Both Roads - Part 3
The tour itinerary would make most modern pop stars go pale. Nowadays, a couple of weeks and you hear complaints of total exhaustion. I still own the copy of the itinerary that I was given way back then.
Ready? 5 Sept. Finsbury Park Astoria: 6 Sept. Leicester: 7 Sept. day off: 8 Sept. Colchester: 9 Sept. Luton: 10 Sept. Cheltenham: 11 Sept. Cardiff: 12 Sept. Day off: 13 Sept. Liverpool Empire: 14 Sept. Chester: 15 Sept. Manchester: 16 Sept. Wigan. 17 Sept. Carlisle: 18 Sept. Newcastle: 19 Sept. Edinburgh: 20 Sept. Stockton: 21 Sept. Hull: 22 Sept. Lincoln: 23 Sept. Day off: 24 Sept. Doncaster: 25 Sept. Hanley: 26 Sept. Bradford: 27 Sept. Birmingham: 28 Sept. Romford: 29 Sept. Guildford: 30 Sept. Day off: 1 Oct. Bristol: 2 Oct. Bristol: 3 Oct. Edmonton: 4 Oct. Southampton: 5 Oct. Wolverhampton: 6 Oct. Watford: 7 Oct. Day off: 8 Oct. Lewisham: 9 Oct. Ipswich: 10 Oct. Southend: 11 Oct. Brighton. It strained our energy levels somewhat.
We met the Stones on the first day of the tour: brilliant guys: pure, dedicated, unadulterated rock ‘n rollers. They were pretty well at the top of the tree, but honestly, you would never have known it. They were, all in all, really genuine, fantastic, and honest to goodness, guys next door – just like the members of bands I had known from Liverpool.
We traveled just about everywhere in the UK during that tour: from way down south to way up north. We played at Carlisle near Scotland where the manager of the gig, in all his wisdom - well, actually, in all his stupidity – decided that the front entrance would be the best way of getting the bands into his theatre. Not a good idea. As we tried to get across from the tour couch to the theatre doors, we were mobbed. The police, thinking I was a fan, jumped on me in order to stop me getting into the theatre, but after I gave them my opinion of their method of crowd control – in no uncertain terms – and in what they seemed to consider a rather strong Liverpool accent, they
realized their mistake and I was allowed to go on my way.
On Saturday the 12th, we traveled up to Liverpool from Cardiff to appear at the Empire on the 13th, after which show we went to Nicky’s house off Walton Vale for a party. The show at the Empire was particularly brilliant, because we were on home ground, and the boys made a point of pulling out all the stops and putting on a most energetic, action packed, memorable show.
As I said, after the show, the cast were all invited, and we went to Nicky’s place for a party. It’s funny, but Mike Berry, who was writing about the tour for a music magazine, wrote that ‘the Stones who were invited didn’t turn up. Nobody knows what happened to them, but that’s the Stones all over, completely unpredictable’: Unquote. I still have the magazine cutting, and I should love to know which party Mike attended; it obviously wasn’t the one at Nicky’s.
Some months prior to the tour, we had played somewhere in or around Bath or Bristol, and I had chatted up a girl wearing green stockings. I really thought at the time that my chat-up technique must have been superb that night, because within half an hour, we were bonking away like there was no tomorrow. Back in the dressing room, a half hour later, in comes Nicky, with a tale of conquest, the main subject of his tale being a girl in green stockings. At this point, I decided to keep schtum about my earlier activities. When a little later, Aynsley came in and began to tell us what and who he had just done, we
realized that we had a serial groupie on our hands. In retrospect, I think she may have been working her way through every band that literally came and went through her and her town. Perhaps she was working her way alphabetically; Conlin, Crouch, Dunbar.
Anyway, on the 22nd of September, the Stones tour played in Lincoln and we had the 23rd off: a complete rest: a whole day off in which to do nothing. At least while we had been in Liverpool, we had family and friends to see, but here, nothing. Then we received a telephone call from the Hollies that they were short of their bass player; that he was ill; and could they borrow Lewis, please? His dad duly drove him over to where the boys were playing and we relaxed in our hotel.
Lincoln was about as exciting as Dartford in Kent at that time. We were bored to tears. Remember, we tended to be a touch hyperactive, and inactivity palls after a couple of hours. The rest and relaxation we were looking forward to became boring after less than no time. We played poker. Most of us played quite well because we got plenty of practice. Brian Jones, of the Stones, loved poker, but played rather badly – well, alright, very badly. We only played for coppers, and he wasn’t at all that bothered whether he won or lost – which was most of the time. He was also very protective towards Inez Foxx. There was a rather racist old biddy staying at our hotel, who made a totally unjustified and somewhat stinging comment to Inez, and I really thought Brian was going to thump her. As it was, his remarks to the silly old biddy were quite cutting.
Later that evening, we were approached by a very pleasant guy, who had obviously
recognized at least some of the members of the cast, and asked how long we were staying. We told him no longer than was absolutely necessary, and he asked what we liked to do in our spare time, and we told him we liked to play ten pin bowls. We loved it in fact, but where in that benighted town, at that time of night, were we to find a bowling alley? He told us to wait a minute, and when he returned, he asked if we had transport, and informed us that he had made arrangements for a two lane alley to be placed at our disposal for what was left of the evening.