Diary 1

The Continuing
Adventures Of
The Rollin Stoned in Europe


Euro 2000 - part 1
By Charlie, Charlie, Charlie.........


Late at night on Tuesday 26th September, in the year of 2000, eight members of The Rollin" Stoned touring party are busily last minute packing stage, and other outfits for the forthcoming week of back to back concert dates in Europe.

All that we really know is that we will not be making our fortune this time around but we have a guarantee of a TV performance and a warning that one of the venues only has a very small stage, another is an ex-wartime bunker, and we should have fun!

At 7.30 am on Wednesday 27th September Mick Jaguar picks up Charlie Waits from Windsor to rendezvous with the rest of the team at Byron's place in Hampstead. (Charlie's white budgerigar is staying with a friend.) As Mick and Charlie draw up in Byron's sunlit leafy street Waylor is in evidence clutching his statutory breakfast, sweet smelling, Coke bottle and jesting with it as to where cases should be stashed in the tour bus. The bus is packed, we all snatch a kiss from Byron's beautiful girlfriend, Byron calls out "Luv U" as he runs the bus all over her proudly planted flower garden and we are away. It felt like a token lap of London past our rehearsal studio in Kings Cross and out to the Channel Tunnel through Kent where we had played a week earlier in the former hometown of Messrs Jagger and Richard.

The channel tunnel crossing (a first time for all of us) was amazingly quick. Waylor and Nicky Popkins were buskin" the blues in the railway carriage until a guard suggested that they behaved like responsible channel crossers and return to their vehicle before a fire broke out!

Byron readily took to driving on the opposite side of the road and it was not long before we were chugging up a beautiful French main street of our first destination " Lillers. The first sign that our agent Pete Jagger was "on the case" was one of our posters prominently displayed in the window of the town's most popular café-bistro. We returned the compliment by promptly invading the place for our first and varied refreshments. Jack Daniels was flowing like French springwater; may as well start as you mean to carry on.

Shortly we were informed that the venue "L'Abattoire" was open and ready for us. The bus roars up to the back door and all the bags and equipment are offloaded into a dark and very square bar room full of nooses, voodoo dolls, tarot cards and trap doors. Interestingly, the landlord's name is Christian.

Christian watches in a stunned silence as his domain fills with more and more guitars, sitars, bags and bodies. His silence was only interrupted by a gentle offer of "Alors, would you like some coffee?" "Do you have any whisky?" replies Mick Waylor with a fixed glare at the fibre optic display. " Perhaps a little fruit juice or something" adds Keef in his well acted role as The Major in the Fawlty Towers series.

If you imagine the room split into four squares in one big one, then the stage would equate to one square sticking diagonally out into the room " (have fun working that one out!) Anyway, we all fitted on and had a great first night performing to a good sized audience who were able to sing along with all the usual chants in English although a few fell after "goodbye Ruby Tuesday, who can say where you come from'. Oh, vat are zee vords dammit!"

This first night was a success and we left on a "high'.

Charlie's diary 2  

Diary 2

The Continuing
Adventures Of
The Rollin Stoned


Euro 2000 - part 2
By Charlie, Charlie, Charlie.........

Thanks to ole Wymandy's trusty memory I can now remember we stayed in a motel with the toilets and showers in the corridors lots of half naked Stoned's wandering about at lunchtime when we have breakfast. Some of us were on bunkbeds giving a new meaning to "Parachute Woman, land on me tonight"

You're some "Parachute Woman' Floyd! Thanks Nadia for our lovely breakfasts - mmmmm very tasty, thinks Charlie.

I think Bill drove us to the next venue "The Cobra Arts and Performance Centre' in Solingen Germany. Well done Pete Jagger again posters are up and a big licker tongue prominently placed outside by the Cobra team Coco, Fritz & Co.

Cool guys - well done we felt welcome. A nice big stage and plenty of room for a good sized crowd "Awright' says Mick. We are a little late and the sound check takes a little longer than it should, but being British, we apologize for keeping anyone waiting and play lots of extra songs for the lively crowd. Tee shirts and signed photos and posters are flowing like hot cakes (!), but so, unfortunately did Byron's hair which landed him somewhere he is not unaccustomed to, a Police station

(Q) "So, let's get zis straight, where did you last see your hair sir, madam or who you sink you are"
(A) "Well it was on the table in the dressing room we had finished playing"
(Q) "You and who had finished playing"
(A) "The Rollin' Stoned I play for the Rollin' Stoned.
Q) "Come off it Curly, you sink you can make a fool of me"'. Guards !!'
Here endeth the lesson ~ "Hold on to Yer Hat (or keep a spare!)'

The Cobra had been the second knockout performance and we didn't have to drive anywhere as we were to stay at the venue bedrooms everywhere upstairs, so a party ensued. Jaguar roared and wailed, Nicky Lobkins had his portable organ out in no time and Waylor was close to his behind "( "A dodgy pair in full swing' one might say)'Charlie was fast asleep on the floor in the main corridor to the stairs, but amazingly avoided being trampled during the one hour "Power nap.' Charlie can actually play one chord on a nicely set up guitar and so joined messrs Waylor and Popkins to do some Bo Diddley jamming. (The time was now about 4.30 a.m. the band likes to make full use of the sleeping facilities'..

