|| Download Festival 2009
Welcome to the Download 2009 section!
This is where you can read about and see what Krusher got up to at Download Festival 2009 at Donington Park.
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DOWNLOAD PART II
“Good morning, Krusher!” Mr.G sounds hideously fresh, chirpy
and wide awake as he opens the front door of the car and lets in some
refreshing air that gently blows away the stench of stale beer farts,
wrapped, comfortingly around me, and hands me a can of cold Red
I slowly uncoil from my foetal position, turn over, not only to endure the
torture of the backseat safety belts once more trying to rupture my kidneys
but also, when finally I manage to open one of my rainbow coloured,
bloodshot eyes, I’m almost blinded by the bright, bright, cloudless blue
sky Sun God which has slowly been trying to cook me since it rose above the
I manage to extricate myself from the car-oven and stretch my weary bones.
They crack loudly, but not as loudly as the crack of the Red Bull can as I open
it. I take a hearty swig and find the necessary medication to ease my aches
“So where the fuck did you get to last night?” I asked like a concerned
parent, skinning up the first of the day. “I didn’t get a wink’s
sleep worrying where you’d got to.” I didn’t mention that the seat
belts were the major cause of that and took another hearty swig of Bull’s
“Oh, I slept in Opeth’s dressing room,” he replies.
I spray the Red Bull like an olde fashioned fertilising machine all over
the joint I’m rolling, my feet and quite a bit of the car parked next to
us, which thankfully isn’t occupied.
“Opeth’s fucking dressing room!! What, did they offer it to you?”
“No! No! I just found it empty and made myself at home,” he offers as
some kind of rational explanation.
“For fuck's sake, tell me you didn’t smash it up?” I knew, that if
that was the case, we’d be getting our coats.
“No! No! I made a bit of a mess with empty beer cans and a few skins, but
nothing that the two ladies who woke me at eight took umbrage with.”
“Two ladies who woke you at eight, how could you do that? You’ve got a
goddamn girlfriend!” I spluttered.
“No! No! They were staff, checking out the dressing rooms before
today’s 43 bands descend on them. How dare you question my loyalty to the
I raised an eyebrow and enquired, “Was it comfortable?”
“Very nice indeed, thank you for asking.”
I lit the joint, took another swig of Red Bull and farted!
Another start to another perfect day, I could feel it in my water, so I
went and took a much needed piss in the hedge, like a true gentleman, then
returned to the car for toothpaste on Fig Roll, to freshen my stinking gob.
Then, the plan was to ride our chariots down to the quaint and picturesque
village of Donington on a raping and pillaging mission… no, actually now
I think about it, we took the car and went to find a cash machine and some
Both were achieved at the local Co-op, where Mr.G returns with not only
wads of cash and a small machete firmly clenched between his teeth, but
also an Angus Beef, with savoury tomatoes, rocket and mustard on grain
bread sandwich for me. It seemed like a good idea when I asked for it, but
now it was right in front of me I decided to save it for later.
Mission accomplished, we headed gently out of the sleepy village, me
screaming at Mr.G that there really is such a thing called the speed limit
and he was not observing it. He laughed heartily as we passed the sleepy
festival goers, who were gently staggering in to sample full English
breakfasts which seemed to be available at most of the pubs that were open
at this ungodly hour.
Residents of Donington village I salute you for your understanding of when
there’s a fast buck to be had!!!
Arrive back at the media/guest car park and park near a telegraph pole,
thinking this will be some kind of beacon to guide us safely back to the
car when the Sun God has descended, not realizing that someone would have
to set it ablaze if this idea was to work.
As we head down to the guest area I scour the itinerary for today and see
there are quite a few bands that I’d like to catch including Black
Spiders who had been kind enough to invite me to come and watch their set
as I was staggering around the guest area the night before. When I found
out they were playing at 12.35, on the Tuborg Stage, and realised that we
had to pass the Jaegermeister refreshment area… cough… it seemed like a
nice way to ease into the day.
I also wanted to see Lawnmower Deth, Thunder (today’s surprise special
band on the Tuborg Stage), Static X, Prodigy, Ripper Owens, in fact more or
less everyone apart from Marilyn Manson, who was playing the main stage.
But top of the pile was Down, who I knew would deliver a set of dirty,
heavy, stoned rumbles with master of stage control, Philip H. Anselmo,
providing vocals of the most astonishingly brutal kind, and of course, me
old mates Slipknot. Mr.G wanted to see Thunder, The Answer, Anvil,
Dragonforce and Down and several others on Saturday’s excellent bill.
As we entered the guest area, my head was spinning and my legs started
trembling at the thought of having to walk to and from the various stages
in this abominable heat.
It was 10.45 in the morning and my body had already had enough, and double
arsechickens, I’d left my sarnie in the boot of the car. There was no
other alternative - I had to find alcohol.
Pint in hand, I thought it would be a good idea to have a quick scout
around the dressing rooms whilst it was still relatively quiet before the
storm and check out where Down were making camp for the day. On my
investigations I stumble across, into, the exclusive portaloo outside
Monsieur Manson’s dressing room, destined only to have the great god of
fuck’s fat arse descend on it. ‘MANSON ONLY’ and ‘MANSON
RESTROOM’ read the signs and I have my first really wholesome laugh of
the day. Can’t wait to see what other mere mortals make of it.
Scouting mission done and the roar of Ripper Owens’ intro blares forth
from the main stage. It’s 11.00am and time to find me a comfortable sofa
in the artistes/guests area where I can watch Ripper let loose, which he
most certainly does in a truly heroic metal stylee, and cheerily I raise my
pint and toast him and his band.
