The Return of the Knebworth Fayre 1985

Knebworth 1985

The Return of the Knebworth Fayre, Saturday 22nd June 1985.

Deep Purple, Scorpions, Meat Loaf, UFO, Blackfoot, Mama’s Boys, Mountain & Alaska.

Interviews with Leslie West Mountain, Pat McManus Mama’s Boys, Rickey Medlocke Blackfoot, Phil Mogg UFO and Meat Loaf.

In 1984, Deep Purple reformed with the original members of the classic Mk2 line-up. And, on the back of their new and successful album, Perfect Strangers, Deep Purple embarked upon a world tour that concluded in Europe the following year.

During that tour however, British fans were given just one chance to see the group’s reincarnation on home-soil.

A double reincarnation of sorts.

For The Return of the Knebworth Fayre was a long-awaited re-boot of the open air rock festival, that had once been a popular and successful annual event in the grounds of the stately Knebworth House. Crippled by licensing restrictions, no concerts had been able to take place there during the previous five years.

With Deep Purple headlining the re-ignition of this Knebworth festival and fans desperate to see the reincarnation of one of Britain’s finest rock bands, it’s little wonder that this festival attracted in the order of 75,000 people.

And with support acts like the Scorpions, who could have headlined this festival in their own right, the event was unmissable for ardent fans of rock.

The Return of the Knebworth Fayre 1985 Ticket

Knebworth 1985 Ticket: £12.50 Bargain!

All for £12.50 too. If you booked in advance.


But what the crowd of seventy five thousand did not bargain for was the weather.

It rained periodically in the morning, yet the weather was relatively warm. The sun shone radiantly throughout the Blackfoot set in the mid afternoon.

Knebworth 1985 Dry Crowd

Blackfoot, Knebworth, 1985 – The sun shines throughout the Blackfoot set

Then, it started to rain with a vengeance.

And it rained. And it continued to rain.

There was an almighty thunderstorm during the UFO set, when the heavens opened to release the rain in biblical proportions. The sloping banks towards the stage where people stood turned to sludge. Inventive mud throwing fused with the obligatory bottle-throwing ritual seen at all UK outdoor rock festivals.

It rained throughout the remainder of the performances; Meat Loaf, Scorpions and Deep Purple. And people got wet. Really wet. It got cold too.

Knebworth 1985 - Rain

Scorpions, Knebworth, 1985: Torrential rain during the Scorpions set

Sadly, this concert is often remembered for the sheer amount of water that fell. But what sticks in my mind is the awesome performances from all the acts. Meat Loaf performing with his broken leg in plaster and no crutches – and falling over once. Getting right to the front of the stage to watch all the bands; how good the sound was, and getting struck with a flagon of urine to add to my already-drenched state. Oh, and the enormous firework display at the end.

The Return of the Knebworth Fayre 1985 Festival Special

Knebworth 1985 Newspaper Festival Special

Years ago, when the internet was in it’s infancy, I dedicated my first website to this festival. That site has long since gone, but I preserved and donated some of the media I had been given to other sites that shared the same interest in this concert.

The purpose of this article is to provide:

  • a detailed insight into the performer’s thoughts on that day
  • accurate set lists
  • the names of band members
  • correctly labelled photographs

Like a page from a fervent fan’s scrap book then…

…THE RETURN OF THE KNEBWORTH FAYRE – Saturday 22nd June 1985

Deep Purple, Scorpions, Meat Loaf, UFO, Blackfoot, Mama’s Boys, Mountain and Alaska

Knebworth 1985 Poster

The Return Of The Knebworth Fayre 1985: Deep Purple, Scorpions, Meat Loaf, UFO, Blackfoot, Mama’s Boys, Mountain and Alaska

Knebworth 1985 – BBC Radio 1 Recordings

The bands that played that day, with the exception of the Scorpions, gave permission for the BBC to record the concert, airing it the following Saturday, June 29th on BBC Radio 1.


The broadcast included a number of Richard Skinner interviews with various band members. The entire concert and interviews were re-broadcast later in October on the Friday Rock Show, hosted by Tommy Vance.

Knebworth 1985 – Video

Unfortunately, the show was not filmed, though a local TV news crew were allowed to film briefly during the day, footage which was aired locally the following day on BBC Look East.

Video courtesy of Adam.

Knebworth 1985 – Who’s On & When

Who's on and when

Knebworth 1985: Alaska, Mountain, Mama’s Boys, Blackfoot, UFO, Meat Loaf, Scorpions, Deep Purple

Knebworth 1985: Alaska

Alaska - Knebworth 1985 Left to right: Robert Hawthorn & Richard Bailey

Alaska, Knebworth 1985
Left to right: Robert Hawthorn & Richard Bailey

Alaska – Brian Badhams – bass; Richard Bailey – keyboards; Robert Hawthorn – vocals; Bernie Marsden – guitar; John Marter – drums.

