A brief tribute to Brian Thompson, the man who had the vision and courage to create the legendary Barbecue 67 rock festival.
I am very sorry to hear that Brian, who celebrated his 70th birthday in 2008, died in an accident last week. His godson, Lee, has asked me to pass on the news. I’m afraid I know no more than that. I never met him but like so many others I will never forget the event that put the small Lincolnshire town of Spalding on the map.
It is an odd role for a long distance bystander. I have been back only a couple of times since I left the Spalding Guardian in 1969. But a chance blog about Barbecue 67 has put me in touch with some great people. No other topic has caused so much interest on my blog. Since writing about the 40th anniversary of the event four years ago I have enjoyed a succession of intriguing messages, sometimes from old friends but more often than not from people I have never met. What we all have in common is the memory of an event which brought Hendrix, Cream, The Move and Pink Floyd to fill Spalding’s tulip bulb auction hall with an explosion of sound that keeps echoing.
Lee’s message was a sad postscript but like everyone else he celebrates the legend. “Although I’m too young to have gone, I heard endless stories of the night in my childhood.”