Article 31: Girlschool European Tour 1986 Part-3

Band - Kim, Denise, Gil, Cris
Roadies – Steve Pritchard (d) Me (g)
Tour Manager/Driver – Bob Collins

Excerpts from my diary Pt 3 – Italy, France
(2022 annotations in italics)

ガールスクール・ヨーロッパ・ツアー1986 パート3

バンド - Kim, Denise, Gil, Cris
ローディ – Steve Pritchard (d) Me (g)
ツアー・マネージャー/ドライヴァー – Bob Collins


10th December – Bassano, Italy

The only thing I knew about Bassano before we arrived was that it had an old wooden bridge dating back hundreds of years. We saw it while searching for the gig but we never had the opportunity to walk across it. The gig was an odd one. The venue was called La Rosa and our promoter for the night proudly informed us that Girlschool were the first band to play the venue. That promoter, it must be said went out of his way to please us but we were somewhat wary of him. A small man, wrinkled olive skin, a moda trilby hat and an assistant the size of an American fridge. The promoter asked if the rider was ok, we all said yes except Denise who said the Jack Daniels was missing. A casual look and nod from the promoter to the fridge who promptly disappeared and returned less than minute later with a bottle. After the sound-check, we were taken to the hotel which at first glance looked a bit worrying as construction was still going on. Once inside though, we marvelled at the marble floor and ornate reception. An enormous chandelier hanging from the ceiling; several stunningly beautiful Italian women working the reception and concierge, excess all areas and it was indeed excess as we seemed to be the only guests. Putting all the clues together, we figured out what the gig was all about and that proved to be the case later when during the show, the audience were impeccably behaved, most unusual for a gig in Italy. Two support bands tonight they being Danger Zone and Skanners (both still together and playing).

12月10日 イタリア バッサノ

到着前バッサノについて知っていたことは、数百年前の古い木の橋があるということだけ。結局見ることはできたけれど、渡るチャンスはなかった。ギグは変わったものだった。会場はLa Rosaというところで、その晩のプロモーターによると、ここでプレイするのはガールスクールが初めてとのこと。プロモーターは俺たちを喜ばせようと頑張っていたが、俺たちは幾分警戒していた。小さな男で、皺の多いオリーヴ色の肌、トリルビーの帽子、そしてアメリカの冷蔵庫サイズのアシスタント。ライダーは問題ないかと聞かれたので、デニース用のジャック・ダニエルが無いこと以外はOKだと言った。プロモーターが冷蔵庫野郎に目をやって頷くと、そいつはさっと消え、1分もかからずボトルを手に戻ってきた。サウンドチェック後にホテルに連れていかれたが、工事中だったので少々心配した。だけど、中は大理石の床に華やかなレセプションでびっくり。天井からは巨大なシャンデリア。何人かの驚くほど綺麗なイタリア人女性がレセプションやコンシェルジュとして働いていて、過剰なほど広い、というか俺たち以外客がいなそうだったので、実際過剰に広かった。すべてをつなぎ合わせてみると、このギグが何なのかがわかった。そして実際ショウの間、オーディエンスは完璧に行儀が良かった。イタリアで最も普通でないギグだった。デンジャー・ゾーンとスキャナーズという2つのバンドがサポート。(どちらも現在も活動中。)

Photo 1:Appearances can be deceptive. Our hotel looked like it need another year of construction but inside was like stepping into a wedding cake.

11th December – San Vittori, Italy

San Vittori is a small suburb of Cesena, itself a town of less than 100,000. The Vidia Club is located in San Vittori in the middle of a housing estate. Good old Bob had been there before so thankfully we didn’t spend hours driving around trying to find it. A very different gig to last night, the first thing I noticed was that the stage wobbled rather alarmingly and looking underneath I saw it was a ramshackle of old bits of timber, beer crates and the odd rat or two. I decided not to mention the rats to the girls. Danger Zone and Skanners arrived as we were setting up, just in time to hear me yelp as I got an electric shock of Gil’s vocal mic. Bad cable, changed and seemed to be ok. A bum gig though, the shocks came back towards the end so Gil couldn’t sing and the stage wobble got worse. The crowd got aggressive and I noticed one of the bouncers leaving. After the last song, we piled into the dressing room, the last one in being Kim who screamed she had just seen a rat run across the stage. She asked me how long they had played ‘One hour and two minutes’ I said. ‘Right then, then, that’s our contract, no encore’ and a vote was taken to get the hell out as quickly as possible. Steve and I go back on stage to break down the gear and someone lets off a foam fire extinguisher at us. The guitars are safe but the drums, amps and cabs get hit. Steve and I are trying to see who it is but the houselights stay off. When they do eventually go back on, the stage is a mess and the crowd have dispersed. We clean up as much as possible with a half a dozen towels and think the bouncer knew what was coming. Load out took an extra hour because of the cleaning and then to the hotel to scrub ourselves down and get drunk.

