Top 10 Dead Musicians  We Would Have Loved To Have Seen Play Glastonbury Main Slot Plus Mythical ReviewsTop ten mythical great Glastonbury slots featuring reviews from mythical reviewers who were there, sort of— you get the concept!

1. The Beatles

‘…When Paul and George took the mic for the backing vocal and John’s still great voice screamed across the fields it gave you a genuinely funny feeling as the greatest of all bands played their comeback gig. It was off to look at the band who have, of course, aged but still sound like the youthful soundtrack to many generations of music fans who still see them freeze framed as the Fabs. With this one gig the wiped away the memories of the bad Live Aid appearance when they were shambolic and worse still armed with mullets after being sweet-talked into playing the charity gig by the sweet talking Bob Geldof

2. The Clash

With the embers of Joe’s bonfire backstage the real fire was on the boards on the Pyramid as the Clash returned to the main stage after those legendary free warm up gigs for various causes last year. Age has not withered them and they looked as sharp as those guitar chords that rang through the nigh

3. Pink Floyd

It took some doing to get Syd Barrett into any kind of shape for this gig and to be honest it was no Peter Green style moment of redemption but there were moments when the man who looked like someone’s gardener suddenly remembered who he was and that pixie voice rang out against the decades and the glissando guitar took off fulfilling some long lost promise..

4. Jimi Hendrix

As the last chords of Star Spangled Beer melted into God Save the Queen Hendrix still managed to get all that pain and frustration into the feedback drenched takes on the imperialist anthems and turn them into dramatic and filthy statements on the world.’

5. The Supremes

Easily topping Beyonce’s showbiz explosion a few years ago the Supremes oozed a sparkly sequined pizzazz that defined the endless mid for s belting series of hits that sound tracked their generation and everyone since.

6. Marc Bolan and TRex

It was somewhat fitting that Marc Bolan the boppin Elf returned to Glastonbury the festival he was the first headliner of back in the sixties, and from a decade when decades had names. His mixture of space folk sat down on the stage and the climax of THAT classic run of hit singles was a magnificent and joyous thing to see.

7. Elvis Presley

‘With his career mangled by his huckster manager Elvis looked like he was going to the grave a very rich man but his art in ruins. The recent death of the colonel meant that Elv could once again find his mojo and somehow out of the chemical fog the beast rose and this performance, his first in the UK, was just in time to save his soul from the torment of flabby cabaret hell. Elvis was quite simply, magnificent and his voice was intact and far more genuine than his suspiciously still jet black hair…’

8. Queen

Before the abject disco records, before the cod opera, before Freddy’s moustache there was once a great band who oozed pomp and decadence- tonight they proved it with a show that seemed to be constructed solely of hit songs. Bohemian Rhapsody seemed to last for hours and could have lasted hours more…’

9. The Doors

‘It took a bit adjusting to believe that they grey haired and grey bearded paunchy figure on the stage was Jim Morrison but when he started singing the whole thing fell into shape- despite not being the erotic politician any more Morrison still had the command and the charisma and the 21st century version of the end was spellbinding…’

10. Nirvana

It took some time but here they were the Seattle trio who changed music so forcefully in the early nineties. That they chose to play their acoustic set only added to their mystique and somehow to their power as well…’


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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.



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