||During the first leg of the
Neil Tennant traveled with a tape
recorder and kept an audio diary of events.
26th October.We arrived in Singapore at about half past
six - about six hours ago. It was interesting, arriving,
because for the last half hour of the flight it was very
smoky. We thought it was a fog or something, but in fact
it's because in North Borneo and Indonesia forests are
burning for some reason, and smoke blows all the way to
Singapore, so there's a misty foggy smoky haze everywhere.
The flight was good. We were on Qantas; the first
time we've been on an Australian airline Very different
from British Airways or a European airline. Talking about
the food in the first class cabin - the chef's special - I
gait "oh, what is it?" and the steward said "oh, it'.
Funny you should say that - it's something called
moonfish. We have no idea what it is. Do you know what it
is?" So it was very different from the kind of unctuous
service you get on British Airways. And actually it was
friendly. We took a sleeping pill, which we got
prescriptions from the doctor last week, and I slept for
about eight hours. I didn't wake up until about half past
five, about an hour before we landed, and had a little cup
of coffee and stuff. I was most annoyed, by the way, that
having agonized for
ages about whether to take a
Walkman or the mini-disc player Chris gave me for my
birthday, I decided to buy a portable compact disc player,
because they're quite good now and two batteries last for
eight hours, and when we were taking off the pilot said
you couldn't use computers or compact disc players all the
way through the flight. I'd bought all these compact discs
and this compact disc player specifically to listen to on
flights and you can't use them, Most annoying.
It's very very hot here, Humid, It's totally dark, but
very humid indeed, People are very
friendly. This is
the Holiday Inn Crown Plaza Hotel, I checked into the room
and looked out of my room window and there was a view of a
car park - a son of multistory car park so I changed
rooms. I've now got a view overlooking a swimming pool
several floors up. And then we went out for dinner -
that's Chris, Paul Dowie [a friend of Chris 's], Dainton,
me and Pete Nash [the Pet Shop Boys' booking agent]. It
was Pete Nash's birthday. We went to the famous Raffles
hotel for dinner, Ivan [Kushlick, tour manager] had made a
reservation for us in the Tiffin room which turned out to
he a son of curry self-service place which we didn't like
the look of, Anyway, Dainton as per usual managed to swing
it so that we could eat in the Grill - there was a dress
code, but they brushed that aside for us. We had a very
nice meat and at the end of it we had a little cake for
Pete Nash. And then Chris and Dowie and Dainton have gone
off to Sparks, the famous local nightclub. In fact Chris
was in a vague mood about me not going, but I'm sure he'll
get over it. And now I'm taking another sleeping pill and
going to bed, reading my biography of Evelyn Waugh by
Selina Hastings I bought yesterday. And tomorrow is the
6.20pm October 26th.
I've just got
back from the last rehearsal/ sound check. It didn't go
very well, The film's not in sync, and in "Absolutely
Fabulous" and "Go West" it's absolutely crucial that the
film's in sync, because in "Absolutely Fabulous" the lead
vocal, in effect, is being spoken on the film. At the
moment there's no time code or something to make that
happen, so we wasted a lot of time on that and in fact
they're still trying to do that. Then we did "Go West"
twice, rehearsing the costume change from "It's A Sin"
through to "Go West" - the second time we did it was
actually probably quite good.
The venue's quite nice;
a very modern arena. The sound was good, which I suppose
is important. I still think the whole thing is rather
unrehearsed but we'll see how it goes in a couple of hours
time. And I don't know whether it's nerves or something
I've eaten, but I've got rather a dodge stomach,
3.22am, Thursday, October 27th.
Well, we've had the first show. [Laughs] It went sort of
well. I was quite nervous. Anyway, we got ready and all
the wigs on and everything fine, and the first part of the
show went very well - we got a great reaction when 'we
went on stage. We'd had the problem in the afternoon of
the film not being in sync, so I was worried about that,
but in fact the audience tight in the front were standing
up and they knew all the words to everything. And
everything went very well. I went up the stairs at the end
of "One In A Million" and took my wig and glasses off and
they all went mad. And then after the acoustic hit...as
this was the first show I just to make up everything I was
going to say in between the songs and I managed to do
that. The thing I found most difficult was sort of getting
them to clap along which I think I looked rather
unconvincing doing, but I managed it anyway. Katie Kissoon
[singer] is rather good at doing that, and I think in
future we're going to get her and maybe the conga players
to do that. Anyway, in the acoustic bit - which I got a
laugh in when I said "you know, you may wonder why we've
never done MTV' Unplugged - it's because we've never been
asked" - there was a lot of noise. Katie's microphone, it
turned out, had some kind of faulty attachment and was
making a noise right across the PA which was really
annoying, and it took them three songs to discover that,
However we all got through that. "So Hard" was good and
then we did "Where The Streets Have No Name", When we went
backstage in the interval, there were loads of policemen
talking to Ivan, which was weird. I thought "Oh God, it's
the dreaded nudity". And it was the dreaded nudity. The
that if the dancers didn't wear something
more decent than the little clip things they wear, to
protect their decency, then in the second half they'd turn
the lights on and stop the show. So we did agree that in
"It's a Sin" they would wear shorts or something instead.
