Here in South Africa
The flight from London to Cape Town was a long one - about 10 hours to Johannesberg, then a transfer to a shorter domestic flight.
Then, finally, we arrived at the beautiful city of Cape Town. I quickly saw the appeal of "Tabletop Mountain", which
hovers above the city.
Soon enough soundchecks and rehearsals began.
Peter will be joined by a chorus on Biko...
and he and the band will back up Yusuf Islam on the well known It's a Wild World...
Meanwhile, every move we made on stage was being taped by multiple film crews
and in the wings, interviews were being by people here for the show, like Brian May...
(will we get to sit in on a Queen song? Don't know yet.)
Even backstage is fascinating - dressing rooms have a great, unique look to them.
Well, if there wasn't enough excitement, just being here for this great event, Nelson Mandela very kindly considered the few
Americans here missing Thanksgiving, and had a big South African Thanksgiving dinner for all the performers.
The drive there (the place was well outside the city) provided more incredible views.
And, what a group to have over for dinner! Bishop Desmond Tutu spoke, as did Bono. In the center tables were Nelson Mandela,
Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart, Edge, Bono, Brian May, Beyonce... and Oprah came too!
I won't try to tell you that I was very near the main table... there were quite a few folks there beside me and the stars!
But we had some good fun at the band table, and nobody objected to our not being quite in "black tie" as the
invitation had requested!
Late at night, heading back to Cape Town, our bus broke down, and we almost had some real adventure to report from here in
Africa - but luckily a second bus was close behind, and picked us up to return to the hotel and end a very special day!
Saturday's show is to be on a webcast and I've put up a page of some sources for the simulcast.
It's a great lineup, and there are some interesting combinations of performers, so you might want to hear it live. Here's the list:
Roger Taylor / Brian May / Dave Stewart
Peter Gabries with Youssou N'Dour, angelique Kidjo, Yusaf Islam
Bono / Edge / Beyonce
Bono / Dave Stewart
Ladysmith Black Mombazo
Yvonne Chaka Chaka
Bono / Edge
Queen / Bono / Edge / Dave Stewart/ maybe more
Speaking of more, I'll have more photos and diaries soon.