[i] Germany, & Back in London
Helmut and I had decided to drive to Germany in our black cabs to sell our wares at a music festival in the Black Forest. We took with us Sue and Anna and Helmut’s two young daughters, Genevieve & Catriona. We had no trouble entering Germany with our black cabs full of family and boxes of merchandise. Helmut was born in Germany and so he spoke the language fluently.
The music festival was a big success. We sold out on the first day and so we had more time to watch the acts that were performing. These included Pink Floyd & Jimi Hendrix. I decided that I was going to return to Germany the following June but this time with more stock.
On our return from Germany, I found that Monica & Hugo were living together in our flat. Monica was also making wire jewellery; Juan Carlos was not present. I enquired as to where he was and Hugo told me that he was making stock in their room.
One day an old friend of mine, Ginger Johnson, came to the flat to score some dope. He was the leader of a well-known African drum band. He asked me to make him a special piece of jewellery in gold. I bought two feet of 18ct gold wire and asked Hugo to make it into a perfect flat coil for me. After he had done that, I fixed a small ruby in the centre and then I fixed the coil to a round piece of leather; finishing off the pendant with a strong leather thong. Ginger was delighted with his necklace and paid me handsomely. From then on he always wore it and slowly but surely, Hugo’s jewellery started to become a big fashion.
One day I met an Italian blacksmith who told me that back home in Rome, he would sometimes sell horseshoe nail jewellery which he made himself. He showed me a pendant that he had made himself. I loved it, and immediately saw the potential. I arranged with Tonio that I would pay him £200 if he would stay at my flat for a week or so to teach me how to fashion such magnificent pieces of miniature sculpture, which were made of nothing more than horseshoe nails. He agreed to teach mem and for two weeks Tonio and I retreated to the rooftops of London far from prying eyes, bending nails into intricate shapes with no more than a pair of specially shaped pliers.
It was not easy at first. I had to harden my hands by continually squeezing the handles of the pliers. Eventually I got the knack of bending the nails and then came the problem of making the interlocking design. Once that was mastered came the most difficult part of the operation, picking up the formed piece and wiring it together by binding wire around the whole pendant. After Tonio had left, I continued practising and designing commercial but beautiful models until I had 15 original pendants, 4 necklaces, 4 bracelets and a couple of rings.
I was now ready to train outworkers and so once again I put an advert in the local newspaper requiring housebound strong men to earn money in their own home and time. My advert was quite fruitful and I set about visiting and training my new workers. I selected six workers after giving them various tests of different ways to bend the nails. The actual binding together of the bent nails was done with my supervision in the loft by Anna’s brother and me. I set about building up a large stock before introducing my new winning line to the public.
Hugo & Monica were still together but I could see that she was becoming desperate. When the opportunity arose, I asked her how things were going with their relationship. She told me that Hugo treated her like a slave. He had her making jewellery all day but never gave her any money for herself. When she asked him why, he told her that it was because she was a woman. It was becoming obvious to her that he was a man from a culture different than what she could accept. I asked her where Charly (Juan Carlos) was and she told me that Hugo kept him working all the time.
I decided to visit Charly in his sweatshop. He could not speak English very well but with patience we could understand each other. He had come from Bilbao in Spain where he used to work in a watch repair shop, but his ambitions were greater than that of a watch repair man. He had hitch-hiked to London to seek his fame and fortune, but to his despair he was not allowed to work in a normal job because he was an alien and could not get work papers. He met Hugo and they both spoke the same language. Hugo offered to give him employment as his apprentice in return for his bed and board. Charly told me that he was only too pleased to accept. He had learned how to survive without having to be the slave to a work clock. He was ready to work for himself anywhere he wanted.
I offered to let him come and work with me on my King's Road, Chelsea pitch. He could make and sell his own jewellery plus earning a percentage selling my goods. He agreed and said that he would also continue making goods for Hugo but this time he would sell them to him for a very low price.
One day, Charly came with me to visit my customer Cassy, who by now had opened a small wholesale department on the top floor of Kensington Market. His wife, Jenny, took care of the shop, so this left Cassy free to develop his new business. He and I would often leave London and go on wholesaling trips together for days on end. He even had business cards printed stating ‘Cassy & Clive – Wholesalers of Indian & Hippy Handicrafts’. Anyway – whilst Charly and I were visiting Cassy, we noticed that he had a large and varied stock of wire jewellery. Charly decided to buy some, he said to copy the models.
