Arthur Lee Makes Lots of Friends In Dublin
June 16 2002
Written by Toni Scully
Well the Love Spring Tour 2002 was fast coming to a close (Boo Hoo!), but we managed to buy tickets for the Dublin show, and trusty Ryanair (well sometimes) had some cheap flights, so Sunday morning Michelle and I whizzed up to Luton in the old Mini and flew to the ‘Old Country’.
Of course Sunday was a big day for the Irish football team, playing in the last sixteen of the World Cup, and the pilot kept on giving us updates on the score as we crossed the Irish Sea (I’m sure he was concentrating on flying the plane really). When we arrived the penalty shoot out had just started, and well you know the rest. The Irish took the defeat in good heart though, and no one can deny that the team gave their all.
Well we arrived at our hotel and relaxed for a couple of hours. As showtime approached we walked up to the Ambassador Theatre at the North end of O’Connell Street. After we collected our tickets, I asked what time Love would be on, the guy rolled his eyes and told us that the band had missed their flight from Paris, and were still ‘in transit’. So we were a little concerned as we crossed the street to a pub for a Guinness or two.
As we were sitting there, Ringo (UK Love Tour Manager Extraordinaire) came up and said hi, and invited us to have a drink with him and his girlfriend Toni. Ringo told us that he had been taking it easy with his friends in Dublin when the call came that the band were stranded at Paris Beauvais Airport, and could he go and set up the stage, do a sound check and generally work a miracle or two. Ringo of course jumped to it and did a great job of getting the venue set up, because he’s a grand lad.
Well we headed over to the venue, which was really good, a smallish old theatre with the stalls seats removed, the circle left in (think a shrink washed Brixton Academy), and had a couple of drinks. The crowd was starting to get a bit restless, because they weren’t aware of the problems. We were relieved when we saw Mike, Rusty and Dave appear on stage and do a quick line check. Rusty even did the old ‘one-two’ mic check.
The venue was nicely full, but not too packed, so Michelle and I made our way down to the front, and a little later than expected the band came on. As usual on this tour the crowd went wild and got right into the set from the off. My Little Red Book had everyone dancing and a great version of Alone Again Or brought a great response from the Dublin crowd. Arthur had some problems with a coughing amp at the start of Andmoreagain, but blistered into My Flash On You instead. Arthur was in great form, prowling the stage and acting out in some of the numbers. At one point he told the crowd it was his first time in Ireland, and that he seemed to making lots of new friends. I think Arthur has made a lot of new friends everywhere he’s been on this tour.
It was a really great show, one of the best I saw on the tour, and one lucky fan got a souvenir in the form of Arthur’s harmonica, which had a broken reed, so he tossed it into the crowd in Signed D.C. The highlights for me were A House is not a Motel, The Red Telephone, The Daily Planet, Que Vida and Singing Cowboy.
At the end of the show we hung around and after fifteen minutes or so, Ringo showed up and gave Michelle and I passes to get backstage. We then went through to the dressing rooms and we got a chance to meet the rest of the band, until then we had only spoken to Mike and to Rusty briefly. Some other friends of Ringo and Mike’s were there, and Darrien from the Wondermints and Brian Wilson’s band was also there. He told us some great stories of the recent show he did with Brian and some guy called Paul who was in a band from Liverpool in the 1960’s.
Then Ringo asked me if I could take a photo of the band and him, so we went into the second dressing room, and Mike introduced me to Arthur. Now you may think I’m a flake, but shaking Arthur’s hand and having the chance to say thanks for all the great music he’s made really meant a lot to me, so a BIG Thank You to Mike and Ringo for making it happen. I then took more photos for Dave Chapple and Daddyo.
Then we all hung out some more and we got a chance to chat with Dave Chapple, who is not only a fantastic bass player, but he’s a top bloke too (as we say in Manchester). After a couple of hours, Michelle and I said goodbye, and set off back to the hotel, a bit sad that the tour was over, but on a high from the show.
As we strolled up to the hotel door, who should pull up outside but the band (I’m not a stalker, honest!) and Gene joked that the Itinerary was probably on the Internet. After laughing about this, we helped unload, and I carried Arthur’s guitar, what an honour! I also had a couple of thwacks on his tambourine, woo hoo!
Then as usual, we headed for the hotel bar and had a couple of drinks with the band and Gene. There were lots of funny Rock ‘n’ Roll tour experiences to be told and it was really nice to be able to shoot the breeze with the guys, and for us it was a great way to round off an Amazing Tour.
So that’s all for now. Arthur and the band will be back soon, and we will be there to see it, which is something to be thankful for. Thanks once again to Mike, Rusty, Dave and Daddyo for the music, Ringo for his humour and hard work, Gene for looking after Mr Lee’s interests and to Arthur Lee for giving us all so much.