The Reading Festival 1972
I first went to the Reading Festival in 1972 (is it really over 41 years ago 🙂 ?), and continued to go every year until 1980. I missed 1981 as it clashed with a local “Rock on the Tyne” Festival, and have never returned, although I did think of doing so on several occasions. I’m aiming to reflect on one year each week for the next few weeks, starting today with my first Reading experience.
I’d already been to the Lincoln Festival in May 1972 so I felt, as a 15 year old, I was already a hardened festival goer. I didn’t know anyone who wanted to go to Reading, so decided to go along myself. My parents weren’t keen on my idea of hitching so I agreed to go by train. The festival took place over the weekend of August 11th to 13th, 1972 starting on Friday afternoon. For some reason I decided to get the train down to London early on the Thursday night, arriving around midnight. Having nowhere to spend the night I took a tube to Piccadilly Circus and found an all-night cinema. It was showing Elvis films all night; I paid my money and sat close to the front. The cinema was quite empty, the audience was a few couples, some Elvis fans and several people alone like me, and just looking for somewhere to spend the night. I don’t recall which films were shown, I think there were six, and I’m pretty sure one was “Kid Galahad” (which, by the way, is a good movie), and I think another may have been “Fun in Acapulco” and “Girls, Girls, Girls” (not so good). I emerged, very tired, from the cinema in the early hours of the morning, and went across London to get the train to Reading. I didn’t have a ticket for the festival, so when I arrived I joined the queue and bought a weekend ticket. In those days it was all about seeing the bands, so I stayed in the queue to get a good spot in front of the stage. All I had taken was a sleeping bag; no tent; no change of clothes (I told you that I thought myself a hardened festival goer).
The Friday line-up was: Good Habit, Nazareth, Cottonwood, Steamhammer, Jackson Heights, Genesis, Mungo Jerry, Curved Air. The music started at 4pm and there were two stages set alongside each other to make for quick changeovers. I positioned myself close to the front somewhere between the two stages so I had a good view of both. There was a press enclosure right down front, and an area where the Hells Angels would encamp, so you couldn’t get that close to the stage. I got talking to a guy next to me; he was also alone, still at school and a similar age. We stuck together throughout the weekend, keeping each others place in the crowd, and sleeping there on a night in our sleeping bags. This seems crazy now, but hey I was young and just so excited about seeing the bands. You could sleep in the main enclosure in those days; you had to leave in the early morning so that they could clear up and get ready for the next day. Some clearing happened during the night; this didn’t make for a good night sleep as there was a danger that someone stood on you (this happened to me several times). The organisers stopped letting people sleep in the main enclosure a few years later; a punter was run over by a vehicle that was driving around collecting litter….The bands I recall on Friday were: Good Habit (saw them a few times, they used to were monks habits on stage), Nazareth (this was before “Broken Down Angel”; they played a great version of “Morning Dew”); Genesis (Simply amazing. I was a big fan at the time and have written separately about their set which included The Knife, Twilight Alehouse, Watcher Of The Skies, The Musical box, and The Return Of The Giant Hogweed. Classic); Mungo Jerry (got the crowd rocking), and Curved Air (also amazing; It happened today, Backstreet Luv, Sonja Kristina).
The Saturday line-up was: Jonathan Kelly, Solid Gold Cadillac, Man, Linda Lewis, Focus, Edgar Broughton, Jericho, If, Johnny Otis Show, Electric Light Orchestra, The Faces. I watched all of the bands, and also took some time to have a look around the stalls in the arena. I didn’t see any need to venture into town (that would come in later years) and spent the entire weekend within the confines of the festival. The weather was quite warm, sunny with a little drizzle now and then but nothing major, and certainly nothing compared to the rain I experienced at the Lincoln festival earlier in the year. Highlights I can dimly recall now are: Jonathan Kelly (Ballad of Cursed Anna simply wonderful), Solid Gold Cadillac (very jazzy), Man (very long guitar solos; Spunk Rock; great!), Linda Lewis (she looked so tiny on that stage and admitted to being scared), Focus (went down well with the crowd and were one of the successes of the weekend), Edgar Broughton (amazing, I was already a fan. Edgar very unspoken as always. Out Demons Out!!), If (jazzy, great guitarist), Johnny Otis Show (just blogged on them), Electric Light Orchestra (this was a very early performance and one of their first since Roy Wood’s departure. Wasn’t sure what to expect; they were good), The Faces (Rod and the guys on great form, lots of footballs kicked into the crowd, Twisting the Night Away and I’m Losing You were big live favourites of mine at the time).
