The Beach, Meon Shore
Thursday, Feb 9 1984 - David Byron sessions - engineered by Richard Digby Smith, recorded at 'Morgan studios', Willesden, London. While I was working on the David Byron sessions (singer from 'Uriah Heap') at Morgan studios, Tom Robinson was recording in the downstairs studio, we were in the upstairs studio. Tom was working on his new album. I like him and his music; so, I thought how nice it would be to play on his album as well as David Byron's. So, I went downstairs during a break and walked into his control room, introduced myself, and said, man, I sure would like to play on your album." He knew who I was, so I suppose he didn't take it as a joke, and said, "please do!" So I was doing 2 sessions at the same time in the same studio! Not bad, hey! I recorded a couple of things for Tom, but the most memorable one was "cabin boy". Tom was gay, but he was lovely. In fact he is a very nice man, and, subsequently I worked with him a few more times at his home studio as well. A return session with Tom Robinson! We got on well, (hold on, not like that!) he's gay, not me! In fact, I can't really call him gay, after all he is married with a kid. Anyway, musicians don't give a shit what one or the other is, just as long as they can play. If Sally, my dog, could play lead guitar, then I'd work with her too. I was paid money too, £50, wow! David Byron has unfortunately died! The sessions were great, with Tim Renwick on guitar and me on keyboards, and I don't remember the bass player and the drummer, except I do know that the bass player was the original bassist for Joe Cocker's 'the grease band'. Wonderful!
Monday - April 30 1984. Rabbit album demo at Pete Townshend's West End studio, Berwick Street. Today me and digger (Richard Digby Smith, I call him digger and he hates it!), started recording my demos, which, later, were accepted by me as finished product, for my album called "SAME OLD STORY." We recorded it at Pete Townshend's then Soho studio in Berwick Street, Soho, London. Pete gave me a budget of £2,750 to cover all costs, including any extra musicians I might need. In fact my friend, Geoff Webb, came in and played guitar on most of it. I had one other guitarist come in for a couple of tracks and a percussionist to play 'Simmons' toms, etc. Digger and me programmed the 'Linn' drum machine, and I played everything else on the album, including the vocals. Digger helped me with a few backing vocals, but his expertise was mainly down to making all my gear and vocals sound good, which he miraculously did. I gave him a bit of a hard time occasionally, but overall the sessions were a tremendous success. Thanks digger, er, uh 'Digby', and thanks Pete. Pete came in a couple of times to see how we were getting on, and I believe he was pleased, although he won't admit it. We did 7 tracks: 1. Midnight Lover; 2. Same old story; 3. You Promised You'd Be My Lover; 4. In Your Life; 5. Talking In The Dark; 6. Better Be Ready; 7. Run For Cover. The album was never released, but, through my friendship with my friend and confident, the editor of the 'FREE Appreciation Society', David Clayton, it was released privately on CD and cassette on 1992, and advertised in his fan magazine, as were many of my other 'RABBIT ARCHIVE' cassettes. The masters are still residing in Pete's Eel Pie Studios in Twickenham, London. I made the 'DAT' master for the CD from my own copies of the master at home in Grantham, Lincolnshire in 1992. Monday, May 14 1984 we went back home to the beach hut at Meon Shore. What a nice couple of weeks I just spent in the studio. Good results too!
Wednesday, June 20 1984. Sue left! Me and sue were having lots of trouble, obviously, and she decided to leave me for awhile. God! Did it hurt! It was bad enough living at the beach to start with, but to lose Sue, and be stuck there on my own, with nothing was absolutely terrifying! We were both drinking heavy and just could not cope with the situation. I felt like 'death' all the time she was gone! I didn't know if she was coming back or not!
Thursday, June 21 1984. Thank God! Here's Sue! She's come home! Yee-haw!!!!
Monday, July 16 1984. Mick Jagger album. I rehearsed at 'Nomis Studios' for Mick Jagger's album 'SHE'S THE BOSS'. Musicians included me, Charlie Watts on drums, Pete Townshend on guitar, and Mick Jagger on vocals. I don't remember who was on bass. We rehearsed in studio 3 from 3 o'clock until 8 o'clock. I thought Jagger was a cunt, but, in reality, it's probably my jealousy and a touch of his master professionalism and my inexperience. At least he knows what he's doing. It was a pleasure, whatever the case, as the rolling stones are my all time favourite rock band. - (Oh yeah! - also, me and Sue finally got some hot water plumbed in at the beach hut. we had one of those small Emersion things that run on Calor gas hooked up. Yee-haw!!!) July 17, we started recording Jagger's album at CBS Studios in London, off Tottenham Court Road. 'Whitfield Street' I believe. Start recording at 12 o'clock until 9 o'clock. (Also, me and Sue got fixed up with a Calor gas ice box, bath tub, and hot water finally at the beach hut. it's about time, too!) July 19, Jagger session, recorded from 3 o'clock until 2 am. Tired! But it's not going very well either. July 20, day off from recording - we spent a really drunk day in the hotel, which was practically bang next door to 'BBC radio' in London. I couldn't keep Sue from emptying and drinking everything out of the little icebox in the hotel room that was kept full of alcohol by the hotel staff. In the end I told the hotel the remove the whole icebox out of my room. Poor sue; I gave her a drink problem. She had no problem before she met me. It wasn't her fault at all. It was all mine. Also, I am not enjoying working for Mick Jagger at all! I know it should be a privilege, but, he's an asshole! I met him once at a party with Pete, and he was an asshole then too. Fuck him! July 23, I'm off! Things got so bad with me and Sue during the Jagger sessions that, at the end of the work I had to get out and away from Sue and all the boozing. I took my money from the sessions and bought an air ticket at Heathrow airport for me. I left sue in London. I guess she got somebody to help her check out and leave the hotel. I don't know. I was on my way to Sweden and my girlfriend. I