Later, Middle Earth was closed down after The Tribe of the Sacred Mushroom held a purported sacrifice of a child. We were there and it was one of my funnies memories.
White tuniced with with spears, the tribe had set up a dais and we were to provide the music. I think I glimpsed a young girl but before anything could start the doors burst open and in swept Covent Garden workers looking for the intended "victim" to be followed five minutes later by many police. Being pacifists the tribe offered no resistance thank godness but the child vanished into thin air in the following hilarious melée. It was the end for Middle Earth...
Parallel to this was the EMI Harvest deal and our first experience of promotional tour with their artists. Later to their credit they organised the Hyde Park concerts, both of which we opened. We were politely received but the concerts as a whole were not a great success. After that followed tours with Al Stewart (who I had never heard of and then heard too much of) and John Fahey, the guitarist.
Fahey was an ordinary American kid who played pinball and the guitar well. Stewart was a stupid link-up that did nothing for us as his audience was bedsit girls. He bordered on the saccharine and was as musically interesting as cardboard (unfortunately I never have listened to lyrics).
My best gig memories are of the Brighton Pavillon with Pretty Things and Floyd - we being the filling for a change; the other outside on Primrose Hill with Procol Harum and Soft Machine. The most unlikelky was a May Ball (Cambridge) where we were pratically locked up. Also we visited Kid Jenson at Radio Luxembourg on one of our forays to Europe!
In Nuremburg I was chastised one morning by a female hotelier for wearing my 'pijamas' which I tried to explain was my Indian long shirt.
Understandably we were fairly unknown and I must admit we looked pretty tame compared to bands as Amon Duul at one Rhine gig. There was quite a bit of aggression around as it was the time of colleges unrest. Our rodies was so important that for years they earned more than us. Without the anxiety undercorrent of the band they were a breath of fresh air with their banter. I liked very much the way one roadie called Paul related to the amps as they were people - "he doesn't like that" (after blowing something). With the unexplained need for greater volume, mikes went out and bugs were in. I managed to fit one in an alternative F vent but the tone changed for the worse. I also had my own H/H amp which had various gadgets but my heart wasn't in it and they were underused.
Lastly, I was very proud to have done benefits and free gigs for organisations as diverse as a Buddhist retreat, White Rabbit's Aardvark scene in London's East End, LSE sit-in, the Druids and Release.
These were the cornerstone of my life".