'I thought I was going to die!' Alex Hardee's Glastonbury memories

'I thought I was going to die!' Alex Hardee's Glastonbury memories

Coda's Alex Hardee has had a unique relationship with Glastonbury Festival down the years.

The agent represents a number of artists on this weekend's bill including Liam Gallagher, Bastille and Lewis Capaldi, but his history with the festival stretches back far longer.

Hardee (pictured) is both a multiple Music Week Award winner and devoted family man these days, of course. But here, he winds the clock back to recall four debauched tales from Glastonbury past. Or what he can remember of them, at least...


"It was one of the years of mud [1997] and because of that, on the way down, I decided to stop off and buy a full military uniform. In the film Full Metal Jacket, it says 'Born To Kill' on the helmet, but I wrote 'Born To Lose' in white tippex on it for some reason. I'd rented this little cottage in Pilton, but I'd gone on a session – as you do at Glastonbury – and I couldn't find it for two days. I had nowhere to stay and I actually thought I was going to die.

"Just as I thought I was going to give up, I saw the road that I'd been looking for that led back to Pilton where the house was. As I was going up that road, this photographer jumped out and went, 'That's quite funny – Born To Lose – can I take pictures of you? I work for Mixmag'. So I went, 'Yeah, no problem. Do you want to put my name down?' And he said, 'Yeah what's your name?' I went, 'David Levy, ITB' – and that got printed. David Levy is a very good agent. He beat me to all the acts at the time, that's probably why I said it!" 


"I'd been trying to get to sleep when someone who had been hanging out with me said, 'You've got to come and see Jah Wobble. He's playing the jazz tent'. I'd hardly had any sleep for two days and the crowd got really thick and I was getting a bit panicky, but I had a AAA pass, so I went backstage. In those days it wasn't quite as busy and I bumped into one of my acts, a Christian band from a soul background, and they just nabbed me and went, 'Alex, do you want a game of football?' And I thought, 'If I don't play football they're going to think I've been out all night partying, so I better had'. They said, 'Do you know any other people to play with?' And I said the only people I could see were [band name redacted], who used to be the most messed up fucking people ever.

"Anyway, we started playing football backstage and were doing quite well, strangely enough. We were winning against this super fit bunch of Christian gospel singers, but one of our team really wasn't there. He just kicked the ball and it went all the way through the back of Jah Wobble's stage. It went, 'Bang!' and the whole band stopped playing. Apparently my mate saw me go, 'Mr Wobble, can I have my ball back?'"


"I went to Glastonbury for years without seeing a band, even to the extreme that when everyone in my circle of friends wanted to watch Jay-Z [in 2008], I watched the whole set with my back turned to the stage. I have started watching bands now I'm sensible, but I can't remember who the first act I actually saw there was. I've been going to Glastonbury since before I was a music agent because my brother [late comic Malcolm Hardee] used to run the comedy tent. He used to come out every year and do the same gag: 'I remember when this was all fields...'"


"I'd just been drinking and then I went to the field and bumped into one of my American acts. They were a 16-piece Latin funk band and they said, 'Come and meet everyone!' I was desperate for a piss and I wasn't really all there anyway, but I had to go and shake hands with them all. I reckon I would have made it if they only had 12 members, but when I got to the 14th I couldn't hold myself any longer and pissed myself in front of them. I lost the band on the Monday." 

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