OFF: John Otway 1 hit wonder no more

Richard Graham richjan60 at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 1 02:46:31 EDT 2002

Hopefully some of you on this list will find the following e mail useful
andhelp John to get his birthday wish

Hi -
Richard Cotton here, from John's office.

Otway is busy on the road - in fact as I write he's in Northallerton with
the band - probably about to half way through the set!

His laptop is down, so he's asked me to update you with a couple of bits of
late news.  I hope you will forgive my intrusion - but John does want to
keep you all up to date, especially if you aren't on the snail-mail list.

We may find out a 'mid-week' figure - where we actually stand in the charts
at around the middle of the week. We will try to pass this on next week
(although we not sure we're supposed to!)

-  More In-Stores Booked
- The Otway Hit Express Train
- Palladium - still some seats left - but we want YOU there, because you
knew Otway when he was a one hit wonder!
- How we're shaping up - in case you were wondering.

We have added Thursday and Friday (four NEW in-stores) to our in-store tour
- the Hit release week now looks like this:

Sheffield - after the Sunday gig at Midnight in HMV - signing and
'first-day-cover' stamping of the first copies of the Hit!
Aylesbury (HMV) - signing and first day cover stamping 12.30pm
(Otway Express Train leaves 2.30 Aylesbury - arrives 3.30 Marylebone)
London - Virgin Megastore, Oxford Street.   MAIN EVENT - 7.00 - Live show
and signing / first day cover stamping.
(Note: there will also be a quick live set at the Megastore for the news TV
cameras at 4.15pm if you are around?)

TUES 1-  Virgin Bristol - 12.00pm (live and signing)  /  Virgin Oxford -
5.15pm (signing)

WED 2  -  Virgin Birmingham  - 1.00pm (signing)  / Virgin Coventry 5pm (live
and signing)
EVE GIG: Coventry Spencer Club (02476 674107)

THURS 3  -  Virgin BRIGHTON 12.30pm (signing) /  Virgin CAMBRIDGE 5.00-ish
(live and signing)

FRI 4 -   Virgin CHELTENHAM  12.00 (ish)  (signing) / Virgin SWINDON
(signing) 5.00- ish p.m.

(Please note:  In-store times may vary a little due to the hectic nature of
the week - if you are travelling far it may be wise to check)

SUNDAY 6 - THE LONDON PALLADIUM - (Still some tickets left- see below)

2.  "THAT TRAIN...that Bloody train..."?
Things are going so well it is really exciting now, and on Monday we will
have five TV crews clamouring for pictures of John arriving in London on a
special train laid on by Chiltern Railways for the occasion.

Marked "Otway Hit Express" on the front plate, the train arrives at
Marylebone Station to face the national press at 3.30pm.  Anyone fancying
the ride with John - or who fancies being on the telly - can join us as that
train, that bloody train... leaves Aylesbury Station at 2.30pm after the
Aylesbury HMV in-store signing.

On the train (while it goes chuff, chuff chuff down the track...)  will be
Billy from the Otway Hit Squad.  Some time ago, when his partner Catherine
raised the subject of marriage at an Otway gig Billy apparently said "I will
marry you when Otway gets another Hit" - thinking he was safe as houses.

Of course he has now accepted his fate and will be getting down on one knee
to see if she says "yes" in front of the Otway Hit Express (and the national
press) at Marylebone Station. If you cant make Aylesbury - you will be very
welcome at Marylebone to offer them best wishes and witness the train's
arrival (to the sound of the Hit over the station tannoy!

Fantastic!  We are all flat out and very excited.  There is loads of media
stuff, you would have to be on Mars to not have seen something by the end of
next week.  The media are really catching on now and it looks way bigger
than they expected - the only worry is whether the shops will get enough
stocks in to cover just how big demand is becoming.  We will do very well -
but we actually think it might go a lot further than the stocks will allow.
We have pressed loads more up - but we cant make them take them until they
see what happens as Monday starts - and re-order....

