I heard a rumour about the forest holidays of the Beatles and the Stones in the 60’s, so I went back in time to track them down.
The forest of Dean is one of the oldest forests in England, grown before the battle of Hastings in 1066 for hunting purposes. There is even evidence of Romans digging for coal, even further back.
Most importantly – the Beatles and the Stones weren’t big news in the forest of dean.
They could move among the trees freely – unless they were reading a book perhaps.
To other forest creatures they were just people to be avoided.
So I chose the forest of Dean to try looking for them. It’s the last place anyone would expect.
I arrived at a cold November in 1967, I was walking along a path less travelled when I heard voices.
I slowed down to have a look.
I admit it – I became a peeper that day.
We love you
Four guys,two in colorful clothing, two in suits were arguing about starting a fire.
I got closer and heard various English accents.
It looked like – John,Paul, Mick and Keith. Keith was smoking a fat one.
The other band members were nowhere to be seen.
It must have been a songwriters holiday.
I guess they’d all started hanging out after the song ‘We love you’ by the Stones was released in August 1967.
As John and Paul sang backing vocals on that song, they must have got on really well and arranged a forest holiday.
Keith and Mick were probably a bit down after the Satanic Majesties Request didn’t sell well.
It was obvious who was the greatest as who wrote the Stones first big number one in England?
John and Paul. That had to hurt.
Keeping warm in Winter
The Stones were wearing bright colored Indian Sherwani.
The Beatles wore their famous suits , a mix of grey wool and mohair with their usual winklepicker shoes.
November in England they would need to do something or they would get cold, really fast.
Not the best clothes for the forest but who would question the best songwriters of their generation?
They must know what they were doing.
McCartney was singing.
“All day long I’m sitting singing songs for everyone’
It was the mother nature’s son lyrics over and over.
He is still annoying even now. FUH YOU Macca.
Mick was gathering twigs.
“Don’t fool me cos you’re playing with fire,” he said.
Mick was never very funny.
“You need to start a fire before you play with it.” Lennon said.
Lennon was stooped down, moving between the roots at the base of a tree.
He began ripping up Moss from the ground. He moved over to shove it down Macca’s back.
John was clearly in charge and Keith wasn’t having it.
Lennon finished Macca’s back and started shoving the moss into his winklepickers.
Everyone knew the Beatles loved moss.
All they needed was moss.
John shoved the moss inside his Beatle suit and into his underwear.
He took out a scrunched up Denton Barge cap from his pocket, packed it with moss put it and put it on his head.
“You’ll die out here if you don’t moss up. Mick has never started a fire in his life.” Lennon said.
Now their clothing choice didn’t seem so stupid. They were the moss-tops after all.
“It’s what Otzi the iceman did to keep warm Keith,” said Lennon.
“How else did he survive the ice age? Tell Mick to start doing it.”
“You don’t need a fire with all this moss. My Beatle bits will be lovely and toasty”
Mick held his twigs tightly. He looked over to Keith for help.
All Mick could do was flounce a bit but the twigs made it difficult.
“You’ll die in this cold Keith,” Lennon smirked.
“Mick you don’t have to wait for Keith to tell you, shove some moss down your pants. Do you need any help?”
“You can’t imagine how good it feels.”
Keith looked at Mick and Mick looked at Keith.
Mossy-backed Macca stopped singing and looked over at them.
Toasty Lennon’s smile just got bigger and bigger.
“Moss is all you need,” McCartney sang “Moss,moss,moss…”
All Keith could do was rub his hippy hands up and down his arms as the cold started to seep through his drug addled body.
The Moss-tops were Kings of the forest as well as the charts.
I never saw them again after that.
I suspect the reason the Stones didn’t perform “We love you” live was down to the embarrassment of their forest holiday with the moss tops.
Not long after the recording of We love you Andrew Loog Oldham ended his working relationship with the rolling stones.
I suspect he heard about their forest holiday.
My entry for one liner Wednesday this week is the six words implied by the story.
According to wikipedia Publilius Syrus foresaw this forest holiday thousands of years in advance.
He was the first person credited with the six words in my implied line.
what’s moss is used for. Preindustrial societies made use of the mosses growing in their areas.
Laplanders, North American tribes, and other circumpolar people used mosses for bedding. Mosses have also been used as insulation both for dwellings and in clothing. Traditionally, dried moss was used in some Nordic countries and Russia as an insulator between logs in log cabins, and tribes of the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada used moss to fill chinks in wooden longhouses. Circumpolar and alpine peoples have used mosses for insulation in boots and mittens. Ötzi the Iceman had moss-packed boots.
The capacity dried mosses have to absorb fluids, has made their use practical in both medical and culinary uses. North American tribal people used mosses for diapers, wound dressing, and menstrual fluid absorption.Tribes of the Pacific Northwest in the United States and Canada used mosses to clean salmon prior to drying, and packed wet moss into pit ovens for steaming camas bulbs. Food storage baskets and boiling baskets were also packed with mosses.