Photograph: Bowman Bowman/Getty Images/F1online RM
This is a photo of a ‘Strawberry Moon’ over the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain in south-west England.
It was presumably taken on June 20th, or thereabouts, in 1967. I know that because this article alerted readers to the one ‘scheduled’ for Monday evening.
It is significant because it only happens at the most twice in one’s lifetime, at 47 years intervals. The strawberry moon solstice is when the lightest (i.e. longest) day of the year in the northern hemisphere coincides with a full moon falling.
In June 1967 I was working a twelve-hour night shift in the Bird’s Eye frozen foods factory, in the Dairy Cream Cake and Chocolate Éclair section, earning enough to support myself the following month as I started my teaching career. I don’t recall any skylights.
Maybe I should have popped up on my roof here in Jakarta this time, but I was intent on watching the final episodes of Penny Dreadful, a must-watch again on DVD series which out-hammered the Hammer Horror films.
In 1969 I moved into a flat in London which was rented by a schoolmate of Robert Wyatt, and thus was introduced to the ‘Canterbury Scene’ a loose network of musicians from the cathedrar town of … erm … Canterbury, one that continues to this day. Robert was then the singing drummer of The Soft Machine who had supported Jimi Hendrix during his first tour of the USA.
At the conclusion of that your, Hendrix let Robert use his studio to work on some demo recordings, which only surfaced as ’68 in 2013. One of the four tracks became a perennial favourite and in 1970 was to take up the third side of the third Soft Machine album, a double album called, imaginatively, Third.
One member of the extended Canterbury Scene family of fans is friend Leonardo Pavkovic who runs a record label out of New York. He manages the Soft Machine Legacy and releases their recordings, as well as those of a number of Indonesia’s jazz and jazz-prog-rock artists. The name of his label is MoonJune Records.
Download a free 86 Track MoonJune Sampler here … and watch and listen to an early live performance of Moon In June by Soft Machine at the Bilzen Festival in Belgium on August 22, 1969. (There’s a two-hour compilation of them and other acts here.)
BTW. If you want images of last Monday’s Strawberry Moon, click here.