The Sunday line-up was: Sutherland Brothers, Gillian McPherson, String Driven Thing, Matching Mole, Stackridge, Vinegar Joe, Status Quo, Stray, Roy Wood’s Wizzard, Mahatma Kane Jeeves, Ten Years After, Quintessence. John Peel and Jerry Floyd were comperes for the weekend. Jerry was the regular DJ at the Marquee Club, who organised the festival at the time. I spend much of the weekend chatting about music to the guy that I met on the first day and we struck up quite a friendship. I made a few friend at festivals in those days and would see some people every year but I never ran into this guy again. Wonder where he is now. Highlights of the day were: Matching Mole (featuring Robert Wyatt), Stackridge (“Slark” was a favourite of mine at the time), Vinegar Joe (Elkie just stunning), Status Quo (this was one of the shows that helped them break back. Peel was a big champion of theirs at the time; I think he introduced them as the “Finest rock’n’roll band in the world”, or something like that. They were playing amazing boogie at the time, with Francis giving it some cheeky banter. Someones Learning was a favourite), Stray (excellent, Del in mirror suit), Roy Wood’s Wizzard (pretty good, very retro rock’n’roll. Ballpark Incident had just been released), and Ten Years After (Alvin’s guitar playing was stunning, I’d just seen “Woodstock” and was a big fan). I left as Quintessence’s took to the stage as did many others (TYA were official headliners) to catch the last train to London. The tubes had stopped so I walked across London. I’d missed the midnight train so I spent the night in Kings Cross station.
Monday morning: I was stiff, tired, and scruffy. I got the first train home and went straight to bed 🙂
Wow! that took longer than I thought it would! The scans come from the newspaper style programme which was produced by the Reading Evening Post. The poster (it looks like a cartoon of Leo Lyons from TYA to me?) is from the middle of the programme. Oh and I forgot to mention the “Wally!” chants, which seemed to go on all night.
Archive for the ‘Man’ Category
The Reading Festival 1972
Man Leeds New Roscoe 2008
Man reformed in the 1980s and continued to play with (as usual) continually changing line-ups throughout the 90s. The legendary guitarist and Man mainstay Micky Jones suffered a brain tumour in 2002, and was replaced in the band by his son George Jones.
The last time I had seen Man had been in 1976, and I figured I should make the effort to see them again. So when they announced a short tour in 2008, I decided to take the short drive to Leeds to catch their gig at the New Roscoe. The Roscoe is a pub venue on the outskirts of Leeds city centre, which features bands several nights a week. The Man band line up of 2008 featured Micky’s son George Jones on guitar; long standing member Martin Ace on bass and vocals; Martin’s son Josh Ace on guitar and vocals; 70s member Phil Ryan on keyboards; and Bob Richards on drums. I had a seat right in front of the stage, and I excited and looking forward to seeing Man again. I was quite nervous, not really knowing what to expect; I wasn’t disappointed. The set that night drew from right across the entire Man catalogue, reaching back to their first 1969 album, and the early single “Sudden Life”, which took me back. The song is very much of its time; very 60s, quite trippy/psych and yet George Jones brought a freshness to it. George’s guitar playing was simply excellent and the new line-up a credit to the Man band legacy. It was great to hear old favourites such as “Many are Called but Few Get up” and the encore “Bananas”. The set also featured quite a few tracks from the 2006 album “Diamonds and Coal” which I enjoyed, even though they were unfamiliar to me. No “Spunk Rock” which was disappointing; but hey you can’t expect to get everything you wish for. A great gig, which brought back so many fond memories and reminded me of how great the Man band were in the 70s.
Setlist: Love Your Life (1971); Something is Happening (1975); Diamonds and Coal (2006); All Alone (2006); Sudden Life (1969); Man of Misery (2006); Victim of Love (2000); Manillo (1971); Many are Called but Few Get up (1971); Freedom Fries (2006); Romain (1971); Shit on the World (AKA It Is As It Must Be; 1969). Encore: Bananas (1972)
When Micky Jones passed away in 2010 rock lost one of its greatest guitarists. Whenever I think of Man I picture Micky with his cherry red SG, playing Spunk Rock.
A split (which from reports was apparently quite bitter) occurred within the Man band camp shortly after the Leeds gig I saw in 2008. George Jones continued with his own band Son of Man, and Martin Ace has continued with the Man band name. Martin currently fronts a version of Man which features himself, Phil Ryan, his son Josh Ace; James Beck on guitar; and Rene Robrahn on drums. This line-up has just played some dates in Germany.
An annual Micky Jones memorial concert, organised by George, is held in December in Swansea. This year’s concert is the third and features the All Star Band (featuring George Jones), Deke Leonard’s Iceberg and guests.
