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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 2

TUESDAY (the next day), May 21-10:45 a.m… 15 min. ago Gene had the Hotel give us a wake-up call. Today’s our day off so we’re checking all our luggage and guitars in Rusty and Chapple’s room for safekeeping. Arthur will be doing interviews today and Bent will be showing us Copenhagen! Last night’s show was awesome. There were about 350 people and they sold 22 LOVE box sets in 15 min.! Hootie and Co. will play here on Friday so this is definitely the big club in town. Bent rented extra guitar cables and straps for the show but the guy was late bringing them and that pissed Bent off. The guy apologized but Bent told him, “Maybe you should find another job?” After the show, we took a cab to a party in a bad neighborhood. We met some cool people and they told us about it and gave us directions. We also met a nice fellow named Leo Gasneir. Before we took off to the party, we took some of the beer and sandwiches from backstage and took them back to the Hotel. I think we took 10 sandwiches and 3 bottles of apple juice. These 2 girls were backstage and they kept bothering Bent for beer and wine n’ stuff. Finally, he asked them, “Would you also like me to move the building?” That’s Bent for you. Back at the party, everyone was having a good time. Marijuana and Hashish were in full effect. We drank all their beer so they went and got another case and we drank that. We talked to people all night long about who knows what. Left party at about 5 a.m. The cab driver refused to take all 5 of us (Fairweather was with us and Arthur, believe it or not, never goes out and parties) so we had to split up into 2 cabs which cost more fuckin’ money. I wound up going to bed at 5:30 a.m. (again) and got about 5 hours of sleep. Today we’re hanging out with Bent. He calls himself the Road Damager! He’s taking us to a part of Copenhagen called, Christainja, which is sort of like Amsterdam without the whores. We have all day to ourselves but we have to be back at the Hotel @ 9 p.m. because we have an 11 p.m. train to Oslo, Norway. It’s a 10-hour ride so we’re taking a sleep train, where I believe it’s nothing but beds. We’ll see. Also, for whatever it’s worth, the Pumphausen sound guy said the Fugees were having equipment problems at their show last night, which is across town. I think the problem was they didn’t have any equipment (oops!).

NOON, SAME DAY… All of us are down in the lobby and Arthur and Gene are about to meet with some Danish Journalist. Arthur has been telling anyone who’ll listen how much he loves playing with us. He even insisted that the tour be booked as LOVE with ARTHUR LEE. Last night I accidentally stepped on Arthur’s sunglasses and while we were in Odense, Chapple and I were goofin’ off and his sunglasses fell and broke. I had an extra pair so I gave them to him. Last night’s show cost 150kr to get in ($30). Rusty and I just ordered a couple of TUBORG’S and charge them to Arthur’s room (#505). Bent just arrived so I believe we are off. He started rolling a big fatty right there in the Lobby! I asked the receptionist if it was o.k. to smoke pot in the Lobby and she said no. Bent said,”Fuck her”, and kept rolling! Leaving my diary with my bags so no more entries till tonight.

THAT NIGHT, 11 p.m… About to board the train for a 10-hour ride to Oslo, Norway, which is way north of here. Today was a real fun day since it was our day off. While Arthur and Gene were doing interviews, Bent showed us around Copenhagen. We saw the “Changing of the Guards” thing which was pretty impressive, I must say. Chapple got a polite “move along, pal” from one of the soldiers for sitting on the Church Palace steps. We walked by the shipyards where old men were working on the fishing boats. After the usual sightseeing was finished, Bent took us to Christiania. It’s a total hippie camp. Apparently, the freaks took over after WWII and it’s been a free-state haven ever since. You can not only buy marijuana and hash there but you can smoke it there. The 12-year-olds on the train highly recommended it. Once inside, we found a picnic table and sat down. Bent offered to buy us a round and of course, we let him. While he was fetching spirits, the sun came out for the first time in days. Christiania is about a 30-minute walk from our Hotel. In Denmark, everyone rides bikes. The city provides bicycles everywhere, locked up to poles. For 20kr ($3) you can take the bike anywhere. When you get to your next destination, just re-lock it. The lock refunds you your Krona (money). At 4 p.m. we had falafels and shwarmas at this incredible Greek place. I can’t remember the name of the restaurant but they serve cappuccino upstairs. I had one and it was very strong. After that, Bent took us to his favorite bar where we threw down some more Ales and had some good laughs. Danish people are very laid back.

WEDNESDAY, May, 22 -10:15 a.m… Wow, barely made our 11 o’clock train last night. Right now I’m in Oslo, Norway. Got harassed last night by customs but it was kinda funny. This one Norwegian woman who worked for the train was such a bitch. She was totally rude. I don’t think she liked Americans. These trains are just bunks on wheels, with 3 beds in a cabin. Rusty, Daddio, and Chapple roomed in one cabin and Arthur, David Fairweather, and I in another. Gene didn’t come to Norway with us. I think he took a flight to Stockholm, which is where we’ll be tomorrow. Arthur took the low bunk below me and went right to sleep. But not D.F. He stayed up listening to Jimi Hendrix bootlegs, which he has been known to do. I tried to get some sleep but some asshole Porter knocked on our door and yelled,” WHAT NATIONALITY ARE YOU!!! ” I said, “American, dude…”. I guess this was around midnight. When the boat got on the ferry the other blokes went upstairs to hang out and they almost missed the train getting back on! It was a weird ride but I slept alright. One thing is for certain; Norway is beautiful! The only thing I can compare it to is Marin County in Northern California. We were met at the station around 9 a.m. by a guy named Tom, who drives a Mercedes-Benz Mini-Bus. Come to think of it, everyone here drives a Mercedes-Benz! I was just thinking about Bent and how cool he is. He has gone on tour with countless number of bands. He keeps this real stern look on his face but he’s actually got a great sense of humor. Bent’s nickname is God. No joke.

