Roger Taylor (the drummer from Queen for those not in the know) went on tour in 1999, so I decided to go with him! I'm sure he was so pleased to see me night after night! It all started when the tickets went on sale so I phoned up and ordered 14! The lady on the other end of the phone seemed quite shocked! I was living in London at the time and was at university. Some scans of things I got signed and other random things can be found here.
The Roger Taylor tour began on 15 March 1999..................
15 March- Gloucester Guildhall here I come! Turned up not having a clue where anything was (this turned out to be the theme for the rest of the tour!). It seemed a pleasant place to be though so I asked someone to point me in the direction of the venue! Found it and spotted all the Roger girls outside the venue queued so joined them! Took photos of some posters inside the hall and then went in for the gig after queuing for a number of hours! ROGER was amazing! Set list was basically the same every night so I won't go into that! I set off in my black Fiesta to find Ross who was living somewhere in Bristol. It was gone 1am and I realised that how ever hard I tried, I was completely lost on the outskirts of Bristol so phoned Ross for help. Housemate and Ross then tuned up in a car, Ross got in the car with me and we followed his housemate home! Bed at last somewhere off the Gloucester Road!!
16 March- Cardiff Coal Exchange. The venue seemed in the middle of nowhere, quite an industrial area. God knows how I found it. I have vague memories of picking someone up from the station, and also queuing for a long time! But tonight was going to be my night! He turned up in the blue American style van thing and got out. Roger, can I have my photo taken with you please! Snap! Yay!!!!!!!! It was a bit blurred but fantastic all the same, I was shaking for ages afterwards! Becky, Cat and Dave turned up at some point and the gig was excellent! We were all starting to learn the 'dance moves' and Roger touched Cat's hand!!! Ahhh! We were all recovering outside when a guy came along and asked if anyone was going near Bristol airport as he had flown over from Holland (?) and had to get a flight back so we volunteered to drive him! Becky, Cat, Random and I got in the car and off we went! Dropped random at Bristol airport at about 1am and danced round the car and sang Crazy little thing called love very loudly with some strange looks from the two other people that were there at that time! Next drop off, Becky and Cat in North Bristol!
17 March- 2.30am ish- off I go back to London so I can go to a practical the next morning- why did I bother?! Stopped at every service station on the M4 and splashed my face with water. Arrived Westminster 5am. 2 hours sleep and off we go again. Sarah, Ritchie and I got into my car and drove over to Kensington for the practical! I left at 1pm to go back to Dorchester. Arrived home at 5ish and couldn't sleep (how I don't know!). Sat there waiting for 11pm when I had to pick up James from a pub on the A37 half way between Dorchester and Yeovil after his car rally. Left said pub at 11pm playing very loud Gina G with all the windows open to keep me awake. Arrived Exeter 1am and was introduced to people on his floor (and now know that WILL YOUNG was on the floor above!!!!!!!). Bed ASAP as need sleep!
18 March- Truro, Hall for Cornwall Now this is going to be a good one! James decided to come to Truro so we set off to Beckys halls of residence up the road and picked her up and set off at 11am for Truro from Exeter. Arrived 12.50pm! Not bad! Truro was lovely place! Decided I needed a thick black pen to get Roger to sign things so go into Woolies next door to the Hall for Cornwall (the venue for the gig!). Panicked that Rog would turn up whilst I was in there, then my Grandparents rang so they got to hear all the panic! Bought pen and he didn't turn up for about 2 hours! Oh well! Ran off to Superdrug to purchase some mascara and eyeshadow! Roger turned up in the end and went in for the sound check. Someone managed to prop the door open with a pen so we could hear it better and I'm sure he sound checked Is it me? but this was never played (as far as I recall!). He came out and we all said hi. I got him to sign a photo of me and him in Cardiff! I also managed to get a kiss from the man himself! The gig that night was brilliant, Becky and I were in the front row as usual, but I managed to drop my camera over the barrier- but tonight was the night for the sexy leather trousers. MMMMMMMMM Sexy! Great gig- you could tell Roger enjoyed this one!!!!! We were outside recovering again and hanging around when a guy was walking around asking if anyone was going home via Plymouth as he had no way of getting home! So we figured Plymouth was sort of near Exeter so Becky and I offered him a lift! His name was Jim and we still see him around at the all Queen do's. Hi Jim if you are reading this! We arrived at his place at about 2am and went in for a drink and to try and wake up a bit! Set off again for Exeter and arrived back at James's at 3am! Ooops. Sleep!!!!!
