At last the home movies!

I’ve been promising for a long time to post the home movie I have of the 1969 IOW festival – and finally, here it is. No sound, unfortunately, but at least it is in colour, as opposed to the uniformly black-and-white footage available on youtube. The vid shows the Edgar Broughton Band, Free, The Who (including their helicopter landing), the arena including the huge ill-fated disco tent, Marsha Hunt backstage, and the scene the day after, including yours truly at 14, lamely attempting humour. Speaking of which, 69ers has had a uniformly excellent reception so far: now I’m looking forward to appearing at Isle of Wight (Newport) Waterstones on Monday 27th June, 7pm (with supporting musicians!), and Southampton West Quay Waterstones on Thursday 30th June, 12 till 2pm.

For those who can’t see the above due to record industry censorship, here is a second version with a soundtrack from my current music project:

IOW69: the Welsh connection

I recently heard that I’m on the shortlist for the 2011 Tir Na Nog award for best English language children’s book with a Welsh connection (Mutiny on the School Ship Bounty). There’s also a Welsh connection to the Isle of Wight festival of 1969 – besides the fact that Bob Dylan took his name from Wales’s most famous poet, Dylan Thomas.

Tommy Farr of the Rhondda, considered by many the greatest British heavyweight boxer, was the father of the 1969 MC, Rikki Farr, the most prevalent voice in Woodside Bay, and Gary Farr, one of the performers on that famous weekend. Tommy fought Joe Louis at the height of his powers, and in many people’s minds was cheated of victory. Rikki, who gets a fair few mentions in 69ers, emigrated to the States after his moment in the IOW sun, while Gary sadly died of a heart attack in 1994.

The next article I post will give the publication date of 69ers and details of how you can get the book.

40 years on – Woodside Bay then and now (edited 1 June due to Sony banning soundtrack)


A – view into car park/west camp field. (Time on video): 0.48, 1.47
B – view from entrance gate into arena: 0.24, 1.52
C – road between arena and disco tent: 1.42
D – view back down Palmers Rd towards Wootton: 1.09
E – view into east camp field: 0.52, 1.21
F – view into field containing shops, info, disco tent etc: 1.30, 1.32
G – view from second gate over arena: 0.32