Updated Dec 2012 view at 1280 X 1024 res.
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Rather appropriately called Barbeque 67 , as the shed was hot and sticky . Not the best place to hold a rock concert , the venue for this one day show was a cattle auction hall, which was packed to the gills . Acoustics were probably vile.
How good to find Barbeque '67 on your website!
I've told the tale of this festival so many times, and as the years go by, I get a distinct feeling that people do not believe that Jimi, Cream, Pink Floyd, the Move, Geno and Zoot could ever be on the same bill, and no-one seems to believe that it would cost as much as £1! Well, let's face it, it doesn't sound credible, does it? Here are my memories.
Three of us (Martin Willmott, John Percival and Ivan Willis) were aged 16, pals and music fanatics at Royal Grammar School in Worcester. In the days when council house kids had the privilege of attending Grammar Schools free of charge. John saw an advert for Barbeque '67 in NME, and tickets were available at £1 each. We telephoned the number and were told that tickets would be reserved for us, and we could pay when the tickets were printed. We were sent posters - not the one posted on your site! No mention of 'Pay At The Door'! We were sent six posters, and distributed them in school and in 'Youth Clubs' (a generation thing) and gave Ivan's phone number. (In those days, telephones were in red boxes outside a Post Office. Most people dreamt of winning the Pools and having one in their house. So Ivan was unusual in having his own phone. Can anyone believe that now?)
We got enough interest to arrange a coach and duly booked it, giving a deposit of £10. This was a more than a week's wages for our pals who had left school the year before. It was a lot of money to drum up, but we couldn't fail, so we decided it was no risk. Until we found that the tickets were not available after all. With the wisdom of hindsight and experience, the organisers were incompetent. They had underestimated demand and could not cope with the requests for tickets, and couldn't cope with the volume of phone calls. We rang for hours and hours, then got a timid voice telling us that the tickets would come in the post. We waited day after day and nothing arrived. We phoned and got no reply. Then we shit ourselves. We had taken deposits and ticket money from a coachload of people much older and bigger than ourselves, and no tickets arrived! We decided to tough it out, as we had no way of contacting anyone. There were no phone numbers, e-mails were science fiction, and no-one could afford to put an advert in the paper. We turned up in the Cornmarket in Worcester at 7 am and we all boarded the coach, full of smiles and fun. Except we three organisers, who were close to incontiinence all the way. And what a long way, across the Midlands and the East of the country before 'A' roads were fit for purpose.
The offending advert..... thanks to Joe 'Dzsanesz" Kovacs for restoring this item !
It was a gorgeous May day, hot and sunny. I took my guitar, and played 'Purple Haze', 'Hi Ho Silver Lining', 'Day Tripper' and 'Colours' over and over again until I could hardly talk. Then, to our eternal gratitude, our coach was trailed by Zoot Money and some of his band in a car. We recognised him and flagged him down. The three organiseres got out and quietly explained our predicament. He said he'd try and help and told us to meet him at his hotel - I think it was called the Red Lion. We arrived in Spalding and he met us, but he could not find the organiser, so no luck on tickets - but told us we could pay at the door. As per the 'poster'! Not the one we had! We panicked, but were sent to the front of the queue, gave back the £1 to every coach traveler, and we duly all got in early.
The first support group were awesome. I believe they started with a Joe Tex number, 'Show Me'. They played a mix of Soul and Rock and were very competent. Their set was very good and the sound was better balanced than the majority of the following acts. Sound balance in the sixties was terrible in big venues - the comments of other contributors are accurate, but that is how it was routinely in the sixties. You relied on memory for the lyrics, 'cos you could never hear them at a live gig in a large hall or outdoors. The visuals were king !
