A Y 2 0 0 5
1st May 05
e-mail from Amanda in Scotland.. thus:
Had to drop a line just to say thanks for supporting
the Scottish tourist industry by your appreciation
of that wonderful documentary on Scottish rural life
The Wicker Man. The tourist board now make glossy
adverts trying to persuade people to holiday in
Scotland but as a promotion of all that's best about
the Scottish way of life I don't think it's ever
been surpassed. Of course things aren't what they
used to be. I grew up in the country and in those
days all you had to do was turn up with your own
matches and a few pork links for the barbecue. Now
you have to supply your own virgin as well. There's
a terrible shortage of them, it's a real problem for
the rural communities. Is it any wonder we have to
depend on the EU these days?
Glad to see you're looking after yourself.
As it is
May Day, it seemed appropriate to show you some pics
from our dabble into the world of cinema. Just
click the link and be transported into our pagan
world. Hail the
Queen of the May!
This is a new regular
feature of the blog, where we "kiss and
tell" on the many famous faces we have
encountered over the years.
So... make yourself a coffee, or print out the page
and take it with you when you go to get your hair
done. Either way, sit back, relax and read the
shallow twitterings that have become so important to
our society today!
London :: March 2004
Regular blog readers may
recall this incident from last year, but we thought we
had to kick off this series with a bit of glamour, and
Joan almost fits the bill.
The gig was a wedding in London, I dunno....maybe what
they used to call a "society do". As Roy
would say "I won't bore you with the
details", but we had to move the instruments from
one room to another during the function. Now
picture the scene...... Roy dressed as Roy....(Justin
Timberlake hat, tight on....Adidas 'gazelle' trainers
with green stripes.....beige chino type kecks......Marylin
Manson T shirt, the really nasty one with the Babble
babble bitch bitch slogan on.......and what we call his
'Greyhound Trainers' coat....., is walking
up a long and elegant marble staircase carrying a large
and sturdy Rickenbacker bass.
You can see it coming can't you?? (Duncan
Thicket voice.... Roy will get this!!!!)
is standing talking at the top of the stairs, and our
hero is not paying attention to where he is going,
he's just bungling up the flight. Joan is politely
ushered to one side by a gentleman's hand round her
curvaceous and supple waist.. her bosom heaved toward
her rescuer...and their eyes met briefly, before she
tossed her mane of 'chestnut' coloured hair over her
shoulder and examined the piece of filth that was
inches away from delivering a 4001 to an uninvited
address. Phew!... I forgot to mention
that sister Jackie was also there and offered some
assistance with that last sentence.
13th May 05
suggested setting off early today, thinking we could
have a bit of a day out in the Lakes before the
show. Maybe we could stop for some lunch at Lake
Windemere and just take advantage of the
scenery. As we wound our way through the twisty
roads of Cumbria taking "the long way"
round, there was a certain amount of dissention in the
car. It turns out, Roy and Eddie thought I was
joking about the day out stuff and we had to leave
that early anyway. "No we really are having
a day out!" Roy was slightly cross, as his
idea of a day out would have to include a tartan rug
and a picnic hamper, and the mode of transport would
certainly have to qualify for classic car insurance.
As it turned out, we found absolutely bugger all in
the way of nice cafés or places to stop on the way
up, and so we eventually found ourselves in Whitehaven
in desperate need of food. We settle ourselves
in a café on Whitehaven's harbour, order our food and
moan to each other about how pissed off we all
are. It was nice idea, but this day out malarky
is not working! We settle the bill and head off
in search of the Rosehill.
Rosehill Theatre has to be the quaintest place we have
ever played. At first we were a little taken
aback with the size of the place, it's
miniature. When Ade and Dave arrived, they too
agreed that they hadn't seen a theatre smaller than
this. There was not enough room to put the whole
PA in, so we had to be content with about half the
injury list has had another painful addition.
Last week, during a break from his rigorous physiotherapy
sessions to put right the trapped nerve in his back,
Ed decided to have a crack at his garden and get it in
shape for the summer. In spite of our many
warnings about being careful with sharp objects, Eddie
managed to slice the top off his left forefinger with
a pair of secateurs. Roy who saw the injury about 40
minutes after the accident, likened the flap of skin
to the size of a contact lens on the tip of his
finger. Painful enough, but when you have to use
that tip to press down on a guitar string....
ouch! Eddie never had any doubts about being
able to do the show, but all the blue insulation tape
in the world was not going to help him with some of
the things he has to play. In spite of the pain,
Eddie did a grand job.
