As i walked back down the lane in the evening sunshine i could hear THE SPECIALS on the Pyramid Stage who were going down a storm especially when they slagged off the BNP.I had nearly an hour to kill before Neil Young so i had a choice between THE DOVES on the John Peel Stage or FAIRPORT CONVENTION on the Acoustic.I opted for Fairport because it was nearer and also because they used to be one of my favourite bands.I arranged to meet Margaret by Info at the the front of the pyramid at 9.45 and dashed off to the Acoustic.FAIRPORT CONVENTION are one of the most important groups in British music history,they invented the folk rock genre and had such people as Sandy Denny and Richard Thompson in their golden era of the early 70's.They first played Glastonbury in 1971 when they were in their hey day.I think they still have two members from that era.I think i recognised Simon Nicol and Ashley Hutchings but i might be wrong.Like me they are a lot older now and i hadn't seen them for 30 years.I stayed for about 5 numbers including Walk Awhile from the Full House album which you can see in the video.The man who put the video on youtube has done some great video's at Glastonbury including Leonard Cohen last year so check him out.It was great to see Fairport after all these years but i wished they had a girl singer to do justice to the great songs of Sandy Denny.
I got to Info a bit early and got chatting to this youngster who was getting excited about NEIL YOUNG, "Neil is gonna blow this f***ing place apart",he exclamed.Thats one of the many things i like about Neil,of all the survivors of the 60's he is the one who continues to draw new fans.I suppose it is because of his influence on Kurt Cobain and Pearl Jam and being'The godfather of grunge'.I have been a fan ever since i first heard After The Gold Rush in 1971 and although i have lost track of his work in the last 10 years or so i still rate him up there with Bob Dylan and Van the Man as all time greats.Anyway, along came Margaret and we got right up close to the barrier.On came Neil and began with Hey Hey My My.It was brilliant and a real thrill for me to see Neil on stage because this was the first time i had seen him in nearly 40 years of being a fan.Mansion On The Hill followed and then Are You Ready For The Country? which was really appropriate on this beautiful summers evening. The sun was setting over Avalon as we stood in the west.Spirit Road followed and then the epic Words,Down Through The Line Of Age which was awesome.It lasted about 10 minutes,boy does Neil love that electric guitar.I'm not sure but i think he did Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere about now.
We decide to move back a bit and join the others near the mixing desk because at our angle we couldn't see the band so we headed through the vast crowd.As we were pushing our way through somebody said"Hello",it was Sharon from Trowbridge who i hadn't seen for donkeys years.I stopped to say hello and in a split second i had lost Margaret,i shouted but although she was only 3 yards away she couldn't hear me and disappeared through the crowd.When i reached where i thought the others were i couldn't find them.Lots of people bring flags so their friends can find them but those flags get on my nerves.During another epic performance the following night i could hardly see the stage for the bloody flags.I think they should be banned.
I was left to enjoy Neils epic performance on my own.Cinnamon Girl followed and then Mother Earth and a supurb acoustic The Needle And The Damage Done which Neil wrote for his friend Danny Whitton.It was like a tent peg through the heart.I was deeply moved.Comes A Time followed and then Unknown Legend, one of my favourite songs from Harvest Moon,"She rides a Harley Davidson",i sang along.Neils only UK hit single Heart Of Gold followed and the crowd sang along.Down By The River was the third song from the Everyone Knows This Is Nowhere album.Get Behind The Wheel was followe by the awesome Rockin' In The Free world.I thought this must be the end because he was due to finish at 12.15 and i wanted to get a drink before 100,000 people had the same idea.I stupidly missed A Day In The Life which back at the campfire they told me was supurb.It was a great song to end with because with the Michael Jackson news 'I read the news today, oh boy',it took on new meaning.I have seen some great performances at Glastonbury over the years and i knew this Neil Young show was right up there with the best of them.
It was 2.30 when i made my weary way back to my lonely little tent.I had been up for 22 hours,i was mashed.The next day i was to witness two more performances by North American acts that would rival even Neil for sheer brilliance.
To Be Continued.............................................