Standing on the pavement for a few minutes, a car, shabby, and definitely not new, pulled up next to me. A tall, large figure stepped from the car, "Hmm that young man looks familiar, where have I seen him before?" before my memory has time to process this thought, another figure gets out of the car, of course, Patrick and his father Howard, I wait for the phone to become unglued from his ear and present myself to the most infamous smuggler in the world. We shake hands, and his easy manner has me relaxed immediately, and after a short conversation, we turn our seperate ways, Howard to the dressing rooms, me? "Of course sir, here is your ticket, the rest of your party will be along later? thank you."
It was hot and stuffy in the bar, and the fifteen minutes to the show dragged by, people eyeing each other warily as the Toking Community come together to celebrate one of their heroes.
The show opens to a massive musical assault, and Howard Marks steps to the mic. The first words he speaks leave me amazed. I would like to welcome a man who has fought for legalisation......most humble........intellectual........gentle........... the praise went on..... for a man present tonight, Alun Buffrey co founder of the L.C.A.
He told us of his smuggling days in a humorous and endearing way with music, conversation, and wonderful story telling, and of his days as a prisoner of this drug war.
When we returned after the interval, Howard spoke of the famous, or infamous Welsh heroes. He took us to the pub, he took us to glimpse his family, he told us of the Welsh Bob Marley, Pirates, and toads.
He explained how our minds work, the chemicals swilling around our skulls, and what they do. He told us how he set out to find buried treasure, and gave us the wonderful advice, Don't Bother.
He told us about DMT, and how easily available it is in Nature, especially when you are running around the jungles of South America, and he spoke of natures cures.
The show finished with a question and answer session, as candid as was possible.
When the last book had been signed, and everyone had left, we had a good chat, as if we'd all known each other years, well, some of them had. No, the colombian grass wasn't his, and, and yes he was responsible for the sticky('kin stuff just wont get in the joint) red leb that year.
A good show, with a warm intimate atmosphere.