Leaving the Gold Coast And An Exclusive Interview With Bad Brad.
Beside the hotel pool, the Captain was busy on the satellite phone, haggling with the Sydney Opera House event organiser.
‘What’s going on?’ I asked, as I came down from the room for breakfast.
‘The Captain’s just arranging the gig,’ said Mad Myx, ‘apparently there’s some problems with a local operatic duo, who got bumped down the schedule to make room for us,’ chuckled the Doctor, ‘nothing to worry about though, the Captain will handle it.’
I sat down at the table with Mad Myx and signalled to the waiter. A few moments later the Captain came over to the table and joined us.
‘How did it go?’ asked Mad Myx, ‘everything alright?’
‘Oh yes, it’s all fine, Doctor, just one week now til our first show in Oz,’ said the Captain.
Bradon, Bad Brad, Jay, Ziv and David were already out on the ship, making some last minute repairs after the heavy gun battle with the Skull and Bones Boys. The band was planning to travel down the coast to Sydney; arriving with plenty of time before the first big gig of the Australian Tour.
As the Captain, the Doctor, Nicole, Scott and I were just finishing breakfast, the hotel manager and the barmaid, Jennifer, came over to the table.
‘Gentlemen,’ said the manager politely, ‘I wanted to thank you for rescuing our valued member of staff, Jennifer, so I’ve arranged for the chefs to put together some hampers of food for your trip down the coast.’
‘That’s very kind,’ said the Captain, ‘thank you very much!’
Jennifer produced a lovely bouquet of flowers which she gave to the Captain, ‘just a small thank you,’ she said.
‘Thank you, Jennifer, it’s no problem, really!’ said the Captain.
‘One more thing,’ said the hotel manager, and he clapped his hands. Then from around the corner came several of the hotel’s concierge staff pushing a huge pallet that was stacked with every type of alcohol imaginable!
‘Just a little gift from us, to stock up your ship’s bar!’ smiled the hotel manager.
‘Now we’re talking,’ said Scott, winking at the manager.
‘I’ll have my people load all this onto the ship for you, is that okay?’ he said, turning to the concierges.
‘Yes, Sir, no problems, we’ll get right to it.’ said one of the concierges.
‘Also,’ went on the hotel manager, ‘I’ve arranged for a speed boat to drive you to your ship, and if you’re ever back on the Gold Coast, make sure to drop by!’
‘Thank you, again,’ said the Captain, ‘we’ll certainly swing by if we’re ever in the area!’
As we sped out towards the Beer and Flies ship the warm sea air, the beautiful coast line and the hotel, fading over the horizon, left us feeling a little nostalgic.
‘Nice guy, that manager,’ said the Doctor.
‘Absolutely,’ the rest of us agreed.
Pulling up to the ship we could see the concierge’s were already there, with David, the ship’s Quartermaster overseeing the hauling of the supplies on board.
‘Excellent,’ said the Captain, ‘those supplies should save us fishing en route.’
‘You certainly have a habit of landing on your feet Captain,’ I said, thinking about the newspaper editor’s faces when they heard about the band’s latest adventures!
As we thanked the speed boat’s driver and clambered aboard the ship I realised what a hive of activity it was. The sound of welding and repairs, the food and supplies being moved into the hold, and the drink’s to the bar, all functioning like a perfect machine.
A few hours later we had set off, cruising at a relaxed speed along the stunning Australian coastline. At the front of the ship David and the Masters, Scott and Jay, were frying fish on the barbecue, while the Captain and Ziv were up on the bridge, setting the course that we would sail.
‘You think we’ll see those Skull and Bones Boys again?’ Nicole asked the Doctor.
‘It’s hard to say,’ said the Doctor, ‘but after they dragged themselves back on shore like drowned rats I imagine they’re scheming somewhere, plotting their revenge for us having sunk their ship!’
Beside the boat dolphins were jumping playfully out of the water, their pod following our ship. David threw them scraps of fish which they chortled as they ate.
By the time the food was cooking on the barbecue, the sun was slowly setting over the horizon and the crew were relaxing, finally getting some well deserved rest. I took the opportunity to conduct a disturbingly profound, exclusive interview with Bad Brad, guitarist for the band and expert engine room machinist.
Rik: What motivated you to join the Beer and Flies crew?
Bad Brad : I was given two choices, join or walk the plank. At the time I was barefooted and feared getting a rather nasty splinter. There were sharks circling in the water below. It appeared to be the best option…
Rik: Can you describe your creative musical process?
Bad Brad: I draw on real life experiences. You can’t just play the notes, you must become the notes. You must express exactly what the song is about. You won’t be able to do that if you haven’t been through it yourself. Also, copious amounts of caffeine.
Rik: If you could collaborate with any musician, past or present, who would they be and why?
Bad Brad: Jimi Hendrix, he’s the man that really electrified the Electric Guitar. Famous for late night Studio sessions, Oh to be a fly on that wall… Also, Elvis Presley, the legend who electrified America. I’d like to have been a hired gun on one of his sessions. Better yet, put me in the producer’s chair. I’ll bring in Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham, and proceed to give the guy the backing he needs. John Bonham, aka ‘The Beast’, who wouldn’t want to hear that drum sound in their headphones while tracking?
Rik: What musicians inspired you in your early days?
Bad Brad: The OG Swashbuckling Guitarist Keith Richards was an early influence. EVH, Dimebad Darrell, SRV, Hendrix, Adrian Belew, Syd Barrett, Steve Jones, Mick Jones (The Clash)…
Rik: What’s your favorite venue for performing?
Bad Brad: Anywhere on the Sunset Strip, Los Angeles. I much prefer smaller clubs to Arenas. The closer the crowd to the stage, the better. I prefer the smell of beer and regret.
Rik: What are the unusual, or unexpected skills that you need to have to be a world class musician?
Bad Brad: Ability to dodge punches, flying bottles, knife wielding tour managers, paternity suits, bill collectors and overzealous fans…
Rik: Do you have any pre-gig rituals?
Bad Brad: Depends on the gig. Usually copious amounts of Caffeine and Jack Daniels.
Rik: What’s the best thing about living on a pirate ship?
Bad Brad: The food and accommodation, Five Stars!
Rik: How has living on the Seven Seas changed your outlook on life, the universe and everything?
Bad Brad: It’s better to pillage than be pillaged…
Rik: Do you think you’ll ever return to dry land on a full time basis?
Bad Brad: One can never return. Are you an assassin? I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor blade. That’s my dream. That’s my nightmare.
Rik: If you had the chance, would you take a one way trip to Mars to become the first interplanetary band in human history?
Bad Brad: One way? No way. For a weekend? Yea, but what the fuck do I wear?!