Old Grey Whistle Test  
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with Jonny Fun

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Say Hi to the M1 again
Motorway photo booth
Why am I doing this?
Sound Desk
God save the crew
Jon manages to sit
Mike 'Flying Sofa' Willis
Willis manages to sleep

In their time, the band played just about every major venue in the UK, and toured Europe and the US.
Add to that the interviews, the local and national radio and TV, and you have a lot of moving about.

It started with an orange Transit and ended up with a chain of coaches and trucks for the lights, for the desk, for the crew, for the essential services.

Moving about could be tedious, especially when Jools was cooking mookie beans on the back seat of the coach. Magnificent driver Len would raise spirits with a merry quip, but this wore off, usually in snowbound central Europe where one field looks very much like another. To while away the hours, the band played games.


You lousy cheat!

Backgammon and Risk
This led to blows between Supertramp and Movies, both sides known to cheat not very well.

A nice game of cards
But be warned. The Movies developed a version of 5-card brag called 'GAK'. This required the scorer of points to explain where he thought he was at the time. The answer would be recorded on the GAK map. Of the many place-names on this map I remember only 'GA', meaning 'primitive toilet'.

Have you played poker before?

In the early days, the M1, the Blue Boar, Leicester Forest East, yes the camaraderie of the road, bumping into famous and hairy people through the night hours. How we fancied very bad food. How we fancied the waitress. How we fancied the potted plant. How we liked to make very bad jokes like How to lose 16 pounds of useless fat: cut yer head off.

And the reading, The Dice Man, Bunty (!), Albert Speer (went down especially well in East Berlin). And other stuff that is best left to the imagination (but it also went down well with the Berlin border guards).

But they had a little luxury before the end. Zipping around New York in a stretched limo with bar and television was much more the ticket. The sort of thing you could get used to.

The hotels, the bars, there was a lot of that. Unavoidable. Go with the crew if you want a good time. I don't know why I think of Copenhagen, of Elephant Beer, of Frank Zappa's girlfriend, and Jon passing himself off as Bryan Ferry. Some behaviour was regretable.

E.g. Mike Willis in the Griffin Hotel, Leeds. 'Frank! Frank!' Willis would yell, chucking bottles over his chair for the night porter, the lovable Frank, to catch or sweep up. Terrible. But do you know night porters? Good fellows but can be strange. I think they actually like pattering around premises at dead of night doing peculiar and secret things. And of course the sofa. Five floors down it flew from Willis's hands, and did the chef jump! Haw haw haw. All right-minded individuals looked away. In other words, everyone looked.

I suppose it still goes on. Wouldn't want to do it now. Infantile. Done that. Grown up. But might as well jot down a few notes...

Aberdeen, Aberyswyth University, Albert Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebauw, Bath, Batley Variety Club, Berlin, Birmingham, Bolton, Boston, Bournemouth Winter Gardens, Brighton Dome, Bristol Colston Hall, Brussells Ancien Theatre, Burton, Cambridge, Cardiff, Copenhagen Tivoli, Corby working men's club, Cork, Coventry, Croydon Fairfield Hall, Derby, Dingwall's, Doncaster, Dublin Trinity College, Dundee, Edinburgh Usher Hall, Glasgow Apollo, Great Yarmouth, Hamburg, Hammersmith Odeon, Hanley, Hanover, Harrogate, Hull, Ipswich, Lancaster University, Leeds University, Leeds Poly, Leicester De Montfort Hall, Liverpool Empire, Liverpool Eric's, Loughborough, Manchester Palace Theatre, Manchester University, Manchester Poly, Marquee, Middlesborough, Middlesex Poly, Nashville Rooms, Newcastle, Nottingham Poly, Plymouth ABC, Plymouth Odeon, Portsmouth Guildhall, Portsmouth Poly, Preston, Reading Festival (yes, they played the Reading Jazz & Blues festival with an audience of 100,000), Rock Garden, Ronnie Scott's Club, Sheffield City Hall, Sheffield University, Southampton Gaumont, Southampton University, Southend Kursaal, Stockholm, Torbay, Tromso, Washington Paul's Mall ... most of them several times, and many, many others...

In one year, the Movies played more than 365 sets, thanks to an extended season at Ronnie Scott's. Hard work.

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