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Image for The story behind the Golden Plains Boot

The story behind the GoldenPlains Boot

Almost three years ago today on a typically golden afternoon in the Supernatural Amphitheatre, I was busy negotiating my footing on a styrofoam esky when I was struck in the back of the head by a mud-caked desert boot.

The blow knocked me forwards into a burly looking fella who was awkwardly shuffling around on one leg while trying to unlace a soggy, black Chuck Taylor. As I lurched about trying to steady myself Sam Beams (aka Iron and Wine) was on stage with a seven-piece band fleshing out his beautiful folk country tunes. He had just just been awarded the Golden Plains Boot.

According to Aunty Meredith – the elderly but never cantankerous matriarch of both Golden Plains and Meredith Music Festivals – The Boot is “…unscripted, and unanticipated. It happens when the whole of The Amphitheatre unites in appreciation of something that has wildly exceeded expectation. Someone or something that rises above and thrills. You can’t plan The Boot. It can strike at any time of day or night. It’s an example of the people that go to Golden Plains inventing something, and it catching on, and becoming a tradition.”

And a tradition is something it certainly has become. Much like the raising of flags at Glastonbury the raising of The Boot has nestled itself inside the minds and souls of all Golden Plains punters

The only recorded time The Boot has been awarded twice at the one festival was last year, when punters held their footwear aloft for Wooden Shjips' psychedelic cover of Neil Young’s Vampire Blues and later that day as Nashville Pussy stomped out a hicked-up version of Nutbush City Limits. [Editor's Note: In 2011 the boot would go on to be awarded a whopping five times.]

Throughout your typical Golden Plains weekend there will be several attempts to award The Boot to different bands, but if the greater crowd does not agree shoes are quickly (and shamefully) lowered. Only last year I was part of a breakaway group who tried in vain to award the boot to Calexico during their late evening set. We were, however, left shamed and soggy footed like a herd of drunken highland cattle when the rest of the audience deemed the moment unworthy.

For many years Golden Plains faithful have debated the origins of The Boot, and this year I was determined to find out where it all started. After some intense research (read: email to Aunty Meredith) I uncovered the story behind the first Boot Moment. And, as it turns out, there is even photographic evidence.

Somewhat fittingly the very first footwear lofter was Cherry Bar owner and regular rock 'n roll cowboy James Young, who along with music journalist and current CEO of Music Victoria Patrick Donovan, was blissing out to the mystical sounds of Comets On Fire at the inaugural Golden Plains in 2007 , when a spirit from above pushed them to raise their boots.

Tell us what was going through your mind when you first held your Boot aloft at the inaugurate Golden Plains?
James Young: It was the first Golden Plains back in 2007. It was the afternoon of the second day and we were all pretty fried by then, but there was no way I was going to miss the psychedelic sounds of Ethan Miller and Comets on Fire out of Santa Cruz California for the first time. I made my way down to the very front of stage and got lost in the swirling guitars. I looked down to the ground and was transfixed by the dirty bare feet around me. Then I started staring at my white patent leather Rocco’s boots and became obsessed with their beauty. A beauty I had to share. Share with the band, share with Golden Plains. So, I took off my boot and held it in the air. High and proud. Later I took off my other boot and remember enacting a Punch and Judy boot theatre performance. I was completely absorbed in the music and the moment. When my buddy Drew Head tapped me on the shoulder and encouraged me to turn around I was amazed to see a thousand other people holding up their shoes in a united gesture of crazy love.

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Comments

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scottyk82

scottyk82 said on the 8th Mar, 2011

sound like a couple of posers who put too many tabs up their butts

Kady

Kady said on the 8th Mar, 2011

i definitely know the owner of those original boots. sadly he won't be joining us all this weekend :(

Spicy McHaggis

Spicy McHaggis said on the 8th Mar, 2011

Such a great tradition. Looking forward to seeing photos of this years winner!

psymon

psymon said on the 8th Mar, 2011

it was during comets on fire, during the first golden plains - the guy who started it is the guy in the photo, holding up the two white leather boots - i remember seeing him - he was the only one doing it for a song or two, before everyone (everyone) joined in - it fit perfectly to comets on fire great psychedlic music - however, i have to admit the most perfect boot was for old crow medicine show the next year

psymon

psymon said on the 8th Mar, 2011

ps - fuck glastonbury - people having flags? ...embarrassing.