12月11日 イタリア、サン・ヴィットリ

サン・ヴィットリは、それ自体が人口10万人以下の町であるチェゼーナの郊外にある。The Vidia Clubはサン・ヴィットリの住宅街の中にある。ありがたいことに、ボブは以前にここに来たことがあったので、迷って何時間もドライヴするハメにはならなかった。昨晩のギグとは大違いで、ステージはぐらぐらと揺れ、下を見てみるとガタガタのビールケースなどを積み重ねたものだった。鼠が見えたが、そのことはメンバーには伝えないことにした。セッティング中、デンジャー・ゾーンとスキャナーズが到着した時、俺はジルのヴォーカル・マイクで感電して悲鳴をあげていた。ケーブルを変えると問題なさそうだったが、ギグの出来はガッカリ。後半また感電するようになり、ジルは歌えず、ステージの揺れも悪化。観客はアグレッシヴになり、バウンサーの1人が退場。最後の曲が終わると、俺たちは楽屋に一斉に乗り込む。最後に来たキムがステージを走り抜ける鼠を見つけ、叫び声をあげる。彼女が何分プレイしたかと聞くので、「1時間2分だ」と答えた。「それならいいわ。契約を満たしてるから、アンコールは無し」と、多数決で可能な限りすぐに立ち去ることに。スティーヴと俺がステージに戻り、機材をバラしていると、誰からが消化器の泡を俺たちに向けて発射。ギターは大丈夫だったが、ドラムとアンプ、キャビにかかってしまった。スティーヴと俺は犯人を見つけようとしたが、客電は落ちたまま。やっと客電がついた時は、ステージはめちゃくちゃで、客は散り散りになった後。6枚のタオルでできる限り綺麗にしたが、バウンサーはこうなることをわかっていたのだと思う。おかげで撤収には余計に一時間かかった。ホテルに戻ると、自分たちを綺麗にしてから酔っ払う。

12th December – Bari, Italy

Terrific stage crew at this one, Steve and I hardly had to do any lifting and were plied with grappa as soon as we arrived. The local boys had even cleaned the drum kit for us. There was buzz in the amps which turned out to be a bad earthing system in the club (this was very typical for Italy back in those days) so I ran my own earth wire from the stage power supply to a water pipe just to be safe. Skanners were on the bill again, our last show in Italy and they gave Steve and me a bottle of whiskey each. Good gig, left Italy on a high note.



13th December – Day Off/Travel

A leisurely drive over two days to France via Switzerland so we stopped off in Rome for a few hours as nobody except Bob had been there before. We didn’t arrive until the afternoon so could only squeeze in The Vatican and the Colosseum but both were awe inspiring.



写真2a :コロッセオのクリス。
Photo 2a : Cris in the Colosseum

写真2b :コロッセオのキム。
Photo 2b : Kim in the Colosseum

14th December – Day Off/Travel

Out of Italy, into Switzerland and then across Switzerland to the French border via Montreux where we all sang Smoke On The Water. Along the way we saw postcard Swiss chalets on the mountains and I imagined there must be at least a few girls in the area named Heidi. We stopped at a service station and had lunch. I tried Bündnerfleisch for the first time. It was a sensory overload on my tastebuds and was going to have more but then I realised how much I had just paid for it. Before leaving we stocked up on Lindt chocolate, Läckerli and smiled as lots of cows wandered down a hill to greet us, their cowbells randomly clanking. Arriving at the hotel in France around 8pm, we are hungry but Bob tells us he’s got no cash until the banks open tomorrow and so Kim offers to pay for dinner with her credit card and we can all pay her back tomorrow. ‘What a good idea!’ and we head to the hotel restaurant. During dinner, Denise somehow discovers that the tab can be transferred to the bar when we have finished eating and we retire there after stuffing ourselves and order two more bottles of wine. Thereafter, Bob and Steve decided a cognac would be a good nightcap. I decline feeling rather tired and head to bed.


