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The Gerald Bostock Diaries

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

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Torture Chambers and Festivals – Part 6

I sat reflecting on the darker side of the species last night in the bowels of a castle in Luxembourg. There was a rack for stretching bodies to breaking point, a screw-down device for smashing hands, a bench with spiked rollers where tied victims were once dragged, lacerated to their confessional doom. Where, oh where, was this equipment when it could have extorted a more heartfelt response from Bob Diamond of the Libor-fixing scandal? Or Meester Tony over the Iraq pre-war intelligence?

A dreary combo called Magna Carta opened the show and ran over time by 15 minutes causing Anderson to vent his spleen and utter words of apoplectic rage. Like, “Bother”, “Goodness me” and the like. Plus a little more colourful language too extreme even for the Commons Brawl at PM’s Questions.

The next night’s show at the beautiful Beaufort Castle in the Grand Duchy was to feature Blackmore’s Night. Yes, he, Ritchie of Deep Purple fame and re-cast as medieval troubadour in the goode companye of his singing damsel, the fine-bodied Candice. I was made aware that Anderson and Blackmore are old pals, sort of, and have a fine regard for each other. Apparently, Candice and bairn were in the audience at some point in the evening and Mr A instructed me to seek her out for an audience with Himself in the Castle tower dressing room – make that vault – after the show but she had left by then, I was reliably informed. Anderson signed a poster in the octagonal vault wishing them a Merrye Post-prandial Soiree. Blackmore was tied up (bondage party?) in the City Of Luxembourg doing interviews and the inevitable eulogising of poor Jon Lord who passed away a few days ago after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Ritchie B has a reputation for evil ways. Legends abound with tales of mis-deeds and dastardly, scoundrel behaviour. But, as is so often the case, in reality he is a reet ol’ pussycat if you get a one-on-one and ask him what kind of guitar picks he uses. Must remember to mention that to Ian Gillan if I ever meet him. Sartorial delight informs the Blackmore’s poster. I can’t help but think of Sean Connery in The Name Of The Rose movie….

Then we drove off for two long hours through the long and chilly Summer night to Koblenz in two bumpy vans. Then a few short hours sleep in a perfectly pleasant small hotel with cot-like single beds. This meant I had to leave Rapunzel behind. Having rescued her from the tall and turreted tower, it seemed a shame, but she would have been out of her comfort zone in the real world and amidst the bursting luggage in the bumpy van. How could I leave Rapunzel’s behind? (To quote, albeit loosely, from Spinal Tap’s assault upon anal decency in the song “Big Bottom” from the rockumentary, if you will, back in the 80s.) But I woke this morning early to find I have still telltale shreds of blond, Teutonic hair under my fingernails. Was it all a dream? Rapunzel, let down thy hair. Next time, my busty blond escapee, let down thy knickers as well. Just don’t tell the Old Bag….

A frantic festival followed in Burg Herzberg with a bunch of noisy, well-meaning buffoons strutting their metal and punk stuff in the rain. Irritating bunch of trouble-makers. Like the CON back-benchers on a works pouting.

Had an email from Prof Stewart Wood – Lordie-oh-lordie Wood as he now is, elevated to higher station in the hallowed halls of The Lords. Ex-advisor to El Gordo (Brown) and now to the affable, equine Mr Ed. Off in a couple of weeks, for his sins, real and imagined, to both the Republican AND Democratic Conventions in the USA as official, honoured guest representing our glorious Labour Party.

I had a racy and imaginative idea: the Old Bag might be persuaded to take a heady sojourn with her old flame from The Guardian years, Godfrey Pitcher. He is a wine buff and knows of several distant vineyards in the Dordogne where early bed and late breakfast are cheap and there are no phones or internet available for her to check on me. The naughty Reverend P might just distract her long enough for me to meet up with Lord Woody in Charlotte NC and have burger and fries and a quick ciggie behind the bike shed with that Irish-American President chappie, O’Bama. Will ask Mr A if he needs me in that week. He doesn’t pay well but does engender a certain loyalty. First call on services, at least for a while.

As tour manager, I have to check the up-coming flights and seat reservations for the trip home and the worrying outward to Krakow in august with Cheesy-jet. They of the extortionate excess baggage charges. Then – touchy matter this – do research and due diligence on a couple of charitable entities as recipients of the Israel concerts fees. Anderson gives the proceeds to registered charities fostering co-education between Israeli Jews, Palestinians and Christians. Says he won’t take the money himself and feels strongly that so-called “boycotting” does nothing to change things. Israeli government cares little or nothing for who comes to perform and who doesn’t. But investing in the future of mutual respect and understanding of opposing religious and cultural groups is worth supporting.

He received an email last week inviting him (us?) to Kabul (yes – the Afghanistan one) next year to perform. Where will it end? Benefit concerts for the homeless of the Planet Downoutus, orbiting around a distant star in the belt of Orion? Fundraisers for the Vatican? The Help-An-Immigrant-Have-More-Babies Free Concert in Hyde Park? Pocket the dosh, pay your taxes and enjoy the beer, skittles and a stiff curry, I say. Fine Socialist principles which trump all fake, do-gooder prattle and pomp. Stick that in your pipe Mr Bono. Don’t get me started.

Over and Out. GB signing off. Kisses and Leberknodel, you rascals.

PS – Do Queasy-jet do Speedy Boarding for bass-player and drummers? Will they they fit in the overhead locker? Or do I actually have to buy the buggers tickets?