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Mike Randle


“Would the last band member in Sweden please turn out the lights?”
May 25 2002

Wow, it’s Saturday the 25th of may and i’m sitting in the KB club in Malmö, Sweden, using their computer, sipping a nice cold Beer. It’s around 9:30pm and the first opening act has started. i believe they are called THE ANIMAL FIVE. They sound good and are really nice guys. Tonight is our last night in Sweden and our last and 11th day in Scandanavia. I think it’s the 7th or 8th show of the tour. Tomorrow i’ll be in Berlin but for now, i am still in beautiful Sweden, in it’s most southern city, Malmö. Funny, there’s a poster for a show here next month with Aimerr Mann and Nick Lowe playing here at the KB. We just found out we’re playing (WITH STRINGS AND HORNS AGAIN!!!!)the Roskilde festival in Denmark June 29 and Aimee Mann is playing as well so that should a lot of fun! Gene says our stage may have between 13,000 and 19,000 people…shit. That’s a lot of beer…

Two Swedish fans In Goteburg. The Lady also came to the Oslo show.
photo from Mike’s camera

Ok…I’ve given it some thought and i now and i think i can say that the 3 days we spent in Stockholm preparing for the Forever Changes stuff with the ensemble were three of the best days i’ve known. it was just such a huge musical experience. The rehearsal was so fun… i just wanted it to go on forever. Anyone who likes the sound of that record would be in heavan to hear each part played about as perfect as the record. The ensemble was absolutely brilliant and the guy who conducted them in rehearsals and wrote the music out, Gunnar, is quite the genius, as he wrote the whole thing from simply listening to the record. he had no prior sheets and wasn’t familiar with the record. Not only that, the ensemble never heard the record. They were amazed when arthur sang at rehearsal! and they were impressed by the melodies and lyrics. I found that difficult to swallow…never heard the record? That’s how amazing Gunnar’s charts were.

Mike, at the “Sky Bar” of the Hotel
photo from Mike’s camera

That night, we all went drinking at the Sky bar atop our hotel…just kinda having a good time and taking in the gorgeous view of Stockholm at 11pm, as the sun was just setting. The next day it was maybe 15 min before showtime. i looked out and saw the theatre was packed, all 3 levels! Although i can’t remember too many specifics, i remember the show being long! I just sort of enjoyed it but i would have loved to be in the audience and just hear it! But, as my friend Lisa said, that’s why they film it! A couple of songs stuck out in my mind. I remember ALONE AGAIN being huge and RED TELEPHONE as well. But, possibly the magnum opus had to be YOU SET THE SCENE, which seemed to climb higher and higher, each bar we played. The strings and the horns were in harmony with all the electric instruments. And Rusty’s excellent acoustic guitar playing truly complimented the wonderfully charted music. it’s not easy for me to be in all this and sound so enthusiastic and not feel weird but i mean all this almost from a fan point of view. I pay a lot of attention to the music and the fans and i try to get a sense of what people may be thinking.

But, all in all, the show was a lot of fun and quite the experience. thanks to everyone in the quartet. also, one of the violin players (sorry, her name escapes me) is 7 months pregnant and Arthur dedicated ORANGE SKIES to her becasue she said everytime we played it in rehearsals, the baby kicked with excitement. So, it was a touching night all around!

Last night, we played the Gump Jazzhuset in Göteberg and the place sold out. It was so packed we almost couldn’t leave the stage without security. and some f#cker stole one of arthur’s maracas. if anyone reads this and knows him, tell him that was not cool. the music shops were closed by the time we got to malmö so now we only have 1 maraca. thanks a lot, pal. By the way, we were walking down the street in Göteberg and 2 fans approached Arthur and myself and said they couldn’t get tix because the show sold out. Arthur told me to take them to the club and have them put on the list as his guest. That’s the kind of guy Arthur is. And i’ve seen him do it before. And someone goes and steals from him. Know what? Arthur hasn’t said anything negative about it either. Arthur considers all love fans friends.

So we had a day off yesterday in Göteberg and we all walked around and say the town. it started raining so we couldn’t do much. The singer in SOund TRacks Of our Lives, Ebbits, offereed to take us in his boat but the rain ended that. i think i may have mentioned that before, huh? whups! Well, i am meeting my friend, Mark Cox (my buddy from Santa Monica who works in germany now), downstairs for a few pints so i gotta split. Thanks again to all the nice people who keep checking in on the diary like Ainsley in Southhampton (Ainsley, your bird has been e-mailing me behind your back…), Scottish Paul, Martyn and everyone else. Also, thank you to Arthur for the nice things he said about me in yesterday’s MOJO magazine interview. And also, to Sweden…Tak so mychet.

Until Berlin,

Mike Randle


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