NEWS: LA Guns’ Phil Lewis weighs in on cancelled tour
“As the oft-used and oft-quoted maxim for assessing the obvious goes: “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it just may be a duck
About six months ago the band heard there was an Australian tour with Quiet Riot and Warrant being discussed and thought that’s nice and didn’t think to much more about it until two weeks before the tour when we were told that the other two bands had pulled out but we would still like to come over anyway. To be honest I don’t know why they decided not to go, obviously it had to do with money but we were only asking a fraction of what the other two bands were asking and the promoter admitted he couldn’t raise enough money to pay the headliners but the tickets were bought the rooms were booked and the pre sales were doing gangbuster’s . So given the choice of staying at home for two weeks or getting on the big Airbus 380 double decker with the bottomless bar we decided to go.
Fourteen hours later we land in Sydney with five hundred other pilgrims and wait in the rain for the promoter. “Wiggle”
Two hours later a big van arrives and we load up our gear and check in to a very nice hotel in the middle of the city with rooms overlooking the famous harbor with the bridge and magnificent opera house. We have a band promoter production meeting over lunch and discuss logistics equipment and promotion all the while there is national coverage of Justin Bieber all over the TV right above the mash potato. At this point everything seems fine. I’m not one to pass judgement on someone’s looks and their ability to perform a function but their shades of the movie ‘The hangover’ in the promoter and his partner but no worries as they say down under.
Later that evening we’re invited to dinner to meet the eight members of our crew who all turned out to be very nice and quite enthusiastic about the tour so nice in fact me, Scotty and Stacey decided we’d travel on the coach down to Melbourne leaving later that night rather than sensibly taking an early flight out the next morning. So we rush back to the hotel and repack our cases and wait for the bus to pick us up from the hotel. In the hour after leaving dinner and getting on the bus something bad went down. I have no idea but when we got back on board, there was so much tension in the air. It’s very hard to describe but within moments the promoter was raving and hissing at members of the crew that they were sacked and to get the fuck off his bus. I think at this point the crew were down to three. As we roll out the city and the night outside becomes inky, the promoter decides to challenge the remanding members of the crew to a full on bottle fight and threatens to cut out the sound man’s eyes with broken glass. For no explainable reason (Quack quack wiggle somethings fowl) we have a problem. The bus driver calls ahead to the police at the next freeway exit where the cops immediately arrest the ‘man in charge’ for drunken dissordley behavior and we leave him ranting curbside as we head on our long journey south. I woke up five hours later and looked out at a foggy etherial sunrise and was soon brought back down to earth by the broken glass and sticky carpet from last night’s festivities. It’s about another six miserable hours before we finally roll in to Melbourne only to be told that the venue refuses to let any equipment be set up on stage until they receive payment.
We are met at the hotel by the hero of this story Miss Kelli our publicist whose sole function was to get us much press and fanfare for the show as possible but at this point it’s screaming clear there is no show to talk about and although the hotel has been paid for in advance. We were at this point on our own. So quick as a flash Miss K works out several contingency plans and finally comes up with a solution and arranges us to play at the club that was hosting the after show party for the original concert. “Back in the Day” a cool little hole in the wall that oozes rock and roll and typical of the rooms we were raised in. A huge shout to Dean and his sister for working it out so quickly and just by word of mouth the place was packed an hour before we hit the stage.
It was a show I’ll never forget, the crowd was electric and after all we’d been through it was great to let off steam. We played that little stage like an arena and at that point the whole thing made sense until out of the corner of my eye I see a big afro white Aussie dude dive on stage and land directly on my dear friend Felice who chooses to roll in a chair and is subject to my highest protection. I don’t like stage diving and I don’t like moshing. Some bands might consider it a compliment but I don’t. I am very territorial about my stage space, I consider it sacred ground and while there is a ceremony taking place, the public should for their own protection or should remain off stage or I just might smack ‘em up side their head with my guitar. In an ironic twist, it turned out to be Felice’s date who was so overwhelmed that he threw himself before me like a fish splashing in a boat. Fortunately she agreed he was out of order and should have been kicked out. Fair dinkum as they say. Thank you good night.
Next day we wake in our five star inverted reality and realize we are marooned for the next thirteen days down under without a single show and no way of getting there even if we did ,so it’s fortunate that we catch the promoter’s partner about to check out the hotel and leave us stranded. At which point strongly suggest that for reasons of his health and well being he coughs up the 10k to change our flights back to LA on the same flight he’s on first thing next morning or the ill effects of gravity could work against him in the very near future.
So here I am sitting on the back of the big jet on the very last seats sold back to LA and they don’t even recline but that’s okay. We survived another skirmish lived to rock another day. Laughed in the face of adversity……….But I’d be lying if i said I wasn’t warned but the truth is I’d still go anyway. God bless the Aussies. Its great to be Home.”