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Badfinger Quest 1980: London, Liverpool, Wales

England 1980

By Brooke Saunders

I arrived in London on St Patrick’s Day, in 1980. It was blustery and cold as I found my way from Heathrow Airport to Victoria Station, and from there, I would get a train going to Didcot, near Oxford. My cousin Elizabeth Blackburn was to pick me up, and I’d stay a few days before going back to London. Trees were beginning to get buds, there were a few flowers already blooming, but the weather was still raw with a forceful wind coming off the North Sea. It was great to be in England again, it had been three years since my last visit, and I looked forward to reestablishing contact with the Badfinger people and various friends I’d made there.

After getting into London, and getting off at the rail station, I walked around the streets a little while waiting for my train. It all hit me: the peculiar clamminess of the air scented with diesel exhaust, rows of chimney pots perched on dark slate roofs, huge roses in tiny yards, red phone booths, the unique two-note British police sirens, double-decker buses, and a thousand more things totally and completely English.

Much of what you sense there can’t really be described very well, but they surround you when you go there; the strong tea that is half milk, excellent butter, the amazing fish and chips, just to name a few more items. Coming from America, one of the most significant differences is the scale of things around you, the change from vast highways, stores, parking lots, and huge cars in America to tiny shops and narrow streets, even the people here are smaller.

The train ride was very interesting, and I enjoyed the back-door view of row houses as I traveled northwest towards Oxfordshire. After the ticket taker came and went, signs for places like Maidenhead and Reading appeared, and the train would stop briefly at various stations. Laundry flapped in the breeze around soot-stained brick houses, and dense thickets of telephone and power lines flashed by. Working class people stared at the train from the homes and factories, and the train whistle sounded frequently. Every so often, a passing train going by in a blur would interrupt my view, and the train would sway back and forth.

The carriages were very elegant, with wood and velvet, and you could shut the door to the corridor and get a certain amount of peace. Not that many people were on the train, as there were no summer tourists or rush hour Britons. I could have ridden it for hours, but Oxford wasn’t far from London at all.

After a while the buildings gave way to fields and hedgerows, a brown landscape sprinkled with green from the approaching spring. When I got off at Didcot, snow flurries were coming down, and I met Elizabeth outside the station to ride back to her comfortable bungalow just outside Oxford. We had tea, of course, and talked about family and my trip over.

Later, when I got into bed, there was a radio on the table, and I turned it on to the BBC. The DJ played the most wonderful music, some were New Wave, other songs were not really definable, but they had the style I loved in British music; elegant, mysterious arrangements, world-weary lyrics, and always beautifully sung.

I fell asleep to those tunes, it reminded me of once being in New York City lying awake listening to WNEW playing music I’d never heard nor would likely hear again. The same thing happened later in Amsterdam on New Year’s Eve. A fantastic radio show is a wonderful thing, as it is like opening a door to another world. I wish I could have taped those shows.

The next day we toured Oxford University and the surrounding area, very interesting Shakespeare territory. I walked alone all day along the Roman road that travels along the hilltops in Oxfordshire, where rolling green hills stretched out sprinkled with sheep and cows. There were huge battles between the Romans and the Britons in this area long ago, and new discoveries are made on a regular basis.

The nuclear towers near Oxford loomed in the haze over the city, and were always in view as I walked, otherwise there were only farmhouses, and the distant skyline of the city. I kept going, only stopping once in a small village to watch a game of cricket. After talking with some people there, one woman volunteered that her friend or someone close to her was from Lynchburg, and actually knew someone I knew.

I finally reached the area where my walk would end, and found a small pub to have a couple of beers, while waiting for my cousin to come get me. I wrote a few lines of my song “All of These Things” about the experience, it was warm and cozy, and there were only a couple people there.

After a couple of days in Oxford, I returned to London to call my friends that I’d stayed with three years before, and finally found them. Instead of the “squat” in Islington, now Keith, Kim, and Jim were living in an actual apartment in Tufnell Park, it was a basement, small, but cozy. I stayed on the sofa and played music with them for the next couple of months. They still rolled their cigarettes from bags of tobacco and rolling papers, virtually everyone seemed to smoke. The apartment always had the lingering fumes from the gas stove, and cigarettes.

