This month's "Boot of the Month" is Rory's performances at the 1st and 2nd British Rock Meetings. These outdoor concerts were the promotional brainchild of Marcel Avram and Marek Lieberberg, the founders of MAMA Concerts, and showcased for the european audience a large number of British rock bands including: Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac, Fairport Convention, Stone the Crowes, Rod Stewart, and a host of other notables. The first "Rock Meeting" took place on September 4th, 1971 in Speyer, Germany, and the second "Rock Meeting" took place in Germersheim, Germany on May 22, 1972. A 3rd "Rock Meeting" was planned for the following year in Ludwigshafen, Germany but was later cancelled.
The first British Rock Meeting was originally planned for the Amphietheatre Thingstatte in Heidelberg, West Germany, and the early posters and tickets reflected this venue. However, the venue was changed to the new port in Speyer in anticipation of a crowd of over 25,000 people. The first British Rock Meeting was part of a 2-day, 2-city event, with half the bands playing in Speyer, Germany, and the other half playing in Vienna, Austria. The next day the bands would swap locations and play at the other venue. The Vienna portion of the event was officially called the "Sensational British Superstar Festival."
|photo of Rory Gallagher at the First British Rock Meeting in Speyer, Germany|
|German TV report about the First British Rock Meeting in Speyer, Germany|
The second British Rock Meeting was suppose to take place on Friesenheimer Island in Mannheim, Germany; however, the Mannheim city council opposed it and MAMA Concerts had to change the venue. The early posters still show Mannheim as the festival location. As can be seen on the left, the original poster was done in blue, with Mannheim as the venue, new posters were printed in red after the promoters found an alternate site to hold the festival. MAMA Concerts first tried to relocate the festival to Korsika and then to the racetrack in Hockenheim but strong reaction from the city councils made these sites unacceptable.
After much searching, the concert promoters were finally able to relocate the festival to Insel Grün (Green Island) in Germersheim. Even then, it looked like the festival would not happen as Germersheim city officials began having second thoughts about allowing so a large festival to be held on Insel Grün and issued a police order against the festival the day prior to its start. City officials relented however after eleventh hour talks with the festival organizers, the mayor of Germersheim, and a top Rheinland Pfalz state official. Over 70,000 people attended this 4-day festival and 35 bands performed there, including Pink Floyd, Uriah Heep, Status Quo, Lindisfarne, and of course, Rory Gallagher.
By Saturday evening more than 72,000 - rock fans had crowded onto Insel Gruen... All told, the island, hugging the west bank of the Rhine between Mannheim and Karlsruhe looked like a cross between a muddy beach of drowsy sunbathers and a wartime refugee exodus...(read more)-- David Iams, Stars & Stripes (*Thanks to Timothy Boss for sending this article and ticket stub!)
|fisheye view of the festival at Insel Grün courtesy of J.Wagner|
Rory played on the final day of the festival and was one of only 2 bands to be broadcast over the radio, the other being Lindisfarne. Rory was also the only artist to give 3 encores.
"People from other countries hardly could imagine, how popular Rory was here in the earlyer 70's. I saw him there for the first time, and he really did a great and intense performance! He was so good, we couldn't hardly wait for his next show..."--Doc's Diary
|Patrick Karvasales USA||Postd at 6:04am on Friday, August 21st, 2009|
|Went to both these concerts Speyer|
was a complete failure, most the bands were too stoned to even understand what they were singing.
Germersheim was great, turned up a day early and left a day late.
Best groups by far were Pink Floyd and Humble Pie.
Good people, Good atmosphere and a fantastic time to enjoy some great music.
|Timothy Boss Dallas, TX||Postd at 8:58am on Tuesday, August 18th, 2009|
|I was there at the 2nd Meeting. I was 15. A civilian living in Büdingen. Went with schoolmates from Gymnasium Nidda. I met up with them at Zoom Club in Frankfurt -- a whole VW bus full! My most vivid memory is Pink Floyd's gong bursting into flames. What a show! I still have my ticket stub and small poster. The blue one. Also two articles that appe... read more »|
|Ben Indianapolis||Postd at 6:31pm on Sunday, August 9th, 2009|
|I was there and had a great time! I can't get over seeing a friend from home that I had not seen for years.|
|Jim Beshwate Visalia California||Postd at 5:57am on Monday, August 3rd, 2009|
|I was there and remember Pink Floyd playing for what seemed like 3 or 4 hours. Fantastic light show. I'll never forget it, though I was pretty stoned throughout most of it. Went with 3 young ladies.|
|mick osler coventry uk||Postd at 8:45pm on Saturday, July 25th, 2009|
|I was at germersheim 1972 seems like yesterday top bands stoned times remember awol us troops in truck with santana above the rest painted on side giving kit to freaks whoed got nothing german bikers looting beer tent me arrested taking beer night day when flares went up unique highlight of special era great memories|
|Ed Huth Baltimore, Maryland||Postd at 8:51pm on Wednesday, July 8th, 2009|
