THE HOBO WORKSHOP COVENTRY PRECINCT SWITCHED OFF POP CONCERT (Photo shows where the bands played)
On September 1974 on a Saturday, the Hobo Workshop organised a a morning concert in Coventry city centre near the
ountains. Youth worker Bob Rhodes, in his official capacity, took care of the permissions, from the Chamber of Commerce and the Council etc. We took care of the creative side. The object was to publicise the work of the Hobo Workshop and get more people involved.
We had a number of artists lined up including the middle of the road pop band Memories, (which we thought might help balance things out with passers by) Phoenix (a rock band) and
Folkies - Rod Felton and Dave Bennett (Ragtime Guitarist). We figired there was a good cross-section of music that would appeal to all ages and taste. Using an 80 watt PA the show
kicked off with the pop band Memories doing pop covers. We got a really good audience around us both on the ground and up on the stairs of the shopping precinct. Memories were helpful in helping to appeal for lost persons, children and various people were happily reunited. We had not sense that anybody at all was upset bu the concert - quite the oppostie - there was a really good vide and great turn out.
So it was a complete shock to us
when the police turned up half way through Memories set and told us turn the amps right down, claming there had been comlaints by paasers by who had to put their hand over their ears. They calinmed they could hear the music half a mile a way at Little Park police station. (Lucky them!). We'd hardly got started and we had done all the
right things, got all the right permissions.Word on the street was they'd seen our long hair and reacted. Later the Sally Army and a choir played using a 100 watt amp - much louder than ours - but they were respectable - we were not apparently. Then someone brough along the luch time editon of the Coventry Evening Telegraph. We'd hit the front page - 'Concert Deafens
Shoppers' read the header! 'What!' This galvanised us into action. In actual fact they did us a favour shutting it down - it got us a weeks publicity which included a front pager, two letters to the edito, an editorial dedicated to us and several smaller inside pieces in two papers - The Telegraph and the
Coventry Journal - the Telegraph's rival of the time. We would have been lucky to get a small column mention on the Saturday if it hadn't been shut down. All the same a lot of work had gone into it and people were disappointed and it seemed that even when young people do good things, the iron-hand of the law comes down on them. We
resolved to bombard the newspapers with complaints, letters, phone calls and encouraged all our supporters to do the same. I sent three long letters (one full of TS Elliot quotes about the Wasteland in order to make our feelings plain. It was also a good opportunity like the RU 18 petition, to get over some of our wider aims and objectives. A petition was another strategy the Bob Rhodes organised. Bob went in to the Newsaper office in an offical capacity. We got 6 or 7 peices in the paper over one week and turned a negative into a positive!
Just after HOBO - the magazine began - and we were in the paper Trev and Bo on the Music Scene - Virgin Records held a concert in their store with Virgin band Gong. They too had been shut down and somebody wrote in to the Coventry Evening Telgraph with a protest quote from Both Hobo and the articel about us - hence -