Some weeks later I saw Hugo pitching alone. Monica and he had split and so he was fishing for another woman. His methods were unique; as I have previously mentioned, he was an Indian, a Venezuelan Indian who made jewellery from wire. He was a nice character who was quite striking. He never wore any shoes, and his hair was plaited and went down to his backside. Hugo only wore a blanket with a hole in the centre for his head. The blanket reached to just above his knees and the sides of the blanket were held together by his rope belt. He would work with a small tray on his knees and sitting on a small portable stool. He had a long beard as well and he-would sit on the little stool on the street and make jewellery. He had a board on the floor displaying his jewellery with a little sign saying "God Loves Man and Woman". People that passed would become inquisitive and curious because this man himself looked like a reincarnation of Jesus. They would kneel down in front of him and when they did this they would look at his jewellery, and on lifting their head to look at his face, they would be confronted by his penis. He didn't wear anything under his blanket and he used to say to the girls, "Would you like to just try this necklace on," and they would look at him and say "Yes." He'd get them to kneel down in front of him and then whilst they were kneeling down, he'd open his legs slightly, slide back the blanket.
He had the ability to raise his penis to an erect position whenever he wanted. This is how he showed his wares, and how he appeared at first a reincarnation of Jesus. He also studied the Bible and the history of the Bible, but he was a Venezuelan Indian. He would work with a small tray on his knees, sitting with a small portable stool. When a pretty girl passed, Hugo would ask her to try on a necklace for him to see. If he were successful, the girl would normally crouch down to his level so that he may fasten the necklace for her. If he felt safe, and got good vibrations from the girl, he would open his legs and slide back the small tray, thus revealing his penis. Now Hugo was proud of his ability to make his penis erect whenever he felt like it. The girls would either excuse themselves and split or continue to admire his designs.
Whilst I was watching Hugo arrange a bed mate, I noticed that his jewellery was much more varied and I complimented him on the vast range of designs. He replied by telling me that his apprentice, Juan Carlos, had made them and that if I wanted, I could buy them from him and sell them on my pitches. I declined saying that I had enough stock with my new nail jewellery.
The next day, I went to deliver some more stock to Cassy and he thanked me for introducing Juan Carlos to him and told me that after our last meeting, Juan Carlos had returned the next day and bought a good deal of his wire jewellery stock. Now I understand that Charly had sold this stock to Hugo, telling him that he had made it himself. I must admit, I felt a little sorry for Hugo but he was selling the goods quite well and so he was happy in his ignorance; and anyway, didn’t he create his own Karma?
The nail jewellery was a big success and I felt good that I was giving work to so many disabled persons. I was wholesaling to many other street traders including Paddy. First the leather then the nails and now I was even wholesaling wire jewellery. My pitches were growing but so were the problems; the tax man, the thefts and the increasing police harassment. I had become accustomed to working every Saturday at Crystal Palace open air theatre, a regular one-day music festival. On that one day I sold more myself than any one of my troublesome pitches would sell in a week, so I decided to turn all my attentions to working the festivals.
The 1970 Bath festival was due. It was going to be a three-day affair on a farm in Shepton Mallet. They had already sold 300,000 tickets. All my dope customers were going as well, so I knew that there would be a good market for dope. By now I had a couple of guys selling the dope for me. All I had to do was supply them and they took all the chances for a percentage of the take. However London was dry; all the usual suppliers of quantities of drugs were holding onto them as the price would shoot sky high with such a developing demand. At this time it was not against the law to take or sell LSD, so I saw no wrong in supplying it to those who wanted to take it.