I think Mr.G might have actually gone to watch him from the arena as he
seems to have gone AWOL, but I can’t be sure as I keep nodding off, and
that’s meant as no disrespect to Ripper, who is doing a fooookin’ fine
job of waking me from my slumbers and stopping myself dribbling into my
beard and pint, with stonking versions of ‘The Ripper’, ‘Burn In
Hell’ and a masterful cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Green Manalishi (With
The Two-Pronged Crown)’ that revives me to full attentiveness just in
time for Mr.G’s return as the set ends.
Next mission is to get from Artistes/Guest area to the Tuborg Stage via the
Jaegermeister tent/lorry/stage, or whatever it is that those giant, Jaeger
inflatables, grandly sway from in the slight breeze, and with a good 50 odd
minutes to complete the task we head forth into the arena, Five Finger
Death Punch blasting furiously into the back of my head.
Meister Tom is standing by with our boarding cards and he gives us a
personal tour of what turns out to be the brand new Jaegermeister stage,
which today is converted into a very nice raised bar where, in the
distance, you can see the dust hanging in the air from the assault that
Five Finger Death Punch are delivering over on the main stage. However, I
believe at later festivals it will be a stage promoting fine young bands of
true, rockin’ merit, and for that spirit of keeping live music live,
Jaegermeister, I salute you.
Meister Tom leaves us to carry on with his duties, and over several
leisurely shots… cough… Mr.G and myself discuss the problems of the
world, or rather we would have, if it hadn’t seemed like such a wonderful
idea at the quaffing of each shot that another would be perfect to wash it
down. Madness, pure, unadulterated, metal, madness.
Once again, fully fortified and all senses at their most alert… cough…
we head off to the Tuborg Stage to watch Black Spiders. And very impressive
they are too, except for the poor soul who is already beaten into
submission and lying lifeless in front of me on the floor.
They rock hard, heavy and animal and strengthen my spine and legs and
before you know it we’re back at the good ship Jaegermeister, sinking a
couple more shots before heading back to the artistes/guest area where I
sink into the couch and watch the very impressive Devil Driver working up
two circle pits of staggeringly, huge proportions. I wonder if I’m
already seeing double, but someone behind me comments on the fact that
there are two pits and I heave a gentle sigh of relief.
After Devil Driver leave the stage, me and Mr.G decide to have a social
wander and bump into Cormac Neeson from The Answer, very nice man, Mr. G
is well chuffed, and I also bump into Wayne from Static X, who I’d first
met ten years ago when I was out on the 1999 Ozzfest, which is where I also
met Slipknot for the first time.
It’s quite frightening to think that ten years ago, almost to the day,
both bands played the Ozzfest second stage, Fear Factory were the
headliners but the other seven acts, who also included Drain, Hed Pe, Puya,
Apartment 26, Pushmonkey and Flashpoint were rotated, so one day Slipknot
would open proceedings at the ungodly hour of 11.25 in the morning, the
next gig it would be Static X with Slipknot going on second and so it went
on until finally you played just below Fear Factory and at the next show
you’d be allowed to open the main stage at the more reasonable time of
1.15 in the afternoon.
At this point in their careers Slipknot hadn’t even released the first
album. That came about half way through the tour and by the end of the tour
they’d sold their first million, but at the Ozzfest they were still
helping to set their own gear up on stage and I was horrified to see close
up the crude, hydraulic system that Clown’s drums were hooked up to. No
wonder he ended up with numerous stitches above both eyes by the end of the
Every body thinks those masks are art, but no, they are beyond mere art.
They are to disguise the fact that the band were roadies.
Static X would be invited to play the main stage at Ozzfest 2000, just
below Ozzy, Pantera and Godsmack.
An unbelievable story, when, I think about it now, and one that I feel
honoured and proud to have witnessed first hand. One day I will publish the
diaries that I kept during both tours, muuuuuuuuuuuuhahahahahahahahh!!!!
I talk to Wayne Static, who introduces me to his wife, and I mention those
bygone daze and raise my pint to them and propose a toast, Wayne raises
some healthy looking juice thing, we drink and then he leaves to go and get
something to eat. Mr.G goes walkabout, probably also to get something to
The next person I bump into, or rather stagger into is Mick from Slipknot,
who seems to be in fine health and growing bigger and stronger every time I
see him. I ask him if he’s yet managed to get to see the sacred site of
the Buzzing Circle, shrine of The Stones Of Fire, known to some as
Stonehenge. Sadly, he informs me that he still hasn’t managed to get
I tell him, “One day, Mick, one day, we will ride the Silver Machine of
Super Sonic Speed and we will be allowed to rub our oily chests against the
temple's rugged, harsh stones and absorb the heritage and the magik…
cough”. Mick is looking at me the same way he looked at me ten years ago.
He nervously laughs and agrees, then turns and walks, or rather runs like a
charging rhino towards their dressing rooms.
No sooner has he gone - it was as if the very gods themselves had deemed it
to be - and Crazy White Sean struts round the corner, swinging on a meat
hook, with only the finest quality tobaccos… cough… that Amsterdam has
to offer, dangling in a rollup from his bottom lip!
Sean was white, and he was CRAZY!!!! I first met him in Dublin when I was
MC’ing and DJ’ing Xtreme 2002. On the bill were the likes of Motorhead,
NoMeansNo, Raging Speedhorn, Soil and Crazy White Sean, a freak show
phenomenon, but one of the nicest humans that I’ve ever had the pleasure
of sharing a hotel breakfast with.
