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Mike Randle


Day 42 Last Show In Italy, Firenze!
March 18, 2004

It was 3am and I heard people talking in the hallway or maybe it was the mountains? So I lay awake and thought about old friends and if they were ok. I thought about the email I got from Gene’s wife about how we would all get together in Stockholm next month. It will be great to see Pilar and the girls, Gene’s family is very special.

About 6am I dozed off, finally and slept the ‘sleep of the just’ until Bent’s ‘BANG, BANG, BANG’ (why always three?) woke Chapple and me up at 9.40am for breakfast. My first reaction was anger then I opened the wood shutters and saw clouds covering the mountain’s peak. I smiled and trolleyed off to breakfast. And it was quite tasty, baguette, cheese, mustard, ham, yogurt, orange juice and the most amazing cup of coffee yet. So, I finished at 10am and washed up and gathered my things. Bent mentioned the bus was filthy and we needed ‘team work’ to clean it up. Daddyo and I started cleaning up but Bent was nowhere to be found. Daddyo mentioned something about Bent’s ‘teamwork’ speech as we picked up stuff from the carpet. Finally Bent arrived with a broom and we saw some real progress. Bus left Pordeone about 10.45, I said ‘Arrivederci’ to the mountains as we headed for the Italian plains and Florence.

Around noon we were rolling along, Troels was driving, Bent was upfront reading a map, Chapple was listening to music on his laptop (studying the ‘Digital Performer’ software), Daddyo was reading a James Ellroy novel (as was Antony), Rusty was listening (with headphones) to Puccini and Max was asleep and we were driving through Veneto, which is flat. Now, we have all tried to figure out Max’s job, other than translate a few things, he mostly grunts, drinks our beer and eats our food, but I like Max, he gets a bit angry at times but I think this is part of what makes him charming.

Now if you can picture this, me looking at the landscape, drifting off, when I am handed a note – in secret fashion – by a band member. Now the identity of this band member is of no consequence what you DO need to know is the difficulty in trying NOT to laugh at something that’s very funny. And the note went something like this:

‘Mike, can you text our manager and ask him to send more fat Italians to eat our food and drink our beer? One just isn’t enough. Besides, we have more room on the bus.’

The note was passed around and the laughs ran hard in Veneto.

1pm, Saturday, March 13th

All was quiet until nearly 2pm when Bent’s phone rang, it was Kose. Seems the phone numbers Max had given him didn’t work the other end of the numbers were Italian promoters, who are a piece of work, so Bent has to wake Max up. Max didn’t seem happy, after a little ‘Back and forth’ Max, reluctantly, makes the call. This is all too funny to believe and really difficult to articulate.

See, Kose is driving the singer and the promoters give us wrong directions which REALLY upsets the Singer, so Kose wants someone to meet him as he gets to town, but no numbers seem to work and the look on Max’s face makes me think we are asking him to save the world.

Nap’d some more and the next thing I know it’s 3.30 and we are at the hotel in Florence. Got to room and watched some Italian TV bloopers. Walked around town a bit and then up to the venue. Had a beer with Rusty, the other guys arrived for sound check and then Glenn Povey and his girlfriend, Jane, showed up. After sound check we went to a small café for Pizza, wine and salad. Got back to venue and ran into an American Love fan, John Ringo, or is it Jim Ringo? He showed me pictures he took of Jimi Hendrix back in ’69, in Boston, cool pix.

Povey and I were having a beer at the bar before the show when a guy came up and demanded I buy him a beer. Povey sent me backstage before a row ensued! Played show to a packed house, this was the best show in Italy and the best Italian audience. Afterwards, Rusty and I went to bring Antony some beers, cause it was his last day with us (his friend, Frazer, takes over and we thanked him and told him how much we consider him a friend. After we all left the venue we walked 15 minutes to a cool bar run by a woman and her three daughters. It was a blast. We all got silly drunk and I dumped Tabasco sauce over a bowl of crisps and ate them!! Was so drunk I didn’t even remember going to bed.

Mike Randle


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