Sunday, March 22, 2015

Traffic: Gimme Some Lovin'

The Glastonbury Festival did not become a regular event until the 1980s, but it began to take a fixed shape in 1971 with the first appearance of the Pyramid Stage.

And the festival was filmed, as Glastonbury Fayre, by Nicolas Roeg and David Putnam.

Rob Young writes in his Electric Eden:
Viewing the film Glastonbury Fayre, and photographs of what went on inside that enchanted boundary, is like seeing some superimposition of William Morris’s Earthly Paradise, a sanctuary for post atomic-war refugees, and the Glastonbury Zodiac remade as a gigantic bed-sitting room. A transient city of tepees, cellophane sheets and splayed guy ropes. 
Charred cauldrons bubble over blazing log fires; queues snake around outside soup kitchens; the Union Jack flutters with the ying and yang; women cradle kittens and hold wild flowers to their lips; babies crawl alongside basking dogs; couples shyly slink to the edge of a copse. 
Hell's Angels sport mirror-sheen Wehrmacht helmets; flowers are tucked into headbands or drawn on torsos; spliffs are puffed and passed around; Hare Krishna devotees chant over tamburas; pipe-pulling or denim clad vicars join throbbing circles of Jesus-haired dancers. 
Impromptu spontaneous music ensembles band together and march through the site with fifes and drums. Baked revellers clatter empty coke cans together, bash tambourines, blow recorders, tin whistles; ocarina; greet the morning sun with yoga, ivy wreaths and hands clasped in prayer. A wrecked car lies half-buried in a makeshift grave. You can almost smell the mingled aromas of charred corn cobs, veggie burgers, natural body odour and humming latrines. 
Above all, there are outbreaks of decidedly unEnglish nudity and hedonistic dancing, whether to Fairport Convention’s electric jigs, or to the 4/4 power stomp of Traffic’s ‘Gimme Some Lovin’’, or the shamanistic space ritual of Hawkwind.
You can see those photographs on the UK Rock Festival site's pages for Glastonbury 1971.

And you can also watch Traffic in my video. The crowd includes a kooky chick with a piece of pink plastic and the celebrity drug dealer Howard Marks.

This is the larger version of Traffic that toured in their later days. The bands includes Leicester's Rick Grech on bass and founding member Dave Mason on guitar.

Mason was thrown out of the band by Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi for writing "Hole in my Shoe", but made intermittent returns, He does not seem to be enjoying himself much here and these days tends to appear as the black-hatted bad fairy in films about Steve Winwood.


wolfi said...

Thanks for this, Jonathan!
This is still one of my favourite tunes - a local German band called "Ernest and the Hemingways" still plays it regularly. They consist of amateurs but have been playing for 40 years now:
I hope you don't mind me linking this again to the Steve Winwood fan page on facebook as I did before.
Btw I think the song was called hole in my shoe ...

Jonathan Calder said...


Yes, you are welcome to link to it and many thanks for the correction.

I think it was House for Everyone that Jim Capaldi hated the most.

Anonymous said...

Happy memories ! I parked the car on a grass verge ... when I returned a few days later there was no sign of the car ! Some consternation until a villager informed us that the police had move (towed?) all cars into a field and there it was. Quite symbolic of the whole time: no hassle.

Having been to school nearby it all seemed familiar and 'natural'. Off course it wasn't. We were all just totally mad and in a state of mass delusion.

The black and white images are evocative.