Your Glastonbury Memories

Sabotage Times readers scramble through what's left of their memories for their best Glastonbury moments, includes weapons-grade scrumpy, toilet vacuums set to blow not suck and an ill-advised attempt to cop off with Kate Moss
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Sabotage Times readers scramble through what's left of their memories for their best Glastonbury moments, includes weapons-grade scrumpy, toilet vacuums set to blow not suck and an ill-advised attempt to cop off with Kate Moss

Suzanne Fitzgerald writes...

Showsec dealing with an over-enthusiatic Van Morrison fan in the photographers pit by putting their boot on his neck to restrain him.....Michael Eavis said "I think we'll use the boy scouts next year."  Showsec never worked Glasto again.....

Keith Allen naked and raging like a toddler on Monday afternoon as the site clear uppers took his tent down backstage - he had been up for at least 3 days and nights hanging around Joe Strummer's campfire...

Tens of Happy Monday hangers-on running riot backstage with fake passes the year they played. Lots of stuff got nicked!

1987 - drug-row Liverpool touts shouting ACEEED get your microdots here - no police allowed on site

1987 - 1989 Mutoid Waste Company and the Convoy roaring around the site on semi-tank-like vehicles with packs of semi-wild dogs and kids in tow - those were the days!

1998 (2nd year of the mud) The year the (toilet) gully-suckers were so pissed off they turned the suck into blow and blew shit all over the Dance Tent before Primal Scream headlined.

Paying the tractor drivers in crates of beer to tow your vehicle out of the mud-swamp - it was the only currency that worked!

Tom Jones in the backstage bar having a pint of local ale - sweet!

The lovely site Doctor - whose jobs ranged from attending births to sedating a maniac who kicked open the ambulance doors and emerged like Travis Bickle straight into the backstage area wanting to kill someone!

5am - a wrecked Transit Van with 3 Scallies off their nuts on top of the transit van throwing gurning surfing shapes in slow-mo thinking they were surfing as it slid it's way down through Babylon from the Green Field.

Mutoid Waste Company and the Convoy roaring around the site on semi-tank-like vehicles with packs of semi-wild dogs and kids in tow.

Robin Turner writes...

I have to say the Glastonbury I always think back to and shudder at has to be my first back in 1997. I was press officer for The Chemical Brothers at the time. Both were playing on the Saturday night. I elected to head down for a quick in and out to see the band. Couldn't be that hard could it? The previous Monday, radio reports had been that the site was under water. It was looking less like a severe weather warning, more like a Red Flag No Swim Zone. On the way into the site, I bought a flagon of cider and started downing it. Halfway down the path and halfway through the loony soup, a bloke with a face like a rotten apple told me the cider he was selling was better. Rude not to. Cut to six hours later and I'm stood in a field, marmalized on a weapons grade mixture of scrumpy and ecstasy, thinking Tom and Ed hadn't put on much of a show. My drinking companion kindly pointed out I'd been facing the wrong direction the entire gig. The next 24 hours got a whole lot worse, until I stowed away offsite in Beth Orton's tour bus, collapsing in her bunk, filthy and stinking, gibbering insanely, missing her entire set as she was playing right then. I still don't think she's speaking to me now.

Jonathan Owen writes...

I never ever paid to get into Glastonbury. We thought that only students and posh kids paid. Over the years the security got more and more elaborate. The first year Oasis played there we all headed down to see them. I'd already seen them a few times that year as their manager Marcus Russell was from Ebbw Vale and he passed a mate their demo tape. It was brilliant and within a few months they were the biggest new band since the Stone Roses. That morning we skulked around the much taller than usual fencing every so often ducking from the security they had. We'd have been rubbish in Colditz because within an hour we were as disheartened as a Welsh football fan after two qualifying games. Suddenly we could hear a commotion and we turned to see a gaggle of Scousers (that's the actual correct English term for a group of Liverpudlians by the way) and they had this extraordinary piece of equipment that I've never seen before or since.