The next day when I went to pick up my Kings Road pitch, Charly told me that he knew a black guy who had a just approached him with a kilo of best Paki Black at a good price. I was wary but Charly convinced me that the guy was cool. Charly told me that the guy was an American G.I. who needed to sell the dope to pay the hotel bills and buy his airline ticket to rejoin his squadron in Germany. The story sounded so good that I fell for it. I told Charly to go and tell the guy that I would buy it from him, but as I was extra-careful, I told him to tell the guy to meet us the next day at 4pm. He had to arrive at the pitch in a taxi. He would pay the cabbie and then get out. We would then pass in my taxi, I would be driving, he would get in the back of my cab and then we would drive around for a while and he would pass the hash through the slit in the dividing window. (London cabs have a glass window between the driver and passenger for security.) I would then examine the hash by sight and smell. It would also be necessary to break it in half to be sure that it was not mixed with any other substances. After I had checked it, I would put it in a shopping bag and then I would stop at a vegetable shop and he was to get out of the cab and go into the shop and weigh the bag. I would be sitting in the safety of the cab outside but watching the dial on the scales to see that the weight was correct. Then he was to get back in the cab, pass the bag, and I would pass the money. I would then drop him off at an undisclosed place and drive away, the deal having been done. That night Charly told me that the guy had agreed to my plan.
Four o’clock the next day, he arrived as planned. Charly and I picked him up. He passed the hash to me as planned. I checked it by breaking it in half and sniffing each side. It was fine. He weighed it, received his money and got out of the cab. As I drove away, I saw a car screech to a halt behind me. The dope sellers jumped in, then as I put my foot down, I heard the siren of the police car. The chase didn’t last long before I was forced to stop or crash. The first police car swerved to a halt in front of me and I was forced to stop. Suddenly my door was pulled open as a fist hit me in the face. I regained my senses to find both Charly and me sitting in the back of a police car wearing handcuffs.
The police took us to the local nick and locked us up in separate cells. Then the black man came to visit me in my cell. By now I realised that he was obviously a plain-clothes policeman. He told me that it was unfortunate that I had been arrested and that originally they were out to get Juan Carlos. They knew that he smoked dope and that he was working without a work permit in a country where thousands were unemployed. I could only presume that Charly had made somebody very jealous or sold wholesale to the wrong person.
The cop went on to say that I could blame it all on Juan Carlos and give a testimony to the fact that I was simply giving him a lift and that I did not know about the dope. I told them that I could not do that and so they gave it some thought. They then told me that I was absolutely stupid for with my record I could go down for many years. I appealed to them to let Charly go as I was only giving Charly a lift and I would do a deal with them. Apparently they were impressed by my loyalty to a friend. They said that they had analysed the kilo of hash and that only a couple of grams on the corner was hash; the rest was compressed henna. They said that if I was really a dealer I would not have made the mistake of buying fake dope. In other words they would keep the kilo and I would be charged with being in possession of a small quantity.
They let Charly go but warned him to stay out of street trading in their area. I went to court some weeks later and all my out workers testified in my defence that I was giving them employment at a time when nobody else would. I also produced as evidence of my productivity, a sack full of nail jewellery. They gave me a three years suspended sentence and a £350 fine.
Bath festival was absolutely incredible; 500,000 people turned up. Helmut and I took the two taxis loaded up with our stock. On the way I bought an igloo tent which is the kind with four inflatable supports. This was to be our home for the next three days. I took Anna, her brother and one of my street sellers, Om. Helmut took his wife, brother and his two daughters. It took us almost 12 hours to get to the festival site which was only about 150 miles from London. The roads were so full, it was like a pilgrimage. Hundreds of thousands of young and old, long-haired freaks carrying their temporary homes on their backs. Three days of freedom, music, drugs and sex and the opportunity for many to experiment with the forbidden.
The festival site would normally be no more than a farm field, usually by a river or ford which transformed into a nude bathing area. The toilet area was a huge ditch hurriedly enlarged as the demand grew, and the contents began to overflow the banks.
For most of the people, there was an opportunity to learn to survive in an ambience far different than the over-protectiveness of their normal environment. This was a chance to experiment with life; a chance to study others of one’s own age. There was the simplicity of the development of a tribe. First, one who was feeling cold would make a small fire to warm himself. Another person attracted by the glow would donate a further piece of fuel and within an hour a newly-formed group of people would be sharing stories, reciting poetry, singing songs and making friends. A tribe with only one unselfish thought, to keep the fire aglow.
Helmut and I sold our wares. I sold over 5,000 Peace signs on the first day. The ‘Peace’ signs were the official sign of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament [C.N.D.] commonly known as ‘Ban the Bomb’. I also sold incense, love beads, leather goods, nail jewellery and wire jewellery. The incense and love beads were supplied by my Indian friend Cassy. Helmut soon sold out of his stock of tie-dyed tee shirts, suede wear and leather belts. We were really extremely surprised at the speed and demand for our goods.
