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Date Posted:17:52:38 05/02/12 Wed In reply to:
's message, "Re: strawberry fields festival" on 05:03:47 01/30/07 Tue
>>This is an excerpt from a somewhat longer story of
>>those times. The whole thing is at:
>>Join the Strawberry Fields group on Facebook and share your stories with others who were there.
>>Strawberry Fields Forever
>>Strange because I remember all of Procol Harem and
>they WERE amazing-the drummer was beyond belief and
>their style had a feel to it like no other band I've
>ever seen-pure magic, but Alice I don't remember at
>all and I brought my own cherry acid so I didn't pass
>out from downers??? Maybe from fatigue because I got
>about 2 hrs sleep the night before waking up next to a
>small bonfire covered with smoke and dirt powder.
>>Let me take you down
>>Ďcause Iím going to
>>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:
>>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:
>>Brian "Captain America" P.
>>Gary "Koko" C.
>>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
>>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
>>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
>>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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