It’s nearly time to get ready for this year’s touring – ooh
Well, let’s see – when did I last write a diary update? Was
it ages ago?
Hopefully everyone had a good Christmas or whatever you celebrated around
the end of last year. All of us at Tull Towers had varying degrees of
festiveness, of course you know we all live together in a huge stone
castle, and on Christmas day we all gathered round the tree to open our
presents. Unfortunately I had managed to mix up the labels on my gifts
to Ian and his family, but he looks quite the dandy in the ladies gloves
One I had recovered form the New Year celebrations it was time to get
on with different musical projects including the new Tull project – more
on that later.
So back to the present day, some of you lovely people may know I’m
a bit of a plane-spotter. I mean, I don’t have the anorak but I
am sometimes to be found at the end of the runway at a Royal Air force
base close to where I live. I know I should get out more, but it keeps
me out of the pub.
Anyway, just the other day I hurried down to a different Air force base
a few miles further away in the hope of getting in on the buzz created
by the arrival of 14, yes 14 USAF B52 bombers due to be stationed there.
Well, I arrived along with a whole bunch of other rubber-neckers to find
the planes had flown in earlier that morning, so nothing much to see
or hear in the noisy landing department.
Not to be deterred, I drove around the perimeter of the base and found
myself a secluded but public lane in which to park and have the lunch
I had just procured from a nearby Scottish restaurant.
As is often the case, I sat my air-band receiver on the dash in the hopes
of tuning in to any interesting broadcasts from the tower or approach
traffic controllers. As there were still a few on-lookers in the area
there was something of a police presence in assorted vehicles, but as
they all drove past me several times without incident I figured that
if they had a problem with me being there they would doubtless move me
An hour or so later, just as I was really regretting my choice of lunch
and preparing to leave, a police van whose occupants had already scoped
me out several times pulled up and stopped beside me. English policemen
are usually very courteous and as I was by now a little bored I wound
down my window to greet an approaching officer.
He smiled and asked if the vehicle was mine, all pretty standard stuff,
and of course I answered to the affirmative. At that moment his interest
was suddenly aimed towards the air-band receiver that he referred to
as a “scanner”, sitting on the dash. He asked what I was
listening to and I told him that there wasn’t much to listen to.
This is where it all gets a little silly.
He motioned to the remaining occupants of the vehicle, numbering five,
and they joined him at my window and around my car. I was asked to get
out of the vehicle as the initiating officer looked puzzlingly at my
radio receiver. He asked me if I was listening to police broadcasts,
and I replied that I wasn’t at the end of a runway to listen to
police broadcasts, that, on the odd occasion I have heard them are frankly
Still clutching the receiver, he was then interested in some notes on
the passenger seat of my car. I told him I was a musician and they were
chords to music I had been working on earlier that week.
I got the feeling that this guy was either unhappy with the situation,
over-sensitive in theses troubled times or just plain bored. Next thing
I knew the hood was up, as was the trunk, doors wide open, seat-pockets
emptied and sifted through, I was being searched by six
policemen in a lane on a Wednesday afternoon in the English countryside!
My details were radioed in to the big ‘computer in a cupboard’ to
confirm my identity.
Another officer found a huge bag of musical instrument cords and cables
in the trunk, again left-over from earlier Tull recording. He even joked
to his buddies that is could be the makings of an explosive device. I
reminded him that as a frequent air traveler myself, those kind of ‘jokes’ are
the stuff of a good telling-off. He didn’t reply.
Once they had satisfied themselves that I wasn’t an international
terrorist they put my car back together. I suppose the worst part of
all this is that they confiscated my air-band radio! They said it had
go to ‘the lab’ to get checked
out for I don’t know what. In the end I couldn’t work out
what the issue actually was.
Was it that I had a ‘scanner’ and was listening to policemen
chasing shop-lifters? Was it the presence of 14 nuclear capable B52 bombers
in the English countryside? Whatever the reason it broke up my afternoon,
and it has to be said that most English bobbies are very polite and courteous.
It just remains to
be seen whether or not I get my receiver back.
So back to more musical activities, me and the boys are busy working
on our contributions towards the next Tull release, more detailed information
of which I’m sure Ian will impart soon. We’re experimenting
with producing our individual efforts in our own studios and via data
exchange build the music digitally. It’s a novel way to work, and
while most of the music has been played and recorded in a live environment,
it’s good to be able to tweak the odd note.
Watch out for Ian’s next posting.
Well, will you look at the time……….
Hands up who’s coming to see us in the spring/summer?
Ok hands down.
See you soon…………………………………..