Friday, September 6, 2013

I'm going to camp out on the land, I'm going to try an' get my soul free (Joni Mitchell) # 80

Chapman And White Nambassa/ You And I Together (Mandrill Drill 2,  1977)

Ah...Nambassa, New Zealand's Woodstock - a naive but laudable attempt to marry new age sensibilities (yes - hippies) to music.

I went to the last Nambassa held in January 1981 - a five-day celebration of music, crafts and alternative lifestyles culture on a farm at Waitawheta Valley between Waihi and Waikino.

The attendance was low - 15,000 which suited me. The 1979 festival had been mega - 75,000 which would have been intolerable. As it was the toilets were abysmal and, even though it was January the rain poured down. 

I was at University at the time, in the middle of a masters' degree and Brett, a friend at varsity, talked me into going with him. I'm glad he did too. It was an experience for sure. The line up of musicians and speakers (Ram Dass for instance) was an eye opener for me (my stand outs are in bold):
  • Dizzy Gillespie
  • Billy TK 
  • John Mayall
  • Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee 
  • Charlie Daniels 
  • Kevin Borich 
  • Topp Twins
  • The Roger Fox Big Band
  • Limbs Dance Company
  • Dr Richard Alpert (aka Baba Ram Dass)

  • Chapman and White wrote the Nambassa anthem in 1977 and it suited perfectly the ambiance of trippy hippy freedom of expression (ok, yes - nudity) that was part of the Nambassa vibe.

    Hidden gem: The B side is more pleasant melodic acoustic music but the vocals are not distinctive enough and so it's a kind of Donovanesque folky trip, maan. Nice though.

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