Enjoying Glastonbury 2022 from the comfort of a home cinema reminded me of the years we enjoyed Reading Rocks. These few photos and fuzzy memories are all that remain. It looks far smaller in scale and so much more relaxed than the big festivals we see on the TV these days. The music reached everywhere on the site but on the stage was “over there”, some way away from our spot on the grass field. Although there was an Eidophor, the big television screen which showed close-ups of the musicians in black and white, but the picture was dim and hardly worth it, even after dark. I recall we laid back and enjoyed the sunset and the moon amongst the smells of cooking on camping stoves and the burger bars at the edge of the field.
The set-lists have since been re-published on the web: I think our house-share must all have been there for Steve Hackett (guitar, ex-Genesis) on the Saturday and Peter Gabriel on the Sunday. Certainly headliners Thin LIzzy but also the early Motörhead and possibly also the Scorpions attracted me. We would all have been there for The Police on the Friday. And we left knowing many more bands: it was an impressive line-up, including the US artistes.
Tim, his younger brother and I went home each night to our house in Twyford nearby. We resupplied next day Paul and his girl-friend who stayed overnight with a tent and camping stove and kept our spot.
Those were the days of the star guitarists who were as famous (or more so) than the bands they played with. Peter Gabriel, Ian Gillan of course. We’d seen Steve Hackett at Hammersmith Odeon as his solo album “Please Don’t Touch” was a favourite of our house-share. Seeing Nils Lofgren’s name on the set-list reminds me how I already knew of his name (because I’d heard him and been impressed) when he started playing with the E-Street Band.
Paul (cooking), with g-f and Tim
New scans (Epson Perfection 4990) of my 35mm Vericolor II negatives type 5025, ASA 160, exposed with my Olympus ED rangefinder compact camera.
READING ROCK FESTIVAL ’79 - “READING ROCKS” - 19th NATIONAL JAZZ BLUES AND ROCK FESTIVAL
Friday, August 24, 1979
Doll By Doll
Motörhead (special guests)
Bite the Pillow
Punishment of Luxury
The Police (headline)
The Tourists (support)
Saturday, August 25, 1979
Cheap Trick (special guests from the USA)
Little Bo Bitch
Root Boy Slim & The Sex Change Band with The Rootettes
Steve Hackett (support)
Thin Lizzy (headline)
Sunday, August 26, 1979
Climax Blues Band
Molly Hatchet (special guests from the USA)
Peter Gabriel (headline)
The Ramones (special guests from the USA)