Man Newcastle City Hall 1976
This Man tour was in support of their 11th studio album The Welsh Connection. The line-up had changed again with John McKenzie taking over on bass from Martin Ace, and Phil Ryan rejoining on keyboards. Stalwarts Deke Leonard and Micky Jones, and Terry Williams on drums made up the rest of the line-up for the tour. Support came from Australian singer/songwriter Glen Cardier. This was the last time I was to see the Man band for some 30 years, and the last time I experienced the great Micky Jones in concert. By the end of the year the band had split as a result of internal wranglings, playing their final gig in Slough on 16 December 1976. The band were quoted at the time as saying that they “would never, ever, be one of those bands who reformed in a futile attempt to recapture past glories”……However, they did reform in the 80s.
Set list: Let The Good Times Roll, 7171551, Hard Way To Die, Something Is Happening, The Welsh Connection, Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, The Ride And The View, C’mon, Out Of Your Head, Born With A Future, Many Are Called But Few Get Up, Bananas. Encores; Romain, Spunk Rock. Thanks to Mitch for the setlist.
I saw Man once more, at a gig in Leeds at the New Roscoe pub venue a few years ago. I’ll write about that gig tomorrow.
Man Newcastle City Hall 1975
Note Mann spelt incorrectly on the ticket again 🙂
I remember this gig very well for two reasons. The first was because of the appearance of the late great exponent of West Coast psych guitar John Cipollina from Quicksilver Messenger Service, who joined Man for the entire UK tour. I was a big fan of the Quicksilver song “Fresh Air” and also a Man fan, so seeing Cipollina with the Man band was too good an opportunity to miss. The other reason I remember this gig was to do with the vantage point fro which we watched the show. I went along to the concert with one of my mates, and we ran into another guy I knew, who had a technician job at the City Hall, and was operating the lights that night. He took us way up into the roof, to a little room at the back of the hall, where he shone a massive spotlight down onto the stage. While he worked the spot light, we looked down on the band playing. The view wasn’t great actually, but it seemed fun, and pretty cool, at the time to be way up there with a spotlight guy. The combination of Man and Cipollina worked well that night with some great guitar work from both Micky Jones and from his west coast hero.
Support came from ‘A Band Called O’ who Mitch recalls: “went down very well with the City Hall audience. Their main set finished with the Humble Pie song Red Light Mama Red Hot and they came back for an encore.” I remember seeing Band Called O a couple of times; I think I may have seen them at Sunderland Poly. They were a pretty good live band. From Wikipedia: “A Band Called O were a band from Jersey. Originally known as “The Parlour Band”, playing progressive rock, they renamed to “A Band Called O” and later to “The O Band” for a further albums with UA. Despite issuing five albums, and being championed by John Peel, they had no chart success; but were a popular live act.”
Man Set list: 7171551, Hard Way To Die, Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, Hard Way To Live, The Storm, Somebody’s Calling, Codine, Razorblades and Rattlesnakes, Many Are Called But Few Get Up, Bananas. Encore; Romain. No Spunk Rock! I must have been disappointed that night 😦 Buffy St Marie’s Codine and Babe I’m Gonna Leave You both featured in early Quicksilver setlists. I was secretly and niavely hoping that they would play “Fresh Air” but sadly it wasn’t to be.
The London gig was recorded and released as the Maximum Darkness album. The tour and the album both deservedly received rave reviews at the time. Andy Childs wrote in Zigzag in 1976: “Maximum Darkness was recorded live at the Roundhouse on May 26th and is probably the best live album we’re going to hear this year, not just for Cipollina’s frequent bursts of imaginative playing, but because of Man themselves who show up superbly – the best I’ve heard from them in a long time.”
I never did get to see Quicksilver Messenger Service, but I did get to see founder member David Freiberg sing “Fresh Air” with Jefferson Starship last year.
Many thanks to Mitch for the setlist.
Man Spring Tour 1974 Newcastle City Hall (note misspelling of Man on the ticket 🙂 )
Rhinos, Winos and Lunatics on the road
Come 1974 and Deke Leonard returned to Man, and they released their 9th album Rhinos, Winos and Lunatics. The small four sided tour programme for this tour has details of the planned set, commenting on every song. I don’t usually do this but I thought I’d reproduce the text from the programme below as it documents the Man band’s thoughts on each of the songs that they played on the tour.
“Terry: This is it. Another tour off on the road. Old faces, new faces. Old numbers, new numbers. Old gigs, new gigs. This is just a bit of info on some of the numbers we will be doing each night:
Spunk Rock: Old time favourite and stomper. This has been on record in many different disguises over the years. It first appeared on “Two ounces of plastic with a hole in the middle” then it became the 20 minute live track on the Greasy Truckers album. Then it sneaked its way into “Jam Up Jelly Tight” on the Back Into The Future album and its still going strong.
