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Tales of Derring do – Lisa Stansfield: Japan, 1994

July 1st, 2013

Over the past few weeks, as you know, I have been blogging on a daily basis from the Lisa Stansfield European tour and indeed I intend to continue doing so once we restart the tour in Italy in July.

However, I have enjoyed the process so much that I thought I might periodically post a bit more blog stuff. I really enjoy writing and it’s great to have a deadline to get you started.

So often over the past few weeks of the tour I have sat down with absolutely no idea of what I was going to write. Oh, sure I could just spell out the day’s events in minute detail but I’m pretty sure both of you would get bored of that pretty quickly.

However, just knowing that, no matter how much I might want to give it a miss today, the fact that I had promised to do it meant that there was no getting out of it. Yes folks, that’s how I roll. Gimme a deadline and I’ll meet it!

So, I just sit down and start to write and…. waddya know? Stuff comes out. I’ll leave you to decide whether or not it’s interesting stuff…….. but it comes out nonetheless.

And so, here I am in the middle of the hiatus between the UK tour and getting back out to Europe and I’m actually missing the writing process. There’s a kind of catharsis in sharing the day’s events with people who are interested (hopefully) and besides, I am feeling the need to be creative darling.

So, I thought I might share some of the tales of derring do that an arthritic old musician like me collects over the years. In the 30-odd years I’ve been a professional musician I’ve been shot at, arrested, deported from the US (twice), set fire to a hotel, scored a goal at Wembley and a whole host of other ridiculous situations that a lad who was a coal miner when he left school should never have been in.

If people are interested in hearing about me wearing Lisa’s feather fascinator then surely they would be fascinated by me being kidnapped by the Japanese mafia?

You never know – the stories might build up into that book I’ve always threatened to write.

And so, if only for that reason, I am going to begin a quasi regular blog in between the tour blog, reliving some of these preposterous events. The worst that could happen is that no-one reads them. (Actually, the worst that could happen is that I get sued by someone who was trying to keep it under wraps, but whatever)

So, it seems entirely appropriate that I begin this odyssey with a story set within the confines of the Lisa Stansfield Japanese tour of 1994 (I never promised chronological order)

Funnily enough, when I look back, it seems that very little has changed over the intervening years. This story too, has its beginnings in the bar.

This particular night in Nagoya was like most others in so far as we had done the show and were enjoying a nice relaxing drink back at the hotel.

For this particular leg of the tour we had a temporary monitor engineer by the name of Flakey who was, in technical audio engineering parlance, a bit of a dick! He was one of those fellas that just loved to be awkward and argumentative and he’d pretty much upset everyone by this time.

Anyway, we were all having a nice time when we gradually became aware of an argument between Flakey and a local guy who was a bit worse for wear and they were just firing up a bit of jostling. Most of us relished the prospect of him getting a punch up the bracket but I guess common sense prevailed and the argument was broken up and Flakey sent on his way.

And so the evening continued in the usual way and ended up with me having to surrender around 3.00am and be the first one to go to bed. To be fair, that Sake´ slips down very easily and I still maintain there’s no shame in being the first one to retire – but it didn’t go down very well at all.

However, at that point in time and with that much Sake´ behind me, bed took precedence over saving face (Japan or not!) and off I toddled to my room.

As soon as my head hit the pillow I was fast asleep and knew nothing at all until I was rudely awoken by the telephone. It was 5.00am.

You know when the phone goes off and you’re fast asleep but your body goes into panic mode and you leap up and answer the phone with unbelievable enthusiasm. Like you’ve been up for hours and you’re being REALLY efficient?

Well that’s NOT what I did. I answered the phone like someone who had been drinking Sake´ until only two hours beforehand and didn’t have a clue where he was, what day it was or whether he was Arthur or Martha.

“Guuhh”……. I greeted the caller.

“Johnny. It’s Tim” (Hook, the Tour Manager) “Get up and pack all your things. We’ve been kicked out of the Hotel”


“It all kicked off downstairs after you left. Flakey came back down and started a massive fight. Chairs flying, glasses smashed…. the lot. The Police came and the management have kicked us all out of the hotel. We’ve got half an hour to get out, so pack your things and get downstairs as quick as you can!”

As I put down the phone in confused disbelief, my eyes slowly scanned the room. There were clothes everywhere and the detritus from the meal I had on room service last night seemed to be spread over every surface. Cups, glasses, plates. The lot. It looked like a chase scene from Tom & Jerry.

And we’ve got half an hour to pack up and get out………

There was no time for folding. Oh no. Everything just got shoved, squashed and forced into my suitcase. Clean or dirty, it all got rammed into the case along with toiletries and anything else I vaguely recognised.

Through the confused haze of exhaustion, drunkenness and hangover (yes, it IS possible to have the two things simultaneously) I just about made the half hour deadline and, feeling like death, dragged my suitcase and my sorry arse out of the room and searched for the elevator.

As I trudged along the corridor I felt an awful sense of dread at the prospect of what was to come. We’d never find a hotel for 15 people at 5.30am. I could just see us all camped around a park bench for hours while Tim searched for a new hotel.

As I sank deeper into a morass of self pity, tiredness and the onset of early stage nausea I arrived at the elevator station and, as I rounded the corner was confronted by the entire band and crew……

Waaheeeeeeeeeey!!!! They all shouted.

Then fell about on the floor laughing uncontrollably.


I wasn’t sure whether to be pissed off or relieved. In any event, I wasn’t really given the opportunity to do either because a drink was shoved in my hand and, before I knew it, everyone was in my room.

Well. It was the tidiest………….


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