Back in Blighty after a great few weeks in Australia.
Duran Duran 'mania' is starting to reach it's heights now and we end up doing five sold out shows at Wembley Arena and at the same time become the first band to perform with live video screens indoors.
Now that has an interesting story of it's own......
It was great to be back home but in reality I wasn't home yet. The first half of this leg of the tour was in hotels in the North and as we came down toward London we had about a week or so in London before we stopped for Christmas. I didn't mind though as we stayed in great hotels and in London at one of the finest, The Savoy... But lets take a little hotel tour of this UK itinerary. We started with our first show up in Manchester staying at The Britannia Hotel. There was no arena in Manchester at this time so we played two nights at the Apollo as it was called then.
We carried on north and played in Leeds but didn't stay there, we voted to move even further north after the show to Newcastle and stayed at a favourite hotel of the time for bands, The Gosforth Park Hotel. The reason being, Andy had bought into and was opening a bar called Rio in Whitley Bay and so we went by the bar on our way to the next gig in Edinburgh on December 9th.
Then we stayed for two nights just outside Edinburgh at the Dalhousie Castle Hotel, a fabulous restored castle, I loved it.
Back down south after the big show at the Royal Highland Exhibition Centre we are back to the Queens Hall, Leeds but again don't stay there. The next four nights are at The Plough and Harrow just outside the town centre.
Just two more hotels before we were all going to get to sleep in our own beds for Christmas, in Brighton the famous Brighton Grand Hotel, later to be blown up by the IRA.
Finally, getting to London and staying at the amazing Savoy Hotel London for the rest of the tour. I have to say, what lovely staff they were there too, just lovely.
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
What a great bunch we had for crew on this tour. I thought they all rose to the occasion and this was the band's most successful UK tour of their careers to date, no it was the the most successful, full stop, thanks guys and girls xxx An honour
Micky Bucket on the right here, was our coach driver. He was one of the top Len Wright coach drivers and very well respected. Micky worked with me again on the 1986 Supertramp European tour, which is where this picture was taken. Len Wright coaches though were a legend, Len was actually the first driver Supertramp ever had in the UK and at the time was a paid driver by the London Bus Company, a part of the government controlled bus fleet of the UK. Len was to become the first private music business coach operator, originally starting off with day buses, with and without tables, and by the mid eighties, also providing sleeper buses with up to 12 bunk beds on board each bus.
On this tour we had three buses, one day bus for the band, and two sleeper buses for the crew.
Click title or image to play
Some time during my setting up this UK tour before Christmas, I had heard that The Police were bringing their live video production to Wembley for their shows after Christmas. They were going to perform 5 shows from Boxing Day, after we had performed 5 shows before Christmas day.
It was Pat Morrow of the video rental company Nocturn, from the west coast of America who contacted me and asked if he could quote for our up and coming US tour at the beginning of 1984. Knowing the management of The Police, and after asking the Berrow Brothers and band if they'd like me to try, I suggested we share the cost of the equipment and use it in our shows too. I explain a little more in the above audio clip.....
It was during the break at Christmas that the guys went over to France to film the video for this track above. This the live version from the UK tour. I meanwhile flew to New York to finish off setting up what was to become the band's biggest and most famous tour of their lives.