Aspro House – acid house or house music
Bevvies on board, to get some – tanked, loaded, smashed, shitfaced, normalised, relaxed, recovered
Brocked up – fully accessorised and decorated
Brocked up Colour Viewer – TV
Bugner, Bugnerise – can mean almost anything, but often broken or knackered (derived from Aust. boxer Joe Bugner)
Club Fartsack – bed, to sleep, bedroom
Club Sick-up – place to make yourself feel better
A Crisis – a situation even Ted is aware of
Enough Material There For A Conference – a fucked up neurotic personage
Goon, Goon Hall, Footy, Foetus, Slasher, etc., etc. – Peter Mackay
L.A.M.F. – like a maroon flower
Night Off – nine pints and three Brandy and Benedictines
Night on the Mabel – night on the tiles, or what?
Poleaxer – potent hangover
Psychotic Tiredness – state beyond tiredness and hangovers
Rideritus – touring ailment, deriv. “Rider’ – shinken und kaas mit brod
Schnookie – good (derived German term of endearment, Schnookieputzie, used by elderly people)
Sinbinned – NSW Rugby league term for penalising an unruly player by placing him in a sinbin. Translate to touring equivalent.
A Situation – a crisis
Teddy Graham, Teddy, T. Bear, the Bear, Evil – Graham Lee
Ted Music – the next big thing after aspro house
Tuesday May 23
4.30 p.m. pick up at Hackney but I wasn’t ready. I was at shops buying ‘stain devils, boot polish, Nivea, photocopying J. Brodsky’s ‘Advice to a Traveller’, biotech soaker, a disposable camera Kodak ‘fling”… Not very Rock’n’Roll beginning, huh folks? BOLLOCKS! I was also buying cans of Red Stripe from the nice fat Indian man at the Offie! Here comes the tour!! Marty has the noo Beasties tape – Woargh!
Question: (one thing I’ve always wondered) … What goes on in Teddy Graham’s mind when we play a 90 minute Aspro House tape at 200 db in the van?? Does he hear it? What’s happening?
The Goon says he’s going to make a hit record on this tour by sampling the fuck out of everything he can find. Soon I may have to break the news. In the meantime what else is there to do but look forward to what a wonderful tour it’ll be. Sally and the Station Agency have carefully and kindly worked out the longest possible way to get to Finland: via Colorado, Patagonia and Armenia.
We even had waiting rehearsals yesterday. Graham and I sat in his tiny room and did nothing for several hours in an effort to prepare ourselves and get in training for sitting for three weeks in the tour bus. Tell you what, guv, we’re in top nick!
(Soon after midday in the Scandia coffee lounge, on the ferry to Gothenburg)
My third coffee entitles me to say of last night: what a first rate aspro house disco this boat has! Those Swedish young boys and girls sure can dance up a storm! Personally, it was definitely a “light” night as far as imbibing goes: nine or eleven pints, which is practically technically a “night off”, “a night on the wagon” per se. Boy, someone had sicked up a lot of prawn chow mein in the toilets near our cabins. No one I knew, however … A Swede pretty boy-thing who took too much S.A.Waterman. Highlight: Teddy G. bursting into our sound-a-sleep cabin at 2.00 a.m. to search for his cigs only to find they were IN HIS OWN POCKET. FACT!
The Mermaid Lounge of the Britannia ferry ~ 2.30 p.m., same day
We’ve placed our bets! The ferry has a horse racing sesh with real horses and highly charismatic croupier. Goon’s placed £1 each way on 3. and 5. The atmosphere is electric. What is it about Swedes? Their wacky sense of humour? Their berserk Viking table manners? Their intensely intelligent ironic intimacy? Surely the sun’s past the yard arm!! The crap DJ from last night is moving the 18 inch high cardboard horses and No. 6 won. They all have names like Yellow Mellow and Pink Floyd. Cripes! Pass the Serapax, Maxi.
The Mermaid Lounge ~ 7.00 p.m. (different table though)
The acme, the apex, the apotheosis of the ferry journey: THE TALENT CONTEST. The full assemblage of passengers collects to view THE GOON HALL AND TEDDY GRAHAM ENSEMBLE (Peter, Evil, Rob) to hear a devastating HIPHOUSE THRASH version of Chad Morgan’s “Who Wows the Sheilas (with his ‘andsome-lookin’ dial)?” Audience participation mayhem and we thought we’d booked into Butlins by mistakel? Needless to say, it was a draining performance that went through every human emotion from Lear to Laverne and Shirley. Unfortunately, we didn’t count on the fact that most of the 200 assembled were SWEDES. Over their heads? THEY WEREN’T ON THE FUCKING PLANET!! What does one do with a backward race? Sorry, that was unbecomingly pregnant with malice. (I should state here that Dave is actually very fond of Sweden and the Swedes – he was simply indignant that we lost the talent competition. As I remember we were very nearly dragged from the stage by a large hook from the wings. We were, perhaps, a little ahead of our time – G.L) Nevertheless, we wound down by listening to the cabaret band whip out a sizzling ‘I Should be So Lucky’ – with some seriously moving dancing from 3 little primary school girls doing gymnastics and ring-around-the-rosy. Perhaps it was the bloody mary, but I almost dissolved into a crying jag or two.
