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Subject: Re: strawberry fields festival


Author:
Tom M
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Date Posted: 19:00:19 05/22/04 Sat
In reply to: Arlene 's message, "strawberry fields festival" on 19:49:39 04/10/04 Sat

This is an excerpt from a somewhat longer story of those times. The whole thing is at:

http://www.monmouth.com/~tamatthews/pirates.htm

-----------------------------------------------------------

Strawberry Fields Forever


Let me take you down

Ďcause Iím going to

Strawberry Fields

Nothing is real

And nothing to get hung about

-John Lennon, Strawberry Fields 1966





In August of 1970, we heard about a Canadian rock festival called Strawberry Fields. It was to be held in Moncton, New Brunswick. Rumor had it that one of the organizers was none other than Dr. Winston O Boogie himself, John Lennon. Scheduled to appear were:

Procol Harum

Mountain

Jethro Tull

Jose Feliciano

Ten Years After

Sly and the Family Stone

Grand Funk Railroad

Alice Cooper (must be some female folk singer, eh?)

This could make up for missing Woodstock, just about a year earlier. By this time the "Asbury Street People" were fully organized and we were not about to miss this one. I will attempt a listing of those who were there, in no particular order:

Anne Furlong

Keith S.

Curtis W.

Brian "Captain America" P.

Gary "Koko" C.

Billy G.

Katie F.

Nancy F.

Freddie S.

Twiggy

We set out hitchhiking in small groups on Tuesday or Wednesday, to give us plenty of time to get there for the start on Friday. My traveling companion for this trip was Keith S. from good old First Baptist Church. We were all supposed to meet at Lake George, spend the night, and head out again for Moncton, but Keith and I got a good ride that went way past Lake George. We figured that we would probably get there kinda early, but that was OK with us. What we did not know was that the festival had been moved from Moncton to Mosport, Ontario, about 800 miles west!

The ear infection that I had picked up at Powder Ridge was in full bloom by now. I remember waking up in a ditch by the side of the road somewhere in Maine, shivering with a raging fever, and not believing how cold it was in August. We were almost to the Canadian border in Maine when some guy in a blue pickup truck (Stephen King, maybe?) picked us up and told us about the festival being moved. We decided that before we could hitch another 800 miles, we had to do something about my ear infection. Someone told us that the nearest hospital was in Quebec City, so thatís where we headed off to. In Quebec I got a shot of penicillin and some eardrops for free. God bless socialized medicine!

After Quebec City we headed west towards Mosport Racetrack near Toronto. I had a raging fever and was sleeping a lot, so Keith was doing most of the hitching with me lying on the shoulder of the road. Must have been quite a sight! I woke up once on the side of a busy highway near Montreal and found that we had company, a hooker on the run from the Mafia who had gotten dropped off on the same ramp as us.

We finally arrived at the festival on Saturday afternoon (so much for being early) and snuck in though a well used break in the fence. The first person from Asbury Park that we met there was Anne. We were playing Frisbee while "Strawberry Fields Forever" was playing over the stage sound system. Curtis was traveling with Anne, but Frisbee was a little too physical for his condition, and Iím not sure he was even with us. Anne filled us in on who was there, the acts we had missed the previous night, (Jethro Tull, MountainÖ) and how they had found out about the change of venue when they regrouped in Lake George. We set about finding some refreshments for the nights festivities. I think what I wound up with was Psilocybin and LSD, but do you ever really know?

The performers for the night were Jose Feliciano, Procol Harum, and Alice Cooper.

I think that the Psilocybin was just about kicking in when Feliciano took the stage, and I am sure that I was peaking when he launched into an amazing version of "Hey Jude". I was lying on my back, watching the stars. It seemed that the sky was an immense multidimensional polyhedron with a different colored star at each vertex. I thought back to the other times I had listened to that song, the night before high school started, Menlo Park, and my first psychedelic Romilar experience. I took stock of my situation, in this beautiful place with Anne at my side, and I decided that "Yes indeed, Mr. McCartney, I remembered to let her under my skin, and we are beginning to make it better."

At this point I think that Anne, Brian P., and I were the only oneís left awake from our group, since there were some folks selling sleeping pills as Psychedelics (wonder where the Kilpatricks were). We were waking people up to point out high points of the show, but they would be up for a song or two, and then fall back to sleep.

Procol Harum were next, and they were great. "Whiskey Train" rocked, and they finished with "A Salty Dog". That was one of my favorite songs at the time, and I think that Anne may have first developed a taste for those guys after hearing it under those conditions.

Next up was Alice Cooper.

Definitely not a female folk singer.

After the peacefulness of Jose Feliciano and Procol Harum, Alice Cooper was a shock to all systems. He was a crazed, demonic presence on the stage. He was doing things with screen doors and rubber chickens, and the sound was phenomenal!! We watched him raise the dead with "Black Juju", and then came "Fields of Regret".

The main part of the crowd was in a valley with the campers spread out over the hills on either side. We were watching from the hill on stage right, about a quarter of the way back. The valley was full of smoke from campfires, cigarettes, etc., and the lighting guys were having a great time with it. At one point during the song they turned the entire valley a deep crimson red, and with all of the people dancing, it looked like a vision of the inner circle of Hell, complete with bodies writhing in the Lake of Fire.

All in all, a pretty intense religious experience (give me that old time religion).

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Replies:
Subject Author Date
Re: strawberry fields festivalRockfest7011:00:19 05/31/04 Mon
Re: strawberry fields festivalDave OB (Cherry Acid)05:03:47 01/30/07 Tue


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