Radio DJ

DIARY 2007

John Keeble on drums

Roy Z

Bruce with Sack Trick

Outside my old school

Me and Glenn Hughes

Pillow Talk

Sasquatch Bob

Metal Matt Cohen


Therapy? rocking

A Camel Hirer

Me and Andre


Go West

Go Karting

Germany Schnitzel-land

Extras DVD

Alex Zane

Flying Solo?

Me and Tony drinking Weizenbier

Bulgaria- No Croissants

Billy, me and Atma in Poland


Billy singing in a bar in Austria

Me lending Tony a hand

Sack Trick rocking

The Strong Arm of the Law

Tribuzy Live Execution DVD

Not Stryper

Ace Frehley back in '88
January 2007
I started off the bass playing year in the studio with I Play Rock laying down some rocking tracks for a new album...

Archie started off the year growing a tooth (then grew a whole bunch of matching sharp gnashers later in the year)...

On Total Rock I interviewed my good friend, Mr Roy Z and it was all we could do not to giggle the whole way through, he's got a very infectious laugh that chap...

I then finished off the month finding out that an AntiProduct song I'd played bass on was being used for a Dunkin' Donuts advert in America, so I listened to the song again and still didn't fancy a Donut.

February 2007
We played a Sack Trick gig at Walthamstow Royal Standard in aid of Clive Aid (the charity to raise money for original Iron Maiden drummer, Clive Burr). As with many Sack Trick gigs it was quite funny. Actually very funny... especially funny was Bruce Dickinson getting up and singing Tom Jones' Delilah with us...

Then rather than sit around at home for the rest of the month I thought I'd go out on tour with my mates, James, Gary and G-man (he's a superhero that's why he's got a name like that). They were crewing for Judie Tzuke (of whom you should be ashamed if you've not heard). She's legend and a lovely woman too.

March 2007
We played a Sack Trick gig in Lampeter, West Wales. That probably doesn't mean much to you, but it's my home town, where I grew up (well as much as I was ever going to). It quite odd. I'd not been back there for about 16 years and it was a relief to see not much had changed. We went for beers with some of my old mates who I'd not seen in ages but who hadn't changed at all. Then me and Roly the Bailey took a walk around the whole town at about 2 in the morning (till about ten past two- it's a very small town). Oh, nearly forgot, we played a gig too to lots of lazy good for nothing students- nice guys (and girls) though....

Then you know I often hang out with bands trying to look useful? Well, I got a call from a tour manager asking if I could look useful for Glenn Hughes. Amazing! He's a bit of a hero (ex-Deep Purple bassist/singer/all-round-funky-guy). So I popped on down to the gig at Shepherd's Bush and did my very best to look useful. Glenn was a top chap, a really nice guy. He kept calling me "brother" and at one point when I was looking particularly useful he told me he loved me (not in a girlie "let's get naked" type of way, but in a manly "did you see the bears game?" type of way). I peed myself a little. Then Glenn went through the setlist with me and asked me to do lots of useful things at different times, such as- "could you change my pedal settings in this song called Mistreated?" and "I'm going to need a drink of water and little break after this song called Getting Tighter". Every time he mentioned a classic Deep Purple song to me I tried to look all casual (and useful) saying "mmm" and "OK...brother" but actually another small drip of urine passed out of my body.... 

Then we went to see the fabulous Pillow Talk live in a tiny room off Old Street. They made out it was a trendy night club but it was actually like someone's living room. Pillow Talk were fab as usual and Benny the Calvertino was playing drums so that made it all the funnier. I love Pillow Talk (in a manly way). Outside there was some kind of Lunar Eclipse which was OK, but not as funny as Pillow Talk.....

Then Albert Lee came on my Total Rock radio show. He's a real legend of 60's and 70's guitar playing but kept saying how he didn't think the listeners would be interested in a guy like him. In between such humble mumblings he'd come out with gems like "me and Jimmy Page used to jam a lot back in the day, we play in much the same way but he uses bigger amps". As he was leaving the studio he said "I played with Spinal Tap, does that count as heavy metal?"....

April 2007
I had a great day down at Total Rock. Firstly I did my usual show with Rockin' Roly Bailey as my first guest chatting about the upcoming Heaven and Hell tour and also about his excellent band Bittersweet, then CJ (who you may remember sang Love Gun on Sack Trick's Sheep In Kiss Make Up album) came in to chat about the new Wildhearts album. It's always a good laugh to have friends pop into the show to help out. Then after the show me, Robin Guy and Jef Streatfield went to Sonic Studios to record the theme music to Total Rock's new TV show called "Licensed to Rock". We thought a good choice for the theme music would be playing riffs from Sack Trick songs such as Blue Ice Cream and Penguins on the Moon stuck together. Unfortunately the show lost its licence to rock the month after and got shelved.....

