Glastonbury Festival was saddened to hear of the recent death of one of the most renowned traders in the Festival’s early history. Ian ‘Lenny’ Leonard – founder and creator of the Joe Bananas Blanket Stall, passed away in hospital near his home in Wiltshire following a stroke at the end of last year. He was 68.
First seen at Worthy Farm in the early 1980s, Joe Bananas provided a 24-hour beacon within stumbling distance of the Pyramid Stage for nearly four decades. For cold nights in the valley he sold blankets and other camping equipment. For the odd scorching Festival – and there were a few – Ian was always ready with a range of sunglasses, straw hats and sun cream.
But there was more. Long before the ‘Naughty Corner’ and the fully-licenced, late-night Glastonbury that Festival-goers now take for granted, the Joe Bananas stall was one of the first to introduce (not always fully legal) sound systems which kicked into life when the Pyramid shut down. For the 1980s and 1990s generation of Glastonbury-goers, it was Joe Bananas – and others – who brought the sounds of the raves and the underground to Glastonbury.
Glastonbury Festival sends condolences to Ian’s family and friends. RIP Joe Bananas. You always had the blankets – and you always had the tunes.
Photo by Adam Wilson