Knebworth 1985: Alaska Set List

  1. A Woman Like You
  2. School Girls
  3. I Really Want To Know
  4. Help Yourself

Knebworth 1985: Mountain

Mountain Mark Clarke – bass; Corgy Laing – drums; Leslie West – vocals and guitar.

Mountain - Knebworth 1985

Mountain, Knebworth 1985 – Mark Clarke (left) and Leslie West (right)

Knebworth 1985: Mountain Set List

  1. Why Dontcha?
  2. Never In My Life
  3. Theme From An Imaginary Western
  4. Nantucket Sleigh Ride
  5. Rollin’ And Tumblin’
  6. Mississippi Queen

Knebworth 1985 Interview: Leslie West (Mountain) and Richard Skinner.

We didn’t wanna go back with “Mountain”, we wanted to use our own names and call it some… Actually, Steve Marriott and I started a group called ‘The Firm’ in 1979 and somebody else started a group….

Somebody else has that name now I see yeah!

But, you know, after you have a success; I’m sure Ritchie went through it with Rainbow and then all of a sudden the success; Deep Purple, I mean they have a semi-truck just for the T-shirts. I mean that’s how much success they’ve had. But sometimes you feel, not ashamed of it, but you wanna move on, think that’s not the only thing you can do in life. What the hell! I mean you gotta be proud of what you’ve done. So I finally realised, hey I’m pretty proud of what we’ve done. “Nantucket Sleigh Ride“, I think is still used on this show here every week?

Weekend World, on ITV!

Well I’m proud of that!


So’s my accountant!

Good music!
What made Mountain come to an end first time ’round then Leslie?

All the English groups that were touring with us over there; we had ten years after. We had Mott the Hoople and Jethro Tull. And they all told us, “You gotta come to England! They’ll really love you there!”. And a year went by, and they’d come over again and say “Why haven’t you come yet?”. “Well we gotta wait!”. And finally we came over and they did enough PR for us when we came over here. We played Crystal Palace. We played the Lyceum and it was great. It was worth waiting for! We caught on! I thought we had a better following over here than we did in the States really! Seems like, you have to come here in order to be appreciated back there.

It happens a lot! And it happens the other way ’round too!

Oh yes it does! Yes it does!

Well why then, with all that happening did you decide at that stage, that Mountain would come to an end; at least temporarily or whatever?

Well way back, drugs had a lot to do with it; not going anywhere musically. The one good thing I did was, Mick Jones in Foreigner was… The last album I did was the Leslie West band 1975, and I fired Mick and we don’t know what happened to him! We sold four hundred million albums and no one knows where he went! But, on the back of the album I had a dedication to him; ‘Thanks for teaching me a lesson!’. And what it did was, I stood back, out of the picture, and I saw that if I don’t have anything to say musically, don’t put out a crappy album! A lot of my friends; and I won’t even name the groups, but I’m sure you can picture them put out albums in their time and now they can’t even get arrested. So it’s a good thing that I shut my mouth, didn’t record anything and saved it, until now!

What did you do then when you left Mountain? What decision did you take?

Well I got myself straightened out, cleaned up, drug wise; contract wise. I put all the companies that we had into bankruptcy and started totally fresh.

Leslie! This must have been a really difficult time!

It was! ‘Hard Times’ is one of the… it’s the title track of the new album. And we’d gone through ‘hard times’. Everybody’s gone through hard times, but you can’t appreciate the good times unless you’ve gone through the hard times! I didn’t enjoy it the first time around; I was too concerned about an image; and Felix working with Eric Clapton; I wanted to make sure that nobody laughed at the way I played guitar; and I wanted to make a name for myself. Now I feel I’ve spent enough time doing that now I’m just going to play and enjoy myself!

Guitar is so important for you! Now, I read somewhere that you’ve even gone to the lengths of starting a school for rock guitar. What’s the story behind that?

Well I wanted to; while I wasn’t playing, and I came back to New York. I got an idea from one of the editors of ‘Guitar Player Magazine’ if I started a school. And I said, “Do you think it’ll do well?” and he said, “Ahh it’ll do great!”, and I was scared – a new enterprise. So I figured the worst thing that could happen is it could fail! And I’ve failed at things before, so I put a little, tiny ad in a local newspaper and I had five hundred students in two weeks and I had to give away like four hundred and fifty of them! And what I did was; it was for people who couldn’t read like myself. And it was one on one, it wasn’t like a group. I took my first guitar lesson; I took three and quit! The teacher came in and showed me three notes and left for half hour and came back and asked me to play ’em and I had it all wrong, and that wasn’t the right way to learn so what I wanna do now is help design a Washburn guitar. And when we go on tour in the States, I’m giving away a guitar at every concert and I wanna do clinics around the country and hopefully we can start a franchise of the school.

But can you teach something which is basically an emotional thing?

Teach somebody how to teach themselves! Not how to play; how to practice!

Now look, your new LP is dedicated to Felix Pappalardi, who was the original bass player in Mountain, who has now passed away. Do you miss that man in the current line-up?

I miss him sometimes, not musically, ’cause musically it’s been a long time since the real Felix and, you know…

Going back to when would you say?