Pink Floyd were the first big band to start, and were pop artists at that time. Impossible to believe almost, but they had had two recent hits and were thought of as a psychedelic pop band. They were really terrible. The light show was truly pathetic, although credit where due, they were pioneers of the art form. Someone with an overhead projector had sheets of acetate with globs of oil on them, making the globs roll about on the plastic. The globs were projected onto a bed-sheet. You couldn't hear the vocals and the volume was too low to hear the instruments. It didn't quite attain the standard of amateurish. I think The Move came on next, and were one of the best bands on the bill for impact and sound. They got a bit of life into the audience and impressed me more than I expected.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience- Barbeque 67 . Thanks to Pennie Limming for the pic and cuttings.
Pink Floyd and Move were classed a the two 'psychedelic bands' on the billing. Next came the two 'Blues Bands'. I think Hendrix started first and was loud, vocally incompetent, irritable and a male Diva! Everyone loved him though. He played his guitar with his teeth on 'Hey Joe', stuck the headstock of his Strat throught the mesh of his Marshall stack, threw a guitar into the amp and created a bue flash and smoke, and generally gave a show to remember. His sound balance was dreadful. This was normal at the time. Cream came on next, I think. Eric Clapton had been eclipsed by Jimi recently in the musical press. However, he was miles better than Jimi on that day. He was competent on the guitar, you could hear his playing clearly, and the vocals were good from my standpoint. This was the first time I had seen him play his psychedelic SG and it was visually stunning. He played 'Sunshine Of Your Love' (pre release?) and it was awesome. This was also the first time I had seen him with a perm and with Hippie garb. The bass was inaudible but Jack Bruce had a striking presence. They may not have been at their best in audio quality, but their personal presence was immense. They were some band. Not eclipsed in any way!
Then Zoot came on. The Big Roll band were so professional, Dusk was setting in, and the atmosphere was great. They were so much more professional than the previous bands and you could hear what they were doing. I didn't like their stuff really - it belonged to a half-a-generation before. But you can tell quality when you hear it. And Zoot had tried to help us with the tickets!
Then Geno. I had really come for Hendrix and Cream, but I have to say that Geno stole the show. He was awesome and created an atmosphere you could cut with a knife. Everyone was silent in his quiet moments, and went wild in the loud passages. Everyone sang, shouted and tried to dance in the melee. They pointed their hands into the air. Hard to believe that Geno is not a major star today. He had the audience in the palm of his hand.
What a great gig! And all over by 11!
Stuart Colkin writes
© Maurice Tarlo
Local Lad Robert Goodhand has sent this recollection .
Eventually the set did settle down and I think "The Wind Cries Mary" might have been a high spot - his new release. But it was all over in half an hour (that set) and we were trudging out having a distinctly cheated feeling about the whole thing. Nothing much was said at school next day (my calendar tells me it was a Monday night).
Sounds Force Five was the local band - guitarist Rob Munton in my year at school and I think now living in Australia, and drummer Fred Ward (sorry can't remember the others). They were crammed on the side of the stage with the unenviable job of filling in as each band's equipment was lugged on and off.
They did a game job but didn't have the equipment to fill a venue that size and it didn't seem like the organisers were prepared to let them use the house pa.
Curiously I can never remember asking Rob afterwards what it was like and did he get any autographs etc? It all seemed such a non event. The local hotel, Red Lion now has a plaque "Jimi slept here" - not clear if that was while waiting to be served a pint of beer or that he actually stayed there overnight.
Sorry to be so negative but that's the impression it left.
Found your site regarding Barbeque 67.
Unfortunately, I missed the support cos the queue was so long. But I do remember hearing these amazing sounds coming from inside.
The heat was terrible and poor Jimi Hendrix had a terrible time tuning his guitar. While he struggled the crowd grew restless and a pratt (me) shouted out "Give it to Eric."
Eric, as you know, was "God" at the time before he discovered Armani suits.
That was not my 15 minutes of fame, more 5 seconds of infamy.
Here are my memories of that weekend:
I drove to Spalding with four of my school friends in a station wagon borrowed from one of the boy's father. It was my first big Pop concert. I don't remember it being called a Barbeque, it was just a chance to see and hear some great pop groups. I was seventeen and we started from Chemsford, Essex on a lovely summer's day. The car had a Union Jacked taped to the bonnet and we all thought we looked pretty cool in out semi-hippie attire. We stopped off at a pub for lunch and picked up a couple of girl hitch-hikers who we also from Chelmsford and going to the concert in Spalding.
