It was a warm summer’s evening and the more determined of the day’s swimmers were still slashing about the pool of Ashton Court Country Club near Bristol. Unbeknown to them, inside the club, in the ballroom, a small team of highly skilled and almost sober technicians were converting one of the bars into what seemed to be a replica of an interplanetary spaceship. A mass of cables, wires, metal boxes which hummed and blinked red lights, and a huge control desk of flickering dials and tiny switches.
Meanwhile along the country lanes which surround Ashton Court, an assortment of motor cars were navigating their way uncertainly towards a secret meeting. No! It wasn’t the Klu Klux Klan, or Alcoholics Anonymous or even the Rattrap and Harpic Brass Band; it was members of the Wurzels’ Fan Club on their way to make up an invited audience at a Wurzels recording session.
Once at the club, they were greeted by Mary Witten, the Wurzels’ Fan Club secretary, who had done much to organise the audience for this event. It was a case of find a seat and get a drink, or the other way round for some people, and settle down to see what the evening had in store.
Bob Barratt, our record producer, took the stage to a well-deserved applause and got the evening off to a good start with a few words of welcome. Next our good friend Aj Webber, a lovely and talented young West Country maid, entertained everyone with her witty songs and sparkling personality. The festivities were underway.
Sometime after eight o’clock it was our turn and we went on stage to every bit as warm a welcome as we get in big concert halls and theatres. What happened next you’ll have to play this record to find out, but the object of the exercise was to try and recreate the happy and good-humoured atmosphere which we feel is such an essential part of our shows.
Tom, Pete and myself would like to take this opportunity to thank Mary Witten, our Fan Club secretary, Bob Barratt our record producer, Ed Welch our arranger, Rod Owen, our musical director, Billy Bessell, our tireless road manager, Bill Pinnell, our ever cheerful drummer, John Miles, our good friend and manager, the technicians and session musicians who helped to make this record possible and, of course, you, the public who have bought it.
We hope you enjoy it, and hope that one day we may have the pleasure of having you in the audience of one of our live shows!
Listening Tony Bayliss