BLOG 76 June 10th 2012
June already. I wonder if I'll ever start one of my Blogs by saying "It's been a very quite month with not a lot happening". I think that's very unlikely so I'll begin by saying I don't know where to start. Aha I've already started….so in no particular order:
Ciaran Gribbin, who you'll probably know by now is the INXS singer who I manage, was flown over to Belfast by the BBC to perform two songs with The Ulster Orchestra in the Ulster Hall which has just celebrated its 150th anniversary. It's a legendary gig and the show was recorded for live radio and future BBC TV broadcast. It was an amazing show and Ciaran really performed brilliantly with his two chosen songs INXS' Never Tear Us Apart' and the Paul Brady written song the beautiful 'The Island'. We also had a good couple of days with all of Ciarans friends and family and he flew back to Sydney two days after the show a very tired but very happy man.
A week ago yet another good friend Gordon Elliott passed away leaving behind his lovely wife Eleanor and two daughters. I last saw him just a month or so ago at the birthday lunch of our mutual mate the author James Herbert. It's an unavoidable sad fact that the older we get the more friends we're likely to lose…. and so another funeral this week to say goodbye.
Talking of James Herbert he has his new book released in August which I'll tell you all about in my next Blog. Later this year the BBC TV has a new series out based on one of his books. More info soon….
I've been asked to play harmonica on a couple of songs this week on an album a friend of Martin Nighy has been recording. His brother the excellent actor Bill Nighy is going to be singing one of the songs so I'm quite looking forward to this little session.
Quo has a new single out this week called 'The Winner' which is on their Quid Pro Quo album and written by myself and Francis Rossi. It's a re-worked version, quite different from the original and BBC Radio 2 will be giving it it's first play on Monday morning on the Ken Bruce show. Francis and I started writing this song ten years ago and kept leaving it and coming back to it until it was felt it was completed and right. It's a very up and positive song so hope you'll all be wanting to take a listen.
By the way if any of you did wonder about the photo thats been up on the front page of my site for the past month it's taken in 1967 in Stockholm and the band is The Evil Eyes who came from my then hometown of Basingstoke (Richard Horner, Paul May, Phil Mudge, John Blackham and Chris Cheal) I'm the one in the hat…. a friend John Ridley and I met up with them in Sweden where they were living and playing and lived with them and payed for my bed by being their roadie for for three months before returning with them to Basingstoke. Soon after I moved to London and after a few roadie-ing stints with The Herd, Amen Corner and Jethro Tull met up with Status Quo, took up their offer of £15 a week to drive the equipment van and band as their roadie and the rest, as some of you will know, is history…
I've had a few stories about filming the movie in Fiji. Sounds like it was a great experience and a lot of hard work.
Check out Snakecharmer, the excellent band featuring Micky Moody, Neil Murray, Laurie Wisefield, Harry James, Adam Wakeman and Chris Ousey www.snakecharmer.org
Two weeks ago I went along to the Houses Of Parliament for a gig/function on the Terrace overlooking the River Thames. This is the second year I've been there. It's all organised by the MP Mike Weatherley a great supporter of the music industry. Check out www.rockthehouse2012.com Lots of interesting people there and spent a while catching up with Rick Wakeman and swapping a few on the road memories. I went there with Bill Heckle and Co. my old buddies from The Cavern in Liverpool and also a mutual friend Chris Sharrock the drummer with Beady Eye/Oasis and had much fun. The last time I saw Chris was for breakfast in Buenos Aries last November when we briefly crossed paths out on tour. I also managed to squeeze in an hour at mate Dom Browns launch of his Blues Album. Dom is the guitarist in Duran Duran.
I see the Status Quo Message Board is hotting up with talk of the reunion of The Frantic Four Rossi, Parfitt, Lancaster and Coghlan.
Have spent some time over the past month in the studio with Francis working on new songs for both the Fiji movie and also his solo project. There's also been a re-working of one of our songs 'The Winner' which is on the last album Quid Pro Quo and it's about to be released as the next Quo single. I heard its first play this morning on Radio 2's Ken Bruce show and it sounded great on radio (I guess I would say that wouldn't I :) I'm really pleased with the way it's turned out and keeping everything crossed for a good reaction.
I was quite surprised to see that Rick has had his hair cut but seeing it I reckon it looks good. Just like it was for Francis it was a big decision but inevitable. Yep Wash and Go is the way forward….
Last week I took a day out with Sue, Arthur and Dorothy W and we visited Charleston House and gardens in East Sussex. I could try and describe it but if you're interested its worth checking out www.charleston.org.uk A fascinating place full of history and stories.
The Quo documentary is taking shape and looking really good. Could be the best.
I'm not going to talk about the weather and look forward to catching up with you all next month.