Last update June 2012 : Ex Whitesnake bassist Neil Murray points out we have spelt Bogert and Everly wrongly ( you'll all be pleased tpo know we've changed it :-)
Great Western Express
The Grangemouth Festival.
Sept 23rd 1972 .
Ticket Courtesy John McGee
A one day festival, arranged by Stanley Baker of Barney 1972 fame . Apparently it rained (so whats new) Lindesfarne went down particularly well and I am sure that Mr Beck and co also entertained the damp crowd of 12.000 nicely ......
I can add that the price of my ticket was one pound and seventy five pence (£1.75p) – I still have it, Saturday 23rd September, ticket No. 12216. Running time was 12noon – 11pm and I noted the running order as:
The Chris McClure Section, Billy Connolly, Sunshine, Average White Band, Beggars Opera, Everly Brothers, Lindisfarne, Steeleye Span, Status Quo and Beck, Bogert and Appice with John Peel as DJ.
When I arrived Stanley Baker was greeting folk (I think I arrived the night before and slept rough - I took a sleeping bag but gave it away – strange days).
AWB were great, as were Lindisfarne, Connolly said he was nervous in front of such a big crowd and Quo had the place jumping. Beck was a hero to me (still is) but I do remember the sound was a bit of a problem for him.
I don’t remember the rain but then who remembers rain in their youth?
I enjoyed my first browse at your festivals site. I was at the Grangemouth Festival in 1972, which no-one else seems to remember. It was a one-day event in late September or early October.
The few things I recall were:
- it was the first open-air rock festival in Scotland
- it was held in a football stadium in Grangemouth, between Edinburgh and Stirling, next to an oil refinery with a constant burning flame
- the headliners were (Jeff) Beck, Bogert and Appice and Steeleye Span
- comedian Billy Connolly did a spot
- John Peel was the compere
No more than that in my brain cells now, I'm afraid.
Went on a coach from The Key Youth Club in East Kilbride, which for some reason had to leave early so we had to bale out during Jeff Beck. I'm sure he was wearing a white jacket and I was amazed when he took it off mid-number (Black Cat Moan) whilst continuing to play his guitar.
I stand corrected on this, but I don't believe Slade were there. I think it was Status Quo who were second top billing. I also remember going round the running track which surrounded the pitch and seeing some guy in a really bad state in the First Aid tent with what looked suspiciously like an empty bottle of Eldorado close by.
was loads of drink there and I thought there was quite a heavy vibe about
it all (mind you, I was only 15!!)
A very pretty stage , complete with characteristic WEM PA
Hi - I was there too
BB & A headlined. I think the Average White Band were there too.
Don't remember Slade or much of the others. John Peel was indeed the MC, and he got increasingly irritated by the requests for "Public Service Announcements", which started as people whod' mislaid their mates but ended up as folk just wanting to get their names read out.
Yup, not the most attractive of venues.
I was there! Beck Bogert
and Appice headlined but the biggest disappointment was that the second on the
bill was meant to be the legendary URIAH HEEP who didnt turn up. The excuse
was transport problems. Also appearing was a scottish prog rock proup called
beggars opera who played classical music (such as william tell overture) in
the style of ELP and Yes. They were really good and pioneered the moog synthesiser.
I remember billy connolly and the everly bros but dont remember steeleye span but thats not surprising since i only liked heavy rock and prog!
We managed to get really near the stage and I saw in the wings Sir Stanley Baker the actor who organised the Great western events
HAPPY DAYS Still upset at the HE
I can add some memoirs to this event. We were all 18-year olds living in Grangemouth but for us at that age, ALL of these acts were regarded as deeply unfashionable. Most of us listened to Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Can etc so the very thought of the Everley Brothers- (or even more embarrassing, Status Quo)- was deeply uncool. It wasn't cheap to get in either, as I recall.
I don't think it can have been raining much on that afternoon because I can remember some of us lying on the grass having a smoke in "The Rose Garden"- about 1 and a half miles away- and something magical happened. Being carried on the wind, the sound of the Everleys singing "dream", you could hardly take it in, suddenly the fact that you were in Grangemouth Public Park listening to the Everlys Live.
That evening, it became common knowledge that people were jumping the fence-or rather , the gate to the stadium- and getting in for nothing. So a few of us went in. The atmosphere inside was beery and horrible. The crowd were quite "aggro", more like a football crowd than music fans. There were also quite a few plasticy "hippy" types, obviously just dressed up for the afternoon. The band on the stage were Status Quo. Having lost touch with them for a while, I was bemused to see the long hair shaking about down into their telecasters, all standing in a line. The music seemed repetitive, almost a "Ramones" type thing.
Jeff Beck came on, by which time most people ( me included) were leaving. There
was nothing to stay for, you couldn't have a smoke because the place was - allegedly-
crawling with plain clothes. Beck wasn't revered then, but even so you still
couldn't help feeling sorry for the guy because the sound quality was quite
Thanks for helping me remember all this!
Can't offer any enlightenment re the line-up or the vibe, but this was not the first open-air rock festival in Scotland. This was at Inverness Caledonian's Telford Street stadium in 1970 (could be 1971 but I don't think so - I went to the Lincoln "Folk" Festival that year). Can't remember the exact festival title but it was something along the lines of "Highland Festival of Progressive Music" Line-up (bit fuzzy on this) was: String Driven Thing, Beggar's Opera (have I just made this up? - weird) Taste, If ,Black Widow (missed end - last bus to Forres) There must have been others. There was a poster on a wall opposite the Carlton Hotel in Forres for some years afterwards so it should be ingrained but, no. Age takes its toll. Maybe somebody else can remember a wee bit more. And surprisingly enough memory loss not drug-induced - unless you count 3 cans of Tennent's lager ! Hope this is of some interest.
The festival was supported by Stanley Baker, actor in the Film Zulu. We students of Glasgow College of Building and Printing were asked to provide volunteer assistance to the perimeter guard on the night along the stadium embankment .We saw ,inclusive of the aforementioned, Marsha Hunt star of the stage show Aquarius and went home in a mini bus to Muirkirk - slept on the floor of a flat and got back to Glasgow the next day after a brief lunch in the Muirkirk working men's club.
ran a mini bus from lanark grammar school where we were students organised by
status quo were also one of the main acts as were the everly brothers beck bogert appice
it was definately in september and i dont remember it really raining but that it was verging on frosty/chilly as we waited for the mini bus back
there was definately a sort of woodstock vibe going on for us as i think the movie of the same name was still doing the rounds
i also recall that many councils did not wish that sort of thing in there area so grangemouth were very liberal for the time
at the side of the stage i remember american steam train motifs
i would love to see photos or 8mm footage from the day
I was at this show, mostly to see Beck Bogert & Appice, as Tim Bogert (NOTE: NOT BOGART, as people endlessly mis-spell his name; I repeat, it's BOGERT, not BOGART. His website: http://www.timbogert.com/) was a huge influence on me as a bass-player (I went on to play bass with Whitesnake, Gary Moore, Brian May and many others). I remember Billy Connolly and the Everly Brothers (spelling: not Everley) but most of the rest are a dim memory! I lived in the south of Scotland at that time, though I was studying graphic design in London during term-time, so I was a regular fixture at the Marquee and I saw a few of the other festivals & concerts featured on these pages – 1970 IoW festival, Rock At The Oval, Crystal Palace Garden Parties etc. Great site and great memories!
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