Diary 1975

London

IN JANUARY 1975 I didn't bother to keep a diary either. But I know that we continued on making my 3rd solo album, and one night, while in the studio, I got a phone call. All the way from America, it was Eric Burdon. I stopped the session and took the call. "Hello, this is Rabbit. Who's this?" on the other end of the line I heard the voice say, "This is Eric Burdon. How ya doin'? I have a copy of your album, Broken Arrows, and I'm into the American Indians saga as well. I know you are, because your album is great, and I want to know if you will come to L.A. and be in my band? Will you go on the road with me and be in my band? " I thought, I'm in the middle of doing my 3rd solo album here. I can't leave now. But the more I thought about it, and the way things were going down in England, I thought maybe it would be a good break from it all, and might rejeuvenate my creative juices. So I said to Eric, "Sure, why not, and thanks for liking my album. Send me a flight ticket and I'll come over." Since Eric was only talking about a few weeks of touring, I decided that I would knock my solo album on the head for a bit, and come back to it refreshed after a quick tour of the states, again! I went to Terry and Tony and Glen Gibson (our singer from 'Blackwell') and told them about it, but not to worry. I would be back in 3 or 4 weeks. They didn't like it, because basically I left them jobless and homeless in London, while I left our project hanging in mid-air. I went anyway, but instead of 3 or 4 weeks, I stayed away for 6 months. It just went on and on. I lived at the Hyatt House Hotel all that time. I rediscovered 'acid' and was taking it daily, nightly, on stage, off stage, in petrol stations, restaurants, walking down the street, anywhere and everywhere. I was back, flying high! It was great fun I must admit. I forgot all about the guys back in London, and just got stuck in to this Eric Burdon thing. It was pure Hollywood nightlife. We had Snuffy Walden on guitar in the band, which was great for me. We are old friends. The tour took us all over America in some of the dingiest clubs you can imagine. 'Real' life on the road! On this tour we had fights in the clubs, I got robbed blind in my hotel in Virginia, we even had a night out with the Hell's Angels at the Bottom Line club in New York. There we were on stage at the Bottom Line, full of Hell's Angels, when all of a sudden one of the bikers jumped on the stage, grabbed the mic off of Eric, stopped the band, and turned to the audience and said, "Look Ass-holes! Somebody out there has stolen my old lady's handbag. Before we rip this club apart, I'm gonna give ya'll one last chance. I'm gonna have the club's lights turned off for 3 minutes. Pitch black. Then I'm gonna have them switched on again, and that bag better be sittin' at my feet when the lights go back on." The crowd were loving it. Real live action! So, the lights went out, the place was silent, apart from mumbling faces, and then the lights went back on. Sure enough, there was the handbag, sitting at the biker's feet. He yelled, "That's more like it! Let's rock this joint"! The band cranked back up and we had a fantastic night. Jamming! During the break I went to the bar to get a drink, and just happened to be standing next to one of the Hell's Angels. He looked at me real dirty, like he wanted to eat me. I jumped in and said quickly, "It's okay man. I'm in the band. I play keyboards for Eric Burdon". Lucky for me, he said, "Alright, man! Get this guy a drink on me. Nice one dude"! So I was safe after all, as long as I was in the band, I was safe. When the tour ended, we went back to L.A. and I returned to life in the Hyatt House. Eric had a very dodgy management team, and when the whole thing was actually over, the management didn't bother to tell me. They just left me in the hotel on my own, not knowing that my job was actually over. The Hotel management phoned my room and said could I come down and pay my bill. I told them that it was being handle by Eric's management, who always paid the bill for me. They informed me that his management had told them that they were no longer responsible for my hotel bills. But no one bothered to tell me. I phoned up Eric and said, "What's going on here?" he told me that he had a falling out with his management, and was no longer with them, but would I stay on in L.A. and reform with him, and I could stay out in the desert at his place with him. I really thought to myself, "Rabbit, this gig is over. You better get back to England". So I politely turned him down, booked my ticket and flew home, back to England.

When I got back to London, things had gone a bit sour at Island and with Chris Blackwell. In fact I went to him, we had a little argument about my situation, and I said the wrong thing as usual, so Chris said, "Okay then Rabbit, maybe it's time we called it a day". He was basically saying, Fuck off! Your're no longer welcome here at Island. Poor Rabbit. My Island days were over. It has run the course. Everything dies, I was born and lived at Island, and I died at Island. The whole package from beginning to end, all gone! Goodbye Island Records. May your memory live on forever. So, there they were, Terry, Tony and Glen Gibson, stranded in London. What were they going to do!? Well, I do know that they got fed up with waiting for me to come back from the Eric Burdon tour, so they got stuck in, made their own friends, got their own work and gigs, and made friends with Kossoff, and started working in a band with him, using Mike Montgomery on keyboards. Glen Gibson said good-bye to the lot, and went back to Texas. Rabbit's 3rd solo album remains unfinished to this day, collecting dust in the vaults of Island Records.

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