BLOG 88 31st Dec 2013
So here we are at the end of another busy and varied year. I’ve been fortunate to have enjoyed plenty of highs interspersed with one or two lows with the passing of friends.
Having ended 2012 with nineteen shows in twenty-three days right across China on tour with my friend Maksim the Croatian classical pianist who’s a superstar in Asia, and arriving home just a couple of days before Christmas last year feeling quite exhausted I decided this year to stay home in the UK and enjoy some time with the family and also prepare for 2014 and everything it brings.
In February Sue and I went to Mombasa in Kenya with a bunch of old friends. I came back a week ahead of everyone to start rehearsals for the Frantic Four Quo Reunion UK tour which as you’ll all know was incredibly successful. It was good to be back on stage and on tour again with the original band. A big high I’m looking forward to repeating in March & April throughout Europe, UK and Ireland. February also saw the passing of
The Troggs Reg Presley, one of the music industry’s true characters and a very nice man loved by all. His funeral in Basingstoke near his hometown of Andover was packed with as many friends outside the crematorium as inside. Reg was one of our twice yearly Old Boy lunchers.
Following the Frantic Four UK tour the ‘new’ band headed straight off to Australia for their tour. The ‘Down Down’ ad campaign in Oz has now gone into its fourth year over there and is recognized as the most successful advertising campaign in the country’s history and forty two years after Francis and I wrote it it’s still going stronger than ever.
In April the funeral of one of my best buddies the author James ‘Jim’ Herbert OBE took place and I was asked by his family to write and say a few words in the church on behalf of his many friends. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do but a real honour to have been asked. Jim’s books sold around 70 million copies and he was a real character with fans all around the world. We had many good times together at home and away and he’s much missed.
The Bula Quo movie was released with its Leicester Square Odeon cinema red carpet premiere and the soundtrack album came out and did very well. I was particularly pleased that the singles from the album were so well received and I was happy to have written three of them with Francis including the title track all well supported by Radio Two and spending three months on its ‘A’ List of plays.
In May and it was another funeral of a dear friend Tony Mullane. We too had many good times together over the past thirty-five years. INXS singer Ciaran Gribbin who I’ve managed for I think 13 years now still amazes me with the most amazing songs he writes. One of his these ‘Hey Baby Doll’ was written especially for the legendary actor Al Pacino who sings it in his new movie ‘Imagined’ which will be released in 2014. Following Ciarans couple of solo shows at the Rock In Rio Festival in Rio de Janeiro a few months back he and I spent a great week in LA meeting lots of film people, publishers and writers. Very memorable… On ITV this Christmas Day just gone was the TV documentary “James Nesbitts New Zealand” and Ciaran wrote all of the incidental and title music for this programme. For the past four years I’ve sourced and negotiated the major artists for a big corporate event held each year in a different international city and this year it was in Cancun Mexico in July. Previous years have been in Singapore, Paris, Hawaii, etc and I’m currently working on the company’s 2014 event in another stunning location.
In August I managed to get up to Liverpool to spend a night at the annual Beatles Festival which is run by my very good friends at Cavern City Tours who I’ve been associated with for twenty five years. They sure know how to have a late night…...
This year also saw the release of the updated Status Quo coffee table book ‘Still Doin’ It’ and this took me several months to put together with a lot of help from my good buddy Adrian Cross. I’m extremely pleased with the book and it now brings the history of the band pretty much up to date. Adrian and I also put together the designs for the Quo Frantic Four Tour programme and merchandise range and we’re now currently working on everything for the F4 2014 tour.
Six months ago daughter Kirstie and her husband Barney had another boy called Alfie and that’s been a big source of joy for the whole family. His three-year old brother Leo absolutely loves him and being grand parents again is brilliant. I think I’m getting soft and silly in my old age.
December 17th was the Christmas ‘Old Boys’ (and girls) lunch in Barnes and full of the usual friendly, happy faces including Bruce Welch, Brian Bennett, Noddy Holder, John Blake, David Wigg, Dee Dee Wilde, Guy Pratt, Tom McGuinness, Clem Cattini, Don Powell, Pauline McLeod, Lesley-Ann Jones etc… 36 in total. If you’re not sure who any of these are then have a little fun and Google them up. Other lunchers have included Pete Townshend, Bill Wyman, Tim Rice,
Christmas Eve Sue and I spent with the Rossi family as we do every year. Lots of fantastic Italian food… The same day in the evening Sue and I went with our friends Martin and Marion Nighy to St Luke’s Church in Chelsea for the annual Nordoff-Robbins Christmas carol service and later Martins brother the actor Bill Nighy joined us for dinner.
Francis and I have managed to write a few more songs throughout the year including some new ones for his next solo album whenever that comes out.
Someone sent me this excellent and funny 1968 Quo promo clip I think you’ll enjoy if you haven’t seen before ...click here
Yes it’s been an interesting year and that just scratches the surface. I hope you’ve enjoyed my little website which I’ve managed to keep going for over five years with much help from Jurgen Adametz. Thanks as always J.
I’m wishing you all a healthy and happy 2014 and looking forward to meeting a few of you out on the road soon. Stay tuned and catch up again over the coming year.
Love BOB x