Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Monday, 26 June 2017
Tomorrow, people will begin drifting into Bath gurning through lack of sleep but - this year - not covered in mud.
Of all the many people I know who go to Glastonbury, not one of them paid for a ticket. They all have jobs in return for a 'free' ticket, some jobs more arduous than others. Most of it is bar work, but I know one lucky fellow who drives various bands across site in his Land Rover. Not being able to drink on shift is a small price to pay for following all the girls over the fields at walking pace.
Worthy Farm turns into a city for one week of the year, and a very large one at that. In a way, it is surprising that not more of the many people who wash up in Bath at the close end up staying here for a few years, but about 2 do every year.
One year in the 1970s, a vivacious young girl dropped in at the pub and ended up staying for a couple of years. She was of North African descent and was called Marie. She had so much energy and appetite for raucous fun that I was not surprised when she went to London and became the punk-rock star, Polly Styrene.
She overdid it a bit and ended up suffering a breakdown, complaining of police helicopters hovering outside her window and spying on her, but when she got over that, she sadly died of cancer. Poor old Marie.
I went to the very first Glastonbury at Pilton in 1971. I borrowed a motorcycle and rode from Surrey to Somerset. I blagged my way in and the police even allowed me to ride my bike right into the main field. The bike had no stand, so I leaned it up against the main stage. Can you imagine that today?! Above is a photo of the main stage as it was then. It has got a bit bigger since 1971.
Everything was free - the entrance, the bands, even the food. The main kitchen was provided by the Hare Krishna lot. They are very good cooks, actually.
Call me ungrateful, but I got on site, took a look around and decided I hated it. I spent the night there in a brown-paper sleeping bag, then rode home the next morning. I have never been back, thereby saving about £10,000 on tickets.