CARAVAN at the Actuel festival, Amougies, Belgium, 26 October 1969, playing two yet unkwown numbers and with a guest appearance by Frank Zappa.
Commented by Richard Sinclair.
On this night, part of a Festival organised by the Actuel record label, they are joined onstage by Frank Zappa on "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You".
Zappa had originally been supposed to be MC for the first few days but his minimal amount of French combined with the audience's minimal ability to understand English led to this idea being scrapped.
He went on to guesting on guitar with several of the acts instead.
The festival had originally been supposed to be held outside of Paris but permission was not forthcoming so was instead held on ground just inside Belgium.
Interviewer: Do you recall jamming with Frank Zappa?
Sinclair: That was at the Actuel Festival in Amougies in Belgium, in a big marquee that held about five thousand people.
It was a double, round-ended tent with a big gantry through the middle. The Festival was compered by Pierre Lattes, who was a radio presenter.
On the bill were artists like The Nice and Archie Shepp. It was like a whole job lot. I've still got the programme.
That's where I first saw Gong. On the day that we played they had The Nice, East Of Eden with Dave Arbus, the violinist who still lives in Canterbury, The Band and Zappa was there to play with everybody.
Just before the concert got going he spoke to every group that he'd seen doing a quick rehearsal.
He just said "Hello, I'd like to play with you for about ten minutes, have you got a tune that could work with us?"
I think Pye suggested that we play If I Could Do It All Over Again?. We made it last ten minutes and he played a solo on it.
He was quite a small man actually and he looked very stoned indeed, but actually he made a good job with everybody he played with.
I remember him climbing onstage with us and it was like someone putting in the handle to start up a vintage car engine. He just wound it up and it was amazing, just incredible.
We were just playing a 7/4 figure over a small amount of chords and Dave was rocking it up. It was really good.
The band that played before The Nice, Germ they were called, were like a 15 piece, maybe more, and they did an 'experimental' bit of entertainment.
Amongst all of this Rock & Roll and Jazz they played one note for thirty minutes and it disturbed the audience so much!
They were just going 'Urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr', all one tone, all of the lot of them. In total contrast to lots of notes and rhythms it was just one note with varying rhythms, droning on and on and the audience just pelted them and made them leave the stage.
They pelted them with everything they'd got, cans and everything. The Road Manager of The Nice, Baz Ward, came shooting on stage and turned all the Marshall cabinets the other way so that all the speakers didn't get broken because all the tins were hitting everything in sight.
Then he had to dash off stage and hope the gear would survive. They had to wait until the audience had calmed down and then The Nice came on and everything was OK, but that was one of the highlights.
It was like "What IS that?" Bang, Bong etc because they didn't like one note being played for thirty minutes.
Place Of My Own
If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You - with Frank Zappa on guitar
As I Feel I Die
And I Wish I Were Stoned / Don't Worry
Feelin' Reelin' Squealin'
Where But For Caravan Would I ?