Sunday, November 20, 2016

Glastonbury 1992, My Tenth Glastonbury.

Plans for a festival in 91 were cancelled. Michael Eavis had a lot to put up with. The local Conservative MP Mr Heathcoat-Amory did his best to get the festival closed down. Also, there was this woman called Mrs Anne Goode who had moved to Pilton. She was a Christian and claimed there were satanic rituals going on and other nonsense. She even had a 30 foot high cross erected on her land over-looking the festival. I have heard, although I don’t know if it is true that these days her daughter rents out their land for luxury camping. How times have changed.  By the time Glastonbury returned in 92 it was getting extremely difficult to get tickets. They had sold like hot cakes. I have already written about our visit to Worthy Farm to collect our tickets from Jean Eavis in my book Vanatic, The Story Of A Van Morrison Fan so I won’t recount the whole story again, except to say that the meeting with Jean was to prove fateful for us six years later. By 1992 Kim and I were living together in our flat in Maristow Street so there was no way I could find an excuse to go on my own as I had selfishly done in previous years. Also, me going with Sara two years earlier had taken a lot of explaining away. The other advantage for me of going with Kim was that her little Fiat Panda had just enough room to squeeze my books in for my bookstall.

Car parking was now well established outside the perimeter. As soon as we arrived in the car-park we were hassled by Hare Krishna’s who wanted contributions for their free food tent. The gates were much better organised by now with proper turnstiles and much friendlier people to greet you on arrival. There was still a lot of wheeling and dealing going on outside though with dodgy geezers selling tickets or getting people in, under, over or through the fence by various means. Once inside we soon spotted Margaret’s bunting surrounding our camping area. The happy Glebeland years were over for us now because that area was no longer a campsite. In 92 we were just the other side of the hedge from where The Glade dance area is now, although The Glade didn’t exist till 2000. We were in a nice spot just off the main drag which was handy for my books and the weather was great in 92. The Hare Krishna tent was just down from us and the queue for their free grub got longer every day as peoples money ran out. We never ate their food though. Me and Kim used to like going to the Wise Crone CafĂ© in the Field Of Avalon which used to have music on in there as well as nice food. Kim really liked the Tiny Tea Tent as well which is still going to this very day.  Across the walkway from us were some Australian girls who were selling hats which they had made themselves. Some of the hats were really tall and others were like jesters hats. They did a roaring trade and those types of hat became very popular for the next few years. You needed a hat that year because it was so hot. I bought one to keep the sun off my head, not from the Aussies but from another stall. It was a nice hippy type hat. The sort of thing a Mongolian goatherd or someone like that might wear. I only had it about two days though. Passing a water tap I thought I’d stick my head under the water to cool off and I put my hat down for just a minute. When I turned around my hat had disappeared. The scallies (thieves) were starting to be everywhere.
I had my books all displayed nicely and priced up. Kim was amazed at how well they sold. Then my friend Dave decided to get in on the act. He had brought along two bin-bags of books of much inferior quality to mine. Things like Haynes car manuals which he proceeded to tip out all over my stall and started shouting, “Any book, 50 pence!”. I had to nip that in the bud pronto and made him flog his wares a few yards away. We had a lot of fun on the bookstall though and on the Sunday evening gave the last few away to passers-by to save the hassle of lugging them home again.

There was no travellers field in 92. After the battle of 1990 Michael Eavis stood his ground and refused to let them in. It was a shame in a way because a lot of them were just peaceful hippies but unfortunately an unruly element had attached themselves to the New Age Travellers. Another much more sinister lot had started arriving at Glastonbury and that was the scally who had come to rob from tents. Some of the bands who were on such as Carter USM and The Levellers said it was a shame that the travellers were no longer welcome. Anyway, to the music I saw in 92. One act that really stands out in my memory was the late, great Lou Reed. Me, Dave, Nelly, Fred & Kim went for a huge walk all over the site and when we reached the Pyramid Stage Lou was on. He performed a great set including Sweet Jane, Walk On The Wild Side, Rock & Roll and finally Vicious. We knew he would be back for an encore and me and Dave had a little wager on what song he would sing. I won with Satellite Of Love and Dave actually paid up!.

By Sunday afternoon there is always a chilled-out atmosphere at Glasto which is just perfect for Van Morrison. Kim and I got right to the front for Van. It was so hot that the security on the other side of the barrier were spraying the crowd with water to cool them down and handing out cups of water. A lot of these got thrown up in the air which was quite amusing. Tom Jones was on after Van but we didn’t bother watching Tom. Glastonbury didn’t used to be all that popular with youngsters who thought it was a boring old hippy fest. In 1992 though they introduced the NME Stage which had acts like Primal Scream, The Orb, Spiritualised, Blur and The Shamen. Gradually Glastonbury became cool to go to, especially later when the Dance Tent was introduced. The only act I can remember seeing on that stage in 92 was Jah Wobble’s Invaders Of The Heart featuring Sinead O’Connor who were great.

The day after we got home me and Kim went down to the coast to chill out for a couple of days and camped at Durdle Door. When we walked over the hill we discovered Lulworth Cove was packed with Glastonbury people who all had the same idea. We even met someone who we knew from Glasto. Anyway, I can’t remember anything else about Glastonbury 1992 at the moment.