Reading Festival – 1977

reading-1977

reading77

Photo of Teresa Bassett and plastic bread bags on feet! – see below

Nick Prince… Wow. What a line up.

Andy Gunton…  was at this one too 🙂

Mick Knights… I’ve got photo’s of Hawkwind and Ultavox at this one, must dig the out sometime and post them.

Terry Pack… went to Reading as a punter in 1975 or 76, I can’t remember which, and wondered what it would be like to play to such a huge crowd. In 77, I found out. I don’t know how many people attended festivals in those days. Any ideas?

John Storer… Somewhere in the back of my mind, I seem to recollect that the average daily attendance at Reading back then was about 30,000. Anyway, THIS is the year I went with Neil McGuigan, Matt Brand, Mick Hurton and Kev Potter. Most vivid memory is Jayne (formerly Wayne) County & The Electric Chairs being canned off stage. The only other band I remember seeing was Ultravox (the John Foxx version). I must have seen others – would have definitely wanted to have seen Eddie & the Hot Rods, The Motors and SAHB, but cannot now remember seeing them

Mick Knights… Here’s a couple of Hawkwind

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photos by Mick Knights

Chris Meachen…. Seem to recall being at this one, but it’s all a bit hazy now…

Mark Asseenontv Scutchings-Stevens… I went there !! Had my sleeping bag stolen on the last night 🙁

Teresa Bassett… This was my first festival. 4 of us drove from Lincolnshire in a mini for the weekend. one small ex army tent and no idea what to expect. I remember the mud . I remember Thin Lizzy  even now – Dancing in the Moonlight.  I remember the beer can fights. I remember the toilets.  Only have one photo of the weekend –  me in cheesecloth and jeans and plastic bread bags on my feet. (see top photo)

Paul Morfey… I was there!! Lizzy were amazing!!

Ella Hall… Borrowed my dad’s old transit van and drove to Reading from Derbyshire with some pals from college. The ground was too soddon to pitch our tent so we “moved in” to this seemingly huge army-style tent with dozens of other tentless teenagers. The mud was amazing! Inadequate wellies and a shortage of plastic bags led to us going barefoot. Remember watching Thin Lizzy while dancing in thick mud almost up to our knees – played at seeing how far of an angle we could lean, straight-legged, before we splodged over!!! Festival over, we spent hours towing various small cars off site before heading home. To the owner of the large, canvas khaki, Army-style tent -Thank you!

Paul Morfey… I remember Golden Earring being on stage when we got there, and latter Uriah Heep, going to see them again, this weekend at the New day festival, with B.J.H. ect, Mount Ephraim gardens Faversham. Can’t wait!!

Mick Knights… Hawkwind at Reading 77

photos by Mick Knights

Chris Stratton…Reading 77. Distant memories of carefree days. I was there on the Sunday with my regular concert goer friend Paul Tocock. (RIP) So much mud! First band I remember was the Motors (meh) Next on was Wayne County and the Electric Chairs. They didn’t last long. Halfway through the first song, the stage was under siege from a bombardment of mud & beer cans. County calling the fans a bunch of fucking consumers was never going to calm the situation. After about four songs the band abandoned the stage. A punk band playing to an audience of mainly long hairs in trench coats & Millets afghans was always likely to be a bad combination. The rest? The Enid – Prog rockish but well received due to their charismatic front man. Hawkind – brilliant. Robert Calvert up front playing a huge chunk of their quark strangeness and charm album. Doobies were the Doobies – never a fan tolerable. Last up the SAHB. Classic performance from the iconic showman of the time. He couldn’t sing but it didn’t matter. He always had an audience eating out his hands. Other highlights: At some stage during the day John Peel had the audience singing along to Nellie the Elephant. Went down better with the crowds than W.C. & The Electric Chairs. I needed a piss before we set off home. The smell of the portaloos was too much for the flies. I opened the door and a sea of overfliowing piss n shit greated me. I held on until I found some bushes. My old Morris was a sea of mud. My inadequate plimsolls had leaked mud and water after about two minutes. I’ve never been to Reading since. I suspect it’s a lot for sanitised & corporate – ish these days. Certainly a lot dearer for tickets!

