The Time Shifter Chapter 34


I gave Derek the blow by blow on what happened. At least at thatjuncture, it appeared that the group's management effectively blewup an entire tour and stymied Thin Lizzy's commercial momentum inAmerica over what amounted to about $300 U. S. a week even thoughthey were going to be playing 2-3,000 seaters most nights andselling merch. The sheer myopic stupidity of the whole thing wasunfathomable. But that's the record industry for you. Derekendeavored to obtain comments on the matter from the band's membersand other segments of their organization and was unsuccessful.

We went home and I made dinner. In the middle of the meal, the phonerang. Derek picked it up. "It's for you, love," he said, holding thereceiver out for me to take from him. It was Lizzy'a management. They decided to give me what I wanted. I told them to courier thepaperwork over and I would have a look at it. If I liked what I saw,I would go to their office the following day and sign it, I informedthem. Two hours later, I had the contract in hand and went over it.

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  It was all there. The next morning, Derek drove me to theirmanager's offices, I signed on the dotted line and I was a member ofThin Lizzy. I then talked over the revised tour schedule. As Ithought, they cancelled the first week of the tour, moving thoseshows to the end of what would be our assault on America as make updates.

I called Joe, who was still in bed at the time because of the timedifference. I told him to help prepare three of my five Marshall stacksto be shipped to the venue in Chicago where they were now going to kick the trek off on December 4th.

I chartered a private jet and flew home to California the followingday. Anvil overnighted the road cases we would need for my equipment. Joe packed up my amps and a host of extra cables, batteries and effects. They were sent to our stop in San Antonio. Then I packed up twoMarshall stacks, extra guitars (three Les Pauls, a Strat and anExplorer) and my pedal board plus more extra cables not to mention mystage and street clothes, and arranged with a cartage company to take itall to another private jet for me,  where yet another cartage firmwould transport the load to the venue upon landing at O'Hare. This wasall on my  tab, but I didn't care. I was doing it for fun.

At 6 a. m.

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   On December 3rd, Joe and I departed for Chicago and were metby Lizzy's road manager upon our arrival there. We arranged for thedisposition of the equipment and then Joe and I retired to our hotelrooms for most of the rest of the day since it was just too unholy coldto go outside. We had a band meeting after dinner, where I received acopy of the set list.

We checked out of the hotel the day of the show and headed to the venueafter Joe and I deposited our personal effects on our tour bus. When wegot to the hall, Joe and I were given our own separate dressing/tune uproom while the rest of the band were in another. And this is what wouldhappen the entire tour. Scott Gorham would sometimes come over to talkto me for a bit during and after the soundchecks, but otherwise Joe and Iwere pretty well ignored and we were forbidden to talk to the press. Music Tripper sent someone to cover the first week of the rejiggeredtour, but it wasn't Derek due to him being too close to me to beobjective, although that writer, Steve Dunbar, was at the dinner party Ithrew at Derek's home.

Other than being ignored, there wasn't any bullying or pranking of me byanyone. I was left out of the parties they sometimes had, though to behonest, I didn't really care. They were annoyed, though, by the redtolex my backline was enclosed in because it was more attention gettingthan one or more of the members would have liked, from what Iunderstand. But there was nothing they could do about it in midstream.

The most important thing was that we were killing on stage every night. We all acted like we were great pals during the 90 minutes we were upthere, but then Joe and I would be sent back to our confinement in thebowels of the halls we performed at. Through the grapevine, Derek heardthat the reason that Joe and I were shunted off to one side was thatbecause I was so close to a member of the press they didn't want theiroffstage activities getting back to him and then see him put that gossipin print.

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   So how we were treated wasn't out of any malice, but imagecontrol. I did get rousing cheers from the crowd every night when Philintroduced me, though, and I wore the most flashy clothing, posed andpreened as if it was all about me and usually got off a couple of verydazzling improvisations a night. Having Joe to talk to and jam withprevented me from becoming too lonely. All in all, I was glad I did it.

One interesting aspect to this was that Derek later confessed to me thathe didn't really want me to go on tour with Lizzy, but he would havefelt guilty if he didn't try to give me the opportunity to do it.

The tour, which ended in February, helped boost sales of "Johnny theFox" to gold status. Unfortunately, the followup record, "BadReputation," was totally ignored by radio in the U. S. even though it wasa very strong effort that featured some of the best guitar work ofScott's career. Admittedly, the production could  have been brighter andnot so compressed sounding. Fortunately, it sold a ton in the UK.

I went back to England to be with Derek and I was basically hishousewife the month I was there. Punk rock was now in full effect. TheSex Pistols, in one of the stupidest moves made by a rock band ever,fired bassist and songwriter Glen Matlock and hired professional retardSid Vicious, the idol of losers everywhere. This would spelll the end ofthe Pistols as a creative force, but they would live off the materialMatlock had a hand in for their first and only proper studio record, which was released that October.

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   It was a great motherfuck of an LP.

I returned to my home in Southern California in early April and spent afew days at the beach. In June, Derek visited for a couple of weeks and Itook him to see Quiet Riot and Van Halen. I went back to England withhim and stayed through the end of July. During that time, the BorstalFaction had put out their first album and did their first UK wide tour. Asako recommended that they play in Japan and the band chose to heed heradvice. I knew this wasn't going to end well.

