Dear Live Music Fan
This will be the only e-mail sent this week and I am sending it
earlier than usual in the hope of drumming up some extra bodies for
John Otway on Sunday 19th February as whilst it is not looking like
a disaster an extra 40 or so would make a lot of difference.
SUNDAY 19th FEBRUARY - JOHN OTWAY
THIS IS A VERY EARLY START AT 7 pm.
John Otway returns to Ruislip with a fairly unusual show and not one
he does that often, Otway: The Movie, followed by Otway: The Gig.
Settle down in your seat for a 7 p.m. showing of "Rock and Roll's
Greatest Failure - Otway The Movie". This is the story of John's
trials and tribulations throughout his musical career and will no
doubt include in it the famous moment when, whilst on The Old Grey
Whistle Test, he managed to land on his...ahem...nether regions
astride an amplifier.
John Otway is the sort of person everyone should see once. I
certainly regret not seeing some people and bands perform when,
perhaps, I had the chance. Look how popular Michael Jackson became
after his death...and yes I can say I did see him live. Did I enjoy
the experience? No I did not. But see him I did. So I will sleep
better in my bed tonight knowing I had the experience.
Here is a (slightly edited) review I found on the Internet from
Cult music legend John Otway has made a career out of being the
greatest example of how to be a failure. And he’s far from being
done yet with plans to release his first Christmas song.
You've got to have a good sense of humour to happily declare
yourself ‘Rock and Roll’s Greatest Failure’, and John Otway has it
But he’s the one having the last laugh because his life has been
turned into a critically-acclaimed movie, aptly-named Otway the
“I’ve been very, very busy this year,” says John during a brief
break between dates.
“It’s been quite good fun going from a pop star to a movie star.
It’s what I’ve wanted to do from the age of 10, but it’s just taken
me longer than expected.
“I’ve always had the ambition to turn my life into a movie and I’ve
ended up having to make it myself. I got fed up waiting for anyone
“I started making it about three or four years ago to mark my 60th
John, now 62, has never been one to let his birthday milestones be
uneventful occasions. To celebrate his 50th, John had a top 10 hit,
giving him his second chart success.
“It’s just a shame they were 25 years apart,” says John with a
“I call them the hitless years! The first was Really Free in 1977
and the second was when my fans got together to give me another hit
for my 50th to take me out of that one hit wonder bracket.
“No one thought I would be able to beat that – but I have. I booked
the Odeon in Leicester Square, the largest cinema in the country,
and the ticket money paid for me to make a movie of my life to mark
“We filmed everyone arriving and walking on the red carpet and while
the film was being shown it was being edited to add seamlessly onto
the end for the climax of the movie.”
It charts the all-too-frequent lows and spasmodic highs of John’s
ongoing quest for stardom. Guardian readers voted the film the
Second Best Movie of 2013, second only to Oscar winner Gravity.
It features classic archive film and TV footage, plus interviews
from family and antagonists universal in their estimation of his
“I have always insisted someone follow me around with a camera when
I thought I was being clever,” reveals John.
“I thought it would be useful one day.
“I was stage struck from an early age. I probably didn’t have much
talent but I always knew I wanted to be a pop singer. When I was 16
my mum finally let me have a guitar which I played really bad.
“I had a series of jobs before I started making a living from music,
and I can’t think of any other reason than determination why it
Perhaps fate also lent a helping hand by forging a partnership in
1976 with Willy Barrett, a musical prodigy from a young age.
John recalls: “I went to see a fortune teller when I was 18 and she
said I would have a lot of success with a blonde haired musician and
Willy was the only one I could think of. It was destiny.”
What the fortune teller failed to predict was the turbulent
relationship the two would endure.
When times got tough they did re-unite for short periods of time,
but any sustained partnership was usually curtailed by unreasonable
behaviour by one of the parties.
Typical examples were Willy writing a song called Give It Headbutts
which required him to bang John’s head against the microphone in
time to the music, and John recording a solo album called All Balls
and No Willy.
In the past few years they have reunited for a few short tours, if
only to prove that nothing much has changed.
“When we were younger we were both very ambitious and looked at each
other as a stepping stone to get where we were going,” explains
John. “That’s why we were not very nice to each other.
“Within a year we went from playing to 10 people in a pub to being
on Top of the Pops. Willy lived up the road from me and he wouldn’t
normally work with me, but he was a good musician and I was a show
“The name Wild Willy came from a long argument about whose name
should go first. We agreed to add ‘wild’ to his if I went first.”
In the midst of Britain’s Seventies punk revolution, John had his
first hit. It was also when 5.5 million viewers watched him land
painfully on his testicles during a TV appearance.
The years that followed might not have been full of highs but
failure has its rewards and it has kept John in the spotlight for 35
“I’ve always gone for the joke and there’s something nice about the
ability to make someone laugh. It’s more about fun than being
“The live shows have always been popular and supply me with a
living. In 1998 I performed at the Royal Albert Hall so it’s not a
career that has been consistently bouncing along the bottom. I’ve
had moments but not the hits and that’s how you define pop stars.”
Those magical moments include over-the-top projects which, among
others, garnered him status as The Nation’s Seventh Favourite
Lyricist in a BBC poll.
“It’s amazing what you can achieve and how badly it can go wrong,”
Always on the look out for a new challenge, he reveals his next
mission is to have a Christmas number one. His inspiration is the
Sinclair C5 – a small one-person battery electric vehicle built in
1985. It became known as “one of the great marketing bombs of
postwar British industry” and a “notorious ... example of failure”.
John says: “I’ve never gone for the Christmas market. There is a
nice symmetry between the car and me – rock and roll’s greatest
failure! I’m going to get a reindeer to pull me along in a Sinclair
C5 in the video.”
