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Glastonbury: An Oral History of the Music, Mud and Magic Paperback – 2 Jun 2005


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Glastonbury: An Oral History of the Music, Mud and Magic + Glastonbury Festival Myths and Legends + Glastonbury: The Complete History of the Festival
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (2 Jun. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091897637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091897635
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Lets you experience the festival without getting muddy feet or throwing your TV out the window...a heady portrait of the event, stirring and never stale" (Observer)

"Admirably thorough... The authors of this book have let the characters speak for themselves" (Robert Sandall The Sunday Times)

"If you've never been to Glastonbury, Crispin Aubrey and John Shearlaw have provided a fascinating oral history to tell you what you've missed" (Daily Mail)

"No coffee table is complete without this glossy retrospective of the coolest festival" (B Magazine)

Book Description

The definitive oral history of one of the world's greatest music festivals

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Johnentwistlespout VINE VOICE on 3 July 2007
Format: Paperback
I've been to Glastonbury seven times, although not for a few years. As everyone knows it's a very, very special festival. When I used to return to work after 5 days of mayhem my life suddenly felt incomplete and I got very emotional for quite a few weeks afterward. I mention all this because the experience cannot be done justice by book, film or photo. Any of these mediums is going to fail to be completely successful, and indeed this book also fails, which is a disappointment because I think it's probably in a perfect format to act as a memento for those who have attended. Over 300 odd pages contributors donate a paragraph or two on each of the 26 (up until 2005) events and its fun to see how the festival increased in size and how amateurish it was for so long...but there just aren't enough contributions from actual festival goers. It's a real pity because these are the people who actually make it what it is; you can almost feel the place in their words. The organisers, for the most part, just don't have the same view. I would also have liked to have seen a full line up for each festival rather than just a summary...and more photos...essentially a massive sprawling, hard backed encyclopaedia on the place. Maybe one day we'll get one...then I'll be front of the queue. Until then this slightly underwhelming novelette will have to do.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 July 2004
Format: Hardcover
This has to be one of the best books I have ever read. Brilliantly researched and compiled, Glastonbury Festival Tales is a must have for any fan of the festival. With contributions from key figures of the festival to ordinary punters, the book offers a complete overview of the event and what happens behind the scenes to make in so special.
A must for any book shelf, you'll be dipping in and out of this book for years to come! Its superb!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By I. N. Terry VINE VOICE on 29 Dec. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Reading this finely produced history of all the Glastonbury Festivals made me wish I'd gone to one while I was young enough to cope with it.

Atmospheric pictures and hundreds of snippets from Festival goers and doers.
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Format: Hardcover
I started going in 1979 and this year it will be my 30th Glastonbury { over 36 years } - was a ticketholder until 1987 and became a Volunteer from 1989 so have not missed any since 79 { there is not many of us about }

When you have been to as many as I have the years merge in together but some years stand out such as in 2005 when there was heavy flooding - I had to make a inspection of a bar and someone in Production produced a rowing boat { where from I have not got a clue } so that the Tent Manager and I could row in and inspect the bar - seeing the water was 4 feet deep we came to the conclusion that bar was not going to open that year.

but sadly it only gives details from 1970 to 2003 - would be great if they brought out a recent update.

But don't let that put you off because its a cracking book and well worth the money .

goes into the Production more than from a ticket holders point of view but as I know some of the people mentioned its interesting reading their take on events.

I already own this book and its so good ' I have just bought a second as a present for a friend who will be working with me this year and he will love it ' as he lives in Iceland and he has been working on my Team since 2009 { so he has missed the really muddy years - anyone who was there in 1985 will know what I am on about }

he will be pleased as punch when he sees it and I bet he takes it down and read it at Glastonbury

sure its second hand but at £2.29 {FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10.00 } it was well worth the money .

The Glastonbury Programme 2014 costs £16 { by the way do a search and you can get a hold of the PDF version for free } and I know what was better value { workers don't get the paper version free so added it to my collection}
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Format: Paperback
Okay, I admit it - I'm a big festival fan. I've been to a few in my time, the major ones being Hop Farm, Reading and Download, but Glastonbury has been my spiritual home since I first went back in 2011. I bought this book for some light reading ahead of one of the festivals, just to get me on the mood.

If that's why you're reading it, you're in a good place - if not, you'll just wish you were there. Aubrey and Shearlaw investigate the full story of Glastonbury Festival, from its humble beginnings as a party on Michael Eavis' farm to its modern-day status as one of the greatest festivals on the planet.

The book includes first-hand accounts and a collection of photographs of the festival throughout the years which will make you feel like you were really there. It's just a shame that the Daily Mail agrees with me - they say, 'If you've never been to Glastonbury, Crispin Aubrey and John Shearlaw have provided a fascinating oral history to tell you what you've missed.'

I wouldn't go that far, though - sure, it's an interesting read, but it lacks inspiration and fails to capture the quintessential Glasto spirit which festival-goers have grown to know and love over the last forty years. It's like reading a biography of a magician - not only does it lack magic, but also it dispels some of the illusions that kept you under his spell in the first place.

That's not to say you shouldn't read it - it just does what it says on the tin, nothing more and nothing less. Judge for yourself!
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