The Big Three decided to curtail the session when a man was spotted outside going to work with a briefcase in his hand. Somehow Waylor got Waylaid (not in the literal sense Lisa) and made it to his bed at about 9.00a.m. muttering that he had seen a Zebra'or it might have been a striped horse, but then that probably is a Zebra'.

Charlie's diary 2  

Diary 3

The Continuing
Adventures Of
The Rollin Stoned

Euro 2000 - part 3
By Charlie, Charlie, Charlie.........

A good idea that really, staying up all night when you have a long drive, TV performance in the afternoon, then a swift drive to Belgium straight afterwards for another show at The Spirit of '66 club in Verviers ! It is only a problem if you let it be one, so we didn't'..It was at Dusseldorf's WDR Funkhaus TV station that we first met Wolfgang to whom we owe a great debt for lovingly transporting Charlie's drums to his venue The Hansa Hotel at Mettmann (Germany again) after the TV performance what a dude we liked him a lot and he has an amazing record collection which he D.J.'s himself.

The TV exposure was to unintentionally put personalities to the test as we were only allowed a group of five musicians for the show or there was no show. Needless to say they wanted the five original Stones which meant three of our flock were not included. All credit to the three, because when we arrived at The Spirit of '66 club, they had all the gear set up, sound checked and ready to go. Bill Wymandy was to be awarded the title "T.V. Personality' otherwise, little was said despite that there must have been some disappointment felt. Waylor and Popkins had by now developed an intriguing obsession with space hero John Glenn. It was understandable really as it had nothing whatsoever to do with our operation except that he also was on a mission without any local currency to hand. They proudly taught many local German students their lyrics:

John Glenn (John Glenn)
He's a man (He's a man)
He goes to space (He goes to space)
He wears a helmet over his face
John Glenn....

This sounded particularly rousing when it was sung later during our tour by the freshly coached German students leaving the concert via the b unker corridors at the famous World War 2 Bunker at Aachen.

We made some new friends at The Spirit of "66 Club, including the local Mick Jagger tribute and his girlfriend they played us tracks off their CD. Waylor's impersonator Mick Taylor was due to play at the club in a few weeks, so some tips and an autograph were chalked on the wall for him.

We were dished up some delicious food after this show and were joined by the venue manager plus the local Mick and his Lisa Fisher lady friend. By about 4.00 a.m we arrived at our accommodation for the night a "Sport Hotel' with tennis courts and gymnasium etc. All we could see at this stage was a hotel building in almost pitch darkness. 

Some old sheds were silhouetted through the wire fence which, Charlie and Keef agreed, was where the intense cockerel crowing was coming from'

"Aren't they supposed to crow when the sun comes up? thought Charlie aloud"

"Yes, Goddammit' replies Keef, That bird has but one purpose in its life to wake people at dawn, and it has got it wrong! Keef has a nice way of muttering things under his breath that can have you laughing the rest of the day (or night) at them, but don't tell him"

If you do not have an appreciation of animals or birds and their expressions the this will fall on stony ground, but when we were waiting in a queue of heavy traffic to join the channel crossing train, the lights turned green and engines revved, but the whole queue was momentarily delayed while a very smug and well fed looking seagull defiantly waddled across the main causeway down to the shuttle. Keef made a similar exclamation then certainly much to Charlie's amusement.

The early risers in this touring party are usually messrs. Waits, Wymandy and roadie Floyd. - "It's great to look outside and see wildlife" exclaims Charlie to a still fairly sleepy Bill, who looks unimpressed at the two sheep and a couple of chickens outside.
"I would have expected a wildlife park from all the noise and the way you were talking" exclaims Bill.

Jaguar has taken to sleeping in more of late. Byron and Keef are somewhere in the middle and Popkins and Waylor can be relied on to be last to appear. Amazingly Waylor can throw back his bedsh eet to reveal last night's stage gear and still have a glass in his hand, as though he had never been asleep. Popkins can be ready to hit the road, from a sleeping start within about 5 minutes too.

The yellow dressed girl's graceful, flowing serves on the indoor court could be watched, by those who were so inclined, while enjoying a good breakfast.

Charlie's diary 2  

Diary 4

The Continuing
Adventures Of
The Rollin Stoned

Euro 2000 - part 4
By Charlie, Charlie, Charlie.........

The next mission was to return to Germany to re-unite with Wolfgang at his venue The Hansa Hotel at Mettmann. A shame we do not possess a photograph of Wolfgang, he is a tall , kind looking and, in his way, typically German. He takes a lot of pride in his record collection, which he DJ?s himself as mentioned earlier. He was very helpful at the TV studios and generally has a kind, calm and loving air about him.

The Hansa Hotel is a very smart building which has a large room with a stage, ideally lending itself to shows like ours. From the flyers, many good blues and other bands have played here.