Through Derek's relationship with the band, and despite the fact that Ihad punched out their guitarist, I got a gig as their interpreter/tourguide/gofer for that Japan tour, which was comprised of five dates,three in the Tokyo/YYokohama area and two in the vicinity of Osaka. Ihad to know their material to answer press questions about it, so I satdown one evening and absorbed the entire opus. The musicianship waspretty rudimentary, but hooky enough to work on a kind of garage rock level.

The band and its road crew/entourage dropped into Tokyo on August 17th. Richard, though, never made it out of the airport. He tried to smuggle asmall plastic envelope of heroin in the lining of his luggage and itwas discovered by customs, who promptly hauled him off to jail. Itappeared that the tour had been aborted before it had even begun. I wentto their manager and offered to sit in for Richard, but only if I waspaid his share of the band's guarantee, which actually wasn't that muchmoney.

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   The group members were pissed at Richard and opted to take myoffer. Therefore, when we played in a half flled club in Shinjuku,Tokyo, there were three very punky looking guys and then me with longstraight hair down to my ass and in just jeans, a blouse and blackheels. We powered through our hour long set that also included covers ofEddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" and the NY Dolls "Jet Boy. " Thecrowd wanted us back for an encore, but we were out of songs. IIt wasn'tuncommon for punk bands then to do one or two of their tunes twice dueto a limited amount of material. That option didn't appeal to me, so Itaught them "Louie Louie" real quick and then we went back out and didthe suckiest version of it ever. Such was Borstal Faction's Japan debut.

When we got back to the hotel, I taught them "I  Wanna Be Your Dog" bythe Stooges and "Neet Neet Neet" by The Damned. We were going to stretchthe first of those out while I hammered out a long noisy, primitivesolo in order to pad our set. The next two shows were in Yokohama andKawasaki and those went off well. Again, the crowds were small.

The audiences in Osaka were more vociferous, but still under control andthose dates went off smoothly considering.
    Music Tripper had me writean article about it and I was dead truthful about everything, includinghow the Japanese press was viewing Richard. Richard wouldn't be releasedfrom prison for another two months and was then permanently barred fromre-entering the country. Asako was fuming since she had called in a fewfavors to help them get those gigs.

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    I returned to California and, by that time, my band had understandablyfallen apart. Jessica graduated college and moved to L. A. to be withMaggie. Kelly found another group to play with and Pete decided to throwin the towel as far as music went to concentrate on his upcoming senioryear of college and then looking for a real job. Joe and I jammedoccasionally, but he was wondering if he should also just make music hishobby rather than an occupation

    In October, Derek came to see me again and proposed. I accepted and,after the proper paperwork was filed and I sold my house, I was able tore-enter England as a permanent resident. We married in March, 1978 andhoneymooned in Bali. I continued to learn songs that I liked off ofalbums while basicaly being cook, house cleaner and fuck object toDerek. Music Tripper went under early in 1979 and he opened his ownpublicist operation afterward. HHis first client was me.

    But before he formed the company, Derek attempted to get me the UFO job. Michael Schenker left the group for good in 1978 after going walkabout acouple of times in the past on them. So Derek phoned singer Phil Moggup and asserted that he had the perfect replacement for the Germanvirtuoso. At the time, Paul Chapman wasn't quite available yet,apparently.

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       So I organize my gear and Derek takes me down to a rehearsalhall in London so Mogg can watch me play. I'm standing there dressedall in black leather with my Flying V when Derek brings him in. "Oh fuckme Derek, are you having me on (pulling my leg) mate? A girl? Is thisCandid Camera or something?" "No Phil, she's toured with Thin Lizzy, forfuck's sake" Derek responded. "Oh yeah, as what mate? Their knobcleaner?" "That's my wife Phil. Watch your mouth now," Derek angrilyriposted. "So you're going to feed your wife to us then? Don't be apillock (dumbass), Derek. What will you do if one of us tries to doher?" "Phil, I don't have to do anything because she will litter yourband with broken bones. " "So you're saying that Yoko Ono here is also akarate expert then? You're mad, man. And for wasting my time just fuckoff. " With that, Mogg stomped off witthout hearing me play a note. "Itold you he was a bit of a knob," Derek reminded me.

    II wasn't surprised at all. In my real life, I was a music journalistfor a while and heard the stories about Mogg's ego. "It's okay baby," Icomforted him. "Obviously, it's not meant to be.


      " "Sorry love," heapologized.

    IIn May, 1979, I dragged Derek down to Camden, London to see a formativeversion of Iron Maiden play with Samson and Angelwitch at a club calledThe Music Machine. "Iron Maiden are going to be one of the biggestbands in the world," I predicted to him. " "They're going to have to dobetter than what I witnessed tonight, sunshine," Derek evaluated,positing that they weren't quite ready for prime time yet. I agreed withhiim, but I nonetheless buttonholed Steve Harris and Dave Murrayafterward to give them a few words of encouragement. This was alsobefore Bruce Dickinson had joined Samson and it was the show that gaverise to the term, " New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM for short). "Heavy metal was recharging and I wanted to be in on it. .



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