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Three Imaginary Weeks

The 2nd Week

Melody Maker 1987.5.30[27k]

Saturday 21 March

Up 'Clean' at 12. Hot and...
We do several more interviews and photos before returning through a growing crowd outside to the 'Gigantinho'. We run through some obscure old songs, and some savagely under-rehearsed new ones, before settling down for the wait, Marc Almond and some 'Washboard Rhythm Kings' helps us to kill it, before we walk back out again at nine.
If anything, the response is even more manic than the night before, most of the audience correcting me as I forget the words to 'The Blood'. We have oxygan before the encores and I counter them with 'Why Can't I Be You?' "Ha ha - got you all there" I whisper as I float back down into the coach, and a siren escort whisks us home. After a shower and a beer I snap back on - and Shirley Bassey and Nancy Sinatra sing into the night; but I am gorgeously oblivious by four...


The wake-up thudding on the door starts at 11 and continues remorselessly until my emergence at one. It is hot and dreadfully sunny. Seeing Lol over coffee however cheers us all up, and we sign autographs spiritedly outside for an hour. Then we jump back on the bus and again drive bouncily back to the airport. There is a delay during which Roy Walker runs us through his 'My wife's a red head, no hair, just a red head' chestnuts over a Sunday lunchtime pint before... "We are flying down to Rio"...
We arrive at 6.30pm and go by car to our new home - The Copacabana Beach Hotel, a very posh building indeed, and one which serves to emphasise chillingly the poverty we have seen on our drive from the airport.
We eat thoughtfully before the cocktail bar erodes the pictures of dirt, and end up talking about the world in Simon's room.


I blink in to the day with an awesome hangover, and remain convinced that my drinks were messed with... I am chewing aspirin when a softly knock on my door announces Undy, Porl's partner in Parched Art, who has been flown in by Polydor to show us the pre-final-and-very-fab new album artwork for approval, and to also take some pictures.
We talk about the weather, and his ludicrous shorts, before I am summoned to join the others for another press conference. This one however is dire, full of dreadful po-faced seriously confrontational NME style tossers, armed with pages of old quotes and nonsense. We terminate hurriedly, and go outside for some air, I then conduct a very entertaining samba group for a while, before concluding the afternoon with an interview for BEST magazine, one of the most interesting I have done.
The evening is spent at the 'Bizz' Brazilian music awards, a shambles of an event where we manage to walk away with the 'Best Overseas Act' award, a garish neon statuette that doesn't work, before returning to end the day in the hotel bar. A quiet celebration slips slowly upstairs for four...


Hot and dreadfully up at 12. We mooch through nutters to the beach, and stand as happy as vampires while Undy clicks. Having kicked goodbye, we flee to the airport where there is once again, a draining delay. We have a brief confrontation with Ed Greek, his son spoiled Bastard, and their dog Johnny Jumble, before boarding what we are told is a plane but what actually turns out to be a 36,000 ft roller-coaster ride. We finally land in Belo Horizonte, and discover no bus, so we wait once more in the bar. Finally getting to the hotel at 7pm. I immediately ordered an iced cervezo, a slice of pizza, and a Portuguese dubbed Hammer horror film on the telly. The others slip out to gorge, but manage to have their rooms burgled while away... I am not unhappy to find myself suddenly asleep, dreaming I am a child-minder...


Hot up and dreadful at 12.30. I read 'Candide' until four and then slink down to the bus: there is little surprise when minutes into our journey it breaks down. We decide to co-erce some bemused locals into driving us to the venue, and so "Esto love to takee Curee to Mineirinho Olymnasium" coos Billy stupidly in a nearby garage forecourt. To our complete surprise there are no shortage of offers, and we arrive backstage grandly in VW Beetle, A Ford Escort, and a mini! The hall is an immense air-hangar replete with a seven second echo, and a soundcheck is considered hopeless: so Porl skateboards, Lol smokes, Simon talks, and I watch, as Boris tries to maim-a-local with his newly acquired 'Bolas'. The Pogues are carousing merrily from the PA as the doors open and the stampede starts, and by 9.30 there over 20,000 people crammed inside. We play deliriously once more in over 100 degrees of heat, but the crowd, not surprisingly, begin to fade. Bodies are carried out by the hundred, but the survivors are still chanting madly as we run away.
We have sandwiches, beer and 'The Deerhunter' back in Bill's room, and agree it has been another 'funny' day...
As I lay in bed, I wonder why I feel I can hold onto nothing solidly here...


Overca... hot and dreadfully sunny ...and much to the chagrin of the 'Well-oiled-machine', we decide to travel back to Rio by bus! Upping fast at one we are moving by two, and weaving well into the jungle by three. We stop at Congonhas at four, and are delighted by a hundred miles of jungle from a church in the sun on a mountain top with children and balmy and quiet and very very far away... So we photograph and breathe and regretfully part at six.
There is a growing murmur of hunger which is quietened at seven in the rough charm (?) of the 'TIA PANGA TIA PANGA' RESTAURANT(?) where we settle adventurously on chips, mayonnaise and beer...
Then we get shamefully back on the bus at eight, and enter a twilight zone : the jungle is overwhelming - dense and noisy and big - and the journey becomes quite surreal...
I sit murmuring in the back with Simon and Boris, until Lol wakes suddenly sweating, cigaretteless, and very very sour. The bus bounces into Rio with Simon having managed to carpet his entire house from the sale of one very old squashed 'Major', and almost at the point of acquiring a day of Tolhurstian servitude for a second. I console him with a quick reminder that we own him anyway, and bed is received at midnight.
To-day we saw Brazil.


A refreshed 12, and after a serene three hour poolside Bizz interview over oranges, off to the 'Maracanzinho' (Little Maracana) for a soundcheck. It takes us over an hour to drive the couple of miles there, due to the sub-Italian state of roaduser awareness, and we are rushed to combat another seven second echo. As the audience starts to enter and grow, we go back to the bus for some peace and home on the range, but merely argue hopelessly about the correct words to various old folk songs. So we dress up to thrill, turn out the lights, and run out in front - and are stunned. It is bedlam! The 14,000 howling Brazilians we are faced with use their feet, hands, voices, lighters and heads in a bewildering synchronised welcome that looks like a sea of living fire fish and sounds like a million crickets!
The two hour show is a blur, and I am out on the balcony listening to Suzanne Vega at midnight, wondering if any of it was real. I venture down to the beachfront bar to be convinced, and only turn out the light when the sun smiles...

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