Terry Pack… I’m amazed at the recall of Chris Stratton and others. 42/43 years on, I can’t remember anything much about the day. I suspect I just wanted to get through the gig without making too many mistakes (my usual state of mind). I generally remember more about the transport cafes and the breakdowns on the way to and from the gigs than the gigs themselves.

Mick Curtis… I might have gone to this.

Paul Huggett… Loadsa good stuff on there!

Jacquie Hinves… Terry, weren’t you playing in 77?

Terry Pack… Yes, There’s photographic evidence…

Catherine Ireland… Ooh Terry on the same bill as the Doobie Brothers how wonderful xxx

Paul Jameson… I was there too. I also witnessed and felt the dissatisfaction of the crowd when Jayne County appeared, prior to that the Electric Chairs were sounding quite good I thought, once at the microphone and starting her vocals the mood changed and soon the beer and clumps of grass and mud descended on the stage. I was (un)lucky enough to be in the pit and a lot of it dropped on us, it resembled something like a battlefield watching it all fall from the sky. The two stages were set with equipment for quick turn around and behind the Chairs were the sparkling drums and other equipment of the Doobie Brothers. Roadies and stage hands rushed on with plastic sheeting to try and shield the equipment that was getting covered in the liquid – not all beer, but something of a similar colour along with the mud and grass. I actually enjoyed the experience of the music but was somewhat unconvinced about the vocals which you sensed the crowd did not like. I was fortunate to be able to change my soaked clothes backstage as I had a pass and made it back to see the Doobie Brothers who seemed to fill the stage with the size of the band and their shiny equipment survived the earlier onslaught. JC and the EC have stayed in my memory because of the flying objects on the final day along with Frankie Miller’s set but like others seeing and hearing Phil Lynott was sublime on the Saturday. It was certainly a full range of music played over the whole three days and as mentioned elsewhere Hawkwind gave an ethereal sound to the festival and SAHB to me were up there as one of the best. Golden Earring played and closed on the first night along with Eddie and the Hot Rods and the established sound of Uriah Heap all of whom I liked a lot. John Foxx and Ultravox I was in awe of, as I had played their album to death in my bedroom, speakers blaring when my parents were out and hearing them live was brilliant. Steve Tyler was another vocalist I was looking forward to hearing, a friend got married the same day and I snuck away early from the reception just so I could watch them, even though I had a pass I stayed outside on Richfield Avenue as in those days you could see and hear quite clearly everything from the low fence and so I got no mud on my shoes whilst watching the microphone stand resplendent with the multicoloured streamers flailing around the stage as ST put on his show and the rest of Aerosmith did not disappoint either. Graham Parker got us singing along which was a great way to get us ready for Thin Lizzy. I do miss the early days music of Reading Festival, my home town. I have been to many more there over the years and even when not there in person, thanks to the wind I could often hear most of it when opening my bedroom window. Rod Stewart and the Faces were really loud one year, I actually heard their whole set from my room. Thanks for the memories Reading.

