Monday, October 17, 2005

End Of The Line (For Now...)

OK, it looks like I'm home until February. I think my home life is a little too boring to write about, so I guess the blog entries are gonna slow down at this point.

Hang in there, and check back from time to time...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Day Off at Home

Nice little hangover when I wake up at 9. Lots to do before football starts. Lots of catching up, that is. Haven't finished Friday's paper, or started yesterday's, much less today's.

I also have to watch the race I Tivo'ed last night while we were at the show.

I'm couching it all day and all night. The only time I open the door is to grab the paper.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Day Off at Home

Work, work, work.

Blah, blah, blah.

Go to Walnut Creek with Paige, Chris Sheridan and his girl Natasha for the Def Leppard/Bryan Adams concert. Got my tickets through Aidan, on of DF's guitar techs.

Second row, pretty much dead center. Couldn't ask for better seats. We hang out on the midway for a while, then get to our seats just as Bryan Adams is hitting the stage. He puts on one of the best performances I've seen in years. Def Leppard is just as good, maybe better. Definitely louder.

Home around 1:30.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Day Off at Home

Up at 10. Lots to do to finish the paperwork for the tour. I'll probably be working on it until Monday or Tuesday.

Take a break to run to the grocery store. Not a stick of food in the house.

Pick Paige and we go meet Foy & Terry Beal for dinner and beers at the Ale House. After I take Paige home, I meet the Beal's at Northside Billiards for a few more beers. Head home around midnight.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Travel Day Home

Sleep in until 9am. My flight's at 1:30, so no rush. Run downstairs for a Starbucks and a scone.

Check out around 11 and grab a cab to the airport. Nothing to report on either flight – I change in Dallas.

Home just after midnight. I'm still on west coast time, so I don’t get to bed until around 3:30am.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Show Day in Las Vegas

Happy Birthday, Sherry Willey!

This is it. Last day of the tour. Flying home tomorrow, and unemployed on Friday.

How fitting – my first show ever with System of a Down a few years ago was at The Joint at The Hard Rock here in Las Vegas. Tonight, for what I expect to be my last show ever with System, we're at The Joint. Strange, or what?

Grab everybody's keys around 9:30 and drop them on the buses. I clean out my bunk (earplugs, eyeglasses case, windbreaker, spare hat, and paperback), throw it all into my suitcase, and then head up to my room to grab a shower. We're loading in at 11.

Hit the Starbucks in the lobby on the way back.

Busy day, all day. Don't see even a minute of the show.

Goodbyes all around after load-out. A few folks are going to the Double Down, which is a really crappy (so crappy it's cool) bar down the street. When drinking there, you can buy puke insurance, which guarantees that they'll clean up your vomit if you hurl from overindulging. Cool, huh?

Anyway, I pass on all the partying and head up to my room to get a good night's sleep before flying home tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Show Day in Fresno

Today we're playing at Save Mart Arena in Fresno. This will be the last day that our caterers are on the tour. We don't need them tomorrow in Vegas. We'll be eating in the employee's cafeteria at the Hard Rock.

All I do is work today. No good stories. Dammit!

Tonight's our last night on the bus. I'll miss it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Day Off in Fresno

I wake up in my bunk just before 9am, trying to figure out what the hell the bus driver's doing. He's stopping, starting, turning this way and that way. WTF? Is he lost, or driving around in a parking lot?

Turned out to be a detour between the highway and the downtown area. I can sleep fine on the open highway, but once the bus hits traffic and/or stoplights, sleep's over.

We pull up to the hotel at 9:30. I get everybody's keys distributed – I'm free.

Turns out that Clancy (driver of Crew Bus 2), had an owl dive into his windshield about 30 minutes after leaving the gig last night. Damn bird shattered it. I told him it was a Tactical Strike by Owl Queda. Ha!

I take Kenny (my driver) and Clancy down the street to "Country Waffles" for breakfast. After that, I take off in search of the closest Starbucks. It's about ½ mile away. Sit there and read the paper.

On the way back to the hotel, I find a pretty cool old man bar, but I doubt I'll be up for it tonight. Time for some hang time in the room. There's a great recliner by the window, so I sit and read and listen to music for most of the afternoon.

