Better today but not 100%, am I ever 100% or do I just expect to be? Sessioneer Noel was coming to Bristol today to pick up the guitar I had borrowed and hang for a while (thank you, Noel). We went into Thornbury to have a walk through a local village, fresh air, my best friend at the moment. Like all English towns and villages, there are charity shops and I always go in and have a look to see if there are any cool old paperbacks or records. Today I found a copy of E.M. Forster’s A Room With A View (1908), C.S. Lewis’ Prince Caspian (1951) with great old cover art and three Maigret novels by Belgian writer Georges Simenon, with equally appealing covers. A Doctor Who T-shirt and a pile of £1 CDs, too many to mention here, and it’s another typical day in a British high street.
I had to be back at The Boydies by 5 PM for three seshes in a row with Brooklyn John, Brooklyn Matt and New Jersey Brian before looking at the pile of post-tour stuff that has to go either back to Porto or to the storage in Somerset. Boydie will take it there next time he’s heading in that direction. I’m hoping that I can take everything that I want in Porto, the Burns double 6, the Hofner Senator bass, the Seagull, the Taped Wonder plus vinyl, books, CDs and two pieces of studio equipment (an SPX and another delay), a loop station, everything needed for the tour and Noel’s gift of ornamental skulls.
It seems like we may have found the main part for Ariel, a new cylinder head. It’s in Greece and we have had it sent to the garage here in Bristol, it is supposed to arrive tomorrow, the day we leave for Porto, not the greatest timing but as air tickets were already bought there wasn’t much we could do, plus they have to find a head gasket, install the part, and make it work. That’s going to take some time, if they get it fixed soon it will mean flying back to Bristol to pick her up. Will keep you posted.
I must thank Trisha and Trevor for all their effort, friendship and hospitality. Boydie has done an amazing job putting on the tour and doing all the driving, keeping us safe and Trish has looked after us as we commandeered her house with loads of washing and a van full of equipment, thank you, we are eternally grateful.
Last but not least on the last night in England we will miss all our friends here. Thanks to Biggles, Colleen, and Bear who regularly host us in London, Lisa and Mark for putting us up in Liverpool, Paul and Gemma in Glasgow. So sad that due to illness we missed going to see Steve’s cairn with Lynne, our bandmates and friends from Atlantaeum Flood. We missed Lesley my old friend from Salford who was saving someone’s life again on the night of the Manchester show. Mike and Hannah made it, Jez missed it babysitting. Somehow I missed Deb from Woodchurch when we played at Thornton Hough but old bandmate Gaz found his way there after decades. Shelagh and John made it and brought me the gift of family photos and the Observers’ Book Of Automobiles, a survivor from the ransacking of my belongings that lost me all my books and keepsakes from my childhood. AAE Andy and Lisa were gigging with X Superstar the night of London and AAE Mark was away when we hit Leicester. Spant was sick in Liverpool but Duncan and partner, Ed and Zoe, Stuart and Amy made it to Bristol as did Derek with the camera crew, haha. Dare, Aram and Jen, Eloha, Allan and partner and Christine, Gina, Julie and Dawn and hubby in Penzance – and John who suffered above the VIP Lounge on guitar and drum days. Dave and Rachel in Leek, Scrim and partner, and Noel in London and Brum. Thanks to all and a big shout out to the fans and supporters of the cause and the tech staff, promoters and venues who helped us make it great. See you next time.
Music today has been Procol Harum’s debut album (1967) as we heard yesterday that lyricist Keith Reid had died. Although the classic A Whiter Shade Of Pale wasn’t on the first UK album as singles often weren’t in the sixties, its lyrics remain one of the greatest pieces of surreal pop brilliance.