Joe Boyd is promoter, manager, record producer, writer, film producer and now raconteur. For he certainly tells a good tale.
Boyd had been to Sheffield previously. In 1964, aged 21, he was tour manager for the Blues and Gospel Caravan, bringing the likes of Muddy Waters and Rev Gary Davis to the UK. Boyd recalls the journey, sat at the back of the bus with Otis Span. Sadly, he admits, the stuff they were smoking erased any memory of time in the Steel City.
Then there’s the Dylan connection. Boyd knew Bob before anyone else did and recounts a story of losing a prospective girlfriend to the soon-to-be music legend.
Boyd was also in charge of sound at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, the night Dylan plugged in, everyone dropped out and the folk establishment turned off. Things were never the same again. Swinging London beckoned and Boyd opened 60s hotspot the UFO club. The fondest recollections are reserved for Nick Drake, the tortured genius whose records bombed at the time but is now rightly recognised as the astounding talent he was.
Boyd the raconteur did two and half hours but the dinner-party atmosphere could have seen him continue all night.