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One for the Road

One For The Road - Carol Clerk Gets Banned From Israel With Hanoi Rocks
Carol Clerk , August 1st, 2008 14:04

To get banned from a drinking establishment takes practice; to get banned from a whole country requires a different kind of dedication. Our friend Clerkie looks back to a session that nearly ended in a two year prison sentence.

It was 25 years ago, that week I spent in Tel Aviv with Hanoi Rocks, the one that ended in a blur of police cars, threats of imprisonment and shock-horror headlines in the newspapers. I still have those newspapers; must get them translated one day.

Looking back, it's obvious there was going to be trouble. It was Passover, which meant that the citizens were banned from selling or consuming anything containing yeast. So, bad news for beer drinkers. . . except for us. Band manager Richard Bishop had cunningly struck a deal with the promoters that entitled the entire entourage to unlimited free drinks, round the clock, for the duration of the visit.

The other thing was that Israel had only started promoting rock gigs a year earlier and had never been confronted with anything like Hanoi Rocks, wild in the streets in their make-up, dresses, scarves, jewellery and hats, pissed to hell and up for anything in the holy week.

The inevitable culture clashes became more outrageous as our drinking careered out of control, turning regular life into some sort of surreal dream. Of course we should've been a little more sensitive to local custom and tradition, should at least have kept the noise down in the small hours, encouraged the sound guy to sleep in his hotel room rather than outside it, maybe even advised guitarist Andy McCoy against staggering round the corridors with a bottle, wearing only a towel, at normal people's breakfast time. But it wasn't all one-sided...

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