BLOG 74 22nd March 2012
So what’s been happening since Blog 73 and I got back from the Australian tour with INXS?
Well five days after getting home Sue and I went off to Mombasa in Kenya and met up with a bunch of our old friends that were already out there. It was actually one of the most relaxing holidays I’ve had in a long long time. The weather was great, the friends were good company AND it had excellent w-fi and internet so it meant I could carry on with all my other business while sitting in the sun with a vodka tonic…. No getting home to hundreds of emails to have to catch up on.
Two of the friends out here, Dee and Mike Belliere, go over to Kenya several times a year to continue the work on the charity organisation they set up ten years ago to provide medical and educational aid to the country. Please take a look at the brilliant work they do on www.meak.org
The day we returned from Kenya was the night of son-in-law Barney’s 40th birthday party. He took over the whole of one of our local pubs The Inn On The Pond www.theinnonthepondnutfield.co.uk attended by 120 friends and family. Great night and suitably exhausted the following day.
And the next day I was on a train heading up to Wigan a couple of hours away where the Quo documentary is being edited. I’ve mentioned before I’m the consultant on the film which will be released initially in cinemas in September this year. It’s looking very good. I spent two days there with the Director Alan Parker and came away with a whole list of photos and memorabilia etc that is need for inclusion which I have to find amongst my big collection. I’m also getting some help from a few friends/fans who have some of the things I don’t have or can’t find (thanks guys..).
The day after arriving back from Wigan I went with Francis Rossi to Aylesford School in Kent where we spent the day meeting and talking to many of the pupils (well Francis actually did most of the talking… ). I think it’s the third or fourth time we’ve been there in the past two years and it’s good to chat with the kids and hear Francis in what is always a lively Question and Answer session where he honestly answers any question they want to ask. He also usually plays some guitar for them and this time he’s also discovered a young girl pupil there with a fantastic voice that he’s decided to give a little help and advice to in the future. Teacher Kevin Thompson as always is the guy who makes these visits happen every time.
So I should have started work on the Quo documentary over a week ago but last Monday 5th March I went into hospital to have the Hernia operation which it’s taken me over three months to find the time to get fixed (you can google up hernia if you don’t know what it is). So it’s been a bit painful for the past week but well on the way now to 100% fitness and back to business.
This weekend has been the ILMC Conference in London which unfortunately I haven’t been able to attend due to the hernia op www.ilmc.com/about_the_ilmc It’s an annual conference dedicated to the live music industry across the globe and is attended by many of my managers and agents friends from around the world. It’s always a lively and fun weekend so next year I’ll make sure I’m nowhere near a hospital so I can make it along.
I bought Adele’s album 21 and highly recommend it. What an amazing couple of years she’s had.
I guess many of you will have seen the recent edition of Classic Rock magazine with the photo of the original line-up of Status Quo all together for the purpose of the documentary. Yes they did actually get to play together in a spontaneous jam session that went on for 40 minutes. It was quite a magic moment to be in that room with Francis, Alan, Rick and John and so good to see them all having fun together after thirty years since John left the band and Alan a couple of years later. I always hoped, but could never be sure that it would happen. I know it will have made a lot of the fans happy and who knows where it might lead…. Guess we’ll have to wait and see now.
A couple of weeks a go INXS played a gig to 20,000 people in Adelaide at the Clipsal motor race day and Ciaran their singer who I manage said it was the best gig they’ve done since he played his first show with them back in early November last year. They really are a great live band and I hope you’ll all get a chance to see them play later on this year in Europe and America.
On March 3rd before I went into hospital there was a surprise 60th birthday party for my sister Carol
at her friends Lynne and Lee’s house in Basingstoke (I was born in Basingstoke but that wasn’t my fault…). Carol had come over for a few days from her home near Milan in Italy and it really was a big surprise for her to see our other sisters there, Christine (and husband John) over from Virginia USA, Carl (and husband Matt) from Leeds UK, Jane in from Sydney Australia and also myself, Sue, daughter Kirstie and her husband Barney and baby Leo, my son Jamie and his wife Jo plus a couple of other family friends.
I had a very nice email from my good friend Maksim the Croatian classical pianist who as many of you will know by now is a huge star in Asia and Japan. It’s been quite some time since I’ve had the opportunity to tour with him in China etc because of my priority commitment to Ciaran but Maksim knows if I ever have the time I’ll always be happy to go away with him as he’s fun to be with and always goes to interesting places for his concerts. Who knows maybe again soon and it’s always good to see the many Chinese friends I’ve made in my several trips over there in past couple of years.
Rick Parfitt called me on skype last week from his home in Marbella and it was good to chat for ages about everything and nothing.
Alan Lancaster and I usually talk two or three times a week and he also talks regularly to Francis and to Rick. John Coghlan and I speak every now and again. It’s so good after all the years of distance between the four original Quo members, sometimes know as The Frantic Four, to see them all as friends again. The old saying is true ‘life’s too short’. All this activity, talk and rumours about Francis, Rick, Alan and John doesn’t lessen the importance of the other current Quo band members and in particular Andrew, Rhino and Matt all play a major and crucial role in keeping the Quo legend alive. In fact it can only strengthen the bond between everybody involved in Status Quo. It’s quie amazing to think that Andrew Bown has been in the band for almost forty years now. And to think that I did some roadie-ing for his band The Herd just before I joined Quo in 1968. Are we all really this old…?
Not been a bad life so far though :-)
I’ve just received a copy of a new Spanish language Status Quo book ‘Sobran Acordes’ written by long time fan Eduard Soronellas Vidal. Thanks you for that Eduard and also for the very nice dedication to you wrote to me in the front pages. Good luck with it. I know how much time and hard work it takes in putting together any book.
Grandson Leo is not too far away from walking now. The past year since he was born (ten weeks early) seems to have flown by and what a joy he’s been to so many of our lives.
Over the past month I’ve been calling over to Francis’ house and studio quite a bit where he’s been working on a bunch of new recordings. He’s also reworked a couple of old Rossi/Young songs which are sounding great. His resident engineer Greg Jackman is absolutely brilliant and he and Francis have such a good working relationship.
Son Jamie and his wife Jo have just gone off to Miami for a few shows with the wonderful Groove Armada who he’s tour managed for about 13 years with Jo as his assistant. He’s also tour managing another relatively new artist Labrinth who’s really starting to come on big now. I reckon he’s going to be huge star.
So we’ll catch up again in Blog 75 when I think my website will have then had over 150,000 visits.
Big thanks to all of you and especially Jurgen for helping me keep my site rolling.