I remember it well, it was the morning of Saturday 29 June and I made
the mistake of asking him what his show included. Do you know, whilst I was
wolfing down that plate of morning heart attack, he told me in great detail
the intricacies of his chosen trade and rather than turn your stomachs, as
he did mine, bless his little healing punctures, I suggest you check out
www.crazywhitesean.com, maybe after
you’ve had a stiff one and hailed the leaf. It’s not right, it’s
wrong, but what can you do, once they’ve made their minds up there’s no
changing them, crazy bastards!!! Muuuuuuuuuhahhahahahah!
Suddenly my Down senses start tingling and I know that the band are in the
area. I inform Mr.G and tell him to join me lurking towards their dressing
rooms in an unsuspecting manner.
And there before us, glowing like burning bushes, are Rex, Kirk and Jim,
all loitering with intent. I introduce them to Mr.G and it doesn’t take
long before time honoured Southern hospitality finds us both with a fresh,
cool, beer in our hooves.
Philip is taking care of business in one of the dressing rooms and I see
he’s sporting yet another new hair style, sort of a bastardised ying to
the yang of Crazy White Sean’s. I take a deep swig, focus, and walk in.
“Goddamn Krusher!!” he roars, “I’d kiss you if you weren’t so
I laugh and give him a big hug. He pulls away from me and says, “For
Christ’s sake I’ll have to take a shower now!” I love this man!!!
Outside Ripper Owens has arrived in the area after his set and is saying
hello to the rest of the band. Philip goes out to say hello too.
Get some pictures and decide to leave them to privately prepare for their
pre stage ritual of being good, being vigilant and behaving… cough… for
their triumphant Download return at five past three, as the Sun God
Nurse, more beer please.
I take full advantage of my shiny, magik laminate and get a good place to
watch from the side of the stage, as does Shaun (Clown) from Slipknot, who
I haven’t seen for a few years. We share a brief hello and a hug as Down
take to the stage, and what I thought would be a great vantage point turns
out not to be that great. I have fookin’ marvellous views of the backs of
Rex, Kirk and Philip, but, can’t see fook all of Pepper and Jim. However,
I can witness, close up, a band taking command of the stage before my naked
steaming eyes and ears, I can smell the power. ALL HAIL THE LEAF!!!!
I decide to get some shots of the band as best I can. Shaun is also
shooting away on a far better camera than mine and has got himself a top
dog view directly from the side of the stage, right at the front, hiding
behind the screens they put up either side of the stage, which have the
video screens and other commercial stuff hanging off them like freshly
After ‘Lifer’, ‘New Orleans Is A Dying Whore’, ‘Hail The Leaf’,
‘Lysergic Funeral Procession’, ‘N.O.D.’, and ‘Underneath
Everything’ - my body is starting to rock, trance like, backwards and
forwards, backwards and forwards. I decide to head back to the sofa and
hopefully get to see what it looks like from out front, in the real seats,
but in old boy comfort, and it’s fooookin’ awesome!!
I catch the end of ‘Eyes Of The South’, witness the full glory of
‘Stone The Crow’ and the sheer, stoned splendour of the epic ‘Bury
Me In Smoke’, which immediately triggers an automatic reaction deep
within me and I start to skin one up. Eleven out of ten and that’s me
fucked, royally, again, and it’s not even 4 o’clock in the afternoon!!!
I decide that myself and Mr.G should regroup, refill, rethink, refill,
re-launch, so over a friendly, cooling couple of pints we discuss tactics
for the rest of the day. I momentarily go into relapse rather than
re-launch, with the sheer scale of planning,
checking times, medical supplies and any necessary weapons that have to be
organised in order to see more bands, It was too much, even for my SAS mind
to contain. Time for another smoke!!!
ALL HAIL THE LEAF, and her calming knowledge. “Fuck it, I’ll try for
Lawnmower Deth, but then it’s straight to rehab,” I mumble into the
dregs of my pint, I look at Mr.G, burp, respectably, and tell him he’s on
his own, and Dragonforce will soon be starting, on the very near main stage. In fact, by the sound
of it they already have. Mr G marches away and
I seek the comfort of a backstage toilettio, as it’s time for my
ablutions. I can almost feel a shiver of relief and despair as the Manson
family toilet realises its loss. Haaaaaaaaargh!!
Bowels firmly cleansed, I stroll cheerily around the dressing room area,
the power metal of Dragonforce making me act and think as if I’ve dropped
a bucket of amphetamines and it doesn’t take long before I realise that
my bowels are actually not firmly cleansed. I headed back to the
latrines… cough… and had a monstrous beer shit. Now I really was
feeling dippity, dappity, doo, dah and headed to the Down dressing room for
a little more of that Southern generosity, but before I get there, once
again, mine and Mr.G’s paths cross. We ride forth to the sacred drinking
fountain of Downinimus.
First person we bump into is Pepper, who invites us on board where we find
Jim, Philip, his good lady Kathy, Devil Driver Dez and his sidekick
Phrankenstein, listening to something blasting from Philip’s portable
sound system. He momentarily reduces the volume and introduces us.
“Krusher this is Dez and Phrankenstein, this is Krusher. If it wasn’t
for him there’d be no heavy metal. Both of you getcha self a drink and
listen to this!”
But before I can say, “kind words, dear sir, but I feel you have bestowed
too great an introduction of me to Sir Dez and Lord Phrank”, Philip
continues, “Krusher! I see you! Shut up! Sit down! Listen!”... and turns
the volume back up on his magic music machine and extols the virtues of
songs and bands and tracks that I’m not sure if they are from his many
side projects, or some band on his label, or some band who’ve sent him a
demo, but I take a deep swig, a deep lung full and melt into the couch and
listen to the wise words of Philip as he holds court. Pure foooooookin’
unadulterated metal magik that you can’t buy in any shop.
