logo the freedom man


Mike Randle

********************************

“You don’t have to be a Def Leppard fan to Like Sheffield (but it wouldn’t hurt!)”
June 12 2002

It is noon in Sheffield, England as i am writing this. The sun is playing a bit of “hide and seek” with the clouds but, all in all, i’d say it’s quite a nice day-for England, that is. Speaking of which, i’d like to say that, despite the fun i make of England, this country is a very interesting place, which some very good people in it. You could travel just 30 minutes and realise a completely different accent. A lot of my complaining stems from the mandatory comfort that comes from living in a capitalist haven, like Los Angeles. But what works there doesn’t really work here. And why should it? I mean, people don’t tip here. And most of the service in resteraunts is shoddy. But it’s not fair for me to make that connection-that tipping motivates workers to perform better. Anyone that has ever been to Denny’s knows exactly what i’m saying is true. Americans reward people for nothing at all. i mean, you practically get a pat on the back just for showing up to most jobs in Los Angeles. Americans seam to feel that you ought to be paid more if you are with a company for a longer time or you went to university for 2 more years longer than that person over there. And all that should equate to better pay. But that’s never been my position. If i work more efficiently than you, then you should be payed less. Who cares where you went to school or how long you’ve sat at that desk. But that is a more “socialist” attitude and, for some reason, Employers in America seam to buy the “Long time employee” arguement. Music works in quite the same way.

A fan said something interesting to me last night. he said i was lucky to be working with Arthur Lee. I said we were both lucky. Sometimes, people fail to realise what it takes to become successful. it takes a whole team. It took Gene Kraut (who never stopped believing in Arthur) to offer to manage Arthur, but only if we were involved. Now, Arthur is great and he can work with anyone. But how far can you go with that? You need a vision and you need people who are dedicated to want to do the best and try the best. people who are not afraid to try difficult arrangements and material. We (the band) wanted to do all this , but only if the right people were involved. I’ve worked with Arthur since 1993 and i’ve seen a few people who have either booked or managed him. I won’t work with those people because i know they can’t take Arthur Lee where he needs to go. This tour and all of our careers are based on the LONG HAUL, not the short haul. And everyone seams to be doing their jobs rather well. So, to that fan, i say again that we are all Lucky. A fan might be happy with a pick up band and a cheaper ticket, but, at the end of the day, we all want to see things get better for everyone. I know Arthur only wants the best. And there was a time when that wasn’t inmortant to him. But he won’t settle for less. he has some amazing songs in him and we have planes for the Forever Changes tour and so, so much more. it’s a lot of work, traveling like this. i miss my friends, my family, my 3 year old. But i see the big picture. So, sure, i maybe lucky, but i also worked for it. ANd that’s gotta count for something, right?

ok..enough of my hangover ramble (see what happens when you have too many pints of Guinness). Mick (our Merch guy) said to me, “Know how to get a hangover?” i said, “How?” He said, “Drink alot the night before..” ok, it was funnier when he said it…well, last night we played the BOARDWALK in Sheffield..another sell out, but this was a small club… i think it only held 500 people. But it was a fun show. the sound guy i think was smoking something suspicious, which might have explained the Shite monitor mix. But it was fun and we did DAILY PLANET again but i missed a couple of cues (Damn!) but, in the end, it turned out cool. Natasha, from manchester, came to the show and brought me this great boo on the art and culture of Manchester in the last 200 years (thanks!). Also, Ringo’s sweet finace’, Toni, drove down form York. Chapple’s girl, natalie (and her sister, Michelle) have been touring England as tourist and just driving all over the place on the wrong side of the road and stuff like that. it was good to see them and hear some American accents for a change!

Afterwards, Chapple and the girls and their cousin paul and his girlfriend all went to a bar for drinks. the rest of us went back to the hotel. i ordered some indian food for delivery (in Engalnd, it’s called a “take away curry”). Went to sleep around 3am after watching a hilarious English Tv show where these woman take off their shirts and show you their tits. Why we don’t have that show in Los Angeles is beyond my comprehension. But, anyways, i woke up around 9am and caught the end of the England match (they tied, Nil all) and then walked over to a cleaners to get my laundry done but the bloke wanted £38 to do 1 load of laundry! 38 quid just to get my clothes washed! I told him (and this is me praphrasing a conversation Gene Kraut had with a Dutch promoter…), for 38 quid simply to wash my clothes, he should take the money and buy himself a hooker. That way, we can both say we got fucked. (or, Fooked, as they say in Yorkshire county.) I mean, that’s like paying someone $57 to wash a load of clothes! So, i came back to the hotel (you guess it, Premier Lodge! I guess Glenn’s new hotels don’t kick in till Wolverhanpton?) and the felt so bad for me they did my launfry for 5 bob (£5) so i guess i lucked out! I then caught the city tram to the middle of town and did some shopping and bought Julian a Sheffield Football jersey for his birthday friday (say, anyone who wants to send him a birthday e-mail, can send it to comingupbeads@yahoo.com and his Mum, Rita, will print them out for him. Someone suggested it to me so here i am passing it on, that’s all.)

So, now, here i am, having finally tracked down an (expensive!!!) internet cafe. it’s lunch time so i’ll ask around and see if i can find a proper fish and chip place. or maybe i’ll have sheppard’s pie? Or maybe a (pronounced “Yorksher”) Yorkshire pudding? Who knows? The people in Sheffield are very nice and a bit more friendlier than the Liverpoolians or the Manchester lot. But that’s simply an observation. Folks seam to take thier time in Sheffield. And things are cheap, which is nice. Well, this is the last official day off. We have shows left in Wolverhampton (thur), London (frid), Paris (sat) and Dublin (sunday) and then this tour will be official done. It’s been tough in a few spots, but i have to say that when you work with the best it makes it easier. And LOVE fans being the best fans in the world doesn’t hurt non either! Besides, Arthur is the greatest talent i’ve ever been in the presence of. He leaves it all on the stage. And he deserves all the credit in the world, becasue, without him, none of this happens. So, here’s to more shows, more music and more diaries! (raise yer pints, lads!)

Mike Randle

Love