Countdown To A Decade:
We’d flown to Aberdeen from Los Angeles (via London) the day before. When I left LA, the weather was 88F (hot, ok?)but when we got to Scotland, it was chilly and rainy. Luckily, our hotel was across the street from the Venue. Unluckily, there was a mistake made with the reservation (this was to become the theme for this tour, by the way) and, like a page RIGHT OUT OF “THIS IS SPINAL”, instead of 5 rooms for (tour manager)Mick, Rusty, Daddyo, Chapple and myself, we were given 1 ROOM WITH FIVE BEDS!!!!! Although the SINGER was spared this inconvenience, we had no choice but to wing it for that night. The hotel Mgr. was very apologetic but there was not much he could do, as there were no more rooms for that night and nothing across town as well. So to make up for it, the hotel bartender gave us free drinks all that night (good) and the hotel restaurant gave us each a free English breakfast the next morning (not good) and gave us the rooms free that night and discounted the next night.
So after all that monkey business, I stroll over with Mick on the next afternoon to see the club and meet some of the sound people. We walked over around 1pm and grabbed some soup and met MARGE, the manager of the club. Marge was a hard-ass Scots woman who took no shit from anybody. Although I thought she was kinda charming, she was WAY too serious in her job and too “by the book” for my taste. She actually made us pay for beers at sound check! I mean, our contract calls for a case of beer and all kinda goodies backstage and it’s usually there before the show. But not that day. So, sound check was really good and the SINGER strolled over from the hotel and then we all had dinner, which was some dried-out chicken creation that the chef made especially for us (GEE, THANKS!)
The show was packed and it was truly a great time. I thought the sound people and everyone else at the LEMON TREE were total professionals and the Scots that came and cheered us on were just wonderful. Afterward, a few fans wanted autographs and photos with us, including a few female requests for a “spanking”, which I felt obligated to administer. (Kieth Stodart made me pay him to keep these photos off the internet…) Afterward, had some drinks with the guys up in Daddyo’s room adn then hit the hay in my room. I was dead tired and slept thru my wake-up call the next morning. Dammit.
We had just played this very venue June 3, and due to some sort of arts festival, we had to take a hotel 45 min away. But this was no ordinary hotel, but a castle-type manor built in the 16th Century, if I’m not mistaken. It was nice having a victorian bedroom and to look out my window and see rabbits running about (which made me re-think the “Rabbit Stew” choice for lunch!)
We drove to town and while the sound people got everything together, Chapple and I went to a nearby Internet Cafe but fans kept recognizing us and I couldn’t write my diary that day! But it was cool to see people like Ainsley Adams, who bought me a drink 30 min later at a pub next to the club. But then it was time for the show so i had to split. And we played a really fun, good show. Afterward, I saw Paul Barr and a few other nice people. “Madchester” Natasha showed up and handed me a book that I completely cherish (thanks N.D.) which would make my downtown on the road that much better.
After the show, we did our 45 min. drive back to the “Manor” where the owners had a little party for us with an open bar where most everyone was drinking whiskey and beer. The next, the SINGER said he’d had a dream where people were playing bagpipes. I had to tell him, there was a wedding outside the hotel with Kilts and Bagpipes and everything…it was great. We said goodbye to Scotland (for now) and started our 6-hour drive to Northampton, England, for our day off. The next day would be a 2-hour drive to Kent, where the Canterbury Fayre was being held on the 25th of August. It was still raining (and cold.)