Here is the latest news, not quite hot off the press, as I
have been very busy recording new albums with both UFO and PRP,
but I hope you enjoy catching up with what has been happening
in UFO land!
Back in August we played at the Dolina Charlotty Resort &
Spa in Slupsk, Poland, the fans there were terrific, they kept
calling us “Rock Legends” which was very gratifying
– but makes you realize how old you are!
The following day we were scheduled to play at a festival in
Norway – but unfortunately shortly beforehand, the whole
country had gone into mourning over the tragic car bomb attack
and shooting of over 70 young people, by some crazy guy with
an assault rifle. Understandable that going to a rock gig was
not at the forefront of people’s minds right then, and
the gig had to be cancelled.
In September we went back on the road in the USA – this
time to the West Coast, starting in Santa Rosa on the 15th.
This was a pretty long day, as Phil and I had just flown in
from the UK the previous day and we had a photo shoot for the
new album in San Francisco in the morning and drove up to Santa
Rosa straight afterwards for a sound check in the afternoon.
The photo shoot went very well. Pat the photographer had a very
easy, relaxed manner and told jokes constantly. He kept us laughing
throughout, hence the very happy looking UFO in the pictures.
We drove all the way to Portland in Oregan for one show, which
is quite a way from our previous gig in Santa Clara. Usually,
if we travel that far north, there are gigs in Seattle and Spokane,
but I guess the good folks of Seattle have all the noisy rock
bands they can handle?!!
Boulder Station Casino, near Vegas was outstanding as usual.
This venue has become a frequent stop off on the way to Los
Angeles, and it is always sold out. The people there are just
fantastic. I remember we soundchecked “Try Me” in
the afternoon, but never played it – I guess it was regarded
a little too low-key on the night as the audience there get
On to L.A. and the Key Club show for which I turned up about
2½ hours too early as I was staying in a separate hotel
from the other guys. Due to a lack of cell phone signal there
was a communication breakdown between me and the tour manager
and unknown to me, the show time had been revised! Phil’s
nephew Nigel Mogg (ex-Quireboys) made a welcome appearance in
the dressing room and helped fill in the time with some witty
banter – Splendid Chap. Shame he didn’t make it
back after the show – rumour has it he was thrown out
for fighting... must be in the genes!!!
The next day was a day off. Time to get the laundry done –
oh, the glamorous life of rock n roll! In the evening I attended
a friend’s birthday dinner to which my first wife and
family were also invited. When we split up in the 80s we were
living in L.A. My ex-wife, daughter and step-daughter continued
to live there but I (sadly) returned to the UK. The big reunion
took place at a fabulous Japanese restaurant near the Magic
Castle called Yamashiro. It was the first time we had all had
a chance to properly relax and socialize together and it was
a really fun night.
The following night in Ventura, the same gang pitched up for
the show – including my two grandchildren, Devin and Fiona.
Devin being 8 years old was totally enraptured, rocking out
through the whole show – he got a T-shirt from Kate our
lovely merch lady and apparently slept in it and went to school
the next day still wearing it – that’s dedication
for you! Fiona, being that bit younger at 6, got to about 10pm
and fell asleep, missing virtually the entire show – she
was carried up to the dressing room afterwards, and didn’t
even open an eyelid – bless her! Next time maybe….
On to Fresno, and the Warnor Theatre. This is a beautiful venue
from another age, built in the 1920s I believe. There were so
many dressing rooms we each had our own! The road crew put signs
on each door so we would know who each one had been assigned
to - as you can see in the pictures below. Our tour manager
Charlie Lewis and I had a drink with the staff after the show.
Apparently the recession has hit Fresno so badly that the theatre
is under threat of the bulldozer. Charlie was so upset he wanted
to buy the place, bless him. Let’s hope it doesn’t
come to that. I know how he feels, there are so many similar
historic venues in the UK that have fallen into disrepair or
are surviving by the skin of their teeth – very sad.
Moving on again, this time to San Juan Capistrano. Wonderful,
loyal fans here – the venue was packed out – and
Rob de Luca just couldn’t resist a bit of table dancing
– stepping off the stage and tiptoeing between the beer
bottles onto the tables in the front row! During the day I took
a short trip down the road to Dana Point and had a great lunch
at a restaurant on the marina. We took a stroll afterwards and
came across a cute little boat with the fantastic name of “Captain
Rehab”! Wonder who owns that?!
El Paso, Texas. Having toured for this long, you would have
thought I would have got my head around time changes. So there
I am, wrapped in a hotel towel, watching TV when I get a text
from Andy. “Where are you? We are all waiting in the lobby!”
Next was Dallas, our hotel turned out to be just two blocks
away from Dealey Plaza, so I just couldn’t resist going
to see the historic place of JFK’s assassination. In the
past it had always seemed to be the other side of town and I
had never visited it before. It was fascinating to be there
– the book depository was in front of me just as I had
seen it many times on TV. I have my own theories as to what
actually happened on that fateful day – as I do love a
good conspiracy theory!
San Antonio was a lot of fun, as we were sharing the bill with
Dio Disciples and as everyone knows, their drummer is my old
mate Simon Wright. Simon has filled in for Andy numerous times
over the years and we have a very special friendship. I enjoyed
their show very much, Toby Jepson and Tim “Ripper”
Owens did a great job – more power to them for keeping
Ronnie’s legacy alive.
My most recent news comes from Celle, near Hannover in Germany,
working on the new UFO album “Seven Deadly” with
Tommy Newton. Tommy has a new studio which has an indoor swimming
pool. The idea of putting Andy’s drum kit in the swimming
pool for added ambiance was really great. Let’s hope he
remembered to drain the water out first! All is sounding terrific.
Especially after Tommy introduced me to a fantastic all-valve
amp by a small, independent German manufacturer called “Felleretta”.
Wow – this amp literally blew me away – so much
so, I decided to have one myself. Andi Feller, the owner of
the company kindly agreed a deal with me – so next time
I am on the road in Europe, I will have this amp with me. Apart
from sounding great, all his amps are uniquely styled, mine
is covered with black snakeskin leather – but some of
his other creations are literally out-of-this-world. Check out
- you will be amazed!
Subsequently, Andy Simmons and I had another 4 days of mixing
PRP’s new album, “Terms & Conditions Apply”.
As Andy now lives in the woolly wilds of Scotland, and I have
been touring, no work has been done on it for some time apart
from Michael Schenker kindly agreeing to put a guitar solo on
one of the tracks, which I think is outstanding. Andy and I
have now contributed extra material which has been penned along
the way – we actually now have enough songs for a double
album but have decided on 14 tracks which we both agree are
“no-filler, killer songs”. Watch this space for
further details – it shouldn’t be too much longer.
Best wishes to you all for the festive season, thanks for your
continued loyal support and hope to see you in 2012!
CLICK ON EACH OF THE PHOTOS FOR THE LARGER IMAGE
room - Fresno
San Juan Capistrano
Paul with Felleretta
Paul & Felleretta
Amp at Area 51
Paul at JHS
using Image Gallery Maker