With their help, I got a job at Davy-McKee, a company on Baker Street, not far from 3 Savile Row and other iconic Beatles locations. It was in a high-rise building, and my duties consisted of filing paperwork, pulling large documents from big cabinets, and running errands. The company was building methane-generating plants worldwide, they captured the gas from animal waste for energy, and our division was working on two plants in Siberia.

My favorite part of the job was when they would give me money for a cab and I’d courier documents to various parts of London. I felt very important, and probably was the only one there that did not pocket the money and walk or run or get a bus, as I found out later. Once I took documents to a fancy office next to where a Sherlock Holmes story was conceived, I guess Arthur Conan Doyle lived or worked there.

One very interesting person I met at work was the son of a major spy, whose father betrayed secrets during the Cold War while working for the MI6, their equivalent of the CIA. I think it was Kim Philby’s son, but I’m not sure which of the three, Burgess, Philby, or McLean, was his father. The movie “The Fifth Man” was about the incident, the worst espionage case against Britain there ever was.

I did not talk to him about that, but others told me who he was, and I worked for his section for a few days. He did not say much, a quiet mousy corporate guy, but friendly, and his fluent Russian was a good reason to hire him, as many of the documents were translated for the crews working in Siberia.

Once, a group of four or five Russians toured the office, very somber looking guys with the Eastern European look; puffy faces, bad skin, flashy gold watches, wearing sunglasses inside, the works. Other than that, it was not a very interesting job, and I would nod off occasionally. My desk did have a partial view of Big Ben, and some of the lunchtime visits to the local pub with fellow staffers could be fun. But the days dragged on.

Then six Iranian terrorists took 19 hostages at the Iranian embassy in South Kensington, a brief walk from my office. It was April 30th and the news was everywhere, the talk of the town. During lunch, or sometimes after work, I would go over and watch the anti-Shah demonstrators, wondering when the attack would be. There was no way Margaret Thatcher would not take out these radical Iranians, it was only a matter of time, which was the opinion on the street.

It finally happened on May 5th, a beautiful sunny day. I was standing there near the barriers, not far from the embassy, when a bunch of people started shouting and moving towards the police line, and the police forced them back. It was actually scary for a moment, so I moved out of the way. This was in the middle of the afternoon, and as it seemed like any other day at the site, I decided to walk north back to the apartment, and take a route past Abbey Road Studio to see the famous Beatle’s studio, not to mention Pink Floyd, and many others.

As I was leaving I saw four or five small vans pull up in a row, all painted Army green with no markings of any type, and through the regular glass windows, you could see rows of men, they had somber looks and shaved heads. I thought nothing o f it, and assumed they were just part of the backup team, as there were a lot of police and military around.

I walked north towards home, and followed the map to St. John’s Wood, and went by Paul McCartney’s old house, and then on to Abbey Road, enjoying views of the large white house-like studio, which hid a vast warren of recording studios and offices. I heard an explosion or two while walking along, but did not think anything of it, as there were constant vehicle backfires going on in a loud city like London.

When I finally got home, all my friends were yelling at the TV and cheering as if there was a soccer match on. I knew now what the explosions I heard were, the attack had finally happened, and the guys I saw coming up in the van were the elite SAS, their version of the Green Berets or a SWAT team. They attacked by swinging through a window and killing most of the terrorists, and it was all caught on TV. I read later that it was the first time that the SAS had used ninja techniques, whatever that means.

A footnote: I met a man years later that had a buddy who was in the squad that attacked. He said his friend told him when they had gone back to the barracks afterward to debrief, Margaret Thatcher was there. The room was dark in order to watch footage of the event, and Thatcher was standing up blocking the screen. One of the guys in back yelled something obscene at her; unaware it was the Prime Minister. She was unfazed, and sat right down, apparently amused by the incident.

I called Mike Gibbins of Badfinger in Swansea during this time, and asked about coming to visit, but it seemed not to be convenient. So I made plans to go to Liverpool, and then on to see North Wales, which people had been raving about as a tourist destination.

In the meantime, my job did earn me some money, so I was able to hire a studio to record my songs. My friends recommended I go to Jelly Studios, a tiny place in Shepard’s Bush section of London. It was an 8 track setup run by a guy named Jon Wilkinson, who had worked with John Entwhistle of the Who, and others. When I entered the studio, there was a Marshall amp the size of a large dictionary against the wall, I was surprised how small it was, but it sounded great. I read later that Led Zeppelin used very small amps in the studio.

