October 9, 2000
Well, we've done enough shows now on this European leg to see that things are working out quite well with the Orchestra. All the players come from Romania and they have a heart and enthusiasm for playing that really helps the show. Some of the travel days are monstrous for them, since they're all riding in busses with seats only. Since they were all booked separately from DP, we are not involved in their transportation arrangements, but our hearts go out to them. After many hours in a bus seat, they still have the inner strength to play their best and smile.
They say that we've been lucky with the Northern European weather, and it's only been one day that I've worn a jacket, although I notice everyone else wearing them. Years ago, when we did a tour of Sweden in all outdoor venues, it rained every day. This time in nice indoor places, the weather is perfect. The English say "Sod's law..." meaning something like Murphy's law.
Since Ronny James Dio is touring with us as part of our show, as well as the orchestral stuff, that would explain the fact that it is even more of an event than a normal gig. The attendance is very good, and everything seems to be working fine for the crowd. For me, the only dark corner is the fact that right before this leg started, I found out that a bunch of days had been added, making the length well beyond my threshold of comfort. That's why they call it work, too, I guess. And I know with the enormous expense factor that we need the extra gigs and all.
I have been working on some new material, and one new piece has been thrown into the show. It is something like a crazy electric guitar study with the strings, horns, and flutes playing accompaniment and some melodies. This is the first chance I've had to throw something together on paper and see it handed to dozens and dozens of musicians and have them sight read it at the gig. The tune is very upbeat and busy, (surprise) and I wrote it to replace Night Meets Light, which I was trying to play with them before. Night Meets Light really needs Dave and Van in order to work, so hence this new piece. Tonight I called it "The ill tempered guitar" and last night I had Ian introduce it as "The well stressed guitar" and the orchestra knows it as "Guitarstring" . That was the working title of the print file that came up on the finished parts in huge type after I handed Colin printed the floppy containing the parts.
To spice up the stage vibe, Ronny is trying to get our orchestra conductor, Paul Mann, (who does bear some resemblance to John Belushi, but thinner) to dress up in a bee outfit with little antennae springing forth from his head. Paul was very slightly amused, but has so far not agreed. Since he and the orchestra dress in formal black every night, I got him to try one of my tie dye shirts right before the show, but he thought better of it after Bruce took a photo of him.
Looks like it's gonna be a strange tour....situation normal.
To answer a few questions that I've gotten:
1. I don't have any music transcribed of my stuff except that Cherry Lane (Warner Bros. distribution) had done a number of written music books. Naturally, I gave them to friends that needed them soon after getting my few copies, and I don't even remember how many different books there were, but at least 3 or 4.
2. I don't have much knowledge of what albums are available where, except for the stuff that Frank sells on this web site. Maybe someone who knows more about how to find stuff could help answer where different albums can be found.
3. I still do read all the stuff that gets sent to me, so your comments and kind remarks all been very appreciated. Thank you all for being generous with your time, too.
4. Lot of questions about how the wrist is....I have reached a plateau where it doesn't seem to be improving past a certain point, so I am carefully exploring some more physical therapy experiments. Luckily, there is no playing handicap aside from a minor amount of occasional pain which is almost unnoticeable during a show. So, from that standpoint, I feel like I am effectively recovered for all musical purposes. Thanks for everybody's good wishes.
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