October 1, 2018
This summer but back in October 1973, Bruno Lawrence Electric Revelation and Travelling Apparition (BLERTA) kicked off.
The group travelled around NZ in their bus, concluding in January 1973 at The Great Ngaruawahia Music Festival. They were musicians but more generally artists, including film makers. I remember some old radio talk-back guy who was there saying that what he remembered the most was the sweat and the bad smell on that bus!
This ties in with an idea from Tom Wolfe that’s caught in my imagination at the moment- The Great Relearning. He wrote about 1968 hippies but as usual New Zealand simply lags 4 years or so behind trends being set in the USA and the UK such as the concept of The Magic Bus.
“Among the codes and restraint that people in the communes swept aside- quite purposely- were those that said you shouldn’t use other people’s toothbrushes or sleep on other people’s mattresses without changing the sheets or, as was more likely, without using any sheets at all or that you and five other people shouldn’t drink from the same bottle..or takes tokes from the same cigarette…they were relearning..the laws of hygiene..by getting the mange, the grunge, the itch, the twitch, the thrush, the scoff, the rot.”
“There were doctors who were treating diseases no living doctor had ever encountered before, diseases that had disappeared so long ago they had never even picked up Latin names..”
Great read if you’re interested..