The second half, I came on and I started to sing,
and I couldn't hear anything and it rapidly became obvious
that the audience couldn't hear anything, so I told Pete
Gleadall [Programmer] to stop. It was quite funny,
actually. It was quite a good audience - about 5,000
people -and I said "stop!" and he stopped. And my
microphone wasn't switched on and then I released that my
headphones weren't actually switched on so l switched them
on. Then it was all fine.
went well - apparently the film was more or less in sync -
but then we had a couple more problems with the noise of
the microphones which was really annoying. When we went
off stage for the start of "It's A Sin" and Kade came on
and started singing "I Will Survive" it was a great moment
the audience went wild. They were all clapping and going
wild. And then when we all came on for the procession and
I appear as the Pope they all went completely wild, so
actually that was rather a good bit really, it has to be
said. (Yawns) I'm tired. And then when we went off the
applause was great. They were all chanting "we want more!
we want more!" Then "Go West" went down very very well
indeed. It's a bit of a bugger, that change. The costumes
take absolutely ages to get into. Absolutely ages. And
when I got to the top of the stairs Chris wasn't there
because his change wasn't ready. But, anyway, it kind of
more or less worked. It all seemed to go down very well.
Afterwards, the flight staff from Qantas were all
there backstage, tons of them. 14 tickets or something.
And the promoter and some Levis people or something.
And then Dainton, Chris, me and Dowie went to the The
Mandarin Hotel, for dinner. The funny thing was, tons of
people came up to us in the restaurant and t got the
impression that they'd ail been to see the show and gone
there for supper afterwards, Tons of people came up to us
and said things like "oh, great show" and asked for
autographs and stuff. Then I came back to the hotel. Chris
went to bed. And the dancers were in the lobby, and Les,
the choreographer, and Alan Keyes [wardrobe] came down,
and Lynne Easron, make-up]. Anyway, we all went to this
club, the name of which I've forgotten already...The
Velvet Underground, it was called. They have a Velvet
Underground in London. And ii was quite good. And we all
drank champagne and sat round and chatted. Gossiped. It
was fine. And it's now 3.29 and I think I'm going to go to
sleep. But overall the reaction people kept telling me
seemed to be pretty good, because I still think the show
is a little bit of a shambles. So, bon unit.
5.l6pm, Thursday, October 27th.
Well, I must admit
that Singapore is a bit of a boring place. Got up this
morning quite late, went into Ivan's room where Serge, the
photographer from Australia who has photographed the show
for syndication, was. I went through his pictures.
Actually I thought the show looked quite impressive in his
photographs. The costumes looked particularly good. He did
great pictures of Flavio and Henrique [dancers]. and Chris
and I didn't look that bad.
Not a very good review
in one of the local papers, the afternoon paper, though
the pictures look great again It said that we weren't
really a live act [laughs]. I suppose there's something to
be said for that. Although he singled out "the lovely
acoustic performance of 'Rent"' I always feel a bit
depressed when I read those reviews because they make me
feel embarrassed about doing a tour like this, because I
don't really think I am a performer and therefore I wonder
what I'm doing on a stage in front of all those people. It
says how there's little personal rapport between us and
the audience and I sort of feel that I don't really know
how to get through it. I always feel like there's a
barrier there. But then I don't know if people expect us
to be those kind of performers either. We went for lunch:
me, Dainton, Chris and Dowie. Actually I must say several
people stopped - as they did last night and said how good
they thought the show was, and that they thought it wasn't
long enough. Several people have said that. It's two hours
including the interval; it seems quite long to me. Then we
decided to get the tube for something to do, so we got the
tube, which is terribly clean.
Singapore is terribly clean; there's no litter. It's a
very ultramodern underground railway. The rails are
glassed off with a screen and the train drives in and the
doors of the train match exactly the doors in the glass
screen. Quite impressive. And we went down to Marina Bay,
thinking that it would be a bay and a marina, but in fact
it was a sort of a rather boring park. Extremely boring,
actually. So we walked there for live minutes and then got
the tube back to Orchard and came back to the hotel where
I've just finished packing. They're going to collect the
luggage soon and we go off to Perth this evening. For some
reason we're flying at half past nine and get in at half
past two in the morning, but never mind.
I think my
lasting impression of Singapore is that it's very clean
and very modem but rather soulless. I asked one of the
promoter's families yesterday what it was like living
here, and they said that the quality of life wasn't very
good and that all everyone was interested in was money.
And a woman who we had dinner with from Raffles Hotel said
that if you bought a new dress people wouldn't say "what a
nice dress" or "where did you get it from", they'd just
say "how much did that cost you?" But [guess that's the
whole point of the place. It's about the size of the Isle
Of Wight and it's a sort of a Hong Kong; it's all about
making money. But the Hong Kong I remember from five years
ago seems slightly more exhilarating than this place does.
But anyway, we're leaving for Perth in two hours.