We were festival pirates. We had not asked for permission to set up our respective shops even though there was an area set up inside the main arena for concessionaires, that is, shops which had paid a high rent to be allowed to sell officially. We pirates normally set up our pitches wherever there was most traffic, such as at the entrance to the main arena, in the camping field or by the side of the toilet ditch. The toilet ditch usually did very well even though the smell was sometimes overbearing. Consequently I usually paid a larger percentage than normal to the person who worked that pitch.
We soon learned the various obstacles of piracy. We were without the usual protection of the concessionaires and so we were therefore a good target for the gangs of thugs, which after a few bevvies would be on the lookout for trouble or out to steal whatever they could lay their filthy hands on. I soon learned that of these gangs, the most feared were the Hells Angels, and so I set about befriending their leaders. I realised that if I was in their good books, then I would be able to call on them for protection.
The Hells Angels were gangs of leather-clad motorcyclists copying the American gangs of biker thugs which were known to travel the highways in groups of large numbers. They had their own sets of moral codes and customs. Some of these customs were so barbaric that I think they deserve a mention here; for I was at a later stage in my life to go to teach disabled ‘Angels’ to make a living.
A true Hells Angel would wear a denim jacket and jeans underneath his leathers. The denim must never be washed, and as an initiation ceremony, the rest of the gang would urinate over them. The new member was also expected to perform fellatio with one of the girlfriends whilst she was menstruating. There were many other such customs but I will not waste time describing them.
The groups of English Hells Angels came from all areas and could be seen in their thousands at a big festival. Each group had a leader, who had generally earned his title for doing some brave deed. The others respected their leaders until their authority was challenged and then there was a man-to-man fight to determine who was top dog and therefore respected to rule the gang.
I decided to give the Hells Angels’ leaders special pendants during the Bath festival. I went to their encampment with a special nail pendant that I had made in the form of a swastika. I gave it to the chief and asked him to advise all the other chiefs that I would make each one of them a similar symbol of authority. I went on to explain that as I made each one myself by hand, it would obviously take me quite a while. I went on to say that I would have them all ready by the next festival which was due the following week at Stonehenge.
From then on I almost had free licence to sell at all the festivals in England and Europe. Even the organisers could not scare me away as they did with most other pirates. The organiser’s 100 or so ‘bouncers’ were very aware of the stinky chain-carrying Hells Angels. At the time that I was getting the swastikas made, I also designed a wire fish. The fish is a Christian sign of peace and harmony. I designed the fish to be also a functional item; if the fish’s body was squeezed, the tail would open on the same principle as a normal safety pin. I taught one of my outworkers to make the fish-pendant roach clip. Those that smoke dope will know what a roach clip is, and those that don’t can always ask someone that does.
I gave away over 30,000 of those clips during the festival years. The first 1,000 I threw off the stage into the audience at the Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park. From then on my public relations were taken care of.
The next festival was promoted by the underground magazine I.T. that Helmut worked for. As I was to meet all the leaders of the Hells Angels, I thought it better if I looked a bit like them. I made myself a crude leather jacket covered in studs and in the same fashion as the Sheriff of Nottingham in the Robin Hood T.V. series that was showing about that time. I also wore an eighteen-inch machete which was attached to my thick studded leather belt. To top it all off, I wore knee-length leather boots over patchwork leather trousers which had been specially made for me by Peter Illingworth who was the lead guitarist of David John and The Mood, and who often backed the Rolling Stones. This outfit, accompanied by my various personal pendants and chains, gave a very strong impression. The Hells Angels came to collect their swastikas which I had attached to thick toilet pull chains. It was obvious that they were suitably impressed by my outfit, for even though they were known to wear a permanent scowl, I noticed an occasional discreet smile of secret brotherhood.
The I.T. festival was aptly named ‘Phun City’ and was at Stonehenge. It was not so popular as the previous festivals that we had been to, as it was more of an ‘underground’ affair. Although there were over 100,000 people present, these people were the real hippies; at least they were the readers of the International Times, and therefore were versed in their true rights.
As I approached the main campsite, I saw the sign at the main gates. ‘Welcome to Phun City - No Police Allowed'. It was a private festival and the police were only allowed by law if they were in pursuit of a known criminal. The I.T. paper employed a group of young lawyers to protect them and also an organisation known as 'Release’ which helped to defend young people caught for smoking dope.
