Hello good evening and welcome to the longest tour log on record.
I was driving along 19 days ago, near me, all's good with the world. Then out of nowhere a boy in a school uniform ran out in front of me from behind a bus. I slammed on my brakes but couldn't stop in time, and I hit him, he literally bounced off the front of my car, so frightening. He's David, aged 15, he has a double broken leg, broken arm and cuts and lacerations, and came out of Hospital 2 days ago. I am so pleased I wasn't speeding or on the 'phone, which I'm sure most people who read my tourlogs will have done at some time or another. It also wasn't my fault, but that doesn't matter, it was so horrible. If I'd being going faster I'd probably have killed him. I can't imagine how hard that would be to live with. Again, like most of us, I have sometimes thought how overdramatic these public safety adverts for speeding and road safety are. Well, believe me, after this happened I can assure you they're not, in fact if anything they under dramatise. It was one of, if not the most awful feeling I've ever had. The boy is really lucky he didn't bang his head, and I'm lucky I was totally legal.
I only write this because it took something like that to bring me to my senses about driving, I will never use the 'phone again while driving and will not speed. I'm asking you all, please think about what you're doing when you're in charge of a vehicle, you're driving a deadly weapon.
Right, tea break's over, back on yer 'eads.
I'm writing this is in Perth, just about to soundcheck for the last show of our Australia 2010 tour. It's been great, only marred by sun, sea, wine, women and great company.
Ok, re the enforced fiasco of the "lost for a second time" shows. What's to say? We'll be trying our best to make it up to all of you that had bought tickets, watch this space. I know how upsetting, probably annoying is a better word it must be, I've been informed in no uncertain terms by one person where I can shove my Status Quo records, and it sounds quite unpleasant, but I understand your anger. We're only human, even the right honourable R.Parfitt OBE.
Talking of Parfitts, hasn't Richard Junior been a really brave bloke, getting as much publicity for charities as he can by talking openly about his battles with Crohn's disease. I talk to him regularly, what a lovely guy he is.
By the way, I had some mails from a guy who tells me I didn't mention the Gig at Brighton in December. That's right I didn't, but now I have, that's done then.
By the way, as I write I'm looking at a 100,000 000 000 000 dollar note I was given on the flight here from Adelaide. It's from Zimbabwe. By the way that's a hundred trillion dollars, which will buy you a beer. Now that's what I call a lot. I don't think you'd get much for 5 dollars ladies and gentlemen boys and girls, do you? Mind you the same could be said of Australia. How bleedin' much? It's UNBELIEVABLY expensive here for us Brits, e.g. Café breakfast, fry up and (one) coffee from £14 is normal in any major city here. Small bottle of water £1.50, music equipment, cars etc. ... you're 'aving a laugh.
Switching (as I have been known to do) between subjects, back to the UK tour, what a pisser for al concerned. But it's done (or not) now, so moving swiftly on:
It must be time for Dubai. With cloud. What have we done? We went to Abu Dhabi once and it rained for the first time in 56 years or something in the area we were playing in. This time, there's me thinking "hmm, better not get too sunburned in case that Kath gets the hump" Needn't have bothered, steady rain first night, overcast and a bit of drizzle the next. It's amazing how a 4 hour time difference can knacker you, we all thought we'd be fine arriving the night before, but there were 5 pairs of tired legs on stage in the gig. Good, though, lots of Billy, strange place. Everything was just like anywhere else but not, all new and big. Mind you, the skyline is unbelievable at night, just like Gotham City, I kept expecting to see the Batman projection on the clouds and Chief O'Hara directing traffic!
Australia has been very successful for us on this tour, pretty much sold out everywhere except Sydney, which was still very nice thank you. I also had the unexpected pleasure of meeting Alan (for the second time) and Dale (for the first time) Lancaster backstage.. Very weird playing his bass lines while he was there, well not weird, I was just very aware there was one of the Quo legends in the room. I am not worthy Nuff. I just hope he realises that I'm trying to make sure his legacy is in a safe pair of hands, can't do more than that.
On then to Brisbane, where we met up with Mr. Roy Lynes, keyboardist of this parish. God, this is getting like an old comrades reunion. Went out after for a bev and met up with a whole bunch of very good natured folks, who of course were all drunk except for me. By the way, Mike Hrano is out with us, and we've done so much sightseeing together we've renamed, sorry rebranded ourselves as Hrino Tours Inc Plc.
