Thursday, February 03, 2011


Yeah, yeah, it’s maybe the ego in overdrive. But I hadn’t seen this particular photo before and it does have a certain retro-drama. It shows me rousing the rabble at a rally to spring the three editors of Oz -- Felix Dennis, Jim Anderson, and Richard Neville -- from jail while they appealed their conviction. The image surfaced when our pals at Dangerous Minds posted my 1967 video interview with John Peel that went up on Doc40 a couple of weeks ago. I guess I was in full revolutionary delinquent mode, and what follows is an example of the writing style that was a part of it and showed up on Rock's Back Pages this week. Maybe I shouldn’t have been quite so hard on Germaine, but, at the time, she had royally and recently slagged me off in Oz and payback is always a temptation.

“THE ISLE of Wight Festival, to me, seemed a practical demonstration of the way the wealth of the underground is at present distributed: a V.I.P. enclosure surrounded by fences & protected by guards; kids walking into the medical tent in a state of collapse because they hadn't eaten for 2 days; illustrations of a culture which, although paying sanctimonious lip service to the concepts of love & equality, manifests an inequality of rank & money as brutal as that of Czarist Russia. It is a society where a man can be paid £500 a minute for playing a guitar, yet protests that people need to be fed are shouted down: "You're spoiling a groovy scene: shut your mouth"! The kids who, in desperation, lead others in an attempt to pressure the 'haves' into giving something to the 'have-nots', are insulted & ridiculed from the stage, and condemned in print. Human ethics are used like a substitute for cash in the bank, while love is peddled as a commodity more blatantly by Rikki Farr than by any whore in history. Woman's Liberationist Germaine Greer stays in the backstage enclosure & trades small-talk with rock business flunkies, and wonders why the kids don't liberate themselves. Meanwhile, the kids who do are being slugged with iron bars by those same guards who protect her privileged enclosure.”

1 comment:

Mike said...

Pretty accurate description of any contemporary festival organised by Carling. On entrance to the outer circle, your bags are searched for any food & drink which is confiscated, so you have to buy from the licensed vendors inside the circle. While the stewards parade around and confiscate all screw-on bottle tops, with no explanation, so you cannot conserve any drinks.
Next, there's the inner circle, between the outer circle and the stage, accessed by corporate VIP tickets only.
Still, there's a large TV screen to watch the show on.