Rock'n'roll greats unite generations

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The Independent Online
Last week it was the ageing Sex Pistols, the nostalgic 30-somethings and their children.

Yesterday it was the middle- aged greats of rock'n'roll, the geriatric popsters ... and their grandchildren. Music used to be a medium that divided generations. In a concert, the like of which had not been seen in London's Hyde Park since 1969, it united them.

Three generations of music lovers were there and they moved as one to Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton, to Roger Daltrey and the young Canadian, Alanis Morissette. Underclouds threatening drizzle, with the smell of marijuana hanging in the air, whole families stood, danced and sang together.

"If you had told me back in 1969 that I would be here with my granddaughter listening to Dylan while she sang along, I would have told you to stop taking acid," said Nigel Thorpe, 55.

The concert, which was beamed to 200 million viewers in 60 countries, drew an audience of 150,000. As well as Clapton and Dylan, they saw Daltrey, John Entwistle and Pete Townshend from The Who performing a premier of their musical version of Quadrophenia.

The concert, labelled "Masters of Music", was organised by the promoter Harvey Goldsmith, and is expected to raise pounds 500,000 for the Prince's Trust. The Prince of Wales was there but, understandably, the Princess was not.

Eric Clapton was top of the bill, but for many Bob Dylan was the main attraction. He took the stage at 4pm to an enormous welcome. The Rolling Stones' guitarist Ronnie Wood accompanied him, creating the day's only dilemma; how to decide which looked most like a hangover from the Sixties.