Classic Rock Roll Of Honour, last night. What a shock. How did Dorothy keep her secret like that? Now I know she and the ChildLine Rocks and Classic Rock magazine people were conniving over this fantastic shock while I was in Germany.
Went as guests of Bob Harris and his fabulous wife Trudie, who is an ambassador for Esther Rantzen’s ChildLine Charity and organises the ChildLine Rocks fund-raising events. Sitting, listening to others: Pete Townsend gives to Ronnie Wood, Chrissie Hynde to Jeff Beck, Rick Wakeman to another (sorry.....), and so on. Slash picked up an award, as did Mott The Hoople. And of a sudden, I am practically lifted from my seat at table 36, hustled through corridors to side-stage and there to hear my own name called, after a pretty fancy build-up, as an award-winner. Shock or what! No hint. No previous. Not a word. Zip. So I clumsily take the dais, at the lectern, and stumble through a thank-you speech. But all I could think of the whole time was how easy it is to give. Suffering is tough, sometimes debilitating. By comparison, giving is easy. They all came back, the fine institutions which do the real work to help the disabled and the trapped. Hope School, Chailey Heritage, MAG and the brain hospital. My adventures in helping them all have been fantastic at times, and almost entirely unforgettable. So if any reward were to come, that is it. The ChildLine Classic Rock Magazine trophy is a beautiful bonus. And I am very proud of it. But recognition is never the motive.
Bonn: my dear friend Gregor Koenig collects me from the spa hotel near Much and runs me in his 911 to Bonn for an afternoon with Ludwig Van Beethoven. To the home of the boy genius, now a museum. Staff allow me to sit where others are barred (see, the privileges!): at his own piano. I play, stumblingly, his harpsichord. I am photographed by Gregor (against all normal protocol, but he carries weight) here and there and the afternoon was all-in-all a pure and simple delight. Good friend, great company, fine time. A real adventure. Some great nights on that tour. And Karen and Debs will write their piece soon, maybe on the new site, due to go Live right now. And Deborah might explain how she gets to look so alluring in mini-skirt at rock show, causing concentration difficulties for the occasional musician up there. I am not alone in this! Other Brits, Jim and co, came for the opening, and stayed a night or two. And how deep my thanks go, I hope they realise. German friends, Gilly, Sandra and Stefanie, travelled more kilometres than I can count. Dutch fans, Belgian. People I recognise. They know this. Gratifying that they still care so much.
Missed ferry from The Hook. Sat Nav took our driver (nameless) to the wrong Hoek.....missed the bugger by minutes. Sat on portside watching her sail away. I waved a symbolist wave. Took entire crew to Delft. Shopped, drank good beer and spent a brilliant hour on a canal trip. These things are sent to try us, yes. But they happen for a reason (as I kept telling the dis-spirited driver!) and that was another adventure. Clear blue sky and a big boat and a history lesson. This was floating museum visit. I was very happy. Caught the overnight ship back to Harwich. No problem.
Next day, back to the studio, singing and mixing. More in December, to finish it all off.
Welcome to the new website. It’s been a while coming, but my deep gratitude goes to my webmaster Andy Fearon for his patience, tolerance and attention to detail. And his brilliance. If there be gremlins in the works, teething troubles, stay with us. Andy is sound. Won’t take us long to sort them out. Classic Rock Roll Of Honour. Who’d have thought.......