logo the freedom man

Mike Randle


“A London Diary of sorts” (sans editor)
August 29, 2003

I never get mistaken for a terrorist. Never. I’m lucky I suppose. Airport security sees me and thinks I’m either wierd or on drugs or both. Either way, they pretty much leave me alone. I don’t know how safe that makes me feel but I do appreciate the added freedom in such blatantly fascist times like these.

While flying to the U.K. on Friday the 22nd, I was thinking of an alternate title for my solo record. “City Life” seemed too plain. You know, just wasn’t cutting it. “Zepplin 5” didn’t seem to work either. So I sat in my seat while a bunch of dumb movies played over and over again as we sailed the friendly skies, Cantebury bound. We were 2 hours into our journey when I peeled open the new Al Franken book ( “Lies, and the lying liars who tell them” ) and proceeded to laugh my arse off for the next few hours. I did this ‘laugh’ thing until the Dramamine finally kicked in and a serious six-hour nap ensued.

Our plane was 2 hours late leaving LAX but the pilot had mentioned something about ‘making it up’ over the public address system. I didn’t quite understand what he meant, as I was dozing fast, mental-juggling the ‘desert Island-me-and-4-babes’ scenario. I was in the middle of eating grapes and sipping Lauren Pierre when we hit some wacky turbulence over the southern tip of Greenland. I looked at my ‘SKY MAP’ and, true to his word, he had put the pedal to the medal and kicked some major ass up in the high heavens. Though we began our journey 2 hours late, we landed just under 50 minutes late.

We were met by two drivers and set off for the 80-minute drive to Kent, where Cantebury was being held. The driver in my van -let’s call him Liam – was a nice bloke who’d previously driven a famous British celebrity (name escapes me but apparently she has a video where she appears nude in it, ok?.) According to Liam, she wore an extremely short mini-skirt and, he added with a chuckle, SHE SAT RIGHT IN MY SEAT. Wow, I thought. Then I yawned. My seat was on the opposite side of Liam’s but 1 row behind. I could tell this was the perfect spot for ‘rear-view voyeurism.’ I made sure he wasn’t eying my crotch. He wasn’t. I decided to get some more sleep.

Before I knew it, we were pulling into our hotel in Kent. And before you could say ‘Bush stole the election’ three times, I was sitting at the bar nursing a nice pint of Stella Artois. The Swedes and the Danes (the Ensemble and our crew, respectively), were not at the hotel so I called Kose’s mobile to see where they were. We wanted some company. He answered and it was great to hear his voice! I asked him, ‘where are you guys, Kose?’ He said, ‘Goddamn, man, we are at the Sinbot restaurant, man. We are making a party.’ I didn’t know where that was. But I had a sneaky suspicion that they were at the ‘Little Chef’ only 50 yards away. So I stepped outside and began to look around. I saw a funny looking skinny Dane jumping up and down in front of the Little Chef eatery. Of course it was Kose!

After they walked over ( they, being: Bjorn, Eric, Caroline, Ketil, Andreas, Oscar, Anna & Stefan from the Ensemble and Kose, Choorles & Bent from the crew), we must have gone threw 5 pitchers of Stella before we were told Robert Plant’s driver, Alex, was available to pick us up so we could check his show out, courtesy of Mr. Plant! So we all headed out to Cantebury and got to the grounds about 7pm. I went looking for Scottish Keith but, as it got dark (plus i’d left my mobile at the hotel like a dumb asss), I wound up at the Sangria bar. Ah…home sweet home. Soon, Robert Plant was on and I checked out his show. I thought he was awesome…just amazing. He even did a cool version of ‘7 & 7 IS’ after saying some nice things about LOVE.

After Plan’t set I went backstage and he was chilling, signing some autographs. For someone that famous he was acting like a pretty average bloke. It seemed obvious to me his working class roots never left him through all their years of success. Chapple, Rusty and I said hello and as he shook our hands, he said something (kiddingly) about us being ‘too young to be members of LOVE’ and was just about as warm and friendly as you could imagine. Upon arriving back at the hotel we found the bar closed. I had no alternative but to go to sleep. Oh Buggers. I really wanted to hang out with Keith and the rest of the LOVE gang. Oh well, I was certain I’d see him on Sunday so, no harm no foul. I got under the covers, closed my eyes and JUST LIKE THAT, I was back on the beach with those four babes…

Mike Randle


Click on a pick to go to other Diaries