Part 12: Back in sunny (!) London:
August 9 - August 16 1998:
So once again it was time for a week in London! This time I was going to take more notes than I usually did...
We (my wife Vanja and yours truly plus good friend Gert Becker) arrived late Sunday night at our hotel at Craven Terrace, quite close to Paddington Station. I slept badly which I often do on the first night when travelling. But the glorious weather made my morning grumpiness disappear: sunny and close to 30 degrees Celsius. Sweden was more like 15 degrees and a constant drizzle.

Gert, Vanja, yours truly and Big Joe
at "The Favourite". Photo © Bob Pearce
Spent a lazy Monday on a boat trip westwards on the Thames up to Hampton Court. Beautiful riverside scenes but we actually had to hide from the sun. A pleasant problem though.
Passed Eel Pie Island but were informed by the guide (otherwise delivering some pure stand up comedy stuff) that the hotel had burnt down many years ago and that the neighbours petitioned against having it rebuilt. Too much noise! The neighbours won. (Something that could easily happen in Gothenburg, too...)
The hotel on Eel Pie Island was of course the stage for folks like Cyril Davies, the Yardbirds etcetera way back in British R&B history.
Come Tuesday it was time to dive headlong into the music scene. First some serious reading of "Time Out" magazine, ballpoint pen in one hand and a pint of Director's Bitter in the other, at the poshest of our favourite pubs: "The Audley" at 41 Mount Street. Beautifully Victorian but hardly the epicenter of London's R&B circuit.

Then a phonecall to Big Joe Louis - a gentleman I had had a lot of e-mail contacts with previously, resulting in some special web site pages of mine, presenting his fabulous outfit Big Joe Louis and his Blues Kings. Joe answered and we compared notes, "Time Out" in hand. The James Hunter Trio on Wednesday and Big Joe Louis (yes!) on Friday were my first preferences. Good choices? Joe agreed wholeheartedly. But for tonight (Tuesday) he recommended David Purdy at the "Station Tavern". David was an old friend and musical partner of his, also appearing on Joe's recent "Big Sixteen" album on ACE. He was extremely good, Joe said, somewhat of a cult figure, playing in a manner resembling John Lee Hooker and Lightnin' Hopkins and using tons of reverb. Could this be of interest? Could we meet there? YES on both accounts we said.