Somewhere, amongst all this, Mr.G is working on a deal for me to do some
artwork for Devil Driver, and I try to communicate, to Pepper, how much I
want to design the next Down album cover.
Down I salute you.
I tell Mr.G that The Answer would be starting on the second stage in five
minutes and OH! FUCK!!! Lawnmower Deth have been on the Tuborg stage for
fifteen minutes, which means I’ve got fifteen minutes to leg it like a
golden gazelle over to the Tuborg Stage.
“Mr.G we’re now on an official mission to rock, please, carry me to the
I come to as Mr.G gently drops me on the floor and I manage to pick myself
up and catch Lawnmower Deth vocalist… cough… Qualcast Mutilator getting
everyone to count to 20... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14,
15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20... which is followed by an almighty fookin crash,
and I watch three guitars meet their maker, and that’s it, the beautiful,
yet emotively titled "Fuck Off" is their final song of the set. For
fook's sake the gods are against me.
I’ve missed Lawnmower Deth! Mwwwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaghhhhhh!!!! I raise the
back of one hand to my brow and swoon. When I come to I ask Mr.G to carry
me to safety. He pulls me up, slaps me gently, but firmly, points me in the
direction of the artistes/guests area and kicks my arse. Once more into the
valley of all things metal we rode.
Back at Teepee Towers, get a drink, bump into Thunder as they leave their
dressing room to head off to the Tuborg Stage, tell them to break a leg, and
they growl back “fuck orf, or we’ll break yours!” Haaaaaaaargh!!!!
Of course, they didn’t, because Thunder are mates of mine, a band that
I’ve seen from birth to sadly what will be their final festival appearance
in this country.
And I love them and have had some great times with them, dj’d at two of
their weddings and sank a few hearty ales in some backstreet boozers with
Very, very sad, but it still brings back some great memories, one of which
was when they played third on the bill at Monsters Of Rock way back in
1992… cough… below special guests Skid Row and headliners Iron Maiden
and the hairs on the palm of my hands still stand on end at the memory of
one absolutely brilliant performance. Just for the record the other bands
playing that Saturday 22 August were openers The Almighty, followed by
W.A.S.P, then Slayer, then Thunder. Happy, happy, joy, joy, daze.
I wish I’d been brave enough to ask them if I could introduce them here
at Download, but I get one pic of them heading towards the stage and Mr.G
tells me he’s going to watch, I tell him my legs have failed me, and that
I was putting my ballet career at serious risk if I hobbled any further
than the bar.
Something annoying is pounding limply in the background and it turns out to
be Pendulum. I head for the guest area for a little socialising and
networking. It’s like Babylon. I look for a quiet spot somewhere in the
hedge and skin up. Suitably invigorated for small, short walks, and even
smaller conversations, I head back to the dressing rooms and bump into Liam
I remember the first time I saw Prodigy. It was 1994 at the Marquee Club in
Charing Cross Road. It was snowing outside and definitely snowing inside. I
also remember that there was a lot of Ecstasy and MDMA doing the rounds
that year so purely for scientific reasons, I popped a handful of pills
before the show started and dropped half a gram of MDMA into me shandy when
they came on stage, and what a fooookin’ entrance. Maxim with his freaky,
mirrored eyeballs, Keith, with pupils like sharks, being led on stage in a
strait jacket that his assistants then removed, and with his sudden taste
of freedom, launched himself into the crowd, danced his arse off for the
first three songs with the audience, before returning to the stage.
But the biggest jaw dropper was when the sub bass seriously came in for the
first time and all around me people are hurling their guts up and then
raising their hands in the air, blowing on their whistles and jumping
around in puke as if someone’s just stuck 240 volts up their arse. Of
course, this ALL could have been hallucinations induced by the medication,
but it sure seemed real to me, and from then on Prodigy were always on my
‘bands to see live’ list.
Anyway as I’ve never had the pleasure of speaking to Liam before, I say
hello and we have our picture taken. I smile and click, a beautiful moment
of great minds meeting is captured for the history books.
To be honest things all become a little hazy from this moment, but I
remember getting more pics with Slipknot Mick and down Kirk.
Marilyn Manson sounded like someone regurgitating Gary Glitter’s back
catalogue through an Argarse Catologue. The Sun God descended, darkness
took over, I miss the chance to watch Anvil with Philip, as I already
thought my legs had been ON the anvil, however Mr. G takes up the offer and
I see him disappear into the night with various members of Down. I miss
Prodigy and my greatest sin is that I miss Slipknot headlining the Download
main stage for the first time EVER. I’m a cunt!!! NO! I’m a drunken
cunt!! NO! I’m a drunken, stoned cunt! NO! I’m a drunken, stoned, old
Eventually when I spy young ladies standing on tables in states of undress,
with men trying to get up with them so they can release their blue-veined
custard chuckers, I know it’s time for me to retire to the hell of the
car for sleep.
I find Mr.G and he escorts me safely to the vehicle of torture, which takes
some time as telegraph poles all look the same at night. Eventually I’m
curled up in agony on the back seat, Mr. G tucks me in and tells me he’ll
be back later.
I elevate an eyebrow, fart in his general direction and fall asleep, for 5
minutes, because I need to piss. Get up, urinate, realise that I’m hungry
and remember that I have my Angus Beef, with savoury tomatoes, rocket and
mustard on grain bread sandwich still in the boot and even the fact that
it’s been gently cooking in there for over 14 hours doesn’t deter me
from eating it.
