Tour Survival Guide: The Kooks

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Now and then our Tour Survival Guide will check in with rockers about life on the road. Here’s guitarist Max Rafferty on Tijuana, staying Rolling Stones-style sexy and Courtney Love’s commitment to fandom.

Tough Work for the Liver
The long stretches while we’re on the bus can get tedious, but we all genuinely enjoy each other’s company, so that helps. We usually smoke a lot, drink until we pass out and listen to Bob Marley.

Touring Is Like a Psychedelic Picasso
The freakiest place we’ve ever been was Tijuana. When I went there, I had envisioned the place as an American Spring Break resort. Instead, all I saw were these transvestites wandering around with massive heads and old men playing guitar. Fascinating and a little scary.

Beatles or Stones?
Stones. They put the sex into the music, you know? And they came up with everything first. They blue-printed what it means to be in a rock band. I wasn’t with the band back then, but the Kooks opened up for the Rolling Stones once — in front of a [British] crowd of 120,000 people. I’m told they were effortlessly grand.

Rock Makes Kooky Bedfellows
There’s a guy called Trevor McDonald. He does news over here. Have you ever heard of him? It was quite weird to look down at the guest-list and see his name there. It’s actually sir Trev. He’s in his 50s. I can’t imagine that he listens to us, but you never know. Courtney Love was on the list for one of our shows, too. I don’t know whether or not it was for her, or if she’d asked for her daughter.

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