Just after 1.00 in the day, Friday, October 28th.
flew from Singapore last night and had the most hilarious
plane journey. After we had all had dinner, and [watched
Speed with Keanu Reeves on the video player, which was a
very silly and disappointing film. Keanu Reeves isn't a
very good actor. Then [ noticed that Chris had disappeared
to the back on the plane and I went to see what was
happening and right at the back galley of the plane there
was a party starting with the Qantas air crew right behind
the economy class passengers. And eventually there were
about twenty of us is the galley at the back of the plane
drinking beer and champagne, and talking and laughing and
taking photographs. It was actually a really, really,
really good party, everyone chatting and gossiping and
Henrique drinking champagne and getting a bit drunk, and
one of Qantas air crew saying he fancied Nicole or Mirelle
[dancers]. It was hilarious, and that lasted until ten
Minutes before we landed in Perth, where we were met by
'the promoter and someone from EMI and driven to the
The hotel seems to be in a rather dreary
part of town. It looks like you might expect Australia to
look like, but it's very sunny - 32 degrees apparently -
and I think we're going to go to the beach.
everyone "children", even me and Chris. He's worked with
Andy Bell and he said "Andy Bell really likes you - he's a
huge fan" and I said "No, he's not' and he said "Really.
He loves the Pet Shop children. He wants to do one of your
I told Henrique and Flavio that when we
did the open air concert in Columbia on the stage we were
going to change the concert and they were going to have to
jump out of a helicopter at the start of the concert and
parachute down naked onto the stage. And Henrique said
"Oh, it will feel so fresh!"
12.30pm, Sunday, 30th
Just about to go down to rehearsal at the
Entertainment Center in Perth. On Friday night we went out
to dinner with Michael Koppel, the promoter. Rather an
indifferent meal. Michael Koppel is quite likable
-intelligent and interesting to talk to. Afterwards Chris,
Dowie, Dainton, me and Dixie, who is from EMI Western
Australia and has worked here for twelve years and seemed
to know all about us, went to a club which had two rooms,
one playing kind of disco music and one playing techno /
house. The music was quite good. We had a limo driving us
around which we lost, so Chris and I ended up being driven
home by a friend of the security guard on the doors. We
didn't get home that late - about half past two. Two
Yesterday I got up late and lay by
the pool at the hotel.' swam and had a sauna. Chris and I
got a taxi to Northbridge where we ate the night before
and had a very late lunch at half past four at a cafe on
the sidewalk. [Strange flushing noise] The strange thing
about this hotel is that on the ninth floor, which I'm on,
the toilets constantly keep flushing and no one can do
anything about it apparently Anyway, then we walked back
to the hotel through the railway station and then I went
for an even longer walk by the side of the river. I was
bored to death. Perth is a bit boring, quite frankly. It's
got a kind of German Saturday afternoon quality where
there's not much going on really. So I phoned up Dainton
and we went down to the venue where they were getting the
set together. The two big cones at the front of the stage
have arrived, and the two mid-sized cones that we put on
the platform. And it looks very good. I had a chat with
Abby [lighting designer] and Ivan about various things.
We've decided to keep Les, the choreographer,
for the whole tour - first to look after the dancers, and
also to add him for three songs, "West End Girls", "Domino
Dancing" and maybe "Absolutely Fabulous", dressed in drag
as an extra element to the show, because at times it needs
an extra element. We also discussed maybe getting rid of
the interval if that was somehow possible, because Abby
feels that it slows the whole show down and she's probably
right. So we discussed through those things, and she was
carrying on doing her lighting and stuff. We phoned up
Chris from the venue about Les and he agreed with that,
and we spoke to Les and he was delighted though he says he
has to go home for a couple of days to sort out his bills
and his cat and stuff. But I think that's a good idea and
I'm quite pleased about that.
evening at about ten o'clock we went to an Italian
restaurant, quite posh, somewhere past the Entertainment
Center. I think it was in West Perth. We had a very nice
meal, and then I didn't go clubbing afterwards. Chris and
Dowie went back to the club from the night before, but I
decided to -come back and make some phone calls.
[Wall, manager] phoned upon Friday to say there's a
journalist called John Gill who used to work for Time Out
and who has got a bee in his bonnet about us has written
some book where he stags us off as being hypocrites all
the way through. I think it must be a son of gay book -
he's using us a kind of touchstone for all that's
hypocritical and bad. Anyway, of course the publishers
won't give Murray [Chalmers, press officer] a review copy,
because there arc review copies about and Murray had heard
about it, so he's trying to dig out a review copy, so
we'll see what all that's about. That's kind of
interesting. But potentially rather boring. To be honest.
I don't want to waste a lot of energy on that. Anyway,
it's now twenty to one and we were meant to be leaving
here at half past twelve so I'm going to phone up lvan and
see what is happening.
3.OOpm, Tuesday, November 1st.
Just about to go off
for the -final sound-check for the first Australian gig.
We've spent the last two days rehearsing in the
Entertainment Center here in Perth and we've made some
changes to the show. We had already dumped -the
introductory fanfare, the Shostokovitch thing that we had,
and Abby had the idea of having a kind of silhouette of me
and Chris on the screen at the back while I sang "Tonight
Is Forever". That's now developed into Henrique and Flavio
wearing pointy hats doing sort of moving, a tableau
silhouette, while we sing that, because there wasn't time
for Chris and I to change out of our pointy hats into our
wigs for the start of "I Wouldn't Normally...
