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Published: October 7th 2011
San Fran i think!
Up early and checking emails and the house sale had gone through!!! Hooooorrrrrayyyy! So now officially homeless.
We had to walk to the station due to the taxi situation, so me limping along and Howard carrying two rucksacks and the back pack set off. We were just walking along when this black guy crosses the road over to us and asked if I was ok and if then asked if we could use a few dollars! So less than an hour homeless and already being offered money!!!
We caught the Pacific Surfliner train and again had to sit upstairs. This time there were no reclining seats as it wasn’t a sleeper train and the tray was to high, so we plonked ourselves in the reserved group area – this meant we could sit opposite each other and I could put my foot up on Howard. The guard let us stay there as I could put my foot up but warned us as the train was fully booked we would have to make new best friends. At one point an old Mexican man sat next to us for a while but that was it and the train never appeared to
be actually full.
There were no long stops until LA so no getting off at all until then where we had 20 minutes but in order to smoke you had to walk to the end of the platform and over a small road. I decided to give it a go as it was a 6 hour journey! It took me 5 minutes to get to the area so I decided to check the time with a young lad there incase my watch was wrong. It turned out he was born in Sunderland but had left aged 10 do didn’t know Stockton but as we were ‘fellow Brits’ we had a chat, he was training to be a fireman and didn’t want to live in the USA as he didn’t like the way people behave now – no respect or politeness etc and thought the UK would probably be the same – which I confirmed! He insisted on walking me back to the train which was very sweet of him and we wished each other well, shook hand and he said god bless you and off we went again.
We duly arrived in San Diego which again looked lovely,
Howard and his buddies!
quaint houses and buildings, hobbled out to the taxis and got to our hotel – The Old Town Inn, which was a lovely whitewashed low building, rooms around the nice pool. Howard went off to do the washing – not so much now as half our stuff was left in San Francisco or posted back to Debbie! I rested the ankle.
We decided to set off for the UFO gig about 6ish as doors opened at 7 and we wanted to get something to eat first. The hotel receptionist and the taxi driver had never heard of the venue – Brick by Brick but thanks to Howard’s foreward planning he managed to guide the driver there! Right next to the venue was a bar with an outside restaurant and parked right next to it was the tour bus!! The restaurant is famous for its barbecue food and the staff were all really friendly. We had humungus platefuls, Howard had chicken and I had pulled pork and pulled beef it was delicious! We spotted (or thought we had) Phil Mogg sat outside but as we were eating and didn’t want to appear too much like groupies (ha ha) we didn’t
go over. We had a jug of beer and listened to the Outlaws.
On the way round to the gig we met a lovely Mexican lad who happened to be wearing a UFO t shirt so we all go chatting and turned out he played in a band called Natural Habits, so after a good long talk about rock music we went in to the venue.
It was a great little place which held about 300, with a stage at one end, bar in the middle and pool table and seats at the other end. There were about 5 small round high tables with stools in the stage area and all of them had people at them, however I spotted a couple of spare stools at one table so we went over and ended up with them. So we met Michael, a lovely guy who was on his own and quite happy for us to join him. He was very enthusiastic about rock music and clearly went to a lot of gigs on his own and although a bit shy at first was good company and very kind – helping me to get up onto the swivelling bar stool and looking after our drinks when we went out for a cigarette (do not call them fags in USA!) or to the loo.
The first band were a young Brazillian group and pretty good but probably a bit more thash than the older UFO crowd seemed used too but they still went down really well. The second band the Tay Taylor band were just instrumental but very good but got a bit samey after a while.
By now Howard is well oiled, I’ve bought a t-shirt, and we have chatted to lots of people – mainly due to our UFO t-shirts – mine as it’s English and Howard’s as it’s old!! Had a good crack on with the couple on the next table and Howard gets adopted by group of American blokes who are well away and obviously loved UFO. It was hilarious they kept calling Howard ‘the Man’ and taking lots of drunken group photos, so I took one too!
By the time UFO came on the place was rammed! And there was no way anyone could get to the front if they weren’t already there. They played a cracking set, all the favourites and 4 new tracks all of which were excellent. Around us everyone was dancing as I would have been ordinarily! It was a great atmosphere. At one point there was nearly a fight as some very drunk bloke with coifeurred hair and a suit jacket kept trying to dance with some bikers, he kept trying to get hold of one of them to dance with him, it was hilarious!, he got shoved away and fortunately got the message.
At the end we said our goodbyes and went out to find NO taxis!, we asked someone about this and he said you have to ring for one it’s not like London. We were getting worried as it was in the middle of what looked like an industrial estate and nothing was open and by now my foot is agony when suddenly a taxi appeared. Howard goes over and we get in, it’s obvious Howard has blagged this when the driver says – so you phoned and booked this cab right? And Howard says yes, I just kept my mouth shut!!
So a great night, great to meet lots of American and Mexican rock fans and yes the universal language and camaraderie of rock strikes again!
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