"The crowd are there to be part of something. The band want to create something special. It's in the air. Everyone is working together to create something legendary."
|"I said they wouldn't dare throw anything at Alice Cooper, they know how dangerous he can be, Alice will come after them in their dreams!"|
|Alice Cooper's memories of Reading in 1987.|
So says Futureheads frontman Ross Millard about the Reading Festival. And it's just one of 500 memories to be shared by artists and punters in a special book all about the legendary rock festival.
The author is Ian Carroll, a 41-year-old father-of-one who's enjoyed virtually every Reading Festival since 1983.
"I thought it was about time someone wrote a book," says Ian, who lives in Plymouth, "so in 2004 I started writing, I contacted (festival organisers) Mean Fiddler and it just escalated from there."
For the last two-and-a-half years Ian has been collecting memories from festival-goers and performers alike, from old veterans such as Van Der Graaf Generator, Black Sabbath and Status Quo to more recent artists such as Oasis, Foo Fighters and Slipknot.
|Ian Carroll backstage with Big Brother 6's Orlaith|
Alice Cooper, who headlined the Sunday for the festival's 25th anniversary in 1987, has this particular gem:
"We only played it once. The cool thing about it was, all we were told was they were going to throw bottles at us!
"The funniest thing was, I said I guarantee they would not throw anything at us. Zodiac Mindwarp went on and they got covered, there wasn't one bottle thrown at us.
"I said they wouldn't dare throw anything at Alice Cooper, they know how dangerous he can be, Alice will come after them in their dreams!"
Ian, who has travelled far and wide to interview bands about their memories, has been pleasantly surprised at how keen the normally hard-to-get-hold-of artists were.
"I'm up to 492 replies so by the time the book comes out there will be about 500. Bands in general do want to talk about it, they're really keen on the festival and they're all really positive about it."
Even 50 Cent, who lasted only 20 minutes on the main stage before he was fiercely bottled off, was up for a chat.
"I was going to have an interview with 50 Cent at the Milton Keynes Eminem date," says Ian, "but Eminem cancelled the whole tour so I didn't actually get to speak to him, which is a pity because that would have been interesting."
|Poster from 1979 and 2006|
Perhaps equally surprising is the freshness of bands' memories, considering a lot of them probably weren't all too sober on stage.
"Some of them going back a long way can remember loads, I spoke to Francis Rossi from Status Quo and he remembered quite a lot from 1972/1973 when they played, but then 10CC remembered nothing - and they headlined!"
Ian, whose only previous writing experience is band reviews and horror film articles, will write an introduction to each year of the festival with the full festival line-up at the start of each chapter.
There will inevitably also be a vast array of photographs included in the book.
"At the moment we've already chosen 160 from the Reading Evening Post and we'll probably get another 200 from eFestivals (a festivals website), going back over the last eight years."
Ian will also include a smattering of his own photos, both of the bands and the crowds.
The vast tome, which has a simple working title of The Reading Festival Book, is planned to hit the shops the week of the Reading Festival this year, which starts on Friday 24 August 2007.
And what of Ian's memories?
"In 2003 we went to see Polyphonic Spree in the Radio One tent when they headlined. We wore Polyphonic Spree robes because we bought them at the merchandise stalls, and we went round for an hour beforehand with the robes on.
"Of course everybody thought we were in the band so we were signing autographs and having our photographs taken with everyone!"
If the book is a success however, Ian will be signing autographs as a renowned author.
Watch this space for full details of the book once it's published.
Below is a short list of some of the bands included in the book:
Whitesnake, Yes, Black Sabbath, Gillan, Scorpions, Suzi Quatro, Uriah Heep, Van Der Graaf Generator, MC5, Alice Cooper, Status Quo, Ted Nugent, Slade, Sha Na Na, The Jam, Sham 69, Supertramp, The Stranglers, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band
Twisted Sister, The Cult, Michael Schenker Group, Praying Mantis, Diamond Head, UFO, Judas Priest, Gary Numan, The Mission, The Wonderstuff, Marillion, Big Country
Faith No More, The Wedding Present, The Quireboys, Terrorvision, The Wildhearts, Carter USM, Gene, Senser, Therapy?, Helmet
Modern Indie Bands
Oasis, Foo Fighters, Kaiser Chiefs, Maximo Park, Bloc Party, The Cribs, The Subways, BRMC, The Killers, Ordinary Boys, The Rakes, The Go! Team, Editors, Wolfmother, Futureheads, Guillemots, Ash, The Cooper Temple Clause
Modern Rock Bands
Fall Out Boy, Bowling For Soup, Lostprophets, Less Than Jake, Dropkick Murphys, Aiden, Slipknot, Juliette Lewis, Flogging Molly, Pixies