Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Wow- What a bass!

So my new friend Mark Palmer from the Newcastle shows in England tells me about his new Fodera Bass. I don't think much of it until the next day when he emails pics... and it's the exact bass I've always wanted- Victor Wooten Classic in Spaulted Maple. It's 1/2 hour before showtime and everythings a bit rushed... So with the little time I have, I borrow Reb's lil Vox battery amp and go on our tour bus to check the bass out. It was heavenly! I could have played it for 24 hours straight. Thanks Mark for letting me try your new axe. Too bad the thing is a bit out of my price range! I'm from the school that you don't have to spend a lot to get the job done professionally. (We also took my $125 Fender Jazz on the bus). So I almost hate that this luxury bass sounds, feels and plays soooo well. It's perfect! This bass is worth the plunge- if there was nothing else going on in my life! My son needs to go to college! One day... it'll be justified. Sigh. Drool. [current mood: happy]

Powering through SE Europe.

From Belgium to Germany...
In the front of the bus is a huge windshield. I sat and watched the sun rising while conversing with Patrick before hittin the bed. This was to be the last drive with our driver Patrick. He's taking the bus to grab the Deftones on tour. He's a great guy and a great driver but the bus was shite. So many problems. We called the loo "The Bubble Drome" (among other things)! Our new bus is f'n great! Double decker with power lounges and 12 bunks (for 6 people).

Stepping back...
It seems as if we powered through Spain hardly stopping at all, except in Zaragosa for some great building pics and a medieval street faire, and Barcelona where we had a day to walk the Ramblas walking street. That day, Reb and I were very glutinous and American- eating fast food at both McDonald's AND KFC while drinking large beers from McDonald's (they were actually great!). It was hard to keep up with Reb although I did alright. My tolerance was way down from my prior dry spell. We met mostly tourists, but what do you expect hangin out where we did? I wanted to Jet ski, but for 130 Euro per hour??? No way.

We had a day off in Brussels which was very gorgeous for walking around and snapping more pics of buildings. Show day was another headlining spot at an open air festival called Grasspop. The Belgians really know how to throw a festival! Everything was organized and neat, with nice structures, signage and stage(s). I watched Lacuna Coil from the stage level. Our show went great, and everyone felt good about getting back to playing such a big stage. There was even a huge ego ramp up front.

The next gig was also headlining, in Germany. Things didn't go as smoothly this time- like the power going out 5 min before we hit. Some of our Crew (Imy, Chris, Joya and Mick) enjoyed the Inflatable pool in the public backstage area. I got to meet a great young bass talent Louri Porra from the band Stratavarious, among others. Great guy- I hope we get to hang and talk bass and stuff again.

..And all caught up...
Last night was my first Newcastle show. This is the closest thing to a home town gig for David. Everyone welcomed him "home", including the hotel where we are staying (The Vermont). Right outside my window is a castle- literally right in the parking lot! It's very old, and is apparently THE Newcastle that the town is named for. I think I'll go take a walk down by the river now. And perhaps have another Newcastle. Cheers.

ps. I think we'll be playing the new song tonight! Finally.

pps: other misc. stuff:
Madrid: We changed venues to a small oasis cantina place- very hot- 2 encores! They wouldn't let us go! We were gonna do the usual, but I told David when we went back on stage that we were ready for "Bad Boys". What an ENCORE! The place went nuts. First time we've played it on this tour.
Tolousse France- The hottest gig ever! DRIPPING with sweat in a tiny Club. Surprised no one passed out. HUGE full city party was happening til 5am. Crazy!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

3 days off... past pics.

I know- It's been a while since the last post! And pics too! It just takes too long, but I swear more are coming! Just not now- I gotta maximise my time here and see the sights- tourist style! Goin to the beach. Ciao for now...

Here's some pics for now...

Oberhausen, Germany

Duomo in Milano

Shilo, Sebatian, Timothy

Shilo and dad in Kensington Gardens

UD and DA in Holland

In Germany with Eddie Jackson (Queensryche), Ross Valory (Journey), UD

Whitesnake power tablet array usurping bandwidth

Hangin' loose

Adrian Joined us for a tune



UD kicks it with Rudy Sarzo and Reb Beach in Holland

Sunday, June 04, 2006


It was too short of a stay there- just over 24 hours. Very beautiful architechture, and the food....? The best Italian anywhere (duh!). In the morning, I went to the venue early to catch some of the other bands, like Helloween. It IS after all the GODS OF METAL festival. But the young guy who worked for the festival and picked me up got a BIG NAIL stuck in his tire. He had no idea what to do. So there I am- new Italian jeans and a nice white button down shirt, in the middle of Milano, emptying his trunk, jackin' up his car (actually his fathers), and gettin' down to business! I didn't mind though- we've all been in this situation before and needed someone to show us the way. Besides, it was better than chancing it and getting a blow-out on the freeway! Dude was thankful and cool. I hope he sends me the pic he took- pretty funny.

I managed to hear the end of Helloween. After dinner, I went out front amoung the 20,000 or so fans to see Mötor Head. What a trip! Next was Def Leppard. Before I ever played bass, they were my favorite band on MTV. I was a big fan, and now here I stood watching them live at a big festival where I was in the Headlining spot! You never know how life will go sometimes. The band was cool though, and I think we'll be working together again at another gig. I got a picture with Joe Elliot.

Our show was great! Huge stage- and I absolutly LOVE playing outdoors. Great crowd too!

Now I'm sittin here on my Swiss day off nursing a head cold from the allergies of the air and severe dust at the Milano show. Hope it gets better by tomorrow. Lots of water- also no alcohol for a bit- just to cleanse the system. Is that possible on tour? Of course... Anythings possible!


UK part 2

so we only missed 1 & a half shows due to DC's illness. But we're back on track now. I was however really bummed for my son and his friend to have come all the way from Denmark only to have a cancellation. But when I found out that the show would go on in Portsmouth, I let them skip their flight home and put 'em on the tour bus instead! What a blast! Shilo and Sebatian can now go home with a true rock-and-roll experience under their belts! They loved the bus, the venue, the hangin' out with the opening band, The Answer. Fun times!

Then the rescheduled London show at the Hammersmith Apollo. I spent all morning getting the boys safely on the train to Gatwick airport. Got back just in time to get to soundcheck. The show rocked! The venue looks much bigger on the DVD- they did a really great job filming it.

Bass geek corner: Special thanks to John East who came out and delivered me a J-Retro pre-amp for my Jazz bass. I can't wait to experience this well reviewed unit in my Franken Jazz ('Franken', for super modded).

The only thing about being in London for so long was the cost of everything. $40/day internet? Fuck That! I'm boycotting the KENSINGTON ROYAL GARDEN at all times in the future, and you should too. The rooms are overpriced and outdated, and they charge premiums for everyday things that they consider "Luxuries". Customer service is at a minimum as well (but that's London in general). The people and fans we met were great though.