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Mike Randle


“A London diary of sorts (Day two)”
August 29, 2003


Your memory is playing tricks on you, you didn’t go back to the hotel and go straight to bed, you went with Lizzy, Chris and me for a Kebab in Canterbury at about 1.30am Saturday night after a few beers in the Holiday Inn. Hope you’re now safely back in LA with at least a few brain cells left. It was great to see you all in the UK again, hope you come back again soon

Tina ******

The next morning, which was Sunday, I woke up hungover and grumpy and in no mood to smile. I went over and got some orange juice from the breakfast area. I saw Tina and Lizzy and Chris and they smiled and said hello (they were staying at the same hotel) as I snarled back, showing my teeth. The Singer walked up to me and asked if i’d taken my vitamins. I was peeved and walked off. Yep, the barstool blues. Went back to my room and slept till noon.

Texted Keith saying I was coming out to the festival round 2pm but then 2pm passe and I was still running from this ferocious hangover that followed me like a lost kitten on skid row. Then the phone rang about 4:30 saying we were all going to dinner at the Cantebury grounds. I took this opportunity to try out my new voltage converter. I read the directions, though I was doing the right thing and, BAM, fried to pedals and my main power supply unit. So I went to the petrol station and bought batteries. Of course this would send the average bloke into a tail spin. Not me. I just didn’t give a rat’s tit, to be honest. I was hungover.

We arrived at the grounds around 5;30 and in typical festival style, we were served crap food masquerading as some sort of catered delights. Maybe it was the hangover? Hard to say. I had the veggie chili, A.K.A. “The Bland Special.” Things were looking up when I eyed a case of Stellas in the corner. Grabbed a cold one and headed over to Paul’s Sangria Oasis, again, HOME SWEET HOME. Gave Scottish Keith a ring on the mobile. I figured by now he’d probably had half of Kent wasted (or worse.) Roland UK had sent a representative over, Hannah, who had the unfortunate luck of entering in a drink-fest with Mr. Stodart. Roland has been instrumental (i couldn’t resist!) in helping me navigate and troubleshoot sounds problems on my 1180CD gear. So, of course, I had to be nice to Hannah and she knew it.

While I waited for Keith to meet me, a few fans came over and they were all very nice and wanted pictures and autographs and stuff. The whole LOVE gang (Keith and posse) came over and we were all chatting and then Hilary walked over and it was great to see North London Hil. Soon Ratdog came on and they were great and i actually talked to Bob Weir after his show but like a dumb ass, i addressed his as “Phil.” Whups. Also finally met Josh Hobbs and his dad, Phil and his brother as well. Thay had a cool tent right near the front, just to stage right. I watched some of the Buzzcocks with Ringo and then got ready for the LOVE experience.

Our show turned out to be WAY fun and even a few funny things happened during it like how my strap broke mid-song and our guitar tech (Choorles) saved the day by grabbing my other strap, the ‘Porno Special’, which is this hideously looking leopard skin strap that Guitar Center gave the Singer, but he decided it clashed with the brim of his hat and divyed it off to me and I was too much of a dumb ass to buy a new one. Serves me right.

We all enjoyed the show and was ready to play more when we were told that we would be fined if we went over. Glenn Povey had fined Robert Plant the night before for going over by 8 minutes! So we went back and chilled. I got a photo signed for ‘Kentish Gazzette’ writer, David Parker. He interviewed the Singer and I at our hotel at the Guildford festival back in July and now the article was out. He told me that though it was heavily edited (and it’s STILL quite long), the full, un-edited version will be available on the CASTLE on-line, which, as you know, is the same site that you are reading now; the FREEDOM MAN site. yep.

Thirty minutes later, Ringo and I went over to the Sangria Oasis and there was a Hootenanny in full effect. It was the LOVE posses and a couple of hippies. So we all played some songs, sang and also Keith and i, as promised, did a very drunk version of ‘SLOOP JOHN B’ that would have brought even the mild mannered Al Jardine to fist-a-cuffs. Everyone was having a blast and Ringo and I lost track of time and missed our ride back to the Hotel but Hilary offered to drop us off. There wasn’t any room in Chris and Tina’s car, if remember correctly. And we weren’t gonna camp out since we had an early wake up call the next morning.

We said goodbye to Keith, Hannah, (Hannah’s friend) Miranda, and god knows who else and hopped in Hilary’s car. One problem; we didn’t have a clue as to where the fek the hotel was! So Hilary picked a direction and, by sheer luck, we found it. Again the bar was closed but i charmed the bartender into keeping it open and soon, pitchers of Stella were flowing like $100 bills at the Bunny Ranch on New Year’s Eve (but hey, that’s a WHOLE NUTHA STORY.) Hilary chatted with (violinist) Ketil over a few pints and then bid us farewell (Hilary, THANK YOU for saving us!) and drove off as 3am was upon us. We continued to drink until the bartender pleaded with us to allow him to go home. It was now 4:15 am. I thought, ‘fair enough,’ and I stumbled off to my room where Chapple and Ringo, who’d turned in earlier, were safely tucked in, snoring their bums off. I peeked out the window and on the horizon was another hangover. I took some aspirin, drank some water and went to bed. I was not going down without a fight.

Mike Randle


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