Artist and castaway, Weimin He’s on the spot sketch of the launch of Stealing Dylan from Woodstock.
Ray and Caroline Foulk asked me to compere their book launch on June 9 in Blackwell at 7-8pm. When I cast Ray away on Oxtopia, Tim Metcalfe titled the piece My Beautiful Careers because, there is a lot more to Ray even than founding the Isle of Wight Festivals.
Because Ray is modest he hardly believes that he was at the heart of a movement which changed the world. I love the story in the book about the four days’ notice he had to go to New York to discuss the Dylan contract. In 1969 only a small percentage of people had passports and Ray didn’t have one. The race to get a passport and visa in time is a delight.
To me Stealing Dylan from Woodstock shows how Ray’s generation had a desire not to conform but to make the world a better place. In his case Ray and his brothers helped change the world. It was part of the radical rock movement which smashed through British stuffiness and spread British music around the world. I do hope young people will be inspired by this book and that music once again will be a campaigning force for change as it was at the Isle of Wight Festival and not only about entertainment. Although entertainment there was…
Among the popular performers at The Isle of Wight was The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. Drummer, tap dancer and artist Larry Smith made part of his name with them. But, it was his friend George Harrison who called him ‘Legs Larry’. Legs Larry was born in Oxford and still lives in Oxfordshire. He was guest of honour and a humorous one, at the Blackwell launch. Of course I had to send him to join Ray on Oxtopia.