An “06880” post following the recent death of Johnny Winter drew a flood of comments about his time in Westport. Yet he — and REO Speedwagon — were hardly the only rockers in town during the late 1960s and early ’70s.
Andrew Loog Oldham — manager/producer of the Rolling Stones, co-founder of Immediate Records (Rod Stewart, Nico, Humble Pie) and producer of recordings by Donovan, Jimmy Cliff and Marianne Faithfull — bought a house in Wilton in 1969. But he spent a great deal of time in Westport.
Here’s what he remembers — sort of — according to the website Music Museum of New England:
A few months ago I saw Ronnie Spector singing to support Haiti at the Westport Country Playhouse. But things were not always good between myself and New England.
When I settled into Wilton (in 1969) my friend Noel Harrison came to stay. He was hot with “the girl from UNCLE,” and was doing summer stock at the Westport Playhouse.
Westport was a wasted hoot and Vietnam horror show. All of the rich kids were 4F and more wasted than Keith Richards. Joe Cocker stopped by and mused, “so this is what is between New York and Boston.”
Westport looked pretty, and had Sally and her great record store at the back of Klein’s on the main drag, but for all its Stepford Wife properness the Westport train station was a nightly procession of lost and drunk Jack Lemmons pouring themselves back into station wagonerama, as drunk as their kids were stoned.
America was at the crossroads — Vietnam had done the Robert Johnson on the lot of you, and a sorry state was your lovely nation for that while.
I saw Bridgeport jail a few times, driving under the influence of you name it. I blacked out more than once on the Merritt Parkway, coming to just in time for Exit 40….
On more than one occasion I saw Mr. and Mrs. Paul Newman driving around Westport. I had a wonderful time. I cannot think of any place I’d rather have been the first time I heard Harry Chapin’s “WOLD.”
Eventually I got much, much better and as New England keeps on doing that, we are all doing well.