FRIDAY 24th FEBRUARY -RAINBOW IN ROCK
(This is actually a repeat of what I wrote last week)
This five piece play tribute to the very best music of Deep Purple
Featuring established and talented musicians from across London and
the Home Counties they play all time classics as well as a few
surprises to really get the audience going. Having honed their craft
over many years in some of the hardest working bands in the country
these guys have finally come together to bring you Rainbow in Rock.
The band include in their line up Tamas on vocals who will also be
gracing the stage later in the year in Logicaltramp.
What people say about Rainbow in Rock:
"Rainbow In Rock (a new band formed from members of Stargazer) are
still the best band on the circuit playing Deep Purple and Rainbow
classics and tonight was no exception. Classics like 'Burn' and
'Child In Time' and lesser heard songs such as 'Stone Cold' added up
to a superlative set that was pitched and performed perfectly" - Liz
Medhurst - Metaltalk Magazine
"We were really keen to have these guys play at Legends of Rock.
They filled the place as always and performed a great set going down
an absolute storm. We didn't hang about and have already booked them
again for next year which will definitely keep the punters happy!" -
Eddie Yates - Promoter (was he not also the dustman on Coronation
“No gimmicks here, just solid musicianship from the band overlaid
with the fantastic voice of a great front man" - RC - Lemonrock
So, lovers of Rainbow and Deep Purple book now at http://www.tropicatruislip.co.uk/ebook/index.htm
SATURDAY 25th FEBRUARY - ENDORPHINMACHINE (Prince Tribute)
(This is actually a repeat of what I wrote last week)
Tropic gig number 500! A real milestone and what a band to celebrate
it with us.
You can love him, you can hate him, but NO ONE could ignore Prince.
One of the most prolific and controversial musical icons of all
time, it seems there's nothing this man could not do. And because
there was only one PRINCE, there's only one Prince tribute band,
The nine piece Endorphinmachine is made up of some of the UK's top
session musicians who all have one thing in common, a love of the
music of the artist formerly known as Prince. This love is clear to
see, and of course hear when the band perform. Fast becoming known
as 'the tightest live band out there, they play with a passion that
is undeniable, you won't believe your ears once the music starts.
With complimentary comments being made across the pond by no less
than several ex Prince band members, you just KNOW this band are
The vocalist has even been accused of miming to the 'real thing',
but I can assure you, there is NO miming! Just jaw breaking high
notes, high screams and high heels, wailing guitar solos, linn
drums, loops, funky funky bass, live brass, and that famous 'purple'
sense of humour.
Only Endorphinmachine have the audacity, and the musicianship to do
justice to the music of the purple genius, it all comes together in
an incredible onstage explosion of hits, from the floor shaking
1999, through the era defining soundtrack from the movie Purple
Rain, right through the hits of the 90s, and beyond. One thing is
for sure, you better bring your comfortable shoes, because you WILL
Sadly Prince died back in April 2016, trust me this is the nearest
you are going to get to seeing him these days, (if only the singer
was not quite so tall).
An astonishing band, but sadly unless we pack the place out I would
suggest this could be their swansong at Tropic....so you know what
to do. Book now at http://www.tropicatruislip.co.uk/ebook/index.htm
and bring all your friends!!!
(From here on this is new stuff!)
LOOKING FURTHER AHEAD
FRIDAY 3rd MARCH - GUITAR LEGENDS
It is always nice to welcome new bands to Tropic' and this could be
seen as a step away from the norm as they are not an original band
NOR are they a tribute band, some could look at what they offer and
say they are a covers band....but really they are not that either.
The 'Guitar Legends' will mesmerise you with the some of the
Greatest Guitar Hits of all time...
From the early 1950's, right up to the present day Guitar Legends.
Featuring tracks from the Worlds most Legendary Guitarists: Jimi
Hendrix, Eric Clapton, BB King, Brian May, Carlos Santana, Van Halen
and many many more....
We can expect the likes of:-
Fire - Jimi Hendrix
Paint it Black - Rolling Stones
Apache - The Shadows
Route 66 - Chuck Berry
Thrill Has Gone - BB King
Pride and Joy - Stevie Ray Vaughan
Layla - Derek and the dominos
Smoke on the Water - Deep Purple
Rocky Mountain Way - Joe Walsh
Waiting for and Alibi - Thin Lizzy
Parisienne Walkways - Gary Moore
Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin
Kashmir - Led Zeppelin
Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd
Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix Smooth - Santana
Hold the line - Toto
Sweet Child O'Mine - Guns & Roses
Jump - Van Halen
Enter Sandman - Metalica
Beat IT - Michael Jackson
Trooper - Iron Maiden
Freebird - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Hotel California - The Eagles
All Right Now - Free
Money for nothing - Dire Straits
Whole Lotta Rosie - AC/DC
Walk this way - Aerosmith
Brick in the wall - Pink Floyd
Substitute - The Who
So I think we can say something for everyone!
Book now at http://www.tropicatruislip.co.uk/ebook/index.htm
Not very much to report other than to say that if you fancy coming
to see Absolute Bowie on 10th March then you should really book very
soon as is looks like selling out.
Paul Young returned to us with his band Los Pacaminos and were, as
usual, thoroughly entertaining. A polished show if ever there was
one, so polished in fact they even asked me to stay off the stage
There is no date in the diary for Los Pacaminos to return, but I do
hope they will and thanks to everyone that came along to see them
and especially those who presented at the door with the correct
money to come in, you have no idea how much that small gesture
I think that is all - see you for John Otway - JUST DON'T MISS HIS