Optimism's Flames Exclusive:
Dave kindly set the way-back machine to 1989 for me and... ow that hurts... recalled the past. The first paragraph refers to the May 18, 1989 (WRFX FM, Charlotte, NC, US ) gig I was present for... and I thought I had a memorable face.
I have a vague recollection of meeting some folks in Charlotte, (North) Carolina all those years ago but I can't put a face to the name I'm afraid. I only remember Charlotte in particular because we had with us a journalist from People magazine, one Michael Small, who was doing an on-the-road feature, and the photographs that accompanied the piece were taken in a field out back of the radio station. (WROQ)
That tour was really hard work. We were squashed into this mini-bus, luggage and guitars and all, and dragged around two or three stations a day. It was only 3 weeks, but I was glad when it was over. I remember thinking, how come we're not doing a proper tour? You know, with roadies and monitor systems and dressing rooms and...and money! Why must it be such torture? I suppose at the time, it was a novel spin on radio promotion, but what sort of performances you're likely to get from 3 guys and their guitars in a cramped space sharing one microphone is debatable. Still - it *did* sell Oranges & Lemons, but only a small fraction of what a full concert tour would have done. Grrrrr.
The scariest part was at the very first station, WBCN in Boston. The place was set up for a live concert; chairs, headphones, two mics each - and behind the glass panel, about 30 studio staff all peering in! They were expecting Crosby, Stills and Nash, I swear, but instead got the Three Nervous Stooges. We forgot everything we'd rehearsed and went to pieces, laughing it off in the interviews; things improved a little performance-wise after that, but not by much.
Other memories: being driven out to Long Island to WDRE and the freeway was blocked, so the limo driver raced five miles down the hard shoulder at 80 mph to get us there in time (very scary); WNEW in New York, where we were actually taken seriously and given a good hour on the radio; seeing a queue of about 800 people waiting for us to appear at Tower Records in LA, unbelievable - we met them all, too! - and later that evening, doing the KROQ show with Dusty Street , who was a good laugh and into all the silliness. And right at the end of the tour in Toronto, playing for a live audience of about 200 people - part of Tarquin Gotch's plan to ease Andy back into performing to a crowd. Always the tourist, I collected bumper stickers from all the stations we visited, most of which still adorn the case of my D28 to this day.