We've got rid of the interval. What happens now is that
there is a break for [tine minutes during which we play
the Jam & Spoon remix of "Yesterday, When I Was Mad" and
there is a bit of light show. The house lights go half on
so that you know it's sort of break, then the lights go
down and we go back on for "Do I have To?". It's a bit
nerve-wracking in a way, this, because it gives Pete
Gleadall and Derek Simpson, keyboard technician] the bare
minimum of time to reload everything for the second half,
burl think it will work. But it makes me slightly nervous,
and of course the big nightmlare is when something screws
I saw the other reviews from Singapore. The
Straits Times ore 'was very good. One -Business News Daily
or something - was a typical Pet Shop Boys patronising
review. We've done some more press here - three telephone
interviews, two for Sydney, one for Adelaide. They all
seemed to go quite well. Melissa from EMI arrived here a
couple of days ago. Me, her and Mitch [Clark, from EMI in
England], who arrived on Sunday as well, went out for
dinner last night. A bit of a drive out. All the best
restaurants here seem to be Italian. The night before we
went to a fish restaurant which 'was very nice - but of
Perth five miles from Freemantle - and funnily enough
Melissa and Dixie from EMI were entertaining some local
media at the same restaurant totally by coincidence.
Dowie has gone home and Dainton has had to go back.
This was a bit of a blow. Dainton, it turns out, had to
have his court appearance yesterday in London or wherever
for this football offense two years ago which he's already
been in court for. We thought everything was OK with that
but, no, he had to fly back. So he was obviously totally
gutted about it. He couldn't even talk to me about it
really - I only found out this from Chris and Ivan. Then I
was rather surprised yesterday when Dowie had gone back as
well. So we have no security, but Mitch is now security.
Not that we need it anyway, let's face it, here. The idea
is, I think, that Dainton will rejoin us in Puerto Rico
for the whole South American thing where we will
definitely will, I imagine, need more security.
a full run-through of the show yesterday and it's actually
coming together pretty well now. We've just done a couple
of little of things extra. During "Boys And Girls" the
boys with footballs are going to run round me so that I've
slightly involved in it. [n "Can You Forgive Her?" I go
over to the big cones which are on stage and they kind of
lean out in a rather erotic manner when I go towards them.
Just little things like that. And the film is now in sync,
thankfully, during "Absolutely Fabulous" and "Go West".
It's surprisingly technically difficult to get the film in
sync and to try not to get a big gap between that and the
previous number. So tonight will be the first Australian
gig. Actually it's quite exciting really. Anyway I'd
better get ready to go down to the sound-check.
1.30arn, Wednesday, November 2nd.
I've just got back
from our first gig in Perth which actually went pretty
well. I was a bit nervous. I realize what makes me really
nervous in the first half of the show is having to do "To
Face The Truth" on the guitar, and all the way through I
was thinking "oh God..." because the chords are quite
complicated and I'm not quite used to it Anyway, it all
went quite well and then I screwed up "To Face The Truth"
on the difficult bit: the "all the nights that you have
said" bit and I actually stopped playing for a couple of
seconds and Pete Gleadall carried on and then I joined in
again, so it sounded aright. Anyway, it all went down
well. All you can see in the audience - it's a very dark
venue, which is good so all you can see is the front row,
really sweet and dancing and smiling and singing along.
"Rent' went down very well. Actually pretty much
everything went down very well. "Streets Have No Name" and
"It's A Sin" always go down fantastically well. They all
seem to know "Boys And Girls", and then "Go West' was
really fantastic. But I felt slightly thrown because I
screwed up playing the guitar in "To Face The Truth".
Also, this kind of show which relies on performance, and
particularly on me making contact with the audience, is
very exhausting. You have to think all the time what
you're doing. I'm sure I'll get more used to it, but you
really have to think all the time what you're doing.
The dancers were good tonight. They're all very sweet.
Everyone involved in the show is very sweet and nice.
Ollie and Lilliana, the percussionists, are really nice
people, and Pete Gleadall and Derek the keyboard
technician put in so much work, and Abbey doing the...God,
there's the most enormous moth flying around the room!
You've never seen anything like it in your life... Abbey
doing the lighting. Everyone, I think, is enjoying it.
Crikey, it is a moth - I might have to get out of here.
Afterwards we had a meet 'n' greet backstage which
seemed to take forever, but all the people seemed to like
the show and there were two funny drag queens. And then we
went to DCs, the nightclub. They opened it for us. And we
went there - Mitch, Ivan, me and Chris - and we sat there
downing a glass of champagne, Chris and I eating McDonands
because we were hungry. And now I'm going to bed because
we're getting the eleven o'clock flight to Sydney.