After ‘Nantucket Sleigh Ride’, our second album. That was the end of that group. And I was young kid, I was really young. I’m 39 now. But back then there was all a new thing, “Wow! They’re gonna like yer!” and you get conceited; people tell you you’re great all the time and we would get carried away with it! And I feel sometimes when I go to different cities, I remember a good time that we had there. I think of Felix. It’s a shame!

For people who have not had the chance to get to Knebworth this time, when are you next going to be playing the United Kingdom, do you think?

I don’t know, but hopefully we’ll be back in about three months time. I’d really like to come back here for a while. I’ve forgot how much I like it over here. Especially the ‘bangers‘!

The ‘bangers and mash’!
Do you enjoy playing the outdoor gigs?

Sometimes when the wind and the rain isn’t blowing in our face. But it’s a different experience, a whole different ball game!

As a man who did Woodstock, you know both sides of playing outside gigs!

That was my third gig, Woodstock. I was nervous then!

Knebworth 1985: Mama’s Boys

Mama’s Boys – John McManus – vocals and bass; Pat (The Professor) McManus – guitar and fiddle; Tommy McManus – drums.

Knebworth 1985: Mama’s Boys Set List

  1. All Through The Night
  2. One Last Chance
  3. Instrumental
  4. Runaway Dreams
  5. Mama We’re All Crazee Now
  6. Straight Forward, No Looking Back

Knebworth 1985 Interview: Pat McManus (Mama’s Boys) and Richard Skinner.

You’ve come along way, haven’t you, to do this show?

Yes! We have indeed. We were in Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States of America yesterday.

And where are you tomorrow?

We’re with Iron Maiden in Minneapolis!

You must have wanted to play the show!

Yes we did actually. It’s an honour to be on, at this festival. We’ve looked forward to it; we knew there would be a lot of good bands here on the day and to be on the same bill as Deep Purple, well it’s great.

It’s gonna be an important show and nice to see shows happening at Knebworth again, Pat.

That’s correct! It’s been the haven for the Monsters of Rock. I think the real Monsters of Rock, people like Led Zeppelin, etc. etc. and The New Barbarians and all those bands that played here earlier on, and I think it’s great to see the venue opening back up again, ’cause it’s a great setting. And it is a good setting for rock bands in general.

How’s the tour of America? How’s that, playing in America, to probably bigger crowds, has that helped you prepare yourself?

Oh, indeed! Oh yeah, yeah! I think we’ve got over the nerve stage already you know. We got used to that in America you know, because they’re quite…

They can vary actually the gigs there; we were actually over there for two weeks ourselves head-lining different venues ourselves. Everything from clubs right through to, maybe six or seven thousand people would turn up for outdoor festivals just to see us, which is absolutely crazy you know!

Today, you’ve got about seventy thousand out there!

That’s correct! That’s quite a difference!

It’s a sea of denim! It really is! So how is that American tour actually going? How’s it running along?

It’s been going better than we thought. In fact, two weeks after we started to work, which was in Texas. The album chart is in America; the new Power and Passion album, so we’re totally over the top. And we had a lot of time to spend out there.

You had a few misgivings before you flew though, didn’t you? Before you went out there. You were a bit worried?

Yes we were. We were always skeptical about to what the reaction towards the band would be like, but we did actually work last year in America, and it was good. So this time we were a little bit more confident as what it would be like.

People who don’t know you’re music well yet; you started out in a somewhat unconventional sense, not as a rock band at all.

That’s correct! We came right from the traditional roots of Irish music and it was up to about five years ago that the transition came about.

How did that happen?

It was an Irish band called Horslips, which I don’t think many people are aware of here in England, that were huge in Ireland and, in fact, influenced a lot of up and coming bands in Ireland, from U2 right through the whole genre. And we were also… we got hooked on their music and it just took off from there! We just literally changed overnight.

Pat, would you say that the traditional music is somewhere still there?

Oh yes it is! I think so! We rely on that because we missed out on a lot of the early rock music and bands like Led Zeppelin. We missed that era completely. And people like Slade and all those bands, we had missed completely so, we’re sorta relying on our background to help us out a little.

I see that you’ve still got the fiddle here!

Oh yes! And it’ll be in action today as well.

What, up the front there?

Oh yes definitely!

The new album is produced by Chris Tsangarides. This is a big name producer. Has he changed your sound, do you think, at all?

He has indeed because one of the things that this band lacked for years was a good producer. The albums we had brought out before were always self financed and to get a chance to work with someone like Chris Tsangarides was good because we had heard some of the work he had done, with bands like Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden and Y & T, and it was really good. And the ideas that he can come up with in studios, we would probably never even think of. It’s great! You need somebody like that to give ideas towards some of the writing.

It’s Probably good, because he can see what your good points are, and you’re too close to it sometimes.

That’s correct you know! When you write a song, or whatever you know, you just see it one way you know, and it’s in your head, and that’s all you can see sometimes. You can’t see or add texture, or can’t see any more colours in it.  Whereas somebody from the outside, like Chris, who’s used to producing, can see the little textures and the different little things that add the colour to the music and just enhance the whole song.

