Listen to this song by melodically inclined Brian-Wilsonites Cosmic Rough Riders. It’s “Glastonbury Revisited”, as taken from their 2000 album Enjoy the Melodic Sunshine.
The Glastonbury Festival, which began in 1970 near the town of Glastonbury (according to legend, the burial place of King Arthur under Glastonbury Tor, people) on a farm owned by one Michael Eavis, has many associations. One is a lot of mud. The other is music, and lots of it. Still another is rampant drug use, let’s face it. Depending on your priorities, and on the weather during British summertime, one’s own associations may vary. But, for the most part, one thing which can be counted upon is the feeling of closeness with friends, through the highs of seeing your favourite band together, and the lows of being soaked to submission by English rain.
This tune by Scotland’s Cosmic Rough Riders is something of an ode to the meteorological crapshoot which is the annual 3-day Glastonbury Festival. There are levels of irony at work, of course. Where have all the angels gone, now that all the acid’s done, indeed. But, I think this song is mostly about that feeling of togetherness, and the ideal held that if life can be like this during the festival, why not all the time?
I went to two Festivals. The first in 1999, and the second being the following year. The weather gods were kind to us both years, and I got to see some incredible musical acts, some of which I knew, and some I’d only heard about, later to come to love. But, I definitely felt the spirit of the thing, the back to basics hanging with your friends, going from beer tent, to field, to campsite, to food stall, to concert ground, as the sun lovingly circled in the sky. And on coming back home, often the hardest part due to the throngs leaving at the same time, while unwashed, unshaven, and sleep deprived, I felt that if there’s a heaven, it must be very much like an outdoor festival – but maybe with plentiful indoor plumbing too.
For more Cosmic Rough Riders, be sure and check out this interview with CRR’s founder Daniel Wylie.