October 20, 2008
Here's one that I meant to send on the last long trip, but it got overlooked until now!
This was written during the amazing tour leg where we had the fantastic luxury of the charter plane.........
We're doing a night flight after the show, on our way to Finland. The airline quality service is incredible. Who am I kidding, it's way better than the airline service we normally get. Here in Scandanavia they've not put us through the futile exercise of going all the way through the terminal, printing boarding passes, passport control, x raying everything, taking away all our bottles of water, and waiting for a bus to get out to the plane..........No, it's just like the USA, where we drive up to the plane and walk on. This is the reason business aircraft are selling better than ever in a down economy. Businesses would rather make a little less money than to stand in line for an hour barefoot waiting to get on a plane.
Great shows this trip. A couple of nights ago the band called Europe opened for us. They sounded very good and the guitar player, John, sat in with us on Smoke. He's got a very polished rock and roll feel with the guitar. I recently got my signature ENGL amps in absolute stock, production form, delivered from the factory. Now I can truly say that I love the amps, since they are straight off the factory assembly line and really sound fantastic. Looks like we are doing lots of jumping around from here on out, so I'm glad we're flying charter as much as we are.
Tonight Ian Gillan finally told me about this one note in a song that he wished I would play differently. Since I was totally unaware of this, it was the easiest thing in the world to change. So, when I played the note straight instead of bending it, he fell on his knees in a mock bowing position, as if to thank me. I was laughing out loud, and could only wonder why it took so long to remember to bring this up. I think I was doing it the previous way for over a decade! There's always something to change and improve, and here's a toast to letting the people you work with know what you think might need looking at.
Now, I'm jumping ahead to our last, shorter leg. It started with an outdoor gig that a region in Russia was celebrating a milestone of their production of a commodity in high demand, and put on an outdoor show, with bands, fireworks, and some cold rain. Luckily, the rain stopped when we went on, but it was plenty cool with some wind. The crowd was fairly tired, since we played late and they had been rained on, so it went pretty well, considering. Afterward, I was upset to learn that some bloggers had chosen to politicize, or criticise the band's show being in Russia, forgetting that we play pretty much everywhere in the World for people. Generally, we just like music lovers, that's all we ask for, doesn't much matter geographically where, just as long as there are human beings who want to hear our music.
Then, we went to Israel for 2 shows, where I got so sick from some kind of food poisoning, which may have come from the quick trip from Russia, or locally there in Israel, I don't know. A kind doctor gave me some pills and medicine that allowed me to get through the 2nd show in Israel. The people that we worked with were very nice, and we had great crowds at all the shows there, eventually playing 4 shows in all. Our opening band was very good, and sang rock and regionally flavored music in Hebrew, even.
In between the first 2 shows and the last 2 shows there, we went to Spain. It doesn't really seem like it when you're looking at a globe, but it's a long way to Spain from where we were, especially with long connections in a major city. Two 14 hour travel days....oops, I mean days off......got us to and from the always loveable Spanish gigs. It's almost not necessary to learn any Spanish now, I notice so many English tourists and expats that it's sort of like going to California: beautiful topography and everyone understands some English.
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