イタリアを出てスイスを抜け、モントルーの国境からフランスへ。みんなで「Smoke on the Water」を歌う。道中スイスの山小屋のポストカードを見て、この地方には何人かのハイジという女性がいるに違いないと想像した。ガソリンスタンドでランチ。初めてビュンドナーフライシュを試す。俺の味蕾には感覚過負荷で、もっと食べようと思ったが、いくら払ったかを思い出しやめる。リンツのチョコレートとレッカリーを買い込み、カウベルを不規則に鳴らしながら丘を歩く牛たちが挨拶してくるのを見て微笑む。20時頃フランスのホテルに着くと、お腹がペコペコだったが、ボブが明日銀行が開くまでキャッシュが無いと言う。キムが自分のカードでみんなの分を払ってくれるというので、お金は明日返すことに。良いアイデアだ。ホテルのレストランに向かう。デニースが勘定はバーへ回せることを発見し、たらふく食べた後にワインをもう2本注文。ボブとスティーヴは寝酒にコニャックを選んだが、俺は疲れていたのでお断りし、ベッドに向かう。

写真3 :スイスの山々
Photo 3 : Swiss mountains

15th December – Besancon, France

I wake up with aches and pains – I may have caught flu. The venue is an old cinema. Easy access, lots of stage crew, decent sound, no problems. Support band is Fallen Angel (no idea what happened to them). I get through the gig downing lots of French medicine from the chemist on the same street as the gig. I have no idea what it actually is but works wonders, especially with a few beers.



16th December – Day Off/Travel

I don’t know what it was but it wasn’t the flu. I slept all morning as we drove to Montpellier, woke up around 2pm feeling great, just before we arrived at the Novotel. We split up for a few hours to go shopping, reconvening at 7pm for dinner in the hotel restaurant. Cris, Kim and Bob have an early night but Denise, Gil, Steve and I fancy a night out and go to the venue we are playing tomorrow to see what it’s like. At the door, I see a familiar face, it’s Jean-Pierre who I remember from touring France with Def Leppard a few years ago. I jog his memory, he invites us in, clears a table and tells us to drink whatever we want – on the house. We start with four large Jack Daniels and continue drinking large Jack Daniels until the club closes at 3am when Jean-Pierre puts us in a taxi and tells the driver to charge it to the club. We like Jean-Pierre a lot. Back at the hotel, the night porter wouldn’t open the gate to let us in so we had to climb over it and then luckily found the front door unlocked. I’m not sure how the next set of events unfolded but Steve and Gil crashed out in mine and Steve’s hotel room which meant I had to crash out in Denise’s room. All fine except Denise was up for fun and kept running up and down the hotel corridor banging on doors and waking people up. I apologised to the night porter twice for the inconvenience but then she wanted to re-arrange the hotel room and started by throwing all the food into the corridor. Other guests were out of their rooms wondering what the commotion was, the night porter was back again shouting ‘Gendarmerie! Gendarmerie!’. I tried to placate him in my best French (which actually wasn’t bad back then but is terrible now) as a yogurt flew past my head, splattered behind me and slowly oozed down the monogrammed wallpaper. ‘Je vais nettoyer ça’ I said hoping he would understand. He shouted ‘Gendarmerie!’ again and stormed off as a slice of bread stuck to the wall where the yogurt had landed. I went back into the room to find Denise in incontrollable fits of laughter. Cris and Kim came in, Kim got the giggles while Cris fumed. Around then I passed out on the floor.