After a late afternoon shower, I head out to the bus to watch baseball and football on the widescreen TV on the bus. Back to my room and in bed by midnight.

Sunday, October 9, 2005

Show Day in Sacramento

Up early again. Building's open, so I grab a shower and I’m ready to go by 9:00. Problem is, load-in's not until 10. D'oh!

Football, football, football today. It's the last shot I have at winning our weekly pool.

Work hard and fast so I can go out to the bus to watch the Panther's game at 1:00am. They win. Back to work.

Normal night. I no longer watch the band.

Got a great photo of our tour manager, Mike Amato, in the Tour Management and Accounting Office. Mike and I usually share an office, but today there's only room for him…

Pack my crap after the show, surf the web, head to the bus.

Tonight we're having our end of the tour party in the parking lot. We order about 6 cases of beer, a bunch of liquor, and tons of pizza and wings. Fire up the blenders and it's a party! I was gonna skip it and get a good night's sleep, but cave in and hang out. Three or four beers into it, I realize it's nearly 3:30. Time for my tired old ass to go to sleep. Don't want to spend my day off sleeping.

Saturday, October 8, 2005

Show Day in Oakland

Up at 7:30, make it to Starbuck's by 8. Read the entire paper sitting outside there, then head back to shower and do the checkout. Bus call at 11:30…

Today's show is at the old Oakland Coliseum, now called the Oakland Arena. Should be about 10,000 kids tonight. The Metallica guys are coming to the show, and at least one of the Deftones will be here, too.

I never venture outside the building once we get there. Around 7:30, Jason Newsted (Metallica ex-bass player) comes into production and hangs out for a while. Kirk Hammett's hanging around outside the door in the hallway. Lars Ulrich is here with his girlfriend Connie Nielsen, the actress.

Abe Cunningham, the drummer from the Deftones (who I also work for), comes in to hang out and gives me an update of the timeline for the band's new record and upcoming tour. No time soon! Won't be touring before April or May…

I don't watch any of the show. Work all the way through it. Head to the bus around 1:15. Only 100 miles to drive tonight to Sacramento for tomorrow's show.

Three shows to go – Sacto, Fresno and Vegas. Flying home on Thursday. Yay!

Friday, October 7, 2005

Day Off in Oakland

A few high-speed corners coming down out of the mountains are all it takes to get me up around 7:30.

I go sit up front with the driver and read my USA Today and my Portland local paper from yesterday. Never had time to read them yesterday, but I've got at least 4 hours to kill before we get to the hotel…

Take a couple of shots going down the road. First was the cool lake…

And here's what it looks like most of the time when I'm sitting up front…

We pull in around 12:30. It takes me until 2 to get everyone into their rooms. This hotel just isn't very "group savvy", it seems.

Head off to Starbucks. Sit outside and read for a while, then head back to my room for a shower. Next thing I know it's 7 o'clock and I’m just not feeling like going out tonight.

Walk across the street for some Chinese food and bring it back to my room. Lay around watching TV, falling asleep during the 11 o'clock news. Wake up around midnight and crawl into bed.

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Show Day in Portland

Man, I have NO IDEA what's up with these people around here!

I mean, really, have you ever seen a frosted doughnut with Fruit Loops, or Capt. Crunch with Crunchberries, or crushed Oreo's on it? That's crazy, just crazy.

The coolest one, though, was the one I had for breakfast. Regular doughnut with chocolate frosting, sprinkled liberally with Rice Krispies, then drizzled with peanut butter. Can you say over the top? Shoulda took a picture of THAT one – it definitely belonged in the Doughnut Hall of Fame!

One of our runners today is Heather, who's been my runner at least 7-8 times over the past 6 or so years. Seems that every woman I've ever met here was a stripper or an ex-stripper, and Heather's no exception. She's not dancing these days, though, she's studying to be a mid-wife.

I can tell that the tour is definitely winding down. Everyone seems to have an attitude shift in the works. Me, too, I guess.

Found out this afternoon that I didn't get the Bon Jovi gig. The band's business manager told me that the "powers that be" chose a teabag. Evidently this fellow had been recommended to management by the previous tour accountant. Oh, well.