GREAT BLOODY ARSECHICKENS!!! HAVE I POISONED MYSELF?
DOWNLOAD PART I
It was a monstrous week of rockin’ hard, heavy and animal on the Krusher front.
On Monday, Lauren Harris played the klub. Rod Smallwood, Mr. A. Taylor and Nicko McBrain were in the house (check my Embassy blog for the sordid details - that’s if I’m not unwell, cough).
It was a great night! Total alcohol consumed - 2 bottles of Carlsberg piss water!!
On Tuesday, my manager, Mr. G, was relocating to London and part of his welcoming ritual involved him having to listen to my delicately refined DJ skills that very night when they were required at the first of two sold out shows celebrating the return of SKIN.
I was also very moved to have the honour of being asked to introduce them, reunited for the first time in eleven years and the best part of two months after playing their final show at the LA on 26 April 1998, where I also had the honour and the sad pleasure of introducing the band.
The night ended in a drunken haze. Total alcohol consumed - a skin full, but not enough to piss yourself!!
Wednesday was a repeat of Tuesday, except me old mate Shuff was on DJ
duties for SKIN. All I was required to provide was another intro.
9.45 job done.
The band were on fire and delivered a truly blinding performance. In
Celebration, I over indulged in alcohol, ending up in Garlic & Shots where I was treated by Nurse Jeanette and Dr. Flash who put me on an intravenous drip of Harley Davidson’s and Bloodshots!!
Kid’s don’t drink this stuff, especially with whiskey and lager.
In fact kids, just say no to alcohol, it sucks your very soul!
Mr. G got me back to Terror Tower where I used my SAS training to avoid any injury when I rolled out of the moving black cab.
Congratulated myself on getting home two nights on the trot with no
injuries, not being arrested or barred from some shitebucket in the West End. Result!
Opened my front door laughing and guffawing with the sheer joy of life
itself, stepped in, took another on the stairs whilst descending into my inner sanctum and immediately had a head butting competition with the seven concrete bastards leading there!!
This resulted in me lying with my head on the living room floor with the rest of my slithering, mildly convulsing body making its way down the stairs very, very slowly like a very stoned boa constrictor. I thanked Krashusius, the God of Falls, that I was drunk because this could have been bad, cough!!
But there was nothing to fear. Not only did I have my SAS training for
dealing with this sort of situation, but, more importantly, I had my Heavy Metal Hunting Hound Milly (a cross between a Corgi and a Jack Russell - hand on naughty bits, they really are called CoJacks) on hand.
She’s called Milly because she’s a Millwall supporter and like any true football hooligan, she was celebrating the victorious return of her ‘man with the food!’ by jumping up and down and shaking her arse side to side on my damaged head and body.
I try to see if I can move anything and start by trying to open one of my eyes, the right one. It does and I can see how happy Milly is to see me!
Eventually she stops torturing me and sits down to stare at me with those big, old, double gorgeous, psycho eyes, one ear sticking up, one ear sticking down and she starts to lick me and my head as my body slowly slides down the stairs.
Time to pass out! Total alcohol consumed - enough to piss yourself!!!
I come to sometime on Thursday with the dog using my head as a pillow which feels as if it’s been in a head butting competition with a flight of concrete stairs - a slight hint of deja vu!
I remember the horror! The hhhhhhooooooooorrrrrror!!!
Scrape myself up off the floor, put a smile on my face and check myself out in the mirror and I’m very pleased with ‘the look’. This would be my fashion statement at Download.
Farcehonistas, I give you ‘THE TRAMP’.
Take my morning ablutions and make the decision to take Milly for hers and a healthy walk down to the river and pop into the ‘River Rats’, a
private gentleman’s club very close to the Angel public house in dear
olde Rotherhithe, purely for medicinal purposes!!
Mr. G calls me and when I tell him where I am he turns up faster than a
greyhound out of a trap to drag me from the den of iniquity and back to his place to feed me, provide needed medical attention and, most importantly, to try and work out a strategy for the world reformation plans struggling to be heard in my befuddled head and to put it all down on to paper.
Many, many hours later, strategy achieved, I leave just after 2 in the
morning and proceed to walk, stumble, crawl through the streets of olde
Rotherhithe where I’ve lived for the best part of 333 years and I’m
shocked that a 20 minute walk to Terror Tower takes an incredulous 55,
including ablutions in some bush on the way and wondering what Charles
Dickens would make of it ALL now.
Eventually I arrive home and carefully make my way down the ‘stairs of
imminent death’ and pass out into the sleep-pit.
Look at my watch which I think says 10.30.
I leap like a sweating gazelle from the pit, start running a bath, not
forgetting to give it a squirt of the aromatic, healing, bubbly stuff and call Lolli, my most beautiful, understanding, tolerant, loving, girlfriend and mother of Brookeus Magnificus, number one daughter, to apologise for being late delivering Milly.
She’s going to look after her whilst I have the unfortunate task of
having to go to Download for the weekend with Mr. G, purely for business reasons. Muuuuuuuuuuuuhahahahahh!!!
She tells me to fuck off!! Apparently it’s only ten to six in the morning.
Double arsechickens, I have disturbed my little nest of viper’s much loved sleep!!!
Ten to six, half past ten, easily mixed up when you’ve head injuries and using the big hand and the little hand on the watch to work out the time.
As the Thin White Duke once sang in his cocaine grating Anthony Newley
“Time… He flexes like a whore,
Falls wanking to the floor,
His trick is you and me, boy.”
