Another Night On The Town

It's been 16 years since the last series of British comedy 'Auf Wiedersehen Pet' but filming is nearly complete on the third series scheduled to air in Spring of 2002. Besides the excitement of the new exploits of the magnificent seven (Wayne's son has taken his place) a new soundtrack has being recorded to fit in with the theme of 'brickies with their backs to the wall'.

The classic theme tunes of the previous two series included 'Breaking Away', 'That's Living Alright' and 'Back With The Boys Again', all sung by the gruff Joe Fagin. But this time the producers, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais have gone for an all star ensemble of British rock legends to create the backdrop for the lads adventures.According to Clement they deliberately chose the common mans metal heroes: 'We've always been fans of Brian Johnson (AC/DC), Biff Byford (Saxon), Noddy Holder (Slade), you know, your street rockers , guys who lived the life the lads did before they broke big. No American could relate to this.'' Along with these three Roger Daltrey chose to participate as did Blaze Bayley ( Wolfsbane, Iron Maiden) and Paul Dianno. For each singer it was a return to their roots. Biff Byford recalls working on building sites before Saxon. For him and many others there wasn't much choice. 'Growing up in Barnsley, you grow up fast'' Biff says. ''My Dad worked as a coal miner all his bleedin' life. He worked twelve hours a day, for thirty years to bring us up right. It killed him. Of course I was expected to do the same.'' But Biff had other ideas. '' Back in the early 70's when I was in me early thirties I toiled on building sites as a brickie in the freezing rain and snow. That's all I needed to start me own band. I wasn't going to piss me life away like me Dad. But when they approached me to do this I couldn't say no. You never forget your roots. Never.'' Biff recorded 'Rock Lions' and 'Never Gonna Lose It' two tracks which encapsulate the desperation of working class heroes. 'They're lions who don't give up. They are my heroes.'' For Brian Johnson it's been a long road to the top. Starting out in early seventies rock heroes Geordie in hometown Newcastle he has since reached the top with AC/DC. For him it was a homecoming. '' I had just come back to the Tyne to play some reunion shows with Geordie when I was contacted about the album. Shite mon how could I sae nae?'' Brian, with Geordie to back him up, got another surprise in the studio. ''We get there and I'm told there's a guest waiting. I thought, it couldn't be, not Keegan right? It turned out to be Jimmy Nail.'' Nail, who plays Oz in their series itself has tasted musical fame also, and being a fan of Johnson asked to sing on Johnson's two tracks. ''I was hesitant but Nail blew me away'' confesses Brian, ''he's a geordie like us and we had a cracker time.'' Together they cranked out 'The Eagle Flies Free' and 'World In Motion'(New Order remake).Sums up Beano: ''I might have never been a brickie but I guess I fooled them.''

Unlike the enthusiasm Byford and Johnson show, Blaze Bayley can't hold back his anger. ''I wasted some of the best years, laboring on sites in the early eighties while trying to make it in metal.'' Blaze is unrepentant. ''You slave away for eight hours, forced overtime too, carrying a piece of rock all day and what have you got to show for it? A pathetic pay packet that barely pays the rent, eating ten pence packets of chicken noodles every night, wasting away while some fat bastard laughs up in the famed ivory tower!'' Blaze was on the dole for years before he made it with Wolfsbane and he's never forgotten it. ''It was great, I'd rather pick up thirty pounds a week than kill myself for pittance. I'll never work a regualr job again. If it means playing Giuldford school hall I'll do it. As for working, sod it.'' For the soundtrack Blaze went back to his Wolfsbane roots and recorded a set of rough rockers titled 'Never Be Like You' and 'Backstreet Heroes'(dedicated to the rebels amongst us). ''As for Gary Holton'' he concludes ''rest in peace.'' Despite numerous attempts Noddy Holder could be reached for an interview. Through his manager it was confirmed that old Slade classic 'In The Doghouse' would be the theme for the new series. Accompanying the song would be a 'hilarious' montage of the lads shenanigans from the early series.

Paul Dianno never worked rough but admits Auf Wiedersehen was a favorite show of his back in the 80's. ''It was right on the mark'' claims Paul speaking from Rio. ''We used to watch it every week while recording 'Dianno' (1985). I'd take Bomber anyday though'' he jokes, referring to the shows resident hard man. Paul is currently finishing up the latest Killers album, but squeezed in time to record his two numbers.

''I went old school'' he says ''I got in Lea Hart, Don Airey and Nibbs Carter and we belted out 'Born To The City' and 'Another Night On The Town' in two days. While we were there we also recorded a tribute album to Saxon.'' There are tentative plans to re-record the classic 'Get It Right' but Paul reckons ''we will have to wait and see.''

Certainly it was a surprise to see Roger Daltrey included. Roger though has always claimed that rock 'n' roll saved him from a life in the factories.'' Sheet metal worker'' were Roger's first words when interviewed. He paused, as if waiting for a negative reaction. He wasn't given one. Roger chose to remake his long forgotten 'One Of The Boys' title cut from his equally forgotten 1977 album of the same name. ''It's timeless innit'' Daltrey jokes, ''I mean there's always going to be lads on the fringe, on the dole, pissed off at the world. I was and kids always will be. Just like the boys in the show.'' Rogers other choice, 'Two Hearts On The Run' was written in 1987. What happened. ''Well it's a great track co written with Chas Sanford and was omitted from my 'Can't Wait To See The Movie' album. It's been sitting around for ages and I thought it was time.'' Running short on ideas Roger? ''Yeah.'' The album is set for release in early 2002 through Steamhammer.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online December 26, 2001

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