The Wallingford subject here is historical – quite.
This, I’ll wager, is the first time the Gasworks were used for playful purposes and musical performance. Although we were more impetuous then, it was not a guerilla invasion of the industrial ruins, for Richard Haag, the architect who proposed, planned, and carried the conversion of gas factory to wind swept park through much political and physical turmoil was complicit. He allowed it.
Richard graciously opened the gates to friends (chorus members) and the band Butterfat, which had migrated to Seattle from Wyoming some months earlier.
Butterfat appears in three scenes of the film SKY RIVER ROCK FIRE, which is yearning to completion – perhaps next year! For the most part it is a documentary of the multi-day musical festivals that were invented in the Northwest, beginning with the three-day Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter Than Air Fair in 1968. That is one year before Woodstock. We may say that Woodstock resembled it.
The film – a mix of documentary and theatrical footage with some animation – will be edited right here in Wallingford in 2011! Yes, next year! And at least some of this Gasworks playing will be part of it. After 40-plus years of production we will commit to it!
The “Universal Worm” hanging from the factory ruins is one of the film’s graphic motifs. I remember it was a warm and windy afternoon and the worm was enjoying it, flying about. We also hung one of these U-Worms from the Space Needle – a longer one, 230 feet. And we have lots of footage of that too. Film footage. Without checking the year for these firsts, it was either 1971 or 72. All will be revealed – later.