Found in DC++ World
Dust out your Doors collection. Finally, from the vault of an anonymous Doors fan, comes a previously unsurfaced audio recording. Consider it a surprise present to Doors fans on Jim Morrison's birthday.
For years, The Doors' performance at the Isle Of Wight has only been available in an edited or incomplete form. The most popular release, "Palace Of Exile," is missing over a minute in the middle of "The End" and the intro to "When The Music's Over" is severly edited. Audience recordings of the show are missing "Roadhouse Blues." Previously on this site someone offered a matrix of the audience and soundboard sources in order to recreate the complete concert in the best quality available. Now for the first time, we have a master DAT source for the COMPLETE Isle Of Wight concert in perfect soundboard quality. At almost 70 minutes total, this is as good as it gets until an official release gets made -- if one is ever made.
This comes direct from the multi-track master recording. Quality is near perfect. The only downside is that the stereo separation isn't very good. It sounds like it's an unmixed copy of the multi-track master. So you'll hear Ray's organ more in the center than it should be and Ray's vocals are mixed way down so you don't hear them at all during "Break On Through" and other songs. (A good thing for some?) Still, I would place the overall quality as better than "Palace Of Exile." Little to no hiss. Bass level is much more reasonable. Sharper sound quality overall.
Now just what did I do to the original recording before posting it here? Thankfully, not much. There were a handful of clicks/pops throughout the recording that I removed individually using Adobe Audition. (The glitch during the announcer's introduction is on the original tape and couldn't be repaired without cutting it down.) I also swapped the channels so that Robby's guitar is in the right channel where it should be. The biggest change I made was balancing the channel levels and bringing everything up. This small change really punched up the sound compared to the original transfer. There was no EQ or other tricky business involved. Sounds pretty damn good, if I do say so myself. If anyone wants the original transfer, I'm open to trades.
One small note: About 4:29 into "The End," the music drops out for about 5 seconds and you only hear Jim's voice. Not sure why, but "Palace" doesn't have this mixing error. Also, regarding the date of this performance: The Doors were scheduled to play on August 29th, Saturday night, but didn't actually get on stage until 2:00am on Sunday morning, August 30th. Hence the date I have listed. (Date information taken from Greg Shaw's book, The Doors On The Road.)
A big thank you to the Doors fan who shared this rare tape. He/She wishes to remain anonymous on this one. I'm merely acting as middleman, and I'm happy to do so.
The 1970 Isle of Wight Festival was held between 26th and 31st August 1970 at East Afton Farm, an area on the western side of the Isle of Wight. It was the last of three consecutive music festivals to take place on the island between 1968 and 1970 and widely acknowledged as the largest musical event of its time, greater than the attendance of Woodstock. Although estimates vary, the Guinness Book of Records estimated that over 600,000 people attended.
The preceding Isle of Wight Festivals had already gained a good reputation in 1968 and 1969 by featuring acts such as Jefferson Airplane, T. Rex, The Move, Pretty Things, Joe Cocker, The Who and Bob Dylan in his first performance since his 1966 motorcycle accident.
The 1970 version, following Woodstock in the previous year, set out to move one step forward and enlisted Jimi Hendrix. With Hendrix confirmed, artists such as Chicago, The Doors, The Who, Joan Baez, and Free willingly took up the chance to play there. The event had a magnificent but impractical site, since the prevailing wind blew the sound sideways across the venue, and the sound system had to be augmented by Pink Floyd's PA. There was a strong, but inconsistent line up, and the logistical nightmare of transporting 600,000 people onto an island with a population of less than 100,000.
Political and logistical difficulties resulted in the organisers eventually realising that the festival would not make a profit and declaring it to be "a free festival", although the majority of the audience had paid for tickets in advance, and the event was filmed contemporaneously. However, at the time, the commercial failings of the festival ensured it would be the last event of its kind on the Isle of Wight for thirty-two years.
|The Doors - France Single 1967|
Wednesday 26th: Judas Jump, Kathy Smith, Rosalie Sorrels, David Bromberg, Redbone, Kris Kristofferson, Mighty Baby.
Thursday 27th: Gary Farr, Supertramp, Andy Roberts Everyone, Howl, Black Widow, Groundhogs, Terry Reid, Gilberto Gil.
Friday 28th: Fairfield Parlour, Arrival, Lighthouse, Taste, Tony Joe White, Chicago, Family, Procol Harum, The Voices of East Harlem, Cactus.