Hugh Morgan… I worked at Reading Festival 1977, in part on Gate entry. This meant I had a back stage pass and got to see several of the bands from the vantage point of being on stage. I was standing by a speaker at the side of the when Wayne County and the Electric Chairs got pelted. I certainly remember the first bottles and cans hitting the stage floor, bouncing up, spray spewing out and the anxious exchange of looks between band members. Deciding it was too hot to handle they suddenly belted off stage. The guitarist ran past me looking quite terrified with his guitar lead still in the amp. At the top of the rear wooden walkway from the back of the stage to very muddy ground a long way below, the lead shot out of the guitar or perhaps it was the amp, and catapulted him down the walkway where he ended up in the mud face down, still holding his guitar. The contrast with Lizzy couldn’t have been greater – a really energised and skilled performance and it remains a delight for me today to know that I had been on stage watching them so closely for a few numbers. There was a queue of backstage pass people waiting to get on so I couldn’t stay for long. Was also on stage for John Miles, Ultravox and Graham Parker but none of those matched Phil Lynott and co. The other thing I can remember from that festival was directing a massive open-top American car containing members of Uriah Heep to where they should park. They were friendly enough. Also I recall the shout going up for us to repel gate crashers breaking down the fence, looking to gain entry for free. 77 was my last Reading Festival – having been there each year from 1973-77. Friday nights for me were never same after Rory Gallagher stopped playing the closing set on the first night . Rory playing ‘in my home town’ with 30,000 all clapping in unison with him. Magic!

 

6 thoughts on “Reading Festival – 1977”

  1. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I seem to recollect that the average daily attendance at Reading back then was about 30,000

    Anyway, THIS is the year I went with Neil McGuigan, Matt Brand, Mick Hurton and Kev Potter. Most vivid memory is Jayne (formerly Wayne) County & The Electric Chairs being canned off stage. The only other band I remember seeing was Ultravox (the John Foxx version). I must have seen others – would have definitely wanted to have seen Eddie & the Hot Rods, The Motors and SAHB, but cannot now remember seeing them

    Reply
  2. This was my first festival. 4 of us drove from Lincolnshire in a mini for the weekend. one small ex army tent and no idea what to expect. I remember the mud . I remember Thin Lizzy even now – Dancing in the Moonlight. I remember the beer can fights. I remember the toilets. Only have one photo of the weekend – me in cheesecloth and jeans and plastic bread bags on my feet.

    Reply
  3. Borrowed my dad’s old transit van and drove to Reading from Derbyshire with some pals from college. The ground was too soddon to pitch our tent so we “moved in” to this seemingly huge army-style tent with dozens of other tentless teenagers. The mud was amazing! Inadequate wellies and a shortage of plastic bags led to us going barefoot. Remember watching Thin Lizzy while dancing in thick mud almost up to our knees – played at seeing how far of an angle we could lean, straight-legged, before we splodged over!!! Festival over, we spent hours towing various small cars off site before heading home. To the owner of the large, canvas khaki, Army-style tent -Thank you!

    Reply
  4. Reading 77. Distant memories of carefree days. I was there on the Sunday with my regular concert goer friend Paul Tocock. (RIP) So much mud! First band I remember was the Motors (meh) Next on was Wayne County and the Electric Chairs. They didn’t last long. Halfway through the first song, the stage was under siege from a bombardment of mud & beer cans. County calling the fans a bunch of fucking consumers was never going to calm the situation. After about four songs the band abandoned the stage. A punk band playing to an audience of mainly long hairs in trench coats & Millets afghans was always likely to be a bad combination. The rest? The Enid – Prog rockish but well received due to their charismatic front man. Hawkind – brilliant. Robert Calvert up front playing a huge chunk of their quark strangeness and charm album. Doobies were the Doobies – never a fan tolerable. Last up the SAHB. Classic performance from the iconic showman of the time. He couldn’t sing but it didn’t matter. He always had an audience eating out his hands. Other highlights: At some stage during the day John Peel had the audience singing along to Nellie the Elephant. Went down better with the crowds than W.C. & The Electric Chairs

    I needed a piss before we set off home. The smell of the portaloos was too much for the flies. I opened the door and a sea of overfliowing piss n shit greated me. I held on until I found some bushes. My old Morris was a sea of mud. My inadequate plimsolls had leaked mud and water after about two minutes. I’ve never been to Reading since. I suspect it’s a lot for sanitised & corporate – ish these days. Certainly a lot dearer for tickets!

