I didn't think I could be any more bored than I was in Emden, but that was nothing compared to this I have a day off near a town called Aalen, it's a national holiday, it's all shut, and the hotel's miles out. I’m sure the good people of Aalen are all fine upstanding examples of god's work but couldn’t they at least have been out in the streets? I rented a bike and cycled in today, the girl at reception told me just go down the hill, which was nice, but of course you have to come back UP it. Which wasn't so nice, in fact not at all nice, still my calf muscles needed to feel like they're trying to burst through my legs like that film Alien kind of thing.
But enough whining about my shit life, onwards and somewhere else... South Africa. Weird. Had 'er indoors with me, but that's not why it was weird. When we went before (1988), the townships were real shanties. Now it seems they have become brick built box type housing estates, a huge step up from the apartheid years, but now you have the squatter camps, which are the new shanty towns, appalling poverty, and I'm sure hygiene. 10 year old glue addict kids knocking on your car window at traffic lights, pleading for money, everywhere barbed wire fences, dogs, security fences, but everyone just seems to get on with it, however we did have armed minders everywhere we went, who had some frankly hair raising stories to tell about their time in the police force/prison service.
Big high 5 to Johannes and Lucas, our minders for the time we spent there, lovely people, especially as it wasn't us they were giving the evil eye to at times. I sure would have cacked me pants if it were me they were looking at. Buy me a drink sometime and ask me about Lucas's (f*** knows how you spell that and stay fashionable) ear. The gigs were at Carnival city, basically a big casino complex just outside Johannesburg, the outside looked like something from an early Batman series, you would expect the Joker or someone to be hiding in there, I loved the colour scheme of it.
Started playing a new set, after a fashion, one of those places where I might have well not turned up (shut it Quozone!), all the billy were glued so to speak to RP and FR. However, this night was the world premiere no less of Bellavista man and TPAOY live. Not bad, but will be better. You can, as we say, rehearse the shit out of something, but you never know if it’s gonna be right until you do it in front of an audience. That's rule 3 of the musicians top 10.
The set obviously wasn‘t the correct one, in fact as I write it's still work in progress, but don't anybody accuse us of not giving VFM, we don't do it on purpose y'know, you can rehearse and rehearse and think it sounds great, then one gig later it's back to the drawing board.
Cyndy, Daisy, Crapmodem, Julie and a couple from Germany whose names I don't know all turned up to support the cause, nice to see you folks. About half full both nights but after the 2nd we had to drive at suicidal speed to the airport to get to London for TOTP and 50YOITV, ya, real rock and roll stuff, we had a lifeboat take us from Chelsea harbour to the Embankment (off the Thames in London), should have a had a box of milk tray (showing my age there) to deliver to some model (incurable romantic there-some model), TOTP was great, I know it's not the show it was, but it's always the best feeling to do it, we were just a bit pissed that TPAOY didn't make the top ten after all, it's 1 nearer, isn't it.
We charted at the number Spinal Tap's amplifiers go up to. Hmmm. Karma? However, my day was made when I met and had my photo taken with THE ALAN WHICKER!!! Rick thinks he's an alien 'cos he's always talking about Whickers' world, but I don't think so. How about that. That is indeed famous. I just realised that the word Whicker got through spell check. No it didn't, only in bold type, bollocks. Mind you Rhino does, so am I famous? I know, so does wanker. Does on mine anyway.
After 50YOITV, straight to bus for trip to Germany for tour, having left Kathy in SA, which was worrying, still I'm sure she was well looked after by Mr. Salt. The reason I am not drinking is that she and I tried to drink South Africa dry of wine. Sadly we failed miserably, but being British put on a damned good show I can tell you. However, my liver was pleading for mercy, so it's on holiday while I'm in Germany, which is really easy as their beer is like bat piss isn't it folks?
2 weeks and counting, and boy am I counting. Got to Kempten, one of the shows we had to reschedule from Summer, went to Aldi during the day, bought some gardening gloves I think, sex, drugs, rock and roll, abstinence and Aldi ROOL!
Hot gig, set still not right, some very pissed off faces afterwards in the dressing room, Off to Leipzig, an outdoor show, much better, I think that was where we tried the new encore bit, again, work in progress, bit happier, lucky with the weather, good audience. I am so fed up with not drinking, but I WILL stick to it, only 119 hours and 32 minutes left to go, but who's counting?? Whoops, repeating myself, repeating myself, re(contdp94)
Prost (not) Edwards
Top and middle pictures by Bobby Plavsic (Huttwil).
More at quo.qu.funpic.de
Alan Whicker and Rhino by Dave Salt.
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