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Paul’s Red Hot dash for passport!
9:45am Friday 31st August 2012 in News
A CAR salesman faced a frantic race against time so he could perform in front of 50,000 rock fans — alongside a world-famous band.
Prestwich musician Paul Rawlinson and his group As Able As Kane were all set to join The Red Hot Chili Peppers on a five-date tour of Europe — until he lost his passport. After searching his home in Heywood Road, the 45-year-old resigned himself to missing out on the once-in-a-lifetime chance to play at shows in Prague, Zagreb, Bucharest, Sofia and Athens.
But then staff from the office of Bury South MP Ivan Lewis came to Paul’s rescue and helped him get a new passport in time Paul performed before the massed crowd in the Czech Republic on Monday and was set to play in Croatia last night.
Paul said: “It’s been a crazy week. I went from a nervous wreck to ecstatic with a few days.
“The Prague show was amazing and I can’t believe we almost had to pull out because of my passport.”
Paul formed his electronic dance-rock band in the 1980s with school pal Simon Archer, who is also aged 45 and from Prestwich, though he now lives in Salford.
Simon and Paul’s work caught the attention of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, who invited them to take part in the European tour.
Since forming in 1983, The Red Hot Chili Peppers have had 10 multi-platinum albums. Paul said: “To be asked to grace the same stage as this band is a massive honour. I’m usually very organised but for the life of me I just don’t know where I put my passport.”
Paul’s father, Colin, suggested contacting Mr Lewis’s office in Bury New Road, Prestwich. he did and staff fixed Paul an appointment at Durham Passport Office. Paul got his new document and set off on the mammoth road trip last Friday.
A spokesman for Lewis’s office said: “We are delighted that Paul was able to go on his trip and were only too happy to help one of our constituents by assisting with the appointment.”