Moore:Music ®

Witch Cross • BC Sweet • Gonads • Christie

Keep on Runnin’

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It has to be said (and I say it here quite a lot) that I’d probably do the time on stage for free. There, I am in my element. But the logistics of getting me onto one of those stages across the world can be so mind-bogglingly complex and frankly exhausting, it is THAT that I expect to be paid handsomely for!

Last weekend , for example, I appeared with CHRISTIE at the MDR Radio-sponsored open air concert in Kamenz, Germany. It started normally enough, rising at 7 a.m. here in Almeria, out of the house in half an hour and on the Autovia up to Alicante for a relatively civil 11.05 a.m. flight to Berlin.

My flight landed on time but unusually deposited me at Terminal E, the aviational equivalent of a space-time anomaly, out of synch with the rest of the known universe, and more specifically, my driver. After 30 minutes and no sign of a “meet’n’greet”, I texted the band, and the promoter. Some time later, our promoter, the annoyingly cheery Rudi, informed me to get up into the main terminal building, where Benny my driver was wandering the halls. For those of you familiar with the character Benny in the old English soap Crossroads, his name is strangely appropriate.

So, about 70 minutes after landing I was in a car, heading for Kamenz.  Fos, our guitarist whom I’d texted earlier, texted back to inform me they were heading for the hotel, after checking out the venue. He also informed me that I was, for some inexplicable reason, staying in a different hotel to the rest of the band, in a different town.  Okay, I thought, no problem. I’ll head there, get a shower get ready for the gig and rendezvous with the guys at the gig at 7.30pm. “No”, announced Benny, firmly in command, “We go to the gig first”.   I found this inexplicable, but later to my cost, I would understand why.  I asked him to phone Rudi to find out if there were hot water & shower facilities at the venue. “Ja, ja, naturlich”, came the breezy reply. Mollified, I settled back to ‘enjoy’ the rest of the three hour drive from the airport.

Arriving at the venue, I took advantage of the backstage catering had had dinner with friends from The Rubettes, Middle of the Road and other 70’s luminaries. My appetite sated, I eagerly sought the shower, armed with two towels the size of postage stamps that Rudi had thoughtfully provided for me.  Have you ever had one of those moments of clarity? – when you realize that no matter what you do, the day is heading down the toilet? Mine came right then, as I stood naked and shivering in the shower tray as ice cold Saxonian water gushed out all around me. Having lost all sense of feeling in my feet, I exited the shower in short order, before I lost all sense of feeling elsewhere.  Not easily defeated, and mindful that a rock musician’s hair has to be sorted at all costs, I retired to our dressing room, where I discovered to my unremitting joy that the sink had hot water. Very hot water. Impossible to touch. And, more importantly, no cold water supply with which to render it usable to humans. There followed a comedy of errors where I attempted to procure a number of plastic coffee cups in order to decant cold water from the sink in the toilet, into the sink in our dressing room, so I might be able to immerse my head in it. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, a glamorous profession indeed.

Suitably fed, frozen, scalded and coiffured in equal measure, I grabbed a few minutes to watch a couple of numbers by the Animals with Spencer Davis guesting, and met up with our friends Rainer, Tonie, and Franz to briefly say hi and exchange gifts. Promising to catch up with them after the show, I retreated backstage, where Fos, Simon and Jeff had finally arrived. We barely had 30 minutes to say hi, discuss the set, get dressed, and we were onstage at 8.30 pm. I considered wandering over to Fos during one of the songs to catch up on gossip, but thought I might put him off his solo….

The gig went really well, and we were all happy with the performance and the crowd’s response. I was just taking a deep breath back in the dressing room, looking forward to a few hours chilling with the guys when my nemesis, Benny reappeared. “Time to go” he said. “What???” I replied, nonplussed. “We must leave for the hotel.”  Heavy sigh.  Barley a word exchanged with my mates, I headed off into the night with Benny. “Where’s the hotel?” I asked him, as we wound our way through heavily wooded back roads.  “Cottbus”. He;’s very economical with his words, is Benny. But he only needed that one for maximum effect.  Dreading the answer, I asked the question: “How long?”  “Two hours”.  I plugged in my ipod and sank into misery. If I’d had some Leonard Cohen, I’d have listened to it.

At some point, we arrived at the Best Western, ironically situated in the East.  Bleary eyed, I signed in and asked Benny the next $64,000 question: “What time am I leaving?” “2.30 a.m.”  he said, with not a hint of humour. “Prompt.”

And so it came to pass that I staggered into a minibus outside the hotel at that ungodly hour and spent the wee small hours in the company of  the legendary Spencer Davis and assorted Animals.  I expected to arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before my flight, but even that didn’t happen. As we neared Tegel, Berlin’s airport, our driver encountered a series of roadblocks and diversions that ultimately prevented us from reaching our destination. He was one of those people that worships Sat-nav as some kind of ancient God, and defers to no other source. Like roadsigns. Or maps. Or common sense. My recently washed hair was in danger of being ripped out in sleep-deprived frustration. This whole macabre motorized ballet around the deserted streets of Berlin was brought to an overdue conclusion by Spencer shouting “turn left NOW! – Turn right HERE! ”  . Even to the last, the driver was intent upon turning one way, and almost taking control of the wheel, we finally succeeded in steering ourselves into the airport departures area.  Luddite note: I will never , ever buy a Sat-Nav, except to prop open a door. If you don’t know where you’re going, you shouldn’t be allowed to leave the bloody house.

Somehow, after a 2 hour wait, a 2 and a half hour flight, and a 2 and a half hour drive, I managed a sunny smile for Miki when I finally arrived home Sunday lunchtime.  How the other half live, eh?

Kev Moore

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September 17, 2009 - Posted by | Music, Rock, Touring, Uncategorized, Writing | , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Kev

    HILARIOUS! I think you should write a book about your travels (travails?) getting to your gigs. It would turn the romantic notion most have of the life of a rock and roller on it’s head. I can’t think of another profession where the work itself is so enjoyable but the effort to get to do it so otherwise… Had me laughing out loud (not that I’m unsympathetic!).

    Comment by bob cornelis | September 17, 2009

  2. Thanks Bob – sounds like an idea actually. You should read “Diary of a Rock’n’Roll Star” by Ian Hunter (of Mott the Hoople) Written in the early 70’s it’s considered the definitive tome about life on the road and specifically touring the States. A slim volume, it has an endearing naivety to it. On their first transatlantic flight for example, a young Hunter is amazed and delighted to find he was given free drinks!

    Comment by kevmoore | September 18, 2009

  3. What a story! And then when you got back you went back to work on building your sauna, right?

    Comment by Susan Cornelis | September 18, 2009

  4. That’s right Susan, I’ve been knocking hell out of one of the walls today in order to fit the vent pipe…from headbanging to wallbanging it’s an easy jump!

    Comment by kevmoore | September 18, 2009


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