In the week before we recorded, I planned the sessions, which would include a violin player. One was recommended, so I sent him a tape of my song I wanted him to play on. When he showed up, he said he was pleasantly surprised at the type of music, he had been concerned I might want country music fiddle or something, since I was from Virginia.

The song he was to play on was “Beyond Recall,” and it was far closer to the Moody Blues, a major influence to me, and his skills as a London symphony orchestra player came in handy for that style. I don’t recall whether he was with The London Philharmonic, but it was one of the major ones.

When we began playing the song, the violinist commented that the middle part was in 6/8 time, which was news to me. I’d just liked that beat and did not know what the time signature was. When it was time to record the violin, and he played a wonderful version, it was just perfect, but he rejected it. After playing it perfectly again, he said the second take was the best. Every note had great tone and pitch, the melody was wonderful, and for all I know, it was a 200-year-old violin.

I remembered during the mix down Jon would lower all the sliding faders to zero in the beginning, and carefully bring them back up one by one, really doing a great job. I had not been in a professional studio before, and I learned valuable lessons in those couple of days.

The only problems we ran into were minor ones, one of the musicians I brought in did not like the mix of “Beyond Recall,” so he wanted Jon to mix it again, and the new version was not as good, and Jon was slightly annoyed. So we kept the first one. Also, Keith, my friend, was singing backup harmonies, and for some reason it was not in tune, and I had to mix it out. He was slightly irritated at that, but I had to stand firm.

We would go out and take breaks, and I would buy beer and fish and chips at the nearby pub. We finally finished the taping, and I took it home, and would listen constantly to the results, very happy to have my first good recording. I ended up with three songs done there, and two of them were keepers, “Out on the Streets,” and “Beyond Recall.”

Time drifted by, and I got to know the neighborhood, and our favorite pub, The Brecknock. Lots of bands played there, they probably had live music four or five nights a week. During the days I was not working, I would just walk around the whole area in general, in addition to exploring Hampstead Heath, not far away. You got a marvelous view of London in the distance from there, and long ago Hampstead Heath was the countryside for London.

I’d also figured out the subway system, and where to get the best deals on food, and so forth. Many times we would jump the turnstiles, my friends had it down to an art, they were on welfare and naturally avoided paying for anything they did not have to.

One of the best things about Britain was being able to get real fish and chips, made of Irish potatoes and North Sea cod, usually wrapped in newspaper. Catsup was not readily available, so vinegar and mayonnaise was the condiment of choice, though you could get catsup if you asked. Tiny storefront places with a few tables would sell the best fare, it seemed. You could buy a beer, sit in a park, and have a great feast while watching the people go by.

Once when I was sitting in a pub, I went over to the jukebox and started to play something like the Clash or the Sex Pistols. Moments later, the owner turned it off, and then out on the patio, Morris dancers started performing. It was pretty neat, and I felt kind of bad starting up punk rock when the people were readying for an Irish sounding jig, but no one seemed to mind.

One song that was huge at the time was “Talk of the Town” by the Pretenders, to this day I remember London when I hear that song. Also the Clash’s “London Calling” was played everywhere constantly. Blondie and other bands from the New York scene were very popular also.

I decided to hitchhike to Liverpool, and got stuck just north of London, waiting for hours beside the road. Finally I wised up, and went over to a truck stop, and a truck driver that loved country music gave me a ride. I played guitar for him in the cab, and we cruised along the highway.

He let me out in Chester, just east of Liverpool. I wandered the ancient city, and I found out later Chester is a variation of “castra,” or camp, and I would imagine “castle” is somewhere in that root. As a resident of Chesterfield County now, I imagine few people here know that.

I hitchhiked from a truck stop again, and got a ride with another big rig to the docks in Liverpool. The warehouses and cranes were huge, it had been one of the largest shipping ports in the world at one time, exceeding London and Rotterdam, but now in decline. I was dropped at one of the big terminals. It was easy to get a bus into the center of the city, and I then found my contact, a friend of a friend from London, she was a publicist at one time for Elvis Costello. I was delighted when she liked my cassette of songs I played for her, the ones I’d just recorded in London.

After talking with her awhile, I walked around the city, just looking at the shops and people, and enjoying being in the legendary Liverpool. One memorable moment was going into a tiny pub near where the Cavern once stood, it probably only had three or four tables and a half dozen seats at the bar. It was just a long room, less than ten feet wide and twenty-five feet deep, with a window at the end overlooking the docks and the city, marvelous place to have a nice warm beer.