Again, we have a great night here - lots of autographs requested and "When are you playing here again"? which is nice. There are an amazing number of die hard (!) rockers from the '60s still turning out to gigs in Germany. In the UK it is a more even balance between Teens & 40s & 50s

Byron, Waylor and Popkins make a new friend, American Tom who is shacked up in the hotel with his Guitars, amp and various other equipment. Waylor reports, He loved us man, we trashed his room, drank all his drink and taught him The John Glen Song, what more could he ask, he was fed up with normal life there!?

Credit must go at this point to Bill Wymandy for doing most of the driving, all the driving was done by either him or Byron. A typical moment travelling in the bus would be Wymandy driving and discussing whys and wherefores of anything from setlists to the implications of taking the next motorway exit, we owe a lot to him, posters, artwork and all, let alone his groovy bass playing.. Byron always seems bright and alert, I never remember seeing him sleeping. People can argue but without him there would be no Rollin? Stoned. Keef talks the least but I would bet is taking everything in from tree shapes to animals, birds, skylines and people. If Keef speaks, his comments will always be well thought out or funny. Popkins and Waylor are always in the back seat laughing at something in common, they remind me of the Sam'n Eric twins in William Golding?s "Lord of The Flies?. Waylor always wore his orienteering compass and swore, when he stole it, that he would never be late for a show again. He also stated that it helped him get back to the van, but he never seemed to look at it until he was within 2, 3 feet of the van.

Jaguar and Charlie are often asleep. When Mick wakes up, he lights up. Off stage, Mick has a quiet talking voice and never a bad word to say about anyone - a very positive person. When Charlie wakes up, there is usually a fair amount of noise and, generally, one of three accents will be assumed - namely:
-an excentric Public school teacher or Army Major.
-a German SS officer (has its disadvantages in some places!)
-or Steve Marriott, swearing like a trooper.
An occasional Scotsman can also be heard, then it's back to sleep again.

Floyd, in his shorts, is usually strumming some country licks on his guitar in the middle seat.

Charlie's diary 2  

Diary 5

The Continuing
Adventures Of
The Rollin Stoned

Euro 2000 - part 5
By Charlie, Charlie, Charlie.........

The steamiest night of our visit was, without doubt, at 'The Irish Pub' in Giessen. This was the venue that we were warned had a small stage. The stubby, split level stage poked out in the middle of a long and narrow(ish) room and was surrounded by pillars which always make life more awkward for setting up.

At first sight, the stage might at best have made a drumriser with the drummer sitting on one of the raised shelves and the drums on the lowest deck. One still person (Bill Wymandy') might just have been able to squeeze alongside with the rest on the floor. The first thing was to set the drums up as they are the most awkward shape. Amazingly with a slight twist, we could set them on the lower deck facing diagonally. We managed to get all the guitar amps along the back shelf and dump messrs Waylor, Byron and Keef in a line on the middle shelf, Wymandy replaced a cymbal stand and Jaguar could prowl around wherever he liked as usual! It was already very humid in this room, the roof had leaked some months back and the air conditioning was not yet fitted. The landlady, Siobhan was charming and we all liked her instantly with her enthusiasm and typically Irish hospitality. The venue was still in the process of being re-furbished. There was a cellar downstairs where half the band were to sleep.

To Siobhan's credit, she had done it up really nicely, all painted fresh white and pictures of all the places in Ireland where she had grown up as a child pasted on the walls. The bedding was all brightly coloured. The only off-putting thing was a sewer pipe that ran the length of the wall (albeit painted also fresh white). Every time someone relieved themselves upstairs, you could hear the full sound effects of whatever had been disposed of swishing its way down the pipe the full length of the room! Obviously this wouldn't be so much of a problem once the bar had emptied. We just trusted that the pipe seals were good.

There's no two ways, this is going to be a hot one! The place was packed from wall to wall, but a great atmosphere and it was going to be good. Bill had no choice but to stay still this time, his head was only a few inches from the roof and he was interwoven with the pillar and Charlie's drums! From the drums it was great looking right down the line of guitars all grinning and doing their thing. We played the set a bit faster than usual and the atmosphere was electric - probably the best yet, quite possibly comparable with some early Stones gigs at The Station Hotel in Richmond from what we heard, of course, that's for others to decide. Every item of the band's clothing was as though we had fallen in a river afterwards, the venue looked like Camden market the next day when we came back with all the clothes hanging out to dry. We had a celebration drinks and food after the gig at a local restaurant, everyone had worked hard.

The band was tired by now, we hadn't had a break and it was early mornings for the travelling as well as shows often not finishing until about 2.00 a.m, (a little different to the 11.00 p.m. close in the U.K. and being shoved out by friendly bouncers!) We were still hungry for more anyway and headed off aprox. 200 miles to the final venue, The Musik Bunker at Aachen'.

Some venue! We certainly unloaded the equipment quickly and in military style down through the dark echoing corridors to somewhere way down below.

Till the Next Goodbye.......