So on to the lovely old Palais Theatre in Melbourne where we had lots and lots of people come to see us and we recorded one of those live CD thingies. I haven't heard it yet, however I do remember a couple of SPECTACULAR mistakes. Not by Francis or Rick of course, it just so happened the other 3 of us were playing the wrong chord simultaneously or all went out of time together. I look forward to listening, at least it's live folks.
Adelaide, the Klippsart 500 I think it's called, a saloon car race meeting which goes on for a weekend. 30,000 Billy there, the best day I've ever had in Australia. Really pleasant vibe around, some great support bands. For me Mental as Anything were brilliant. It's an Australian band by the way, what a whacky name. And we TORE it up, it made a change from the, if you will stand alone tour where we are the only game in town at that venue if you get me. Then drove up and down the Adelaide strip watching this laser show called Northern Lights, Google it and have a look, one of the best things I've ever seen, like having a spliff without the spliff. I'll let you know abaat Perth next time, now leave me to wallow in the abject misery of planning which beach/bar/lunch/pool to do tomorrow. G'day.
Ps. Next time, I have some great photos, of me of course, looking even sexier than normal, as if that were possible.
PPs. Big thanks to all those who came over from Europe, Billy and Ali, Yvonne and Paul, Helen and Kim (really enjoyed the Sydney fish and chips) the bloke with the long hair and his lady I saw at Adelaide and Perth, the tall German girl whose name I forget ( I think it's Guddi, you know who you are. Mind you you'd be in a right state if you didn't), and from OZ Lee Hawkins and friends, God, Brentford FC (who won today by the way, Bees 1, Leyton Orient 0) and anyone else who knows me. (By the way, I know there's a few too many brackets)
I am now on an boat, blowing through ice on the way from Sweden (where we didn't play) to Finland (where we are going to play, although I have seen a few shall we say somewhat the worse for wear touring personnel in liquor establishments, so good luck tomorrow folks!) By the way, it is Andrew's 64th today, which is a tad ironic as I'm listening to the Beatles song when I'm 64, only difference to the lyrics would be: Beatles "birthday greetings bottle of wine" Barnes man "birthday greetings, case of Nuits Saint George 1976 please".
So, Perth. Rammed, what a fantastic way to end a tour, even had a nubile stage invader. And it was a girl as well! Result! For me, as a whinging pom, I have a few observations about Australia. A) It's fucking massive! B) As the singer from the Screaming Jets (our opening act) said onstage, and I quote (ish) "why has Australia slavishly imported the American model? When are we going to be proud to be ourselves and be Australian?" Well said that man. C) if you like the sun it's the best place on earth. D) WE WILL RETAIN THE ASHES! MARK MY WORDS!!!!!! Not that I care or anything...
I'm beginning to get it about Australia; it's been the best time I've spent there so far, we shall return, trust me.
So now, that was then, this is now. After 5 pretty jet lagged days, off to Oslo, I can't believe its only 2 days since we left home again. I went into a department store, Steen and Strom I think it's called. Not only did it make OZ look cheap, yep it's THAT expensive, but that was more than made up by the staff. Phew! Strewth! Cor blimey gov! Hot or what! And that was only the blokes. The Oslo girls. Say no more. It was like a Vogue model shoot, I could have been there until security threw me out but we had a gig to do at the beautiful Sentrum scene theatre, what a venue, really 60s I reckon, anyway, in a reverse of recent football scores between our 2 countries, Norway 0 England 4, tore it up we did.
I reckon that all the gorgeous women we see on gigs (of which there were just a few in Oslo) must have cataracts, as they all to seem to fancy Francis or Rick; they obviously can't see me clearly. (Yeah right)...
By the way, to the blonde girl who told me she loved me, I will bear your children if you wish. Last night we played Middelfart, or something like that in Denmark, which is the town where they have the Rock Under The Bridge festival thing in the summer. I'll always remember Peter Andre getting so much shit thrown at him he had to get off, however that's normally a great gig for us.
Anyway, 2 and a half thousand mentalist Danes, kicked it we did. Yah, kicked it.
I'm going to horizontalise, goodnight.
PS. Has anyone read a book called "The adventures of Augie March" by Saul Bellow? Write to me if you have, ta