The very first "throwing" of Here & Now lasted from Spring
in 1974 until the Windsor Free Festival in August the same year. We used
the name "Here-Now" partly because the floating membership policy
meant that whoever was here now was in the band, and partly because of
the influence on us of the newly published book "Be Here Now"
by Baba Ram Dass. Much of the character of this band came from the operatic
improvisations of the Spanish singer Marguerita. Our only public shows
were at the "Albion Free State"s "Meat Roxy" (a squatted
bingo hall near Portobello Market) and the Windsor Free Festival.
Sadly, this was the first free festival to be smashed up by the police.
Here Now also failed to survive it. Marguerita went back to Spain. The
Italian Franco, another founder member, has not been seen since. The "authorities"
pulled down the Meat Roxy at about the same time, and the land it was
on was left empty for many years. The site is currently occupied by the
"London Lighthouse". No recordings of Here-Now are thought to
Human survivors of Here Now, including Kif Kif and Jose Gross, got together
with Jol on guitar in November 1974 and the "second incarnation"
of the band began.
fh [reprinted from the 'Gospel of Free' booklet].
Another venerated local artiste to perform with the band
Good time, Hard times and Here and Now... Late 1974... Here & Now
already in their second metamorphosis were scouting for rehearsal rooms,
and had successfully targetted Latimer Road, Freston Road and the aptly
named Stoneleigh Street. What they keyed into was an anarchic network,
comprising 50 squattable properties and abot 300 people. The politics
were above all anarchic, the perfect spawning ground for every emerging
nutcase, tripped out druggie and loser in West London.
Somehow there was enough of a community spirit to separate the wheat from
the chaff... and this is what Here & Now homed in on. They were right,
the vast potential within Frestionia and Latonia was really blossoming
out. Here & Now moved in, merging with the background of astrologers,
potters, poets and the odd hangers-ons... A rag-tag collection of colourful
scruffy hippies, full of idealism, an incredible concoction of drugs,
and an unbelievable amount of bullshit. We had three common objectives,
other than creating... (a) Free Love (very free, the babies came later).
(b) Peace (staying in bed all day after being up, or on the road, all
night). (c) Rock n roll (being there whenever there was something happening,
if not, making it).
Our dealings with the state were more unfriendly on "it's" part
than ours... Here & Now were never popular with any branch of the
Establishment, our dealings with the police were limited to them harrassing
us and our turning our backs and carrying on. They expended a lot of energy,
state money and hatred over the seven years that Latimer Road was squatted
yet managed only a handful of arrests.
Woven into the fabric of the community, during those years were the lives
and hard times of many other bands, theatre groups, etc. The Latimer Road
People's Army Band, The Dog-Ends, Blank Space, The Termites, The B52's
(Britain's version) and the Derelicts (later the Passions), to name a
few. Because of the friendships I formed then i have never lost touch
with the band...
by Drucilla Kraskaya