The Gerald Bostock Diaries

Latest news from the lyric writer of the original “Thick as a Brick.”

Czech Castle and Spain – Part 5

The Czech castle concert was, in fact, not in the castle itself, but set on a grassy plain under the castle on the opposite bank of the river. Loket Castle. Nice little town. Very little town. You could toss a Latvian lap-dancer down the full length of Main Street. Explored the town in 5 minutes flat and spent a quiet moment in the church. Thinking about lunch.

Then on to Austria and another castle – this time IN the castle – at Kufstein. Proper 1-metre-thick castle walls, high over the city and with the dressing rooms actually the gun turrets. And cold and clammy they were too. Glad I am not an 18th century gunner. Freeze the cannonballs off a Feldzeugmeister…..

No Ryan on these shows so Mr A was singing all the parts and I missed my favourite flute lines in Childhood Heroes section of TAAB1. But you can’t have everything.

A few more Austrian shows followed then back home for one night and a brief moaning session with the Old Bag. Apparently, someone left the garden gate open while I was away and Drew-boy Lancome’s cattle got in and ate the contents of the vegetable garden. At least now it won’t be bloody runner beans every Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the next 47 weeks.

And so, to Spain with Ryan back on the rooming list. At least you can get an honest Indian in the Costas. Brit ex-pats and senile grand-dads pushing baby buggies down the pedestrian tourist zone have nurtured the many Indian restaurants to open their doors. Not, actually up to much in terms of sub-continental cuisine but at least an alternative to pseudo-Italian pizzerias and touristy tapas bars.

We landed at Murcia’s airport, San Javier, with most of a day and a long night to kill in the suburbs of that town before the first show at the so-called Jazz Festival. Some band and crew headed off for the longish walk to the beach but I didn’t as I had to finish the next batch of tour itineraries before a quick stroll down the road for lunch and a quick poke around in the local food supermarket for water and snacks. Prices pretty reasonable, in fact, with Spain in deep recession and not exactly bustling with tourists. Pleasant enough. Reminds me of the first holiday with the Old Bag when we danced the night away and lingered long in each others’ arms after cool, fruity chilled drinks in the verandah bar of the Hotel Ponce Matador in Costa Del What’s-it. Before I saw the light. Don’t know what came over me. Or her.

Organised some tickets and passes for Anderson’s old pal, Christopher Riley – originally pink Strat-playing rhythm guitarist of Johnny Breeze And The Atlantics – a Blackpool band who played at the youth clubs and bars around the time of Anderson’s original musical beat group venture, The Blades, back in 1966.

The Blades were soon to become The John Evan Smash, when C. Riley joined as guitarist briefly and helped form the band’s early departure from the local pop scene into Blues and Jazz. Mr Riley is now officially retired and has lived in Spain for the last 15 years, recently taking up the flute, as he told me. Came across this splendid historical site listing the various bands, clubs, agents etc of the Northern Music scene of the early 60s.

www.manchesterbeat.com/groups/johnnybreezeatlantics/johnnybreeze.php

After few more hot and blistering Spanish dates, we got home to Blighty after two nights of very little sleep due to early morning travel starts after very late shows. Had to help organise the Spanish fan club people for after-shows but they were all very well behaved and easy-going. Some “meet-and-greets” as they are known in the trade, are truly frightening. Pushy, grabbing, middle-aged old tossers trying to get their entire record collection signed and then moaning worse than the old bag when, on the strict orders of the Hitlerian Mr A, I restrict them to only one autograph each (plus photo – if they can remember how to work their cameras…). Pushy, grabbing, middle-aged old tossers should be restricted to House Of Commons where they belong. I should know; I was one of them. Or, perhaps, the wine and drinks section of the Clutterbury branch of Waitrose.

Two nights now to recuperate at home again. Then off to not-so-sunny Luxembourg. Yes – another castle…..

Have to plan a quick holiday sojourn in the first two weeks of August when the band and crew take the official Summer break. Escape Lord Bloody Coe and his Bloody self-serving Olympic Bloody Games. Arrogant glory-seeking son-of-a-sweaty-trainer. AND ex-CONSERVATIVE politico wanna-be. Don’t get me started… Anyway – it could be back to Iceland. But the Old Bag would complain about the weather, the food, the volcanoes, the Puffins – anything else that doesn’t take her immediate fancy. Whales will have to go without a meaty treat. Maybe Bognor Regis again? Or a caravan in Wales? NOT the Costa-del-what’s-it, that’s for sure. The Hotel Ponce Matador has probably been pulled down by now and turned into high-rise condos. Called the Ponce Matador Condominium and Spa Complex, no doubt. With gymnasium and Latvian masseuse inviting a quick dip in the whirlpool Jac-off-cuzzi. Sorry about that. Coarse and unforgivable. Excuse. Don’t know what came over me. Or her…

Over and Out. GB signing off. Kisses and tidbit tapas, you rascals.

PS – Don’t send runner beans.