My first TV appearance was on a music show in the Nederlands.
They flew me out to Amsterdam for the day and when I arrived I was ushered into the artist’s make-up room and plastered with an orange paste that, apparently, was necessary to combat the rather large studio lights that were powerful enough to give you a suntan in 5 minutes!
I had worked in bars, clubs, churches and schools around the Nederlands for a few years. In fact, my first major tour took me around the country from Holland to Friesland, the beautiful flatlands of the north. This is where I first met Joop Van De Meer, an ex-city cop who used to chase down the bad guys in quite dramatic ways – which I can’t tell you about here because I think his methods were “unconventional” to say the least!
Joop worked for Youth For Christ and set up tours around Friesland on many occasions. ‘Christian’ Coffee Bars were popular in those days, set up in retail areas and even on a number of converted barges, which were great fun to perform in. They gave a new meaning to “rock ‘n roll!”
One time I was playing in concert on one of these converted barges when a druggy approached the small stage area brandishing a knife! Not sure if he didn’t appreciate my music, or whether he just wanted attention. Well, he did get a lot of attention and was man-handled to a place of safety.
I have never taken illegal drugs, but there were times when I felt a little light-headed in the bars and clubs where I played – the atmosphere was quite “smokey!”
Anyway, back to the TV
I ended up appearing on TV many times during my time as a pro singer, songwriter, but this one time in Amsterdam was the only time I forgot to get all the orange make-up off my face. I was in a hurry to catch my flight back to the UK, and travelled the whole way back with an orange face!
I didn’t understand why I attracted strange looks from people until I got back on English soil!