logo the freedom man

Mike Randle

The personal memoirs from Mike Randle's Summer 1996 tour diary with Baby Lemonade as they back up Arthur Lee as "LOVE". "We'll jump off that bridge when we get to it..."


Summer 1996 Tour Diary
Part 1

FRIDAY, 8/17-7:10 a.m… It’s sunny skies and warm weather here in Los Angeles. We’ve been looking forward to this Tour and I can’t believe it’s actually happening! Dave Chapple, Dave Green, Rusty, and Myself have been up since 5:30 a.m. this morning. We took a cab from where Dave “Daddio” Green and I live (Santa Monica) and Chapple and Rusty spent the night downstairs on the couch to make sure we all stayed together! A shuttle was sent to Arthur’s place by Tour Manager, David Fairweather. Our cab fare was $22.00. It’s so good to see Arthur but he’s not looking well. I think he’s been sick from stress or something. It’s still good to see him. Fairweather’s handling all the business stuff until we get to Odense, Denmark. Then, I believe, Tour Promoter-Business Manager, Gene Kraut, will handle the finances and D.F. will be more in charge of Merchandising and Arthur Lee. Personally, I’d rather fly the plane!

SAME DAY, 2:15 p.m. (N.Y. time)… The flight to New York was alright. Took about 4-1/2 hours on Delta Airlines. They served weird stuff to eat. I ate something that was supposed to be eggs. Tasted like a pillow. Rusty said in the event of a crash landing the eggs could be used as Flotation Devices. The Captain said we’d be on the ground shortly and I remembered thinking, “There’s gotta be a better way of saying that, right?”

SAME DAY, 7:40 p.m. (N.Y. time)… Flying over the Atlantic Ocean and feelin’ fine. Had a 3-hour delay in New York so Arthur and I went to a Bar at the Airport. Fairweather and the rest of the guys went to a different bar upstairs. Pretty soon their bar ran out of beer so they came back downstairs. I just ate a Fettuccini Dinner while everyone else had ‘Rough Chicken.’ They offered Movies but most of the passengers only want to sleep.

SAT., 8/18- 9:30 a.m… Our plane landed at 8 a.m. in Copenhagen, Denmark. Right now we’re at the train station. We were hoping that maybe Gene Kraut would be here to meet us but it looks like we’ll just see him in another part of Denmark, an Island named Odense. After our plane landed we had to wait for a cab that was large enough to fit 6 people with bags and 4 guitars. An hour went by before we figured out no one would take us so we split up with D.F. and Arthur taking a city bus and the rest of us riding in a van. The cab ride cost 150 Danish Kroners, which is about $30. Right now we’re at the station waiting for the Train to Odense. The ride is supposed to be 3 hours. It is really cold and raining slightly. I look at Chapple and he looks at me and we definitely agree that we are both cold.

SAME DAY, 1:00 p.m… The train ride was kinda cool. It traveled by land for 1 hour, then it entered a ferry, the whole thing, and we took the ferry for an hour and a half, and then it was back to land for another hour. Those trains fit in there quite nicely. You can get off the train and go upstairs to where the shops and bars are.

SAME DAY, 2:23 p.m… Just checked into our rooms. We’re staying at the Odense Plaza Hotel. It’s a nice place and it’s right across from the club we’ll be playing at tomorrow night called RYTMEPOSTEN. Daddio and I are sharing a room (#308) and Rusty and Chapple are 2 doors down in #305. Arthur and D.F. get their own rooms for the entire tour. After we checked in, the 4 of us decided to find some grub so we walked around a bit until we found an area in town that had Pizza. We ate some grub and also brought back some for Arthur, who was back at the Hotel sleeping. Once we got back, Daddio went to sleep and I mean he slept! The place where we bought the beer was a Video store and it had some rather funny Pornos which seemed, strangely enough, to be situated right next to the Lion King and Pocahantas Videos. Pornography is popular in Denmark.