Another great moment for me was when I looked through an iron railing fence at the kids playing at Quarrybank School on a gray day. In general, I just breathed in the same atmosphere The Beatles did, and wandered the neighborhoods they spent time in. I think I walked by one of their homes and other locations, I do remember going to Sefton Park and Strawberry Fields. I took a ferry across the Mersey River, and back, could not resist that. One thing I loved about England was the beautiful church bells you often heard in the distance, and Liverpool was full of them.

When going into pubs to get something to eat, invariably they had Shepard’s pies and Cornish pastries. I read that the design of the dough was created because of the tin miners, they would grab the pastry by the edge, and eat most of it, discarding the part they touched. There was so much lead from the mining process that they needed fast food that had a handle, so as not to ingest the metal.

I went to the Walker Museum, as I had heard they had Stu Sutcliffe paintings there. Sutcliffe was the “fifth Beatle,” and John’s best friend till he died in Hamburg. They were art students together in Liverpool and Stu ultimately learned to play bass, though he never really got into it. When I asked about the paintings, an older man said they were not on display yet, but to come back at 5 PM, and he’d show them to me.

I left and wandered around the city more, and came back to the museum at the appointed hour. The old man was out front, and he led me to the basement, where thousands of paintings hung in wire racks. He flipped back a couple of the Sutcliffe paintings, vivid and abstract, and they were very large, and I remember a lot of brown, black, and white, but not much more about them. After the tour was over, I thanked the guy for his generosity. I really did see that spirit over and over again in England, though sometimes people seemed cold and sarcastic, most became friendly when they knew you were sincere.

Then on to North Wales on a bus, winding through the hills, until we came to the vast circular waterfront at Llandudno, which had a marvelous seafront of white, ornate Victorian buildings. I walked around the area, and finally sat down on the curb to ponder my next move.

A longhaired fellow musician wandered by, saw my guitar, and struck up a conversation. He said I should meet his friends, Dave and Erian Strange, they played folk music, so we went to their apartment. We hit it off, and they invited me to stay there a few days. We frequently played music, showing each other songs. They suggested we go see their relatives, who lived in a town next to a vast slate mine, deep in the mysterious Snowdonia Mountains, Britain’s highest peak, where they train their troops often. Supposedly they parachute people in with only a pocketknife and come back to get you in a week.

So off we went on a train watching the sunrise as we glided past castles on lakes and threaded narrow mountain valleys. We arrived at a tiny train station set in the middle of a vivid green and lush valley, and traveled a few miles more in a car to our destination, a small mining town called Bleinau Festinog. There were huge piles of slag heaped everywhere, small rows of stone house perched on the slopes, and smoke coming out of the chimneys. It was straight out of “How Green Is My Valley.”

I remember going into the living room of a tiny row house with a gas heater and old furniture and knickknacks, there was an old couple living there, which were either parents of Dave or Erian. Others came in, and we met more relatives, all very friendly, speaking with a heavy Welsh accent, and I understood very little of what they said.

Then it was off to the mine, we rode down in an elevator, and then boarded some contraption, and saw a tiny chapel, and mining equipment from the past, and other things, while a presentation was made.

When I left Llandudno a couple days later, Dave gave me a ride on the back of his motorbike to the bus station, clinging on with my pack and guitar. I said goodbye, and we later kept in touch for years, Dave and Erian are truly nice people that I wish could come visit us here one day.

One day I decided to go see the movie “Quadrophenia” at a theatre in downtown London, it had not made it to America yet. It was a great movie, violent and kind of depressing, but the scenes of Brighton and the extraordinary music were wonderful. Afterwards, I remember walking in a daze, it’s funny how a powerful movie can put you in another world, and I’d really become an avid Who fan after hearing Quadrophenia three years earlier in England.

I stopped in a pub and had a couple of beers, and I thought about how powerful the Who are, and their concept albums that capture the English mood so well. This film is highly recommended for anyone who likes the band, and if you look carefully, Sting makes an appearance. I used to have the LP Quadrophenia, it contained about a dozen large black and white photographs in the sleeve of mods and rockers overturning a car.