|Great memories! I was stationed in Friedberg, Germany and got to go to BOTH Festivals. I was front row in 72 and one of the motorcycle dudes pulled me on stage so I could get some pics because this ignorant chick kept putting her face in front of me. I had a crap load of pics of a bunch of groups, but Uriah Heep was may fav and still are. Somebody... read more »|
|Delmar Hepperly USA||Postd at 4:44pm on Sunday, July 5th, 2009|
|I was stationed with Headquarters co. in Frankfurt. I had the hippy crib on the 4th fl back of the building. anybody else from that Army post?|
|Barry Smith Portland, oregon||Postd at 1:35am on Saturday, June 13th, 2009|
|I WAS THERE ! Stationed at Grafenwoehr with the U.S. Army Artillery 6/60th. Wish now that I had not gotten so stoned that I kinda draw a blank on a few things. Oh wait, that might actually be the old age setting in. Anyway, I talk about this event all of the time. I do not think that most folks in the states realize how huge these events were. Some... read more »|
|Paul Dean UK||Postd at 10:17pm on Wednesday, May 13th, 2009|
|Hi, Paul Dean here of Jerusalem band. We played Speyer and Vienna, absolutely amazing for us to suddenly be confronted with tens of thousands of people. A real baptism of fire. We had an incredible time and the audiences were brilliant. pauldeansite at myspace|
|Schneider Willi Rauenberg||Postd at 6:24am on Tuesday, May 12th, 2009|
|Es war trotz der vielen negativen Dinge eine hervorragendes Festival. Im Nachhinein sind die Arschlöcher von Rockerordnern, die Leute aus Jux und Tollerei prügelten und die fehlenden Scheißhäuser vergessen. Es war prägend, dieses Festival. Es war - zumindest in der Retrspektive 1aOberbayern.|
|Doug Fogarty Freehold, NJ||Postd at 12:13pm on Monday, May 4th, 2009|
|Re: Second Brittish Rock Meeting.|
I missed woodstock when my car brokedown enroute but was stationed in Germany for this awesome fest. I didn't miss many of the shows ea . weekend at the various halle's. This weekend was just incredible ... highlight for me was Saturday night when Pink Floyd turned the sky pink as they played.
|Ode again Lake Geneva, WI||Postd at 2:36pm on Saturday, April 25th, 2009|
|Yeah, me again, I found my ticket to British Rock Meeting, Heidelberg, wit SPEYER,underlined, and Rheinfrablin underneath, but incomplete because one third of my ticket is gone. Cost woas DM 20, begin Sa. 4. Sept 71, OPEN AIR, same lion symbol on the front. Please anybody, remember this one????? I also remember when I left Germany I ran into four... read more »|
Administrator comment: Ode, The Speyer fest was originally planned for Heidleberg but changed to Speyer. Many of the posters and tickets say Heidleberg. There's a short video clip of the speyer fest online. Here's a link to it: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5667580084000270799 I'd love a scan or picture of the ticket for the site if you ever have the time. milo (email@example.com)
|Ode Lake Geneva, Wisconsin||Postd at 2:21pm on Saturday, April 25th, 2009|
|I remember a Speyer Fest that had two stages and the two bands I remember most were Black Sabbath, at night with lightning in the background behind the stage, and Deep Purple the next night. I believe it was a 3-day fest, I don't remember alot cause I was pretty freaking stoned. I do also remember grabbing some German guys 2ft Chillum(cone-shaped b... read more »|
|Tom Chapman California||Postd at 6:50pm on Thursday, March 26th, 2009|
|I was there, while in the USAF near Kaiserslautern. I remember a lot of naked women bathing in the river, photo-modeling, or just taking their clothes off to beat the heat. My friends were freaking out in a tent most of the time, so I was wandering around by myself. The big acts were in the evening, and a lot of tension built up in anticipation.... read more »|
|bruce higgins fenton, mich., usa||Postd at 9:19am on Friday, March 20th, 2009|
|i was there, at the first one, as a weekend "TRIP" away from the airforce at zweibrucken. a buncj of hippie GIs went up for the party and had a great time. hard to believe its benn 38 years. thanks|
|Roy Rogers Oldenkamp West Hollywood, California||Postd at 6:33pm on Wednesday, March 18th, 2009|
|Went to the Speyer Fest...awesome. Pissed 'cause I missed Woodstock. I remember smoking a spliff backstage with OSIBISA while their kids ran around...oh, yes, and with ROD THE MOD. I was fifteen!|
|Bill McCoskey Maryland||Postd at 1:50pm on Wednesday, January 21st, 2009|
|RE: British Rock Meeting -- Did you know that Moma concerts planned a 3rd BRM in 1973? I have what may be the only known poster for this concert, as it was cancelled a week before the show due to the promoter not paying the bands! I pulled the poster off the wall at the army post where I worked in Mannheim Germany.|
Administrator comment: I knew there was an intended 3rd Rock Meeting but didn't know they had actually gone as far as scheduling the bands before being canceled. I'd love to have a look at the poster. Can you make a digital picture of the poster? firstname.lastname@example.org
|Billy Johnson Location unknown||Postd at 7:07am on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008|
|Milo; I was at the 2nd British Rock Meeting in Germersheim West Germany in 1972. I lived 30 miles south of Munich in a town called Bad Aibling. Me and several friends took my VW bus to the concert site and arrived a week early. I was hanging around when this guy Tiger asked me if I would take his crew into town for some beer. Tiger was the stage ma... read more »|