We already have some good levels of stock in HMV and Virgin.  But they
haven't taken quite as much as we hoped just yet.  They want to see if there
really is decent interest in the single early - before they stock-up
properly.  We couldn't convince them.... But we know some people who can!

So - please get in there early? - it will really help!   If you do, they
will stock up - and we'll not only have a Hit, but a bloody great big one.
I hate to bang on - but this is on, it really is!  And Top Of The Pops have
said if we do well enough - they will have Otway on TOTP - live!

On-line sales?
If the shops simply run out - give them hell - but you can get it on-line.
Please DON'T get it from Amazon (it won't count for the charts).  We are
only sure of HMV sales counting for the chart - so go to HMV on-line if you
need to?  We know that HMV on-line sales all the way up to Saturday night at
midnight, count for the Sunday chart.

Mainly:  'BUY EARLY!'
Please?  Buy early - on Monday if you possibly can? - we need the shops to
take more stock!

My Prediction?  Everyone asks me this! I will tell you what I do know:
On Monday? - we will be Number One.  Really!  And we should hang on in there
for at least all of Monday - with the in-stores and the early push we hope
will happen.

By the end of the week?  I just don't know!  Somewhere between No.1 - and
No. 30 of course, or I quit this business!    It all depends - and ANYTHING
is possible.   One thing we do know is that last week, we weren't even taken
seriously.  This week?  We seem to have an awful lot of new friends.....  We
daren't tempt fate - but there are people out there who are starting to talk
about chart positions a bit higher than No. 27.    A minor miracle is now
realistically on the cards and I can't tell you how much we are all ****ing

One thing I do know:   They don't know what we know - it's personal!   The
power of a determined bunch of people to see a real star back in the charts
is huge.  Most of what is happening really is because we're all doing our
bit with a vengeance.  You lot are quite stunningly good at this!

- We should be on TOTP2 on Wednesday this week
- We will be on Central TV on Monday
- We had London Tonight last Wednesday
- We have had Yorkshire TV this week
- Look out for probable: Sky News, Celebrity Extra (!)... and more we hope,

***** Request the video if you can?  Some channels allow this - and we just
finished one off - it's really great - thanks to Steve Barker - who sorted
it all out for a pint and a bag of chips.  A definite must-see.

-We had given up on being playlisted at Radio 2 - but suddenly, as it is
kicking off -  they have now put Bunsen Burner on the official Radio 2 play
list.  Now we will get more plays on top of Johnnie Walker and Steve
Wright's support -  Otway is thrilled - he's never been playlisted before!
-Rumours abound that Mark Radcliffe will spin us on Monday on Radio 1 too
(after much fan-pressure)
-Perhaps Chris Moyles will too - if he thinks people would like to hear it?
-Loads of local stuff - largely due to the great tireless work of the Hit
squad.  Is your local station playing the Hit?
-Steve Wright and Johnnie Walker have both had John in for a chat now on
their peak time shows - as has Nicky Cambell on Radio 5 Live.

The Independent On Sunday (tomorrow) is doing a feature on Otway - check the
review section.
The Guardian is covering the Hit with piece on Wednesday, we have been told.
There are bits in The Express and other papers coming up too.  Oh, and we
had a cool ad in the Independent today.

Spot the posters in London - nice big 60x40 inchers (please don't nick them
until after Sunday?)

I have met lots of people who assume this is sold out, and it isn't.   Since
we can sell out venues like the Albert Hall with twice the seats that makes
sense - but it actually isn't yet!  There is still time, so please don't
miss this show - you will kick yourself! Lets all find a pub to listen to
the chart run-down in nearby - any suggestions? Must hold a couple of
thousand people and have a pretty good transistor radio, of course...

Paul who promotes the Palladium actually still has a couple of hundred
tickets left - which can only be down to people assuming it is sold out as
far as I am concerned.  We really would rather they went to the real fans.
So -rumours of the show being sold out are actually not true!  (see the text
from the promoter below for more details).

Fingers crossed!   Hope to see many of you on a train or in a store next
week - and of course - next Sunday (but don't expect me to be sober that
night, I don't think it is very likely).


Richard Cotton
pp. John Otway

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