Back to Faith No More, aah that's better, I LOVE this band. By the way, has anyone got a copy of the Eminem track "Cleaning out my closet" ? He did a metal mix of it which I love and can't find anywhere. So if anyone has, could they mp3 it to me and I'll respond in kind, or give you a couple of shitters for it. Thanks.
Now, to business.
After the Saint Ockholm flooding incident, it was on to Linkoping or however you spell it and the gig that never was. I mean it was supposed to be, but we got there and it was apparent it wasn't going on. I'm quite gung ho when it comes to the "is it or isn't it safe" ( I'm using a lot of "if you will" parentheses today aren't I? Lots of "inverted commas" as well.) category, but there was no way I was going anywhere near that stage. The wind had got up so much during the day that the PA and lighting crews had to wait 5 hours before they could take it down! The whole structure was visibly moving, so sorry folks, next time.
By the way, I'm going to cover a whole swathe of shows on this log, so as an homage to the famous book, I shall call this one War and Peas.
To the beautiful town of Orebro, which as I recall mentioning once before, is the seventh largest city in Sweden. Remember where you heard it second... we now had 3 days off before the show, which was nice as my lovely wife came out to see me, however the cloud did keep finding us and letting us know it wasn't that keen on us doing Orebro either, but it ran out of steam, if a cloud can, in the afternoon I think, and we went ahead with the show. It says 'ere anyway, as to be honest that one's gone from the memory banks.
Next, Bastad, or B'stard as I like to call it with my smutty underdeveloped sense of humour. The St. Tropez of Sweden apparently, very upmarket, and not for the likes of us oiks. I still think we came back here (Sweden) too soon, and my feelings were borne out by the fact the venue, the tennis club was only half full, compared with a sold out show 12 months before. What can I say? It's a pisser, but you just got to get on and do it. Kalmar was a good fun day, but for me the best moment was at Hasselholm, the last Swedish show.
You know, being on tour with Chuck Berry on before you is very weird. Don't forget, we finish the show with 2 of his songs, I got "With The Beatles" (an LP) for Christmas in 1964, and played it about 300 times that week, and I didn't know who this bloke was who'd written the song "Roll over Beethoven" which George sang. I looked at the cover, and the composers' name was Berry. Hmm I thought, so I proceeded to find out more, and of course discovered the sheer class of the songs he'd come up with and was still writing. I still think there would be no Status Quo without Chuck Berry. And he's opening for us! Watched him at the last show, and walked back to the dressing room, after having watched Chuck playing from about 6 inches away, as he walks off stage still playing, and he was just standing at the back where the audience couldn't see him, still playing, with a huge grin on his face, and me, Andrew and some of the other band that was on all gathered round watching. It was feckin' amazing, and it got better...
Back to walking back, I was with Chucks' drummer, lovely French guy, forgotten his name and he was holding THE guitar. He had to get something out of his pocket, and asked me to hold it. The guitar. Wow!, I held, and even strummed a couple of licks on Chuck Berry's guitar! YESSS! I see Andrew, and he asks me if I love him, which means he's got something I want, so after mush grovelling and telling how well he's looking and that the bald bits don't show, he whips out a tour poster with a certain Mr Berry's signature on it, and a couple of personalised plectrums. Phew! Then I popped out of the dressing room for some fresh air, and there sitting at the wheel of a car is Jimi Hendrix. (Gotcha!). No... Chuck's sitting there, and like a 12 year old I walk up and say
"Chuck, you don't know me but I'm in one of the other bands, it's been a privilege (OK, I'm a bit of a fan, all right?) working with you... blah blah... complete verbal diarrhea" and he stops me and says "I know you, you're a player, you're the bass player" Knock me down with a feather, and he puts out his hand, which incidentally is a bout the size of my di (cont'd p94) which is absolutely massive, and of course I said, "look Chuck, can't you se I'm busy? See me later" Right, I did. I pumped his hand like there was no tomorrow. I felt great I can tell you.
