September 8, 2001

We just finished an amazing series of gigs here in the Mediterranean, the last part of this tour leg. Monte Carlo was surrealistically glamorous and expensive, Italy and Greece were full of the energetic, hot blooded souls we've always loved. The crowds were more than generous with their support, in attendance and with their enthusiasm. Almost every gig was outside, and not a drop of rain.......except....

At the end of some tours, our crew sends our equipment in closed storage containers, by ship, to the next continent to be played. Or, guesses which continent that may be..... Anyway, is seems like the last time the equipment got shipped that way was when we got absolutely drenched by a monsoon in Korea. The people were staying, there was no lightning, and we thought we had enough towels to keep the guitars from shorting out. That ended up with every single guitar shorted out due to water pouring on them constantly. We were trading guitars every song, in an effort to keep the music going. I remember being amazed at the sheets of water coming off the Hammond organ, and wondering how it could keep working. At the end of that gig, also the end of a tour leg, the stuff went on a container for weeks. One question I had was, "How are you guys going to be able to dry this stuff off if there's no dry place, it's soaked, and the rain hasn't even thought about quitting? Several weeks later, as most of the equipment went to various repair and replacement locations, we saw that our theory of wet equipment and closed storage does indeed bring about corrosion.

Not to interrupt this story, but this is an example of the kind of stuff I think about, as opposed to whatever I should be thinking about.......

So, last night our last gig of the tour: It's the only place without even the obligatory, but usually woefully- inadequate-if-there's-any-wind cover over the stage. Nothing but a view of the stars and lots of energetic Greek fans. But, it's a very dry climate. Until last night. As we're minutes from the scheduled start of our show, the rain begins. Heavy rain. The crowd starts chanting, like in Woodstock. They are staying! They know that we'll stay and wait to play, even without any announcement. The rain continues, cold, relentless rain. I see a few scatter, but most accept that they can't get any wetter and stay. After an hour, the stage and all the equipment is soaked and the rain becomes drizzle. Everyone wants to go for it, so our crew begins to try to dry those things that can be dried, uncover the few things that garbage bags could protect, and push water off the stage carpet. The crowd is there in a tightly packed mass, that sort of traps some heat to ward off the night chill.

When we go out to play, there's some huge hums and buzzes caused by wet grounds, but nothing that would stop the show. The people are alive and full of incredible energy, anxious to shake off the water by dancing to the music. In this job, I see some amazing things, and oddly, never think of photographing them. Usually, though, a photograph can't capture the feeling of something like this.

So, after the gig, the crew has just a short time to put the perma-soaked equipment into cases which will go into a closed cargo container for weeks as it's shipped. So maybe I'll be playing some new equipment on the next tour leg, wherever that is..... 2001