10.00 p. m. that same night
For some reason they let us in to the country. Gothenburg is a swinging town. The Hotel Vasa on Victoriagaten is mediocre to sub-mediocre, and I checked into Room 203 and turned on TV, located documentary on Bogart. Content … until G. Hall inspired myself and Teddy to go out and (according to him) “Get shitfaced” (a completely unnecessary move for Teddy, who already was). Instead, in utter contrast, we climbed up a tree-covered hill to find a C 16th stone tower castle thingy with cannons that guarded the city from medieval UK lager louts. Footy engaged us in conversation with the only other people there, 2 Swedish girls natch. I kept thinking we were in Denmark, God knows, what they thought. I went home and finished “Strait Is The Gate”, which has a very very very sad ending. Couldn’t sleep. At all. Graham got run over by a bicycle on the way back from the hill. It was good exercise for us all (climbing it).
Thursday May 25
8.00 a.m. WAKE UP CALL. BBRRRRIIIIIINNNNNGGGG!!!!Not enough sleep. Crap breakfast (as all the next three week’s breakfasts will be unless I wake up in a doner kebab/frankenfurter/big-hot-red-thick-juicy-one Imbiss Outlet, or unless someone airfreights in Vegemite ASAP). Ham und Kaas ad infinitum.
500 km drive to Stockholm. Bland scenery but I’ve felt worse. Half-hearted, stodgy pine forests. Very clear blue skies. Begin “The Farewell Party” but Kundera’s brand of generic Czech misogyny is wearing me thin (I hope to be proven wrong). Not enough Tuborg in the house. Write card to Pamela and accuse her of bigamy (gave her hand to Teddy whilst still betrothed to Gary). Should be writing long serious letters to lots of deserving folks, but … um … I forget.
The van with the gear in it very nearly was left in Stockholm when we took the ferry to Helsinki. Peter and Dugald went to another Port. It was a hot, sunny day in Stockholm, Alsy and Jill kept look out for the Luton van from the highest deck of the ferry and waved to Sally on the ground when they spied something resembling one. In our cabin, Graham was unaware that a “situation” had “arisen”. The van made it with no minutes to spare.
As the ginormous ferry pulls out of Stockholm we bask in the sun in the stern bar cradling $4 glasses of beer. The evening slips away. Certain members of the entourage have something of a heavy night. A crazy woman in a pink dress parades around the ship asking men for matches. We have an anecdotal Kahlua in Dougie’s cabin. I retire early but am abruptly awoken by first Rob and then Graham talking in their sleep. Graham’s soliloquy is especially elegant, concerning Hank Williams’ wife, Miss Audrey, and in particular her parasol. This is to be the start of an interesting spell for Teddy G., who now always has to remember to buy two beers – one for his horse, of course, of course.
Friday May 26
8.00 a.m. woken up by aforementioned sleep babble. Helsinki is blue, sunny and very Russian. Momentary drama at customs as Dugald is breathalysed. One notch on the safe side. We are in the most expensive hotel in the city, the Strand Intercontinental. Perhaps when I have more energy I’ll itemise for you every luxury feature of the rooms – I mean, a bidet with an extension nozzle? A phone next to the toilet? Complimentary edible condoms … sorry, just checking you’re still awake. First of all the record company paid for a glorious sunlit suite overlooking the harbour for the interviews to be conducted in. I did five in a row, mainly sitting on the balcony drenched in warmth and giddy with coffee. Fairly painless, but what do you say to an earnest Scottish emigre journalist who asks you perfunctorily if you’re afraid of death? “Well, not if you leave the hall light on”? Speedboats skidded merrily below us and Helsinki imitated the green copper domes of Leningrad; the entourage munched gourmet sandwiches, whilst Graham embarked on a benderette, triggered by the hotel’s tardiness in supplying him with a room key. He played George Jones and Flatt & Scruggs through his Pignose amp. Know the feeling, bud, know the feeling. Come 5.00 p.m., depart for sound check. Difficult to make this part of the day sound exciting. They gave us food, drink and Jill’s keyboard retired injured. It was, all in all, a very good first show. The bubble machine must have done a couple of caps of amyl nitrate, because it spluttered glorious reams of bubbles with uncharacteristically enthusiastic speed and volume. Back at the hotel I blithely invited all and sundry to room 703, to be serenaded by The Reels’ “Beautiful”, the Torch’s Songs (1 hope Teddy still wants to cover if You Ever Think of Me in the morning) and Jo’s dance compilation. For some reason I proceeded to dance uproariously for a long while in front of Pete and Evil before taking the hint and calling it an embarrassing outburst. It had been a long day. It was late.