Sarah together with Georg Kajanus and Phil Pickett - December 2006
Hi, my name is Sarah
and I live near Newbury in Berkshire (UK) and, as everyone knows
(!) I was 40 in April 2002!
I discovered SAILOR when 'Glass of Champagne' was released. I bought the single & heard 'Panama' on the B-side and liked that even more! Then I got hold of 'Traffic Jam' and found I preferred 'Harbour' on the B-side, so now I had to go & buy the album 'Trouble, and I was absolutely hooked - for life! While all my friends were wearing their tartan trousers and scarfs, screaming about the Bay City Rollers and Donny Osmond (yuk!), I took a more discerning approach (I like to think!) and donned a red & white stripey jumper with a black cap and neck-tie, which my mum had to surgically remove to give it the occasional wash (whether it needed it or not!)
Just after I had bought 'Trouble', SAILOR were appearing at Cheltenham Town Hall (which was local to me at the time). A friend of my mum's offered to take me, and that was the place where I really fell head over heels in love with the band, the music, the atmosphere, Georg and most of all... Phil! I was mesmerised by the music. I heard 'Blame it on the Soft Spot' for the first time there, and that has remained my all-time favourite track, and shortly after that concert I bought the album 'Sailor', and that was really the point of no return! I remember my dad hearing it and saying to my mum "do you think this is suitable for our daughter to listen to?" but as she was dancing round to 'Sailors Night on the Town' as she hoovered, he was on to a loser! From then on, my art classes were spent designing fictitious SAILOR album covers and making screen-prints of Phil; I was besotted.
Then came 'The Third Step' and a concert at Bristol's Colston Hall, and I was just so excited. The venue was much bigger and the band had really come of age and it was superb. I remember waiting at the back for the band to come out afterward (with my parents sitting patiently in the car waiting to take my friend and I home!)
Finally (for me) 'Checkpoint' which was of course quite different, but still spell-binding in its own way. And that was the last I heard of the band. I believed that they had split up & disappeared, so I treasured my 4 albums, played cassette-copies of my favourite tracks in my car all the time, and thought little more of it... until about 5 years ago. My parents called me to say they were clearing out their loft, and was there anything of mine that I'd like them to keep? I'd left home at 23, so I couldn't think of anything, so just said "if I haven't needed it in all these years I clearly don't know what's there, so just get rid of it". "Are you sure?" "Yes...." Some months later my last remaining SAILOR compilation cassette tape in my car got mangled, & I said to my mum on the phone "next time I'm staying for the weekend, I must re-record some of my SAILOR albums" - there was a strained silence and the terrible words "but we don't have them anymore.... we got rid of them". I hadn't even thought about all my vinyl LPs! Everything had gone to some lucky person via the charity shop!!! (If someone out there has a copy of 'Trouble' with the insert photo having a pencilled grid over Phil's face, that's my old LP that I used to copy for my screen-print!)
Anyway, there was some good news! After my initial shock, I had recently been given Internet access at work, so one of my first searches was for SAILOR and that's when I found Jerry Withers' 'Harbour' website. I discovered all this additional information about the band that I had never known, including all this additional material they had recorded after the first 4 albums - it was such a revelation! I contacted Jerry & described my predicament to him and he took pity on me, and very kindly copied onto tape all the original albums PLUS new material such as Hideaway, Hi-Ho Silver Lining & goodness knows what else & sent them to me from the US. (OK, it might be an infringement of copyright, but I was truly grateful!, and went on to buy whatever I could in original formats!) I will never be able to thank Jerry enough - this cloud definitely had a silver lining and to discover that the band were still performing, if only on the continent, was astonishing. That's when I decided I would try to persuade them to perform in the UK at my 40th - and the rest, as t is history!
So, in the last 2 years I have seen the band perform 3 more times: Aylesbury in 2001, Newbury this April and of course now the headline High Wycombe concert. The band remain on fantastic form and are still musically and visually as exciting as ever, and I think that Peter, and particulary Rob, do a great job in their 'new' roles and have really made those places their own. Phil remains my hero (aaah!) and I still get all tongue-tied when I see him (how old am I?!) and Grant is just delicious too! It is great to now know that there are so many other 'die-hard' SAILOR fans still out there and it is great to be in touch with other fanatics!!!! Looking forward to many more concerts in the future!
Here's Sarah's review of her birthday SAILOR show on 06 April 2002:
Last night was just
the BEST night ever!!!! Can you imagine how it feels to have your
heros since the innocent age of 14 (?!) sing happy birthday to
you?! WOW! There were a lot of tears shed last night as I could
not believe my eyes or ears.
To all the SAILOR fans who came along and just made it such a memorable night - thank you! Thanks to everyone for dressing up and partying on down - I couldn't have spent my birthday in the company of a nicer group of people! Hope you've all arrived back home safely today.
A number of people were videoing the act so I hope to be able to get hold of copies for people who are interested in replaying this tremendous occasion!
It's going to take me a long time to come down off this high! I couldn't sleep at all last night as my head was just still buzzing with it all!
Thanks to everyone for their birthday wishes, cards and gifts too - I'm still working my way through them all.
And also special thanks to the mystery "2BRUFS" - you know who you are and what you did!!! Both the band and I are absolutely chuffed to bits with these surprise gifts - tremendous!
Look forward to seeing you all again in High Wycome / Aylesbury in November (no, I won't be wearing that dress, or the boots....!!!!!)
Lots of love to you all,
Copyright by Sarah Kendall, 07 April 2002
Phil cuddles Sarah after SAILOR sang "Happy Birthday" to her at her birthday show in Newbury (UK) - 06 April 2002
The end of the birthday show... SAILOR with Sarah in Newbury (UK) - 06 April 2002
The end of the birthday show... (left to right:) Phil, Rob, Sarah, Peter and Grant in Newbury (UK) - 06 April 2002
Karsten, Katrin and Sarah at the SAILOR show in High Wycombe (UK) - 16 November 2002
Last updated: 27 November 2002