SAME DAY, 7:00 p.m… Just finished drinking some Carlsberg Beer which is way stronger than the American version. Arthur was thankful for the pizza. Rusty, Chapple, Arthur, D.F., and I just had a blues jam! It was a lot of fun. Obviously, Arthur can play Harmonica really well but I didn’t know David Fairweather could play. He was pretty good. It was so funny because we didn’t have enough batteries for our portable amps and to buy more would be way too expensive so Dave Chapple made makeshift batteries out of beer caps and they worked!!! Damn, Chapple’s like MacGuyver. Fuck that. The motherfucker’s better than MacGuyver. We ran out of beer so we ordered some from downstairs (Lobby) and charged it to our room (Bad idea) because we hadn’t received our Per Diem yet. Checked on Daddio 10 minutes ago and he’s still asleep.

THAT EVENING, around 9 p.m… Rusty, Chapple, and I are set to check out the Club we’re playing at tomorrow that’s right across the street. Fairweather said he’d meet us over there later. I think all the televisions are rigged at our Hotel. D.F. and D.C. turned theirs on and a porno was on. By the time they changed the channel, they’d been billed for $18.

SUNDAY, May 19- 4:34 a.m… Went to the club, Rytmeposen, and there was a band that was playing from L.A. Can’t remember their name but they were completely diabolical. We met some Arthur Lee fans plus some people who were just groovy. They gave us free beer and showed us around the venue. It looked like an old church. It’s actually a community center where all the people who work there, mostly students, volunteer. After the club closed, we went to this party that was within walking distance of our Hotel. Fairweather never made it. I think he probably slept in. The party was fun but Chapple drank too much Tequila and started looking a bit wobbly so we all went back to the Hotel. One of the guys was nice enough to walk back with us to make sure we made it alright. It was raining hard and I think it still is! The Lobby Attendant just ordered me 2 Ham and Cheese Sandwiches and 3 Carlsberg Beers. They look good. Charged it to Arthur’s room (#209).

SAME MORNING, 11:01 a.m… Woke up hungover. Daddio and I just catch breakfast. He slept the whole time we did all that stuff. The Hotel buffet looked good enough to eat so we dug in. I had Frosted Flakes, Coffee, Liverwurst, eggs, and juice. They gave Daddio and Rusty their own rooms so now Daddio is in #308 and Rusty’s in #201. Chapple and I stayed put. I have a nice view of a park and a statue from my window.

THAT AFTERNOON, 4:40 p.m… I was asleep for something like 4 hours. Went downstairs at 3 p.m. and finally met Gene Kraut. He lives in Stockholm so I assumed he was Swedish but he’s not. He’s from New York. He used to work for Hannibal Records years ago when they had Richard Thompson and, of course, everyone knows they had Nick Drake. Gene use to have a Radio Show in Stockholm. Apparently, Radio Sweden is not very good. Gene’s T-Shirt read: RADIO SWEDEN SUCKS…WE SUCK LESS! Gene gave us all LOVE Tour sweatshirts. They’re black with red writing. They look cool. We have Soundcheck in 20 minutes.

THAT NIGHT, 9:19 p.m… Rusty, Chapple, and I went to the “Golden Arches” right before Soundcheck (@ 5 p.m.). We all had Mc Chickens and I must say, they were quite exquisite! One can only wonder what Europe was like before they had McDonald’s. Tonight’s show is being broadcast live on Danish Radio and recorded on a 24-track machine. I wish a live broadcast were being heard later in the tour, this being the first show n’ all. But, hey, get in where you fit in, right? Sound check took fucking forever but we got everything straight, I guess. The mics were feeding back and the sound was very spotty but, all in all, it should work. We checked with 7&7 IS, AND MORE AGAIN, and YOUR MIND AND WE BELONG TOGETHER. Our dressing room is big and we have a few cases of beer, some sandwiches, fruit and 2 bottles of red wine. After the show, we’re gonna smuggle sandwiches back to the Hotel so we’ll have some edibles on the 3-1/2 hour train ride to Copenhagen tomorrow. After sound check, Gene took us to a Thai restaurant around the corner from the Hotel. Everyone was there plus this guy named BENT. Bent is our Road Manager for the shows in Denmark. I’m not quite sure what he does exactly but he spends a lot of time on his cellular phone and rolls very fat joints. We love this guy! He’s very quiet, though. Tonight’s show is at 9 p.m. and I need to be at the club @ 8:30. This Hotel is so beautiful. And everything is so green here, probably because of all the rainfall that Denmark gets. I haven’t seen the sunshine since we were on the plane.

