Faith No More's Big Jim Martin And The £1500 Curry

Riding the crest of a wave after second album, The Real Thing, became a monster, FNM pitched up in England and made a tour manager lose his marbles...
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Riding the crest of a wave after second album, The Real Thing, became a monster, FNM pitched up in England and made a tour manager lose his marbles...

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From its humble beginnings, The Real Thing album had now become a monster. 18 months before Faith No More were still relatively unknown in Europe. Original singer, Chuck Mosley, had imploded after impact with a giant crack rock, and even the small band of die hard fans, who had chanced across the band’s début album, (We Care A Lot) were unsure of his replacement, Mike Patton.

They need not have worried. Debut single, Out of Nowhere, had launched Patton on the world; Epic had followed it up on a global scale, and 18 months down the line, The Real Thing has sold by the truck load. A year ago Faith No More were sharing a cramped mini bus with their road crew but right now their two giant sleeper buses are pulling in to a service station en-route from London to Birmingham.

FNM’s guitarist, Big Sick Jim Martin, looks up from his copy of Massive Tits Monthly through a wall of cigar smoke, and inquires as to why they are stopping. The rest of the band shrug with disinterest and continue watching Evil Dead II, before the driver pops his head out of his cab, holding a small walkie-talkie. “Tim just radioed from the other bus and told me to park up.”

Jim Martin sighed and went back to ogling giant buns. The door on the crews bus sprang back with a pneumatic wheeze and out stepped Tim; a wiry no nonsense northerner. Tim looked like he couldn’t manage a bag of heavy shopping but his reputation for dealing with ‘the shizzle’ was legendary. Earlier on in the tour, the support band had been warned that they were not to go to catering until FNM had sound checked and gone to eat. That’s the etiquette. Tim didn’t give second warnings. When it had happened again, he had simply marched in to catering, up-turned the support bands table, and beat them all about the head with a wooden bread board. At this precise moment he was marching across the pot holed car park toward the bands bus and he looked like he meant business.

Big Sick Jim Martin glanced up from his boob fest, and slunk down low in his seat. Tim climbed aboard, scanned the bus lounge, and spotted the mass of black curls atop of a pair of big red sunglasses. He walked over to Big Sick Jim and thrust a fax in front of his big black beard. “What the fuck is this, Jim?” asked Tim, with more than a hint of annoyance.

Big Sick Jim glanced at it, not really needing to read it to know what it was. “Er, it’s a hotel bill, puss.”

Tim snatched it back. “Yes Jim, it’s a bill for your room, from The Columbia Hotel, for £1600. That’s exactly £1500 more than it should be.” Tim leaned in and snatched Massive Tits Monthly from the hands of its reader. “Would you care to explain?”

Big Sick Jim Martin sat back with a nonchalant sigh and took the stogie from his mouth. “I spilled my curry.”

Tim the tour manager looked at him with consternation before looking to the rest of the band to check that he hadn’t just imagined it. “You spilled your curry? How the fuck does spilling your curry cost £1500?”

Big Sick Jim Martin pondered the question and clearly decided that attack was the best form of defence. “Look, Puss, I spilled my fucking Curry, OK?” Tim was having none of it. “OK Jim, explain how spilling your curry has just cost us £1500?” Big Sick Jim blew out his cheeks and raised his arms with incredulity.

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“OK OK, after the gig I went and bought a takeaway and brought it back to my room. I’m sitting on the corner of my bed pouring this cup of fuckin’ yellow shit sauce over my food and I spilled some on the fucking duvet.” Jim re-lit his cigar and continued his explanation.

“Now I’m looking at this stain and thinking Tim’s gonna get a cleaning bill for this, so I wanted to help ya out. I went in my case and took out a can of lighter fuel, cuz I’m thinking this shit will get the stain out, right?” Tim’s jaw is slowly dropping as Big Sick Jim continues to explain. “Thing is Tim, I’m fucking scrubbing so hard to save your sorry English ass, that my fuckin’ cigar fell out my mouth and set fire to the fucking duvet! Now I’m thinking to myself, Tim is gonna be real pissed about this so I better help him out.”

Tim raises his palms and stops Jim in his tracks. “OK Jim, you set fire to the duvet but how is that £1500?” Big Sick Jim Martin stared back at his tour manager; his expression that of a man who just couldn’t understand what was not being understood. “OK, so I’m looking at this fire and I’m thinkin’ I need to put this baby out and stop it spreading.”

It’s at this point that everyone thinks to themselves, what would I do? Everyone else on the bus lands on the same square at the same time. You would grab the duvet and throw it in the bath tub and turn on the shower... Wouldn’t you?

Jim continued. “So a grabbed the duvet and threw it off the balcony.” Jim's face became slightly sheepish. “Anyway, I’m eating my curry and slugging a few drinks when suddenly I can see smoke rising outside. I walked out on to the balcony to take a look and the god damn bushes are on fire.” Jim Martins face is one of; can you believe it? “So I’m thinkin’ Tim’s gonna be in real doo doo here, so I figured I could smother it by dropping the mattress on it. That didn’t work so well, so I tried again with the bed.... And then the wardrobe.”

Tim’s jaw was now on the carpet. He finally composed himself enough to say something.  “So let me get this right Jim, you threw the majority of your furniture from a second story hotel room and burned it in the street?”

Big Sick Jim Martin shook his head and blew out his cheeks with frustration. He looked up at Tim one last time. “What don’t you understand here?... I JUST SPILLED MY FUCKING CURRY!"

This is an extract from Ian’s book, Career Opportunities (the ones that never knock). Follow the link below to buy a copy...