For information on today's festivals see eFestivals.co.uk
Last update Sept 2011.
Richmond. Surrey. UK.
August 6-8th 1965
was where the festival had begun, as usual, it was not really welcomed by
a section of the local populace. In fact 1965
was the final year that the festival was located at Richmond. There had
always been a degree of friction caused by fans sleeping out rough in Richmond
Park and although the organizers had provided
a large marquee for campers in previous years, in 1965 the local council
stopped Harold Pendleton
from organizing the tent for fans to sleep in , thus forcing many of them
to sleep in the woods. The crowds were getting larger each year, up from
in 64 to 33,000 in
65, so there was undoubtedly more hassle for those who lived near the site,
especially the local Golf club, whose greens may have been damaged.
The golfers presumably put pressure on the Richmond Athletic Club -and the result was that the owners then slapped a ban on the festival returning in 1966. Depressingly, and predictably, the festival goer's were seen as an invading army who were sure to spread rape, pillage and moral destruction in their wake. With this regressive attitude firmly entrenched in their collective mind, the local paper described the festival goer's as " people of all ages with a penchant for vagrancy and little use for all the conventional paraphernalia of beds, changes of clothing, soap, razors and so on "
The late Great Long John Baldry Nat Jazz fest 1965
With this sort of attitude coming from the local hierarchy it was probably best to move along and the next years festival shifted to Windsor.
The Festival line-up.
can see the complete list below. As for audio recordings , we don't know
of any existing, audience recording not being very common in those days,
mainly due to battery problems. There might be some sound boards in existence
though. However, black and white film of the festival does survive , as
a US camera team were there to film a report for the TV show-
Shindig ,who filmed all three
nights and recorded The T Bones, The Who, Graham Bond, Georgie Fame, Steampacket,
The Moody Blues , The Animals and a great jam session that ended the festival
on the evening of the 7th on Sunday night. You can see some stills from
these performances throughout the site . The
Shindig footage is fantastic, although long shots are a bit indisctinct
, the close ups are great and the music is superb. The audience goes nuts
, with lots of screaming and dancing going on in the crowd.
Georgie Fame National Jazz and Blues festival 1965
The Shindig broadcasts.
Some information about the film footage that exists of the festival was sent to me by Tom to whom we should all give thanks for tracking down this very obscure recording . Big thanks to Damian for prviding us with a copy of part one . Now , who has a copy of part two to trade in exchange for part one ? ....
The Shindig film crew were there for most of the festival ,so probably other acts were filmed too that did not get shown , and possibly whole sets exist that have not seen the light of day for decades. It would be nice if someone could come up with the missing portions of the film of the weekend . Lets hope some sections they did not end up showing are mouldering away in a vault somewhere. Its possible as most of the Who's set is preserved, so there may well be other substantial portions of the festival in the can .
Acutally, part one features some spirited jams,which really motor along,especially during the " All Star jam" at the end of the Sunday nights activities. This US tv show gives us a fairly rare indication of what UK blues and rock bands could do livewise in the early 60s and its lucky it wasn't wiped like so much early TV footage of the 60s.
Gary Farr of the T Bones
Audience member - National Jazz and Blues fest 1965
Dik Leatherdale remembers this about the festival
|To amplify your correspondent Dik Leatherdale's comment about The Animals" headlining performance at the 1965 Richmond Jazz and Blues Festival it was not the National Youth orchestra accompanying them. The so-called Animals Big Band was led by British trumpeter Ian Carr (more recently the author of a biography of Miles Davis). It featured several local jazz notables. As I recall, the brass-enhanced Animals was the feature of the second half of the band's set and while not as swinging as the stateside equivalent would have been, the performance gave the weekend a high energy climax. The Animals Big Band played together at least once more, for a broadcast of BBC Radio's "Jazz Club" in December of 1965. I am fortunate to have a decent though edited recording of this show.
The all star jam 7th Aug 1965
Speedy Acquaye of the Blue Flames rocks it out !
Alan Smith , who was one of those who worked at the festival has this anecdote
Wheel, Manchester, one night mid summer 1965. Someone says there's a big rock
festival at a place called Richmond near London - 'let's go.' Some of us haven't
heard of Richmond before. Some are not sure what a 'festival' really entails.
But it sounds exciting.
A week later we stagger out bleary eyed after an all night party at Barney's and head for the new service station on the M6, just a mile or so up the road. We're not real Manchester Mods, the coolest set in the land - more Cheshire backwoods Mods, some of us wearing US Army combat jackets rather than Parkas. There are about 12 of us, each with a sleeping bag, rolled up and belted so that it can be slung easily over the shoulders.
It's the early days of motorway travel and getting lifts at the service station is easy. The owners of a variety of vehicles ranging from Bedford lorry to Mercedes saloon, agree to ferry us south. Me and Oggy reach north London with just two lifts. At Barnet we give up thumbing and get a train into the centre, arriving in Trafalgar Square less than four hours after leaving home almost 200 miles away.
Then onto Richmond. Fans are pouring into the town. There's an interesting mix. Trads, Mods, a few Rockers, students yet to decide what they are...it's obvious that the festival has an identity problem. Some of the Trad guys, bearded and thoughtful, give us baleful looks. Locals don't seem too happy - a few pub landlords shut early and the local newspaper hits out viciously at the great unwashed hordes wrecking Richmond's peaceful haven.
But the festival gets under way with a great Friday night set where Roger Daltry kicks out the stage lights and we shout encouragement. It's the first time we have seen 'rock rage'. We kip out that first night on the fringes of the Richmond Golf Course and get kicked out just after dawn by an angry greenkeeper. During the Saturday we wander around the town, get invited to a party which Julie Driscoll is supposed to be attending, meet up with some girls from Yorkshire and go to the Modern Beat session featuring Manfred Mann and Georgie Fame, also the Graham Bond Organisation whom we've seen at various Manchester clubs.
But generally it's not quite the scene that we imagined. A few pills are handed around, but mainly to keep us awake. The music is good, but only in patches - we're more into American Blues and, for us, there's too much jazz and uncool stuff on show.
night digs is the river bank. Not much kip, being woken up by a tramp who claims
it's his spot. In the morning we wash in the muddy edges of the Thames. Someone
says they've had enough of Richmond - let's go to Brighton and look for Rockers,
hoping for a repeat of 1964. So we miss out on The Animals and Spencer Davis.
Brighton is dripping wet. We sleep out on the pebbles under the West Pier and
wake up sodden, cold and a bit fed up. The gang disperses, some returning north,
some hanging around for a few more days, others heading west to find rough scrumpy
in Dorset and Devon.
When. after a week, Oggy and I get home we read that the Twisted Wheel in Brazenose Street is to close and although a new Wheel is to be opened in another part of Manchester it seems like it's the end of an era. But an unforgettable one.
Photogalleries from the festival
As you can see, Jazz has been relegated to the afternoon sessions
and the jazz line-up is hardly earth shattering compared with that of the Rock
and Blues. Apparently Ginger Baker
and Keith Moon did
killer drum solos, the weather was kind - and the crowds well behaved, apart
from during The Yardbirds
set, when a section of the crowd rushed the stage and had to be restrained by
The early festivals.
You can find out the complete
line ups of the first festivals if you follow the links below.
Most of these have fairly complete documentation .
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