Steve Harley

& Cockney Rebel

DIARY 04/04/13

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Just finished mixing the Birmingham recordings. Sounding good. Will package it as a double CD, of course, and might be able to get it on-sale at the end of June. Even now, there are moments in there that still stir my hackles. The memory of that night is now right up there among many memories from a long career that I can almost warm my hands on. We still hope to announce the Manchester edition by the end of this month.

When the website went awol for a week or so, I realised how much we depend on such technology these days. Something vital was certainly missing for that time. Took me back to the early days of the site, the great Dave Hornby organising it all. Also came to realise we don’t hear from Dave these days, unless he contributes via a pseudonym – but that isn’t really like him. Where are you, dear boy?

It’s not often we get troll-like nastiness on the site. Can’t actually remember any except some bloke calling himself Susan and mockingly suggesting we would be playing support to The Bay City Rollers at some event! Then a lost soul comes into the Facebook, full of puffed up, pompous, self-righteousness and makes a prat of himself. His horrible diatribe was gone within minutes of being delivered, apparently. Monitored and deleted. They didn’t tell me his name (as if I care), but he wrote that he was a long-standing fan. Got himself worked up into a minor frenzy, my Facebook monitor says, barking his negative thoughts on my wonderful Stetson, worn for two songs in November, to parody myself (“That’s enough symbolism for one night” – he must have completely cocked a deaf ‘un to that aside, as he totally missed the point!). He castigated me for occasionally wearing specs on stage, too. He must have 20/20 vision and so absolutely no understanding of how it is for those of us who have astigmatisms, meaning we can’t find our way about in the murky half-darkness of theatre wings without them. And there’s always a set-list to refer to. He presumed to read my mind. And he called me arrogant!! You couldn’t make it up. He’d do well to save his money next April – I might wear a hat and I may well wear my specs (no chance whatever of contact lenses!!). He’ll get apoplexic again. He used his real name, they say, so I guess he’s not technically a Troll. But he isn’t welcome in there and they have Blocked him. Pity that it has to come to that now and then. How would such people act, what comments would they make, if actually face to face with a person, rather than slamming out their vitriol on a keyboard, posting through cyberspace? You can’t help but wonder… could a person claiming to be a “fan” be so hateful?

The internet – everyone’s a critic if they want to be. It’s so easy to make yourself look daft, or in his case, bloody-minded and intolerant.

My agent is plotting a rock band tour of the UK in November. Buxton was exciting for all the band and myself. Felt like we were dusting off some cobwebs out there! Robbie was sensational on Riding The Waves – where did that come from?? He hadn’t played it for half-a-lifetime, and it wasn’t in the set-list at his feet. I dropped it in, just because I wanted to sing it to that audience, and we all won.

Regarding the suggestions for extra tracks at Manchester, Bridgewater Hall: keep it in mind that I really only intend to play songs from the era in question. Spaced Out has to be in with a shout; Rock ‘n’ Roll Parade, too (never really held that one in much affection, but it will definitely suit the occasion, so I might have to bite the bullet! Judy Teen will stay, of course as it sort of linked the two albums. Black Or White? It sure sounds fabulous on the Birmingham recording.

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