Ruminating on Roy Harper – extract

Out in hippie-ville we had Hendrix, Cream, Doors, Country Joe & the Fish, Captain Beefheart, Love, Buffalo Springfield, Traffic and Edgar Broughton to keep us going. There were all-night gigs and free festivals. It was buzzing. The venues were cheap and packed and the vibe was positive.

There was ‘2001 a Space Odyssey’ and ‘Easy Rider’ at the cinema. We went to the Electric Cinema and saw Eisenstein’s ‘Battleship Potemkin’ and a number of French movies. Liz was in to culture and introduced me to a wide range of literature and films. She took me off to see ‘Ulysses’ and I thought I was going to watch some Greek epic! That’s how uncultured I was. But I was open to anything and my mind was a sponge.

In my free time I’d browse round the 2nd hand record stores, flicking through the stacks of albums looking for West Coast Acid, British Psychedelic or Blues, Chicago Blues, Country Blues or old Folkways albums with the cardboard sleeves. You’d strike up conversations with fellow freaks concerning bands, artists and must-haves. I still do it occasionally but the vibe is not the same, the albums are no longer a £1 and everything is either overpriced or crap. Even the car boot sales and charity shops fail to throw up anything interesting – or perhaps that’s because I have so much it’s hard to plug the gaps?

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