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Last update August 2010
Harrow and Wealdstone Football Ground
15th July 1972
I went to a day-long ‘festival’ at Wealdstone FC’s old ground near Harrow railway station in the early 70s with my mate Peter Franklin. But I haven’t be able to find out when it was and who was on the bill along with Stone The Crows and Atomic Rooster. Until 2 or 3 weeks ago, that is, when I found the gig on the Patto site – as they were on the bill.
it can be revealed that on Saturday 15 July 1972 we roasted under untypically
hot sun (for a UK fest) and saw/ listened to:
Stone the Crows (with Jimmy McCulloch new to the band)
Atomic Rooster with Chris Farlowe
Smith, Perkins, Smith
According to the La Pepa Records website there is recording of the Rooster set calling the event the Harrow Festival.
This one taught me a lot about outdoor survival, as I turned up very poorly prepared to sit outside all day. It was a scorching day and my mate and I had no protection from the sun, no money, no food and nothing to drink!! I didn't make that mistake again..... (more later!)- The music was good though, and I recall a great atmosphere in the ground. (As it was a football ground, the audience noise was reflected back inwards, so each band was greeted with a terrific roar!) Stone the Crows and Vinegar Joe were similar types of band, in that they both had female bluesy singers (in Maggie Bell and Elkie Brooks respectively) and high profile male members (in Speedy Keen and Robert Palmer respec.), so they played very competitively and put a lot into their performances. I may be wrong but I think it was Keen's first gig with Stone the Crows too. (Another tragic victim in the end.)
The rest of the bill is completely wiped I'm afraid. I think that Status Quo may have played, but don't quote me. I would appreciate any one else's memories of the gig?
Anyway, the day got better and better for me, as my friend took me to a house party that evening, and my newly sun-reddened look caught the eye of a young, red-haired lady wearing purple hot-pants, who whipped me up to mummy's bedroom for a whirlwind debut excursion into the pleasures of the flesh. I was 16, and I still have a thing about red-haired girls and hot-pants. (Although, sadly, you don't see many of those these days do you!! Hot pants I mean, not red-heads!)
As a callow youth of 15 this was my first outing to any rock concert and was later followed by the rather bizarre Wembley London Rock'n'Roll Concert in August and the melody Maker Pop Poll Concert at the Oval in September. Like Trevor Robertson, I also was woefully ill-prepared for such a scorching day and it is the only time I got so sunburnt my whole face peeled. My memories of the music that day are very hazy. I'm not sure Fairport Convention were there;I do remember Vincent Crane and his Hammond organ with Atomic Rooster (I've learnt that all that band are probably dead now, and Vincent died of an overdose in 1989 after years of suffering from manic depression). I remember Stone the Crows with Maggie Bell (were they the headline act?) and I'm pretty sure this was their first concert after the guitarist Les Harvey (brother of the Sensational Alex) was electrocuted on stage in May.Jimmy McCulloch must have been the guitarist - he later gained fame in Paul McCartney's Wings - died of a heroin overdose in 1979.
I am sure Status Quo weren't there and, Nick,I'm fairly sure Vinegar Joe were also on the bill as I have a memory of a raunchy Elkie Brooks, as she was in those days, singing wearing very interesting wide trousers! It seems hard to believe now, but she was known as the wild woman of rock then!
Stone the Crows headline? John Peel was definitely there, but I don't recall
whether he introduced anyone or whether he was just there for the day. Am
I right in thinking this concert at the football stadium was a one-off and
, if so, how did it come to happen in the first place? I think also that
the concert must have finished before it got dark as I have no recollection
of floodlights. This was probably because the ground is in a residential
area.I also wonder how many of the artist that appeared are still alive.
burned badly that day. Pretty sure Vinegar Joe didn't play, neither did
Fairport who were listed originally. John Peel was there and did a few intros
as well as participating in an impromptu football match around the fringe.
It was Jimmy McCulloch's first gig with the Crows having replaced poor Les
Harvey and they ripped the place apart. Patto were as amusing as ever and
Atomic Rooster with Chris Farlowe on vocals did a good set. Smith-Perkins-Smith
were up their own backsides if I remember and Walrus, a sadly overlooked
UK jazz-rock outfit, were decent. I think it finished by about 7 o'clock
as I went to a party that night probably still suffering from sunstroke,
drank large amounts and ended up sleeping in somebody's front garden. happy
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