Dainton, by the way, his case has been dismissed and he's
going to join us in Sydney, thankfully.
before 9.00pm, Wednesday, November 3rd.
to Chris DJing on the radio. He's playing records, taking
phone calls, and it sounds really good. We arrived in
Sydney yesterday evening staying in n hotel called the
Park Grand or something, and it's actually a nice suite
I've got here. Nice bathroom. I went swimming, I went out
to dinner with Mitch, Consular - Ivan's wife, she's also
doing wardrobe - and Katie Kissoon. Consuela, I didn't
realize, used to do a similar job to Mitch in Brazil for
which is kind of fascinating. Today
we had to do an interview for the television news. It was
a bit of classic, this interview. [Laughs] She asked Chris
if he was really just a minor talent or something, which I
don't think went down particularly well, and Chris gave
relentlessly negative answers to everything. And then we
all went out on a boat trip into the harbor by the Sydney
Opera House, which is a beautiful building - looks like a
collection of shells. And we went across the bay in this
beautiful boat. Actually the EMI people here are really
nice and they organized us champagne and oysters and
caviar and then we stopped at this place called Doyle's
for lunch and it was excellent, though by the end of it
you were kind of glad to get back to the hotel. I got off
the boat at the end and I walked back to the hotel through
Sydney. It was a beautiful sunny day today.
then this evening - we decided the other day at the show
to change "To Face The Truth" to an acoustic version of
"Suburbia" - so Pete Gleadall and land Katie Kissoon went
down to this nightclub in the basement and rehearsed it,
On the way down the lift didn't work and we were slightly
stuck inside the lift for a second and I thought I was
going to completely freak out. I think as I get
older my claustrophobia gets worse and worse. It was only
for a couple of minutes. Anyway, we rehearsed this version
of "Suburbia" going through various keys and it sounds
aright. We'll try it out at the rehearsal tomorrow. The
problem with me playing guitar is that I'm not used to
playing the guitar standing up. I find it much easier
sitting down. But anyway I think it's a good idea doing
"Suburbia" because it's a more familiar song and it
actually sounds quite good with acoustic guitars. So now
I'm just going off to meet Chris.
Quite late, in other words. Well, we had
the first show in Sydney tonight. The audience reaction
was fantastic. When the lights went down it was almost
frightening how loud the audience were. When I started to
sing "Tonight Is Forever" the mix in my headphones was
terrible and all I could hear was the hi-hat. It wasn't
very good, the first few numbers. Today we added
"Suburbia" -Chris, me, Pete Gleadall, Katie, Ollie and
Lilliana rehearsed it this afternoon at the sound-check.
We spent about 40 minutes rehearsing that and actually we
didn't do it too bad in the show although I screwed up
various bits of it.
In the interval, when the
music plays, 'we went backstage and by the time we got
changed I put my headphones in and I heard "Do I Have To?"
starting at the start of the second half and I was still
in the dressing room. I had to run from the dressing room
to the stage so I arrived at the stage completely out of
breath. I managed to get the key right, which was a relief
because it's difficult, the key when you come in for "Do I
Have To?". "Absolutely Fabulous" went down unbelievably
well, but the whole thing the audience was fantastic,
cheering, singing along, everything. The cheers for "It's
A Sin" were deafening.
It's very nerve-wracking
though, this show, for me. Afterwards it seems like it was
fantastic but during the show I'm thinking all the time
what I'm doing next, and where do I move now and what kind
of movement to do with my hands. And also there was one
guy right in the middle right at the front with a stony
face, just staring at me. It kind of spooked me out
slightly. I'm sure he was trying to spook me out, and he
Afterwards we had a meet 'n' greet. There
were people who had won a competition with Kahlua who have
sponsored the tour, and all the EMI people, but also there
was Rose, Susan's friend, and Liz who Susan [Neil's
sister] went to Leeds Polytechnic with and who I first met
22 years ago when she was at Leeds Polytechnic, and
another friend of theirs. I had a nice chat with them - in
fact I think they're going to the party tomorrow. And then
we came back to the hotel and sat in the bar. There were
some Arsenal fans there, classically. And then we went
down to a private room by the side of the nightclub in the
bottom of the hotel. I was talking to Mitch's mother who's
sweet. We were talking about why we really like music.
This afternoon I went to Oxford Street the top of
Oxford Street has got some good clothes shops but I didn't
actually get that far because it's a very very long
street; a bit of a Broadway kind of thing. Anyway I bumped
into a man who drove us in a limo last night, and then I
met a man from Triple M, and then I met a friend of Lynne
Franks called Jerry who was in Majorca last year. I was
shopping for a pair of white jeans but I didn't by
anything because I ran out of time. I kept going to
bookshops. I bought a copy of The Fifth Queen by Ford
Then it started to rain and I got a
taxi back and went to the sound-check and we did
"Suburbia". This morning I went for a swim and a sauna and
all the rest of it. It was quite a nice day, really.
Dainton, by the way, is back on the tour and last night
Dainton, Chris and I went out for a meal, after Chris DJed
on the radio on Triple M. He was great-I heard it while I
was in the bath.
4.l5am, Saturday, November 6th.
Just got back from the EMI party after the gig.
Actually the gig went really well. There were no problems
like there was last night. I felt much -more confident.
There were less people there - apparently six and a half
thousand, which is still quite a lot. They were quiet in
the first half but they really reacted well in the second
half, and I found the whole thing enjoyable.
