So after travelling out of San Francisco for a couple of hours after the gig, it left us with about a four hour drive the following morning to LA for that night’s gig at the iconic Whisky A Go-Go on Sunset Boulevard, so it was an 11:00 van call, allowing us to get to LA for a 15:00 load in.
The drive was pretty routine and we even had time to stop at the guitar centre on Sunset Strip. Brian and Abbz headed straight for the vintage section, while Dean checked out the bass section. After thirty minutes of drooling over the hundreds of guitars and amps, Brian came out with a pack of Pink Floyd playing cards!
After a swift load in, set up and soundcheck, we headed out to the Rainbow for a meal with Mike and Julie Lace who had flown over from the UK to catch ten of the gigs.
I then walked back to Riley’s bar which is next door to the Whisky to meet up with four gentlemen of a certain age, the self proclaimed ‘Coffin Dodgers’, two of whom had also flown out from the UK for three gigs, along with two ex-pat Long Beach residents, all of whom I’ve known since schooldays. They were all looking rather resplendent in custom made ‘Coffin Dodgers’ US tour t-shirts with the three dates that they are attending emblazoned on the back.
Of all the dates on the tour this is the one I was most eagerly looking forward to, so to get the chance to be here not once but twice on this tour is amazing. Add to that the hooking up with old friends and you have the prospect of an awesome night in store.
The Whisky is steeped in rock history having opened its doors in 1964 and every band worth its salt has graced the stage here, a real A-Z of rock royalty.
This was to be Dean the agent’s last night with us due to other business and we had a great chat on the journey down to LA. He has been a prominent figure, along with Karl Wilcox, in organising the last four Diamond Head US tours and he had this story to tell me about one of his first trips with the band, and he’s happy for me to share it with you all.
“Dean had to have his prostrate removed due to cancer and had another operation later on to have a valve fitted to correct the penile dysfunction that developed due to the initial op. This was just prior to the first US tour he booked for the band, and on one of the first road trips of the tour, just as Dean and the band were getting acquainted, the valve malfunctioned giving Dean an erection… in the van, with the band who he hadn’t long met, and to make matters worse he couldn’t correct it! He had to use Karl’s towel to cover his midriff.
“It took frantic calls to his specialist in another state to get the advice on how to deflate it, shall we say, and finally get some relief. The information on how to do this had obviously already been given to him, he just hadn’t bothered to read it!”
If you can imagine this tale being told in a typical American way, then you may be half way to realising how funny this actually was at the time. It’s fair to say the band and Dean know each other a lot better now!
With everyone back in the venue, I caught the last of the four support bands who did their job well, warming up the crowds for the main event and by now the place was rammed and you could feel the sense of anticipation from the hordes.
With the Coffin Dodgers at the ready at stage right, Diamond Head blasted their way through the same ninety minute set as the night before in San Fransisco, where incidentally I forgot to mention the first winner of the #amievilface competition.
A great guy by the name of Caz received his prize from the guys with his name going into a finale draw at the end of the tour for some extra special goodies, so if you haven’t done so already, get your most #amievil face sent over to the band’s Instagram page with the hashtags #amievilface and #diamondheadustour2016 to be in with a chance of winning this awesome competition.
Tune in again for the next instalment from Las Vegas.