Why did I leave the Richard Kent Style (a well known band), a beautiful girlfriend and head out to Beirut with a bunch of under-rehearsed misfits? Because I was dumb, that's why!
I guess there WAS a little more to it . I was fed up with the cabaret and more cabaret, chicken-in a basket scene that the o'l Kent Style were doing and needed to just do ANYTHING.
I had known Kirk for some time and kind of knew that it would all end in disaster. Nevertheless, I went ahead into one of the most amazing adventures of my life, some of it good, most of it really bad.
After a little rehearsal the "band" got into pretty good shape, we started well, morale was high and there were quite a few girls. But a 3 month trip turned into a 6 month nightmare.
The Israelis decided to lay a commando raid on the airport , and blew up 6 Middle East Airline jets. Things started to deteriorate somewhat after that, especially the money . On our arrival we naively surrendered our passports and it was decided that our option of going home after 3 months was not an option after all, so it turned into a mandatory 6 month gig! We were trapped!
Eventually we left literally with our tails between our legs via a 3 day hellish layover in Sofia Bulgaria before we were able to board our twin-prop Bulgarian Airlines flight back to London.
Meanwhile I had been ripped off by Kirk, ripped off by the agent, ripped off by the club owner of Barbarellas, where we played as an organ trio and been arrested at gunpoint by the police, and jailed overnight in a Beirut Jail with organist Pete Marsh. A little visa expiration "problem" seemed to be the trouble!
The Lebanese police were out looking for Israeli "spies " after their beloved airport had been violated and we seemed to be the closest thing, as we were pulled from our cab on our way back to our apartment after the gig early one morning and ushered into a jeep with machine guns trained on us.
Naturally , the "fine " to get us out of jail was deducted from our pay by the clubowner! Aaahh the memories! One day I hope to tell the 'Rat -in- the-oven' story.