Afterwards we came back to the hotel. Molly Meldrum, the
TV presenter over here, who is a nice funny guy came round
and we had a chat with him about this and that, and then
we went back to the hotel and then we ended up getting a
McDonalds on the way to the party, and we got to the party
quite late. When we got in I saw Liz and Rose, Susan's
friends, and then a guy came up to me and said "howdy" and
I said "howdy" and he said '5 that it And then a funny guy
came up who was drunk, trying to ask for my autograph and
spilt beer over me. And then someone else asked us to do
something for some AIDS charity, and the whole thing was a
bit intense, so I went upstairs with. Mitch and Lynne and
and actually we had quite a fun lime in
the manager's office, chatting, and we had endless bottles
of champagne, so I sound a bit slurred now probably. And
eventually we descended downstairs and Rose was still
there so I chatted with her, and also a girl called Clare
from the Australian Smash Hits. Lisa Anthony, who used to
work at Smash Hits had been, but I missed her, so I must
give her a ring tomorrow. And it suddenly occurred to me
on the way to the party that Steve Bush who used to work
at Smash Hits lives here - he's the publisher of
various-magazines and I wish I'd seen him because I like
The party wasn't great though. We were
getting bugged by people and eventually we left at 4 in
the morning. Some creepy guy had been staring at me all
night long, and I think staring at Chris too maybe. He
followed our car on-the way back and Dainton had to stand
at the door of the hotel to stop him coming in. It was a
[Click off then on] It's now half
past four in the morning. I forgot to mention that Sylvia
[Mason-James] happened to he in Australia. She's got a
record that's doing quite well on the charts and so she
came backstage and it was very nice to see her. She's
about four months pregnant, and she was with her nephew
who looks about the same age as her.
the reaction to us here in Australia. t was just thinking
about the party, and I guess, because we've never been
here before, people aren't so used to us or something.
Like in the club, people kept coming up. It gave me a
strange feeling. I'm not used to doing all that.
The staff at the club were very nice tonight. A guy called
Alan was the manager and made sure we had drinks and all
that, and there was a bodyguard attached to me, a guy
called Peter. They'd gone to a lot of effort.
3.15pm, Sunday, November 7th.
Just to carry on from
the party, that creepy guy who followed us home got into
the hotel and was running round the eighteenth floor,
banging on Flavio's door, saying know Neil Tenant's in
there - I've got to see him" until he was removed by
security. Yesterday afternoon Chris, Dainton, Mitch and I
flew to Adelaide: a two-hour flight. Adelaide for some
reason has a half hour time difference - I don't think
there's too many of those in the world. It's half an hour
behind Sydney, which is really weird.
here and it was cool and windy -there are winds all over
this part of Australia at the moment. We dumped our bags
and went straight out with Debbie from EMI's Adelaide
office to a nouvelle Australian cuisine restaurant where
they served not only kangaroo but also wallaby and
possibly possum - or have I just made that up? Anyway, we
had a very nice meal. I didn't eat kangaroo. I ate lamb
with artichokes. Chris and Mitch and Dainton and Debbie
to a Pet Shop Boys pre-tour party at a
bar or a club somewhere, which apparently was really good,
I discovered today. But I came home and had a bath and
went to bed, because I was knackered after that party. Of
course, we singers have to watch our voices.
got up and Ivan and I went to have some passport photos
taken with one of those little machines, because my
passport hadn't got any free pages for my American visa
for the Puerto Rican concert. The American Embassy demands
that I have a completely free page so I've got to get a
new passport and the application has got to go off to
Canbena to the American Embassy there, so we re hoping it
will be back in time for me to go to Los Angeles next
week. Anyway, we shall see.
I went and walked
round after that. Adelaide has a lot of European-style
classical buildings. One building, I don't know what it
was, has that kind of sturdy color that you get in former
Austria-Hungarian empire countries. And then I went into
the Virgin Mega-store, just to see if we had any records
on sale, and in the "P" section there were no Pet Shop
Boys CDs at all. Normally we're just above Tom Petty and
all the rest of it. None at all. Bearing in mind I hadn't
seen many in Sydney either, they wasn't very happy about
this. They do have this boxed set that EMI have done which
contains Very and the Performance live video - rather an
irrelevant combination if you ask me. They had a load of
them, and they had Discography on cassette, but no CDs,
which I was really narked about. So then I walked to the
record shop over the road:
a couple of copies of
Very, a couple of those boxed set things and nothing else.
No displays. "On tour". Nothing like that. I don't think
the back catalogue is actually available here. So I came
back and spoke to Mitch and she spoke to the head office
here and I'm going to speak to Jill about later and get
onto EMI International in London, because actually I think
it's disgraceful that we've come here and...even if we're
not here it's ridiculous that you can't actually buy our
CDs here, It's completely ridiculous. Disco 2 comes out
this week and of course you can't find it. I've found
Sting's one alight, but not ours, which I just think is
absolutely ridiculous. Then I came back and had a swim,
and now I'm going to get ready to go to the sound-check.
