February 26, 2002

I'm not supposed to be on this flight. But here I am loooking down at the Atlantic Ocean again. This time I'm heading home. Our sold-out U.K. Tour has been put on hold due to illness. It began with a scratchy throat, fever, chills, congestion in my case. Since I don't have to sing, it doesn't stop us from playing. Everybody but Ian Paice got sick from whatever that was going around, and everybody went on with the gigs. Ian Gillan did, too, until he absolutely was hoarse and unable to sing. So, with only 8 shows left to do, we're going to wait and see when the gigs will happen. I'm going home while we're waiting, though.

This tour has been really good for everyone in the band, since all of the other four are British born. They have enjoyed seeing their homeland and visiting all the cities that they used to play. So, nobody's happy about cancelling a show, ever, but these especially. Well, all in all, the tour has been incredible as far as attendance and support. But, it's been rough with someone in the band always not feeling well on nearly every night. And the crew have had no picnic with that virus, either.

The opening band, The Planets, were very well received everywhere. They are all good looking guys and girls who are trained musicians playing a mix of material that sort of sounds classical, rock, and pop. With a cello, oboe, English horn, flute, classical guitar, electric and flamenco guitar, violin, keyboards, and drums, they have a lot of nice texture to work with. They are all polite and professional, never stressing our crew out by being late off the stage. And the audience, like I said, enjoys the different approach that they have.

The British people, if you've never visited, are really something of a switch if you're coming over as an American. They are very polite and well spoken in nearly every conversation you will ever have. They are very hardy and able to put up with quite a bit before they will freak out. But they do value a sense of fair play, and have been understanding about having to cancel, I think. Other immediate impressions that Americans may have coming over here, especially to London, is that your money won't take you nearly as far as in the States. But, in general, any store you go into will be well staffed, and very likely to spend extra time answering your questions. In fact, many Brits fly over to New York to go shopping for consumer items, and return with a net savings including airfare.

One of the jokes I hear a lot here is that Britain and America are two nations divided by a common language.....meaning that they figure we speak a little different. But not too different, thanks to global communication, our American accents are not too hard for them to understand anymore. Spending some weeks driving across this big island really points out how many things we have adopted from them. You have to love seeing the old castles, stone walls and fences around most pastures, and the well made structures everywhere, too. It did rain a lot during our trip, but the sun has to come out sooner or later....

Well, soon I'll be off to Russia or back to the UK, so that's a quick update for now.

stevemorse.com 2002