We were a
little disappointed with the size of the audience, but
they made up for it in enthusiasm, and we went down
quickest road home!!
20th May 05
just one of those days when the journey takes
forever. No one was particularly chatty or in a
bright mood. "Oh God! are we
only at Sandbach?" There is no music on
(Roy and Eddie are not going to appreciate Aimee Mann's new record) and not much fun. We try to
decide whether or not to include a "dating
page" on the website, but get too bogged down in
the details, laugh about it and decide.... 'best
At the services at the end of the A50, it is noted
that now, about 25% of Eddies flesh is covered by some
sort of patch to curb an addiction. I had no
idea that there were so many on the market
nowadays. The smoking one was obvious but I'd
not heard of the anti-fast food patch. It
clearly doesn't do it's job properly, as Eddie was
making very light work of a "KFC Spicy Tender
Crisp Chicken Ridiculous"
arriving at Springfields, we met hop-a-long Jean
Herbaut and husband Mick who had kindly brought
us along some beautifully packaged DVD's of our
show at South Hill Park a few weeks ago.
We had originally been led to believe that our show
today was a public concert. From the point of
view that tickets for the event were on sale, it was,
but not how we thought it was going to be. This
was a black tie ball.
The ball was a fundraising event for ex-goalie and TV
soccer pundit Bob Wilson's charity. He sadly
lost his daughter to cancer 6 six years ago, and since
has been working hard to raise money for cancer
victims. Bob makes a particular point of
thanking everyone involved with his events personally,
we were hanging about outside the back of the hall and
he came to find us. I was extremely impressed
with this because he certainly didn't have to do it. A
small thing, but it makes a difference. There
are many people in the world of entertainment that
could learn a thing or two from him........a
thoroughly top bloke. (Small hands for a goalie
Bob played a part of one of my earliest memories of
disappointment. Yes! he kept goal for Arsenal in
the 1971 FA Cup Final against Liverpool. What a
day! My Grandma got a 'colour' set from DER specially
for it, it was such a big deal. Seeing Bob, had
brought back the joy of Steve Heighway's goal and
temporarily obliterated the last 34 years of hatred
for Charlie George.... a loathing that only
Liverpool supporters of a certain age will truly
understand. Bob delighted us for a few minutes
with some personal stories about Bill Shankly, which
went down very well with this diarist.
I asked official group photographer Jean to take a
snap of me with Bob, which she did.... although
the lazy cow couldn't even be bothered to get out of
had 2 hours to kill before our stage time and frankly
the dressing room was not an appealing place in which
to spend them. Roy, Ade and Dave found a chippy
and a late shop...the rest of us responded to the
discovery and set off after them. When in
Spalding, give Jack's Traditional Fish and Chips a
miss...there is nothing traditional about cooking
chips in margarine! yuk!
the gig as we are getting ready, the charity auction
is in full swing. Signed Thierry Henry photo,
signed Elvis gold disc, 5 star holiday in Kenya,
signatures of the '66 England World Cup Squad, tickets
for the British GP and a Lotus Elise racing car being
amongst the goodies going under the hammer. Dave
and Ade reckoned that they could possibly get the car
in the van if they left all the gear here and tilted
it at an angle, but were politely reminded that rather
than bidding for this desirable vehicle, they would be
better off getting that feckin' van sorted out.
No matter how many strips of thin material you drape
from a ceiling, a warehouse sounds like a warehouse
and that basically is what the centre is..... a
bloody big warehouse. The on-stage sound was
quite noisy and swirling, but we coped and got a good
reaction from the audience, who in the main danced
through the whole set.
is not a great place to get to and from for us
Liverpudlians. Dirk, as chief navigator on these
trips, struggled with the GPS technology. The
bitch of a woman barking instructions at us was
getting it all wrong, determined to get us on the A1
and up to Pontefract. She finally gave up the
ghost 5 miles from Derby and accepted that we WERE
going to use the A50 across to Stoke. Whoever
was right about the best way to go, we made the
journey in two and a half hours.
25th May 05
An amazing night....it's all been said.
