Having seen Ratdog in Hamburg, I managed to go to the first day of the annual German hippy festival at Herzberg Castle too. It was a hard trip through thick traffic all along the way and a long stop-and-go area because of road repairings.
On the phone, a spokesman for the organizers told me it would begin at 9 P.M. After finding a place in the campsite, I was looking for the restrooms at maybe 20:15, when the wind blew the familiar sounds of Music Never Stopped from the stage site to my ears. So I hurried up to get there. Having had problems climbing hills on the wet grass at the campsite, now I found a totally mud area. Folks were trying to find points that give ground to their feet to watch the show. It was no problem to slide to the first row in front of the stage.
When I reached there they were playing Odessa. After singing Truckin' together with Bobby I decided to go little bit away from the stage to get the better sound. It was a little bit of my idea of Woodstock: The feet sticking in the mud, the music lifts me up to heaven. Young hippy girls put away their boots and dance in the mud. The band was playing gorgeously many "greatest hits" (which Dead song was none?) with wonderful jams in and between the songs. It was a 2:30 gig without a break and it was good music, high feeling and happiness. It was amazing and both the organizer's troubles and the mud were forgotten. Touch of Grey left us knowing this show couldn't be topped on the other days of this festival. We need more of this!
Paloma wrote that at Hamburg 07/9, there were 45-year old men having switched their suits into tye-dies. I'm 44 annd I do that too. I'm no business man but a reverend. Nearly none in my community could understand that skulls on a t-shirt are an impression of an absolutely positive approach to life. So I'm glad to have those spaces to live this other side of my individuality, tragically only sometimes.
Anyway: We will survive.
Holger Rühle, Berlin, Germany