Then one day me and Dawn and Archie went to a Mexican restaurant together. It was our first time with all three of us going out for lunch. Archie was in his element straight away making a mess and flirting with the waitress who went weak at the knees as he made gooey eyes at her....

Me and Rockin' Roly Bailey also went to a couple of great gigs this month. Firstly we went to see Metal Matty's band The Reasoning at the Peel in Kingston- they were shockingly good. Then we went to see Sasquatch's band in Reading- they were shockingly heavy.

May 2007
Me and Rich Baker went off to Greece for the weekend to hang out with Therapy? (they're always top fun). All in all we had a great time, sightseeing by night, playing metal (them mostly) and a bit of drinking (and a bit more drinking later- it always gets messy with Therapy?)... two things slightly marred my holiday. One was being given a yellow card for playing "Summer Loving" in sound check (well we were in Greece after all... no?... OK sorry, maybe the card was deserved) and the DJ in a club later who turned down drummer Neil Cooper's perfectly reasonable request to hear Love Gun by Kiss. Some people know how to spoil a holiday don't they?...

Then in case my sun tan wasn't that good yet I went to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to try to hire a camel. When we got there Jay and Leigh both said they didn't want to hire a camel, so I'd have to do it on my own. But when I got there the camels looked so big and bitey I kind of chickened out. All this time of singing songs about wanting to hire a camel then I finally get a chance and I blew it. I feel a bit silly now.......

June 2007
Me and my good friend Andre from Brazil went to see a Paul Gilbert gig at the LA2. Awesome show, lots of shredding, great setlist, all the hits (well they're hits in my head). Great night out...

Archie took his first proper steps!

Went to a posh Bistro in Leicestershire with Jay. If its so posh can't they afford to cook it all the way through and have a big portion of chips?

Had Headspace featuring Ozzy's keyboard player, Adam Wakeman and Go West's Richard Brookon on drums (you know I'm a sucker for a super-group!) on Total Rock... oh, and we moved house to Copley.

July 2007
I met up with this band called Uncle, then "we all went down to Montreux to the Lake Geneva shoreline, to make records with the mobile, yeah, we didn't have much time. Frank Zappa and the Mamas" weren't there though. No it's all true actually we popped over to Montreux and they made a DVD, using a mobile studio in a short space of time. Didn't see any smoke on the water but there was some mist on the hills....

Later that week me, John Keeble and Richie Barrett went to John Brough's studio to do some vocals on the I Play Rock stuff we'd recorded earlier in the year- which sounds quite unnervingly rocking....

Then I went to Tollpuddle in Dorset with the Men They Couldn't Hang- they're a top laugh that lot, to watch them do a small festival. Who should be in the audience but Tony Benn! He's was the last honest politician to leave the House of Commons. A real hero, so it was a pleasure to firmly shake his hand ...

Then me and Jay went to see Go West play an outdoor gig in Folkestone, but global warming made the weather all windy and it blew the stage up in the air a couple of feet. That would have been really funny, except I was standing on it at the time so instead it was really scary. Gig cancelled, time to go home early!

August 2007
I don't drive. As you may know I had one driving lesson last year in a dodgem car but it didn't go too well, so when it was suggested that for Bruce Dickinson's birthday we all go go-karting I was a bit apprehensive at first. I called up the karting place and asked if it would be a problem that I couldn't drive, they said it would be no problem at all, which I thought was odd as most of karting is all about driving. Could one go scuba diving without being able to swim? Can one go mountaineering without being able to climb mountains? I don't think so. But it turned out fine. It seems that despite my inability to drive round corners, I'm a real natural. In fact I think I probably crashed the kart more often and in better ways than most of the proper drivers there. In the end I came fourth in the race, even beating one person who had a real live driving licence (Bruce came first- no surprise there- he's a pilot and they're used to going very fast). Just shows, doesn't it? Not sure what it shows but it certainly shows something ...

Then to round the month off I popped over to Germany for a Weizenbier and Schnitzel session with Tony Hadley and the gang.

September 2007
The very first Rock and Roll gig I ever went to was the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park in 1969 when I was a wee babee in a pushchair. Now Archie's first gig was in a pushchair Hyde Park too, only he came to see Tony Hadley. I'm not sure which is better, mainly because I hate to admit it but I don't really remember the Stones gig... 

I got the second series of Ricky Gervais' Extras on DVD. You or may not remember that I had the pleasure of playing some bass on it for him last year. It turns out that although my bass playing is quite funny on it his script is even better. Honestly it's a real winner.....