Indeed, it was like that bit in 'Bond' where 'Q' gives him a pen that can turn into a car or a ring that can hypnotise a baby rhino. It was like this retractable safety ladder thingy. Honest that's the only way I can describe it. I looked dumbfounded as it reached over the fence. My mate shook me from my stupor and said 'Come on Jonny! We're in!' and we were. Up and over. A quick shake of hands with the 'gaggle' and off we went into Glasto world. Oasis were brilliant by the way. ;)

I never ever paid to get into Glastonbury. We thought that only students and posh kids paid.

Terry Staunton writes...

1990 was a great year, with the Happy Mondays crew making bootleg backstage laminates and selling them to punters for a tenner a throw.

The NME reviews posse hired a posh van with a built in telly, so that we could watch World Cup games when there was nothing exciting happening on the stages or if the weather was miserable - which turned out to be most of the weekend. However, myself and (I think) Jack Barron went back to watch a game but didn't realise that the engine had to be running when the TV was on or it would drain the battery. Come Monday morning, the van was up to its wheel arches in Monday and wouldn't turn over. We needed a tractor to pull us out of the mud.

Another year the NME posse was stopped at a routine police check about five miles from site. One writer panicked and swallowed his lump of dope, an amount he'd expected to last him the full three days. At first, he was just very thirsty, but then he started picking fights with local security, shouting at bands backstage for being shit and taunting writers from what he considered to be lesser magazines. On reflection, though, it probably wasn't that different from his behaviour the rest of the year.

Matt Weiner writes...

Beckham’s swirling free-kick against Colombia at France 98. I watched it shoulder to shoulder with tens of thousands of others on a big screen in the driving rain at Glastonbury. I was high as a kite and wearing two bin bags for protection. Fuelled by an ecstacy-inspired confidence I did something I'd never done before or since and started a chant.  God knows what it was, but I sung it with such gusto at such the right time, that it was promptly taken up by the entire field. England. Ecstacy. Glastonbury. Bliss.

Ben Lerwill writes...

Hopped over the fence with my friend Mike on the Thurs night in ye olde pre-mobile -phone days of 1998, hoping to meet friends camping inside. Couldn't find them, didn't have tent, waterproofs or cash. Once dance tents closed had to spend night shivering under the mixing desk in front of the Other Stage. After spending piss-wet Friday wandering around shouting 'Helen! Kath!', eventually forced to give up and leave the site the following evening, two knackered imbeciles in sodden trainers.

.. Lou Reed having a roadie to light his cigs ...

Russ Litten writes...

Random Glastonbury Memories ...

... getting a lift from a car full of Welsh lads on our first journey to the festival in 86 ... "we come here every year ... it's like a magnet you see ... the pull is too strong to resist"

... trying to put a tent up at three in the morning, failing miserably and dropping a strawberry each in protest ... thought they were duds, woke up next morning at 8am and BANG! the world had gone sideways in technicolour 3D terrorvision ...

... having to rescue a mate who'd been cornered in the dance tent by a team of dreads from Brum who wanted to chop him up into little bits ...

.... Jonathan Richman in the acoustic tent, stopping his gig halfway through to ask his wife stood stageside what the lyrics were to the song he was singing ...

.... dancing to Orbital and feeling a tap on the shoulder - this boggle eyed kid pointing out a lass dancing with gay abandon - "what do you think to her? she's beautiful, yeah? ... that's my wife ... you can fuck her as long as I can watch ...

... spending four hours trying to find our car on the last day and then finding a strange crusty crashed out in the back seat ....

.. Lou Reed having a roadie to light his cigs ...

... Van Morrison and Georgie Fame delivering the set of the century one sunday afternoon in the blazing sunshine ....

... The Mondays rampaging around on quad bikes in the mud ...

... managing to convince our mate who had done three microdots that there was going to be a mass game of bingo on the pyramid stage with Ken Dodd as the bingo caller ....

Jenni Davies writes...

Pilled up and post Chemical Brothers, I'd lost my cowboy hat and headed to the hills for salvation. There, I saw a man distraught, he'd lost his true love. "Stellar... Stellar" ... he called out in desperation, his eyes red and puffy. But where was she? Clearly an emergency, this was my opportunity to help another human being. Jesus would love me for it. I would find her! "Stellar, where are you?" I called out emotionally to the crusty masses 'til dawn. When the sun came up, I found myself in a muddy heap beneath Romeo who was still on his quest, wailing to the crowds. Next to him stood a sign 'Cans of Stella £2'.

