Some years ago, in the mid-nineties, I went back up north to visit my parents in Doncaster.
‘What have you been up to, Son?’ said my dad.
‘I've been in Iceland on a glacier with a helicopter,’ I began.
‘You know what? Will you promise me you’ll keep a diary? Stuff like that doesn't normally happen to people,’ he said.
And so I did. Not all the time, but a lot of the time – often when I’ve been out on the road being a ‘rock star’ and sometimes when I’m at home fixing the dish-washer and bathing the kids. Waking up in a hotel room in Canada in the middle of the night, to discover a crowd at the foot of the bed watching me sleep... Driving round the outside lane of the M25 with Neil Armstrong in the back of my car… Being arrested and marched at machine-gun point off a train in Poland... Singing solo in Coniston Church at Donald Campbell’s funeral, the day after 9/11… Sailing the Caribbean with Yes, Tangerine Dream and a host of progressive rock ‘Gods’… Standing in the open doorway of the Oval Office, just after Clinton went to bed… Swapping lead vocals with Fish in Geneva… Having to change rooms to avoid hardcore sado-masochistic sex games in San Diego… Having our 747 diverted and landed so that the FBI could arrest Cat Stevens… Miming without “playback” on live TV in front of the King of Spain… Getting a call on my mobile from the International Space Station... And then there’s the many, many gigs all over the world.
They do say, “If you can remember it, it can’t have been that good”.
That’s why you should write it down.
Steve Hogarth is the lead singer of Marillion. This new 656-page volume combines the previous two books, collecting together Steve's diaries from 1991-2014.
Cover photography courtesy of Freddy Billqvist. Cover design by Robert Hammond.
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