normanstrike

Posts Tagged ‘The Tube.’

123. Wednesday November 28th, 1984.

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Adrian, the Redskins manager, ‘hired’ me as a ‘roadie’ for their gig in Hammersmith Town Hall but it was really a gesture of solidarity because there was no work for me to do. A man has to live.

It was a brilliant gig and the band were on top form in front of 1200 fans. I was really embarrassed, and chuffed, by the number of people who recognised me from ‘The Tube’ but it did give me the chance to have some good discussions, and my collection bucket was really full. The Three Johns were the support band and I really loved their set. Jon Langford is a brilliant guitarist and the guy on vocals is manic. Excellent. I got the chance to speak in front of my biggest audience yet and got a fantastic reception. Good for the ego.

After the gig I collected with some Kent miners and when we counted it up we found we had £210, which was brilliant. Chris told us there were some striking miners from Notts who were worse off than us so I halved my share with them because the Kent miners refused point blank to give them anything! They disgusted me to be honest because there are fewer miners in Kent than at Westoe alone, and they have really milked the support from London. So much for solidarity!

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118. Monday November 12th, 1984.

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2009 at 11:58 am

Today is Jennifer’s 12th birthday and it’s the first one I’ve not been there for her. I spoke to her on the phone and promised to bring her a present when I get home, but its not the same and I felt really depressed today. Sorry sweetheart, I really am!

Chris took me along to his record company, London records, so that the bands press officer, Eugene Manzi, could put together a press release about ‘The Tube’. It was a novel experience for me and I was surprised they could get a photo off tv to use with it. Best of all, I was allowed to help myself to as many records as I could carry. I got a pile of old Rolling Stones stuff, and some records I thought the girls might like, The Fine Young Cannibals and others. I think Chris was a bit embarrassed as we left with me struggling to carry my booty. It was excellent!

This afternoon a London comrade took me to a DHSS office in Harrow and the workers there have agreed to support the soup kitchen, which is brilliant.

Norman Willis, the new fat bastard in charge of the TUC, spoke at a miners rally in Wales and had the bloody nerve to condemn picket line violence! What planet are these people on? The miners responded by booing loudly until some enterprising lads lowered a noose in front of him. They should’ve lynched the fat bastard! I thought Len Murray was a disgrace but this bugger makes him seem militant.

The NCB have offered a £650 Christmas bonus to anyone who scabs before November ends. Bastards!

117. Friday November 9th, 1984.

In Uncategorized on November 9, 2009 at 8:45 pm

What a great experience, and a very controversial one! I arrived at the and was given an ‘artistes’ badge for security by Adrian Collins, the Redskins manager. I was really, really nervous, and rehearsed my speech in the toilets to try and get it word perfect. I kept a low profile as the studio began to fill up with the audience. I was really surprised at how small it is because on the telly it looks huge. I watched the Alarm and Billy Bragg before joining the band for their bit. I had to satand at the back between the drums and the brass section, clutching a tambourine for the first song, ‘Hold On’, then came out for my bit after being introduced by Chris.

I was literally shaking with fear as the song closed and the lights went off briefly as Nick played the drum intro. Chris spoke into his mike and introduced me by saying,’On extra percussion, tambourine, and on strike for 35 weeks, a Durham miner’, at which point I stepped forward to the mike. I can’t honestly remember speaking, I only noticed the audience applauding loudly when I’d finished. Then I walked to the back of the stage as Chris sang the song, ‘Keep On Keepin’ On’.

As soon as the band finished we all headed backstage to the ‘green room’ to recover. It wasn’t green but Martin told me that’s what they called the place where you get free drinks and within seconds I’d downed a pint of lager. Billy bragg came over and said no one heard a word of my speech. I was really disappointed because all that worry and nerves had been for nothing. I got a triple Southern Comfort with ice but was called outside to see Jools Holland and he said if I’d told them what I was going to do they would’ve made sure I was heard. A load of bollocks! Loads of people spoke to me and expressed their support for the strike, including The Tube’s press officer, who wanted to know what I’d said so I told them.

‘There’s been six miners killed in this strike, five miners on life support machines, three miners with fractured skulls, over 2,500 serious injuries and more than 7,500 arrests. we’re told we’re out on a limb, we’re on our own, and that no one supports us, yet hundreds of thousands of pounds have been collected for us by ordinary working class people – miners support groups have sprung up all over the country, in towns, factories, offices and colleges. They’re supporting us – you should be supporting them!!’

 

Anyway, I got pissed on free booze, met the stars and enjoyed the rest of the show.

I travelled down to London in the van with the roadies and am now comfortably settled on Chris’s settee in his flat in Willesden Green. At Cortonwood there has been an invasion of over 1,000 pigs to get one scab into work. Anyone who can try to justify that needs their head looking at! Majority rules and the majority are still on strike, ballot or no fuckin’ ballot. That’s a fact.

115. Tuesday November 6th, 1984.

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2009 at 11:13 am

I really enjoyed the Redskins gig tonight at the Bunker Club, a miners benefit, and the band were brilliant. They played with passion and the lyrics were excellent. I loved the music as well, great brass section. My favourite was ‘Keep On Keepin’ On’ because I can really relate to the line, ‘I’m not down but I’m feeling low’. Kind of sums me up just now. Mind you, I did feel a little out of place amongst the fashionable Sunderland crowd.

Afterwards Chris told me the band are appearing live on TV on Friday, on the ‘Tube’ and asked me if I would make a brief appearance. I didn’t need to be asked twice and I’m visiting them for rehearsals on Thursday in Newcastle. I’m excited.