Snorklar

Snorklar said on the 8th Mar, 2011

great story. love the glory of the boot!

sarahanne

sarahanne said on the 8th Mar, 2011



Yeah totally. Go to page two there is an interview with him!

psymon

psymon said on the 8th Mar, 2011

page 2! makes sense :-)

therat

therat said on the 8th Mar, 2011

Didn't know sheep wore shoes.

grattan

grattan said on the 8th Mar, 2011

As a sad old bastard/traditionalist it's annoying to see punters trying to get it going at Meredith as well. It's the wrong festival; it's like trying to award a Commonwealth medal at the Olympics.

Anyway predicting Pulled Apart by Horses for The Boot this year... though people will try to award practically everything on the lineup a Boot.

oldgregg

oldgregg said on the 8th Mar, 2011



you tom? never! :p :D

ThatDude123

ThatDude123 said on the 8th Mar, 2011



http://media.photobucket.com/image/shake%20head%20gif/Minimanolo/PRTimGunnNo.gif

Rent-a-rake

Rent-a-rake said on the 8th Mar, 2011

people should celebrate whatever they want however they want herr grattan.

grattan

grattan said on the 8th Mar, 2011



Wow - you sound like fun. Let's all stand and stroke chins and refuse to get caught up in a little moment of rock bliss.



Of course... just that some attempted 'boot' moments are a little forced - more about one bloke trying to claim a moment of notice, than actually crediting a great on stage moment.

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 8th Mar, 2011

Put the boot in Grattan.

therat

therat said on the 8th Mar, 2011



I like to think so. I was referring to the fact that according to what I read people put their shoes up numerous times until there are enough numbers and the peer pressure forces everyone to follow.

psymon

psymon said on the 8th Mar, 2011

geesus, it's meant to be fun - lighten up - having said that, i agree that it should remain at golden plains only :-)

oldgregg

oldgregg said on the 8th Mar, 2011



you dont wanna make grattan angry, you wont like him when he's angry.

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 9th Mar, 2011



I don't like him because he didn't accept my facebook friend request. I'm in that awkward situation where I can see what he does, but can't comment on it or anything. Maybe he thought that I wouldn't notice if he neither accepted nor declined.

AWKWARD.

oldgregg

oldgregg said on the 9th Mar, 2011

I don't like him because he didn't accept my facebook friend request. I'm in that awkward situation where I can see what he does, but can't comment on it or anything. Maybe he thought that I wouldn't notice if he neither accepted nor declined.

AWKWARD.
thats what jizzy mcfaggis has done to me, maybe grattan got word that you engage in fights with other peoples friends over facebook :p are you left wondering what gumbuoy has that you dont?

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 9th Mar, 2011

Comeon... that was hilarious.

oldgregg

oldgregg said on the 9th Mar, 2011

it was, my girlfriend thinks you're a legend, she hates them both.

Spicy McHaggis

Spicy McHaggis said on the 9th Mar, 2011



No, I just flat out declined you! I don't have anyone on my facebook that I haven't met

grattan

grattan said on the 9th Mar, 2011

I don't like him because he didn't accept my facebook friend request. I'm in that awkward situation where I can see what he does, but can't comment on it or anything. Maybe he thought that I wouldn't notice if he neither accepted nor declined.

AWKWARD.

I have pending friend requests on FB? Fuck all I see there when I log in is updates from millions of bands and abuse from mates who want to know why I've 'liked' The Script.

oldgregg

oldgregg said on the 9th Mar, 2011

would you accept a friend request from me tom? :p

oldgregg

oldgregg said on the 9th Mar, 2011



why do i still get your news feed :(

Spicy McHaggis

Spicy McHaggis said on the 9th Mar, 2011

You get my news feed? Fucking facebook. I have no idea hey.

EDIT: Apparently when you decline a friend request, they just hide rather than being gone for good. you have to go in again and delete them all. What a punish.

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 9th Mar, 2011

Are you sure Spicy is who you think he is?

oldgregg

oldgregg said on the 9th Mar, 2011

lol yes I know who he is!

angel25

angel25 said on the 19th Jan, 2012

seo telecommunication

the post is very informative. it is a pleasure reading it. i have also bookmarked you for checking out new posts.


seo telecommunication

Spicy McHaggis

Spicy McHaggis said on the 19th Jan, 2012

After seeing Life Of Brian last night for the first time in years, I'm firmly convinced that the Golden Boot is a reference to that.

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 5th Mar, 2012

I'm glad to see Pulled Apart By Horse got the boot, they were mental at their side show.