But it's very windy here. It's very cool. I only came to
Australia with summer clothes and it's actually very cool,
and on the twelfth floor you can hear the wind whistling
round the building. I woke up in the middle of the night,
freezing cold. Ivan told me he did the same. Quite
12.50, Thursday, November l0th.
It's lunchtime in Melbourne. The show in Adelaide went
very well apart from the fact that I tripped up walking up
the stairs for "Go west'. After the show something strange
happened. There was a man who got backstage, looking for
Nicole, one of the dancers, and he burst into the dressing
room with Lilliana and Katie where Litliana and Katie were
changing and weren't wearing very much and started taking
photographs of them and ran out. And then Dainton ran
after him and got him, and he was screaming and shouting.
And there was a bit of scene. A bit of spookiness.
The weather here has been dreadful. It's fine now. I
spoke to Rosemary from Adelaide and she said how cold it
was. It was nine degrees in Melbourne when she was
speaking. Someone told me it was going to snow, but in
fact when we got to Melbourne - Chris and I changed our
flights at the last minute because we don't like flying
Ansett, we'd rather fly Qantas, so just Chris, me and
Dainton went on Qantas an hour before everyone else it was
chilly but not that bad. Melbourne's a very interesting
city. Its funny, because everyone says "you're going to
think it's so English" and it in fact it looks like
Chicago, and actually some of it looks like a German city.
It doesn't look remotely English. Maybe the suburbs do.
But I like it.
There was also another drama
because one of the three trucks leaving Adelaide went over
on its side - the truck carrying all the speakers - and at
one point there was a possibility that the show would be
canceled, but of course it went ahead. They got another
truck and the equipment wasn't damaged. But they were late
setting everything up and we had a late sound-check and I
stayed at the venue which is a tennis center. It was a
very very good gig. Eleven and a half thousand people were
there, apparently. People were throwing things on-stage.
Underwear. During "Rent" when I was playing the guitar a
pair of men's underpants landed on my guitar, and I
stopped and everyone laughed and everything, and I said
"thank you" and put them on the floor and carried on
playing. The audience was quiet in the first halt then in
the second half it was very enthusiastic. I said, when!
was saying thank you,
you're a great audience and
all that stuff l "I don't want to be tribal about it but
you're a louder audience than Sydney" and everyone
cheered. And then when I was singing "Being Boring" I
suddenly felt quite...almost tearful, singing the bit
about "all the people I was kissing, some are here and
some are missing" because of course Rosemary was in the
audience. Actually I always find that song...actually
Kafie Kissoon said afterwards "that song always makes me
want to cry", and Abbey says that she's always nearly in
tears listening to it from the lighting desk. But that
night, for some reason, because Rosemary was there.. It
made me think of Christopher being dead and...I don't
know, I find it very sad, singing it.
afterwards we had these two mega-quick meet 'n' greets.
Mitch raced us through them all in about three minutes
each one. Almost embarrassingly quick. (Laughs] And then
Rosemary was backstage with some friends and so we sat in
the dressing room and drank and chatted for a while and
the backstage people brought in sandwiches which was very
nice of them. But then for some reason we had to
go...Mitch said there was a Barbra Streisand party. Some
party to do with Barbra Streisand's live album and they'd
got a drag queen miming some of it and I didn't really
want to go, actually, but Mitch said "they won t go
on-stage till you get there, Neil", so me and Rosemary and
her friends all went to this bar where this drag queen
came on, and didn't look remotely like Barbra Streisand.
She had the right dress and everything but she didn't look
remotely like her, and she mimed to four numbers not very
well and it was extremely boring, the whole thing, and I
had my photograph taken about one million times which you
start to get a bit sick of by the end of it. I left at
about half past one arranging to meet Rosemary for lunch
the next day. And Chris was in a bad mood because he'd had
to go to this thing and-he didn't want to be there.
Then yesterday Rosemary came round for lunch with her
baby, Eve, who's only eight weeks old, a big baby, and we
had a very nice lunch, A room service lunch- - pasta and
salad and wine. We chatted about people who used to work
at McDonald Educational. She looks very well. Actually
she's very much the same, laughing a lot. It was very nice
to see her. [Is interrupted Of course they never leave you
alone for a second in a hotel. After she left I went for a
walk. It was a beautiful late spring afternoon. I went
through the park -past -the Catholic cathedral It
reallysmelt very much of late spring. Very nice, that
lovely spring smell; things growing. Consequently I
-started to get hay fever.
Then I went and had a
swim downstairs, and had a very good steam bath and sauna
down there, and Chris, Dainton and I went out for dinner
in South Yarrow which is-the trendy area. A very good
French bistro called France Soir. They kept us waiting for
ages because it was so full, but they gave us pate and
oysters while we were waiting which was very nice of them.