I'm still up for the Lenny gig. Got the schedule today. All the dates are with Aerosmith. Starting October 30th, and running until just before Christmas. Not sure what their plans are after that.

AND… I'm not sure if I care about getting a gig right now. This is my favorite time of year to be at home. I really dig autumn and winter in N.C.

We're leaving early tonight, hopefully around 1:15 or 1:30. We've got a 650 mile drive overnight to Oakland for a day off. Should arrive at the hotel around noon or 1pm. This will be our next-to-last day off.

After the show, I do some blogging, then head out to the bus around 1. I'll read 15 or 20 pages and then out…

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Show Day in Seattle

Today we're playing Key Arena, which is located in downtown Seattle in a funky location about 300 yards from the Space Needle. At the base of the Needle is a cute little "amusement park" area, but it doesn't seem to be open today.

Lots of bohemian flavor in this area. I see lots of strange-acting folks here. One guy repeatedly tells me that it's 5:05 and he HATES 5:05. He had been walking past me, and stopped to say it to me over and over and over.

Then I watched a guy who was obviously not all there push his 2 shopping carts around. It took him about 8-10 minutes to cross the street with them, including stopping in the middle of the street to arrange, and then rearrange the carts, for about 5 minutes. When he decided he had them just right, he continued to the other side. All the while, people drove around him with the most confused looks on their faces. Poor guy, it made me wonder what his story was and who on earth was looking out for him. Seeing people suffer like that really gets to me.

Sat on the bus to see tonight's episode of Lost at 6pm. It's on the NYC ABC affiliate, on our bus' DirectTV system.

On the way back in, I pass Kim Thayil in the hallway right outside my office, who says hello. Chat with him for a moment, nice guy. He was the guitarist in Soundgarden a few years ago.

The tour's winding down. Only 5 more shows after tonight.

Got another nibble on a potential gig this afternoon. Janet, our production assistant, is doing the Lenny Kravitz tour, which starts later this month. She mentioned my availability to LK's production manager, who immediately asked for my resume. Cool! If I don’t get Bon Jovi, this will do just fine. He's gonna be out opening for Aerosmith for a while.

Out to my bunk around 1am. 200 miles to Portland for tomorrow's show.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Day Off in Seattle

What a great day off. You just KNOW where I was at 8:15 this morning. There are 5 Starbucks locations within 2 blocks of my hotel. Also a mall on the next block, where I had a Johnny Rocket's veggie burger for lunch. Did a little window shopping, and spent the rest of the day reading – newspapers, magazines, my book.

Had Subway for dinner in my room. First Subway meal of the tour. Watched some TV, surfed the web some. In bed around midnight.

Monday, October 3, 2005

Travel Day to Seattle

We left Denver last night at 2am. I'm up at 8, and take my preferred seat up front with the driver. Read yesterday's paper to kill some time.

Faces from the back of the bus begin to appear around 11:30. We hit the Flying J Truckstop for a group crap. Geez, that sounds strange. I grab a USA Today and a local paper – you know, for the comics.

Since leaving Denver last night, we've driven through Colorado and Wyoming. We're currently in Utah, and will continue on through Idaho, Oregon, and finally into Washington. Total mileage on this trip is 1335 miles, according to the bus driver's GPS system.

We stop again around 3pm at another Flying J, not far from the Oregon border. The drivers have to pick up the Oregon Fuel Permits, which they have ordered via phone today and had faxed to the "J".

Both buses dump personnel into the truckstop for junk food and a leg stretch, then we're off again.

Here's a few photos of the sights I take in through the windshield during the day..

One last stop at a scenic overlook somewhere in Oregon gives me these shots...

Looks like we're ahead of schedule. We should be arriving at the hotel around 10 tonight, making this only a 21 hour bus ride.

Watch the Panthers game up until the time we arrive at the hotel. They won, but I lost the pool because of the tiebreaker parameters. I did, however, when a $50 side bet with the drum tech. Yay!

