Renegades all - Alabama 3 meet Ray Foulk

Two of the members of Alabama 3 came to meet Ray Foulk at his stand in the Artist Village backstage and I was lucky to have been there to witness this meeting of minds.

Ray and his brothers organised the first Isle of Wight Festivals in 1968, 69 and 1970 and he and his daughter, Caroline, have just launched their new book on The Last Great Event – the 1970 pop festival that over 500,000 attended. John Giddings had very kindly given them a stand backstage where there had been considerable interest in the books, all published by original IW Festival publicist Peter Harrigan, and their exhibition featuring all three festivals.

“You’re the man,” said lead singer Larry Love (Rob Spragg), “I pay homage to you!” he said as the two of them shook hands with Ray. Looking at the photos of the 1970 festival he said to Nick. “Look at that!” as he pointed to a photo of the crowd. How many were there man?”

The guys spent some time looking at the photos in the exhibition and taking in the film of Hendrix playing at the 1970 festival that was playing to the rear of the marquee. Nick Reynolds aka Harpo Strangelove said he used to play in a band with John little of the Island-based band The Pump House Gang (from the early 80s) and one of the members of Fleetwood Mac. Fiddling with his phone, and trying to call him, he said he was hoping to meet up with John but couldn’t get hold of him.

Somewhat surprisingly for us, as we had no idea of his parentage, Nick said that he used to visit his father Bruce Reynolds, one of the Great Train Robbers, in Parkhurst Prison – he was five years on the run with him and then spent four years visiting him in Parkhurst! Yes he knew Ronnie Biggs. They used to visit ‘Uncle Ronnie’ in Brazil. In response to a comment about his very low voice, Larry Love said “It’s a Welsh voice, born in the Welsh Valleys. I was born in the valley where Tom Jones was born. My mother played piano in the local chapel and my father was in the local male voice choir. I’m the son of a preacher man- well almost.

“Blokes were forever telling me to stop talking in that stupid voice. But it’s a well-known fact that lower voices are more attractive to women,” he laughed. Larry Love said they’d been to see Dylan at the Albert hall recently. “We were there!” declared Ray Foulk and Peter Harrigan and the four of them enthused about Dylan’s performance. “He just took up a small square in the middle of the stage,” said Larry. “I told them that was what I wanted to do (here) and they said “but you’ve got this huge stage.” But it works better like that.” “You’re one of my favourite bands,” said Caroline Foulk. “Then you must be seriously into drugs or a real renegade,” laughed Larry Love. The four of them posed for a photo by the The Last Great Event pop up – renegades all.

Lady Penelope

23 June 2016

By Lady Penelope in The locals' blogs