posted 29 June 07 ___

...Jo saw the whole thing; Larry's mate John has the wrong wristband, Larry tries to reason with the security, they won't have it, he remonstrates, things escalate... What follows is hazy, but shortly after this Larry and John are told that they're  being driven to an office elsewhere on site to get the right wristband. They're put into a van under heavy manners. Then driven to a field in the middle of nowhere and kicked out.

Hey Ho. This kind of thing happens to us every other weekend. You'd think that they'd cut us a bit of slack, seeing we're the main turn and we did a storming gig and all.

Helen appears. She's a mate of Jo's  from Manchester and an old friend of mine. She's crying. She's running a stall on the main drag of the festival and she's got John's wife and kid of John in the back and they're  totally freaked out. Larry's partner and child are also on site and they've got no idea what's going on.

We decide to head over to production to see if anything can be done.... I manage to talk to one of the organizers , and the head of security. They tell me that Larry and his friend were using 'abusive language' ... those poor security guards; they're very sensitive, the poor lambs. I'm told the situation 'escalated' .They also tell me that Larry and his mate had been taking drugs and 'appeared to be intoxicated'. No!! Surely not!! Intoxicated? At a festival?! Under the circumstances I feel It's my civic duty  to inform them that I have myself noticed a certain number of festivalgoers whom I suspect might possibly be under the influence of narcotic stimulants. In fact half the people at this lame arse shindig are stumbling around the vicinity out of their tiny fucking minds on drugs. Furthermore, I myself am rushing like bastard off high grade MDMA, whilst simulntaneously becoming extremely angry, which is a novel sensation let me tell you. Maybe this is the feeling those security guards get when they're injecting steroids straight into their jugulars behind the production office...

Fair Do's, most of the staff are trying their best to be helpful...but there seems to be a lack of understanding between the brains of this organisation and the muscle.The security are privately contracted. They don't know who we are and they don't care.The trouble with hippies is they're squeamish about dealing with nasty things like money and power, so they always get the security, and the finances, wrong. And of course this generates the one thing that they can't face: conflict. This makes for moody security guards, and people like us end up getting the brunt of their disgruntlement. (It's instructive that most proffessional, polite and genrally delightful security we ever had were the Hell's Angels at the Bulldog Bash, the annual biker's convention. Here the promters and the security were part of the same organization, with clear, common aim, agenda and set of values.)

It takes several threats of litigation before I get to speak to a couple of the festival directors. The first is an extremely posh hippie with a beard like the Dad from the Modern Parents listens to my complaints with an expression like he's tasting a slightly rancid truffle. 'But what exactly are you trying to acheive?' he wines, poshly. I've heard this patronising whinge several times over the last hour. Well, for starters i'd like to get the lead singer of the band you booked as the main draw to this toerag's convention back on site with his wife and kids, and then i'd like to do whatever It takes to ensure that next time we're asked to play at such an event we wont be singled out, intimidated and ejected after the show you asked us to do.

I get passed on to a very un-hippyish and businesslike man, who is in heated debate with another collegue, whether It's about our situation I can't tell. I suspect he's got bigger fish to fry...He's smart - casual-off duty executive with a very expensive looking watch, and he would be delighted if i just fucked off out of his face forever. He seems to under a certain amount of stress. If anyone needs a Gong Bath, its this guy. At first guarded and defensive, he tries to play down the situation, then he rounds on me for being a prima donna. "So do you think you should be be treated differently from everybody else because you're some kind of pop star?"

Well, here's the thing; they love to book the Alabama 3 for these pseudo-libertarian conventions cos hey, we're a bit edgy, naughty boys who like to rock and roll; we supply an air of proper Dionysian devilry to these fundamentally rather anodyne events. But once they've sold their tickets and we've done the business for them,  as soon as we're off stage, they don't want to know; We're a nuisance. God forbid we should hang around in the crew bar after the show, kick back and enjoy ourselves, be ourselves. I'm sure they'd prefer it we just disappeared. you can bet the promoters wouldn't have let this happen before the show.

Then he hits me with the killer question:

'So what exactly do you want from The Company?'

 Ah, The Company. Ladies and gentleman...the Spirit of Avalon has just left the campsite.

It's a good question. I think at last we might have some common ground; 'The Company' and I want the same thing from each other;  to Cease To Exist.

Continued in part 3


© Orlando Harrison 2007