Last saturday (12th August) Mark Lemarr sat in for Jonathon Ross on BBC Radio2. Now I’m not much a fan of Radio 2 with a couple exceptions. Both Mark, Jonathan (with Johnnie Walker & Bob Harris having followed them from Radio 1 being the others) are both are very entertaining, informative and come across as being very passionate about music.
Any way Mark had John Otway on the show. Not a name necessarily familiar with music fans these days; to me he is a very much a 70s artist. It turns out that John is still going strong, like a few other artists a fortunate enough to have very strong and loyal fan base (Gary Numan being another such example).
The show with Mark and John had a large section of the discussion devoted to talking about John’s upcoming world tour. Nothing special in that, except John has chartered an Airbus A340 to do the tour and selling seats on the aircraft as part of a package to tour with him – for the £4000 you get to go to all the gigs, fly with the John and the band, and stay in the hotels – not bad. The tour starts in Liverpool’s cavern (made famous by the Beatles) then heads onto New York, Las Vegas and then Tahiati for a break. From Tahiati the tour then heads onto take in Sydney. Being in Sydney, John tried to book the Sydney gig into one of the smaller theatres in the Opera House. The smaller threatres turn out to be all booked, but hey, the main theatre was available – so thats what he is going to do. Steve Harley is also joining the tour in Sydney onwards.
John and his guitarist have also concocted a plan to break a world record for the longest guitar solo. They’re going to do this by starting to play guitar three minutes before they fly across the date line and continue for a three minutes afterwards – thus having peformed for one day and six minutes! Complete with three hundred fans on board to witness the record being set!
The tour stops off in China and performing a city with a population of seven million who have never had an artists from the west perform there before, let alone someone like John Otway. John was saying for that gig he has insisted that he go on stage and perform first (normally the support slot), just so that he can claim to be the first western musician to have performed in that part of China.
The tour is meant to last about two weeks and more information can bew obtained from John’s website here. The fasinating thing is that the tour has been largely paid for because fans had selected a song of John’s to be released as a single to celebrate his 50th birthday which they then all proceeded to purchase, giving him a top ten hit.
The conversaion went on and joked around how fans could phone into the show and the could arrange seating reservations etc. The show can be heard again for a little longer through the BBC website here.