That got me thinking maybe I should be a TV star too? So I went along and presented a short bit on T4 channel along with Alex Zane (who kept singing "Crazy Nights" all day). We shot a piece about whether digital music was better than good old analogue- of course I represented the side of analogue. While it was all good fun, I soon decided to stop being a TV star and get back to playing rock bass....

So I went to Butlin's Holiday camp in Minehead where me John Keeble and Richie Barrett played some storming rock under the I Play Rock banner.......then on the way back from Minehead, I found I'd grown a new muscle under my right arm. That's odd I thought. It's not an old muscle I've always had and only just noticed, but brand new one. There's just a flabby bit on the other side. I've yet to see what this new muscle can do but it seems designed to help me put things down more easily.

Archie's started playing bass. He's not bad for a beginner. Then I interviewed Biff Byford from Saxon on Total Rock, he's not bad either but then he's been doing this rock and roll thing a while now.

Then I got sent a copy of "Flashing Metal with Maiden and Flying Solo" a  Bruce Dickinson biography by Joe Shooman. It's a very good book... but as I'm in it I guess my opinion is biased a little...

October/November 2007
I saw an advert for an upcoming Billy Sheehan gig in London. Billy Sheehan's one of my all time bass heroes so I though I'd go and buy a ticket. Then better than that I thought, I'll go and hang out on the whole tour trying to look useful- it seems to have worked with other bands before. So I booked a flight out to Holland and went to their rehearsals with a serious look on my face, saying "um" and "ah" at all the right times while staring blankly at their amps and pedals and stuff like that. They fell for it hook, line and sinker and soon I was bedded down on the tour bus for a couple of months....

Then it turns out its a real supergroup, not just Billy Sheehan on bass but also Tony MacAlpine (guitar and keys) and Virgil Donatti (drums). If you've not heard of these two, then stop listening to your current record collection and go and get some proper music instead. If you haven't got time to do that then click here to see some You Tube footage from Paris on the tour. And if you're one of the people who filmed the clips all over You Tube of this tour then you're a very naughty boy/girl and don't deserve any pudding.

It also turned out it was a super group offstage too, with the crew consisting of Steve Scanlon doing sound (he's mixed albums for people like Ian Gillan, so don't mess with him), Ronald Oor as TM (and also drummer the Preachers and Barry McCabe), Tobi Hero (a thousand words could never describe this man, so I'll leave it noted that his name is "Hero") and little old me! The gigs were amazing, all instrumental with loads of shredding from all three musicians. Really inspirational stuff! Also inspirational was sitting for endless days in the back lounge of the bus with Billy watching Family Guy DVDs.

So off we went on tour travelling all around Europe - Holland (where the Shwarma shop sold more Shwarma than any one man could eat and the coffee shop sold more than just coffee), Germany (where we found some great Bratwurst and Dunkel Weizenbier), France (where I found the best salami of the whole tour), Spain (where Tony decided he discovered he didn't have enough hands to play guitar and keyboards at the same time so borrowed one of mine), Portugal (which I'd never seen before but loved instantly), Switzerland (where I spent the day with Scanners drinking in Geneva airport while our flight was delayed for seven hours- thanks EasyJet!), England (where it was very nice to have a day off with Dawn and that funny little guy, Archie), Poland (where I bumped into my old friend Atma Anur- who I'd not seen since we were touring the US in '94- him with Ritchie Kotzen, me with Bruce, on the same bill as Jackyl- that was probably the craziest tour I've ever been on- Atma's clearly not recovered or calmed down since), Hungary (where they did a gig on a boat on the Danube- did you know the River Danube flows through ore capital cities than any other river?), Czech Republic (where I'd hoped to meet up with Benny Calvert who now lives out there only to find he'd come over to the UK for a visit at the same time), Serbia (where everyone else liked the food except me), Bulgaria (where croissants aren't allowed), Turkey (where I accidentally met an old, who still remembered the Welsh lessons I'd given him when we last met in Istanbul ten years ago), Croatia (where I bought Archie a red sports car- a toy one of course, he's not getting a real sports car just yet- you know kids, he'd just crash it somewhere then pretend it was stolen), Slovenia (where it was very cold), Italy (where they played in an amazing venue called the Stazione Birra, I say it's amazing mainly because they brew their own Bavarian style Hefe Wiezenbier), Austria (where I ended up late at night in a bar singing along with Billy and Tony doing loads of funny songs from the Beatles to Van Halen. When neither me not Billy could remember the second verse to Bryan Adams "Cuts Like a Knife" we realised it was time to quit while ahead), Belgium (where I met fans of Metal Matty's band The Reasoning- they've got good taste them Belgies) then to Holland again where we said our goodbyes and each went off home bursting for a pee.

