When you think rock ‘n’ roll, maybe you think of Memphis and Elvis Presley? Or other huge American artists like Buddy Holly and Little Richard?
Or perhaps you look at urban centres in the UK like Liverpool, birthplace of the Beatles, or London, and groups like The Rolling Stones.
I doubt you think of Huddersfield.
But, in the heady summer of 2006, on June 1, that was precisely where my JMB rock ‘n’ roll tour began.
O, what a night!
I’d been recruited by my good friend Dennis to help him out on the gig tours of Bryan Adams and Bon Jovi over the course of 11 days in June 2006.
He’d asked me the previous year to work at a U2 gig at the then City of Manchester Stadium. Myself and my housemate Luke stood at the entrance to the stadium, trying to persuade drunken Mancs (and Scots!) to part with £15 for what was essentially a book of photos, before sleeping on a floor in the middle of Manchester for the night in between.
Never again, I’d vowed.
And yet here I was. Clambering into Niki’s car, along with Dennis and Ally and heading the short journey up the M1 from Nottingham to Huddersfield to embark on a tour that would change my life.
Not many of us worked the Bryan Adams, Huddersfield gig. Amazingly enough, it wasn’t that big of a deal (!), however, the JMB guys were out in force, including Linda and Sandra – from Rotherham – and Pauline who was running a tight ship as usual.
Having set up stall marquees across the Galpharm (that’s the name of the stadium for those of you who’ve never had the pleasure of visiting), I was stationed on a programme stand about 500m from the entrance in the now emerging Yorkshire sun.
Not with a friend this time. By myself.
And, rather than drunken Mancs, it was determined Yorkshiremen to which I was pitching my wares. Just £10 this time, for another book of pictures.
But, it is for the Groover from Vancouver so it may well prove to be more popular.
Fat chance. But I did enjoy planning all the fun I was going to have when I eventually got back to uni.
The only company I got was the occasional buggied JMB employee bringing me more programmes to sell and then trundling my stand back to base when the dulcet tones of Mr Adams rang out across the early summer sky that evening.
When he’d finished, it was back to position and ready for the crowds.
Who promptly swept past me and my mournful “Programmes” shout without so much as a glance.
Still, I sold a good number and my figures added up. That was always a relief.
Once we’d handed in our stock and counted up, our job was to run round disassembling the marquees we’d put up that morning. We finished about half 12/1am.
Next stop for tomorrow’s gig?
Best get on our way then…