Bananas: “I like to eat bananas; ‘Cos they got no bones; I like marijuana; ‘Cos it gets me stoned”. What more can one say? Maybe one of the biggest favourites with audiences on our gigs in Britain today.
Romain: The good old shuffle. A story about a gig we had the misfortune to play in Belgium. Deke: This bastard of a cop picked in two young kids and Martin (Ace, that is) tried to help by pulling the cop’s head off – he nearly did. Terry: Romain was the cop’s name. Martin was badly beaten up and taken to gaol. We managed to get him out just in time for the gig by calling the Mayor of Ostend who just happened to be the promoter. When we eventually got home they landed us with a bill for 3 days pay because Romain was off sick. Now isn’t that a sad story? Micky: Not really – we never did pay!!!
C’mon: C’mon was caused by drugs. Deke: Extremely dangerous ones.
Blown Away: This is a song from the last Help Yourself album (return of K Whaley) and is a song about feeling desolate which is something most of us feel now and then. That’s all.
Hardway to live: ….is a song about what a hard way it is to live, and 7171/551 is a very private song, so I don’t want to tell you what it’s about.
Scotch Corner: …..is about a man we met who was on his way to the Lake District to commit suicide. He looked like a turtle. The place we met him was a transport cafe at Scotch Corner.
Four Day Louise: …..feels like its the kind of song we’ll play till we die, or split up, or something.
Taking the Easy Way Out Again: ….is about us. Something we try to do all the time.
The last three numbers are on the new album Rhinos, Winos and Lunatics.
Deke: If an unidentified number appears, do not panic – it’ll just be us having a jam. If any of the above numbers crumble it’ll give you the opportunity to study the effects of panic on the band’s faces. In this situation pretend nothing has happened……we’re going to have a lot of fun together. Have a good time. Luv. The Man Band”
The programme tells me that support came from Chris Darrow from the USA Kaleidoscope and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, although I can’t recall seeing him.
The line-up of the Man band for this tour was Micky Jones – Guitar, Vocals;
Deke Leonard – Guitar, Vocals; Malcolm Morley – Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals; Ken Whaley – Bass; Terry Williams – Drums, Vocals.
I remember that I went to this gig with a group of mates and that we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Favourites were Bananas, which we all went around singing afterwards, and of course Spunk Rock. I saw Man again a couple of months later in the summer of 74 at the pure hell which was the Buxton (endurance) Festival, where they played a great set on the Friday night prior to Mott the Hoople’s headlining appearance. I’ve included a scan of the page which features Man from the Buxton programme. I’ve blogged separately on the full horror of the Buxton experience. Thanks to John for the scan of his poster from the Rhinos tour.
Man in concert in 1972
I was a big fan of Welsh wizards Man in the 70s and saw them several times in concert. Trying to work out exactly which line-ups of the band I saw is a complex piece of historical research in itself. Suffice it to say that this band changed members like many others changed guitar strings. The one constant who was in every early Man line-up was, of course, the late great ace guitarist Micky Jones. Coming in close second was guitarist Deke Leonard, who left and rejoined a couple of times. Other regulars members of the Man family were Martin Ace, Terry Williams, Clive John and Phil Ryan. Martin Ace fronts a version of Man which plays to this day.
The first time I saw Man was at Newcastle City Hall on 21st June 1972, when they were featured on a bill headlined by the Flamin’ Groovies. I saw them again a couple of months later in August 1972 at the Reading Festival; sandwiched between jazz rock fusion band Solid Gold Cadillac and folky warbler Linda Lewis, way down on a weekend bill headlined by Ten Years After, Curved Air and The Faces. The line up of the band in the Summer of 1972 was Micky Jones (guitar, vocals), Will Youatt (bass, vocals), Clive John (guitar, vocals), Terry Williams (drums, vocals), and Phil Ryan (keyboards, vocals). My enduring memory from those gigs is of Micky playing the excellent “Spunk Rock” on his cherry red Gibson SG. Now the said “Spunk Rock” was a lengthy instrumental piece, with meandering psych-tinged guitar solos. The song would often run for some 20 or more minutes, but I never became bored with it. It was based around a central riff, which Micky would return to as the song progressed. In many ways Man were our Grateful Dead, with lengthy west-coast influenced guitar-based tunes. Very much a “head” band. Micky Jones is quoted at the time: “We may not be the best band in the world, but we sure smoke the most dope.” Other well known tracks from their early 70s gigs are “Many Are Called But Few Get Up” and “Daughter of the Fireplace”, both of which feature in Man sets to this day. I was also seriously into their early psych classic single “Sudden Life” which came out in 1969 and still sounds amazing today.