The stage was built in front of a small forest. In the middle of the forest there was a beautiful clear water river. At each side of the stage were enormous video screens which showed close-ups of the performers and various happenings around the festival site. The festival security was taken care of by the Hells Angels. They were actually employed by I.T. to see that everything went smoothly and that no police came into the festival site without an ‘Angels’ escort.
On the first night of the festival, a couple of plain-clothes police were recognised amongst the crowd and their faces were immediately flashed onto the 24 foot square video screens. All the stage spotlights were trained onto them as the man on the microphone advised them to leave. The crowd helped them on their way, spitting at them as they ran out of sight of the cameras. I saw their backs covered in spittle. They were lucky to get out in one piece, for if the Hells Angels had got to them, they would have been ripped into pieces.
The police on the outside of the festival site could do very little against so many, so they got on with their normal duties such as directing traffic and giving directions. In other words they were being helpful to the public, and temporarily at least, the public were the long-haired hippies.
The next day the sun was shining, everybody was stoned, the mushroom tea was passed around for everybody to enjoy and the drugs were plentiful. At midday, the main group came on, The Pink Fairies, an offshoot of the Edgar Broughton Band. To everybody’s delight, the group were half naked as they played their acid rock music. The audience loved it, for nakedness was truth. Even before they finished their first number at least half the audience had also removed their clothes. The Hells Angels, feeling protective towards their wards, regrouped and headed for the main entrance just in case. However the police were by now resigned to let it all happen, whatever it was.
The show went on. Those that felt like expressing themselves in whatever way they wanted were not stopped. Love was everywhere. As I look back and think about statistics, I wonder how many babies were born nine months later!
As the sun went down the people put on their warm clothes again but the feeling of togetherness was still there. I can honestly say that I never saw so much as a raised voice, never mind an argument, for those three idyllic days.
The next and last day of the festival saw me totally naked except that is for my money belt. That was the first of many times that I would be seen selling my wares in the pink. From then until the next big festival at the Isle of Wight there were always the small festivals or one-day events. For this reason we were constantly travelling back and forth to London to collect more stock and then off again.
Anna and I seemed to be drifting apart. She was becoming part of the system in which she worked, but she still lived in Shaftesbury Avenue. I decided to take her on holiday after the festival season had finished. Meanwhile, I prepared for the biggest festival of all, The Isle of Wight. I prepared to take three pitches. I would run the main pitch, Charly would run the entrance pitch and Om would run the toilet pitch and sell the acid and dope.
Once again, Helmut and I loaded our black cabs. I was carrying so much heavy metal that the springs were sagging in the opposite direction. I had also scored a couple of thousand tabs of acid and a kilo of Paki Black.
[iii] Isle of Wight
We drove to Southampton and then waited overnight for our turn on the ferry. The next day we drove onto the ferry and made the short crossing to Cowes. The island was packed to its shoreline and we joined the queue of traffic at 6pm. The festival site was only a couple of miles away but it took us 8 hours to arrive near the actual site. On arrival the police told us that we had to park in the official parking area and then walk the rest of the way. I gave them the story that I was a London taxi driver and that the lads inside were one of the group’s sound engineers arriving in advance to set up the equipment. Thanks to the black cabs, we got past.
Once inside, we pitched our tents and set up our pitches. The money started pouring in and I do mean pouring in; so much so that every few hours I had to disappear to another field. I would choose a reasonably isolated area, dig a hole with my big knife and then bury the money. All the time that I was doing this, I would have my pants down pretending that I was having a shit. When I had buried the cash I would then mark the spot by leaving a pile of shit on top of the mound to deter any would be diggers.
The festival grounds were in a valley separated from the sea by a steep hill. Once at the top of the hill, one crossed a narrow field and then only the cliff-top road separated one from the windy path that led down the cliff front to the beach below. 750,000 people arrived at the biggest music festival that England had ever seen. The police once again had no control. I saw one incident on the first day of my arrival which gave me the confidence to sell my drugs, openly displayed on the pitch with even a written card guaranteeing them to be genuine. One guy, obviously testing the police, walked up to three of them at the main entrance and asked for a light. One of the policemen gave him a light and he inhaled the pungent marijuana and then exhaled the contents of his lungs into their faces. They grabbed hold of him but within seconds the police were totally covered by youths. It was over in less than two minutes, The police were left lying on the floor. What could they do? nothing. So the show went on as usual.