19 March-Stoke, The Sugermill Today was going to be my day off as I figured that Exeter to Stoke was quite a long way and that it would be best not to go so I hadn't bought a ticket. Last minute panic caused me to end up phoning on the day and getting a ticket and making it up the M5/M6 in a very short space of time. Picked up my ticket after finding the venue in what seemed like the middle of nowhere again! Had no one to go with this gig but Becky informed me that her mate Khiz would be there so I looked for him in the queue and found him! This was the smallest venue ever. I think there must have been about 200 people in there and we were right at the front and there was no barrier!!!!! Excellent intimate gig and I managed to get hold of the cup which Roger was drinking from! Outside, Khiz and I with some others all had a sip of the contents- Very strong whiskey and coke! I still have the plastic cup to this day- I am so sad! Had not planned to go to this gig so had nowhere to stay so phoned up Robin who I figured was the nearest person to Stoke (he lives in Coventry!) and he was out and we planned to meet outside his university at 2am. Got there and was totally lost. Asked some random students who pointed me off in the right direction and found Robin. Starting to feel really tired now as keep sleeping on the floor, but then its better than the car!
20 March- Manchester University Got there at some stupid early time to get to the front after getting totally lost in Manchester even though I thought this would be the easiest one to find as it was at the uni! Parked in an hospital car park and got changed, also in the car park! Josie turned up and we queued along with the Roger girls. Roger arrived for the sound check round the back and we managed to get to see him. No photos this time but I did get to speak to him. "Roger, will you play Man on fire" and he said "Oh, I don't know if I remember the words" and I then said "Roger, will you play us Hijack my heart then?" and then he laughed! Had some food and went in to the gig. Another excellent night! Josie and I met up with Andy and we all went to this bar called 'Mash'. Went to get some pizza and guess who was there?! This was the most embarrassing moment of my life- Roger's table were the only people in the whole place and they must have seen us. The waitress asked if we wanted a table so we said yeah and she went and put us on the table right next to Roger. I couldn't look at Roger but he was obviously having a good laugh and drink! Some of the band were there as was Debbie. At one point, we saw him wave a gold card around which I thought was funny! He was almost ready to leave as were we, so Josie went up and said that we had been at the gig and thought it was brilliant! We all agreed and he thanked us and I gave him a kiss on the cheek! I nearly fainted!!!!! So tired when we finally arrived back at Josie's in Leeds at some unearthly hour of the morning but what a fantastic night! :)
21 March- Sheffield Lead Mill. Josie and I got there quite early and totally by chance, drove past a random hotel and spotted the bands white van outside so decided to hang around and have a look. We saw the band and Roger come and go for a bit which was excellent! Then decided we should go off to the gig to start to queue. The gig was at the Leadmill but it was a rather long building, meaning that the back entrance was a long run from the queue! After queuing for a while Josie and I went for a wander and at that moment Roger's van go past the end of the road so we went round the back. Got there as he did and I think it was just us and couple of other people there! He stopped for a chat and I had my pic taken with him!
The gig of course was fantastic. Stayed at Josie's in Leeds again and was so tired by the time we got back there! That was the end of the first leg as I had to miss out the Scottish gigs due to some silly practical at uni so I figured that Scotland was just too far to go so on the 22nd March, I headed back to London and stayed there until 24th when I headed back up North to Leeds in preparation for the drive to Newcastle the next day!
25 March- Newcastle Riverside Josie, her boyfriend Chris and I went left for Newcastle early in the morning, with me driving! Got totally lost in Newcastle and managed to drive the wrong way down a bus lane and got pulled over by the Police Got a caution and then had to ask the Policeman where the venue was as we were totally lost! Finally found it and managed to meet most of the band! Here is a photo of me with the very sexy Cornish Matt Exelby!!!
Excellent gig and then drove back to Leeds. It is actually a long way when you are so tired and have driven so many miles! I nearly made in all the way back but was so tired that Chris had to drive the last bit of the journey! Drove back to London the next morning and went to my university halls boat party in the evening and didn't sleep much! Off to Liverpool the next morning....
27 March- Liverpool L2 Set off from London early and felt quite ill. The lack of sleep and all the driving was certainly getting to me! Arrived Liverpool about lunchtime. As far as I recall, I met him that day. I remember being on the phone to someone when he arrived and screaming at them!!!!! To be honest, I remember very little of this gig and don't even remember where I stayed that night!!! I will update this if I ever remember!!!
28 March- Cambridge, The Junction I remember driving to this one quite early in the morning and being lost on the ring road around Cambridge! The venue seemed quite out of the way! I remember nothing about this gig though! I was exhausted by this point! I drove back to London after the gig to sleep in my own bed for once!
