Big Day Out Redux
Photographed by Lloyd Godman
After a sad absence last year, the Big Day Out is storming back this summer in a great new home – the beautiful, convenient Western Springs. Who will be rocking the stage on January 17, 2014? We have just over two weeks to wait for the first lineup announcement on August 1. It’s been 40 years since Mick Jagger (star of this year’s Glastonbury) pulled this spangly blue jumpsuited move at Western Springs. We’re predicting more legendary Western Springs performances. In the meantime it gives us the chance to flick back through the archives for Paula Green’s reminiscence of when The Stones came to town.
Poem by Paula Green
It is the eleventh of February 1973.
Einstein is sitting up the back on a picnic blanket.
He is wearing shorts and jandals as though
he is on holiday from the laws of physics.
Florence Nightingale has sunglasses on
her hair loose and she is reading The Female Eunuch.
There is a bright blue sky over Western Springs
and Mick Jagger is wearing pink lipstick
thick silver armbands and a tight jump suit to match
the cloudless day. The silver diamonds could mean
anything as he struts across the stage and
pushes his chest into Sweet Virginia.
You have your eyes shut for just one second.
You think you have the moment in you
that you want to last like the instant the light
catches the hills to make them sharp
or the guitarist picks out that sweet melody.
You think you’re going to drop your plans
and go on down to Texas or New Orleans
but you are seventeen and you don’t know
what you want and you don’t know what
you need. Mick Jagger struts across
the stage in his jean jacket with his pink scarf
soaring and his midnight ramblings burning
the afternoon crowd.
The world is in razor focus.
As long as you’ve got a table and chair
and a violin and a bowl of fruit you’ll be right
Alfred says, that’s all you need.
He grabs Florence by the hand
and they start to shimmy and sway
to the jumping Jack beat.
Mick Jagger eyeballs the Sunday sky with his blue
eye shadow glowing and his knee kicking high.
Alfred pulls you up off the grass and you let yourself
fall into the whiff of the blues, country girl at heart.