Saturday 29th: John Sebastian, Shawn Phillips, Lighthouse, Joni Mitchell, Tiny Tim, Miles Davis, Ten Years After, Emerson Lake and Palmer, The Doors, The Who, Melanie, Sly and the Family Stone. Mungo Jerry were there but decided not to play.Tiny Tim with Islanders Cas Caswell bass & Jack Richards drums.
Sunday 30th: Good News, Kris Kristofferson, Ralph McTell, Heaven, Free, Donovan, Pentangle, Moody Blues, Jethro Tull, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, Leonard Cohen, Richie Havens, Hawkwind
|The Doors - Germany Single 1967|
"The new site will cover three hundred acres and is set up in such a way as to provide people with an entire self-contained community, without infringing on the rights of local inhabitants." Rikki Farr
The original plan was to hold the Festival at Churchill's Farm, Calbourne, a landlocked site west of Newport, the Island's capital. However, a Select Committee of the County Council found this unsuitable - 'the land is high and is known to be both windy and damp' - but agreed instead to East Afton Farm, Freshwater.
The new site was situated on a flat plain just off the main Newport-Freshwater road in the heart of the quiet and mysterious West Wight. It was overshadowed by the massive chalk bulk of Afton Down and - further to the west - the granite monument to Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and Tennyson Down itself as it curved away to the Needles, and the sea.
Ron 'Turner' Smith:
"Ray Foulk and I spent most of the winter, one or two nights a week, talking about it, designing it, drawing it out - until the plan finally evolved. We went across and saw Mark Woodnutt about a site, to see if the County Council would join with us. I got the impression that Woodnutt wanted a slice of the action; he thought there was good money to be made.
"Ronnie and Ray joined me over at Woodnutt's house; we had agreed that we were not going to pass any money over to Woodnutt, so he stiffened his opposition. We got a convoy of vehicles to move out to Churchill's Farm where we hoped to pitch our site, when Ray - who had been in County Hall that morning - came steaming down the road to say, "They've blocked us here; we can use a field at Afton Farm." When we saw it, it was obvious they wanted to smash us, because the land was overlooked by Afton Down, and we knew immediately there would be as many people outside as in."
|The Doors Promotional Poster (Wespac, 1969)|
By early June, the only acts definitely booked were the Who, Richie Havens, Chicago, Pentangle and Mungo Jerry. The DJs were to be Rikki Farr and 'blond, bespectacled authority on progressive music', Jeff Dexter.
In early June, another piece of the jigsaw fell into place when Fiery Creations announced that the top attraction at the Festival would be Joan Baez, 'in the same spot that Dylan occupied on the Sunday night last year', and as an exclusive performance - her first for three years in Britain. As her husband was currently in prison in the States for draft evasion, she had refused to appear in her own country since Woodstock. The Doors would headline on Friday, Hendrix would top the bill on Saturday, and two further names had been added to Sunday's bill - John Sebastian and James Taylor.
Preparing for the masses
Tickets for the weekend would cost £3. Press Officer Peter Harrigan talked about possible problems, and how they planned to overcome them.
"This is our third festival. For the first one we brought Jefferson Airplane over. We got 10,000 people and the stage was just the back of two lorries. Last year we had Bob Dylan and something like 150,000 came to see him. We were only expecting 50,000 and to be quite honest the facilities - toilets, catering etc - were strained. We have learned a lot from the past and this year we are planning everything with a figure of 200,000 in mind. If we do get more - and we have carried out surveys; there is a lot of exaggeration with the numbers at pop festivals - there will be relief toilets and things like that ready for use.
|The Doors - Single US 1967|
"We have spent over £100,000 on getting the artists to appear, and about the same on preparing the site. We could have spent less on facilities and made a huge profit, but people would have been disappointed and they wouldn't come again next year. That's not what we want. We want this to become an annual event. We want it to last."
Meanwhile, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, the Moody Blues, Family and taste had all now been confirmed, as had been the debut performances of Emerson, Lake And Palmer.
On July 23 the formal agreement - between the IOW County Council and Fiery Creations - that the Festival could take place was duly signed.
"It took three or four weeks to build the basic site; we set up a workshop in an old button factory in Middleton, where we constructed fibre-glass loo seats. We had nine diggers on the site, and piped several miles of ditches, as well as a hundred taps and stand-pipes, and over a thousand loos, built over deep trenches. At that time, the water supply for all of Freshwater was restricted to one eight-inch main at the foot of the Down so they tapped some supplies that had been used in the Crimean War on top of Headon Warren and added this to the system, as well as some brackish water which came from Freshwater pumping station.