Once I remember walking into one of the many fascinating record shops in London and hearing a great band on the stereo there, and I asked the girl behind the counter who it was, and she said “Joy Division,” in a very dismissive tone, as if I should know who that was. They were only one of the biggest bands in England then, but unknown in America. I also heard Television over there for the first time in a music shop, though they were a New York band, they were getting popular in England.

I was a big Jam fan by the time I got to England the second time, and I bought a ticket to see them at the fabled Rainbow Theatre, a beautiful old place at the intersection called “Seven Sisters” in North London. I went inside, and enjoyed the usual parade of colorfully dressed punks while waiting for the show. Eventually, I moved to the front of the stage to see the Records, the opening band. They were very professional, but did not have the songwriting brilliance and rawness the Jam did.

Then after the Records finished, Paul Weller took the stage to deafening roars of approval, dashing out with the other two members at top speed. They launched into a rocking number, and suddenly the crowd behind me pressed me with great force into the people in front of me into the stage, it was actually a bit frightening, I was pinned, I could not move and barely could breathe for several minutes.

I finally extracted myself with relief and went to a safer place to watch the show. Good stuff, great band, and probably the best show I saw in England. Weller combined Who-like power chords, soaring melodies, and catchy guitar hooks that went over very well in England, but never in America.

One time I saw Screaming Lord Sutch perform at the Brecknock Pub on their tiny stage, he was doing his Jack The Ripper stage show with bizarre costumes and music. It was great to see the legendary guy that was briefly connected to Led Zeppelin, I think Page produced an album for him.

Once the bartender bragged he was a part time narcotics officer, turning in people for drugs, but I really think he had a sardonic sense of humor, and was pulling my leg.

Another favorite show I saw there was Iggy Pop at the Music Machine, a fairly large venue in North London. During the show, he was dragged off stage by an overzealous fan with a mike cord wrapped around his neck.

I also caught a big benefit show at the Rainbow Theatre April 4th, in which the Stranglers headlined, they were raising funds for their leader, Hugh Cornwall, who was in jail for drug possession. Joy Division was on the bill, and I vaguely remember their set, I was not that familiar with them, but I enjoyed them more than some of the others.

No one had any idea their lead singer, Ian Curtis, would be dead in a month, or that they would become such a legend, they were just another Factory label band on a big bill. An interesting note: I read later he had a mild epileptic fit onstage that night, yet still managed to get to the Moonlight Club not far away to perform for another show that same night. I also saw most of the Stranglers play, as they were supporting their leader, Hugh Cornwall, who was in jail for pot possession or something similar.

I talked to Mike Gibbins on the phone earlier and got the phone number for Tom Evans of Badfinger, who was living in New Haw, Surrey, south of London. So I called him up and we talked several times, and I made arrangements to visit him. The day I was to meet him there, I misjudged the time it took to change trains and buses etc, and when I called as instructed when I was near, he said it was too late, and he could not wait any longer. I felt bad, it was a dumb mistake, I should have gotten up earlier or something. Next time I saw him was in Richmond a couple years later, playing in a version of Badfinger.

We had a friend in London who actually had a few extra pounds here and there, and would take us out to different clubs to party. Once we were at a Greek place, and a couple of us started to bother a parrot in a cage on the stair landing, making noises and irritating the bird. I somewhat remember our party being asked to leave, my friends were real pranksters. Another time, I was at an apartment of friends of theirs nearby, and I fell asleep on the sofa, waking up with a pair of panties covering my face, and “London Calling,” playing as usual on the stereo.

Once I went walking in the East End near White Chapel, following the footsteps of Jack the Ripper. It was an eerie experience, even though it was broad daylight. The streets among warehouses and vacant lots were deserted, with no stores or houses around, and few pedestrians, and an occasional pub. At one point I walked past a metal fence about 10 feet high, and I peered through a narrow crack. I was looking across an expanse of rubble at a row of abandoned houses from the 1800’s, all connected together, with chimney pots on top, clad with the soot-darkened brick of London, standing under a gray sky. The houses were about a hundred yards away, and when framed in the crack, it was like seeing another world. These were probably damaged during the war and never recovered. It reminded me of the inside sleeve of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album.

Every place I went in England breathed music, going down to Wardour Street in Soho to visit the Marquee Club, knowing that The Beatles, The Who, Led Zepplin and countless others played there in the early days, and walked those very same streets. I saw Pete Townsend’s younger brother’s band play there, great pop music. A sense of music history was in every brick in Soho, every book you read about British rock mentions this area.

