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Mike Randle


A Diary By Special Guest Diary Writer, Lizzy B.
October 1, 2007


After the show, we saw Mike Randle and met Brummie Jim and some pals then made our way back to the taxi rank. The taxi driver had the radio on – and it was all seventies disco. I’m very pleased with myself for plucking the name Tavares out of thin air, (but then I am doing pretty well on the Facebook music quiz). We settled down for a few quiet drinks in the hotel bar. Did I mention the artists were staying there too? How remiss of me (ahem). The bar was closing, so we got in a few on spec for when Mike came along. No need, they re-opened it for the beautiful people from Sony Ericsson who were at a conference. I tried to get Tina to lobby them to Free the Music, but she declined.

Mike and Rusty arrived with lots of others and I was touched that they were pleased to see me standing up with hair etc. Rusty said to join them later for a meal. We sat on the smart red leather seats and chatted with the musicians. When we complimented Daddyo on his drumming that night he spoke of how he wanted to get Ringo’s signatures spot on, and he did. My regret is that when Badly Drawn Boy asked what instrument I played, I didn’t think quickly enough to reply “ocarina” like Zelda. Seems he thought we looked like orchestra members, I’m flattered. It was really great to hear them. There’s a whole lot of mutual respect between these people.

It turned out everybody was going for the meal. Some were leaving as we were waiting for drinks. The rum and coke Barney’d just ordered for someone was very strong and she couldn’t just gulp it. We also had some full beer bottles, so we stayed a bit. It was OK, One of us had a map. So…at around midnight on Friday, five of us were searching the backstreets of the Milan hinterland for the little restaurant where we’d arranged to meet for dinner. We had a map in rough biro on the edge of a business card. Two of the women in our group were swigging at bottles of Astro Nazzuro, the other had a tumbler of rum and coke with a pink straw. One of the men was wearing a woolly hat and the other shirt sleeves. An interesting group really: as evidenced by the locals who gave us a very wide berth.

We’d been told it was a 15-minute walk, but the streets seemed dead to me. The map was called into question. We couldn’t phone Jim, Tina’s boy, who’d left before us, because she had his mobile in her bag. Map tried ringing the friend who drew the map. She was already there but all she knew was that you could see a big red ‘Ricoh’ sign at the end of the road. As the mood became progressively desperate, I had been assuring everyone that Tina’d get us there. Unfortunately, she’s decided to get more spontaneous, which is how we’d set out later in the first place. When we got to a junction on 20 th September street (I think), Tina remembered she had the hotel phone number in her bag (on a card she’d made for emergencies…). In perfect English they redirected us. We’d taken a left fork too early. Five minutes later we were sitting down to eat. That is how I came to have dinner with Badly Drawn Boy…mainly because there was only a table for 4 left and Tina squeezed in with Baby Lemonade and The Residents. I promised him I’d listen to early Springsteen (whom I confessed to not liking), and I will.

On this trip I found out some interesting things which may one day come in useful:

The music when you switch on Windows was written by Brian Eno;

Peter Murphy lives in Istanbul and

Badly Drawn Boy spent a lot of time in County Durham when he was a young un.

Mike Randle

baby lemonade

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