Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Steve Winwood and Traffic behind the Iron Curtain

From the Budapest Business Journal:
Traffic, the U.K. foursome famous for their flower-power hit “Hole in My Shoe”, were one of the first Western rock acts to play in communist Hungary. It was 1968, and even though they had sanctioned it, the authorities were less than happy with the band’s presence. 
As the musicians took to the stage, police, uniformed and plain clothed, watched intently for any sign of “irregular behavior” among the crowd, straining to catch the merest whisper of an anti-government utterance. 
But after a couple of numbers, the mood relaxed a little: the crowd, it seemed, knew their limits. It was then that Steve Winwood, Traffic’s front man, calmly announced: “The next song we would like to dedicate to the police. It’s called ‘Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring’.” 
Was this a joke? A provocation? Didn’t these guys know you don’t mess with communist police? 
“We froze. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of kids all froze. Will they stop the concert? Take them away in handcuffs?”

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