Montreaux Festival Tuesday May 6th 1986
Arrived in Montreaux after a mammoth overnighter from Amsterdam. The tour bus is excrutiatingly hot and one could cut through the smell with a knife. Tony is wearing his white suit, hat and shades, he is also behaving rather loudly for this time in the morning. Mark raises his eyes skywards and smirks to himself. Stuart is crabby. Big Joe wakes up and helps himself to a large thermos of Vodka soup. "Huh, do you know what that stuff's doing to your head man?" shouted Stuart sarcastically. "Back off laddie, it's a mere eyedrop, OK" replied Joe.
We were quickly ushered out of the bus and into the hotel rooms to escape the huge contingent of foreign and British press who were hovering around the hotel lobby discussing whether Patsy Kensit had a visible panty line or not.
Once inside our rooms it was time to switch on the intercom systems that Mark had bought earlier on. We had to choose different code names for each other, so Mark would be "Red Fox", I was "Mr Ploppy" and Tony was called the "Black Rat" (for the obvious reasons). The systems were quite good for the price and one could easily pick up Tony in the toilet from three floors up and along the corridor.
After rehearsals for the TV show we decided to visit a few of the English bars scattered around the Montreaux coastline. "The White Horse" seemed to be the most happening place in town and was inhabited by lots of wierd and wonderful characters, the most outstanding being Eugene F. Katonas, a Bill Murray look-alike with a suntan. Eugene slithered across and introduced himself to Mark who couldn't believe what he was seeing.
"Hi, I'm Eugene F. Katonas...I'm a musician....I'm a songwriter...a poet....a producer, an actor, I'm very sexy and incredibly talented, let me show you my portfolio."
Mark was stunned, Mark was shocked and stunned. Eugene was from Cincinatti and along with his extravagant dress sense and high-pitched lisp, he would give the impression of being slightly camp... only he wasn't, but if the money was right he probably would be. We invited him back to the hotel and set up an interview with him for Smash Hits.
Stuart is giving the Montreaux nightlife a miss to concentrate on his hobby of making fishing flys. His hotel room is now a fly factory and there are bird wings and vicious hooks scattered all around.
May 7th 1986 - Day 2
Spent the afternoon out on the lake doing TV interviews which was great fun. The sun was shining, the temperature was just right, although the mood of the day changed drastically as later on there was a raging thunderstorm that blew heavily for a few hours.
After the final filming of the show in the casino we shot back to the hotel for a couple of hours kip as we were to leave at five in the morning. The main consensus of opinion was that our short trip was a success and it was a fun two days but to appreciate Montreaux one would have to be exceedingly rich or Swiss.
Seinajoki Finland Friday June 6th 1986
We jumped out of the tiny 8-seater aircraft and were greeted by Esa our Scandinavian pal who informed us that we were in for a rather large time over the weekend. The gig is situated in between two lunatic assylums, an old folks home and the campsite, our hotel was slap bang in the middle.
The campsite resembled something from the sixties, what with all these dead hippies walking around. I was going to write 'stoned' but there was never any trace of drugs, it was just alcohol everyone was high on. Usually at a festival or any other open-air event, except maybe the changing of the guard, one can usually smell billowing wafts of joints being smoked, but not here. All the hippies and punks would drive up in their Volvos to the campsite completely pissed out of their brains, attempt to pitch their tents, fail, then just pull the tarpaulins over themselves and have mass sexual orgies. It was just like the whole nation had been given a licence to go completely ape-shit for the weekend. A few minor fights broke out in the site, but the Fins never actually seem to come to blows. It is very much a shouting match and maybe a few clips around the ear, but it usually broke up before anything serious happened.
Saturday June 7th 1986
It was a sunny day and the gig went down great except when Stuart gashed his hand badly on a broken bottle and had to play the last few numbers of the set spurting blood everywhere. His guitar resembled a Sam Peckinpah movie and Les was not happy about having to clean off the congealed mess at the end of the night. After the festival finished Mark and I went out with the crew who had decided to "borrow" a boat for the evening's entertainment but Ron (Mark's drum roadie) got caught red-handed.
We were also being pestered badly by three dykes who were on the lookout for wine and women, but Les managed to get rid of them with a few choice words and the threat of producing the dreaded 'spam javelin'.
Big Ron is car mad and has been nicknamed "Clutch Brain" by the rest of the crew. Dave Davis (guitars) found some Volvo magazines in his tool kit with the middle pages stuck together.
During our two and a half days in Finland it never really got dark once as during the summer months it is light twenty four hours a day and vice-versa in the winter time. Mark reckons that's why the Fin's are so crazy and mixed up. Big Joe reckons it was just the vodka.
Saturday June 16th 1986 - Press day
1st interview of the day was a disaster as the journalist obviously hadn't done his homework. "So tell me about your new album (The Steer)" he asked intelligently. I immediately conjured up images of Desperate Dan cowpies or a Bulls head with large, threatening horns jumping out at me from the album sleeve. "It's a reaction to The Smiths 'Meat is Murder' album actually" I replied. "We're heavily into charcoal grill steaks and barbecue evenings man". He listened quite tentatively and carefully jotted down everything I said. What a wanker!
Highlight of the day was when I was shopping for a new suit and John Cleese came bouncing though the door dressed from head to foot in full jogging regalia. "I want a white shirt" he said. "I'm doing a TV commercial and a white shirt is needed" he added authoritatively. The the small shop assistant had to take his collar measurement and was having great difficulty in reaching his neck as the ginormous Cleese was standing as stiff as a board, ninety degrees upright.