September 26th 1972

“got letter saying I had won free ticket to the oval and LP. no-one believed me. argument between M+D becos M dont want me to go, D does”

….. and this little butterfly began to flap his wings.

A teenage life is full of turning points. I can categorically state that receiving this letter was definitely one of mine.

I had entered a competition a week or so earlier – in the Southern Evening Echo – to win a free ticket (not a pair of tickets you understand, just ONE) to see (amongst others) Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Genesis and Focus at the Melody Maker Poll Winners Concert at at Oval cricket ground in Kennington, London.

The only thing I had ever won previously was a pair of  Stingray slippers from TV21 magazine, so this was pretty impressive stuff to a 14-year-old me. A chance to see my musical “heroes”, ELP, perform live.

As the diary entry proves, my joy was tempered by the fact that whilst my Dad was evidently pleased for me and happy for me to go to the show “all the way” up in London, my always-worried mother was not so sure. They argued about it apparently. I can’t remember how I felt at the time but I’m pretty sure I became a sullen little bugger with my Mum, probably refusing to talk to her.

I can remember the letter taking me surprise, not least because the show was in a mere 4 days time and it seemed like I had to somehow organise a whole hell of a lot to go. Like what time the trains were, what underground route I had to take across London, what would happen if I missed the last train back and… well, who would I go with?

Now, I don’t know if my Dad bought the other tickets or not, but I do know that my friends Trev & Gra ended up going with me, as you will be able to read when the day’s diary entry rolls around.

The advance price of the tickets for this one-day rock “festival” (as it would be known these days) was…. £1.00. A quid!

That means that the LP that I also won probably cost more than the concert. If only that were the case these days eh?

I will assume “no one believed me” meant just that. Maybe, just briefly, for a half a week in 1972, some people were jealous of me?

Here’s the official announcement from the newspaper (Yes, I have kept it – stop laughing!). Could YOU have answered the tricky questions? (I would still get 2 out of 3. No hope on Q3 now…… at least not without the internet!)

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