27th May 05
Pennines on the 62 and down on the M1 we thought would
be the most straight forward way of getting to this
show, but we didn't figure on the crawling traffic of
a Friday afternoon. Maybe we should've done the
tourist route after all. Never mind, we were
kept amused by rock 'n' roll stories about beef
built in 1910, the Palace was given a facelift in the
1990's with a modern stage building put in place and
evidently Ikea moved in some of it's more gordy
coloured furniture into the Green Room. Very
It was a good
show tonight, I think. Seemed more relaxed than
usual, particularly between songs, where the banter
was quite caustic at times. The audience
reaction was fabulous..... they are a good sort in
Mansfield and we hope we get to play there again next
give a special mention to the theatre crew who were
all superb and probably the friendliest we have come
across. Bit of a family affair from what we
could make out.
On the way
home, Eddie produced a wireless from his bag with the
most enormous pair of headphones we have seen in 20
years. We still don't know why he had this
equipment with him,... just to wind Dirk up I suspect.
As we have
a flight out of Liverpool in the morning, Eddie and
Dirk stay at Rick's. Eddie has trouble after a
couple of spring rolls I make for him seem to disagree
with his infamously dodgy digestive system...Next time
he'll have toast!
check of the e-mails revealed the following message
which we were all very pleased with:-
thanks for your latest newsletter.
saw you recently for the very first time at the
Palace Theatre Southend-on-Sea, and was completely
blown away by your performance.
was privileged to be working for EMI records in 1963
when the original Beatles started recording,
and also saw them several times live.
recent years I have seen many Beatles tribute bands
and yours is by far and away the closest to the
original. On some renditions (because of
technical advancements) I would say you are even
better! In particular you are not afraid to
sing some of the more intricate close harmonies
associated with some of the slower numbers, and,
like all Beatles songs, they will remain
classics long after we have all gone.
you once again for the wonderful entertainment. I
will certainly be coming to your concerts as often
28th May 05
We are off
to sunny Spain to play a birthday party for an old
friend of Dirk's. It's been leaked that maybe
Rod Stewart will be getting up with us, but we have
heard stuff like this before and so we are not holding
our breath. (although I do have the chords to Maggie
May scribbled on a bit of paper, stuffed in me back
pocket just in case)
are getting very arsey lately over baggage allowances
and what they will let you take on as hand
luggage. Dirks Hofner in it's padded gig bag was
always allowed on the plane as hand luggage to go in
the overhead compartment. The last couple of
fly-outs we have done, the crew have confiscated the
delicate instrument at the plane and it is amazing
that it has come off the other end intact. We
decide to put the old bass in the hard case that I
have for my Hofner, but realise that there is a
problem. Derek was never happy with the machine
heads on his 40 year old instrument and replaced them
with some sooper dooper modern ones years ago.
Unfortunately they are much larger than the proper
Hofner machines, and the bass wouldn't fit in the
case. It was a pain, but two of the heads had to
be removed to get it in. I'll stop here because
I'm beginning to bore myself stupid.
quick breakfast at the airport. There isn't time
for the £6.95 "all day breakfast".
Dirk calculates that a sausage bap is better value,
gram for gram than the bacon alternative, so plums for
that. Never one to get the economics of food
right, Rick goes for the bacon, and Roy declined to
have anything. Eddie........had the all day
breakfast, and still had bits of sausage and black
pudding in the corner of his mouth as he raced to the
tinsy winsy section of Liverpool John Lennon Airport
where one is allowed to suck furiously on a fag before
take off. Just after the photo below was taken,
Eddie stood up and knocked that massive and very full
ashtray over. A pissed off member of airport
staff was heard to say "there's always
one". We scuttle Eddie away quickly to the
next stressful test for him to negotiate........the
airport security check.
flight, and worried about potential turbulence causing
him to spill coffee on himself, Eddie decided that the
best thing to do would be to have a one or two cans of
strong lager.... "Fuckin' love lager,
me!" An expression Roy attributes to Stan
Boardman, but one which is totally applicable to
arrived quite late at the villa and the guests are due
to start arriving in about an hour and a half.
We've hired all the gear from a guy based out in
Marbella called Paul, who turns out to be a lovely
English bloke with equipment that actually all works
(this is a first for Spain!). We get the
sound check out of the way and then have about an hour
to go through the rigmarole of picking a set before we
have to entertain the revelers.
At first it all looks promising... we are being
watched, clapped and generally appreciated.
