How to be a cool Rock Star: Rule No. 1: Don’t Fall Over

In 1977 The Boys appeared in Leicester with Generation X. We’d played our set and gone down a storm underneath a shower of beer, thrown onto the stage by an enthusiastic, although not entirely empathetic crowd. Next up were Gen X to navigate the surface which resembled an aromatic, melting ice rink.

Key their intro tape and big build up to an entrance by the most image conscious of the early punk bands. Billy Idol made it on with aplomb. This couldn’t be said of Tony James who skidded from one side of the stage to the other ending up on his arse.

“You’ll never be cool”, shouted a wag from the crowd.

Oh how we laughed but, as they say, those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Some years later, on a cold midwinter’s day myself and the family were staying with Vom Richie, ex band mate from The Boys and drummer with German punk superstars Die Toten Hosen. They were finishing up their latest mega tour with about 10 sold out nights at a 15,000 seat arena in their home town of Dusseldorf. On hearing I was coming to the show they invited me to join them in a cover of The Boys hit First Time. At the appointed time I ran on in front of a colossal crowd, onto a colossal stage which contained a colossal, eye catching drum riser.

“Oooh”, I thought. “What an excellent idea it would be to jump off there. That’ll look cool”………………..Wrong!

The thing you have to understand is that bass guitars weigh a bit. If you jump with one round your neck you fall much faster than usual. So, at the end of the song I ran up the steps to the top of the riser, pumped my fist into the air with my best rock star pose, waited as the penultimat guitar chord rang out into the night, jumped high into the air as the cue for a last triumphant final kerrang and fell flat on my face in front of 15,000 people.

This being the YouTube age it’s now impossible to be a prat and not have it recorded for posterity. You can therefore witness my clowning glory in all it’s awfulness Here.

All was not lost though. My wife and quite a few of the public thought I’d fallen over on purpose. I didn’t argue.

The same tactic couldn’t be used next time though.

Date: July 2016.
Occasion: triumphant return to my home county of Kent for my first gig there in eons.
Opening song: Can’t Stop, a new one we are recording for the as yet untitled 3rd album.

Boisterous crowd in the Lighthouse in Deal, all ready to have a great night. What more could we want? Well have a look at what happened here.

No conning my way out of that one. Full blown backward stumble taking out Tommy Lorente’s full set of guitar pedal cables and crashing into the drum kit, causing major damage. Reminds me of the time I backed my car into my wife’s, giving both a great big expensive dent. Luckily no one shouted “You’ll never be cool”, though it would have been no less than I deserved.

Moral of the story? I may, in my always humble opinion, be one of the best jumper arounders in the long history of modern music but it doesn’t come without its risks.

Will there be a third time? I’ll do my best to prevent it but I’ll keep you posted.