Monday, March 5, 2012

Through The Past Darkly - Part I

I was rooting around the house when I happened upon on an old tattered, black notebook containing some snippets of a Speedhorn tour diary I wrote back in 2003. I hadn't seen this book for years and I barely remembered writing the diaries as I sat there on my living room floor and started to read through them...

For the most part I laughed aloud, mainly at myself and how much I bitched and moaned through the power of the pen onto paper, all from the secluded den that was my bunk on the tour bus. It's really very cringe-worthy stuff, but as embarrassing as it is for me, it offers an interesting view through a window into the past. It's one thing recounting old stories through blurred memories, but this is an eyewitness account from then and there.

It's embarrassing in that I really do come across as the immature twenty-three year old that I thought I never was. At this point I'm about a year and half into my relationship with Jen, who I'm happy to say is now my wife. I'm completely lovesick and at the same time homesick for my then new home in Sweden. On top of that it's written during the period that we're touring the second album and tensions within the band were high, indeed the first line up of the band would start to fall apart a short while later. So there is a lot of bitching about other members in the band, most of which is down to nothing more than tour fatigue and cabin fever.

That first line-up of the band really was an emotionally defunct little family. The entire time Frank and John were in the band together was strained through fist fight after fist fight. Those two equally head-strong characters just couldn't work out how to get along on tour together. Even the rest of us, as close friends as we were, had the odd dust-up now and then. Gordon is to this day, one of my best friends, yet he's the person that I had the most vicious fights and arguments with, rare as they were. In hindsight I realise that it's probably because we were such good friends that we felt we were able to say exactly what we wanted to each other.

The moaning and complaints about various members of the band in these pages are by no way representative of how I feel today, or even, I imagine, how I really felt back then. Constant touring can do funny things to your mind and humour, even somebody as levelled out as my good self...

The things written in these diaries were of course in the heat of the moment and nothing more. If anyone is offended then I apologise in advance. I'm sure I pissed off other members of the band just as much as they did me.

The following pages were scribbled down during the UK leg of a six week European tour. Our good friends Johnny Truant and One Pity were supporting us, although unfortunately they couldn't follow for the mainland section of the tour. This might well have been the final tour we did with the original line up of the band, although I'm not entirely sure.

Also, please excuse the terrible writing...  

Jan 21/03 – Bridgewater

We're in Bridgewater, wherever the hell that is. Funny atmosphere in the club, we got the same PA guys from last night and they reckon we owe them £150 coz Frank put his knee on the monitor last night. Twats. Last night was Plymouth. That was a pretty cool gig.

The guys from Johnny Truant are fast becoming friends. Great band too which is a bonus. We pissed off some girl with pink dreads last night. A few of us took exception to the shit music in the club and pulled a table on to the middle of the dancefloor and sat there drinking. Me, Frank, Daz, Olly and Paul (J.T.). This girl didn't like it too much! Someone left a note on our cases at the end, “Raging Speedhorn ruinined a kool gig by being arogant twats”. Nice. Can't even fucking spell! I'll give that to my dad for his scrap book.

Newport was cool. Hooked up with Ben, he bought me some discs and a top. Good guy. Fuck knows what tonight will be like! We've done 200 tickets so we'll see. That's okay for somewhere we've never been. I got Gorilla by the Bonzo's and an Alex Harvey Band record, the album with Faith Healer on it. Been looking for them.

Jan 22/03 – Cambridge

Just hanging out in the dressing room, been doing nothing but hanging all day except for doing a few photos with some French people a bit earlier. Rock Sound Mag had some competition that some guy gets to come hang out in our dressing room. We're all hungover! I don't know what you're supposed to do with these people, can't do much except stare at the walls. At least the lucky winner gets to taste the reality of touring.

Last night was Bridgewater. It was a cool show. Frank was in the mood for being a cunt, he smashed some kids phone that had made it's way to the stage. Some guy from RCA came down to see us “perform”, he didn't stay around to say hello afterwards. Fuck him! I really couldn't give a shit anyway. That shit scares me. Big contracts...Big Dicks!

Had a good night after the gig. Some kid who was into the band told us we could go back to his dad's pub for a lock-in. Worked out pretty good, we all got pissed as farts. Olly nearly died. We came out of the pub at 3 am. and he walked straight into the path of a truck. I saved his ass. He owes me!

