Stones still had a long way to roll

It s 30 years since the greatest rock and roll band in the world – currently on tour in Britain – played to 250,000 at Knebworth Festival Last week marked the 30th anniversary of the Rolling Stones at Knebworth Park. The 1976 music festival attracted ar

It's 30 years since the 'greatest rock and roll band in the world' - currently on tour in Britain - played to 250,000 at Knebworth Festival

Last week marked the 30th anniversary of the Rolling Stones at Knebworth Park.

The 1976 music festival attracted around 250,000 people and was one of the biggest music events the UK has ever seen.

The park, which has since hosted the likes of Oasis and Robbie Williams, welcomed Todd Rundgren, Hot Tuna, 10cc and The Don Harrison Band.


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Lynyrd Skynyrd also played in one of their last performances before half of the band died in an airplane accident a year later.

The concert was the third of the 20 major concerts held at the park since 1974.

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Henry Lytton Cobbold of Knebworth House, who wrote the book Knebworth - 30 Years of the Greatest Rock Venue in the World, said his memories of the event include watching the Rolling Stones on a big screen and one incident where a bunch of rock stars turned up at his back door.

He said: "The 1976 concert is difficult for me to comment on personally, because as an embarrassingly sulky 14-year-old I was more interested in watching Star Trek on TV than the Rolling Stones.

"The upside, in retrospect, was that I was the only one home when Paul McCartney, half of Pink Floyd and Jack Nicholson turned up at the back door for the after-concert party.

"I do have an enduring memory of popping out, probably during the ad break, and watching Mick Jagger sing a magical version of Fool to Cry on a

giant screen at the back of the crowd.

"The Stones were not happy with their performance and have buried the concert film, which is a real shame because there were some classic moments in their set.

"As a result, the day is perhaps best remembered now for Lynyrd Skynyrd's set, featured in the movie Freebird, one of their finest, and one of their last before half the band were lost in an airplane accident.

"Even in 1976 Knebworth could mark the pinnacle of a career."

But for the Stones, life has kept rolling and rocking on. Their current line-up is almost the same as the one that trod the Knebworth stage - Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood, with only Bill Wyman retired from the show.

n Henry's book is available to buy from www.knebworthconcerts.com

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