John, the birthday boy, comes to the front of the
stage by the pool and is dancing with four deliciously
smooth skinned girls wearing the smallest bikinis
imaginable. We have fallen foul of this sort of
cabaret in the past and from here on, there is much
less interest in the group of tatty heads on the stage
who are fighting a losing battle with the breeze in
the 'Irish jig' department.
After an hour we bid a retreat to our dressing
quarters, where we fill up on a plate of
hors-d'oeuvres. It's been decided that we are
going to go out and perform another shorter set, but
this time without any costume or artificial
headwear.....yea....we've been dying to do
this!! We are joined on stage, not by Rod
Stewart but by John who belts out a few Rock n Roll
standards. This is fun and we are having a good
time. Dirk throws us all a curve ball by
shouting out "Bad Boy", which this line up
has never played before and the ones that have can't
remember for the life of them, so it turns into rather
more of a busk than our usual renditions of such
putting 'the bats' down, it was great to relax with a
few drinks in a very pleasant environment. Eddie
relaxed rather too much at one point and completely
missed the chair he was aiming at sitting on.
Poor Eddie hurt his arse rather badly, and needed a
few more lagers to ease the pain.
Dirk had a room to himself!! (were we shocked
lads??) and Rick and Roy shared a "tyrannical
dictator" size bed. At about 4.30am, I
decided to investigate the possibility that there may
be some birthday cake left over, as the munchies had
set in. Tip toeing out of our room across the
marble floor toward the dining area (why would I
tip toe across marble..... I must have been
pissed!), I came across Eddie....almost certainly
VERY pissed.....waving a glass of lager above his
head...... racing toward me like a dervish shouting
"Richard! Richard!!... and giggling
Me: "I'm just gonna get some cake"
Eddie: "yeah!!!..... cake!..he
Eddie got a huge portion of cake........ and
shoved the whole lot in his face......and did that
stupid grin that he does so well.
I guess you really had to be there, but I'm still
laughing at the image of Eddie plastered with
chocolate cake, he looked like a commando at Wonka's
We have to
get up at 7.30
me up. I don't want to get up. We
all feel like shit. Dirk hasn't slept at
all! Dirk has to take the bastard machine heads
off the Hofner. This is no fun at all.
Feeling like we felt, we really did not want to have
face the problem of finding him. The embarrassment
of having to open all those doors in that house was
not a pleasant solution to our
predicament.............We've got a plane to catch!
and we are far too mean to pay for ticket changes.
NEXT WEEK TO FIND OUT......
WILL WE FIND HIM IN TIME??.....
IF WE DO, WILL THERE BE ENOUGH TIME FOR HIM TO DO HIS
Dirk who was given the task of opening all the bedroom
doors to look for Eddie. Roy and I waited in the
hall with our bags and our breakfast of a bottle of
coke. When Derek returns alone, we all begin to
worry. Dare we check the swimming pool? Is
this another rock 'n' roll casualty?
"What about the basement?" This is the
only place we haven't looked, and sure enough after descending
the stairs, we find the basement is actually a home
cinema..(wow!!! well impressed!). Stretched out
on a very comfy looking couch is our Edward, in state
of major disrepair.
Our ride to the airport should have arrived by
now. We've managed to get Eddie on his feet, but
there is no sign of the MPV which was arranged to pick
us up. John has got up by now and tells he will
take us if the lift doesn't arrive. 10 minutes
later we are piling into a Merc 4x4 with John,
grateful that we are not going to miss the flight.
typical airline inconsistency, the Hofner is allowed
on board as hand luggage. Airport security
though, have a major problem with the screwdriver that
is in the case ready to put the bloody thing back
together. The handy phillips driver is
confiscated to the pocket of the guard with the
Aviator Ray-Bans..... bet he's got a massive tool
London :: August 1999
We were doing a photo shoot for Planet Pledge to
raise awareness of re-cycling to benefit the
environment. The idea was that we would
re-create the Abbey Road cover on the crossing, while
Anthea stood in the middle with a lollipop
stick. About 30 press photographers had turned
up for the shoot, all shouting and in some cases,
screaming at our Lennon to turn the other way.
It was all thoroughly embarrassing. The abuse we
got from motorists in general and taxi drivers in
particular was most disconcerting. Like it was
Anthea was a real pro. She never moaned at the
number of times we all had to get on the crossing, and
smiled radiantly back, as one cab driver gave her the
We discovered that Anthea is a bit of a giggler.
Two takes had to be aborted as she was reduced to tears by
the sight of one side of Roy's moustache flapping in