And Mama’s Boys are open to criticism and ideas are they?

Oh definitely! Like we’re still learning you know! Like I remember one example was; we were back home after realising our official bootleg in Ireland – it was practically a demo, and we were up doing an interview with the DJ there. And he said, “Now here’s a track I like in particular, I really like it, and it sounds a little bit like Alice Cooper.”, and I said, “Who is she?”. So, you know, we’re always ready to listen.

Now it’s really interesting that you’re here today. You’ve been a Radio 1 band for a long time now!

That’s correct! We’ve been very fortunate!

Tommy was telling me that the Friday rock show came to Dublin to record you at home.

That’s correct!. Tony Wilson came there to record us in the studio when we were doing one of our self finance albums and it was incredible for us to meet Tony and have Tommy play the music. In fact, it was the major break for us!

Don’t grow too big for us!

Not at all! Not at all!

Knebworth 1985: Blackfoot

Blackfoot - Knebworth 1985

Blackfoot, Knebworth 1985
Left to right: Robert Wayne Barth, Rickey Medlocke, Greg T. Walker

Blackfoot - Knebworth 1985

Blackfoot, Knebworth 1985
Left to right: Bobby Barth, Rickey Medlocke, Greg T. Walker

BlackfootRickey Medlocke – vocals and guitar; Robert Wayne Barth – guitar; Greg T. Walker – bass; Jackson Spires – drums.

Knebworth 1985: Blackfoot Set List

  1. Can’t Be So Bad
  2. On The Run
  3. Queenie / Dry County / The Wishing Well (Medley)
  4. Morning Dew
  5. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme / Rattlesnake Rock ‘n’ Roller / Train, Train (Medley)
  6. Highway Song

Knebworth 1985 Interview: Rickey Medlocke (Blackfoot) and Richard Skinner.

Rickey Medlocke, guitar and voice with Blackfoot!

Almost voice!

A little bit hoarse there!

Yeah, a little bit hoarse today!

This group has been together, with different line ups, fifteen years or so now.

Sixteen years!

Sixteen years?

Sixteen years this coming September.

How does it keep going, you know? What’s the thing that spurs the band on do you think?

Well I think. Well, first of all it’s the camaraderie together with the guys, and the will and the determination to keep going in a business that’s real competitive; and it’s a very competitive business so you’ve gotta come down to a point and say hey I gotta get out there like a football team and keep going, you know. It’s like the real high years for us was ’79 through ’82 and now we’ve had a little bit of low years, you know, in our career, but the band is on it’s way back up again as far as record sales and stuff like that so, it’s like teams that rebuild over and over and over again, you know, so I guess you could call us one of those veteran teams.

And low points like that can actually spur you on.

Oh, absolutely! Absolutely! I think that really what happens is, once you hit… Er, I saw Rod Stewart on a show and he told me that he believed that all artists would go through two or three low times, you know, and then high times again. And I was sitting there one night and really thinking about what he was saying, and listening to him, and all of a sudden, after I really thought about it, it’s really funny ’cause he’s hitting on what’s going wrong with the band. So you get two or three albums down the line from your last highest album, two or three albums, and all of a sudden you’re picking back up again; you’re back together; you’re back going once more.

Is it still as much fun though, when you’re out there Rickey? I mean, after a long time in the business, and there’s another band on stage there now, about to hammer it out, do you still get the same buzz?

Yes I do as a matter of fact! You can’t help it when you walk out in front of sixty five thousand people…

It’s a big crowd!

You can’t help but feel just overwhelmed, you know what I mean? It’s really… And especially being… like we’re an American band, so especially like coming over to England and coming over to foreign countries and when you walk out it’s like, you know, they give you that kind of attention, it really does something to you. It gives you the chills, you know? But it’s still, to be honest with you, just as much fun as it ever was. I stay on the road a lot. I tour quite a lot. And I guess that whenever it gets to the point where I get tired of touring and tired of making records I hope I’m about seventy years older about that time! It’s just like our other guitar player, Charlie, who left us this past January. It was a year ago he left us, so he’s been gone about a year and a half now. Charlie got to that point. He got to that point where the pressures of touring and making albums and stuff really got to him.

Turning into a job suddenly?

Yeah, absolutely, it did turn into a job for him instead of fun! I mean it’s like out there today, you were talking about dodging bottles and stuff. I mean basically for me, I saw it starting; it started in the audience. They were flipping bottles back over each other and throwing bottles at each other. And I think they figure, well we’ll test these guys and see if we can shake them you know. And I never got shook. You know, they were throwing them, you know, and it was like; here it come’s you know, and I was like OK , that’s OK.

It was amazing! I was watching you; you were singing and you were not moving off that microphone!

Not at all!!!