Andy Mitten writes...

Harty said we’d smash it at Glastonbury ’93. He had the idea; I had a car.

“I’ll work tickets, you sell butties,” he said. “We’ll split the money and kip in the car.” We bumbled through the cash and carry in Ardwick the next day as I paid for 200 bread rolls with enough cheese and ham for all.

He didn’t tell me he was a heroin addict. I realised that when we stopped at the clinic in Longsight on the way to Somerset so that he could get methadone.

His brilliant mind made £680 selling tickets to middle class pricks outside the perimeter fence in two days. I made £2 selling shifting two sandwiches to a biker. Harty generously split the money. He died a decade later, still well shy of 40. Never did get over his addictions.

Phil Jupitus writes...

One of the funniest things I ever saw at Glastonbury was during Bruce Springsteen's set in 2009. A large and enthusiastic crowd was enjoying his full tilt brand of blue collar rock. Around 2 hours in to his set he started to play Thunder Road. For devotees of The Boss this is always the zenith of his live performances. I didn't really know it that well but it seemed very nice. Somewhere in the middle of it however, Bruce ran to the lip of the stage and thrust his microphone at the crowd Bono-style for us to all sing along. I am sure that at his own gigs this is a moment of spontaneous choral splendour. However I assure you that the sound of 100,000 people not knowing the words is much more powerful. On the huge screens either side of the stage, a look of puzzlement flashed across his eyes and he turned round to Steve Van Zandt before carrying on himself. That must be an odd feeling for someone accustomed to slavish devotion. The thought that your audience is there not out of love, but mere idle curiosity.

David Whitehouse writes...

Sunday morning, I’d been going since Thursday. I was tired. We had some fireworks, but were confused. My friends didn’t want to wake up the whole of Glastonbury, or even the 20% of it that were in bed at 5am. So they set up a fireworks display in my tent. It was pretty fucking spectacular but I’m glad I wasn’t in it. Which I had been a few minutes before, I’d just nipped out for a piss. When I got back they were arguing with security guards. I was way too tired for that. So I went to watch the English National Opera on my own with a load of laughing gas. I shared it with a girl I met and we spent much of a truncated version of Wagner’s Ring cycle touching each other up.

So they set up a fireworks display in my tent. It was pretty fucking spectacular but I’m glad I wasn’t in it.

Anonymous writes...

Having the mother of all benders around the mother of all camp fires in the backstage area behind the Pyramid stage one Saturday night - and Kate Moss joining the party. By this stage of the festival, I had met my ex-girlfriend with her new fella and marked the occasion by falling arse over tit in the mud, developed a penchant for nitrous oxide and been knocked back by Sienna Miller (although I didn't know who she was at the time). After being threatened with eviction from the site for launching a one-man tirade against Paul McCartney for using the headline slot to do cheesy back-to-back poses with his bass guitarist on album tracks from his very bad new LP, I returned to base whereupon my fold-up camping chair collapsed and I was forced to converse with those round the fire with my feet in the air and my head in a third party's tent. As I felt Moss wasn't properly entering the spirit of things, I asked her whether she'd like to come into my tent for 'a kiss and cuddle', to which she replied, 'Not now, not ever'. Taking this as encouragement I continued my attempt to woo the supermodel for some hours, from the same position with my legs in the air. Distracted eventually by the opportunity to set off large fireworks at head-height across the campsite with a man who I'm informed is now on the run from police forces across Europe, I was eventually accosted by a steward, who for his troubles was told in no uncertain terms where to stick his laminates. When I finally woke next afternoon, half in and half out of a tent and with my trousers round my knees, I recall the sensation that there was something sticky on my bum cheeks. Asking a fellow camper what this was, I was told it was a message daubed in red lipstick: 'The Wicked Witch is dead'. Apparently the work of one Kate Moss and her friends.

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