I’d never really been anywhere much before I joined the band.
I mean - we went on a trip to the Isle of wight at school I think? - oh , and I had pressed my nose against the glass of a coach I was on as we hammered past Stonehenge at 60 mph … I didn’t even get to see the full circle - let alone any fucking Druids.
So I was hugely excited when it became apparent we would be touring in America and spending a large amount of time abroad .
In expectation of this I thought I’d better purchase some luggage - been something I had singularly never owned ( you tend not to need a suitcase to go to Tesco or the offy … well .. hardly ever)
I had visions of a Gentleman’s travelling trunk reminiscent of the days of the Empire - with secret drawers for ones socks, Tiffin , snuff and the like ….ohhh ! .. and a little mirror for trimming ones moustaches whilst on the orient express - you know the kind of thing .
Unfortunately for me it was the arse end of the 90’s so everything was made in atomic moulded indestructible plastic that would doubtless eventually end up laying in landfill , steadfastly refusing to decompose for an eternity whilst spewing carcinogens and polymers into the earth to poison your great great grandkids.
And it was blue .
I fucking hate blue n’all.
But it was all they had - and I was in a rush as I wanted to fuck off to the pub and meet the others - and it looked virtually indestructible - so I just bought it. .. that was the kind of wild impulsive stuff I did in those days .
I have to give it it’s due - what it lacked in style and finesse , it more than made up for in rugged strength of character - for it was manhandled , chucked , sat on , kicked , ridden ( the bastard has wheels and was perfect for riding pissed through hotel lobbies, airport terminals etc) packed to bursting point with crap and unceremoniously slung form pillar to fucking post over a period of 3 or so years of constant touring.
We parted ways at the end of our adventures when the band finished -
He went his way - I went mine - both with our memories and scars .
So many many years later imagine my surprise when on a cold spring morning my dad asked me to pop over when I could to see if I wanted any of the stuff (aka shit) he was clearing out of his shed as some , apparently , belonged to me .
When I arrived , on top of a cornucopia of cack in the middle of the lawn sat my beloved , blue , battle scarred suitcase.
It was like seeing an old friend in much reduced circumstances, but being unable to restrain your delight after believing they were long dead and gone -
I rushed to it , wondering what time capsule secrets it still held within ?- what memories of the wild hedonistic rollercoaster of life on the road with GTA would it reveal when I opened it again - for the first time in decades ?
I flipped the catches with the same satisfying click I had done countless times before , my hands reading the rough plastic like braille .. *CLUNK* they sprung and I lifted the lid slowly -
Inside there was a few pairs of what appeared to be dirty pants -
A bottle opener on a string
A set list with ‘Shithouse’ written on it at the bottom in sharpie.
And a dead mouse .
If thats not a metaphor for a career I don’t know what is.
Godspeed you Bluey - you plastic shit carrier extraordinaire , may you poison the earth in peace forever .