何だかわからないが、風邪ではなかったようだ。モンペリエまでドライヴする間中寝ていて、ノヴォテルに着く直前の14時に目を覚ますと、気分は良かった。みんなそれぞれ数時間ショッピングに行き、19時にホテルのレストランに再集結。クリス、キム、ボブはすぐに寝たが、デニース、ジル、スティーヴと俺は、明日プレイする会場を見に行く。入り口に見知った顔が。数年前デフ・レパードのツアーで会ったジャン・ピエールだ。彼の記憶を呼び覚まし、中に入れてもらう。テーブルを片付けるとあるものは何でも飲んで良いと言われる。大きなジャック・ダニエルから始めて、午前3時にクラブが閉まるまで、それを飲み続けた。ジャン・ピエールが俺たちをタクシーに押し込み、料金はクラブのツケでと言う。ジャン・ピエールが大好きだ。ホテルに戻ると、ポーターが門を開けてくれないので、よじ登って中に入ると、幸いドアの鍵は開いていた。どういう訳かスティーヴとジルが俺たちの部屋で寝てしまったので、俺はデニースの部屋で寝るハメに。デニースが寝ずにホテルの廊下を歩き回り、ドアを叩いて人々を起こしたこと以外は問題なし。俺はポーターに2度謝ったが、今度は彼女は廊下に食べ物を投げ始めた。他の客も、何の騒ぎかと部屋から出てくる。ポーターが「Gendarmerie! Gendarmerie!(警察!警察!)」と叫びながら戻ってきたので、俺のフランス語を駆使してポーターをなだめようとした。(当時はわりとフランス語を話せたんだ。今はさっぱりだけれど。)ヨーグルトが俺の頭をかすめ、俺の後ろのモノグラムの壁にぶつかり、ゆっくりと垂れていく。理解してくれることを期待しながら、「Je vais nettoyer ça(私が掃除します)」と言ったが、彼はまた「Gendarmerie!」と叫んで去って行った。パンの切れ端が壁にくっつき、ヨーグルトは床に垂れた。部屋に戻るとデニースは笑い転げていた。クリスとキムがやってきて、クリスが怒っている一方キムはクスクス笑っていた。その頃俺は床で気を失った。

17th December – Montpellier, France

Woke up and there was no one there. Decided to go to my room but then couldn’t remember the number. Went down to reception and saw Bob, Steve and Gil in the breakfast room. Bob asked me about last night and I recounted the events as best as I could. ‘Doug’s not going to like this’ he mused as he chomped on his cornflakes. Reception told me my room number was 306, if they new about last night, they didn’t say anything. I showered and changed and went out for a walk. We all met up at the gig, Denise apologised and then laughed. Told her not to worry about it, no apology necessary. Cris wasn’t very happy but was laughing once the sound-check was out of the way and I told her about Denise’s uncanny ability to skim a slice of bread across a room and land it vertically on a yogurt. Jean-Pierre came into the dressing room and apologised as he had no control over the support band who are called California. They a cabaret band who did cover versions of France’s Top 20 which this week happened to include Europe’s The Final Countdown, The Communards’ Don’t Leave Me This Way and Kim Wilde’s version of You Keep Me Hanging On. Great gig by the girls and as we left, I thanked Jean-Pierre for his hospitality. ‘Reviens bientôt mon ami’ he said and I promised him I would. (Sadly, I haven’t seen him since).


目を覚ますと誰もいない。自分の部屋に行こうとしたが、部屋番号が思い出せない。レセプションに行くと、ボブ、スティーヴ、ジルが朝食をとっているのが見えた。ボブに昨晩何が起こったのか聞かれたので、可能な限り詳しく話す。「ダグは怒るだろうな」と、彼はコーンフレークを食べながら物思いにふけっていた。レセプションが俺の部屋は306だと教えてくれた。昨晩のことを知っていれば、何も教えてくれなかっただろう。シャワーを浴びて着替え、散歩に出た。みんなに会場で会い、デニースは謝罪してから笑った。彼女に心配しなくていい、謝る必要はないと言った。クリスは愉快そうではなかったが、サウンドチェックが終わって、デニースのパンを投げてヨーグルトの真上に命中させる異様なスキルについて話すと笑っていた。ジャン・ピエールが楽屋にやって来て、カリフォルニアというサポート・バンドについて、どうすることもできなかったと謝罪した。彼らはフランスのトップ20をカヴァーするキャバレー・バンドで、今週はヨーロッパの「Final Countdown」やコミュナーズの「Don’t Leave Me This Way」、キム・ワイルドの「You Keep Me Hanging On」が含まれていた。ガールスクールのギグは素晴らしく、去り際にジャン・ピエールにおもてなしを感謝した。「Reviens bientôt mon ami(またすぐに戻っておいで、友よ)」と彼は言い、俺もそう約束した。(残念ながら、これ以降彼には会っていない。)

写真4 :ステージのデニース。このツアー中のどこか。
Photo 4 : Denise onstage somewhere on this tour

18th December – Orléans, France

The hotel is a dump and Bob complained to the promoter. His name is Bernhard and it’s clear he doesn’t like the English. Bob wants a different hotel and Bernhard gets huffy and says all the other hotels are full but he’ll see what he can do later. Liar. The support band are called Pregnant Virgin and they also clearly don’t like the English as well. They want me to move all the equipment back three feet, I tell them no. Plenty of room, set up and get on with it which they grumpily do. Much to our surprise, a TV film crew turns up and start setting up. Bob corners Bernhard who says he doesn’t know anything about it – it was arranged by Doug. Liar. Without a contract signed by Doug, Bob won’t let them film the gig and Bernhard gets huffy again. A compromise is reached where they interview the girls but no filming the gig. The show goes well, the audience is happy, Bernhard is nowhere to be seen at the end of the gig and guess what…there’s no news of a different hotel.