SAME DAY, 11 a.m… Checked into my room at the Frogner Hotel. We all got separate rooms this time, which is nice, although we (the band) don’t mind rooming 2 to a room. I have a great view of a little park outside my window. I’m on the 4th floor if anyone cares.

SAME DAY, 1 p.m… Fairweather and I just went into town to do some business for A.L. It was a short cab ride but it was pretty expensive. I think it was something like 120Nkr ($22) to go 5 miles! There was a student demonstration against the Government’s control of the various Art Schools in Norway. Sound check’s at 5:30 p.m. so I’m going to write postcards now…

SAME DAY, 5 p.m… The cab will be here (lobby) in 10 min. Daddio and D.F. are over in the corner talking about something. Probably Hendrix Bootlegs. Actually, it’s Tom picking us up, not a cab. That’s good. The cabbies here are rude. Speaking of rude, Rusty told me that when those guys almost missed the train last night, that Norwegian Porter chick got real pissed at them. We’re on our way to the club where we play tonight called CLUB CRUISE. That’s a fucked up name if I do say so myself. After I wrote postcards, we (the band) lounged outside the Frogner, nursing beers and taking in the sights. Arthur was asleep or watching t.v. or something. Charged the beer to Fairweather’s room (#403).

THAT NIGHT, 9 p.m… The sound check went really well. The club served us dinner, which wasn’t half bad. The other guys had Hamburgers and I had the “Texas Chili,” which according to the Chef, has won awards in New York (yeah, right). But the Chili was pretty damn good. And I heard the Burgers weren’t half bad either. Showtime is at 10:30 p.m. I got a bit of sleep earlier, between 7 & 9 p.m., but I’m still tired. We invited some of the Hotel staff to the show. Maybe some of them will show up.

THURSDAY, May 23-2:33 a.m., early the next MORNING… Just packed my bags. We leave very early tomorrow for Stockholm, Sweden. I’m almost ready for bed. These Hotel rooms are very lonely. Our wake-up call is at 6:30 a.m., breakfast at 7 a.m., and Tom at 7:30. We have an 8:30 train to catch. I think it’s a 6-hour ride. Boy, these train rides are long… and boring… except when they’re on ferries or when you’re in first class. Tonight’s show was awesome. The jam session was a success. We rocked a donkey’s ass. Arthur Lee!!! I think D.F. taped it but I’m not 100% sure. He said our energy level wasn’t as high, compared to the last show but hey, we’re tired. All the traveling wears you out. After the show, we hung out with some fans and signed autographs, which is fun because you meet such nice people. Janine, from the Frogner Hotel, showed up with a few of the other employees and they said they had a great time. That’s the Arthur Lee experience for you. When he’s on, no one rocks harder. NO ONE. This one guy and his girlfriend, Mary Ann, saw the High Llamas last week in Oslo and said they were amazing. Still haven’t seen them live yet but I truly dig their music. We took a bunch of sandwiches with us from the club.

THURSDAY, that same MORNING, 6:55 a.m… Got a good 3 hours of sleep last night. At the moment, I’m in the breakfast area having salami and Swiss cheese on wheat with carrot sticks, celery, coffee, one hard-boiled egg, and orange juice. Daddio comes down with Rusty and I swear their plates are bigger than mine. Chapple gets downstairs a little bit later. I am most definitely HUNGOVER.

SAME MORN, 7:41 a.m… I ran up a $22 Hotel bill that D.F. kindly paid but he said I have to pay him back but he keeps forgetting that I called Rhino records on my phone card for HIM. Who’s gonna pay for that?

SAME MORN, 9 a.m… Been traveling by train now for 45 min. The landscape from Oslo to Stockholm is breathtaking. There are small wooded forests, little farms, and lots of green. There are mountains on both sides of us. I think we’re going southeast, with the west hills about 10 miles away and the east hills about 20 miles away. Train rides are boring and this one is no exception. I hope it gets on a ferry but I don’t think it will. I guess I like the ferries because they have shops and bars n’ stuff. Glad to get out of Norway because it is very expensive. The good thing is that we met lots of nice, cool people.

SAME LONG DAY, 4:30 p.m… The train ride was really boring but the last hour was a gas! I drew some cartoons for some Swedish kids who knew how to count to 10 in English! They were brother and sister and I think they were 5 and 8, respectively. Out of nowhere, a clown came by and gave everyone balloons and chocolate-covered ice cream. Those kids spent the next 40 min. hitting all of us with balloons! Arthur found them very funny.

THAT NIGHT, 8 p.m… The sound check was good. We tried to check into our Hotel, which was right across the street from the club where we’re playing tonight, but they (the hotel) made a mistake in the reservations and we had to go to another Hotel. We wound up at HOTEL STOCKHOLM, which was way better so fuck that other place. Hotel Stockholm is plush. Rusty and I got the super-deluxe room right below the Penthouses! We have a beautiful view of the city and of a tall, ominous church. Our room overlooks Stockholm Fashion Square, which looks like a cool shopping place where you can buy stuff. A lot of people seem to hang out there. Had a Budweiser here. It’s the best one I’ve ever had in my life! It has more alcohol than U.S.A. Bud. The sun still has 3 hours before it sets. Today the weather is beautiful.

Part 1  |   Part 3  |  Part 4

Mike Randle