Turn off the bath and slowly ease myself into its jubbly bubbly,
comforting warmth, another of the Diamond Dog’s lyrics along the lines
of ‘Time Waits For No One’ blowing like tumble weed around the inside
of my poorly head.
I rest my eyes.
Wake up, lying in a bath of cold water, look at my watch which tells me IT IS 10.30!!!
I leap like a shivering, gazelle from the bath and call Lolli, my most beautiful, understanding, tolerant, loving, girlfriend and mother of Brookeus Magnificus, number one daughter, to apologise for being late delivering Milly.
She’s going to look after her whilst I have the unfortunate task of
having to go to Download for the weekend with Mr. G, purely for business reasons. Muuuuuuuuuuuuhahahahahh!!!
Another moment of déjà vu!!
Deliver Milly, return to Terror Tower.
Mr. G calls as I enter the shitehole, cough, penthouse suite!! He’s at the bottom of Terror Tower waiting in the limo. I tell him I’ll be abseiling down the side of the building in five minutes.
Twenty-five minutes later after throwing the less smelly items of clothing I can find on the floor into a Lidl’s carrier bag for life, along with toothbrush, medication, my laminate and car park pass, I leave the building via the lift, stumble into the light of the blazing sun and fall into the car.
I pick myself up, open the door and fall into the car.
Lean back into the luxurious, relaxing, leather of the back seat, light a fat one, take a long, hard swig from the bottle and realise I’m
Mr. G slaps me back into reality, throws my shit in the boot, safety belts me into the front seat, covers me with a towel from the neck down to catch my spittle and floors the Ford Mondeo ‘til it screams.
11.35 and we’re on our way to Download!!!
Mr. G’s car has something called a cassette player, some new fangled
gadget that I’ve been told will replace CD players.
He has three cassettes, the double Iron Maiden’s ‘Live After Death’,
which I’d designed the cover for many, many moons ago in 1985. The other is Iced Earth with ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ and ‘Horror
Show’ on the other. It’s played several times, whilst we discuss the
unlucky merits of Ripper Owens getting the push, not just from ‘defenders of the faith’ Judas Priest, but then Iced Earth, only to be replaced by the band’s original vocalists.
But he most certainly has to be saluted for forming his own band called
Ripper Owens and he can now sack himself and replace himself at the same time. GENIUS!!!
As we fast approach our destination I ask Mr. G to tune into Classic FM on the radio. Result; Mahler’s Fourth Movement from his Symphony No.5. Now I’m starting to feel the calm before the storm of THE ROCK THAT SHALL ROLL!!!!
Arrive, seems to be an entirely new set up for stages, camps, guest area and dressing rooms.
It’s my idea of perfect festival weather, some sun, some clouds, birds
singing, gliding on a gentle breeze filled with the smell of freshly
blooming summer flowers, freshly mown hay, freshly cooked foods, freshly pulled meads and ales, all mingling with the ammonia of freshly pissed urine, the headiness of the freshly laid turd, and the fresh beads of stinking sweat with the slightest hint of the mighty leaf.
As me olde mate Lemmy once sang ‘Another Perfect Day!’
Game on, as long as you’ve got a laminate or the right wristband, and
fuck me with a small brick, there are so many different wristband passes, I honestly felt sorry for security for about 45 seconds hargh, hargh!!
Actually, you all did a damn fine job and deserve a medal for duties in the control of rock. I salute you and please don’t throw me out, or beat me if we ever meet in the future.
Thankfully, Mr. G and myself are armed with majestic pieces of coloured, shiny plastic, which are etched with the ancient spells of rock and metal. I believe they are called laminates, I call them the keys to The Arockalypse.
They allow us to roam freely amongst the guest area, the dressing rooms and on to any one of the four stages, on condition that I must be able to walk using my own power, without anyone holding me up, that I must not make anyone cry, and I won’t shout “FUCK YOU ALL!” at the top of my lungs until at least a mile from the site in any direction. A doddle, I mean what would the chances be of any of those things happening? Cough.
Our plan is to do a quick recce of the Guest area, the Artistes and Guest area, the dressing rooms and backstage areas.
The guest area is first.
A meeting place for droogies, boozers, strumpets, losers, portaloo abusers, professional liggers, arsechickens, nippledonkeys, cough, general riff raff, cough, all gloriously walking around preening themselves in all their peacock, rock ‘n’ roll finery. And those not strutting are lounging at tables armed with ales and wenches.
What a sumptuous sight they are to behold, but the real test will be how fine and dandy they’ll look on Sunday night, and that’s when I think the sheer simplicity of my new tramp fashion statement will be at its most impressive. Muuuuuuuhahahahah.
The facilities include a whole lot of interconnecting wigwams or tepees (if either term is politically incorrect, I apologise to the entire tribes of Native America and invite you to Terror Tower for Christmas pudding and a pipe of peace), in which can be found a paying beer bar, tables, chairs, a shorts and cocktail paying bar, sofas, bean bags, food stands, a paying restaurant, and the Live Nation hospitality tent, where, with the right wristband, the drinks are probably free. Thankfully for my liver and kidneys I haven’t got one.
There is a Factory Music management and agency tent (for their guests and bands playing the festival), www.myspace.com/factorymusic. Another wristband is needed for this one but as they look after Lauren Harris, I was allowed in minus one. Salutations!! And last but not least, the most important things on site, the keepers of the sacred juice and arse-openings. THE TOILETS!!
However, before we make it to the Artistes and Guests area, I bump into Jim, my olde booking agent and his brother Ed, former backstage security for my Heavy Metal Hunting Hounds Bullseye and his first son Smudger, back in the daze when I was MC’ing and dj’ing the ‘MONSTERS OF ROCK’ festival, which used to be held on this very sacred site many moons ago.
