Diary Update from Andy - 14th October 2015
Yes I know, it's been ages since I updated this page, but as Brother John once said, "Life is what happens when you are making other plans", and that seems to be the theme of Andy's year so far!
It has been a busy one musically speaking - four trips to Europe so far and two more to go before the end of the year. We started 2015 with a run through Europe with stops in Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic and Switzerland. Next came three weeks of shows in the good old UK, finishing up at the Forum in London. This was followed by The Hamburg Harley Days, The Kavarna Rock Festival in Bulgaria, the Skanevik Blues Festival in Norway, a Motorcycle Jamboree in Juterbog Germany, two excellent shows in Workington and Holmfirth and the Steelhouse Festival in Ebbw Vale!
Thanks to all the promoters and crew for doing such a great job, and especially to Dani, who took such good care of us in Bulgaria - much appreciated, guys!
It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces at the shows, including Manny Elias of Tears For Fears fame, pictured here (who I haven't seen since the eighties) who showed up in Manchester, and some fellas whose names I can't remember, sorry, who came all the way from Australia to Switzerland just to see us.
If you were one of the many people who turned out to support us then a big thank you from me and the guys!
As I mentioned before, this year has been somewhat demanding, not just abroad but also at home. To all of you who sent messages of concern and support for my wife Jo, I want to tell you how much we both appreciated them, and to let you know that she is doing well and getting stronger every day. We feel confident that she will remain cancer free.
Also on the home front, my daughter Lindsay is now single. The least said about that the better, but it is wonderful to see her happy and back to her old self once again.
Unfortunately, it's a fact of life that with sunshine must also come rain, and the Parker household just suffered a storm of Biblical proportion. We had to say goodbye to our beautiful big Aussie dog Poppy (Applethorn's As Good As Gold) who has been with us for fourteen wonderful years. Never was there such a sweet and gentle soul or a dog that truly lived up to her name, we will love her forever.
On a brighter note, Miss Kate, merchandiser extraordinaire and jolly good egg all round, just celebrated a millstone - sorry, make that that a milestone - birthday. Discretion prevents me from revealing which birthday it was, but I can tell you it was somewhere between fifty-nine and sixty-one.
Also, thanks to International Woman Of Mystery and superfan Wendi, Kate is now immortalized at the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in Cleveland Ohio. This is not "just another brick in the wall", but, I'm sure you would all agree, well deserved recognition for all her hard work, Well maybe all would agree except her postman, who is no doubt nursing a hernia after delivering her personal copy of the brick. Anyway, big congrats on both counts!
Lastly, the band is about to embark on another tour of Europe and the UK which will include the Hard Rock Hell festival in Wales. In December we will be hitting the road again as special guests with our old chums Judas Priest, so please try and get out to see us at one of the shows. And for those of you in the USA who are wondering where the hell we have been for the last two years, I have it on good authority that we will be playing some America shows starting in March 2016. That about wraps it up for now, so my parting thought... you never know what life has waiting around the corner, so do what our Poppy did and enjoy every day to the full. Love to all.
I sat down to answer my emails this morning and there was one reminding me that I had not updated my diary in quite some time. As I am already thinking about the next run of shows in the UK and wondering how in this world I am going to get everything done that needs to get done before I leave, and being as I have ten minutes or so before the dog groomer arrives to scalp our beloved Poppy, I thought I better take the opportunity to jot down a few things!
As most of you will know, we spent the latter half of February and the beginning of March touring in Europe. Mostly Germany, but there were also shows in Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, and Switzerland. The tour got off to a rather shaky start as Phil had been suffering from a viral infection for several weeks and was already on steroids for his throat when he arrived in Hannover. We spent two days rehearsing new songs from ACOS, and trying to decide which ones (if any) he could manage to sing in his present condition. Even though the throat lurgy stayed with him until almost the end of the tour, he did a fantastic job, and we ended up playing at least four songs from the new album and managing to rehearse several others with a view to using them in the UK. We even threw in a couple of Chapman era songs, which I know pleased a lot of you '80s diehards. Pretty good going when you consider that Phil also had to deal with losing a front tooth, TWICE! Damn that fabulous German crusty bread.
Anyway, none of this slowed us down, even though members of band and crew were dropping like flies from a mysterious bug (possibly the same one that Phil had), but yours truly managed to stay healthy through the whole thing for once. It seems that you folks really like the new record due to the fact that it has charted in several new places, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Sweden to name a few.
Also, once again, so many of you travelled great distances to see us play. Phil Beard and Rob, Sue and Phil Mahoney, Ken Adam and Paul Gayler from the UK, Anthony and Wendi from the USA. Thanks for the goodies Wendi, the vodka bottle was amazing, and Eric and I got the the helicopters home safely! There were even a couple of you (sorry I didn't get your names but you will know who you are!) that travelled from Australia all the way to Switzerland to see us perform. Outstanding! Plus a special thanks to McKenna and Uwe for the mountains of marzipan... I will need bigger trousers!
All in all the weather was very kind to us, especially as we had some seriously long drives. We saw a bit of snow in Vilnius, but that was about it. According to my missus, the weather was worse in Texas, or so she keeps telling me. She is doing fine by the way, she has undergone a couple more minor surgeries but the doctors are very optimistic with her progress. Thanks once again to all of you who sent good thoughts, prayers and best wishes, it is truly appreciated.
It just leaves me to thank everyone concerned who made it all possible. My fellow band members, especially Phil for doing such a great job in the face of adversity, our crew, Tonio, Eric, Hille, Achim and Kate, our manager Peter, our agents Nick and Jens, our driver Gondor, all the promoters, the doctors who kept us going - and of course all of you! I hope to see some of you on the UK run which starts on 16th April and also at some of the festivals over the summer - see the website for details. Until then, Keep on Rocking, and all the best. Andy
Here is an obituary page for our good friend Bill Murphy.