When we arrived at Spalding, we found the car park near the Tulip Bulb Auction Hall and parked the car among thousands of other cars. There were huge crowds of people and the first thing I remember when we got out of the car was to see a "rocker" on his motor cycle ride in to the car park accompanied by derisive jeers from this sea of peace loving hippies who immediately set about the poor guy and beat the crap out of him. "A nice peace loving place", cracked one of the boys I had traveled up with.
Whoever was "organising" the event, started letting the huge crowd into the hall sometime before the concert was about to start but it was a complete schamozzle. There were thousands of people who were being let in one at a time through a single entrance door. We queued for ages but got nowhere. We could hear Pink Floyd play Arnold Lane and See Emily Play but have no idea if it was live or from a record, we never got in to see them. We gave up and went over to the pub with the two girls.
When we came out several hours later, the queue at the entrance door was at least moving and we queued up again. When we finally got in, we found ourselves in a huge hall and I think Zoot Money was playing. I somehow managed to worm my way near to the stage and remember Cream playing Toad. I thought I was a bit of a drummer in those days and stood entranced as Ginger played Toad exactly drum beat for drum beat like the record. The only thing I remember about the Jimi Hendrix Experience was Jimi trying to get some feedback from the amps and a roadie trying to stop them crashing like a pack of cards. The scene was very similar to the photograph on the cover of the Jimi bootleg "Listen To This Eric".
After the concert, we drove to the coast somewhere and slept in the car. The two girls had long since disappeared. We spent Sunday morning in some seaside fun fair eating candy floss and chips. When we got back to the car, my friend was greeted with a parking ticket on the windscreen. The only thing left was to drive back to Chelmsford. What a week end!
If anyone has the Cream "Tulip Bulb Auction Hall" bootleg CD, I would love to trade. You can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
© Maurice Tarlo
This is amazing and thanks to Google I found it. We came up from Abingdon and a school friend's Dad took us all up in a van of some kind. This was my first ever gig and I can recall coming in to see Pink Floyd playing on a small set at the back of the room. We saw the whole of the rest of the set from up at the stage and strangely I had forgotten that Cream played. My biggest memory is that Jimi kept us waiting for ages and he irritated everyone so much that he received the slow hand clap. When he came on his mood was awful and he played a short set and finally pushed all the amps over and stormed off!
It is fascinating to see the ticket as I didn't save this one but have a collection from most other gigs I have been to. I have often wondered why apart from the line up we all went miles to Spalding and now I see it was the flower festival. I recall the big "cow shed" and remember at the time being concerned about the use of UV strip lights.
An amazing experience and the next time I saw Jimi was at the Isle of Wight !.
Great to find your site...l was "Fred Ward" in the supporting band SOUNDS FORCE 5...the other members were Stuart (Len) Doughty on guitar/organ, Rob Munton on Guitar/vocals, Alan Turnell on bass/vocals and Mick Peacey on lead vocals.
Our job was to play the most at Barbecue 67, by playing in between everone of the top name bands. So the audience saw more of us than anyone else. we had been down to Carnaby Street for our outfits just for the event.
The first band on was Pink Floyd, and believe it or not hardly anyone wanted to know them...the place was empty....and l dont think anyone understood what they were about.
Theres so many stories to tell on the "gig"....like how the audience pushed forward and people became trapped UNDER the make shift stage. We could see hands and fingers poking through the cracks in the stage floor, it was weird.
© Maurice Tarlo
Another story is how the early crowd were somehow let out through the side doors...due to sheer capacity, and the crushing....many of these people went round to try and get back in but were charged £5.00 by ticket touts in the car park.
You must remember thart this event predates Woodstock, and The Ilse of Wight Festivals etc...this was really THE first ever Glastonbury, and it attracted massive crowds, all of whom wanted to get in but couldnt, so they took their anger out on local shops.