19th Rouen, France

The hotel told us we had missed breakfast. This at 7:30am and they wouldn’t change their mind. We go and find Bob and take off for Rouen stopping at a bakery just outside of town so we can grab something to eat. Bob is out for revenge as Bernhard is the promoter again tonight. We arrive at the venue 4:30pm and leave again at 4:40pm after Bob has an argument with Bernhard about last night’s hotel and Bernhard tells us to ‘Fuck off back to England’. Bob phones Doug, Doug phones Bernhard and tells him to come up with cash for the hotel in one hour or indeed Girlschool will fuck off back to England. Fifty-five minutes later, Bernhard huffily hands Bob an envelope, Bob counts it and nods to me and Steve to unload the gear. Now we are running late so no soundcheck but it was a case of get on and hope for the best. As it happens, a thousand people turned up and the girls played a blinder.



写真5 :移動中のジル
Photo 5 : Gil in transit

20th December – Douai, France

We did the three-hour drive to Douai via Amiens, another of the cities I’ve wanted to visit for some time. We didn’t have time to stop but we did drive past the Cathédrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens, one of the most magnificent cathedrals in the world, twice as big as the Notre-Dame in Paris. I would have loved to have stayed longer and visited the battlefields of the Somme and Jules Verne’s house but it is not to be on this tour; I’ll get back there one day. (nope!) After setting the gear up, every mic was live with between 36V – 50V on all of them. Can’t perform like that and the local crew knew nothing about the P.A. so I spent almost six hours trying to fix it to no avail. At 11pm, we had to cancel the show. Kim made the announcement. The fans were disappointed but were calm and left politely.



21st December – Paris, France

It’s the last night of the tour, everyone is in good spirits and looking forward to going home for Christmas. La Locomotive turns out to be literally next door to the famous Moulin Rouge and although the load-in is up and down stairs and across a dance floor, we are having fun and it is not laborious. Good sound-check, 1,000 tickets sold and time for a laugh. Denise goes out to do her introduction to the audience and Steve handcuffs her to the mic stand (real handcuffs, I have no idea where Steve got them) and then jumps on her drum kit and starts playing them. Whilst the girls are looking at him in amazement and Denise is wondering how to get free, I switch guitars using the AB Box and start playing the intro to Nothing To Lose. The audience cheer although they probably have no idea what’s going on. After a couple of minutes, normal service is resumed and they conclude the show. Loads of beer and wine and JD in the dressing room but the tour ends here. The girls are staying on to do a TV show, Bob, Steve and myself head off for the early ferry from Calais.

For the first time in two months, the bus is silent.


ツアーの最終日。みんな機嫌が良く、クリスマスに向け家に帰るのを楽しみにしている。La Locomotiveは文字通りムーランルージュの隣であることがわかる。ダンスフロアを抜け階段を登り降りしての搬入は、楽しかったが大変だった。サウンドチェックも良く、チケットも1000枚売れている。デニースがステージに出ていくと、スティーヴが彼女とマイクスタンドを手錠(本物の手錠。どこで手に入れたのか不明)でつなぎ、彼女のドラムセットでプレイを開始。他のメンバーが目を丸くして彼を見ている間、デニースはどうやって抜け出そうか思案している。俺はAB BOXを使ってギターをスイッチし、「Nothing to Lose」のイントロをプレイし始める。何が起こっているのかわからなかっただろうが、オーディエンスは歓声をあげる。数分後、普通の状態に戻り、彼女たちはショウを終了。楽屋にはビールにワイン、ジャック・ダニエルが大量にあったが、ツアーはここで終了。メンバーたちはテレビ出演のためここに残るが、ボブ、スティーヴ、そして俺はカレーから早朝のフェリーで帰宅。2ヶ月間で初めて、バスは静か。

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