So there I am, sitting in a hospital waiting room in Beunos Aries, trying not to look too English whilst surrounded by inquisitive locals talking Spanish, and Iím shrugging my shoulders a lot trying to convey some meaning in return. Please donít let it be broken, I repeat to myself over and over, but deep down I know the truth already of course, and the jovial X Ray men confirm it. I leave the hospital sometime later with half a ton of Plaster of Paris from my foot up to my knee, and a guest list comprising most of the staff, which is even weightier. I knew the Helloween South American tour was going to be hard going and memorable, but breaking my foot like this I could really do without, especially on the second day with three weeks to go and at least one and sometimes two flights a day to look forward to. Bollocks is the first word that springs to mind! And no! I was not drunk, in case anyone was wondering! The breakage occurred during the afternoon whilst setting up for the show in a dark venue, and like the Old Pro that I am I didnít cry at all. Mine isnít the only breakage by the way because later in the tour, Squid, our monitor engineer, breaks his hand in the process of being mugged in Ecuador and this causes much amusement to all, including him after the initial shock, because we now look a right pair! A few days after that during the first show in Mexico, one of the backline chaps is hit in the head by some twat throwing a half full can of beer on stage and the lead singer Andi, suffering by now from a terrible cold, loses his voice almost completely and although he manages to get through that gig, the next two shows (the last of the tour) are cancelled and that, apart from a short trip to the Pyramids, is that.
Back in Blighty, itís straight to Leeds where Mickey Dale and I work on some more keyboard sounds for the XFM gig and I get a chance to listen to the band rehearse some top new songs and go for an excellent curry, cheers Mick. A couple of days later I start my second broken footed tour, this time with ďThe MusicĒ. Itís their first ever tour and itís amusing to see what a group of youngsters just starting out in the business makes of a limping old timer like me. By the end of the tour, the band can be found tutting at the crews behaviour, and tell us that we need to grow up. I get my revenge by showing them a Mind Reading game that keeps them guessing and bemused to this day.
Which brings me right up to this morning when I had my plaster cast removed. And although Iím still not moving very quickly and have to use my walking stick (a present from the Brazilian promoters), it means I can take my first bath for weeks. I settle down in it to read my book, with the radio tuned to Classic FM, and emerge all wrinkly after about an hour, fantastic.