The weather was reasonable enough at midday to allow me to work naked but the showers came in the early evening. It was during one of those showers that I got another great idea. I always carried a few plastic sheets to cover my pitches when it rained. During one of these rain showers some young people, along with me, took shelter underneath one of my sheets. It was then that I had the idea to sell plastic sheets at the next festival.
The music went on each night until midnight and started again at 10am. Jimi Hendrix was topping the bill supported by Chicago, Ritchie Havens, and many more whose names slip my mind.
The second day of the festival, I met Hugo and an old girlfriend, Laura. The sun was hot and Hugo and Laura invited me to join them for a swim. Helmut offered to look after my pitch for me and I joined them. The hill was quite steep but once on top, it was worth the climb. The fresh breeze was a welcome change from the fetid smell of 750,000 people trapped in the valley below. The toilets had flooded their banks on the first day and the hamburgers and other foods had also run out. As we climbed the hill I saw the helicopters hovering above the heaving mass of humanity. Some were dropping parachutes of hamburgers, flown in from London by the West End hamburger kings. Others were delivering Coca Cola or even musicians. The roads were no longer passable, it was utter chaos.
Once on the beach below all we could hear was a distant drone. The three of us took off our clothes and hid them in a crevice. There were several hundred other naked people on the beach. Some were simply shagging, others playing volleyball and some just enjoying the sun.
Laura was well endowed for her size. In fact she had one of the biggest pairs of breasts that I had ever seen. Hugo was also well endowed although he had no pubic hair which made his member look even bigger. We had a swim and played a few underwater sexual games with Laura being the mainstay of our games. We then decided to walk along the beach in search of some food. So we walked, skipped, danced, ran. We were oblivious to the change. We had taken a few drags of joints offered to us by people on our climb up the hill and so we were quite high and had the ‘munchies’. We became aware of our nakedness as a BBC Television helicopter came over us and hovered whilst the cameraman was filming us through the open door.
As he flew away, some children ran up to us laughing and pointing and throwing stones. It was then that we noticed that all the other people that we saw lying and sitting by the cliff wall were not, as we had presumed, festival people. They were the ordinary every day mum-and-dad-type holidaymakers. I heard one of the ladies shout to us, ‘Put your clothes on you mucky pups’ but we were stoned and hungry. In the distance we could see a mobile snack bar and that was our destination. As I previously mentioned, we had the ‘munchies’ and anybody who has smoked dope knows very well that means that one has a craving for food. The smoke heightens the taste buds to the maximum.
Hugo always wore a small leather pouch around his neck containing an emergency supply of money. We were headed for a small queue which consisted of about six people. We took our place in the queue, naked but nonchalant. The rest of the people in the queue tried to pretend that we were not there as they filed away with their cups of tea. Our turn came and I ordered 3 teas and 3 pies. As I paid the lady, I heard the police siren and I turned round to pass the snacks to the others. As I did so, a policeman arrived on his motorcycle.
He was very embarrassed at being confronted by the three pie-munching, teaswilling nude law-breakers. When he enquired as to what we were doing, I explained to him that we were having a snack. He really didn’t know how to handle the situation and said he could see that but added that he and everybody else could see that we were naked. Hugo then looked the poor unsuspecting policeman in the eyes and told him that he was not the one that ate the apple that Eve passed to Adam and therefore he was still pure enough to be able to show his father’s creation. Well the policeman didn’t really know what to say except, ‘Now return to where you came from but please try to be discreet as you go’
We understood that we had insulted the false modesty of the nowhere people and so we left and returned to sell our peace signs. We arrived back and descended into the stench to continue working to escape once again. On my return to the pitch, Helmut said that the West End hot dog & hamburger sellers were beginning to fight amongst themselves; apparently over the parachute stock and which pitches should sell it. I didn’t take much notice until the sun went down and we saw the various glows of the burning hot dog stands scattered around the festival site.
At the present moment in time “Survival” is stuck on a reef. We hit the shallows at 9:30am. The reef that we are on was not marked on the charts. There are three of us on board, Luz, Helmut and me. Helmut came to visit us four days ago. It is now 12:30pm and the tide is at its lowest and so we are waiting for high tide at 6pm. The wind is blowing out of the East at about 15 knots. We have put out three anchors so that as we begin to float again, we will not be pushed sideways further up the reef.