The most popular bands were Geno Washington, Cream and of course Jimi Hendrix Experience....l sat and chatted with Jimi who seemed to be alone, and separate from his bass player and drummer.
Suddenly the dressing room doors (actually it was a large trailer), burst open, and crowds of people shouted THERES JIMI, and grabbed my yellow frilly shirt, which they thought was his. They ripped it up between themselves and ran back into the Car Park waving the shirt in the air saying...."we've got Jimis Shirt"
Jimi was in a bad mood though and was late going on....the sound was awful, so he took it out on his equipment smashing his amps and setting fire to his guitar....l've no idea what happened to the guitar, but chances are it ended up on the town dump with all the rubbish. Can you imagine its value nowadays?????
l will never forget the event. Later Sounds Force 5 went on to play all over the East Midlands with many of the top bands of that era, the Yardbirds, Amen Corner, The Small Faces etc. We later changed our name to TUESDAYS OUTCOME.
We had many chances of stardom.....by way of recording opportunities, overseas tours, national tours etc....but we were young, and 5 people can never agree.....Alan Turnell was the first to leave the band...he left to go and live like a hippy in St Ives, Cornwall, which was all the rage at the time.....l then left to work with other musicians, concentrating on writing new orginal material.
My second band which was unnamed at the time created a major interest with MCA Records, and a Regents Street based agency, headed up by some-one called Bernard Lee who used to work for NEMS with Brian Epstien. His partner was Michael Grade, and the company was called Grade Lee Productions....they had great plans for us, but argueing amongst these new musicians blew it.
l still have my drums....but now l am a promoter.
© Maurice Tarlo
Hi, I along with a couple of friends were asked by Brian Thompson to serve drinks. Cokes cost 1s 6d and we sold thousands, it was non stop for hours & hours. We only had hand held bottle openers and our hands were raw by the end of the night. We couldn't see the bands and all took it in turns to have a break to see some of the action, I chose to watch Jimi Hendrix an EXPERIENCE I will never forget. For all the hours of hard slog we got paid £5 +a lift to and from Grantham but hey I was there.
N.S.U., Sunshine of Your Love, We're Going Wrong, Steppin' Out, Rollin' and Tumblin', Toad, I'm So Glad
Please do not ask uis if we can provide a copy of this show , trade for it if you need it .
Thanks to Pennie Limming for the cutting
At Spalding I saw Jimi Hendrix standing there, singing and playing as well as he ever could have done in his life. Foxy Lady was a treat, The Wind Cries Mary close to perfect, but by far the best was Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone". Just imagine the soaring guitar riff between each verse in Jimi's hands, note perfect, with the man totally enjoying what he was doing. I can see and hear it now.
We were standing about 6 back from the stage. As we knew what we were doing at big gigs we never gave up this prime site. One of us would go all the long long way back to the bar for refills when needed, and of course we'd take turns going for a pee. The sound system was about normal for the time (inadequate for most people in that huge space) and we had it about perfect. I also saw all of the bands close up and cannot remember any of the histrionics other people are reporting.
Then again, aged 19. I was organising 'socials' at Lanchester College, Coventry (about 1200 people in on a Saturday night for The Kinks or Soft Machine). Cream were regular visitors (they played a good set at Spalding - up to their usual quality). We knew that Roy Wood's Move, Geno and Zoot would be very good value, which they were, and Pink Floyd? Still a new band with a 'light show', but interesting. They gave a performance which would have gone down fairly well in almost any student union bar at the time. Stadium rock was still a very long long way away.
But Hendrix, for anyone who knew what they were doing at the time, was what made this one impossible to miss. After - what is it? - 41 years, I know I made the right decision to go.