    Reply
  5. I was there too. I also witnessed and felt the dissatisfaction of the crowd when Jayne County appeared, prior to that the Electric Chairs were sounding quite good I thought, once at the microphone and starting her vocals the mood changed and soon the beer and clumps of grass and mud descended on the stage. I was (un)lucky enough to be in the pit and a lot of it dropped on us, it resembled something like a battlefield watching it all fall from the sky. The two stages were set with equipment for quick turn around and behind the Chairs were the sparkling drums and other equipment of the Doobie Brothers. Roadies and stage hands rushed on with plastic sheeting to try and shield the equipment that was getting covered in the liquid – not all beer, but something of a similar colour along with the mud and grass. I actually enjoyed the experience of the music but was somewhat unconvinced about the vocals which you sensed the crowd did not like. I was fortunate to be able to change my soaked clothes backstage as I had a pass and made it back to see the Doobie Brothers who seemed to fill the stage with the size of the band and their shiny equipment survived the earlier onslaught. JC and the EC have stayed in my memory because of the flying objects on the final day along with Frankie Miller’s set but like others seeing and hearing Phil Lynott was sublime on the Saturday. It was certainly a full range of music played over the whole three days and as mentioned elsewhere Hawkwind gave an ethereal sound to the festival and SAHB to me were up there as one of the best. Golden Earring played and closed on the first night along with Eddie and the Hot Rods and the established sound of Uriah Heap all of whom I liked a lot. John Foxx and Ultravox I was in awe of, as I had played their album to death in my bedroom, speakers blaring when my parents were out and hearing them live was brilliant. Steve Tyler was another vocalist I was looking forward to hearing, a friend got married the same day and I snuck away early from the reception just so I could watch them, even though I had a pass I stayed outside on Richfield Avenue as in those days you could see and hear quite clearly everything from the low fence and so I got no mud on my shoes whilst watching the microphone stand resplendent with the multicoloured streamers flailing around the stage as ST put on his show and the rest of Aerosmith did not disappoint either. Graham Parker got us singing along which was a great way to get us ready for Thin Lizzy. I do miss the early days music of Reading Festival, my home town. I have been to many more there over the years and even when not there in person, thanks to the wind I could often hear most of it when opening my bedroom window. Rod Stewart and the Faces were really loud one year, I actually heard their whole set from my room.
    Thanks for the memories Reading.

    Reply
  6. I worked at Reading Festival 1977, in part on Gate entry. This meant I had a back stage pass and got to see several of the bands from the vantage point of being on stage.

    I was standing by a speaker at the side of the when Wayne County and the Electric Chairs got pelted. I certainly remember the first bottles and cans hitting the stage floor, bouncing up, spray spewing out and the anxious exchange of looks between band members. Deciding it was too hot to handle they suddenly belted off stage. The guitarist ran past me looking quite terrified with his guitar lead still in the amp. At the top of the rear wooden walkway from the back of the stage to very muddy ground a long way below, the lead shot out of the guitar or perhaps it was the amp, and catapulted him down the walkway where he ended up in the mud face down, still holding his guitar.

    The contrast with Lizzy couldn’t have been greater – a really energised and skilled performance and it remains a delight for me today to know that I had been on stage watching them so closely for a few numbers. There was a queue of backstage pass people waiting to get on so I couldn’t stay for long. Was also on stage for John Miles, Ultravox and Graham Parker but none of those matched Phil Lynott and co.

    The other thing I can remember from that festival was directing a massive open-top American car containing members of Uriah Heep to where they should park. They were friendly enough. Also I recall the shout going up for us to repel gate crashers breaking down the fence, looking to gain entry for free.

    77 was my last Reading Festival – having been there each year from 1973-77. Friday nights for me were never same after Rory Gallagher stopped playing the closing set on the first night . Rory playing ‘in my home town’ with 30,000 all clapping in unison with him. Magic!

    Reply

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