Friday, 26 June 2015


Good job I am not planning to go down to Pilton Farm today. I have been at home with a painful and disfiguring illness for the last couple of days, and I think it is going to take the rest of the weekend to get over it.

Everyone says how corporate the Glastonbury Festival has become over the last 15 years, but hasn't everything? The lot who went to the very first one (of which I am one) are now around 65-70 years old and run corporations. They still go, leaving their adult children and grandchildren behind. The rot set in when they first installed cash-points there, and a a group of armed robbers turned up from Bristol to empty them.

I have to admit to very fleeting pangs of FOMO (fear of missing out) every year around the Solstice though, but they don't last long. It is the biggest party in the world, after all.

The worst thing is the sudden appearance of strange bar-staff in the pub. They are - like me - the sort of people who are not interested in big parties, and they are - also like me - rather boring to hang around with for too long. I sometimes like big parties, but only in small doses.

The Dalai Lama is making a guest appearance there this year, I have heard. I (along with about 500,000 other people in Somerset) wouldn't mind meeting him for a quick chat and maybe a little blessing thrown in at the end of it.

It is so long ago now, that I cannot remember who exactly I borrowed the Triumph 500cc Twin from to ride down to Pilton Farm. I think it may have been Simon F. I do remember the owner being a little miffed when I returned it with a burnt-out clutch though. I hate clutches, which is why all my cars have had automatic gear boxes for the last 20 years.

All the way there - from Surrey - the speedometer told me I was travelling at 30 MPH, even when not moving at all. My freshly pregnant girlfriend was riding pillion, which is possibly why the clutch burnt out. I was accused of trying to induce a miscarriage by the girl I had just been to Scotland with, before I learned of the pregnancy at all.

At the top, main entrance to the Pilton festival site, there was a police barrier, which they called 'Checkpoint Charlie'. I managed to persuade the coppers there to let me down to the field whilst still on the motorcycle, using the pregnancy as an excuse. She was, I insisted, in a sort of itinerant confinement.

Whilst one copper radioed through to the lower checkpoint, another motorcycle-riding policeman gave my bike the once-over, staring at the speedo which read 30 MPH. He tapped the glass with his knuckle, but the needle stayed in the same position.

"It broke about 10 miles back," I lied.

"Oh really?" He was obviously not convinced.

I actually parked the bike right up against the main stage - unthinkable these days - and having taken a brief look around, decided I hated it and wanted to go home right then. I lost the girlfriend as soon as I parked though, and didn't find her again until dawn, having spent the night in a brown paper bag. She had run off to get some free food from the Hare Krishna lot, and she ate for two.

If you know what to do, it is quite possible to ride a motorcycle without using the clutch for as long as you want - in this case, about 150 miles. Red traffic lights can be a bit of a problem, but there were far fewer in those days.

Ok, I will admit to watching Dolly Parton pretending to play instruments via catch-up last year, and I expect I will sneak a look at whoever is headlining this year too.

Who is headlining?


  1. If you have heard of Kim Kardigan or Kardishan, or Kermudgeon; her husband is supposed to be one of this year's big attractions. I believe he shouts rude words accompanied by not very good music. Sounds OK.

  2. Have never been to Glasto but do feel the same about the old CND marches which I went on, marching with great fervour. A fat lot of good it did us all - but it did produce a fantastic feeling of solidarity. Have a friend who was a Greenham Common woman and she has never lost her fervour. I have just grown old and don't particularly care any more.

  3. I came to comments prepared to write a small tribute to the loss of youthful ardor, and find Weaver has done so. Armchairs are so much more comfortable.

    1. I need to add, you have all the good words. Woodstock is so heavy; Scarborough Fair, Glastonbury Festival--round, rolling syllables.

  4. Kanye West is headlining and, a band that I would go for, The Foo Fighters….. Oh, strike that. Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters has broken his leg and they have cancelled. Florence and the Machine will play their slot. The Who will be there though ! …. used to go and see them in North London before they were famous !!

  5. Well - to me it sounds still attractive.
    (Bad pun: I don't think that I will need a (Lady's) clutch there... a knapsack will do...)

  6. I'm not fond of huge crowds so festivals don't usually call to me. That said, I've gone to a few where I heard some good music and was glad I went, but I don't find myself seeking them out.

  7. I prefer to watch on TV. Never liked big crowds or basic camping!

  8. Ah' so you were the mad b****r who nearly ran me down in 1971, when I was walking down the lane?
    Never mind all was soon forgotten. I had a fantastic time and returned several times over the years, even when there was no festivals on. You might be mystified by that, for I was finishing off the Children's World play-bus for the gregarious Bella Churchill had the time of my life....
    Since then I've been to a few other festivals but none will ever compare to the ones at Worthy Farm.
    Am 73 next birthday and love it when Mrs H plays on the old stuff at full tilt brings me back to Glastonbury.