Countdown To A Decade:
When are plane landed at the Paris airport, the first thing I noticed was how hot and humid it was. The second thing I noticed was how everything smelled like fag ashes. People smoke in Paris like it’s going out of style. (This reminds me of a story; while traveling to Madrid, by train, from Valencia, the first class car was overbooked so some of us had to sit in a smoking car. But the smoking car was SO smoky, people walked outside the cart to smoke because it was TOO smoky!)
SO we check in our Hotel, which is located only around the corner but if you are driving it’s about a 15-minute drive with traffic and the one-way streets. Julian, who books at the club, was a nice guy. His English was “so-so” but my French was “no-no” so we were even!
I remember the club made us a nice dinner and then we sounded checked and a guy had a DBM (decibel meter) to keep track of the noise level. He told us that 105 DBs was as loud as we could go, by law. I asked him what were we at. He said,” You are at 103 DBs.” I said,” Great! We got two more to go!” He didn’t find this funny at all if I recall correctly…
The show was packed and one of our old friends, Frank Garnier, came out to see us. Frank was a Baby Lemonade roadie when we toured Tahiti back in ’94. For a French crowd, I thought they were pretty loud, so that was nice. After the show, the guys went to go look at the Eiffel Tower and I went looking for a bar, and if you read the diaries from that night, you would know I bumped into some fans that forced me to a bar and made me drink! Actually, it was 3 sisters…the Paillet sisters. If you see them, watch out…and be prepared to drink.
So we had a 1:30 flight to Dublin but missed the boarding by 20 min. and the jerk airport guy wouldn’t let us on the plane so we had to wait till 5:30…in a dingy French piece of shit airport called “Bouvai.” I’ve been in 7-11 convenience stores that were bigger (and friendlier.
So we finally land in Dublin like around 8pm and the show is at 9pm and we’re hauling ass to make this gig. Lucky for us, Ringo had everything in order so we stepped onstage and just rocked Dublin. I thought the sound system left loads to be desired but how can you complain when you just show up at 9:30?
This was the SINGER’S favorite show (even though some Irish fans attacked the bus and would let us leave until the Singer signed some autographs…which he did!) and also, Scully and his Girlfriend came backstage and hung out with us all, including the Singer. Then it turned out that they were staying at the same hotel as us so after the show, we had two spirits and libations at the hotel bar.
After the Dublin show, we flew back to London. The next afternoon, The Singer and Gene were going down to the House of Commons, where Members of Parliament (MPs to those in the know…) honored the LOVE icon that is Mr. Lee. That next morning, we all said our goodbyes, and Gene flew to Stockholm, Daddyo, Chapple and the Singer flew back to L.A. while Rusty and I hung around London for a week or so until the Roskilde Festival. Actually, I stayed in London for 3 days and then went to Ringo and (his fiancé’) Toni’s house in York, for the remainder of my holiday.
All the other guys then flew to Copenhagen (from LA of course) on the 27th and Rusty and I flew from London and arrived the same day. So of course, we were reunited with our Danish tour manager, BENT, so we all went out and had Thai food that night and just got smashed…which is more than fun with Bent!
That next morning, Gunnar and the 8-piece ensemble arrived to check in the hotel as well. Then Rusty and I did a rehearsal with them and it just sounded even better than the Sodra Teatern. These are the best musicians I’ve ever been associated with. They’re just a joy to work with. So the rehearsals went great and it was raining all that night plus the next morning…then it stopped!
So, around 3:30, we got on the bus and drove to the Festival. Our dressing room tents were right across from Erika Badu. And speaking of Erika, she was really tiny and frail looking. I expected her to be a bit taller and more full looking but she was really thin and had a really long weave that reached her butt. Funny, didn’t know it was her when I was looking at her until “Scary Spice” (we had bumped into her backstage…remember her from the Malmo countdown #38?) pointed it out to me. The show was sponsored by TUBORG beer and they made CERTAIN no one ran out of it!
So we hit the stage at about 8pm to about 10,000 enthusiastic fans. I had a lot of fun and it was a memorable night. At one point, I tried to see some friends who were playing on the other side of the festival but it was too much real state to cover so I gave up. (When I got home, a few days later, I got an e-mail from Aimee Mann’s Guitarist/Producer saying,” Where were you guys!!!” But it was good fun.
After the show, we couldn’t sleep because it was the hotel bartender’s last night so he threw himself a party… right under my and Rusty’s room! Till 4am! And I had to catch a 7am flight the next morning…and boy was I tired. I had a layover in Heathrow and boarded my plane to Los Angeles just as Brazil beat Germany for the world cup.