Well? Have you missed me? I thought not, but anyway, what a year it's been already, ooh ah missus!
Anyway, the current state of Rhino/Quo world is as follows, as well as a bit of what little Johnnie did on his holidays, sorry, what Rhino did on his incredibly stressful, hectic, demanding and tiring travels, feel free to pick either one...
Bula Quo. Just got an email from Stuart St. Paul, director/writer/lyricist/all rounder really I suppose on the, if you will, "motion picture" front. He would wouldn't he, but he was saying that the movie is coming along really really well, he is over the moon with it. In fact I met up again with some of the film crew at Kew the other day, and they were all saying they think it's going to be special, (whatever that means!) so fingers crossed for 2 go mad in Fiji.
Fiji was an experience. We (the wife and I) arrived a week after the area we were staying in had suffered the worst flooding in 50 years. Obviously our cloud had prepared the way for us. It really was mashed up there, the poor people (and they are poor) had it really tough, and the Tourism side of things, which they rely on heavily was well down on figures. They are the loveliest people, not so much laid back as laid out, well wouldn't you be with all that sun. What sun? When we were there it rained virtually every day, mind you when it wasn't raining it were bloody boiling motha...
No rest for the wicked either, working 12 hours after we arrived, still killed the jet lag pretty much straight away. There were some truly unforgettable days for me there, I won't go into them as I don't want to spoil the film, but you will see them for yourselves. However, the most abiding memory will be WAITING!!!!! Lots of it. I would have gone mad if Kathy hadn't been there, mind you she's barking anyway, so I suppose we had a pretty normal time of it.
The cast were really cool, Craig, Laura and Matt were as down to earth as you could want, I found John Lovett a bit enigmatic, but he seemed nice enough, if a bit El Lay for me. It really is hard work for the film crew, really intense for them, but that's the gig. And there was a fellow Brentford supporter amongst them, Damian Beesman to you. Talking of Brentford, which I wasn't but now I am, we have a day of in Nottingham Saturday December 15th, and the mighty Bees are playing the hopefully not as mighty Notts County. So, planning early here, I am available for being bought drinks before the game in the away supporters pub whichever one it is. I am unavailable for mindless thuggery that day though, that'll be at the next home game.
I could write pages and pages about Fiji, it was really different, it really is a game of 2 halves. Us staying in a 5 star resort, leave the resort and 5 minutes down the road it's pretty run down. That said, they are a proud nation, they just get on with it, and smile all the time. I didn't feel any resentment from them towards Johnny Foreigner at all, you never got the feeling they were only after your money. Although they probably were !! Only kidding.
Ok, onwards and sideways, as while we are still in the world of Moviedom.
Hello Quo. Yes, Smell the glove is here! The, if you will, Rockumentary is here, in fact Rick has a copy, which I've seen most of. Up to the bit when I'm in it, I hate to watch myself. In fact it's not Spinal at all, it's rather good actually. Obviously the main part of it is about the formation of the band, the early years, drugs, the split with Nuff etc. with different people coming and going in the organisation, what you want from an in-depth documentary, with other people's take on the band thrown in for good measure. It's very well shot and a must-have stocking filler for the man/woman/child/animal in your life ladies and gentlemen.
Talking of animals, one of our 2 dogs Stanley died on May 3rd. I never realised how upset I would be, cried like a baby for days, Kathy and I were devastated. I never knew how much I cared for the little bugger. Life goes on I know, but it's that little bit not as good as it was. RIP mate xxxxx
Righto, just off the show tonight, we're in Sweden, Kim Queen of Quo, Watutsi woman Sue and Bob the Haupstat rocker have decided to honour us with their presence, mentioned in dispatches you are. Sqeak on...
Well here we are again, Stockholm tonight, still that will be for another time. Last night was brill by the way as it didn't rain. This is how wet the summer seems to have been for us. We have 2 sets of amps, drums, keyboards (it's called backline don't you know), which are the A and B rigs, which is how we can do gigs a long way away from each other without flying the equipment, which apart from being shedloads of money is also a royal [pain in the arse. Or so I'm told by the crew, I don't fetch or carry for ANYBODY! HEAR ME! Now fetch my sedan chair to carry me to the stage. I thought I insisted on 9 nubian bearers, and there's only 8. Right that's it, gig's off. Sorry, thought I was Axel (Dickhead of the highest order) Rose there. Anyway, the weather has been so shite that we actually have A and B clouds now! Easier for them, they don't have to rush from show to show, they can just chill and wait for us to arrive.
So, back to earth and a gig that never happened in St. Petersburg, one of the more amazing cities of the world. I have no idea why it was cancelled, but I was on my way to the Hermitage, possibly the most outrageous museum/palace/edifice I've ever been to. So I spent 4 hours there, getting my mind blown by the most incredible collection of art/sculpture/jewelry I reckon anywhere in the world. Mind you I've never been to the Pyramids. I lucked out and got in on a guided tour in English of the Gold room, words fail me, and believe me, that doesn't happen very often. Then, as you do in St. Petersburg when your show's cancelled, I went for a curry with Andrew. Weird weekend, but I will definitely go back there.