Up to my room for a shower. Not going out, just hanging in the room…

Sunday, October 2, 2005

Show Day in Denver

I love this hotel. We're at the Marriott in downtown Denver. There's a Starbucks in the lobby, another one directly across the street, and yet another down on the corner. These fuckers are completely jacked up around here. I wonder if it has anything to do with the ridiculously high usage of crystal meth in this area. That being Denver and Colorado Springs.

Matter of fact, the last time I did any of that crap was here in Denver 12 years ago on a Cry of Love tour. Me and James and a couple of chicks were up all night blasting that crap and playing cards. Never slept, and we had to drive down to the Springs the next day to load in at the Gold Rush. We drew straws to see who was gonna have to drive the truck because we were both completely wrecked. I lost. Sucky day, I tell ya. And long, too.

Don't know why I brought that up. Maybe because there's nothing much to say about today.

I sat and read the morning paper at Starbuck's for an hour, then got ready for bus call.

Football and racing today. I've got my own room and a TV. Kickass! And by the end of the night, I'm right near the top of our football pool - might win this week's pot, which is $260. Carolina's gotta win tomorrow night, and then I'm tied with 7 other people to win. At that point it'll come down to the tiebreaker. Cross your fingers for me.

Here's some photos I took tonight…

Leaving tonight at 2am. We have something like 1350 or 1400 miles to go to get to Seattle. Should arrive tomorrow night around midnight if the driver can do it in one shot. Sure hope so…

Saturday, October 1, 2005

Day Off in Denver

Wake up at 8am to a new month. Fall and winter are by far my favorite seasons. I would like nothing better than to see some snow before I get home, but it's still a little early in the season.

Gonna be a long day on the bus. Because of my guests yesterday, I never got around to reading the paper, so that'll help me kill a couple of hours.

At 2:30 in the afternoon, we're still about 250 miles from Denver. Our internet connection on the bus seems to be on the fritz for some reason, so I can't get on and check email.

Finally get a connection 20 minutes from the hotel. Figures…

In my room right at 5:30. I have a couple of invitations to join a couple of different gangs going to dinner here, but I'm thinking I might just hang out in my room tonight. After 16 hours on the bus with people, I'm ready for some alone time. We'll see.

After showering and working for a while, I walk down to the bus around 8:30 to grab a beer. Sean Bates (set carpenter) is sitting nearby yakking on the phone. He's bored, so I suggest we go grab a bite and a beer.

We walk around for a while, then decide on a very busy restaurant with a huge patio. It's a beautiful night, and the restaurant's on a very busy pedestrian mall, so it'll be good for people watching, too.

Our waitress is completely insane. Totally out of her mind with personality. She spends the next 90 minutes fawning over us. We're drinking like madmen – me, Buds, and Sean, his Corona's and Jager shots. Even better, they have Bud in a CAN! Doesn't get much better than that. The food's not bad either. I have a tuna steak with some sort of Asian glaze on it.

I wind up trading 4 tickets to our show tomorrow night to Sandra (the waitress), in exchange for our bill. Cool!

We finally walk our drunk asses back to the hotel around 11:30…

Friday, September 30, 2005

Show Day in Chicago

Wow! I don't think I've ever spent 9 hours in a bunk. I'm usually only good for about 5-6 hours max. Musta really needed some sleep.

I step off the bus to scope out the lay of the land and suddenly an airliner buzzes right over me, maybe 100-125 feet up, LOUD AS HELL! We're right under the approach path to one of the runways at O'Hare, which is right across the street. Jets continue to buzz us every minute or so for the next 12 hours.

Today we're at the Allstate Arena, in Rosemont, IL, a Chicago suburb. There's a Target right next door. Might have to do a little shopping later.

Still have 2 hours before load-in, so I wander inside and find a shower. I want to make sure I'm all caught up on work early in the day because I have several guests coming out today.

My "daughter" Evie's coming to visit, and she'll be working here today, too. She's a massage therapist and will be on call to take care of touring personnel throughout the day.

Also, my buddy Dan's coming out to see the show. He plays guitar in the band Disturbed. I worked for them back in 2001 and we still keep in touch. They just released a new CD Tuesday a week ago and right now it's the number one best seller in the U.S.

Evie shows up mid-morning, sets up her massage space, and I get to spend some time catching up with her world.

