The heat was unbearable in the Chevy people carrier. The back was stacked with suitcases and guitars and five plaster Madonnas that were starting to chip and disintegrate with each bump we seemed to find on the highway leading into San Antonio, Texas.
We had stopped off at a Mexican restaurant last night where upon we had the most amazing burritos made with rice,beans,salsa and sour cream with grated cheese followed by more beans with lime and guacamole. All washed down with the finest margueritas and after five of them we were easy picking for the worldly attractive manageress who sold us five, three foot tall, Madonnas we envisaged getting home to England without any trouble at all.
The Alamo had been our destination shoot for some pictures to be used by the NME. Make up and eye liner was streaming down everyones face and hair spray just does not work in these conditions so each attempt at looking like a Hollywood dames poodle was met with disaster.
The bright blue sky and unrelenting sun raged at the black clad, skinny group until, after numerous Coronas, dozens of cigarettes and enough pouting to win a gurning competition we set off to the desert to horse ride on a ranch high up in the hills never to make it.
It was on this trip and after six beers had taken their toll that we decided to pull over for some well needed relief. We congregated near the mens room soon to be joined by the site of a Texas ranger curling up to us in a shiny white and blue police car. He let out a pathetic blast on his siren just to make sure he had our attention before he pulled himself and his vast girth out of the drivers seat and over to where we were standing.
We all looked at our reflection in his sunglasses. Some of us doing another pout and checking to see if it looked menacing enough.
I started to rub the rattlesnake tail souvenir caught up in a plectrum in my pocket like worry beads in the hands of an Arab down the Edgeware Road for luck.
Last nights skin full and this afternoons top up was starting to freefall on the guitarist brain and he shifted uneasily and irritatingly swarthed in skulls and beaten up leather biker unable to hide his punk persona and obvious dissent for all authority. 'Just hang on a minute or two man, we can see this through.'
"So I got to thinking I would take a ride over and see what there was to see. Sure enough I ride in here and what do I find? Weirdos in the parking lot!"
By now the affects of standing in the drenching sun again was beginning to make us feel faint and the swinging Liquor store sign advertising cold beer was even more unbearable to take.
"You boys sure are on the wrong side of town. Now get in your vehicle and drive!"
We did'nt need much persuading and we filed into the van like errant school children after a telling off. Pretty soon the bravado came back and each of us exclaimed we were never bothered for a minute and that ranger was probably gay anyway.
We heard a strange cracking noise as one of the Madonnas hit the floor behind our heads and on investigating we realised we were all covered in dry plaster of paris flake from one of the figures that had exploded and covered the entire inside of the van. Black cowboy hats and sweaty Johnsons drain pipes were caked in it. Needless to say this was to be the outcome of each of the Madonnas until the last one was flung ceremoniously and resignedly from the moving van. Years later I was still brushing off the white powder from my rocking threads and it always made me smile to myself. Weirdos in the parking lot? You got that right.