Does this happen any where else? Do you find this bottle throwing ritual…

England should be proud of that because it does not happen anywhere else in the world that I’ve ever been; and I’ve been to a lot of places and it never happens anywhere else, and that’s… you know. And I remember it happening the last time we played Donnington like three years ago, it was the same thing, you know, but you know. If you get shook. You know they’re waiting for you to stop and say; “Hey! Cut this out, you know, or we’re leaving!”, and then they’re really gonna give it to you. But they were passing it back and forth between themselves. And I’d seen guys, and all of a sudden I’d duck, and the guy who thew it would start laughing and go; “yeah!” Hey, you know it’s great!

Is it these outdoor shows that really do stick in your mind as oppose to some of the stadium, the indoor auditorium things?

Well it’s really interesting! I find that the outdoor shows, you’re more… erm.. how should I say it? You’re more spontaneous in outdoor shows. It’s like things happen spontaneously, you know? Whereas like indoor shows your whole show is mapped out and planned with the lights and stuff like that so. Now us, for us as being a band, sometimes, most of the time, we don’t follow the normal pattern like a lot of other bands. We do let things happen like spontaneously. Like the other night, we were in Belfast, Ireland, you know, and we were playing the other night and the power; the PA end up and the power equipment all went down – twice in the set! And the place was jammed packed and we stood out on the stage and waited for it to come back on…

Doing an acoustic set…

And I calmed and quieted ’em down, you know, I think there was like twenty five hundred people in this hall. It was packed. And I quieted ’em down and I yelled as loud as I could; “I’ll stay here all night ’till the power comes on!”, and they went bezerk man, you know, they expected us to just walk off, you know, but I wasn’t going anywhere.

Rickey, there’s one thing about Blackfoot. You have a reputation for being hard living boys!


How true is that reputation? Hey?

Look at my eyes. Can you tell?
We are hard living because, we’re basically, from our stand point, we come from hard neighborhoods where we were raised and stuff, you know. When you’re seven years old and running with a street gang, that’s hard living. So you grow up living hard. I think rock and roll is a hard life. I don’t think it’s… you know, everybody wants to look at it as being such a glamorous life. A lot of artists make it glamorous you know; they have to have everything just perfect. For us, we’re a little bit more on the easy side, you know on the slack side. We just go for it and we have fun at it. I mean there are certain standards that we set, you know that we have to have. But as far as like, you know, everything being perfect; I don’t get upset if everything isn’t perfect. I mean it wasn’t perfect on stage out there today for us. My throat, I got real sick in Dublin and the thing about it is it wasn’t perfect. I was disappointed that I wasn’t in full singing form like I was in Belfast and Dublin and stuff the other night, but I can’t help that, you know!

Make’s every show unique you know!

That’s human, you know! That’s being human you know! And you’re looked at as not being human. You’re supposed to be one of these super humans, you know, that never gets sick and stuff and that. That’s a little bit far fetched. But erm… I think the hard living comes basically from; you hear a lot of tales of bands, hey; well the women, the booze and the drugs, you know. Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. It’s all you ever hear about. Well Blackfoot has had its fill for sixteen years. I can guarantee you that, OK? And I’m not saying; the one most of all is the women. I mean, you know, we’ve had, you know our fill. I mean, if you can look at me…

You look satisfied there you know!

Yeah I guess so!!! I guess you could say; “women’s like air and I gotta breathe”, you know what I’m saying?

Knebworth 1985: UFO

UFO - Knebworth 1985

UFO, Knebworth 1985

UFO - Knebworth 1985

UFO, Knebworth 1985

UFO - Knebworth 1985

UFO, Knebworth 1985

UFOPhil Mogg – vocals; Atomic Tommy McClendon – lead guitar; Paul Raymond – rhythm guitar & keyboards; Paul Gray – bass, Jim Simpson – drums.

Knebworth 1985: UFO Set List

  1. Blinded By A Lie
  2. Heaven’s Gate
  3. Wreckless
  4. Love To Love
  5. Night Run
  6. Only You Can Rock Me (*)
  7. Lights Out (*)
  8. Doctor, Doctor

(*) Songs were broadcast live on BBC Radio 1. Phil Mogg announces between songs “I’m told by a Mr Richard Skinner that you are live at the moment on BBC. Hey Live!”

Each song from the UFO set list is available as a separate mp3 download from This concert also features on the downloadable album: UFO at the BBC (1974-1985).


UFO – At the BBC (1974-1985)

Alternatively, start your 30-day free trial with Amazon Music Unlimited and listen to the concert for free.


Knebworth 1985 Interview: Phil Mogg (UFO) and Richard Skinner.

Richard Skinner asks Phil Mogg to explain the very recent reformation of UFO:

Well that was the surprise you see! I thought it would be good to finish the group, then take 2 years off and reform.

It was a plan?

Yeah! And they would think ‘God! What’s going on? He must be totally mad’. No it was kinda of er, I took a long break after the last thing and it takes rather a long time to get the right combination of people right, you know, right for a group of this kind.


You know, I mean I don’t know about anybody else but of this kind so it just took a long time.

