I recently tracked down an old friend who lived in Torrance. Dave Rapella and I met back in 1991 in LA, he became a great friend, like a brother and in doing so came to many shows. Over the next couple of years Dave videoed several shows in California and in England. Dave wanted to visit the UK and promptly arrived one day, and hung out with myself and the Bad Manners band, videoing shows in Saffron Walden and Norwich and around London. During Dave’s first trip to the UK he received the very sad news that his Mum had passed, it was terrible. He was so far from home and we found it somewhat difficult to get him back. I remember him hanging in my place on Wapping Wall in East London just do distraught. Dave got home and we continued to stay in touch as best we could, in those days there was no email for Bad Manners drummers, and I suppose I was not in the habit of writing to large Skinhead men, so over time we drifted apart as mates.
Slowly we lost touch, Dave got divorced and moved away from LA. I tried many times to find him, but no one knew where he was. Thanks to the power of the internet and Facebook, we were recently re-united and he now only lives about 700 miles away in Colorado. Though 20 years have almost past, Dave still kept hold of all the videos, tour passes and t-shirts from the old days, some of the few things he salvaged. We recently spoke for the first time and he promised to send over the tapes, it was a matter of two weeks and I was looking at myself somewhat slimmer on stages all over the USA and UK.
I now have around seven shows that I am slowly but surely putting on the web for all to see, but more importantly I am reconnecting people and friends who were on the stage that night. That box of tapes is a great opportunity to bring together old band mates, for them to share thier slightly sordid past with their kids one day, and for people who were there to be reminded of one great night they had probably forgotten about.
The first was the Troubadour back in 1995, great show featuring Buster Bloodvessel, Matt Godwin, Alex Arundell, Dave “Essex” Welton, Erik “Super Deluxe” Noyes, Dave “Big Trombone” Wiens, Scott on guitar(can’t remember his last name, help) myself Steve Oldham on Drums and obviously behind the camera Dave Rapella.
I just started looking at the show from the Coach House in Orange County, this show was played several hours after Buster found out his Father had died. It was by far the strangest show we have ever played, a kind of Bad manners in Las Vegas….more to come.