‘Appy Days: The Mick Box Column (No. 7)
This week good old Mick Box has a great time at the Classic Rock Awards, plays a special Classic Rock show and is in the dog house…well, gets one built anyway!
Oh the fascination of all things Michael Jackson, I took Romeo my son to see the This Is It movie, as the weather was too miserable to go and play football in the park. This film is a sort of documentary about his planned comeback shows at the O2in London, and all of the preparation, and rehearsals with the band and dancers. Had the shows happened they would have been spectacular. They had 3-D films, gravity-defying aerial stunt work, a cherry picker that sent MJ over the audience, a whole section on an ecological theme, and MJ had a hands on approach to everything, working closely with Kenny Ortega directing everything to MJ’s specifications. The impression it all leaves you with is that Michael Jackson was quite simply a major talent on all fronts. The man could dance better than any of the dancers he employed, and they were the pick of the crop, and most of the time he was just running through the routines and not giving his all, vocally and with the dancing, as it was a rehearsal, but he still shone above the rest. It was interesting to see him working with the band, to get things just how he wanted them to be musically, with the right feels, etc. The show would have been fantastic, and the energy required to perform these routines was immense. I am not so sure he could have kept that up for 50 shows, I have to say. That is almost superhuman. Of course now sadly, we will never find out.
Anyway on Monday night we (Uriah Heep) went to the Classic Rock Awards night and what a wonderful night it was. We arrived at the Park Lane Hotel in London to be met on the red carpet, by the press and camera flashes popping everywhere. As we entered, we were taken to more TV, Radio and press interviews, and glasses of champagne were thrust into our hands by scantily dressed maidens in tight fitting rubber dresses. Very nice! After a while, and saying hello to a lot of friends that we had not seen in a while, we were ushered to our table. The room was full of classic rock royalty. In attendance were: Jeff Beck, Slash, Ronnie Wood, Joe Perry, Biff Byford and ‘Nibbs’ Carter, Billy Gibbons, Steve Harley, Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, Nicko McBrain and Janik Gers, Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow and Rob Reiner, Spike, Chrissie Hynde, Paul Rodgers, Mick Ralphs, Iggy Pop, Brian May, Joey Tempest, Carl Palmer, Joe Bonamassa, Rick Wakeman, Dream Theater – and those are the ones I can remember. The whole show was hosted by Danny Bowes, and he did a sterling job. At each seat around the dinner table, we were given a bag full of goodies containing the latest edition of CR Magazine, which has the most amazing cover ever. It is in 3-D ,celebrating 30 years on…Pink Floyd the world behind the wall. Very impressive! Coupled with this there were T-Shirts, a small Marshall practice amplifier and lots of other interesting bits. We had dinner, and then the awards were given out. I will leave the results for you to read about in the next CR Magazine and online here, but most of the above musicians were giving awards to most of the musicians above, if you get my gist.
Halfway through, I had to go to the toilet, and I was in the gents urinal having a pee when Slash comes in and stands beside me, and has a pee too. How about that, I had a slash standing next to Slash. He did not say a word, and I could see his bodyguard standing close by in case anyone did like a word, and the bodyguard looked like he had the entire England Rugby team morphed into one body, and stuffed into a suit. The evening was a great celebration of all things classic rock, and to be honest CR magazine has become the classic rock bible, and is going from strength to strength. Joe Bonamassa even got up and played an acoustic song. As Doc McGhee (manager of Kiss, and ex-manager of Motley Crue, Bon Jovi and the Scorpions, etc.) said when he was at the microphone, that took some balls in front of that audience. He played great though, and all credit to him. There was an after show party, but we declined, as we were starting rehearsals the next day for our six-week tour through Europe, in support of our 40th Anniversary CD Celebration. We did have to interrupt rehearsals on the Wednesday to play the CR show at the Relentless Garage, in a suburb of London called Islington, and this turned out to be a fantastic evening The audience came from many parts of the world including, Norway, Brazil, Romania, etc. It was so good to hear them sing along, and that was the last time we will play that particular set of songs. We have revamped the set for the start of our Celebration tour.
In my diary last week I did explain my love of DIY (not) and that I would get Bernie Shaw’s help to assemble the new dog house, for my puppy Elvis. However on the Heep DIY front, Trevor Bolder is the undisputed king, and virtually rebuilt and redecorated his own house. He has been staying with me in London while we did the CR Awards, The Relentless Garage show and rehearsals, so I pulled out from the shed and the cellar all the rusty old tools I could find, and Trevor put it all together for me, which was fantastic. I did help and passed the odd tool over to him, and made a zillion cups of tea. Bernie is, of course, delighted it is done, as he now does not need to get involved, but saying that he would have done it for me without question. As you can see, it has been a busy old week, but what a fantastic one it has been too. We start our European tour next Wednesday, when we will climb on the tour sleeper bus and travel to Germany, and return just before Xmas. We are really looking forward to it, and I always say a working band is a happy one.
See you next week, and I will continue this on the road.
Tags: Bernie Shaw, Biff Byford, Billy Gibbons, Bon Jovi, Brian May, Carl Palmer, Chrissie Hynde, Danny Bowes, Doc McGhee, Dream Theater, Iggy Pop, Janick Gers, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Perry, Joey Tempest, Kiss, Lee Kerslake, Mick Box, Mick Box Column, Mick Ralphs, Motley Crue, Nicko McBrain, Paul Rodgers, Pete Townshend, Pink Floyd, Rick Wakeman, Rob Reiner, Ronnie Wood, Scorpions, Slash, Spike, Steve 'Lips' Kudlow, Steve Harley, The Mick Box Column, Trevor Bolder, Uriah Heep