Nikki at home in Berlin
If you (as I do) place any importance on all things WANWTTS, then this is the REAL Great Lost Issue, in that it was all edited and put together and ready to go to the printers. This was in 1986 - then economic caution got the better of me, as I was unsure we'd sell the numbers we needed to break even, and I pulled the plug on it. I was probably wrong, again. I let down Nikki, Dave and (badly) Trevor Austin who'd created and designed what was a beautiful artefact of an eventful German tour in October 1985. Berlin-based Trevor provided photos and artwork for a number of Nikki's records, perhaps most notably "The Ragged School", the Jacobites 1986 (first) American release on TwinTone.
Making up the band with Nikki and Dave were Eamon "Big Duff" Duffy on bass ("I don't want to see quaint fuckin' villages. I want to see what our lads blew up in the war!") and Carl Bevan (from the Rag Dolls) on drums.
Nikki recalled the tour some years later in a 1989 interview with Australian blog Rockbrat:
"Epic was busy playing with Crime and the City Solution who he’d recently joined. Plus after the assorted misadventures we’d encountered in Italy I don’t think he would have wanted to do another tour with Kusworth anyway. So we decided to take the Rag Dolls drummer Carl Bevan on the tour with us. I also wanted to bring Duncan Sibbald on bass. Unfortunately I gave way to Dave’s suggestion that his old band mate (from T.V Eye days) Eammon Duffy should be included. Eammon is better known as ‘Big Duff’ or just ‘The Big Man’, and he is big in a short kind of way. He also is terminally balding. In no way did he look at all suitable for the role. Audiences must have wondered what on earth this oaf was doing on the stage. Especially after the first night’s misadventures when he managed to throw up over his jeans. He only brought one pair of trousers on the tour with him. Consequently until he was able to afford to buy a replacement pair he had to go on stage every night wearing this one vomit stained pair of jeans.
Dave in Belgium November 2006
The first night Dave, Carl and Duff arrived in Hamburg I had suggested to Joachim that he meet them at the airport and take us all out for a meal to cement the goodwill for the tour. This he agreed to. He was greatly shocked when Dave staggered out of the arrivals gate carrying his guitar wrapped in a blanket. Not even in a case. Joachim took us back to his office and generously offered to have the guitar set up that evening. He also offered Dave the use of a hard case for the guitar for the duration of the tour. Dave took him up on this. Later that evening Dave, Carl and Duff were booked into their hotel. A most decorative looking place run by two lesbians. A bad mistake as it was to turn out what with Duff’s homophobic attitudes. But Joachim was not to know this. Anyway he took Brigitte, myself and the rest of the band out for a meal. He handed over some spending money to Dave, Carl and Duff to see them over to the next morning. This was to be his last generous act of the tour....."
For the complete and hilarious warts 'n' all story check out the full interview on http://rockbrat.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/rockbrat-chat-the-nikki-sudden-interview/
I lost touch with Trevor Austin many, many years ago - I met him just the once on my only trip to Berlin to see Nikki and Dave play (...and there's a story to tell about that little adventure one day) - but I'd like to think he gets to see this blog. So here's a link to download a PDF of the magazine - quality isn't too bad - hope you enjoy.