Phil, why did the last UFO have to come to an end? What was the sort of game plan that lead up to that?

I think it was called ‘over work’!

This is quite often the thing you know in rock ‘n’ roll.

Yes it creeps up on you a bit! And I think we’d done too much and not enough on the recording side as we should have done. It was a bit like tour, album, tour, album whereas at the moment, our main interest, what we’re concentrating on is doing the album. And playing here today is a bit of a light relief from, you know, playing.

In the old days then, it got a bit like a rat race did it? Everything was just getting heavier and heavier and harder to…


So what was the atmosphere like inside the group? It must have got fairly tetchy at times!

Well… not that tetchy! There was a few broken noses and… no, it wasn’t that tetchy! I think our sense of humour remained along the whole time but it may be a bit difficult for people to understand, but that amount of work is very difficult to take for a long time without any break in between it. And I think that, you know, obviously we wanted a larger success than we were getting and that’s kind of…

It always seemed to be just around the corner though didn’t it?

Unfortunately, yeah! I dunno who’s corner but it was; it was just around the corner!

Who made the decision then to call it a day for a while? Was it yourself?

I think we got a blank response from one another and we went… shook our heads and said, ‘well…’

Time to shake hands!

Yep! It was one of those!

How did you feel then though, immediately after the decision?

A little bit depressed and then very elated, you know. Between the two.

What brought on the elation?

It was a relief! You know, a relief to have that burden removed from you, but erm… it’s a funny thing that you suddenly start creeping to get back into it.

It’s the old rock ‘n’ roll is in the blood is it? You know, you can’t quite get it out!

Yes, it’s a frightening thing!

How long was it before you started to get the itch to do something again?

Well I went over to America just to dive in swimming pools and stuff.

And lie in the sun.

Yeah! And I met someone I knew years ago who had a tape of young Tommy who was over there.

Part of the new line-up we should say!


We’ll talk more about him later.

And I suddenly started to get that re-interest, you know, that kind of… so I rather got drawn into it.

It’s a classic example of new people and new horizons re-awakening an old interest isn’t it, really?

Well I think that’s the only concept you can have a group under anyway. That you’ve got some kind of horizon, some kind of aim.

Did you know then that you wanted to make another UFO? Or, did you just have vague plans that Phil Mogg will be recording again soon?

No! There was no… it just sort of happened. It just sort of rolled along and picked up speed. And by the end of the day it was, “Well, what she call ourselves?”

“I’ve got this great name!”, he said.
Tell us about the other people, the other people in the new line-up.

Well we’ve got Paul Raymond who’s standing just over there. He’s watching the thunderstorm…

It is raining outside, yeah.

…on keyboards and guitar. And Paul Gray who’s from the last UFO tour, and the only new member we’ve had over the last month is Jim Simpson who did a little spell with Magnum and a few other things…

And Jim is on?


Right, now he’s joining this late and here you are playing a really big gig at Knebworth…


So it’s all up to the minute stuff this!

Yeah! I think we should start biting our nails! No, he fits in really well and as far as I’m concerned it’s a permanent line-up.

You’ve played one gig already before this Knebworth one. That was over in Belgium. Was that a nice experience? Did it really work out well? Because you can never be sure until you’re up there on the stage can you?

That’s the moment of truth!


No, that was very good; very enjoyable; it was fun!

Is it all give and take, or are you the big boss? Just look at their eyes! They’re looking the other way!

Their eyes are shielded!

Who calls the shots?

I would like to think… this is a public announcement. I would like to think it’s more give and take than anything else otherwise there’s not much point in forming a group. So, hopefully… is it give and take?

Well they’re saying yes and no I think, over there.

Phil, Phil! After this gig when are people going to able to see the new UFO? Make a decision! When will you be doing some more live dates?

We’re doing a pre Christmas tour and that’ll be with turkey money! And that will be with the album.

Alright! We can have a chance to have a taste of some of the new songs of course, in today’s live show!


Knebworth 1985: Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf - Knebworth 1985

Meat Loaf, Knebworth 1985

Meat Loaf - Knebworth 1985

Meat Loaf, Knebworth 1985

Meat Loaf – vocals; Bob Kulick – guitar; Paul Jacobs – Keyboards.

Knebworth 1985: Meat Loaf Set List

  1. Bad Attitude
  2. Dead Ringer For Love
  3. Midnight At The Lost And Found
  4. Paradise By The Dashboard Light
  5. All Revved Up
  6. Bat Out Of Hell

Knebworth 1985 Interview: Meat Loaf and Richard Skinner.



Good to see you!

Good to see you!

You’ve come all the way from the Antipodes to do this show…

Well I got off the plane this morning and actually we were ten minutes early.

How do you feel? You haven’t yet gone on stage…

No I haven’t yet gone on stage. Well I mean you gotta… You could be the tiredest person in the world and get up in front of that kinda crowd and you know, you’re no longer tired, it’s just a feeling. I was sitting in my room wanting to get out here just to get the energy you know. I mean I’m going, “Can I go now? Can I just go?”, you know. “Can I go and dodge the bottles please?”

