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View this site at 800 x 600 resolution or higher for best results. Last updated 2-3-2001

Richard Arridge's Windsor account.

  It was a flyer for the first festival that got us interested, that and an article in IT (International Times -the underground paper). So we wrote to Bill Ubi Dwyer offering our services & received a pile of publicity to distribute. Come August, lying to my parents about where I was going & at the tender age of 17 we headed for Windsor Great Park. 
  It was more like a big picnic than anything with everybody camped under the shelter of a large copse of trees. On arriving & after putting up an ancient tent we consumed a bottle of Glen Dew, a revolting mixture of cheap whiskey and wine. My friend Graham then proceeded to fall over into a bramble bush and badly scratch his face which , in the light of what we did next, was to prove disturbing. Because the next thing we did was to score some acid. 
  This was going to be my first trip. I had read the Electric Kool Aid Acid Test & wanted" on the bus". My friend had done some before & was, l hoped, going to be my guide. Well events get a little fogged with time, we went into town,  liberated some milk from a doorstep, Graham told me running my hand through my hair would let me know when I was tripping! ! Got back to the trees all right to find the tent collapsed. A hopeless attempt to put it up draw the attention of folk around us, a girl asked my name which proved impossible to furnish & caused me much embarrassment. 
  The police wandered around & someone suggested we stay in the trees as they were our friends. The ground breathed & I threw up. With nightfall the stars slid around the sky & a delightfully perfumed wood smoke rose from the fires but so far no music. ln fact as far as I know nobody got it together until late the next day when Hawkwind did their sonic attack. Perhaps this was the best thing as the next year I was severely over stimulated by a much bigger event. 
  For the third festival I had got a large group of friends to come & again helped with publicity even going so far as to silk screen a poster of my own. This time although we camped in roughly the same place there were ten times as many people & several stages offering loads of bands. Once again I dropped a tab only to be told that it was firstly extremely strong & then that it was cut with something nasty. So I freaked out, took all my clothes off & ended up in the Release tent. But before doing that we had a great time loving the music & looking at people. There was a free press run by Albion Free State whose anthem went like this, 

Giants built Stonehenge , giants built this land 
Lets spurt up like mushrooms and seize the upper hand 
We'll build free cities of life and love, 
Get a soul job every second from below & from above. 
Peace is ahead of the grazing of the cattle, 
Death Kulture, death kulture, rattle, rattle, rattle 
We'll open up the prisons, open up the zoos. 
Five dee telepathy instead of bad news 
This country's run on bat scum 
Instead of grail juice 
Sky sisters & sky brothers arise! Black druids arise! workers arise! 
Zombies arise Singers arise ! Harpies arise ! Architects arise ! 
Scholars arise! Arseholes arise! Geniuses arise! 
Thieves arise! Gangsters of love 

  Based in Notting Hill which was , I felt, the only place in London to be, Albion Free State ran a place called the Roxy, had a lot to do with Bit information service & had the talents of one Heathcote Williams ,who won fame & fortune with long poems like 'Whale Nation' & as an actor & playwright. They had lovely, mad ideas like replacing the Queen's head on bank notes by William Blake. 
  The bands were all unknown to me but there were great bluesmen , folk singers & cosmic jammers. Topless girls with painted breasts & Hells Angels who, 1 was told, were looking for me because I'd kicked their tent over as I ran wild & spaced over the site. 
Everybody is Wally 
Every day' is sun day. 
Reality is the basement of utopia. 
  Reality, in the form of the boys in blue, came when they busted the whole festival in a military scale operation which filled the national press for days after . But by then I had long gone.

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