Left to right, Piper, Eric, Fish and George. It has been my great privilege over the past twenty odd years to be involved in many projects with my good pal 'Fish'. I first met the big man way back in eighty-five where we both attended 'Live Aid'. At the time he was still singing with 'Marrillion' who were doing great business in Europe. He was talking about moving back up to the Edinburgh area and as I was still living in Dunfermline we spoke about getting together to do some recording or gigs together. Years later I got a call from him asking if I would like to take part in a benefit gig for the people of Lockerbie. I told him I was more than happy to participate and I ended up playing in the same band as Hal Lindes from 'Dire Straits', Janick Gers from 'Iron Maiden' and John Keeble from 'Spandau Ballet'. We played a blistering set at Lockerbie Rex Cinema and Bingo Hall, made some great new pals and managed to raise a little money for what was one of the twentieth century's worst air disasters. One of the most memorable times I spent with him was when we recorded an unofficial Scotland world cup song and appeared on the late night Channel 4 programme, 'Under the moon'. The song 'Scotland by our side' was written by ex con Eric Rowan. I never actually met the other musicians at the recording as my guitar and mandolin were the last instruments to be over dubbed so it was great to actually meet up with the guys at Waverley station. The first guy Eric introduced to me was Big George. Big George is a legendary figure in Glasgow. Weighing in at around Six stone, approximately six and a half-foot in height, cowboy hat and dressed from head to foot in Black rock god garb, He looked like a really thin version of Johnny Winter. I was unlucky enough to share a table with George for the entirety of the train journey. Most of the other guys produced the usual tins of beer but George was a different style of drinker altogether. He pulled a bottle of Gordons gin from a co-op bag and started slugging it down like it was 'Irn Bru'. Eric's partner Abigail had hired in a suitcase full of tartan gear and traditional Scottish dress, as we would be appearing on stage with a couple of guys from the Wallace Clan Trust. These guys were heavy-duty Scots men who wore traditional Scottish clothes all the time. They had been involved in the making of 'Braveheart', 'Rob Roy' and a host of other Scottish movies that were becoming popular at the time. I can honestly say that I have never seen so much drink going down peoples necks, and I have been in rock 'n' roll for twenty years. George who was now on his second bottle kept accidentally flicking his fag ash into my tin of beer. I would open another one and again he would flick his ash into it, apologising every time. I was relieved when he lapsed into a coma as we passed through Doncaster. Our accommodation for the evening was to be spent at the old rock 'n' roll favourite, 'The Columbia'. We checked into the hotel and sorted out a rooming list. I was in with Fish, Eric was in with Abigail and there was a toss up between the other five members to see who would be sharing with George. As Fish and myself started to unpack there came an almighty mighty scream from next door. I went out to investigate and Eric rushed past me wearing only a towel, he then proceeded to throw up into our toilet. Abigail was still screaming as she ran out into the corridor.
'Bruce don't go in there 'she shouted.
I cautiously entered the room and then the smell hit me. It was one of the most repulsive smells I have ever came across and there standing in the middle of the floor was Big George, bollock naked and covered in shit from the waist down. Two minutes earlier Abigail had asked George to come into the room for a clothes fitting as Eric was having a shower. George, still under the effect of the alcohol started to strip of in front of Abigail and as he cocked his leg to get his trousers of, his bowels exploded and pebble dashed the entire suit case full of clothes. I kid you not there was shit every where, on the carpet, down the walls and on the bed.
'You filthy fuckin' bastard' screamed Abigail
George sheepishly apologised and proceeded to wipe himself clean with Abigail's bathrobe. By now everyone on the whole floor were coming out of their rooms to investigate.
'What's that fucking smell?' being the most commonly asked question.
George got himself cleaned up but came downstairs wearing the same shitty trousers as he hadn't brought a change of clothing with him. He was rancid and completely stunk out one of the limo's that Channel 4 had sent round to take us to the studio. As we entered the make up room, the make up lady nearly fainted as George walked passed her.
'Are you all right Sir?' she enquired.
'Apart from the fact that I've just shat myself I feel sound as a pound hen' he replied.
George disappeared of to the green room and came back with a crate of Becks that he had liberated from the fridge. He then stripped to the waste and asked the make up lady to paint a big blue 'Zorro' scar across his chest. She was so scared of him that she did. The wardrobe lady then entered the room to see if any body needed any ironing done. George stripped of his shitty trousers and told her not to put a middle crease in them.
All I can say is thank god we were miming that night .I was so pissed I couldn't even speak in tune, never mind sing.