I had never really been anywhere much before the band - I just hadn't.
But then neither had most of the people grew up with - I suppose it was the era when foreign travel was still considered 'exotic' and something rich people did.
But we went on holiday to Yarmouth and stuff, you didn't really need a passport for that - just a strong stomach.
I think that's why I was always exceptionally excited to be going anywhere and to meet anyone new.
I particularly remember the first time we flew to New York.
We'd been out the night before and the night had soon become the morning and we were all still battered when we arrived at the airport for our early flight.
Our loud behaviour and laughing was attracting plenty of attention from the stewardesses and no small amount of interest from the other passengers as we took our seats on the plane.
Once in the air I noticed the timid looking man next to me was trying to catch my eye - he leaned forward and in a conspiratorial manner and whispered to me
“excuse me – my wife and I have been arguing so I have just got to ask”
I leant in towards them, probably breathing a whole night's booze fumes over both.
He continued “are you famous?”
I beamed and his wife leaned around him smiled broadly back at me, expectantly.
“Why do you ask?” I slurred smugly
“Well – she says she knows you - THINKS she knows you from off the television?” he said
She beams at me nodding enthusiastically. Drunk, I was basking in the attention.
“I know who you are!! “The wife suddenly exclaimed loudly, clapping her hands together in schoolgirl glee.
I looked at her puzzled.
“You’re SPIDER aren’t you? Off Coronation street!!! .. You’ve changed your hair, but I KNEW IT the minute I saw you!! – I’m such a huge fan!!” she gushed.
I beckoned to get the attention of the duty free trolley and bought a bottle of very nice whiskey – this was going to be a long flight.
Of course I wholeheartedly agreed and said 'Yes' I was indeed ‘Spider’ but please keep it down - and then invited them to have a drink from the bottle with me as I gave them the low down on life ‘on the street’ as we crossed the Atlantic.
We ended up doing the entire bottle of duty free whisky alongside multiple drinks served by the stewardess.
The Husband got steadily and absolutely shitfaced, obviously unused to hard drinking - and we had really good laugh.
By the time we were half way through the flight I had not only agreed to buy several horses off him, but to also come and make guest appearance at their Christmas fete and stay with them in their annex for the holidays – provided they could be discrete of course – me being in the public eye as a famous soap star.
Conversely, by the end, the wife would probably never look at her favourite soap the same way again.
I bullshitted a multitude of gross ‘behind the scenes’ revelations (all complete lies) to her out of sheer drunken stupidity and wickedness.
I couldn't resist it - she was being such a bumlick.
My favourite was that one of her most loved actresses on 'Street' was actually notorious on-set for shitting in people’s handbags and coat pockets – a fact vigorously guarded by the streets producers - and something us fellow actors were constantly furious about every time we put our cold hands into our big parker pockets only to find the phantom shitter had struck again.
She was on her way out I told her , purely because of the amount of time and money it was costing in re-takes when someone went to get money out to pay for pint at the Rovers return, only to reveal a big shitty paw clutching a bunch of shit covered coins
She looked like someone had just told her there was no God, Santa Claus or the Ever After at this revelation.
By the time we had crossed the Atlantic and touched down in JFK her husband was absolutely unconscious - he had become bolder and bolder the more he drunk , and was last heard telling her 'What do you mean 'enough'? ... you'll fucking KNOW when I've had enough woman ' before bursting into giggles, banging his head on the chair in front then dribbling down the front of his best 'going on holiday' shirt.
I felt a bit bad.
But I didn't have time for remorse -
I was an actor in a famous Soap opera you know
- AND I was a singer in a band
- AND I was in New York with a ferocious hangover coming.
So fuck her .
I had a lot on my plate you know.
It's every man for himself in this life.
Fucking Spider .. I ask you.