Friday, July 21, 2006

The End of the Road...

Keep right on to the end of the road
Keep right on to the end
Though the way be long, let your heart be strong,
Keep right on round the bend
Though you're tired and weary, still journey on
'Till you come to your happy abode
Where all you love and you're dreaming of
Will be there at the end of the road

Today marks the anniversary of a very sad day in the history of Seany. I have eluded to this story very briefly before, but I feel today is a fitting day for the full version. It was on this day, 22 years ago (gulp) that I faced a journey to Milton Keynes Bowl to watch my rock heroes perform live on stage for the very last time.

We had always planned to see them again after enjoying their show so much a couple of years earlier, but when Status Quo announced that although they wanted to carry on recording, this would be their last ever tour, we were understandably mortified. It was indeed time for drastic action and we decided to get ourselves to as many dates on the tour as was possible given available funds at the time (which strangely enough don't seem to have changed much in 22 years despite my salary being significantly different).

Obviously, the entire tour was considerably bigger, but we made it to the following dates:
Tuesday 5th June - De Montfort, Leicester
Tuesday 19th June - Bridlington Spa
Wednesday 20th June - Bridlington Spa (yes, the next night!)
Saturday 14th July - Selhurst Park (Farewell London Concert)
Saturday 21st July - Milton Keynes Bowl (Farewell C0ncert)

As part of the souvenir campaign I kept my tickets and picked up the tour programme, at least 5 t-shirts and a tour jacket; all of which I still have today and are for the best part in excellent condition. Maybe worth something one day I suppose.

We'd seen some interesting support acts along the way too:
Chas n Dave - real good fun & know how to get a crowd singing
Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul - hmmm...
Phil Lynot's Grand Slam - very good but I wish I'd seen Thin Lizzy
Dave Edmunds - another hero ticked on my "must see" list
Jason & the Scorchers - hmmm...
Nazareth - great live band
Gary Glitter - superb entertainer, despicable individual
Marillion - to my mind at their best with Fish (and I've seen both)

The farewell concert itself sticks in my mind as if it were yesterday. The air heavy with emotion and anticipation, not to mention the smell of denim, leather, sweat, beer & juana marrows. The background music stopped (always heavy metal for some reason) and we heard the now familiar pom-pom-pom-pom intro to the End of the Road song. Then the bright blue spotlight appeared to the left of the stage, in steps Rick Parfitt and away he goes, hammering out the opening chords to Caroline. Everyone goes crazy and quite rightly - cue one of the best rock sets of all time. In the later numbers we realised that the enormous speaker stacks and the stage were surrounded by lights spelling out the letters Q-U-O. Obligatory fireworks to finish and quite frankly, it's no surprise the video went on to be the fastest selling music video - everyone wanted to keep a bit of that forever.

Excellent concert indeed.
Of course, I've seen them perform live half a dozen times since...


delcatto said...

Rock on!
Little Steven & the...absolute shite live.I saw them once in London and even a lot of tequila didn't help.

Gary Glitter...great show with Tenpole Tudor in support: Eddie Tudor stood beside us for the GG show.You're right, a despicable individual.

Do you plan to see Quo play live in the future?

delcatto said...

GG is the despicable individual not Mr.Tenpole!

Cherrypie said...

They're playing in Hull at the City Hall on 1 Dec. I just noticed today. How funny you should have written this post at the same time.

Seany said...

I was talking to Em a while ago about their forthcoming gig at Lincoln Castle on August Bank Holiday. Problem is,I'm a superstitious sod and having seen them 12 times, I'm reluctant to go to a 13th!

Em said...

Oh come on. You know you want to.

Fil said...

Guess we can't knock Quo for the "we aint touring again" ploy way back when aye ...what a commercial winner...and how it worked lol !