AAAAGGGHHH!!!! Big brother isn't just watching you, he's got his hand down yer trousers!
Is it me or what? I just went to Marks and Spencer, 'cos it was the closest place open... £3.17p for a bunch of tasteless grapes!? How much?? Anyway, I go to the automated check outs, you know the ones that will end up replacing all check out staff, thus making our world an even better place folks, put me bunch of grapes on the scales (snigger) and the voice says "please scan your first item". D'you know what? It's the SAME VOICE as the Tesco automated check outs! Then at the end of the sequence the voice says "Thank you for shopping at Marks and Spencer. We value you as a customer... right, have you paid? Then get out".
Maybe I'm odd, but this place is getting creepier by the day. I am not a number! I am a free Rhino! (Oh no you're not) The days of individuality are numbered, actually they're numbers 3 and 17. Do you shop at Lidl or Aldi? Well I do, and it's quite different. It's like a mad race between me, the, if you will "checkoutee" (is that a word?) and the "checkouter" (the store employee) to see if you can put all your purchases in bags as fast as they scan them. Oh what fun I have with my life...
Viva Status Quo!!! We don't sound like anyone else, it's still unmistakably us, like it or not.
There's a few other totally pointless bits to come, so are you snoring comfortably? Let's begin...
Sarfend, It's a weird place in the Winter (well, this period of slightly cold weather we're having) I went for a stroll an hour before the show, and got into the Seafront bit of town. Talk about closed, like a ghost town it was, even the ghosts had buggered off. Nice to see some familiar faces again in the crowd, 2 nights of that there was.
Then a day off in sunny Ipswich, (see 6-0 to the Tractor boys), great curry in the evening with Lord Rock, only blip in the day is that Andrew's really grim, poor bloke, got the plague or something like that, not a happy puppy of 61 at all. That's the thing for the 3 of us that don't do the lead singing, we can be dead on our feet and still do the gig, F and R get ill, and the show's off, cause it takes a hell of a lot of puff (and I don't mean weed) to do the singing, much more than you'd think, believe me.
Ipswich. I believe it was the debut in the UK of our kabuki, you know the curtain thing that comes down when we start. Or not sometimes. Well I've named this one the Black Pearl, as in Pirates of the Caribbean. Right on cue it comes down, good so far. Then it starts to billow up like a sail, grows to about 5 feet high, and decides it's not leaving without putting up a fight. Stage hands are trying to pull it off, and as it goes it starts knocking over microphones and getting bigger and bigger. Rick must have started Caroline about 6 times before the Black Pearl finally conceded. That's what's so good about live shows, it doesn't always go right. Spinal who?
I really like playing at Ipswich, shite backstage but always good billy, right at the front of the stage, they're g-r-r-r-e-a-t (as in Frosties). Good days... What? Another day off? Andrew still v. grim, this is no fun for him, still at least he can chill (poor choice of word there) all day. I get to see my son Max, the hotel's pretty good, except they charge for the net, that's so tight I think. You can even get free wi-fi at MacDonald's! Well they've got to give you something to take your mind off the food, eh? Francis doesn't like the Corn Exchange, I do, noisy and hot, just what Andrew needs!
Total result, based at home for 3 nights, and 2 Croydon shows, the venue with one of the best individual billy we get. This bloke is so sent by the music he's great to vibe with. Only ever comes to Croydon, but gets his money's worth for sure.
A Saturday off! Great, go and see the woefully pathetic at the moment Brentford FC, yeah? "Think on" That's her behind the doors... didn't go to the football. Probably went to Aldi for the day, don't remember.
Portsmouth. Peeing with rain, went to meet 2 of my old friends from boarding school just outside Dorchester in Dorset. Well, I use the term school loosely. 'Stinsford school for maladjusted boys' it was called, and it was a place for children with problems: domestic, violent, personality disorders, in fact misfits and outcasts. 55 kids in the school, the best 2 years of my life. I could talk for hours about it, anyone reading this went there, get in touch. It was amazing. Rick was showing me a map of his school the same day, and I just said "mine was better". I can't believe how lucky I was to go there, turned me round that's for sure.
Anyway, I'd not seen these guys since 1968, great to see them. Talking to them about what they'd done since school, and they both said, "well, after I got out of prison". One got seven years for attacking a policeman, and the other one wouldn't even tell me how long he'd been inside for armed robbery. The school didn't work for them then, although as they told me their life stories, which of course you don't do when you're 15, it was pretty obvious they were going to go off the rails at some point.
It was so sad I can't tell you, listening to the shit they'd had to go through as children, but they've turned their lives around, and actually used the experiences they'd had at Stinsford as a part of their rehabilitation. Good old Thatcher and 'care in the community' made sure the school closed early eighties... so sad.
We got panned by the Times for the show. He was such a fan wasn't he, the reviewer? If I remember rightly "the reggae-ish rhythm of In the Army now" Yeah mon, pass me dat spliff while we play da dub version of Don't waste I and I's time... What was he on? He called us "Conservative and complacent" Bollocks. Conservative? Maybe. Complacent? Never.
Plymouth, excellent, met up with Jos from the Astrofirs, don't forget you read it here first. Was in a pub for a change, actually drinking coffee. Really I was, it just looked like lager, come to think of it, tasted like lager as well. Anyway, the barmaid was Portuguese. When she heard I was in the band she went mad and told me her family had come all the way over from Portugal to see us, she was so thrilled I was in there, what a great fan she was, must have a photo. Another chap asked her what her favourite song was. It then became obvious that she didn't know a single one! After about a minute of spluttering and trying to think of one she managed to say "all of them" Quite a bazaar moment, funny though. I also received "Rhino's cake" as made by Sarah, AKA Rhinomaniac on the MB. Absolutely beautiful chocolate cake, thank you so much, in fact it was so nice I'll forget the 30p feed for a Tour glob mentionxx
The Black Pearl is behaving itself at the moment.
Of course Oxford means nothing to me as Max is at Cambridge, and they've closed the best noodle bar ever, what is there left to live for? It's a nice place in the centre, with a great secondhand record shop.
Talking of record shops, which I wasn't but am now, if you live around Cardiff, or buy on line and like independent record shops, use Spillers in Cardiff. It's one of the best record shops I've ever been in, and I've been in a few. It's also the oldest in the world, and they're struggling with a capital Str. Read this web page and support them.
Anyway, Oxford. Was good, Andrew's getting better at last, walked in the gig, and said "evening, I'm back". Which was nice.
PS. Jeffrey Dennis Rich and his lovely wife Roberta are the proud parents of little baby girl Ella (see pic), born on Nov 22nd. Congratulations to them both!
Home again, then Harrogate. I went to the hotel across the street after the first gig for a drink, and watched quite a lot of our fans swell the bars' takings by a large amount of dosh. What I like about you Quo fan is that you get as shitfaced as you like (or not, as the case may be), but there never seems to be a bad vibe, that's class.
We had an extra 4 feet on the stage, no not 2 more people but an extension on the front and it really helped. It was quite odd though, the reception, 2 sold out shows:
Saturday audience - loudest ever at Harrogate,
Sunday - village green cricket match.
Is that it? It is for now.
I was walking along with a mate the other day and I saw this former Beatle walking up the road with a pronounced limp.
I said to my friend "what's wrong with him?"
"Ah" he replied "he's got Paul McCartney"
Think about it... You have? It's Crap? Yep, but made me laugh.
Tarahh, lorra lorra laffs.
PS. Spikarooney, you owe me 30p, actually you're excused on account of the chocolate micex
In Search Of The Fourth Chord tourlog 2007/8: