wight, Glastonbury, these were the great manifestations of the alternative culture of love, dope, sounds, macrobiotic food, tripping, instinctive anarchism, youth, the new life style. The last bastion of all that was the free festival at  Windsor last week and anyone rash enough to prefer to go there was at risk. Free food, free music, people peeing in bushes and poking whatever and poking wherever and whenever they felt like it, and on Royal ground too and without permission - there'll be no more of that ! 
  So the law moved in with truncheons and shut the whole thing down. But why? Why do they hate freedom so much? Why, now that the moment of youthful hope is dying, do they find it necessary to stomp on its last moribund manifestations ? They are nothing like as fierce about football hooliganism-do they think that it's more manly, more easily channelled into violence under licence for the benefit of an increasingly intolerant society? My middle-aged body was well nourished and well paid to be in Reading. My spirit mourned for Windsor; the pathetic and perhaps the last manifestation of peace and love.