Yes! They are moving around a bit, the bottles today!

Yeah they got the wind too! That’s the drag man! But I’m glad see, I’m glad they don’t play baseball here in England you know, ’cause they don’t have the same kind of arms, you know, that the baseball players have! You get used to the cricket balls going down at the ground – ok folks!

In Australia, you had a slight mishap it is fair to say!

Well I broke my leg if that’s slight!

Tell me how it happened.

Well I was erm… In Australia we couldn’t take the bike that we had here in England and in America and Europe.

This is the giant motor cycle…

Yeah, we couldn’t take it. So, over in Australia we were building ramps that went out into the audience. Well there was this one particular place we didn’t have to build one; we were playing this like… we played all the big places just like here only then I went out to all these clubs and all these weird places. We were playing this one place called Sigos; it’s thirty five hundred, it’s like a Las Vegas kinda thing. And it’s all red and everything and they had this circular ramp and there was an eight inch step, so on All Revved Up I jumped over my monitor. I was fine. Went running out down this ramp gonna stop face to face with this guy. And I came to the stop, I just jumped to the stop and my leg, I heard it just go <snap> and it just… It bit in and I fell over. And I stuck the mike out to the guy and he did all…He went… I almost did it to you. He went, “All revved up and no place to go!”, and I went, “All revved up and no place to go, yeah!”, and I lay flat on my back and I go, “OK folks I’ve broken my leg!”. And they thought it was part of the show! ‘Cause within two seconds here comes some guy with crutches! Coming from the audience! I’m serious! So I’m going, “No, I’m really serious. I’ve broken my leg!”. I knew it was broken. So I scooped myself back up to the step and turned around to Paul Jacobs and said, “Let’s do Modern Girl.”. So he went into Modern Girl and I’m standing on stage…

I don’t believe this, the show had to go on?

Yeah, and my leg is broken! ‘Cause that’s the end of the normal set before the encores. But people were angry ’cause we didn’t do any encores!

Dear me!

I mean I was in so much pain doing Modern Girl, you wouldn’t believe. I mean I was like going, “Ahh, give me the  future with a hospital please, man please!”.

The song will never be the same again!

But we finished the thing. Then the doctor said… they gave me crutches. The doctor handed me crutches and I said, “Here you can take these back ’cause I’m not gonna be using these.”

How you getting around without crutches? I mean, you’ve walked into our little studio here today with no crutches!

Because I was determined to finish my tour! ‘Cause I mean we had sold out, we’d sold out everything and I mean, first of all, just didn’t want to go through the insurance hassle. You know that’s like….

Cancellation, yeah.

We’d sold out like eight thousand in Perth, and we’d never been to Perth and I mean I really wanted to play these dates. And everything, all the tickets, I mean had been sold out for a long time, so I wanted to finish. I think there was another ten, eleven or twelve shows to go so we did ’em.

How’s it gonna affect the show, do you think?

It doesn’t affect it at all!

Nothing at all?

The only thing it affects is I can’t do my side step move! But of everything else, I mean I move sorta stiff legged, but I’m still moving.

What is different about the whole setup this time ’round compared to when you were working with Jim in the early days? What, how are you able to do it differently or better for yourself?

I still am sure working with Jim, ’cause Jim’s coming in with us to do… we’re re-mixing Nowhere Fast erm for America release of the single and Australian release and Jim’s coming in with us to work with us, so erm, you know, you never know what me and Jim might come up with.

I thought that you’d sorta broken up, you know, that the differences had got to big.

No, no, no! Jim and I never broke up! I mean, you know, I mean I just saw him about three weeks ago but it’s been like two months ago now.

Look, enjoying the show today, a lot of people have been saying that this time around, in this stage of their career, they’re being a bit more careful with themselves, they’re not pushing themselves too much.

Me, forget it! I take more risk than anybody I know. People go, “You take a lot of risk don’t you?”. I say, “That’s the name of the game Jack. That’s it! Risk!”.

Knebworth 1985: Scorpions

Scorpions Left to right: Francis Buchholz. Rudolf Schenker, Klaus Meine & Matthias Jabs

Scorpions, Knebworth 1985
Left to right: Francis Buchholz. Rudolf Schenker, Klaus Meine & Matthias Jabs

ScorpionsKlaus Meine – vocals; Rudolf Schenker – guitar; Matthias Jabs – guitar; Francis Buchholz – bass; Herman Rarebell – drums.

Knebworth 1985: Scorpions Set List

  1. Countdown
  2. Coming Home
  3. Blackout
  4. Bad Boys Running Wild
  5. Make It Real (Not Fantasy)
  6. Big City Nights
  7. Coast To Coast
  8. Still Loving You
  9. Rock You Like A Hurricane
  10. Can’t Live Without You
  11. Another Piece Of Meat
  12. Dynamite
  13. The Zoo
  14. I Can’t Get Enough

Scorpions – World Wide Live

I have an audience recording of this concert. It’s poor quality but I’ve taken the set list from that. Performing a set list almost verbatim with their new World Wide Live album, the Scorpions declined to be recorded at this festival. There is no interview with the BBC.