So, to Germany, Leipzig, with a really wacky rockabilly band opening, to Bad Segeburg, where we played a wild west amphitheatre, the most bizarre place with a German band called Torfrock I believe on before us. Their Billy wear Viking helmets with horns on them. Don't ask me why. They were either called Torfrock or Torpor, I can't remember, I went to sleep. They went down well though. Denmark and Holland came and went, Dutch mad as ever, in a boiling hot tent, excellent, nice hot day, and then...
Wexford. Oh dear. Arrived day before show, went into an amazing bar, jam session going on with accordion, violin, guitars, the best atmosphere, as soon as someone bought me a pint I knew it was time to go. Not the thought of having to buy one back, but once that starts you know you're as they say "in for a session". I hear they finished about 4.30 in the morning, can't do that any more.
The people over there have it tough at present. It is really starting to look run down, well it was where we were, lots of closed shops, the landlord of the aforementioned bar was telling me that all the youth with qualifications have moved abroad for work, I got chatting to some lads (no, I'm not a poofter) the next day and they basically said there was NOTHING to do, no nothing, jobs, prospects. It makes you really sad. I met such gorgeous people there, but they're all concerned about the future of their great country.
That wasn't the reason I said oh dear by the way. A guy I met in the bar told me about this beautiful walk by the golf course. Well after 5 minutes I'd gone arse over tit 3 times and nearly fallen into a river, so thought to turn back. That's when I felt the first drop of rain. Hmm, probably just a shower. WRONG!!!!! By the time we got to the show, there was a full gale in force, with rain coming into the stage horizontally, sodden O' Billy. Speke next, exaccerly the same shit.
Spain, superb, gig in a new? indoor bullring first off in somewhere beginning with V and then a brilliant festival in Vittorio, which incidentally was the scene of a battle I think with the Brits in the Peninsula war, whenever that was, they don't have their own website, how is one to learn anything these days? Huh? Joke number 2 there, I suspect you're all now helplessly convulsed with laughter. Well stop right there, as having read it, it's not remotely funny. Oh well, you win some etc...
Highlight of the gig for me was TWISTED FUCKING SISTERRRR!!!! That's what Dee the singer says about 30 times to el Billyos. They loved it, it's just so funny standing at the side when he comes over about every 3 minutes for more hairspray. Then the bass player starts hitting the mike with the neck of his bass. I don't know why either, I can't make up my mind whether they are taking the piss, as in it's panto rock and he is Widow Twankee, good entertainment, shame about the material. They would be HUGE with more good songs.
How about this for a Spinal moment? I walk into a luggage store with Lloyd, looking for a case when an American voice says "Hey guys, you bought too much stuff as well?". I turn round and it's the singer from Steel Panther! If you don't know this band check them on You Tube, I really love Asian Hooker and If you really really love me. Anyway we start this conversation about luggage and presents for kids, it was just like 2 Nigel Tuffnells. What a nice geeser as well.
After Spain it was going to be a great day for me. We were traveling to Ukraine, where England were playing Sweden in Kiev, AND I HAD A TICKET! Got to the hotel, where the promoter offered me a ticket. "No thanks, you're OK, I have a ticket waiting for me. Give it to Lloyd".
So, we're staying about a mile from the stadium, and I got a friend of someone I know waiting for me with a ticket. Start out from the hotel ASAP, no cash, no time but plastic. Get a call from my contact saying the tube is closed, meet me outside another station. Running now, remember I've never been here before. Get to the meeting place he ain't there. Call him up. "Where are you?" reply, "Where are you?" "At the station". "So am I" "Can you see the big brown building?" "Yeah" "I'm outside". "No you're not" Aaagh! Suddenly realise I'm outside the wrong building. He had to go into the game, in the amazing stadium I'd seen, talk about so near and yet so far.
Trudging back to the Hotel, see a bloke trying to sell a ticket. "How much?" "How much you got?" "No cash but cards" So we run around trying to find a machine, getting to 15 minutes before kick off, and I have that sinking feeling again. Suddenly he says, "Fuck it, you can have it". What a guy, ticket was sitting with them, great view, albeit in the middle of thousands of Swedes, Name of Bertie, with his brother Henry, their mate was ill back in the UK, his loss etc. So, of course I agree to buy the beers when we're in as soon as I can find an ATM, which of course they didn't have in the stadium. So they had to buy me beers as well. Not a bad life really, thanks so much guys, and we won!!
Great game, come out the ground afterwards and it's late and realise I'm totally lost. All the streets closed to cars, Police don't want to know, all official people mysteriously disappeared. Stop a local couple in the street and ask if they speak English, bear in mind I'm absolutely shattered with no idea where I am, really starting to panic now. They talk a little and I manage to explain where I have to go. They then walked 3 kilometers out of their way to take me to an open Metro station, paid my fare and came with me to the station to make sure it was the right one. What kind people.
I'd already told them if they wanted to come to our gig next night my treat. "Who is zer band?" "Status Quo". "Oh, maybe". We get to to the hotel Metro station, and there's a massive gig poster outside, written in Ukranian, with for a change a picture with me in it. "Look, that's me" I said. "Wow!!!! Staytis Qvow! Oh yes, In the Army now ! We want come pls!" So, got them tickets, and saw them at the show, they were beaming.
By the way, the hotel was full of Swedish fans. Which was nice.
So there you have it, John works his arse off 24/7 as per usual.
Anyway, that's yer lot for a while, peas and luv.