Oasis Trash Rockfield, Black Sabbath and others tales of rural destruction
12pm Monday December 15th.
I've been frantically typing away - it's a battle against the clock to finish my manuscript for my book ROCK LEGENDS AT ROCKFIELD (See pic of studio above). A real punch-up to the end. In the Blue corner, I'm armed with my Mac Laptop and determination. But in the Red corner, the clock is far more devious than me and seems to be playing dirty. I have to fight pangs of hunger, tiredness, and a DVD copy of the hysterically funny US sitcom Newsradio, which staring at me from across the desk - just daring me to play one quick episode. "It won't hurt" says the DVD "Just one short episode to cheer you up and boost morale. Going on! You know you want to." In my tired and paranoid state I'm convinced that the clock has set all these things against me.
But I refuse to give in, having been typing solidly since 7am. After and brutal and bloody 12 rounds, finally there's only one left standing. I'm the victor and my manuscript is finally sent off to University of Wales Press. The first major hurdle is beaten.
Over the past few days I've been tidying up some of the last few pieces of the jigsaw. Chapter 2 on Black Sabbath was awaiting one or two more pieces to make it complete. Finally former Sabbath and Whitesnake basist Neil Murray gets in touch to give me his comments on Rockfield. The guy's a legend and his answers are very eloquent and absolutely fascinating. His insights are added to the chapter and - hey presto - its finished. I'm very proud of the Sabbath chapter and feel its one of the funniest of the book (and that's against pretty stiff opposition)
The final piece of the jigsaw is chapter ten. It's the chapter focusing on the 90's. This mainly centres on the mayhem caused by Oasis and The Stone Roses during their visits. The centrepiece of the Oasis section is an interview with famous music photographer Michael Spencer Jones, who became friends with Oasis before they were famous and stayed with them for 3/4 years photographing them live and in the studio, He did most of their album and singles covers. For Be Here Be Now they dumped a Rolls Royce in a swimming pool. Michael says they did it simply because they could!!! They asked the record company for £100,000 for the car - the company exectives approved it probably thinking they'd end up with a Rolls after the shoot which they could put to use. But no! Oasis drove it straight it the pool, totally wrecking it -- as it wasn't a special James Bond underwater Rolls Royce. This one preferred dry land!
Michael was there at Rockfield when Oasis recorded (What's The Story) Morning Glory? It was during this that the band very nearly broke up. They had a fight with a rival band, started brawling amongst themselves and Rockfield ended up being trashed. Liams room was one of the worst scenes of destruction. Michael described some of the devastation "It was about as bad as it can get really. You know the bed was broken in half. The TV was on the outside of the room instead of the inside. Still plugged in as well!" Recording on the album was abandoned for a while as the band fled Rockfield but they later returned to finish it.
With Chapter Ten completed - I spend all day Sunday and this Monday Morning reading through everything, checking for spelling errors, grammatical mistakes and typos. It's tough going as its soooo interminably dull!!
1pm -- I can at last releax for now. I've emailed all the chapters off. So to relax I'm off to see the Red Star Rebels and LA Guns in Cardiff at The Point in a few days time. I'm really Looking forward to it. Both bands are superb. The Rebels ep Too Young To Care is awesome and a must buy for anyone who likes good old classic rock. LA Gun last CD Tales From the Strip was a real return to form. A cracking album.
So should be a great show!!
ROCK LEGENDS AT ROCKFIELD by Jeff Collins is to be published by the University of Wales Press in summer 2007.
It will be available to buy from www.amazon.com/www.amazon.co.uk.