Sunday 10th February
Writing class is starting again today, so I got my skates on and did some writing.It is 1967 and Harriet(17) and her sister Jane(15) are the two voices you will hear. Harriet speaks first…..Hope you like it
‘Hey, Jane,’ I burst into her bedroom one evening, ‘You’ll never guess. This is just too incredible for words.’
‘What?’ she said, sitting cross-legged on the floor, her record player blaring out the Who’s Pictures of Lily, as she turned the record cover over to read the tiny writing on the back; she was totally engrossed in her records. As usual Jane just wasn’t listening to me.
‘You will never guess who is coming to Stowmarket, of all places?’
‘Who, the Queen?’ she smiled up at me all innocently. Jane was just learning the art of sarcasm, but would never really perfect it. Not like I had anyway.
‘No, not the Queen, dippy – but something just as amazing. I’ve heard from John Jakes, you know his sister is in the year above us, and he heard it straight from the Carnival Committee, or from someone who knows someone on it anyway. Pink Floyd are going to play at the football ground. Yes, Pink Floyd of all people.’ I almost screamed with excitement, ‘Can you believe it?’
And yes Harriet was right. Pink Floyd of all people, were coming to our tiny town. Of course, they weren’t really famous then. They had just released ‘Arnold Layne’ and it was getting played a lot on Caroline, but nobody really knew anything about them. If the people on the Carnival Committee had known anything about them then I am sure they wouldn’t have booked them either. They were weirder than weird and at the forefront of all that psychedelic scene that was taking us over in 1967. We were just getting into caftans and beads and bells – and all that hippy stuff coming out of California, and here in England everything was getting pretty strange and far out too.
The day of the concert couldn’t come quick enough, I had made sure that Jane and I got tickets and were there really early. There was a tiny stage built about five feet high at the lower end of the football pitch, opposite the one decent stand and there was a huge stack of speakers on each side. There were these old wooden tiered seats down each side of the pitch that had been there for years and a ramshackle fence round the whole place. No-one in Stowmarket had ever seen anything like it, the thing sold out in days and people were pouring in from Ipswich and Norwich and even further away. The band were now in the charts with ‘See Emily Play’ and were far too big to be booked into a shit-hole like ours, but still, they honoured the contract and actually turned up. And Jane and I met them, well were in the clubhouse bar at the same time as them, which nearly counts surely.
Harriet always knew somebody. Sometimes it was just somebody who knew somebody else but she was so confident she just smiled that dazzling smile of hers and we were in. The club- house bar was supposed to be for the local bigwigs, the owners of the football club, the Carnival Committee and people like that, but somehow Harriet inveigled us in there an hour before the concert. Imagine our surprise when in walked the band themselves. They were incredibly scruffy and looked only a couple of years older than us too. You would have passed them by on any street, except they had a certain air about them, a quiet confidence and almost a swagger that marked them out as just that bit special. Harriet walked over and introduced herself to them without a shred of embarrassment, ‘Hi, I’m Harriet and you must be the fabulous Pink Floyd.’ But they seemed not to really notice her, (probably wondered who on earth this smartly dressed young woman was) and smiled politely before being called over to the other end of the bar to drink with a few men in suits, their managers and guys from the record company I expect. Looking a bit miffed, Harriet just shrugged her little shoulders and said, ‘Well it doesn’t look as though we will be singing backing vocals on their next single after all, does it?’ and we both collapsed in a fit of giggles. That was our famous meeting with Pink Floyd.
I got my first fuck at that concert. I had had too much to drink, which was unusual for me, as I could normally stop myself before I got too pissed. But I wasn’t too drunk not to know what I was doing. It just seemed right, the music, the lightshow, the moonlight, all those groovy people standing on the pitch almost stunned by the incredible noise the band were making, most of them just waiting for the two hit singles. But Jane and I had already heard their album so knew the music would be something else entirely. I was quietly grooving to the riveting bass line when this guy suddenly hit on me. Well, people were always hitting on me, but he was a bit older, a bit different. He had really long hair and a biker jacket with badges all over it and I’d never seen him around. Over the din of the band I caught that he was from Great Yarmouth and he had come on his bike, a brand new Triumph 750. He had some shit with him and we smoked that behind one of the stands, leaning against the old wooden struts in the dark and as the stuff hit me and I began to go all woozy he leaned over and started to kiss me.
I lost Harriet somewhere on the pitch, we had pushed our way to the front and were only a few feet from the band, and it was really crowded, everyone pushing and shoving. This was my first real concert and I didn’t want to miss a thing. There had been a few local bands at youth club dances, but they were amateurs who just ran through weak covers of the top ten, or tried to sound like the Beatles or the Stones. This was the real thing, and though I had had a few drinks I had been pacing myself. Harriet could always drink more than me and was looking decidedly drunk, or was it just an act? You could never tell with her. She was beside me when they started with Astonomy Domine but I was so engrossed in the music and the light show, all squidgy bubbles projected onto big sheets behind the band, that I didn’t notice where she was.
His hand went straight for my tits, and before I knew it he was hoicking up my skirt and rubbing between my legs. I knew what was happening and that this was getting a bit serious but somehow I was up for it. It seemed just the perfect time and place to get your first fuck. I didn’t even know the guys name, which in a way was an even bigger turn on. In no time he was fucking me, and it was good, so exciting out here in the open, as the cool air splashed all over my breasts and I lifted my feet off the ground and wrapped them round him. I was so turned on and ready for it. I had come close once or twice, being felt up in some bedroom at a party. But I always knew the guys, and there would be all that inevitable relationship stuff to follow, as if you couldn’t just do it and walk away, that would be my ideal. I had no time for a ‘boyfriend’ and all that schmaltzy lovey-dovey stuff; that was for other people. So, that was it, my first time; behind the football stand as Syd Barrett was singing ‘Careful with that Axe Eugene’ and my little sister was somewhere up front totally absorbed in the music, here I was getting it standing up from a stranger in a leather jacket with my skirt round my waist, my tits out and my knickers yanked to my knees. How exciting was that?
Suddenly the band were walking off the stage and the lights were dimmed and just as a touch of panic was in the air, there was Harriet back at my side.
‘Hi, little sister. Wasn’t that the most fantastic thing you ever saw in your life?’ she screamed at me.
‘Yes, I can’t believe it’s over. It seemed too quick somehow. Where did you get to, I thought I’d lost you.’
‘I just had a little walk around the place, you know. I wasn’t far away. You know that don’t you. I would never abandon you Jane. I always keep an eye out for you.’
Of course I told Jane a few days later and she was so shocked. ‘You mean you didn’t even know who he was?’ she said. ‘God Harriet, I can’t believe it? And it was your first time too.’
‘Yeah well – first of many I expect. Just remember Harriet, got to make it special. That first time; make it special’ and she laughed at the very idea, ‘Now you can really say I am your big grown-up sister. And Jane, don’t go getting any ideas in that direction yourself. You are only fifteen, and that is far too young.’ And she gave me a long old-fashioned look, as if she were some ancient aunt peering over her pince-nez.
‘I wouldn’t dare. Not with a stranger anyway, Harriet.’ And she looked up at me with such a look of admiration in her innocent little face. My little sister Jane, ah what would become of her when I went off to University. How would she ever be able to cope without me – she would probably end up with some local lad and get stuck down here in Suffolk and have lots of kids and stuff. Not for me though. No-one will tie me down. I expect to go places, and I intend to take my fun where I find it. Look out world, here I come.