The Life and Times of Peter Green
Archive: 2 June - 5 June 1996
We catch up with JJ--he's still staying at "the grotto", sounds like
it's the next thing above a squat--but hey Bowie lived near there
(Haddon Hall) in ' 74 so what more can we say. He'll be moving to Soho
soon. Go to Camden Markets, such a great place to shop. A head honcho
from MTV USA tells JJ about Bio Melatonin, it's almost the cure for
jetlag--so why is it becoming illegal? Take one tab and boy do we
sleeeppppp zzzzzzzz!!! Grant calls at midnight, urgent I see him--I
have a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Today is the day of the "secret Crowdies gig", crammed full of club
members and press. Meeting with Grant and Billy (10:30). By midday my
world is picked up and thrown about--Crowded House are calling it a
day. We work out our battle plan--and Neil arrives. He sounds excited,
happy, fired on adrenalin and probably needs a good sleep. We work out
a rough press release, Billy (tour manager and lovely dude) suggests we
put it on the internet first. This will stun Marck Bailey--he's worked
so hard on "Tongue in the Mail" our CH website. At least the Hanover
Gig is still happening. For some reason I'm not too freaked out, I've
had a few bands break up. I admit CH are so special, I know I'll
crumble later on. At least we'll still continue working and the club
will keep going.
Cab to EMI, Grant tells them the news, it's still a secret. But
secrets around this band are like leaky boats, they sprout holes fast,
and we know the news will spread fast. Taxi to hotel, quick change and
on to soundcheck at 1:30. Taxi driver almost kills us as an incredibly
stunning woman crosses the street near Piccadilly. Venue is cool,
feels like the Bondi Lifesaver (Aussie venue) from the seventies.
Dougald is here, so is Jules--wonder who's doing the sound? Neil is
meant to announce the "split" during the encore. We film from the
"fire hazard" zone upstairs. Chat to fans outside--nice bunch--have
been told to keep quiet, don't want to bum them out. I do tell them to
really enjoy EVERY song. Half way through the set several people
invade upstairs, tell them to leave and they are such wankers. One guy
tells me "they are the top people from the record company", I don't
care--it doesn't make them any better than the fans downstairs, in fact
the fans are better. At least they get off on the music. This girl
keeps sitting in the WRONG area, I tell her to move in a pissed off
voice. Later I'm told it's Belinda Carlisle, she's looked better! It
ends up being CH's longest gig. The Benny Twins and Becci Taylor get
in. Sally St. John gives me a bottle of Tequila for my birthday, (nice
haircut Sally) and I tell her of the split (she's family). Neil
DOESN'T announce the split, he does hesitate, but no announcement.
Shit the fax has gone out saying he will! Long night, leave early.
Calls all night, America, Australia, Europe. Decide to escape, go
shopping at Kensington Markets. Johnny takes us up to Lord Leighton's
House. It's fantastic, full of his art--I nap under a 200 year old
tree. Who's Crowded House, what split? I could curl up and sleep for
a thousand years, this is so removed from the music industry. Diane
calls from USA to see if we're ok, that was really touching--we've made
some good friends because of CH.
Back to reality. My voice mail is full of calls, one from Billy. The
Crowdies are doing "Jools Holland" show--3 songs and my presence is
required. So Mark and Johnny will have to go see the Dandy Warhols
play without me, while I'm at the BBC. Taxi to "Madison's" a
restaurant at Shepherds Bush--the band, Chris Burke (our book person),
Malcolm Hill (EMI) and others are all eating. I feel like I've
wandered into the "last supper". But there is a good vibe in the air.
I ask Neil what happened, he tells me he "couldn't be so dramatic, to
announce it at the end." The same thing happened when Paul left, NO
mention on stage. I push him further and tell him I know he went close,
and he admits he almost said it, but couldn't bring himself to. I'm
given the new press release. I'm so glad the fans get a mention
"Thanks to all our supporters for giving us heart." Food is scoffed
and it's off to the BBC for the show. During rehearsal I'm told that
Patti Smith is also on the show, I vow to ask her about the Vali Myers
tattoo. Oh my God there she is, she REALLY looks like what I expected.
Grant tells me to go for it, so I do. She's in the middle of the
studio, I front up on her right, and Neil fronts up on her left. Oh no,
I don't want Neil to see me gush, I motion for him to go first. He
introduces himself and gives her some verbal approval--Neil is so
humble and obviously admires her courage. I ask her about the tattoo
and she crouches down, unstraps her pants and shows me Vali's
thunderbolt on her knee. I feel the Crowds staring. Neil jokes later
that I've only met her for a few minutes and already she's showing me
her legs. We talk a little, god she's a woman that's fought demons,
but she burns with passion. She asks if I have a tattoo--I show her my
Gryphon, "Oh that's really nice." On with the show. Neil gets zapped
with the microphone, so they do a re-take. "Ash" are on--cute bass
player--very Ramones-ish. It's a great crowd, so good that after the
Crowdies do their 3 songs, they get an encore (Distant Sun). Think
about it, an encore at a TV show--weird. They play so well, it's
almost better than the farewell show. Go to an after show party with
Nick and Chris Burke. Our transport driver Tony drives me home.
I just get back and Mark arrives. He tells me that the "Dandy Warhols"
were great (but too loud), a very small pub--and laughs because after
their guitarist took off his top, so did their female keyboardist. She
played most of the gig semi-naked--VERY Warhol.
Slow day, drive to Scotland tomorrow.
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