It is incredible to think that back then it was a one day festival that
lasted three, including getting there and setting up camp on the Friday, rockin’ hard, heavy and animal to five, six, or if you were very lucky, seven bands during Saturday afternoon and evening (whilst imbibing various medications and potions to keep one going through the day and to prepare you for the raucousness of the Saturday night/Sunday morning camp).
You would then grab a few hours kip and as soon as you’d stopped throwing up, and were capable of standing, walking and driving, it was time to go home on the third.
Now it’s a three day festival spread over five with 120 bands performing on numerous stages, one of the TRUE Seven Wonders of Rock!
But back to Jim who used to have the noble, but testing task of getting me bookings, like the ‘Monsters Of Rock’ festival, and generally trying to help me earn a living whilst being drugged, drunk and disorderly.
Even when I had two years of sobriety, he still had his hands full and eventually it took it’s toll, he packed his bags, moved his family to Sweden and now runs his own very successful booking agency.
Tonight, his clients Messuggah headline the Tuborg Stage with Backyard Babies playing just below Duff McKagen, who is playing just below Mesuggah.
It’s always more than a pleasure to see Jim and his brother Ed, two of
the finest gentlemen to ever draw breath.
Before he has to go and look after his acts, he takes Mr. G to one side to have a quiet word.
I leave them to it, sit down with Ed and spend the best part of an hour
chatting to him, whilst also meeting and greeting, all whilst sucking on a shandy.
Before we know it, it’s 3.30 and we have to make our way to the Tuborg
Stage, via the Jaegermeister bus and stage. Sadly Kaptain Tom isn’t there to give us our boarding passes so it’s kick on to catch Lauren Harris and I get my first chance to mingle with the real festival goers in the Arena - the ones who spend their hard earned cash on tickets, the ones who camp come rain or shine, the precious ones who look after each other.
ALL of them receive a salute of honour for their commendable support.
Also, a very hearty thanks to all of you who came up to say hello, shake my hand, have a photo taken and tell me that I was an important part of corrupting your youth.
You make me feel proud to be metal!
Get to the tent with about 10 minutes to spare before Lauren takes to the stage. The tent seems fairly empty, but it soon fills and the show is on.
Great band, nice stage, great lighting system but sadly the sound for the first few songs is diabolical. Finally, the ‘knob twiddler’ gets things right and a rockin’ good time is had by all, although I do notice a lot of men and women with one hand raised in the horns and the other firmly embedded in their front pockets.
What’s even more peculiar is that after they finish, a lot of men seem to walking as if they had a small broom handle or banana down there pants. Haaaargh! Haaaaargh!
Then it’s back through the arena to the guest area to finish our recce.
We head straight to the Artistes and Guests area, which is still part of the interconnecting tepee village and where you can just sit, relax, shoot pool, shoot the breeze, shoot pix of the beautiful, shoot yourself in the foot, watch the main stage acts on plasma screens from the comfort of a nice white, leather sofa, have free tattoos, free food and non alcoholic drink (only if you have the correct papers signed by Herr Fuller) and if you feel a bit chilly later in the evening you can heat your arse in front of a blazing, indoor log fire.
It’s foookin’ paradise! Or is it?!!?
Amazingly there’s no bar, or none that my finally tuned senses, which,
after many years studying the ancient arts of beer swilling and hunting, could detect (that’s why I worry about Alzheimer’s and not being able to remember the great teachings of Aleus III, Creature of Empiric Bars when it kicks in), but most importantly this area also includes the sacred dressing rooms, where one can take deep breaths and not only smell ‘ROCK’, you can almost taste it! Cough!
You can schmingle, rub oily chests, fall to your knees and give the
‘sacred salute’ in honour to the hallowed ones.
I feel privileged indeed to be allowed to strut amongst them, annoy them, steal their alcohol and leer at their women.
They are the ones we’re here to see and hear, who once more will excel in their generosity of sharing their meagre rations amongst the many. Muuuuuuuuhahahhahahahaha!!! Cough!!
Almost immediately, I spot Jim from Slipknot with his good lady Christina Scabbia, vocalist for Lacuna Coil and I say hello.
I also get to briefly talk to Tommy Lee who I hadn’t really had a chance to speak to since I was doing MC and DJ duties on the 2000 US Ozzfest. He was touring with his Methods Of Mayhem project.
He looks in fine health and is surrounded by the obligatory herd of mong and the scene reminds me of a haiku poem that I wrote in my youth about Mong:
“The pong of mong was strong,
It made my dong go long just like King Kong,
I also catch a glimpse of Mick Mars, who for years has been suffering from the degenerative illness, ankylosing spondylitis. It breaks my heart to see it slowly taking its toll but in my heart of hearts, I know that he’s still one of the ‘special ones’ when it comes to playing the guitar and by all reports that I heard about their set, he still is.
I bid my farewells, quickly move on and bump into Faith No More founding members Mike ‘Puffy’ Bordin and Billy Gould and reminisce about the early days when I was designing KERRANG! and was privy to witnessing their magical growth before my steaming eyes and thighs!! Muuuuuuhahahahahahah!
Happy daze, when bands like FNM would drop into the K! office unannounced, not because they had to be interviewed or photographed, but simply because at THAT time the KERRANG! office was rock ‘n’ roll party central.
Say farewell to Mike and Bill and decide to check if our laminates really do allow us main stage access and by golly, by gum they do, except if it’s a ‘closed stage’ and then only very, very, very special
wristbands, laminates, handshakes, winks, nods and blowjobs will allow you to tread the boards of Rock Royalty.