December 2007
Played a couple of gigs for a laugh. Firstly I Play Rock rocked at the Total Rock party.... is it possible to say rock more often in a sentence? Yes, we played at the Christmas knees up for our favourite internet radio station.

Then Sack Trick played our annual show in in Denmark. Easyjet gave us an extra funny joke on the way back. They checked our luggage in under the name of someone who wasn't on the flight. Hilarious, the plane got delayed, terrorist alert, us four being chucked off the plane with our luggage for more searching and questions on the tarmac- thanks EasyJet.

As a radio drmatic debut I played the part of two dwarves in Total Rock's Pantomime- well I'm too tall to just be one dwarf.

Then ended up the year drinking Leffe at Bruce Dickinson's house and waking up with a funny feeling in my head. Which was kind of how I started the year...

January 2008
On my way to Total Rock I got stopped by two policemen because I was acting suspiciously (actually I was dithering as to whether to go straight to Total Rock or buy a sandwich first). Fair enough, in this time of heightened terrier alert they have to be vigilant. They asked me for my reason for acting suspiciously, my name, my date of birth, my address and for some ID.... then for more ID, then for my middle name and then if I'd ever been stopped by the police before, "well, yes, I'm a suspicious kind of guy" is the truth but I said "no" to save time. One of the police chaps took my ID round the corner and called HQ to see if they had any records on me. When he came back he asked "have you ever been under arrest before?", "errr, no" I said thinking, what does he mean "before"? "Do you know there's a warrant out for your arrest?", "errr, no" I giggled somewhat inappropriately, thinking "what have I done this time?". That's one of the troubles with having a bad memory, you don't know if you're a wanted criminal or not. "No, I'm only kidding" he smirked "off you go". That made me laugh. I didn't know the police were allowed to exercise a sense of humour on duty. "That was very good" I said shaking his hand "I like a good wind up and that was a very good wind up!"...

I finally got sent a copy of the Tribuzy Live DVD that came out last year. As you may (or may not) know the gig was filmed in Sao Paulo, Brazil a couple of years ago and features Renato Tribuzy and his band performing songs mostly from the Tribuzy Execution CD, then various special guest artists come onstage to perform different tracks with Renato's band. Among the guests are Kiko Lauriero (Angra), Ralf Scheepers and Mat Sinner (Primal Fear), Roland Grapow (Helloween and Masterplan), Roy Z (Bruce Dickinson band), Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden and ... errr... Bruce Dickinson band)..... and little old me! I come on a do a version of Tears of the Dragon with Bruce and Roy Z. Actually we played a few more tracks at the gig such as "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter", "The Evil That Men Do" and "Be Quick or Be Dead" but these haven't ended up on the DVD. Even so it's a top rocking gig to watch! There's also some interview footage with all of us where I give away loads of things you never knew about me such as that I play bass and I like heavy metal.... I don't know why but I find it hard to keep a straight face even when stating the most obvious facts.

Good old (well he's my age so he must be old) Sam Hill rang up and asked if I wanted to join a heavy metal band for a tour later this year. You know me, I liked a bit of heavy metal bass playing every now and then, so I said yes please. I'll tell you who it is later when (and if) it happens. The only two clues I'll give you is that I've already got the set list songs in my CD collection, which is always a good sign... and it's not Stryper.

Archie's been talking loads recently, not whole discernable sentences but odd half-words like "Mer" for Mummy, "Dee" for Daddy, "Tee" for cheese, "Cho" for chocolate, "Te-ee" for throwing things, "Doh" for door, "Dododo" for knocking on a door and he can sing the first three words of "Row row row your boat". It's all very cute. Being more multi-lingual than me, he also talks loads of other words I don't understand. Of course these are not his first attempts at talking. Quite early on while Dawn and I were discussing the what we needed from the shops he piped up with "oeuf"- French for egg. Naturally he spoke French rather than English first to impress us and sound posh.....

Dan Bach texted me nice and early in the morning to let me know Ace Frehley was playing at the Astoria in April. What great news to start the year on! How good is that going to be? Amazingly good, is the answer. Ace hasn't done a solo gig in London since back in '88, twenty years! Back them I was in the front row headbanging away, you can just about see me in the video release of the gig at Hammersmith Odeon over on stage left. You won't recognise me though cos I didn't have this beard back then.

See Here for Diary 2006

See Here For Diary 2005

See Here For Diary 2004