Sunday, October 11, 2009

Who Remembers Narara?

Listening to old hot rock music on the juke-box and espying Michael Hutchins mute up on the television set at the Piccolo-life Cafe, I remembered Narara Music Festival back in about 1983, north of Sydney near Ourimbah, (where the first ever rock festival was held in '69 and I was at that one too), it was such a magical musical event that I wondered surely many others must still remember it also. I've been to many festivals since but for some cutting reason that weekend stands out in my mind for fabulous adventure and rock bliss.

Think of it, Talking Heads, Pretenders, Eurythmics, Def Leopard, INXS, untold other nascent Aussie classics, all the bands at their youthful prime, for an electric guitar addict like me it was heaven. Never mind the gossipy controversy over Chrissie Hynde supposedly refusing to go up against Chrissie Amphlett and knocking her from the line-up, when she came on stage and the crowd booed her, Mistress Pretender pleaded innocence and mercy from baying mobs of Aussie rock enthusiasts and I believed her, but still a pity the Divinyls never made it to the stage, they would've been the spin in the spliff.

I went with two girlfriends and while one soon picked up a rock-gronk and fucked him for three days in her car, Jasmin and I put up a tent, with a kerosene burner we made opium-poppy-pod tea, (illegally snatched from the poppy fields in Tasmania, Jasmin's favourite high, she recently died at 55 from a heroin overdose), we smoked spliffs and then laid-back on our pumped-up lilo beds and dreamed of paradise with steel-guitar strings twanging through the ether. Mostly we sat among the crowd of course and shook our butts to the rock, happy when Michael Hutchence yelled for the television camera to get out of his face and go to the side so we, the paying audience, could actually see him perform at his gyrating best. And of course it had to rain in the middle of the fest, it biblicaly stormed down, as if such a wild concentration of mass ecstasy unleashed the heavens, torrents washing most of the punters and campers away, Jasmin and I comfy, warm and stoned in our sturdy tent up on our lilo beds, the water rushing under us, us above the chaos.

In the background I could hear Def Leopard tearing up the cloudscape, I splashed thru the mire and mud-covered gronks to watch them bang away up on stage half-drowned in the vertical flood, defying electrocution, defying mortality, I exhilarated in their electric-euphoria, I was tripping, I saw the gods of humanity take shape in the purple clouds and roll over me, my eyes rolled to the back of my head, Narara, you really rock'n'rolled me.

If you enjoyed this story please go to the WEB address above and consider buying my book of tales about growing up anarcho-queer, rock and roll punter and mystic adventurer in Australia and India of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.