In fact my hand is now 10 shitters a touch. Little postscript, re people not doing what they don't want to. Ten minutes before Showtime, a call for photo with Chuck. We all file in to the dressing room bit, and Chuck suddenly says, "I ain't got no time for that" and walks out. As in, why would I want to do a picture with these guys? Good on you, why should you? The reverend Rock thought it bad manners, I thought it rock and roll, and pissed me self laughing... Chuck Berry ladies and gentlemen.
On reflection, Sweden was a bit of a bad call in terms of the wrong line up and too soon after the last one in my opinion, but they pays the money and we do the shows That's not to say I didn't enjoy myself, it's a beautiful place in summer, and the people are really lovely, see you next time.
WE then had a VERY VERY VERY long journey to Finland, via Stockholm, I'd like to thank our tour organisers, worldpollution inc for their success in the most stupid planning ever. What did I do to while away the 15 hours on the ferry? Well, as luck would have it there was a gymnasium with a sauna, and hourly yoga and meditation sessions. After dinner in the vegetarian restaurant, there was an international cinema showing a season of cult French classics. Wasn't that lucky?
Well, I didn't do any of that, I got paralytic instead, and watched a Bulgarian covers band in the cabaret bar, with the worst imitation of English ever. Wobbled back to me cabin, and finished up in Finland, in Tampere, where ladies and gentlemen, along with Cindy and Julie I bought a pair of Hugo Boss pants. Went to pay, wasn't thinking about price, it came up. How much d'ya reckon? I'll tell ya how bleedin' much. 36 f*****' shitters!! Then I got home, and me son nicked them off me. Hrumph! (I wasn't sporting them at the time) Still I calmed down when I found a nasal hair removal implement for 5 shitters complete with battery, so all things being equal, the pants weren't that expensive. Also Andrew and myself found the most amazing Spanish restaurant in Tampere, really, it was great. So next time you're there...
Oh yes, a gig. Luvverly jubberly, a large club, packed out, noisy and hot. Wicked, crowd loved it, the man that is God of Purley didn't, I just think that every so often it's great to do a club, keeps it real maann.
An even more stupid ferry and drive, this time back to the land of the mad, that's right, Holland. And they didn't disappoint. A festival of stunt motorbiking and big wheel racing, you know, those things where the tyres are about 10 feet high and there's a little car on the top. I even saw one with a large supermarket trolley on top, really! Of course, no Dutch gig would be complete without a jet man flying through the air, you know with a back pack on with a small jet engine, really sensible, once again we'd like to thank world pollu(p94) and landing on the stage, which one duly did. Maybe they should call him the Flying Dutchman, but what kind of a stupid name is that? 7000 Dutch there, loved it as I always do when we go to their great country. I should imagine Lloyd, our guitar tech must feel like he's from Lilliput when he's there.
On that note, we've sadly said goodbye to Wim Culley, who was mine and Andrews' crew member for 5 years, he's gone on to pastures new, good luck Wim.
Getting a bit more sensible now, back home to Worcester Rugby Club, where I met a bloke who used to play for Wasps. When I enquired as to English chances in the World cup he told me they wouldn't win it, but they were going to surprise a lot of people. How prophetic that was. Hard luck and well done England in the rugby, tough luck in the football, overpaid nancyboys. who consistently underachieve at every tournament, just like the Kiwis at the rugger I suppose, but I wouldn't really call them nancyboys as I like breathing...
Again, cloud at gig, but GREAT crowd, really rocked their socks off, thanks for braving the elements, although I suspect paying 30quidish (Harry Potter game) for a ticket might have helped the mindset. Well done again, I was going to go on but have gone on enough.
I'm just off to see the house where Mozart's dad lived, across the road from my Hotel in Augsburg, Bavaria. It is my hotel, as I'm the only one in our party staying here. We checked in yesterday morning, and no-one liked it so they all buggered off to another one, forgetting me as I'd already gone to bed for some extra sleep. Thanks a lot guys, d'ya think they're trying to tell me something?
In Search Of The Fourth Chord tourlog 2007/8: