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Mike Randle

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“WITH FOOD THIS BAD WHO NEEDS ENEMIES?”
August 27 2002

Here I sit, Thursday morning, 10 hours before we play the “Lemon Tree” in Aberdeen, Scotland, and 48 hours since I boarded a Virgin Atlantic Jet at LAX. The weather, a cool grey canvas, the atmosphere almost English but not quite. See, the Scots care too much and thats what prevents them from being “officially British”. Let’s take last nights Business, for instance.

After 12 hours of flying, we finally arrived at our hotel, here in Aberdeen. Ready to drop dead from jet-lag and beer, I was fantasizing about the nights sleep that i perceived was imminent. But in something right out of a movie, we were told by the hotel manager that a mistake had been made regarding our rooms. Although the singer had his room and was already ‘sorted’; the five of us left over – Mick Brown (tour manager), Daddyo, Chapple, Rusty and myself apparently had no rooms!

The manager then explained to us that an employer had mistakenly given our rooms away, so, instead of 5 people in 5 rooms, we’d have to settle for 5 people in 1 room. (I know what you’re thinking; didn’t this happen in SPINAL TAP?!). Since all the Aberdeen hotels were sold out (there are maybe 3 in all…), we were screwed, big time. So we got our luggage and went to our toom where there were 3 small beds and one big bed, then went out for an AMAZING fish and chips, and came back and finally got some sleep.

So, when I woke up this morning, the first thing I remember was the management saying that breakfast was on the house, his way of apologising for the mistake. Well I made my way down, ordered breakfast and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t Absolutely the worst breakfast I ever tasted in my life. OH, did I mention we’re staying at the Premier Lodge? Or did you guess that part already?

Let’s start with eggs. I’m sure these eggs would even offend inmates at Los Angeles County Jail. No amount of sa,t and pepper could reverse whatever spell the chef cast on these Scrambled Disasters. The “salt-sage” was so salty and gross I almost spat it out. The fruit salad was just as bad and the coffee should have been arrested. Last meals on Death Row are probably better. Even the yoghurt sucked. The bacon (salty as hell) was burnt and the toast came cold. But at least the Scots have a good attitude about it.

Afterwards, the manager asked me how it was. “How was what?” I answered? He chuckled and said “Breakfast, of course! How was breakfast?” I paused for a minute. “Terrible. Easily the worst tasting food imaginable. If the chef is trying to poison guests, he’s on the right track.” The nice manager laughed again. I didn’t. “You’re kidding, right? You Americans….” he added, before answering the phone and dissapearing into the back room.

When I realised he wasn’t coming back, I walked outside and felt the traffic whiz by on the small city street beneath cold, grey skies. The people seemed nice enough and castles were in the backdrop, making all this seem a bit surreal. It was now 11am. I began to wish I was still in bed, dreaming of a tropical island with beautiful women and a kind bartender. No worries in the world. But then I thought about why I was even here in the first place; to play some music for people who love music. Fair enough. It was nice to be back in Scotland, I figured. It was then that I stopped complaining. It was then that I felt lucky.

Mike Randle

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