Her old running buddy Kim shows up around noon to spend the day also.

Dan and his posse show up during Mars Volta's set, and so does the entire gang from Anthrax. They have the night off and are opening up tomorrow night for Judas Priest, 90 miles away in Milwaukee. We got us a whole mess of rockstars backstage tonight.

Watch a few songs from out front with Evie and Kim, then head back to settle the show. This will be the last night of the tour that the band will make any overage money. The rest of the shows aren't selling well enough for us to make any backend, so my job gets a little easier from here on out.

After the show, Evie and Kim come hang out with me in the office until a little after 1:30am. Then it's out to the parking lot for goodbyes.

We've got over 1000 miles to drive tonight to get to Denver for our day off. We won't get there until around 6pm, so really it'll just be a night off.

I crawl into bunkyland and read a few pages. Lights out around 3…

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Show Day in Detroit

Up at 8. Load-in's not until 10am. I head in and check out the building.

We're at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, home of the Red Wings.

Hockey - don’t get it. Never will. You throw a punch in any other sport and you get your ass thrown out of the game. Oh, well, different strokes for different folks.

Right next door is Cobo Hall, where Kiss Alive (their first live album) was recorded. Sort of – the show was taped, but they pretty much overdubbed everything afterwards.

The Joe, as it's known, sits on the Detroit River. Just across the water from Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The river…

Saw some birds out by the boardwalk, so I went to my bus and grabbed all the stale bread out of the cabinet to feed it to them…

Here's Mark Wise, our venue security director. Wonder how clean he gets his ears when using a sharpie?

After the show, I'm badly in need of sleep. I pack as fast as possible and head to the bus, in hopes of getting to bed early. Crawl into my bunk just before midnight, read 20 pages of my book, and out I go…

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Show Day in Grand Rapids

Up at 8. After checkout, I head to Starbucks for a drink, then walk to the venue. The video shoot is scheduled for 12:00 to 4:30 today. They will also shoot one song during the show.

Pretty much caught up on work, so today's gonna be an easy one…

I have a TV in my office today. ABC's showing last week's season premiere of Lost at 8, followed by this week's episode. I manage to watch both, so of course now I'm sucked into the show for the next episode. Rats!

Bored out of my mind by 12:15 after the show, Might go get in my bunk early tonight and start my book…

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Day Off in Grand Rapids

…or so I thought.

Woke up at 7am because Kenny (the bus driver) was stuck in standstill traffic on the interstate traffic. Still about 40 minutes from the hotel, but I get dressed and sit down front with him.

As we get close, we pass the other 2 crew drivers walking down the street towards the hotel. They have evidently parked their buses at the venue and walked the 3 blocks back towards the hotel.

We pull into the hotel around 7:45.

Good news! Starbucks connected to the hotel.

Bad news! I've got to check everyone in, wake up everyone on my bus and toss them off, and then ride the bus over to the venue to deliver room keys to the other 2 crew buses, then walk back to the hotel. Before I do all that, I run my bag up to my room. Here's the early morning view out my window…

That's the Grand River. It's so shallow through here that there are 2 guys in waders standing in the middle of the river fishing. Sorry, you can't see them in this photo.

I wind up walking around town a bit to see where stuff is, and then go straight to the Starbucks. Today's their grand opening. I grab a drink and a scone, then sit and read the paper for a while.

Back to my room for a shower, then walk over to the venue around 11:30. I don't need to be here today, but I figure I'll get ahead on some work stuff.

Head back to the hotel around 8, spend a few minutes in the room, then head across the street to Z's. Gonna meet some crew guys and the promoter there for bites and brews.

About a million beers later, around midnight, I head back to my room. In bead around 1am.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Show Day in Cleveland

Wake up on the bus around 7:45. We're parked up at the venue, which is outdoors today. The venue is called the Tower City Amphitheatre and it has a kinda Euro vibe to it. It's a big tent, open at both ends, with trailers for production offices and dressing rooms located behind the stage.

It reminds me of the Oktoberfest tents in Germany. Especially the interior...

More venue photos HERE.