© J Pocock
I was there too, aged 16, and still at school. I lived in Bourne and, because it was a Bank Holiday Monday, there were no buses so I decided to hitch. Well, I walked all the way there and all the way back! I remember that I got there really early and managed to get in about halfway back from the stage. It was really just a big tin shed, with awful acoustics. I remember the security men, such as they were back then, pushing through the crowd to pull people down who had climbed into the rafters. I really enjoyed Zoot Money and Geno Washington (I was a Mod back then) and the Move, despite Carl Wayne, were one of my favourite groups. I wasn't and never have been a Pink Floyd fan. Cream I remember as being very enigmatic, no expressions, statue-like, except for Ginger, who was like a crazy man. I seem to remember that every time he hit his drums hard a cloud of white powder was set airborne - can't think what it might have been!
I was very disappointed with Hendrix who was late coming on, couldn't tune his guitar, played a few songs indifferently and went off. Funnily enough, I was in Peterborough Services just the other night and some young lads were playing Hendrix very loud on their car stereo (about 2am) and I told them I liked the music. I told them I had seen Hendrix and they said Germany?, France? No, Spalding and they were simply gobsmacked. When I told them it cost £1 to see 6 bands, they were even more gobsmacked. I did explain that £1 in 1967 was a day's wages! They drove off shaking their heads in disbelief. I'm not always sure I believe it myself!
Just a quick note to say what a great site with some fantastic contributions. I am promoter Brian Thomson's godson and although i didn't go to the event due to the small issue of not having been born at the time, my childhood was filled with stories of the event and it brings a smile to my face when i read the contributions by people because it reminds of happy days gone by. Sadly, for anyone who has posted that knew him, we buried Bryan to day in Burton Joyce cemetery Notts, he died in an accident two weeks ago. i wish i had found this site before because he would be made up to know their was a site about his gig. Thanks again to the founders of this site, you've shone a light on an otherwise somber day!
to the Spalding Festival with my older brother's college bus from Burton.
© J Pocock
© Maurice Tarlo
Ginger Baker stuck his head round the wings curtain and shouted "Oi!" then Jimi went into his own world, eventually losing his temper and smashing the amp with his guitar. His playing was as usual, pure genius and I was standing right at the front - I'd be behind his legs in the photo you show of him on stage. He could play with just his fingering hand and when doing that 'playing with his teeth' thing, he actually played with his right hand on the finger board and his mouth was a good two inches from the strings. I know because I was at the side of the stage by then and could see him from the side.
Cream came on after him and their sound balance was terrible, but that meant we heard Eric's playing very clearly. Magic as ever. Despite all the well recognised names, the stars of the night were without question Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band. How they never became a worldwide megaband I'll never know. They nearly brought the house down as the crowd went wild.
Raven Club at RAF Waddington was a major venue in Lincolnshire and all
the top bands played there - The Bee-Gees brought in fans from all over
UK, even Wales and Scotland - but I remember Barbeque 67 as the best
night out during my time there from 1966 to 1969 - and not just for
just found your website on ‘Barbecue ‘67’ and thought
I might add my ‘limited’ memories of that day. I’d
be 19 at the time and, if I remember correctly, drove my car with three
friends to Spalding. There was a huge crowd trying to get in and I’m
sure we got in without paying because they couldn’t control the
queues. I recall that Geno stole the show, and that Jimi Hendrix pulled
over two tall amps that were stacked one on top of the other. I have
only faint recollections of Floyd, Cream, and Zoot Money but it did
bring memories back of seeing Clapton playing in the Yardbirds and Ginger
Baker playing for the Graham Bond Organisation at the Il Rondo in Leicester.
Boy, what a drum solo! We were fortunate in those days because most
of the big groups and other artistes were so accessible and often appeared
in the local dancehalls, Spalding was, I suppose, the icing on the cake
because it was the forerunner of many a festival.
We wish to
contact people who attended Barbeque 67 in Spalding, as part of research and
development for a new stage play being written about the event. I would be
very grateful if you could publicise it on your website and/or contact anyone
you know who might be interested.
Associate Director (Engagement)
New Perspectives Theatre Company
Direct line 0115 973 9120
Who can help flesh out the festival with reviews , information, recordings and photographs ?