Back to the Isle of Wight. On the pitch, a Frenchman introduced himself to me as Baron von Lima. He told me that he had a chateau in France which he had opened up as a drug cure centre. He went on to say that he was sponsored by various well known artists including Salvador Dali. He and many of his patients worked with arts and crafts to help maintain the establishment.
The Baron himself was an immensely impressive type of character. He was wearing a dark green velvet smoking jacket with a satin padded collar underneath which he wore a red silk waist coat with watch chain and fob. His trousers were made of black suede leather and over his shoes he had rubber protectors. His hair was long, grey and tied back with red ribbons forming a bow at the back of his head. He wore an impressive goatee beard underneath a slim moustache. His hands were weighed down by the numerous expensive rings that he was wearing. To top all this off, he carried a silver-topped walking stick in the shape of a goats head.
The Baron was interested in learning how to make the nail jewellery, as he himself also made jewellery from his silverware. He went on to show me twenty different necklaces that he had made from his family’s antique silver forks. The forks bore the Lima crest and the design of each individual piece of cutlery was a work of art. Each piece of cutlery had to be heated up to the exact temperature otherwise the bending, which was done by the same type of pliers that I used, would break off the thin prongs, rendering the valuable antique useless. The Baron and I did a mutually profitable deal. I taught him, that night, how to fashion nail jewellery and he taught me how to turn old forks and spoons into jewellery. To conclude, I stayed with his twenty models and he kept one of each of my nail models. He now had a profitable craft to teach to his people and I had a new line. The Baron often visited me in London after that and made me feel good by telling me that the nails helped them a great deal financially in their fight against the easy availability of barbiturates. They were trying to get amphetamines and barbiturates classified and therefore more difficult to acquire.
At the Isle of Wight, I also met various other people who, as time goes by, feature more and more in my life. I will now introduce them:-
Eddie Sandham was one of my old friends from Preston; he had seen my street trading progress and made his debut at the festival selling plastic flowers with a safety pin attached to enable one to pin them to their clothes.
Ken Maguire another Prestonite was selling sandwiches and tea out of the back of his Volkswagen van.
John & John – John Casey & John Fenwick, both having previously worked for Paddy, had decided to go on their own. They were selling jewellery but the models were different to mine.
Spider was an American Hells Angel chief who was on vacation recovering from a bad accident that had robbed him of two and a half fingers on his right hand.
Pete Duce & Shaun Jones were two more old members of the Catacombs club in Preston.
At midnight, I decided to close my pitch and watch the last group of the day. I rolled myself a big joint and made my way to the main arena. Jimi Hendrix was just starting to play. He was without a doubt, the ‘King’. What a shame that he had to die so young but as they say, ‘The good die young’. The last show was on for over an hour; whilst I was sitting on the ground watching the show, Laura appeared by my side. She looked so different with her clothes on, I hadn’t recognised her. She told me that Hugo was asleep in his tent but she had taken a couple of ‘speed’ pills.
We watched the show together and after it had finished, she asked if she could come back to my tent. She said it and at the same time her hand fell onto my penis. I felt very tempted but I was being careful. I did not know where she came from so was afraid to catch a venereal disease. It was not uncommon for a girl to go to a festival with the intention of seducing as many men as she could in those days. Laura certainly showed all the signs of being one of them. I told her that I was sharing my tent with Charly and Om and besides that, I was too sleepy. I then said goodnight, gave her a quick friendly kiss and then disappeared into my dome. Charly & Om were fast asleep and so I lay down and drifted off into oblivion.
I awoke with my penis in Laura’s mouth. My first reaction was to push her away but she was so good. She looked up from between my legs. The torchlight lit up those two huge fleshy globes now free of their wrappings once again. She said, "please let me taste your cum and then I will leave you in peace." I laid back and let Laura have the proteins that she obviously craved. As my orgasm spewed forth she sucked it all down as she massaged my balls to get the very last drop. I had to stop her eventually; I was dry but she wanted more. I must have then fallen asleep again.
The next day, I woke up early. My workers, Charly and Om, each told me how they had also been sucked off by Laura. She had had a ‘Cocktail’; an Englishman, an Indian, a Spaniard and an Irishman – plus!