From the Reading 72 programme: “Man not Boyo. Man come from Swansea where their career nearly ended after a bundle with half a dozen local greasers. Personnel changes were necessary when the bass guitarist smashed his hand up and the lead guitarist came adrift from his motorbike”.
I also think I saw Deke Leonard in his own band Iceberg at Newcastle City Hall, as a support act. The album “Be Good to Yourself at Least Once a Day” was recorded during this Deke-less Man period, and features the classic tracks C’Mon and Bananas, both of which were to become live favourites. “I like to eat bananas; ‘Cos they got no bones; I like marijuana; ‘Cos it gets me stoned”.
I saw Man several more times over the next few years and will write about those gigs over the coming days.
The Buxton Festival 1974
Line-up: The Faces, Humble Pie, Mott The Hoople, Horslips , Chapman/Whitney StreetWalkers, Trapeze , Chopper, Badger, Strider, Lindisfarne, Man. My friend John and I have spent the week swapping memories of The Faces to help me write my blog. One memory that we share is of the 1974 Buxton Festival which we both attended. I’m not sure if it is a pleasant memory or not; and those of you who attended any of the outdoor Buxton events will know why I say that. Terry Battersby puts in well on the UK Festivals site: “I managed Buxton in 72/73/74.They should have been campaign medals issued”. I managed 73 and 74 and know what he means; I hold my medal with pride; the Buxton festivals were a real endurance test. Buxton is a town high up in the peak district and the festival was sited up on a moor. You couldn’t imagine a worse place to hold a pop festival. All of the three outdoor festivals (there were some indoor events which preceded them) suffered from poor weather, lots of wind and rain, and after 1974 the organisers abandoned the idea of holding any further festivals. I’ll write separately about the 1973 festival in a day or so, it was a strange event at which the Hells Angels took over and ran the event (which was pretty scary). Anyway, back to 1974. I drove down to Buxton with my friend Gilly, who also came to the 1973 event with me. We arrived on Friday afternoon, finding the place cold and windswept. Not being the most prepared festival-goers at the time, we didn’t have a tent and planned on sleeping in the car (not easy in an MG Midget), or in sleeping bags on the ground. When we arrived on the moor we saw lots of people building makeshift huts from planks of wood. I asked them where they found the wood, and they pointed me to a storehouse in the next field. So off I went to retrieve some wood for us to build our own shelter. I was leaving the store with some planks under my arm with a few other guys, when we were stopped by a policeman, who asked us where we were taking the wood. He quickly bundled us all into the back of a police jeep and took us off to a temporary police cabin which they had set up for the weekend. Once in their they searched us, took statements, and made us wait a few hours, telling us that we would probably be charged with theft for taking the wood. When they eventually did let us go we had to walk back to the site, where I found my mate Gilly lying asleep by the car. The bands had started by that point, and we went into the arena and caught as much of the show as we could. I remember seeing Man and Mott the Hoople that night. Mott started with Golden Age of Rock n Roll and were just great. I slept in the car and Gilly slept in a sleeping bag underneath the car. We were both frozen; it was truly awful. Highlights of the next day were Humble Pie (Stevie Marriott was awesome in those days and a big festival favourite), and Roger Chapman and the Streetwalkers. Anyone who was there will remember the magic moment in that dull rainy day when the sun came out during My Friend the Sun, as Roger sang “He’s there in the distance” to a great cheer from the crowd. The Faces were OK, but it wasn’t the best time I saw them; by this point they had added a horn section to the band. I remember keeping warm in the Release tent and chatting to Caroline Coon. My friend John was also there with a group of mates, although I don’t recall us running into each other. His memories: “My own recollections were that the weather was terrible,wet and cold,the facilities non existent and I slept in my dad’s car with three other mates. The Friday bands were good Mott , Man and Lindisarne. On Saturday there was the famous “My Friend the Sun moment” which I do recall and Humble pie were great.The Faces came on late and I remember the stage being pelted with bottles – reports on the Web said this is because they refused to play an encore…..those were the days!!!” Postcript: several weeks after the festival I received a letter summoning me to attend my local police station where I was issued with a formal caution for “stealing” the wood; and that was the last I heard of it. I did run into a couple of the lads who were in the jeep with me at Reading and Knebworth over the years and we always said hello. I wonder where they are now. Thanks to John for the ad showing the line-up for the festival. Note The New York Dolls were listed to play at one point (although they don’t appear in the listing above), but didn’t make it for some reason.