MONT DE MARSAN

We are backstage in the south west of France, at the Mont de Marsan punk festival.

It’s a bullfighting arena, not that big and it looks like the Provence arenas, when sometimes we used to go see the ‘razeteurs’ jump over the cows… and over the wood fences.

It is brilliant, all round. Zermati, along with Alain Lahana and some local promoters, is organising a punk festival here. We are in 1977 and this is the second one. Frankly, it was something already to organise a punk festival in 1976. That year, we had been invited. Marc and I have become quite close since we met with the Flamin’ Groovies. He follows what I am up to. On the bill, you have the Clash, the Damned, Eddie and the Hot Rods, the Tyla Gang, the Rings with Henri Paul, another French guy, the Jam, Little Bob Story, Bijou, Asphalt Jungle, les Boys, Electric Callas, Marie et les Garçons, etc - it is incredible. In the middle of August, all the English bands came down in a bus. We did a 37 hour trip. When we arrived all the bars were full of English people who were drinking and were having fun. Fantastic! Andy and Sting didn’t really enjoy the trip. Andy is 34, ten years older than us. I think he is a very good player but he is a bit boring. Too old, probably! The first night of the festival, I had an incredible time with the Clash. I was under the front of the stage, just under Mick Jones, who was going back and forth, continuing assaults, Police and Thieves, giving it the off beat chords… they went through the whole of the first album… too much! During the set, Captain Sensible had thrown a stink bomb on stage, and the wind had swept the stench into the arena. The Clash roadies had got into the battle and Captain Sensible had managed to find his way onto the top of an ambulance that had come to get him because he had fallen off the stage and landed on a fence below, right between his legs… ouch… it must have hurt!

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