"Much to my regret now, we also removed a couple of miles of fences - we fetched in scaffolding from all over the country - and of course we had French, Italian and Spanish anarchists camping there. One night, they decided to break the fence down. I was called to the scene, met their leaders and talked them into a quiet mood, and sent Ronnie for some Mars bars, which I distributed free - and it shut 'em up.
"The Festival went on. The editor of a leading architects' magazine was overwhelmed by it all. "You're building a small city here!" He devoted that month's main article to the pop festival."
The thirty-eight acre grass arena was to be completely surrounded by nine inch double walling, between which a ring road would run, allowing shops and other amenity areas to be serviced. There would be complete catering facilities and every type of food and refreshment would be available from over eighty serving areas, including restaurants. Licensed bars would open, on site, from 11am to 11pm.
Elaborate sanitation arrangements were to include over 1,200 closets, half a mile of urinals and a hundred water points. Litter would be dealt with by using over 2,500 waste-paper sacks daily and a continuous sanitation and disposal service.
There was to be a special welfare enclosure, a full equipped field hospital, a church tent, a Release ten - for those suffering bad trips - and a police-controlled lost property office.
Over 300 acres were to be available for camping space, free of charge for people, and marquees for people with no tent of their own. On sale at the site were to be disposable sleeping bags, made of paper and foam rubber. With unconscious humour, it was stated that these had been tested under arctic conditions and should last in the Island climate for at least a week -
The world's largest festival in the eyes of the parish clerk - the simple world of the Freshwater parish clerk. Here is the sort of man who could report the sinking of the Titanic as displacing a lot of water, and causing needless damage to a perfectly formed iceberg, while worrying about possible improprieties in the mixed lifeboats.
Every seat and piece of grass 'taken over' by hippies - litter everywhere in the village, a couldn't-care-less attitude by all fans, baskets and bins being completely ignored. Bread in short supply. Buses filled by hippies with no chance for public. Considerable excrement over side of Downs (Mrs A., who reported this, felt and looked quite ill). I had to phone Health Department and ask for it to be disinfected because of the stench. Mrs T. of The Artist reported eighteen brooches missing after two or three hippies had been in her shop. Now a considerable crop of all sorts of inferior trading vans in many parts, leaving considerable litter nearby. Mr F., High Street, reported an indecency outside his shop at 8am. He told those involved that the village was not used to such behaviour and he would send for police if they did not move on.
Noise - all night Discotecque (sic).
Took a walk over Afton Down; very few pop fans in the actual arena, but plenty on the hillside. Footpath 28 (Desolation Row) a dreadful looking sight.
Mr C. reported that in mid-afternoon he saw sexual indecency at a culvert, near side of Afton Manor gate.
Mrs H. reported that at 10.30pm a stark naked man jumped out and danced in front of her car.
Reports of extensive nude bathing at Compton Beach: Did Police ignore this sort of thing? Mrs A. witnessed one nude couple who passed her by saying, "There's nothing else left for kicks."
The arena looked squalid, with large piles of rubbish, tins and so on at various points among the fans; the lower site was oozing and squelching near the water taps and it was a relief to step onto the highway. We had left our son there, and he later went into the Arena for several hours … it was interesting that he too wanted everything washed after he returned home. - Parish Clerk
My own abiding memory as I set off for home and a warm bath was of watching one poor unfortunate fall into the slit trench which served as a mass open-air commode. That and a great feeling of excitement, exhaustion and fellow feeling. Society was more of a garden, less of a jungle, in those far-off days. May they return.
In one of the most honest accounts of the Afton event, T.P. Kelsey stated the view from the arena, a personal summation of what those five days of music meant to those who experienced them, a blueprint for a more hopeful future.
"And when it was all over and the long files of fans were waiting for their transport back home, I felt most of them must have been proud to have been part of the third Isle of Wight Festival of Music. For the festival provided an alternative society. A society where people forgot their own particular class, creed, race or religion and were able to live together and do the simple things of life on a friendly basis. There's something in that, I'm sure. Think about it."
01. Back Door Man 04:18
02. Break On Through 04:53
03. When the Music's Over 13:31
04. Ship Of Fools 07:37
05. Roadhouse Blues 06:07
06. Light My Fire 14:21
07. Medley >
08. The End 18:18