Join ex-roadies Phil John and Crystal Taylor along with special guest Mick Bolton (ex-keyboard player with Mott the Hoople and Dexy’s Midnight Runners) for an evening of tall tales and amusing anecdotes taken from their twenty or more years on the road in the 70s & 80s with numerous different bands including Mott the Hoople, Queen and David Bowie. Using period film clips and photographs they allow you an insiders view of what it was like to be front stage, back stage and behind the wheel at a time that many people consider to be ‘The Golden Age of Rock ’n’ Roll’. Hosted by Andy Gunton.
photo: Roy Cano
Mick Bolton… I’ve just started a new website. It’s crammed full of stuff about gigs I’ve done and bands I’ve played with in the last 50 years – and about what I’m up to now. Wait a minute – did I just say 50 years? How did that happen? Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy it. Let me know what you think.
Alan Esdaile… Looks good Mick. Some great photos.
Pete Fisher… Fantastic website Mick. Fascinating read, and some great photos! Particularly enjoyed the anecdotes – the backstage pass episode rang a bell with me, as when I was on tour playing guitar for a well-known German reggae artist, he left his pass in the tour bus, and security wouldn’t let him into the hall. I grabbed the star of the show and made him stand next to the poster on the wall outside, so the security guy could spot the similarity, and then he reluctantly let him in! The stories about Pete Overend Watts’ boots, him having to be being pushed up onto the stage, and also being freed from his tangled boot zips on stage are worthy of a Spinal Tap scene! The “Hello Columbo!” scene is a classic, of course also reminiscent of the Tap’s “hello Cleveland!”!!! I’ll be back for another browse, and checking out some of the albums you played on which slipped under my radar…keep rockin’!
photos & cuttings supplied by Mick Bolton
Mick Bolton… Looking forward to sharing a stage for the first time in 43 years with Ariel Bender, my colleague in Mott The Hoople – aka Luther Grosvenor of Spooky Tooth and Stealer’s Wheel. I won’t be the only SMART member taking part in the MTH convention in Hereford, the band’s home town on June 11th. Andy Gunton will be conducting interviews – no doubt quizzing us about the then little-known band who supported us on the tour that ended with the concert shown in the poster – one of their road crew Crystal Taylor will also be there. The organiser is Philip John who was a long-serving crew member. Closer to home – I’m looking forward just as much to the gig with Simon Shaw at the Gecko Bar & Grill in St Leonards this Sunday 5th June 2016 at 5pm.
Alan Esdaile… Can’t make it to Hereford but look forward to seeing the recordings.
supplied by Mick Bolton
Mick Bolton… How many friends can you get into a caravan the size of a postage stamp? The Paul Brady Band 1986 – outside the sheer unashamed luxury of our dressing room at a German festival. Stephen D Fletcher, Jennifer Maidman, Paul Brady, Timothy Goldsmith, Mick Bolton, Geoffrey Richardson – and probably the tour manager Milo Lewis behind the camera. Reminds me of an episode of Father Ted.
Tim Bruce… Or an episode of Cradle To The Grave….
Mick Bolton… I had no idea at that time that I would ever move to Hastings, though I’d visited the town on day trips and loved it. I remember Paul Brady talking about two of his former musicians who lived here – I thought ‘why would a musician want to live in a place like Hastings, so far from London?!’ They were Kenny Craddock (whom I replaced on Hammond organ) and Liam Genockey who later rejoined him and has worked with him for many years. Most of the band, including Liam, also played with The Penguin Cafe Orchestra. Geoff Richardson has been a member of Caravan for many years.
supplied by Mick Bolton
Mick Bolton… Thanks for sharing this to the group Alan. Some photos of Dexys Midnight Runners – had a great time recording and touring with them in ’84 and ’85 – with Vincent Crane (of Atomic Rooster) on piano and me on Hammond organ. I believe Dexys played on the pier, though that was before my time with them. There’s quite a story behind the track ‘The Way You Look Tonight’. Kevin Rowland had left the studio to do a photo-shoot or something. Just for a bit of relief from the rigours of recording, I started playing some old pub songs on the piano and some of the others were messing around singing and playing along. Kevin walked in and said ‘do you know this one?’ We ran through it just once and he said ‘OK, let’s record it.’ None of us learned any parts, we just improvised through it, including the crescendo and the ending. It’s become a real favourite with Dexys fans – maybe because it sounds so spontaneous – so I’m pleased to have been the accidental instigator of this track. This is a different band from the touring band, including Woody Woodmansey on drums.
John Austin… Saw them on the pier ! Brilliant !
Alan Esdaile… 12th June 1980 they appeared on the pier.
supplied by Carol Ann Bolton
supplied by Philip John
Philip John…..Back in the day we experienced great problems zipping Pete into his boots. They were an extremely tight fit and he had to lay on his back whilst we pulled the zips up over his jeans. This was made even more difficult because the small tags on the zips were really difficult to grip. Finally i came up with the brilliant idea to fit split rings to the tags,much easier to pull on. This worked well for the first few gigs then one night i was in my usual position behind the drums when i spotted Pete gesticulating furiously to me and pointing to his crotch area then I noticed he was moving round the stage with tiny steps like some kind of bizarre geisha girl. Oh shit I thought his boots were stuck together with the split rings. I dashed over to him ,dropped to my knees and with a small torch clamped in my teeth began to wrestle with the rings as he wriggled furiously to get his legs apart. Well you can imagine what this looked like from the audience’s point of view. Finally I tore the rings apart and staggered to my feet torch still firmly gripped between my teeth then to a huge round of applause I returned to my position behind the drum riser.