On my way to the pitch, I met my American friend, Spider. He was so happy, he said that he had met and fallen in love with a great chick. As he was explaining how good she was, Laura came up to him with a cup of tea in her hand. She handed it to him, saying ‘here’s your breakfast love’ and she gave me a sly smile at the same time. I realised that the Cocktail now included a new ingredient. As the story unfolded, I was to find out that Laura had sucked off every one of the pitchers, not to mention the groups. On reflection, I never saw Laura eat anything except that one pie. She must have survived for three whole days on sperm.
The last day came but people were still arriving. Many had spent days in their cars, bumper to bumper. Those that had been there for the duration, and some even days before, were forming into various villages. The trees were being cut down to form more permanent structures. The small lean-tos and shacks were even being given names like ‘Our House’ or ‘Dunroamin’.
Small communities were beginning to fix fences around their small villages. The Hells Angels were becoming the keepers of the new culture’s law and order. In return for making sure that nobody sold any bad drugs or that no police were allowed to interfere with the tranquillity, they expected to be given a drag or two on the communal joints.
The most beautiful festival I had yet been to finally drew to an official end. As Richie Havens sang, the morning of Monday arrived and the crowds began their exodus.
It was now our turn to have our own private festival party. I moved my tent out of the valley and up to the cliff top. I assembled it with the entrance looking out to sea. Helmut and family, Ken, Charly, Om, Baron von Lima, John & John, Eddie plus many others moved up there also. We still had a lot of acid left so Ken gave me two dozen large bottles of apple cider and I put two tabs in each bottle. Everybody drank and then spread the word amongst the villages about the free apple cider at the top of the hill. The day was unforgettable: a new festival formed itself. I started a chant with only one word 'Om' and for hours on end, hundreds of people chanted. The musicians joined us to give more melody to our voices. Some people arrived, carrying sheets of corrugated iron from the dismantled stage. They bent up one end of the sheet and made sledges to slide back down the hill. The party lasted for a week, a new tribe of naked ravers. The police finally moved in and moved us off. We were becoming too much of a tourist attraction. The tourist cars were passing our village by the dozens all day long.
Helmut, Charly, Ken and I decided to return to London to collect more stock. Jimi Hendrix had told us at the party that he was leaving the Isle of Wight and then going direct to Sweden for another three-day festival. We were going to be there. We just had time for a cup of tea.
I deposited £5,000 takings at the bank. The cashiers helped me count it, it was mostly small change. The bank manager could hardly believe that I had made so much in three days. Neither could I, but I had.
[iv] Sweden & Germany
We made our way to Sweden but the festival was a bit of a wash out – literally. It didn’t stop raining and so we cut our losses and decided to move on to the next festival in Germany
The German festival had similar weather and it was cold as well. Helmut decided to go and see his grandfather in Hamburg, so Charly, Ken and I decided to try the beer festivals as we still had a lot of stock to sell. The beer festivals were a bit of a culture shock for us. The Munich Bierfest was held in the central park. The park was full of enormous tents, each one big enough to accommodate over 1,000 people. Each tent also had a brass band and a bar. The idea of everyone present was to drink as much beer as one possibly could during the week long fair.
We sold a few hundred pounds worth of stock but the public were very aggressive towards us. It was not until the police arrived, arrested us and took us to the local nick that we realised that there had been various complaints made about us selling swastikas and Nazi crosses. We were so used to selling these items along with our other signs and symbols, that we didn’t realise the significance for the modern Germans.
The Police made us carry our boards for about a mile remaining behind us to push and prod shouting ‘Schnell, Schnell’, which obviously meant 'hurry up'. On arrival at their headquarters, we were pushed into the Captain’s office. He was going to confiscate our goods but I showed him how we made the nail jewellery and then persuaded him with a pendant. He must have thought that we made all the goods ourselves and so he let us go but told us not to retune to the festival site. So we went and set up shop in the centre of the bridge that led to the site across the river to the main highway. They didn’t bother us again.
After the Bierfest, we made our way back to join Helmut in Hamburg. Before we left Germany, Ken and I bought a Volkswagen van each from the profits that we had made.
On our return to London we read in the newspapers that Jimi Hendrix had died from a drug overdose. I realised that we had just seen his final performance.