Other areas in London I walked around included Muswell Hill, made famous by the Kinks, Shepard’s Bush for The Who, and I went to the Roundhouse venue, where various Beatles attended events, along with many other luminaries. I saw Jimmy Vaughan play there, he’d just broken his leg, and sat on a stool to play. Later, my friend Billy Pitman of Lynchburg went on the road with him playing guitar, and eventually opened up for Eric Clapton, and many others. Pitman is pictured on five songs on the DVD maded of the Crossroads concert in Texas, playing behind BB King and others.

I walked into St Paul’s cathedral in the City of London, which miraculously escaped the bombs in World War II. It is truly huge, one of the highest naves in the world. A choir was singing at that moment as tourists strolled the large space, and the music rose and fell in the distance, immaculate waves of harmony, like a gorgeous ocean, I thought of Crosby, Stills and Nash, or “Because” by the Beatles. A truly wonderful church.

Once I walked down the large, curving Regent Street towards the Thames River at sunset, and after getting on a bridge, I turned to look at the street in the light of the dying sun. It glowed a deep yellow-orange, the façade of sandstone blocks looked like a magnificent monument, windows sparkling, it was stunning.

While at Davy-McKee, I worked with a young guy named Philip, and once he suggested we go visit his friends at his old school in Wales, just over the border. We took the train out of London northwest, traveling for a couple of hours. It was quite beautiful, seeing the green April countryside, and as we finally go to the Welsh border, the Black Mountains appeared in the distance.

This was King Arthur countryside, and where Led Zepplin had a cottage called “Bron-y-Aur” meaning “golden breast.” They would retreat there and write songs. I think it was there Robert Plant went for stroll one day and came back in to sit by the fire with the lyrics to “Stairway To Heaven.” Also, Eric Clapton spent quite a bit of time in this part of Wales due to his involvement with Alice Ormsby-Gore, a Welsh girl with royal connections.

We arrived by taxi at the school, which deposited us at the bottom of the driveway. As we walked up the long driveway, I was struck by the image of a small barren tree full of cawing ravens. It was totally atmospheric, the large looming building, and the ominous tree of birds, it could have been from the movie, “The Birds.”

We went inside the school to our rooms, and then met a number of his friends, listened to music and talked about the differences with America and Britain.

We had dinner in a cafeteria, and took a tour of part of the school. Later that night, we went on a kind of bizarre walk through the darkened school with several of his friends, I don’t recall why they were doing that, trying not to laugh or make noise. Maybe they were reliving old times. It was strange and kind of fun prowling around. After a couple of nights there, we returned to London, and work.

Once in London I was walking down a busy street, and was getting ready to step in the gutter to get by a mailbox or something, but the hair stood up on the back of my neck, and I paused. A double decker bus flashed past, it would have probably hit me if I had not stopped. From then on I made sure to look more carefully before crossing streets, because not only is it harder to drive there, due to the fact they drive on the left, crossing streets and looking to the right instead of the left is disorienting.

Another time we were walking with my friends and we looked out on the median of a busy road, and several hoods were beating and kicking another guy to the ground. My instinct was to go help or call someone, but my friends wanted no part of it, and looked distinctly afraid, so I bowed to their knowledge of the situation.

Once I heard a band practicing inside a large windowless warehouse in south London, and I wondered if this was the famous place where the Stones and other major bands practice for tours of large venues, preparing their stage shows. It’s not open to the public, it’s just a large enough venue to test all the special effects and practice.

I probably saw 100 bands while in London, and if I’d been a little more in the know, I could have seen XTC or The Police for free in a small bar. Later on, I saw those shows in the calendar listings in my copies of Melody Maker, and kicked myself. But who knows who is going to become famous? My friends were strongly recommending The Police at the time though, that band really took off quickly.

I went to a pub with an open stage near central London a few times and played. One of the top songs that everyone loved was “Lying Eyes” by the Eagles, and another often requested song was “Streets of London,” by Ralph McTell, which I learned later. But I could play neither of those songs at the time, and it was interesting later to hear Mary Hopkin’s version also.

When it came time to leave, I missed my plane somehow, and had to return to London from the airport to figure things out, but I finally got back home, vowing to return, but 29 years later to day almost, I have not.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_Embassy_Siege

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