Day 0 - April 19
There is an app for iPhones, a game that has you be an air traffic controller. Planes enter from all sides and with your finger you guide them to the runways. Soon more and
more planes arrive, and you have to get many circling while trying to land a few. I've realized that the game is exactly like the week before going out on tour.
The longer the tour, the more planes you are dealing with... more and more circling while a few get 'landed'
So it's been with me this week - packing for the five week tour would be a snap, but there are daily issues about the tour travel and dates, also practicing the material, preparing some new pieces,
rehearsal with the band, booking our June U.S. dates, doing some interviews for both Europe and U.S. shows, plenty of family stuff that shouldn't be neglected, and finishing
up some home studio bass parts for other projects.
As we reach the day to leave, I can't say I have landed all the planes... but I've got the Stick and my passport ready, and soon the rest of the planes will have to take care
Day 1 - April 21
Written from Roma, Italy
Here's a real road day. Too tired to pack last night, after rehearsing, I left it for this morning, even though this is the day we leave.
Woke very early - 6am, so had plenty of time to pack. Mostly t-shirts - it'll be pretty warm in Europe. Lots of socks and underwear - no days off in one place, so laundry will
probably only be in hotel sinks. 5 weeks of razor blades, etc... some books but not too many because of the weight ... oh yeah, some stage clothes - we're aiming at black and
white on this tour. Harder job is packing the wires and effect units I'll be playing through, but that's mostly done from the rehearsal. Using both sides of the Stick on
this tour, so a couple of volume pedals, a compressor, three distortion units (have to be ready to fatten up the top side of the Stick in case some venues have guitar amps
without preamp overdrive (I'm loving the new Radial line of distortion units - will bring a couple) ... two ddls, a tuner or two... a chorus pedal would be
nice... nah, getting too heavy already... lots of cables to connect it all... the main effort on small band tours like this is to keep your bags (2 at most)
each under 50 pounds, to avoid airline overweight charges. We've all gotten pretty good at it, so there are a lot of 49 pound suitcases, and of course, they have no limit on
weight of carryon bags, so maybe the compressor and a box of cd's will go into that --- I'll regret it on the long airport walks, but after 4 or 5 flights we'll have saved
a lot of extra charges.
A few trips to stores, bank, drugstore, drop off a CD to Woodstock Times to prepare for an interview there on our return, about the local show in June,
visit my mom aross the street a couple of times... the guys are meeting here at 2pm, Robert (Robert Frazza is our sound engineer/road mgr) will
have a rental van to get us to the airport... lots of stuff to talk over with my wife Andi before I leave ... too little time to just spend saying goodbye...
Okay, cold and a bit rainy, here are the guys - kiss Andi goodbye, there's Mom waving to us as the van pulls out for Newark airport - wont' be back home for 5 weeks.
Very windy on the drive - we're expecting some delays on our flight.
But no, we take off pretty much on time, at about 6:30 pm.
Flight is to London, where we change planes for Rome. This overseas flight is a relatively short one - only 6 hours - very hard to sleep on it, cause it arrives at around
midnight our time (6am London time) so, typically, we stumble off the plane a bit tired, have some coffee at Heathrow Terminal 5, and make our way to the gate for
the 3 hour flight to Rome.
Maybe slept a bit on that flight -- hard to tell, cause my body's pretty confused about what time it is... anyway, Rome is sunny and a perfect 20 degrees (Celsius -- we're
not in USA anymore!) It's about 1:30 in the afternoon here. We're met by Daina, (pronounced Dinah) our Italian promoter, and Mirko, who will be driving our van thoughout the tour.
Van has drums and amps... we've got a lot more luggage to add, so it's the first attempt at squeezing it all in... we'll get good at this, since we'll be doing it every day.
A little time at the airport hotel to clean up, is very wecome... we're really dragging now - how long since "last night"? ... somthing around 24 hours...
but then into the center of Rome for an interview at a tv station.
A few hours free after that - we walk around Rome - great, as always. I talk the group into a couple
stops for un caffe!...
(yeah, the Stick is Photoshop!)
8:30pm a radio interview for the band. It's a good one, with interesting questions. Good thing, because we'd all fall asleep in our chairs if there were 5 minutes with
nothing to do!
Dinner was supposed to be right aferward, but a special restaurant has been recommended... it's a 20 minute drive, and then no tables available for awhile... soon it's
midnight - the food is well worth the wait (I tried "penne giudia"... pasta from Judea?! Not bad - similar to 'arribiata'.) let's see... it is now 6pm at home, so it's been a 36 hour day.
1 am, back at hotel... nobody even suggests going to the bar - we're toast!
End of "day one"!!
Day 12 - May 1
Written from Gouveia, Portugal
Well, it didn't take me long to fall far behind on my tour diaries.
The reason is, I just haven't had time.
To give a graphic reason of that, here is a link to a Google map I've attempted, showing
the route of our
European tour (no, it's not a joke, that is the route we've chosen to take!)
I didn't get the map exactly right, but you get the idea.
Shows have been going well - a lot of fun, and a lot of surprises for us in the band in these early days with new material. (We have the new CD about half done, and
hope to have it out by September, but are trying some of the unfinished material, to tighten and expand it.)
Glad I got that much written - we've arrived in the beautiful town of Gouveia tonight, and I'll part of the day free, before our concert, to hopefully write more.