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Stones In The Park / Life Laundry

14 July 2008 2,074 views No Comment

Wading through some old magazines and papers in the loft last week. I came upon a 1969 NME with the headline “Stones in the Park” – a reference to a review of the famous Rolling Stones free Hyde Park concert. Little did I know that come Saturday I’d be seeing my own version of Stones in the park.

For last night down the road in the nearby Bedford Russell Park, the Stones topped the bill as part of the Bedford River Festival. This festival is one of the highest attended gatherings of its type in the UK with over 200,000 weekend visitors. Held every two years it’s always a good sketch for a bout of organized merriment and in truth I can say its one of those events that has me pushing out my chest proud to be a Bedfordian.  

Back to The Stones. Not THE Stones of course – it was a tribute band called the 21st Century Stones and admiral entertainment that it was, one can’t help but find excuse to extract ‘the Michael’. It was fodder for me Terry and Kam. For a start the singer opted for the 1981 Mick Jagger American tour look where he wore those faintly ridiculous knee pads  (“They didn’t look that good on Jagger let alone this guy” quipped Terry)

They had a Bill Wyman character on bass – cries from us of “Where’s Mandy?” a reference to the real Bill’s ex teenage wife (“probably handing out the school pencils” quipped Terry again). As for Ronnie Wood well we didn’t need much prompting to shout “Where’s the waitress!” – old Ron has been in the news this week in a story that he’s allegedly run off with an 18 year old waitress. It prompted the classic headline in The Sun ‘I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar’ a parody of the opening line to the Human League’s 1981 number one hit Don’t You Want Me – another example of a lyric being immortalized in headline – Stairway To Heaven and Whole Lotta Love are often similarly sampled this way.

The tribute band did get the crowd rocking and on a Saturday night in your local park with the beer tent just nearby and the weather holding up, this version of the Stones in the park was a fun way of spending a summer’s evening – as my hangover testifies.

A hangover assured by Terry buying me a pint of Directors real ale in the pub afterwards in a belated toast he said, to Sam’s just gone 18th. For on that night back in 1990 after the Plant Hammersmith gig, Terry and I whetted the babies head as it were with what felt like gallons of the stuff.

TBL 21 is a text wrap so in a few days we’ll get into the proof reading and final signing off. It’s a welcome few days off work this week for me and I’ll be getting down to a bit of life laundry, the expression given to hoarders like me to shed their junk. I’ve got plenty of it and the good lady is keen for me to sort it so first stop is the loft which is in dire need a clear out.

All this clearing out of the loft brings to mind the time we first boarded it out some thirteen years back when Gary Foy and Tom Locke came to assist. They were convinced they’d find a porn stash up there but the solitary Playboy magazine they stumbled across I assured them was purchased for the famous last John Lennon interview it contained. Honest.

Anyway that’s the task ahead of me this week. Maybe amongst the zillions of books / mags / LP’s / cassettes / 8 tracks / old toys etc etc I’ll uncover that long lost VHS tape marked “Led Zeppelin The Summit Houston May 22 1977 direct video feed” that somebody sent me way back in the early 80’s.

Gary Davies you’ll be the first to know if I do   

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