Back in 1970, having served three years learning what it took to be a primary school teacher in inner London, I decided that it was time for some ‘me’ time and planned to set off on my first set of worldly travels early the following year.
I had been a bystander during much of the ‘hippy era’: a straight school teacher could hardly, in the memorable words of Timothy Leary, “tune in, turn on and drop out” (video). However, the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 (video – ignore the last four minutes) did offer me the opportunity to get past the school-university-school life I had lead and into my life long adventure of self-discovery.
There was some great music, Free in particular, but I slept through two hours of the Who’s three hour set and missed all of Jimi Hendrix’s last public performance because I was snugly wrapped in my grey ankle-length Czechoslovakian army greatcoat.
My one regret though, which I have retained through the years, is that my very beautiful ticket was torn in half upon entrance; I knew that it was something I would have wanted to keep in my archives.