ufoIt’s that time of the week again when we welcome RUSHONROCK‘s resident classic rock blogger Self Made Man back into the fold.

And this week he’s cock-a-hoop after securing this autumn’s dream ticket.

Read on to find out where that is and remember you can catch up with Self Made Man exclusively right here every week. 


Thanks to my mate Nic, I’ve managed to get my hands on a ticket to see Roger Waters perform The Wall in Manchester on September 16.

And I couldn’t be happier because for the past two years, I’ve hated myself for turning down the opportunity to see the former Pink Floyd bassist and songwriter on stage.

I had a ticket for his Manchester gig in May 2011 only for it to clash with Rush in Newcastle. If ever there was a time, I wanted to be in two places at once, this was it.

In the end, I chose Rush, not because I preferred them but because it was the easier option. No travel costs, no hotel required, very straightforward.

They were excellent so in one sense, there were no regrets but it kept gnawing at me that I’d never again get the chance to see Waters performing arguably his most famous work.

I kept a close eye on his tour schedule and when it was announced he’d be playing Wembley Stadium this autumn, I was ready to go – until realising it clashed with a prior commitment which would prove impossible to get out of.

So imagine my joy this week when an email came through telling me I would after all get one last chance. Tickets are expensive and the gig’s on a Monday night but nothing’s going to stop me being at the MEN Arena  in September.

A few years ago in this blog, I posed the question which would you choose: seeing your favourite football team in a major Cup final or watching your favourite band in concer?  It’s the classic dilemma and really, there’s no right or wrong answer.

Celtic in the Champions League or a reunited Led Zeppelin at Newcastle Arena (we can all dream). I really couldn’t choose.

I was chatting to Mike, a mate of mine who lives in Dubai who told me he’d recently seen Stone Roses in an open-air concert out there. He loved it despite Iain Brown’s poor vocal performance but he too had had to make a tough choice.

For Deep Purple were playing on the very same night just a few miles away and being an old  (ish) rocker like myself, they were a band tugging at his heart strings.

Mike doesn’t get too many opportunities to see gigs in Dubai and was cursing his bad luck that after months without seeing any live music, the Stone Roses and Deep Purple would be performing at exactly the same time.

In the end, he also took the easy option. His wife and mates were all going to see the Roses so he decided to go along with the crowd.

Back in 1998, a reunited UFO announced their first major UK tour since the mid-80s and Newcastle City Hall was on the itinerary. That was the good news. The bad was that they’d be heading to Tyneside on June 18, my wife’s birthday.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, earlier that year, I’d gone to a gig on February 14, St Valentine’s Day, promising Sue, this distinctly unromantic move would be a one-off. It wasn’t and in June, again I took the dastardly decision to choose music over love.

A fortnight ago, I booked flight tickets to see my son in Prague in June. A few minutes after confirming, I broke into a cold sweat. The dates I’d chosen clashed with Neil Young’s gig at Newcastle Arena – or so I thought.

Happily, luck was on my side on this occasion. I return home on the day Young is performing so for once, I’ll enjoy the best of both worlds.

Just don’t ask me what I’d have done it there had been yet another double booking!

Ian Murtagh