When you play live as often as we did, mad things happen. Most of it is of the moment and doesn't translate too well into stories twenty years on, and most of the rest can't be repeated for fear of prosecution...but here's some of the crazy nonsense that happened way back when we didn't know any better.
"We had a sound guy called Big Gerry for a while who did the sound in Dunoon one night when we played at (of all places) a Chinese nightclub. I can remember doing some Gary Moore stuff and the crowd being totally deafened by a wall of sound from one of the biggest PA’s we ever rigged out. “Loud but clear” was the cry from Gerry but I remember there was an official complaint made to the Coastguard. The front ten rows were in complete shock for the first six songs and then were too deaf to notice the rest. The same Gerry stood over the mixing desk with a chair leg, bashing the crap out of anyone who came near it during a massive fight at a gig in Cumnock...a night which also saw Chic threatened to be taken outside for a "right good kicking" by a guy in a wheelchair...some things you can't make up."
"Wee Rhona, bless her, always had sausage rolls and pizza and boxes of French Fancies and Tunnocks Teacakes at the band meetings. It was like being part of a plague of locusts when we visited her house."
"We played in the Wellington in London and during “Still In Love”, when Doogie always used to walk into the crowd and randomly serenade a girl; because he didn't have his contacts in he chose the guitarist from the Tattooed Love Boys who had long blonde hair and, in Doogie's defence, was wearing makeup. Naturally the guy wasn't best pleased with this and after the show threatened to kick Doogie's head in until five glaring Scotsmen persuaded him he was making a huge mistake."
"We played a pretty big festival in the Milton Keynes Bowl. It was in aid of World Peace or some crap like that and was full of old hippies mostly. It was all going really well, really chilled and peaceful like you'd expect, until someone fired a flare gun at the stage from the back of the crowd. Earlier that day we'd played football against the local chapter of the Hells Angels and during one of the other band's sets a bunch of skinheads, complete with a bulldog wearing a Union Jack doggy-jacket, crashed the stage...a very strange weekend indeed."
"At some of the US bases you could get into trouble really quickly. Like when Chic saved Andy from certain death by diverting a HUGE Marine who wanted to push his face in for some unspecified slight. The guy was eventually subdued by his girlfriend who lamped him with a pool ball in a sock. Andy was a regular target of the crazies in the audience and Doogie also saved him from some other heinous activity when he'd passed out face down in someone’s flat after a gig at the US Navy base in Dunoon. It turned out our benefactor was a known sexual predator with a fancy for young keyboard players – good old Doogie sat up all night with this guy watching ridiculous videos to protect Andy's ass...literally. Andy, oblivious as usual, reckoned it was the best night's sleep he'd ever had."
"Chic was once smuggled into a young lady's bedroom of an evening only to get caught by her parents and have to leap out the first floor window in some haste and partially clothed. Luckily the young lady in question was good enough to chuck his stuff and a sleeping bag out of the window into the garden so he set off to find the rest of us. He got lost and had to sleep on the local beach and awoke with his face covered in insect bites. He staggered off to look for us again only to discover we were camped 50 feet away in a lay-by."
"Long road trips are dull so we invented a few 'Roadgames' to while away the hours. The two most infamous were 'Beat The Heater' and 'Freezy'. Beat The Heater needed a hot day and everyone had to put on as many clothes as possible. Then we'd roll up the van window and put the heater on full blast. Freezy was the opposite where we'd strip down to underpants on a cold day, turn on the air-con full and open all the windows. Whoever caved first had to do a forfeit which became more and more disgusting the longer the tour went on. The last one was to drink a pint of raw eggs..."
"Kenny, one of our brilliant roadies over the years, thought he could morph himself into anything he wanted, including a curtain pole on one memorable occasion in Aviemore. He used to sellotape his face into weird shapes and he once shouted at Alex "Shut it or I'll kick your chuggs up for three thraples..."
"The lady who ran the trucking company we used was having a birthday party or something and she booked us to play at it. Trouble was it was in her house...a normal sized bungalow! We were actually playing Glasgow Barrowlands on the same night before it so it wasfrom the sublime to the ridiculous! Anyway, we heaved all of our stuff into the living room and set up. It was actually a brilliant night and we were hammering through our set when this old geezer got up to headbang. He got so into it that his false teeth flew out and hit Doogie on the head."
That's rock'n'roll man...