Steve Harley

& Cockney Rebel

DIARY 05/02/12

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Sunday morning. Woke to find several inches of snow. Frozen ponds. But even that won’t spoil my mood. The response from our website users to the Priority Sale of Birmingham Symphony Hall tickets has been a real charge, giving me and those involved a rush of excitement. I hope most got the seats they fancied, but it’s not a perfect world, so I imagine some had to settle for less. But that is a wonderful hall, with hardly a bad seat in the place. We have a sizeable budget for national advertising, but at this rate we might just save most of it! Think we’ll wait a few weeks – it isn’t even actually officially on sale yet – and see the figures then. Might be able to run a couple of ads with “Sold Out” splashed diagonally across them! All vanity to one side, I really will want the nation to know!

There are no plans for any special guests to be invited. I know there’s a thread discussing the possibility. But this is a big venture. There will be 45+ bodies on stage. That might just be enough for one night. We will add Judy Teen (as it came from bang in the centre of the period, and perhaps Black Or White, which I’ve been listening to lately, and that great cello/strings arrangement will sound good at the end of it all. But plans must stay fairly fluid. I won’t be dismissing any thought, nor confirming any, except to say the two albums will be played in full – almost certainly (but not definitely) in the recorded running order. Start with Hideaway, finish with Tumbling Down, almost two hours later.

The anticipation is quite thrilling in itself: Sweet Dreams, Loretta’s Tale, Sebastian, Chameleon, Death Trip, Ritz and Cavaliers, Bed In The Corner, Tumbling Down, all with the sound of the time and place where I was a 22, 23-year-old lad. And I’ll have my arranger (still searching) add orchestrations of some sort – here some horn stabs, there some strings – on the other tracks, too. A twelve-piece Choir will be our backing singers.

Greta is here and she gave me snow chains for shoes at Christmas. We’ll give them a test run (well, difficult hobble really) in the darn snow shortly. Got to get a spade to the fish pond. The big, wild one can wait. Saw Moorhens sliding on it earlier, playing I guess. They’ll find food in a bush, among the bracken all right. Got the Land Rover, so we won’t be entirely stuck. But the daughter has to get back to west London. We won’t rest properly until she calls once safely through her front door. You don’t, do you?

Difficult times for the kith and kin domiciled in Iberian climes. The 85-year-old finally agreed to the hip replacement. Big job. It had crumbled to dust.  He’s not being the most gracious of patients, apparently. Spoke to him this morning, straight through to a phone in his room (lucky, I know, that he could have it dealt with immediately, privately) and he sounds compos mentis. But he’s stubborn and wilful and refuses to move on to a Rehab Clinic. Says he went there to visit someone once and they “all sit about dribbling”. He just hates growing old. I tell him it’s better than the alternative, and he’ll go back to his own sweet home tomorrow. Full-time Carer being sought. It won’t be easy for him or her.