Dee was a complex character, as mentioned before he had a history of alcohol & drug abuse, & had addictions to other things in his life. These issues plagued the rest of the band. Looking for an AA meeting in the middle Germany or Sweden at 07:00 was just some of the torments we had to endure with life on the road. He made our life hell sometimes, he would also fall in & out of love as quick as it would rain on a scottish hillside, this would drive us insane. He also had a good side to him too, but he had a manipulative side, & this was hard to bare. Does this excuse our behaviour? No, but life on the road is tough, & wind-ups will happen.
Craziness… After Copenhagen, we travelled to other cities in Scandinavia, & soon after we ended up in Uppsala, a rather beautiful swedish university city. The owner of the venue was Irish, & had a reputation for being a gobshite, so we weren’t sure about his part in the wind-up. As it happened our agent had already told him about it, so a plan was set.
Gav our fiddle player was enjoying his birthday on this day, & he had a friend studying chemistry at the university. She came to our soundcheck to say hi & had also been filled in with the ongoing events between Switzerland & Copenhagen. It seemed she had an idea.
Before the start of the gig, she arrived back at the venue, & gave Gav a small gift. ‘Happy birthday’ she said to him give him a hug. ‘Whats this’ said Gav, & as he opened it she said ‘it’s something new, we’ve been playing around with it, but keep it quiet please. Oh, there’s one each for you all. Yes, it was cake. Four little small white pills in a metal box. But what the hell were they? I asked, ‘salt tablets’ she whispered, just plain salt tablets.
She gave us instructions, ‘take it 15mins before going onstage, it’ll take 20mins to kick in’ & it should last for 30mins only, but you may feel a little down afterwords.
We did as instructed (pissing ourselves) & went onstage. Gordy was a great drummer, tight & always in time, he never needed a click-track except when we were recording. 25mins into the gig Gordy start speeding up, Dee turns round & looks at him with a stern face, Gav was a very unemotional fiddler, wonderful player, but never moved his body, ridged. He began moving, swaying as he bowed, Dee was amazed. I just started jumping to the speed that Gordy was playing as I played my bass & forgot about singing any backing vocals. Dee turned to Gordy & shouted, ‘I’m really high’. Cotcha!!!
The venues owner dragged us into his office after the gig, he told us that he knew were on something, closed the door quietly & asked if we were using Cake, & if so, could we get him some?
Dee stepped in & gave a lecture about the good feeling that Cake gives, how it’s made, & how difficult it was to get a hold of, but he would talk to Gav’s friend. How we kept a straight face, I will never know but this what we were used to. We waited to see what he was doing after the gig, so we could do the opposite, which was find a club & laugh until it hurt.
To be continued… Helsinki & home-of-the-opathy