You know what they say about asparagus making your wee smell? It's true. Just thought I'd start with that as things can only get better from here, well, possibly.
Anyway, tea break's over, back on yer heads. Arbeit arbeit arbeit, thatís all we ever do. Not that I'm moaning of course, how are you, dear reader? Obviously not as great as me, but I'll accept your apologies for that. Have a good Christmas did we? New year? Easter? Birthday (for the 50 per cent of you who've already had birthdays since last we spoke)? In fact today is the day God of Purley turns whatever age it is that makes him a digit older than the last one.
Got one of those wireless, or why fry whatever things on the lap top now, they're great aren't they? Well they would be if I could get it to work, oaths in many tongues have been heard in room 219 of the Mercure hotel I am currently residing in, it is in fact a day off, and as I'm not drinking I have oodles of time on my hands, or so it would seem. I love drinking, but you get more done when you don't, am I right? Today I've been cycling with the Killer, sorry, drummer, done 40 Kilometres, which by my reckoning is about 125 miles, itís very odd waking up and feeling normal in the morning, not sure if I like it or not. However, I haven't yet mastered the art of writing what I'm supposed to, oh, do I have literary diorea or what.
Alright, Iím doing it!!
We went off to Switzerland after 4 days of rehearsals, which of course gave us an opportunity to see how the Parfitt voice was shaping up, and whilst it wasnít great, we had to start somewhere. There was no point in waiting any longer as heís made a full recovery, so it was more a case of blowing out the cobwebs and getting back on with it. So off we went to Switzerland, in, I forget the name to be honest, Samoa or something. 2nd song in, Something Bout You Baby. The Rev. Rock Parfait opens his mouth to sing his bit and this noise which was a cross between a cat being strangled and Charlie Drake (very ancient English comedian, and Iím not talking about Rick there!!) came out. "Crikey" I thought, "thatís torn it". Something like that anyway, with a bit more Anglo Saxon in it. 4500 times was even worse. Good job we were up a mountain, he was yodelling so much I think the punters whoíd never seen us before thought it was part of our Alpine show.
Well, things got a bit better towards the end of the gig, but en route home, there was one very depressed guitar player on the bus, and it wasnít Francis, I can tell you. But the show must go on, and after a few days it was off to Oz, and the great town that is Melbourne. Even thought the weather was shit, didnít make any difference, I just love it there. I hear that Aussies are either Sydney or Melbourne lovers, thereís no comparison for me, Melbourneís in my top 10 places on the planet, Sydney, nah. OK, so thereís the bridge, Opera House, Darling harbour, all those islands, shed loads of stuff, in fact it ainít at all bad as it happens, itís just nowhere near as good. All in my EXCEEDINGLY HUMBLE OPINION OF COURSE-not.
Anyway, down to business...
2 shows in St. Kilda with the Deep People. Great to meet them again, 2 great bands and crews, weíre on before them, the tourís called Double Trouble by the way, no biggie about going on first, in fact that suits us down to the ground, no shit, I know if I was in another band Iíd HATE to go on after Quo. Which is actually what Jimmy Page said to Francis a few years ago, what a compliment, eh? And we did indeed tear it up in spite of the fact that the Parfitt voice was well below par, but an improvement on Switzerland nonetheless.
Some of the Quo barmy army were there at various points in the tour, Iíll try and name check yíall, if I forget someone, sorry. Daisy, Helen, Bruno, Mr. and Mrs.Steve the banker, Cindy, Julie (who by the way passed 400 gigs of Quo on this tour. She first saw the band in 1968 and has been ill ever since. Seriously, well done, your commemorative pen from this Mercure hotel is on its way, C.O.D. of course.), the tall very nice German girl whose name I never remember - sorry, and of course the Aussie contingent, Queens of Quo - we love you, Paul Parfitt - mad, Tony and Tina from Quo Vadis - thanks for the drinks, you know me, meanest man in Rock. Plus the other 25000 odd billy, thanks, you really made us feel good.
Anyway, show. I hour 20 minutes set, full on, no change there then, packed venue, itís a great ticket, us and the Deeps, I stayed and watched them in Perth, they are a great band. None of this inmyhumbleopinion bollocks. They just ARE great. 2 nights there, same the next night, tore it up. I also managed to see Rich Hall at the Melbourne comedy festival, which is a great event, another reason why itís so cool there. Also, people generally in Oz, but especially in Melbourne donít seem to have forgotten about manners, shame it ainít the same in the UK.
Iím going now, promise not to ramble so much next time, well I might actually, goodnight possumsxxx
Hello, it's me, the man from Aldi. Next morning, it's pissing down, so might as well crack on.
With typical promoter sense, we fly from Perth to the Gold coast, totally west to east to Coolangatta, where I had my hair cut by a 6 foot 1 netball playing goddess who could have told me I needed a number 2 (that's a haircut) and I would have said, "whatever you think". If only I were 32 years younger... Great show at the Twin Towns Servicemen's' club to give it the official title. Just us, so the full show, the Parfitt tonsils are improving bit by bit, and it was a great show, audience right at the front of the stage, went to the much improved Quo Vadis apres Quo Quo gig, couple of Vicious bastards (Victoria bitter beer) down the old gullet, cycling along the beach next morning with Matt, not a bad life really...
Brisbane with the Purple people, met up with Roy Lynes, what a nice bloke he is, totally enjoying life in Australia, mind you what's not to enjoy? Actually, between you and me the last 3 visits I've not really enjoyed it here. I think I was looking for something that doesnĎt exist, canít put my finger on it is, thatís probably because it isnít here, far out man. Once I realised whatever it was I realised, I'm having a GREAT time. Usual gig, me and drummer went to Casino afterwards, changed up 100 dollars, lost it in about 4 minutes, I know gambling's huge in Australia, but I have it down as a mugs' game, and I ain't wrong.
Horden Pavillion Sydney, 2 nights. Awful opening act, that's all I can remember, singer with a strangled cat voice. It sounded like a punch up when they started, that's the only way I can put it. Why do people do songs in a key that's 2 octaves too high for them? I dunno. Hardest audience of the tour so far for us, and Rick had a bad one vocally, definitely 2 steps forward and 3 back, but nobody said it was going to be easy. Ah, the joys of smoking...
Second gig, RP shitting hisself, and guess what? It was 200 per cent better than the previous night, who knows why, just totally relieved we all were.
Woolongong, best of tour for me, great sound and billy, Newcastle same opening act, deep joy, but good fun on stage for us, didn't see jack shit of Woolongong or Newcastle, except that we drove past Botany Bay, pretty cool huh?
Canberra for last gig of tour with the Deeply Purple people, be seeing them again in Europe, they were off to Japan and we were off to the Middle East, but more of that next time.
Right, I'm bored, what must you be? If you've made it this far you need testing, Tata XXX
Pictures from top:
Rhino in the heat by A. Bown esq.
Double Trouble Tour Poster.
all other photos by Dave Coulson from Melbourne and Brisbane
Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7
To Rhino's Tourlog Index