Knebworth 1985: Deep Purple

Deep PurpleIan Gillan – vocals and harmonica; Ritchie Blackmore – guitar; Jon Lord – keyboards; Roger Glover – bass; Ian Paice – drums.

Knebworth 1985: Deep Purple Set List

  1. Highway Star
  2. Nobody’s Home
  3. Strange Kind Of Woman
  4. Gypsy’s Kiss
  5. Perfect Strangers
  6. Under The Gun (*)
  7. Lazy
  8. Knocking At Your Backdoor
  9. Difficult To Cure
  10. Space Truckin’
  11. Woman From Tokyo (*)
  12. Speed King
  13. Black Night
  14. Smoke On The Water

The concert is available on a double CD: In The Absence of Pink CD. Songs marked (*) are not on the CD.


Live Double CD – Deep Purple | In The Absence Of Pink | Knebworth 85

Deep Purple were interviewed by Richard Skinner but my copy of it was destroyed; eaten by my car’s cassette player. And unfortunately I cannot find a transcript of it.

If anyone would like to donate a copy of it for this site, please contact me via Twitter or Google +

Deep Purple, Knebworth 1985

Deep Purple, Knebworth 1985

If you have any recollections of this concert, please consider adding them to this post by leaving a reply at the foot of this page.

11 thoughts on “The Return of the Knebworth Fayre 1985

  1. Brilliant days out.loved the bottle throwing. Full of piss. Watching meatloaf dodging them. And falling over.
    The drummers dodging mud bombs. Getting stuck in the mud trying to get out of the car park..waking up in the morning with my jeans still standing in the corner solid with mud up to the knees. Going to work on Monday with my two mates who were with me there. And saying never again, with the pains in my legs. By Wednesday the pains had gone and was looking forward to next year….sadly did,nt happen , but great memories of a great day..

  2. Enjoyed Reading this , brought back many memories of a very wet and cold day .
    However there a few mistakes in the set lists … UFO’s I Can’t Wait For You is actually called Heaven’s Gate, Reckless is called Wreckless and Only You Can Rock Me is the full title .
    The Scorpions opened with Coming Home then followed by Blackout .
    Cheers Mark

  3. Great day for me as it was the first time I’d been to anything that size and Deep Purple hadd been one of my favourite bands through teenage years. I remember it being wet but didnt think it was that bad. Being farming students me and my mate and his brother all brought large plastic bags, the sort which were used at that time to put big round bales in. There was reason for this other than just keeping dry. Being so large, when rolled up we could hide things inside, namely lengths of plastic water pipe to use as a flag pole adorned with a large Deep Purple flag (the P as a reflection of the D) made by Pete’s mum!

  4. Loved this article. My abiding memory of the Deep Purple set was Ritchie kicking at a prop “space truck” which refused to light and fly across the stage, presumably due to being waterlogged.

  5. My two pence worth:
    The four lads not too far in front of us (stage right, abeam the control tower) with a bin bag full on bottles of cider that were so drunk they were literally rolling around in the mud. One wonders if they actually remember any of the gig.
    The Scorpions. Sorry Purple fans, but as much as DP were amazing,the Scorps were awesome. And Mama’s Boys were pretty good. Whatever happened to them.
    The bass sound: “The Absense Of Pink” just doesn’t do it justice – on the day it was awesome – esp. in Perfect Strangers.
    The rain. The mud. The three hours to get out of the car park. The marshals head to toe in mud that pushed our (and everyone else’s) car out through the woods: To our driver, “Put it in second gear, keep the revs up, steer towards the gate and keep going, don’t worry about us.” Serious kudos to those guys, whoever they were.
    4am in a service area on the M1, playing “spot the Knebwoorth goer.” It wasn’t much of a contest – anyone with jeans coated in mud up to the knees was a good bet.
    Having hair.
    Happy days.

  6. I remember two old boys rummaging in the mud for there “medication” lol.getting left in the carpark all night because the bus got stuck in the mud.Oh and being sick all over the girlfriend.

  7. It was the day after my graduation. One day I’m poncing around in ermine and the next day I’m up to my armpits in sweat and mud in a field somewhere. But it was an amazing concert. Like many of us I later taped all the sets that were broadcast on Radio 1 and listened to them until they disintegrated. Only The Scorpions weren’t recorded. I have fond memories of Mountain – fantastic band. I read in Lesley West’s autobiography that Deep Purple totally stiffed them on that tour and it ended up costing them a fortune.

    My abiding memory of the day though is after the last note rung out, trying to get find my way back to the bus to Stevenage railway station, and wading straight into, er, how can I put this delicately, a lake of piss. Good gig though 🙂

  8. The picture of ‘Mountain’ is actually Mamas Boys – you can see his mirrored shades and the Pat on the left with the Roland synth guitar. I will be in that shot somewhere, I was right down the front, 2nd row.

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