knew she would get me fit again if I stayed with her for a bit. I wasn't trying to get back with her, as much as I just knew she was stable and that's what I needed. I had some nice visits with her family and friends, went swimming everyday, and took lots of walks, and generally got back on my feet. She didn't know I was coming. I didn't either until a few hours earlier. I arrived at Sweden's airport, got on a bus to town, and found where she was working as a cocktail waitress in the Hilton hotel in Stockholm, and just walked in, tapped her on the back while she was serving a customer, and when she turned around, her face almost fell off her head. She was glad, and, so was I. We had a late dinner out in a restaurant. During the day we picked wild mushrooms, and took a walk through the town that lasted for hours. I was feeling healthier again. We went swimming, had saunas, and picked wild mushrooms. How bad can that be! One night she made us a home curry for dinner. Then I went to a local bar and got drunk on Swedish beer. Whoops! I'm slipping again! On another day we went to a lake where we swam all day and sunbathed, had a picnic and swam some more. That night we went to a fairground called 'Grona Lund', and rode all the rides etc. we took the ferry there and back. Had a great time! No sex please, we're British. That's not why I'm there. This is a health trip, not a dirty weekend. My allegiance was always to Sue, whom I was in love with. On the last day there we spent the day at Carmen and Alf's summer cottage. Me, my girlfriend, Carmen, Alf, Maud and Johan. We went fishing in their boat on the lake, had a swim, picked wild mushrooms and prepared them, and sat around and ate mushrooms and relaxed. Lovely! Monday, July 30 1984, the next day I had to return to Sue because I was in love with her and missed her terribly. I was torn between my love for her and my dependency on my girlfriend and Sweden, because I had such a great time and great way of life when I lived there with Johnny Nash, and Bob Marley, and Fred Jordan, and her. It was a life I found very hard to give up, and still do at times. Anyway, my life was now with Sue, so I knew I had to leave my girlfriend again. It was hard on her and me. I'll never forget her face full of tears as I left in the bus, back to the airport. She was crushed! I still swell up today when I remember her sad face! I caught the 1:30 flight from Stockholm back to London, and back to Sue. London sucks compared to Sweden. Beautiful place to live! Oh well.
Wednesday, August 1 1984, beach hut, I took my first bath in our new bathtub at the beach! Wow! It's the first hot bath I'd had at home since we moved to the beach chalet! We used to go to one of the local hotels and beg them to let us use their baths once every 2 weeks. They let us, but it was embarrassing! Also, before I found the stopcock outside, we used to go to the petrol station and fill up two 5 gallon gerry jugs with their water to use at home. I'm back!
Friday, Aug 17 1984, my girlfriend came to England for a holiday. She came down to the beach to visit me. It wasn't very nice for her, and Sally, my dog, almost bit her. She saw what a mess I was in. I took the Gosport ferry to Portsmouth to meet her. Then I took her to Hayling Island where we played bingo, had lunch on the beach, went to the movies in Portsmouth and saw 'escape from New York', a great film, and then had a Chinese meal in Portsmouth. I went back with her to London and stayed at her friend's house in Chiswick for one night, and then went and stayed at Suzette Newman's (she worked for island records) flat for a night. I was a wreck again, but, she couldn't help me here in England. She only stayed a couple of days and then went back to Sweden, frustrated. It was out of her hands now!
Friday-Nov. 9, 1984 - Pete Townshend sessions - day 1 of Pete's solo album (no name due to unfinished project and no product being released, due to Pete cancelling the entire project.) He walked into the studio and said to everyone, "Look fellows, it's not working out, so, I'm gonna knock this project on the head. Every one is free to go." I had a very long face of disappointment and Pete noticed it, and took me aside. He said, "not you rabbit. You're not going anywhere. What do you think of the drummer? " I said, "he can't keep time, and, if I was you I would get another drummer." after that, the project stopped. The drummer was 'Blondies' drummer, Clem Burke. He is a great drummer, I mean a really great drummer. But we were all having a hard time locking together, and the drums ain't right, then nobody else is gonna be right either. The bass player was my old friend, Phil Chen. We all had a hard time. It was nobody's fault. It just didn't work out. (B) Mon. Dec 17, 1984 - check out of the Petersham Hotel, and check into the Richmond Gate Hotel, across the street. I got so drunk in the Petersham Hotel, after staying there for so long, and having so many days off from Pete's solo album project, that I had to leave the hotel and go to another one. The owner of the Petersham said, "If you ever come back to the Petersham hotel, I will call the police." At one point, I totally wrecked the 'lobby desk'. I used to play the hotel's piano, in the bar, until all hours of the morning. One time, a lady from the bar wanted to sing along, so I invited her up. I was playing and she was singing, the, she leaned on the piano, and all the legs of the piano gave way. The body of the piano crashed to the floor with me still playing it. Bang! I didn't drop a note; my hands still firmly attached to the keys, as it went down, me banging out some old 'Jerry Lee Lewis' boogie. Rockin'! Also, me and sue got into the habit of visiting Chrissie Wood (Ronnie Wood's ex-wife), who lived in the cottage next door to the hotel. That turned into a disaster. Once we got there it was impossible to get me to leave. We were up all night! It had to end, so the hotel manager evicted us from his hotel, for good! Thursday-Dec 20, 1984-Me and Sue spent Christmas in the other hotel, (Richmond Gate). Bloody horrible it was too! Also, Pete laid the law down; from now on I have to pay my own hotel bills. He's fed up with paying for my indulgences. That's it, I'm on my own. We spent Xmas there, and when the whole thing came to a halt, Me and Sue went on back to the beach.