Glad we're taking it easy as we get older, we actually had 3 days off after the NEC show, which, I am informed, by the people that have just mixed it, Messrs Paxman and Summerhayes is really rather good, so save some of your hard earned for it. If for some reason you don't like it, all complaints and requests for refunds should be taken in person to:
23, Whatyoulookin'at Road,
Which as luck would have it, is conveniently near the brand new casualty unit at the Getthatstiched Memorial hospital.
Boring, get on with it...
OK, A quick 2 weeks in Germany. Started in Rostock, some festival thingy with the Manfreds, the German band that had a hit with Big in Japan. Are they called Alfalfaville or something? It was OK, and also marked the start of the Kimi and Guddi European tour, 2 of our front rowers who decided to also do the whole tour, crazy chicks or what? Also hooked up (man) with our friends Wayne and Karl from Morris, good to see them again. I hear Rick's going to do a gig with them in Kiel, well I know he is, because as I'm writing this he's already done it, and I've seen the video...
Then to the lovely little town of Bendorf, where we hooked up (far out man) with our new, for the best part of this tour, opening act from Switzerland, the mighty Vivian. Which is where the cloud found us. Of course we were playing outside, did anyone think we wouldn't be when the cloud is mentioned? Great show to a small and very wet but enthusiastic crowd. Check Vivian out at www.vivianmusic.com
Then on to the big day, playing Rockin at the Dusseldorf Rhein Fire American football stadium before the European final, REALLY shit weather so they closed the roof. Together or what, The Germans? Only 144 cheerleaders in front of us on the pitch when we played, and they looked great to me, however, the firework display, which preceded us, had left a massive pall of smoke in the arena, so no one could see us!!! Pure Spinal Tap. Untogether or what, the Germans?
We're in Gelsenkirchen at the moment, doing a gig at the old Schalke football stadium, which funnily enough is right next to the new one, where on Saturday he mighty England FC will pulverise the people that gave us fish and chips, namely the Portuguese (I could also mention Christopher Columbus as a famous Portuguese bloke, but fish and chips is of course far more important a discovery) on our way to beating the Germans in a thrilling final on July 9th.
Anyway, we had to dash by helicopter from Dusseldorf to Belgium to the Schwung festival. We actually couldn't dash because the weather was so appalling, at times we were ten feet above pylons and at one time the pilot told us one of the reasons we were flying so low apart from the weather was so that we didn't show up on airport radar systems because if we had, they would of ordered us to land. The journey was supposed to take 1 hour 20, and ended up taking 2 hours 20. I have never been so frightened in my life, I thought to myself at one stage that if I was going to die I hoped it wouldn't be too painful. Even Rick was bricking it, and he LOVES flying.
Straight on stage on arrival, not even time to throw up, and what a blinder we played, 8 or 9 thousand billy, and we tore it up. What a great night. I stayed on to watch Alice Cooper, who had a young band who were great players, but didn't know how to rock. Less is more is something not many young musos understand these days, but most of the time it's the best way, trust me. I may not know much (true) but I know how to rock.
I travelled overnight with the crew. Wrong! Done it again, woke up feeling totally shite. I should have known... (obscure reference to a song by Amy Mann there) To Wuppertal, a hot sweaty one, with DREADFUL catering, did good, sold it out I think, then on to Wetzlar for a day off, Yippee! Had a very strange incident with a canoe, but you had to be there, and the killer and me was there and you wasn't... A basketball arena if I remember rightly, and then another day off, in the picturesque town of Bamberg, where we played the next night. What a coincidence.
I have no recollection of the gig there or Hessich Lichtenau, so I'll make it up. We started with You Really Got Me, the Tony Bennett version of course, straight into a 20 minute jam on a Hungarian line dancing reggae tinged theme, with synthesisers and guest vocalist Truman Capote, and finished with Road House Blues in H, the three hour version for orchestra and horses. The audience was largely made up of bicycle wheels and some wag even brought her pet thermo nuclear device to show us at the meet and greet. Oh how we laughed. That's enough. Stop it NOW!. I actually do remember one thing. Vivian were v.good at Bamberg, and the Manfreds were at Hessich Lightenup or whatever. That's 2 things actually.
Berlin I do remember. Walking down Kurverstendam, no that's spelt Kurfurttseden, no that's spelt, just make it Berlin High Street, bumped into first Dylan and Jim, mad Welsh fans who just lurve Gerdundula. One o'clock in the afternoon, and they were already soaked, mind you being Welsh they'd be used to it. Then I bumped into Martin Taylor, Quo and Purple fan who keeps turning up all round the world. Martin had cancer, was cured and now is sponsored so that each time he sees Quo and/or Purple he raises a grand for cancer research, he's done 30 gigs already this year. Round of applause if you please. Even though he supports Spurs. Cloud big time, what a strange bill, 15,000 billy, Manfreds, THE Chris Norman, the voice of Smokie no less ladies and gentlemen, some dreadful German woman singer, and Jimmy Somerville. Not really our audience, mullet central, but we got up and did our thing, I think we did good but who knows?
Day off in Weiden on the Sunday, also a national holiday, talk about closed!
However, walking round town one could sense World cup fever was really starting to take hold of the country. Now it's on, and the fans have arrived (fans, not the mindless twats) it's nice to be here writing this as the world comes to know what friendly warm people the Germans are and what a great country they have. Really. See above for reports of the next 2 gigs, except to say that Vivian were very good.
Then on to last one, outdoors in lovely weather in Stuttgart, small stage but vunderbar fun, Vivian were very good, hope we see them again, bye bye Deutschland. Seeya soonx
Day off in a lovely Dutch town, the only thing I remember about the name is that it had uid in it, got on a bike and tried to cycle off a rather nasty hangover. Failed miserably so got drunk again, however, isn't it weird, at least I think it is, when I get a bad hangover I'll go to bed early feeling really shit and tired and then I can't sleep. Some form of bodily retribution perhaps. Is it the same for any of you? If you think I'm a whinging tit who should just drink less, just send me your thoughts on a postcard, via Big Ron at the above address, giving your name, bank account details, and what time you'd be in for a visit from Ron and his completely loveable chums, Knuckles and Iron Balls to discuss your clearly absurd suggestions.
Arrow rock. Boiling day, saw the Mighty TED NUGENT for the first time. Me and the killer were knocked out with him. Rick didn't like it at all, but hey that's not my problem. He was hilarious, over the top doesn't come into it, but he can sure perform, with a great band, just a three piece (not a suite), so gung ho, he just doesn't give a f***, go and see him, you'll come away with earache and a smile on yer face.
Whitesnake - not for me, not at all, too many people wearing blouses on stage, serious drummer though, Tommy Aldridge. I also went to watch John Waite earlier in the day, thought he was serious, bumped into a very tired and emotional Alan Crook with an equally tired and emotional bunch of Dutch nutters. All the crew went to watch Journey later, and apparently they were great as well. We weren't bad either as it goes, thank the lordy we followed Whitesnake and not THE TED NUGENT, MOTHERF*****!!
The Purple people doing the late shift, they're welcome to it, we get our slot, the early evening, it's the best, sun's not too hot, billy isn't too rocked out (especially after Whitesnake. D'ya get the feeling I really don't like them?) from bands all day and we get to drive off into the setting sun etc.
By the way, I said I wasn't drinking on the German tour. I also have an IQ of 320, am married to an octopus and speak fluent Sanskrit.
Now F*** off.