The Prince of Wales founded the Princes Trust in 1976. Set up as a Charity to help and make better the lives of disadvantaged young people. This "Youth Charity" brings out the skills of business and personal development, for example. To help rise awareness and well as funding, The Princes Trust has been known to hold a party or two, the first Hyde Park Rock Concert in twenty years, Saturday the 29th of June 1996, the seventeenth show to be held there. This event was to highlight The Princes Trust as well as a forerunner for The Who's Quadrophenia show's that was to come. The 1996 Show was to be the biggest event since Queen headlined at Speakers' Corner on 17th September 1976, the Queen show had an attendance of around 150,000.
Other great names to play at Hyde Park since the first gig way back on June 29th, 1968 have been Pink Floyd and as support Tyrannosaurus Rex.
What follows is a short run down on dates, the Headliners and a smattering of the Supporting Performers'.
1968, July 27th: Traffic and The Nice etc.
1968, August 24th: Ten Years After, Peter Greens Fleetwood Mac, Family, Roy Harper, Fairport Convention etc.
1968, September 28th: The Move and Roy Harper etc.
1969, June 7th: Blind Faith, Richie Havens and Donovan etc.
1969, July 5th: The Rolling Stones, Family, Roy Harper, Alexis Korner's New Church and King Crimson etc. (After this show a large amount of hippies walked over to the Royal Albert Hall to check out The Who and Chuck Berry. The Rolling Stones watched from a Grand Tier box).
1969, September 6th: Crosby Stills and Nash, Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. This show was cancelled at the last minute, due to "problems in America".
1969, September 20th: Soft Machine with Robert Wyatt, and Al Stewart etc.
1970, July 18th: Pink Floyd, Kevin Ayers and Roy Harper etc.
1970, September 12th: Canned Heat, Eric Burden and War, John Sebastian etc.
1971, July 3rd: Grand Funk Railroad, Humble Pie and Heads Hands and Feet.
1971, Spetember 4th: King Crimson, Jack Bruce, Third Ear Band.
1974, June 29th: Kevin Ayers Band and Streetwalkers etc.
1974, August 31st: Roger Mcguinn, Roy Harper and Heavy Friends etc. (The Heavy Friends were Dave Gilmour, John Paul Jones and Steve Broughton on drums, after The Who's Keith Moon pulled out).
1975, May 31st: Don Mclean, Caravan and Joan Armatrading etc.
1975, August 30th: Wigwam, Byzantium, Supercharge and Third World. (Headliners Back Street Crawler pulled out when ex Free's Paul Kossoff was taken ill).
1976, September 17th: Queen, Kikki Dee, Steve Hillage and Supercharge.
1996, June 29th: Eric Clapton, The Who, Bob Dylan, Alanis Morissette and Jools Holland.
As this was some nine and a half years ago the summing up is a little sketchy, I'll do my best. I travelled down to London on my motorbike. Took my time getting there, I have absolutely no interest in Bob Dylan. Parked up behind what might have been the Mayfair Hotel? Across Hyde Park.
The venue was huge, there was Prince Charles and oh look it's Val Kilmer, and a few more big wigs in the Hospitality Stands. Walked in and found a spot. Oh good, Bob Dylan has just finished. Seeing Alanis Morrissette was fine, I do remember that she was "shaking" her head and dancing, and she still had her shades on, they flew off into the crowd.
Then The Who came on; this is the reason for being here. Around two hours of Rock, Quadrophenia was to be performed in its entirety for the first time since the early seventies.
The show was fantastic; this was the first time that I had seen Zak Starkey playing with them. With big name guests as Dave Gilmour from Pink Floyd as guest guitarist and the very funny British comedian Adrian Edmondson as the Ace Face and Bell Boy. The cast was a who's who of British television and pop, with the real life newscaster of Trevor McDonald, as the "newscaster". Phil Daniels as the Narrator, the original star of the 1979 Quadrophenia movie and Stephen Fry amongst others.
Roger Daltrey was supporting an eye patch through out the Concert, due to a back stage mishap with another guest.
All in all the Quadrophenia show was just brilliant, with a crowd of 150,000 in the middle of London, on a fine summers day watching The Who. What more can anyone wish for?
Having being subdued with fine Electric Rock for over two hours, on walks Eric, bold as brass and kicks into an acoustic number for nearly the remaining duration of the event. I'm not staying around for this, I'm off to China Town for something to eat, I'm starving. Went into China Town, got some grub, came home, gave the wife her T shirt and went to bed, it had been a long day.
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