09 Sep 1999 - Steve - Luxembourg
So .............. The next leg of the 'Ed Hunter tour, the European section and it starts for me by flying on a Monday night to Luxembourg to be met by our new tour manager Steve Cox. We were driven about an hour to Nancy where the next day will be production rehearsals and a 'get the rust out' run through of the set for us. I arrive in Luxembourg with a good song idea going through my head, mustn't forget it ........ keep repeating it ...... 'til I got it on tape. I must get the cassette recorder from my checked in bag, keep remembering it ........ suddenly I get distracted by Steve Cox ...... it's gone! Not his fault, he's not to know but I bet it doesn't come back ...... they usually don't! Oh well, it obviously wasn't meant to be. We drive the hour to Nancy through thunder storms talking about football ( Steve's a Villa fan) and I tell him how very lucky Villa were against West Ham to get a draw a couple of weeks back. We talk about years ago when Maiden beat Def Leppard 4 - 2 in Dortmond, Steve was working and playing for the Leps and ended up in a German hospital due to a first half clash with Dave Murray! We arrive at the hotel, have a couple of beers at the bar to finish off our conversation ..... then crash out.
The next day, we find out that Bruce, who's flying his plane from the States has had problems and is still only in Greenland and won't be making the rehearsals. So ...... we go through a four song instrumental before me and Nicko rush off to get the 3:52 train from Nancy to Paris. Dirty Deeds are headlining their first ever show outside the UK with Kick supporting, they're both Beast Records bands and I need to be there so we rush straight from the van through to the get the train ...... we JUST make it with 5 minutes to spare only because the train was delayed 5 minutes!
It's nice to relax on the train for the two and a half hour journey trading stories and the like, of our respective breaks of the last couple of weeks, due to our equipment being shipped from the States to Europe by sea. We arrive in Paris and jump in a cab to rush to our hotels ..... yeah I said hotels plural because we we're both staying in different hotels, more or less opposite each other in the same street. The band will all be in the same one as me but Nicko prefers the one he's in , we've stayed there before ..... and he likes it there so .... that's that ! We arrange to meet outside my hotel as it's a one way street and the car is already waiting outside to take us to the venue and Nick's hotel is the wrong way up the street. So, I check in, put my bags in the room, get ready quickly and go back down to the car and ...... NO NICKO! The car can't reverse all the way up the street ( if you've been to Paris you'll understand why ! ). So I run up to Nick's hotel to find out what the bloody hell he's doing as Kick are on at 7.30 and we've been told it's a good 20 minute drive away ...... so where is he ? Surprise, surprise he's changed hotel rooms. We finally rush to the venue in Montmartre and meet Tony Newton, the bass player from Deeds, outside the venue by a café where I'd arranged for him to meet us by phoning his mobile ...... handy things when you're in a rush .... especially for frying your brains. By the time we get there I'm thinking there's not much of mine left to fry ! Tony's arranged everything so we get in ok and go straight out front to watch Kick who are already 15 minutes into their 1 hour set and I'm thinking that I bet I've missed my two favourite songs of theirs already. As it turned out I only missed one, they played 'Breathless' later. The problem is, Nick and I get spotted and get mobbed, start signing a few autographs but because we don't want to disrupt Kick's set for them .... we make a hasty exit to the backstage promising to finish the signing session later.