In August 1970 600,000 fans flocked to the Isle of Wight to witness the third and final festival to be held on the island. Besides the music, they also got a look at the greed, cynicism and...
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In August 1970 600,000 fans flocked to the Isle of Wight to witness the third and final festival to be held on the island. Besides the music, they also got a look at the greed, cynicism and corruption that would plague the music industry for years to come. They also witnessed the final, drugged out performance of Jimi Hendrix in England just two weeks before he would meet a tragic death. When it all was over, the fans view of rock and roll was never the same.Written by
Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>
Portions of the festival were shown live on closed circuit television in theaters throughout the world. See more »
Rikki Farr: Himself (Master of Ceremonies):
[shouts at audience]
We put this festival on you bastards, with a lot of love we worked for one year for you pigs and you wanna break our walls down and you wanna destroy it? Well go to hell!
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I have perused the comments here and must say I have very little to add. Then again, I have to have a minimum of 10 lines here, or this comment won't get posted. Obviously, if you have taken the time to find this film and watched it, you are intelligent enough to pick up on all the nuances that a filmmaker like Murray Lerner puts into a project like this (as the comments here reflect). With all the shortcomings of the era being shown in full detail, we still have to also admit that the music then was great, and maybe even wish that music today could be so good. Then again, you can only invent a musical language once, and the process of doing it will always be remembered more fondly than when the music continues without the same degree of innovation. The issues of the 1960s may have lost their gravitas today, but hopefully a film like Message to Love might reveal a failure of methodolgy, not of purpose, and perhaps even allow us to remember that Vietnam and the assassinations of JFK, MLK and RFK were among the most important events this country has ever faced--which might be why the music was also so timely and good. If you want some more information, I did an interview with Murray Lerner:
"Murray Lerner's Film: Message to Love: the Isle of Wight Music Festival 1970. An Interview by Gregg Wager." Doors Collectors Magazine. Ed. Kerry Humphreys. Apr.-Oct. 1997: 11-15.
It's no longer available online, but ask me about it and I might be able to get you a copy.
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