People head off to various stages to see various bands and I go back to the guest area to buy a beer and sit frying my brains in the blazing hot sun where I listen to the next band opening their set on the main stage with a salvo of scratching and sound effects, a mind boggling space odyssey that drops into ‘Break Stuff’ and ‘My Generation’ and I realise that it’s Limp Bizkit, who I’ve never seen live.
I move to the comfort of the Artistes and Guests area to watch it on the plasma screens and when I see the latest reincarnation of Wes Borland and thoroughly enjoy ‘Rollin’’ and George Michaels ‘Faith’, I tip my hat in respect to them and raise a glass to their cheeky shenanigans.
After about 25 minutes people start to leave for Korn on the main stage and more leave a little later for the Second Stage to catch Motley Crue
Suddenly it seems a lot calmer backstage. Everyone, including Mr. G, have gone.
I get myself a beer, roll a fat one, smoke it and head to the Artistes and Guests area to collapse into one of the fine sofas to relax, medicate and meditate until Faith No More take the Main Stage at 9 o’clock.
And it’s not hard to know when that time is approaching because everybody makes their way out to the stage, the arena, anywhere to get a view of a band playing a major festival for the first time in eleven years and the best part of two months. Bizarrely, the same time that SKIN haven’t played.
I stay and become one with the sofa, take a long, hard swig and thanks to the breeze blowing the sound gently from the stage, I watch and hear Faith No More as I’ve never seen them before.
The set is simplicity itself. The band - well all apart from Puffy – are styling it big in hot, hot suits, with Billy, Roddy and Monsieur Patton sporting glorious, sprouting button holes. And just to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck and the palms of your hands, they open with a cover of the 1970’s, Peaches & Herb hit ‘Reunited’.
Foooookin’ ART at it’s best!!
“I was a fool to ever leave your side
Me minus you is such a lonely ride
The break-up we had has made me lonesome and sad
I realize I love you
'Cause I want you bad, hey, hey.”
But when it gets to the chorus I almost cry listening to what they sing:
“Reunited and it feels so good
Reunited 'cause we understood
There's one perfect fit
And, sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited
'Cause we're reunited, hey, hey.”
If you’re reunited, why no Jim?
How must he feel not to be asked to be part of something that he was so important to?
Why no Chuck Mosley, vocalist on debut album ‘We Care A Lot’?
I hope that one day there can be some way of putting their differences
aside and involve ALL members of FNM, a time where the past is put aside and the here and now is happily and firmly grasped.
Although I felt sad, I raised a smile thinking about some of the
adventures that I’d shared with ALL of them.
I almost laughed out loud remembering that I was number 2 in Classic Rocks ‘10 Amazing Facts About Faith No More’, which I include for your
“2. Legendary Kerrang! designer Steve ‘Krusher’ Joule once stood in for
FNM guitarist ‘Big Sick Ugly’ Jim Martin for an MTV interview, due to
the fact that the latter was somewhat, er, incapacitated. Because
‘Krusher’ bore an amazing resemblance to Martin, and only grunted in
answer to MTV’s questions, no one noticed the difference.”
AND THAT DROOGIES IS A FACT!!
The other nine can be checked out at
One day I’ll even tell you the story of how I begged for an audition to
replace Chuck after his departure, and then ended up with my band Pighorn supporting Concrete at a boozer in Islington.
I take another long, hard swig and go back to watching the band as they
ease into ‘The Real Thing’, ‘From Out of Nowhere’, ‘Land of
Sunshine’, ‘Caffeine’, ‘Evidence’, ‘Chinese Arithmetic’,
‘Surprise! You're Dead!’ and so it goes on for one hour and thirty-five
minutes, song after song from one of the most influential bands of almost the last twenty-five years.
With encores of ‘Chariots Of Fire/Stripsearch’ and ‘We Care A Lot’,
their job is done and they return to the dressing rooms.
The Artistes and Guests area begins to fill and after about twenty minutes, I decide to say my goodnights. One of the first people I bump into is Puffy, who’s sipping what turns out to be his first glass of champagne and talking in drum tongues with some other bloke who turns out to be Fieldy from Korn.
I give Puffy a hug and he whispers in my ear. I wish I could tell you what he said but as the band aren’t doing any interviews, my smiling mouth is sealed.
After about an hour of goodbyes, including quaffing two pints for the road with Spike from the Quireboys and his beautifully drunk girlfriend Leah, and having reconnected with Mr. G, I tell him it’s time to go to the hotel.
We don’t have a hotel, we’re sleeping in the car!!
Mr. G puts his arm round my quivering shoulder and walks me back to the car, trying to calm my convulsing body with large amounts of the mighty leaf and assuring me I’ll be fine on the back seat and I’ll wake in the morning fit as a blacksmith’s fiddle!!
He gives me a blanket and returns to The Arockalypse which is now in full, furious, rock hard, rock heavy, rock ANIMAAAAAAAAAAAAAL MODE!!! He marches back to the madness.
I take some pictures of UFOs hovering around the arena, put a gob full
of toothpaste on a Fig Roll, eat it and ease my battered limbs on to the backseat, feeling the comfortable safety belts and whatever else easing themselves gently and relaxingly into my spine.
I curse everything and was on the verge of a mighty “FUCK YOU ALL”,
having had to get back up for ablutions, but thankfully Mr. G’s medication kicked in and I went to sleep - for about ten minutes because those seatbelts were torturing me.
And so it went on and on and on until 8.30 Saturday morning when Mr. G returned looking hideously refreshed for someone who never managed to make it back to the hotel.