Came home and went to bed
[ clicks off then clicks
On ]- I forgot to mention that Chris recorded his
appearance in Neighbors yesterday. Backstage at Melbourne
Mitch case in with a script: they wanted Chris to drive
down Ramsey Street in a limo and ask someone the way to a
recording studio. And be said he wouldn't do it if it was
a limo. He said "I'm not going to do it otherwise". Then I
had the bright idea: "why not a Porsche in that case, if
they want a flash car?" and so anyway I think Chris
assumed it wasn't going to happen and he went out quite
late and yesterday morning Mitch phoned up and said "yes,
they've got a white Porsche so it's all on". So they all
went down there and he filmed this little scene where he
drives up Ramsey Street and -asks these women where the
recording studio is and they say "are you British?" and he
says he's in a group called the Pet Shop Boys and they
-say they've never heard of them, and then he drives off
and one of the other characters comes along and can't
believe one of the Pet Shop Boys was on Ramsey Street.
Anyway, it's going to be broadcast here in six weeks time
and-in Britain in nine months time. He really enjoyed it
and he's got pictures of it and all the rest of it. It's
typical - I do a load of poxy phone-in press interviews
and Chris just does live national radio and Neighbors.
Tuesday, -November 15th,
We've finished the
Australian tour and we're now in Puerto Rico. On Friday we
flew from -Melbourne up to Brisbane. It was very hot in
Brisbane. Very sunny. We were there for less than 24
hours.-On the way to the venue we did an interview - for
the radio in the car. The audience was quite quiet at the
show apart from the front few rows. In the second half I
introduced '-'Absolutely Fabulous" and there was a rather
a long pause and I thought "Oh God, what's happening".
There was evidently a problem synching the -film with
the music so I went over to Pete Gleadall in front of
everyone, so I told him just to start the music so the
film wasn't in sync. And I immediately thought "Oh God,
that means something's going to go wrong with 'Go West"',
because that's where the sequences are driven by the code
from the film, to make the film be in sync. So anyway the
audience livened up, particularly during "It's A Sin" as
usual, all standing up, cheering, and then we came on for
"Go West" and it rapidly beacon obvious that the samples
of the choir were out of time. Robbie, out front, very
rapidly faded the choir out of the 'mix so that I had to
sing all of the "together" myself, and I tried to get the
audience to sing the "Go West' bits which actually they
did. So I had to be real show-business trouper at this
point. We all marched off and then all marched back on
again. But it was a hit of shambles, though I think it was
quite funny in a way.
Anyway Chris said "let's do
it again" so l whispered to. Pete Gleadall "can we do that
again with the samples in this time and without the film?"
and he said he thought so I talked for 20 seconds while he
investigated that, and then we did "Go West' all over
again with the samples and without the film, and actually
this time it went down unbelievably well. Then we did
"Being Boring" and that was that.
Afterwards we had
quite a long drink with Boxcar, the support group on the
Australian tour who we'd never really met and who were
very nice. Actually they. Seemed to have watched all the
shows they told us how good the sound in Adelaide was,
particularly. They'd supported in the past New Order,
Erasure and Depeche Mode, so I told them they'd now
collected the set.
Then we went back to the hotel.
The next morning we had to get up quite early. We had this
ridiculously long day where we crossed the date line,
flying from Brisbane to Sydney; and then we had to wait in
Sydney a couple of hours, everyone roaming around the
airport. Lynne bought a pink personal electronic
organizer. Then we had the flight to LA from Sydney and I
took a sleeping pill and actually I slept for about eight
hours on the flight which was pretty amazing. Then we
arrived in LA. The dancers and. Ivan etc. were flying on
to Miami. Chris, Dainton, Mark and I got off. Mark the
accountant comes from LA and was met by his mother, and
Chris, Dainton and. I went to the Beverley Wiltshire hotel
in Beverly Hills which was very nice. We just went out for
dinner in the evening and walked round the shops in the
afternoon in Beverly hills, Rodeo Drive. In the evening we
had a car and we went to a Japanese restaurant and we got
the driver to drive us round LA a hit. Round Hollywood.
But we were all falling asleep, so l was in bed quite
early. And I slept until 10 o'clock the next morning.
On Sunday Chris had a cold and stayed in bed all day
long. Dainton and I went to Book Soup, the bookshop on
Sunset Boulevard opposite Tower Records which has now got
a cafe attached to it. I bought some magazines and books
and we had brunch and we hired a jeep and we were going to
drive to the beach but actually it was chilly. This tour
seems to be of hot places when they're cold. So we went
back to the hotel and then early evening Dainton and I
went to see Priscilla, Queen Of The Dessert, the
Australian film about three drag queens who drive through
the outback to do a performance at Alice Springs in the
middle of Australia. In Australia everyone kept talking
about it and saying we must see it. And, typically, it was
rather disappointing. The dialogue was dreadful, even
though it was a funny idea, these drag queens going
through the outback on a bus.
Then we went for a meal
opposite the hotel and went to bed and I couldn't get to
sleep at all. I slept for about half an hour all night.
Yesterday on the news when I got up they said there's a
tropical storm blowing in Miami, so we flew from LA to
Miami. But in fact the landing wasn't bad; though there
was actually a storm blowing. Gusts of wind, as the
captain politely put it.
The flight then from
Miami to Puerto Rico was very bumpy for the first half and
then it calmed down, and now it's Tuesday morning and I've
just spoken to Jill and apparently Ivan and the dancers
don't know if they can leave Miami today, because of the
tropical storm Gordon, as it's called, blowing. But no
doubt we'll hear later
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