Later: In bed now, missing Jen pretty bad. Tonight was fucked up. First off, the gig was pretty shit, the crowd sucked. Although, right at the end Frank got in the crowd and moshed to My War (at the request of some guy in the crowd), and John sang it on his own. Frank got the fuck kicked in!  I had to respect him for doing it though..  After the gig John got jumped by 3 guys, guys from town looking for trouble. They were hitting everyone, they hit two girls, dislocated one of their jaws. Olly got a bad hit too, shook him bad. It was fucking horrible. I can't imagine how I'd feel if that happened to Jen. I feel like crying just thinking about it. I miss her a lot right now. What a shitty day!

John's giving a statement to the cops right now, it's 2.50 am. I'm gonna read some more of my Vivian Stanshall book, cheer my ass up a bit.

I just remembered that last night, at some point, Paul (J.T.) was crouched in the middle of the road outside the club, taking a shit! Last night was great. Today was shit. I'm lonely right now. Hope tomorrow in Hull is better...

Jan 26/03 – Edinburgh

I was fucking blasted last night, Snitch was there...Last night was Leeds. I'm a bit pissed off with myself actually, shouldn't have been like that. Some of the guys fucked me off with their snidy comments, considering that some of the cunts can't even play their instruments when they're sober! Pricks. It was a good gig last night though, from what I can remember. The crowd were really cool. One of the best so far.

Hull was really cool, even though the venue sucked. They gave us plenty of food to eat. Everyone got involved in some Jackass style nonsense afterwards, like taking a solid steel tray over the head. Frank took a lot in a stand off with Daz. We left the place pretty trashed!!! Liverpool was okay. Love were playing next door, would have been great to see them. My old man is going (to see Love) tomorrow. After the Liverpool gig, some kid got messed up in our dressing room. Totally fucked. Some of the guys were pouring vodka down his throat. Twats. He was no older than 16, he couldn't even stand. Some of the people in this band can be real wankers at times.

Last night One Pity's van got broke into. They had a couple of basses and a guitar stolen. That's pretty shit but you have to learn from stuff like that. They were just sitting in the front seat waiting to be stolen. You don't do that in Leeds. Wonder what tonight will be like? Sober! I'm pretty bored and I miss Jenny loads. I got the new Entombed album earlier, the covers record. It's ok.

Jan 27/03 – Somewhere near Dundee

Just sitting on the bus, waiting. Sometimes the boredom really gets you. I just had a very welcome shower though, feel better for that.

Last night was cool. Really good gig, good crowd. Usually is in Scotland for us guys. It was our old mate Big Al's last ever gig promoting last night, fitting that it was us playing. He's going back to tour managing. We went to this rock bar afterwards, this place we played about 3 years ago. It's totally changed now, it's pretty posh! There were loads of old friends there. I spent three hrs. chatting away to old faces. The guys from Ninth Circle were there, the first band we ever toured with.

I was talking to Olly and Paul from J.T. and we're gonna organise them coming to Stockholm to jam out some Slint style stuff. Hope that works out, would be really cool. I could see myself being really good friends with those guys...

Daz got pretty wasted on whiskey and puked on himself in the bar. That cunt will never change! We're moving again now. Watching the Blues Brothers. The scenery outside is beautiful. Wish Jenny was here to see it with me.

Later: It totally pisses me off being in this band sometimes. I can't even fucking brush my teeth because there's too many stupid girls on the bus. Sometimes I have no respect for these guys. I miss Jen. Good gig tonight!

Later still: I absolutely fucking hate these guys! I don't know how much longer I can stick being in this band with these people. Someone is crying in their bunk again, although I'm not sure who it is...

Jan 29/03 – In the Bunk

We just left Johnny Truant in Whitehaven. We're going to Ireland, they're going home. It was pretty tough saying goodbye to them, it's been great having them on the road, we've got some new brothers in these guys.

The last couple of days have been ok. Dundee and Aberdeen were both good gigs. We found this really cool record shop in Aberdeen. I got the first Saints lp there. The guy who owned the place was great. Spoke about great music with him for ages.

Tonight was a weird one. Whitehaven? Fuck knows! It was a really big hall with not that many people in it. John and Frank got really fucked off because some guy threw beer at them. They didn't want to go back on stage and play a couple of extra songs. Then I had an argument with them, telling them that these kids out there had paid good money to see us and were shouting for more. They went back on in the end. It makes me laugh when they moan about getting a bit of beer thrown at them.

On our way to get the ferry to Ireland now. These roads are bumpy. Doug reckons he had a premonition about the boat sinking tomorrow so he's getting off the bus and up to the deck. Fuck that! It's too early, I'm staying here! Fucking Doug!

13 days until I see Jenny...can't fucking wait! I miss her so bad!

1 comment:

  1. I wish that band with Olly and Paul had become a reality. Truant were an excellent band, both good guys too.