On August 21, 1976, 250-thousand fans --some naked, some high --attended the Knebworth Festival, including Linda and Paul McCartney and David Gimour. The Rolling Stones headlined the UK rock festival, but the highlight was Lynyrd Skynyrd's scorching performance. The Alabama rockers followed Utopia on stage. "America's Confederate rockers" would be releasing their live album, One More From the Road, in September and were in peak form.
They were followed by 10cc, in what I believe is their final performance as the original quartet. They may have had the best sound but they had a hard time winning over the crowd who were anxious to see the Rolling Stones. They rocked out on a ten minute version of "Rubber Bullets" before saying goodnight.
Conditions at Knebworth were fairly miserable. Long lines for bathrooms and drinking water. A naked hippie raced on stage and pleasured himself in front of the crowd. When he was finished he grabbed a mike and said "Sorry for keeping you waiting for so long".
The Rolling Stones came on hours late, in part because some giant lips had to be inflated above the stage. Finally around 11:30 that night , they opened with "Satisfaction". Billy Preston played keyboards. Ron Wood played some hot licks on lead guitar. Despite the recent Lester Bangs obit* for the band, The Rolling Stones were still alive and still mattered.
Meanwhile in France, on the way to the Mont de Marsan punk festival , headlined by Eddie and the Hot Rods, Nick Lowe, The Count Bishops and Pink Fairies, The Damned's Ray Burns buys a shirt with epaulettes and exchanges his nickname "Eats" for "Captain Sensible". The Damned's first single, "New Rose", will be released in two months.