29 March- Norwich Waterfront Woke up early and left via central London to stop and buy the new Roger single from Virgin megastores! Phoned Khiz and asked him if he wanted to come to the gig, so he said he would have a go at getting there by train from Birmingham! Arrived Norwich and was totally lost! Parked in a car park somewhere and managed to drive my car in to a post and dented the bumper! Oooops! Got a taxi to the gig and stood out in the queue for what seemed like hours. Khiz made it, then the band turned up and we had a chat with them, Roger also turned up so I said hi to him!!! Fun gig if I remember correctly and afterwards, Khiz and I hang around and got a glimpse of him leaving! Managed to get a lift back to the car park with some people who were local to Norwich! Decided to drive back to Birmingham! 2.30am- Peterborough- I could not stay awake any longer so had to sleep in a layby for a while. Kept being woken up by lorries going past! Arrived at the Asda in Birmingham near Khiz's house, he went home, while I slept in the car on my own! Woke up at 7.30am and was surrounded by cars and women with shopping trollies!! Freshened up in the toilets and text Khiz! He turned up and off we went to Wolverhampton!
30 March- Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall Arrived quite early as its hardly far from Birmingham to Wolverhampton. Parked in a car park in the Civic centre. Left Khiz in the car while I went into the Civic centre loos and washed my hair in the sink!!! Managed to get a way with actually washing it before anyone walked in, but just as I was rinsing it, a posh woman walked in- How embarrassing. Muttered something and dried my hair and left in shame!!!! Did my make up in the car then we joined the queue! Didn't manage to see Roger today but managed to meet the band and Treana Morris (I had met her a number of times so far and she knew my name!).
Robin arrived and we queued for ages!!! Finally got let in and ended up in the second row (I had been in the front row of all of them so far!). Treana played (brilliant!) and then someone thought they saw Pete (Brians guitar tech) on the stage, then THE red special was seen. I went weak at the knees and thought I was going to faint!!! Ahhhhh! Brian! Couldn't concentrate on Roger at all with the prospect of Brian!! He finally arrived on stage for Under pressure and I went mad! This was the first time I had seen Bri and Rog on stage together and it was magical! They really have that spark! They then played Rock n Rock which was brilliant and reminded me of the first time I saw Roger sing at an SAS band gig in Chiddingfold back in 1996! Radio Ga ga was the final song- what an amazing feeling!
Afterwards, I managed to catch Brian leaving though the front door got him to sign my 'Surrender' 7" that I got everyone on the tour to sign which he managed to sign over Roger and Treana's signature. He said something like 'I can't keep my lady waiting' and with that he was gone!!! Of course, while all this was happening, Roger left through the back door unnoticed!!!
31 March- Nottingham Rock City I slept in my car in the 24 hour Asda car park in Birmingham again, woke up and text Khiz who came down to the car and we set off to Nottingham!!!!!! Parked up and got some photos developed then went to queue. Had a quick chat with Rog and asked him if he would play Man on fire! He also said that he would meet the fans in Portsmouth and this never happened :( Excellent gig. Khiz and I decided to sleep in the car outside the venue as had nowhere else to go really and I was too tred to drive anywhere. By 1pm, I was so so tired and went to the car to sleep! The band were ut so probably walked past us in the car on the way back. The next morning I dropped Khiz back in Birmingham then drove back to Dorchester. Was nearly asleep on the motorway and managed to drive for about an hour at 80 mph in 3rd gear and wondered why on earth the car was making such a noise!!! Stayed at home in Dorchester resting the next day!
2 April -Portsmouth Pyramid Centre Becky came down from Bristol by train so I collected her then we drove to Bournmouth to collect Kaye who had come down by train from Manchester. Drove over to Portsmouth - Gig was brilliant and I was feeling a little more refreshed from my day off yesterday! After the gig, we managed to meet all the band memebers and chatted to Matt in his van! He gave us a plectrum and told us about how he knew Trena Morris! Rogers van turned up as did a load of security. His kids then came out of the back door with Debbie, followed by Roger a few mins later. We bumped into some fans (who I met in 1998 whilst walking down a street in London with a Roger Taylor t-shirt on!!) and all went to get some food. Got back to Dorchester at 2am.
3 April- London Astoria (the last gig!!). Got up at 5.30am and arrived in London. Kaye, Becky and I were totally exhuasted. Couldn't believe there were actually people in the queue in front of us (but not many!!). Stood there all day getting bored. The Roger girls had bought some beer for the band and we managed to give it to them (but not to Roger himself!). Met some of the band but not Roger although we did see him go in! My Dorchester friends came along to say hi to us while we were in the queue then my mum arrived with her friends Gill and Harry (who recorded the gig for me!). The gig was brilliant as usual and Becky screamed so much at him to take his glasses off and he did for a few seconds. We all screamed then he said 'You lot are nuts you know!'- you know us so well Roger! After the gig, we met Treana and saw Bob Geldof coming out too . I said 'Hi Bob' and he said 'Alright'. My poor mum who was driving us home had to hang around until everyone had left the building. Roger gave us all a wave and it was all over :( Will this be the last time?! I hope not!!! As soon as we got back to the car, I was asleep and poor mum had to work out now to get home. 3 weeks of following Roger round the country was very very tiring- I slept for 2 days when I got home!