MONDAY, May 20- 9 a.m… Last night’s show was very, very sloppy. The whole time, Gene was looking at me and I was thinking he was gonna put us on the next plane to Los Angeles! But I learned something about Gene; he’s very smart and he doesn’t panic. We played for almost an hour and came out for an encore. Arthur wanted to do 7&7 IS but Rusty said “NO” because we’d already done it in the set. Of course, Arthur persisted and got his way. All tapes of that show have been destroyed- and rightfully so! Afterward, we partied with some Danish fans who were really nice. I smoked some hash with the sound guy, Jan (pronounced: Yawn), in the basement and a cool chick named, Eva. Rusty, Chapple, Daddio, and I sat around the basement with them drinking beers and taking pictures. Danish people are very friendly. Jan apologized for the sound problems. Hopefully, tonight’s show will be much better. At the moment, I’m having breakfast which is just a cinnamon swirl, hard-boiled egg, coffee, and cheese. We have to be at the train station in 2 hours (11 a.m.). The club we’re playing at in Copenhagen is called PUMPHAUSEN, which means, “Water House.” Bent is from Copenhagen and promises to show us around on our day off tomorrow. I need to fax Mike “Ringo” Harrison our Tour Itinerary. He’s in London with Richard “Tap the Rockies” Meehan, who got his nickname from his occasional purchases of the Coors Beer brand. We’ll meet up with them next week in London where they’ll sell CDs and t-shirts for Arturo. Gene just showed me a fax he received from Rosanna and Carlos, who run ROTO Records in Spain, explaining something about a gig in Madrid where they’d fly all of us out or something like that. We know ROTO well enough to know that could mean anything. Must pack now. Trains leave on time here. It’s still raining and I still haven’t seen the sun.

SAME DAY, 4 p.m… Just arrived in Copenhagen by train and ferry. About 30 students (12-13-year-old girls) kept asking us for our autographs while we were relaxing on the ferry! I don’t think they knew who we were but since they did know we were from L.A. and on tour, that made us FAMOUS. Our Hotel is called WEBERS HOTEL and the FUGEES are also staying here. The Hotel is nice but small. Our sound check is @ 6 p.m. Arthur had a huge mini-bar bill from the Odense Plaza Hotel ($300 ).

SAME DAY, 5 p.m… The Hotel gave us free drink coupons so Daddio, Rusty, and I went downstairs for a cocktail. Chapple’s asleep so we took his coupon. I wish it would stop raining. The club is only 5 min. from the Hotel but it seems to take 10 min. by cab. Go figure. Since it’s still raining we’ll take a cab for sure.

THAT NIGHT, 8:36 p.m… The cab ride was 33.00kr, which is about $6. The sound check went pretty well. We went over some tunes that I don’t think Arthur has sung in years like HEY JOE, YOU SET THE SCENE and SHE COMES IN COLORS. They sounded cool except Arthur sort of forgot some of the words so Rusty had to tell him in his ear, which really irritated Rusty. Hmm…. every time I try to tell a joke, David Chapple gives away the punch line… After sound check, Gene took all of us to an Indian restaurant called, “Indian Palace.” The food was good but my Lentil soup tasted like Chapple’s boots! We have to be back at the Pumphausen by 9 p.m. And it’s still raining and I’m sick of getting drenched.

Part 2  |   Part 3  |  Part 4

Mike Randle