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Open Air Love and Peace Festival Fehmarn

Christian Burchard reports about the Fehmarn concert

Fehmarn was our first festival and we thought it would be a great festival: Big stars played there and we were there too. So we were very euphoric and drove the 1000 km from Munich to Fehmarn with our VW bus in one turn. We arrived on Fehmarn in the dark in the evening and it was terrible weather: rain and storm. We were immediately welcomed by a horde of rockers who surrounded the bus. We said we were Embryo and should play here. The VW bus had a gutter around the roof at that time. The rockers clung to it and beat the people in front of us with chains to make room for us. We were totally shocked and shouted: Are you crazy? Stop it! But they were drunk and did not react at all.

Our mood had completely changed. It was more than sobering and we were absolutely speechless.

Somehow we got into the backstage area behind the stage. Canned Heat were playing and I wanted to see them. I climbed on stage from behind and the first thing I noticed was a roadie kneeling on the floor and holding the cymbal stands. Otherwise they would have been blown away by the wind.

Canned Heat were just playing slow blues. A few days ago their guitarist had died and that's what they told in every song. They were still completely in shock.

Later we met Alexis Korner and that was our luck. Because the organizers were not present at all and nobody was there who could give us any information. Alexis was the good soul of the festival and probably also its salvation. During the breaks he was always on stage with his guitar, played a par blues tune and made sure there were good vibrations on the square. And behind the stage he took care of the other musicians. He took us by the hand and drove with us into a pension. We were totally exhausted from the long drive, but we still sat and talked with him until four in the morning.

The next morning we drove together with Alexis to the festival area. To our surprise, we met all the Munich celebrities there - Rainer Langhans, Uschi Obermeier and people like that. They had come specially and hoped to talk a few sentences with Jimi Hendrix. In vain, of course. Jimi came along and disappeared immediately in a caravan. In front of it rockers with drawn knives built themselves up and I thought again: For heaven's sake, where have we ended up here.

I watched the Hendrix performance from the audience, and it was a completely different atmosphere. The weather was wonderful, and it was a huge atmosphere. I thought Jimi played a good concert, too. The people liked it, they were in a good mood. And we played right next to Jimi's gig and we got a positive vibe.

The concert was great. We played for about 45 minutes and the response from the audience was huge. As we played, the landscape changed. I really enjoyed that. The sun was shining and it was a special feeling to play right by the sea.

After the gig the stress started. We had to bring our equipment to safety and to be careful that nothing was stolen. At that time they stole at concerts like ravens, because equipment was expensive. So we were quite panicky about what was stolen, because we had follow-up concerts on the way back, which we couldn't have played if something important was missing. We were so busy packing up that I didn't even notice how it went on stage.

The next stress was the fee: One of our clique, Max Pax, had gone to the organizer's barrack to pick up the fee. There they had given him 150DM travel expenses and a cheque for 2000DM.

Max must have had the right nose or maybe they had told him, but he hid the money in his stocking. In front of the barrack he was searched by rockers and they would have taken all his money. Again and again we were confronted with these rockers, who enjoyed their position of power as stewards.

I can still remember Limbus because we were friends with them, and then Ton Steine Scherben came and the stage started to burn. The only thing left for us then was to get on the bus and let's go. That's when I realized the check wasn't covered.

From: Jimi Hendrix and the Storm on Fehmarn, Kulturbuch Bremen 1997, ISBN 3-9804670-4-X