I spend some time walking around outside the venue. It's in an area called The Flats. You might have seen the neighborhood on the intro to the Drew Carey show a couple of years ago. Read more about the flats HERE.

The venue itself is situated on a crook in the Cuyahoga River. It's called Collision Bend. This is what it looks like from catering…

This is the only part of the river wide enough for tankers to turn around in. But the current is flowing so quickly that it can shove a ship into the riverbank's you see in the picture above. Hence, the name...

Here's how nasty the river is, right next to catering…

No wonder it stinks.

Way cool drawbridge nearby has been out of service for years. There's talk that someone may actually build a restaurant up on top of this damn thing. Crazy…

Beautiful sunset today. I missed the best part of it, but did get to see this much…

Didn't see any of the show tonight. Settled with the promoter, then websurfed and blogged until around 1:30am.

300 miles to go tonight for a day off tomorrow in Grand Rapids, MI. Day off for me, that is. The crew has to load-in tomorrow for the next day's show. That show's being filmed for video footage and the video crew needs to sort out all of the camera placement, lighting and such before show day.

Me, I'll be relaxing in my hotel room…

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Show Day in Columbus

What a great day it's been. Up around 8am. Putz around, check email, shower, and then head out to the Starbucks 2 blocks away.

Sit there for over 90 minutes – me, the Pumpkin Spice Latte (highly recommend you try one), the Pumpkin Muffin, and the Sunday Columbus Dispatch.

We've got a late load-in today, because the Stones' load-out was supposed to go until sometime between 4 and 5am. So my bus won't leave the hotel to head over until 12:30pm. The downside of that is it cuts my workday down by a couple of hours.

I start slammin' as soon as I get there and get enough done early enough that I go watch the second half of the Panthers game. Also get to see the last 60 laps of the Dover race.

My old buddy Dave Watson, our Columbia Records rep in this area, comes by. I've known Dave over 12 years now – he was our guy when I worked for Cry of Love. Had a lot of really great times with him back then. He's got the "Roadie For A Day" contest winner with him. No telling what sorta crap our guys will have the poor fellow doing today.

Catch the season premiere of Desperate Housewives out on the bus. That shit is so funny. Our 2 merch dudes are sitting on the bus working when I come out. They're forced to watch it, too. By the time they're showing previews of next week's episode, Tim is cursing me – he's hooked. Ha!

Didn't see any of the show today. Never even walked out to see what the room looked like.

After settlement, I wrap up some work and do some blogging.

Short drive tonight, just 150 miles to Cleveland. Should get some good rest in my cold, dark cave while the bus is sitting still at the Cleveland venue.


Saturday, September 24, 2005

Day Off in Columbus

Wake up at 7am because the driver kills the main engine, which shuts down the A/C, so he can fuel up at the truckstop. Thirty seconds later, he fires up the generator and turns on the secondary A/C unit, so we don't roast in our bunks. He switches so the main unit won't suck up the diesel fumes and throw them into our bunks.

I get back to sleep, and finally wake up around 8:30. Long way to go yet to Columbus. Thankfully, all the retards will be asleep for some time to come. We've stopped so one of the other bus drivers can get food. We're at a McDonald's – ugh! I go in search of a USA Today from yesterday, because I never got one or had time to read it anyway.

Read the paper up front with the driver. First retard up has to take a crap.


It's that time of day where if the driver stops again, other people will wake up from the motion, they too will have to crap, and the next thing you know, we'll lose 45 minutes at the damn truckstop.

Sure as hell that's what happens…

We finally get to the hotel around 4:45pm. Now we have a night off, not a day off.

I decide to not go see the Stones. I want to SAY I went to see it more than I want to see it.

On the way in to the hotel's 'hood, we pass the Ruckmoor Pub, and The Winking Lizard Tavern. Hmmm, Winking Lizard, what do you think that's a reference to?

Might have to bag my other plan, which was to go to the Rusty Bucket Tavern.

Up to the room for some blogging and a shower.

While I'm in the shower, I get a couple of phone calls. Hmmm, who can that be?

Call around to my usual gang of dinner and beer pals. Somebody's managed to get some tickets to see the Stones. Wonder if that's what those calls were about. Oh well, better that someone who WANTS to see the show goes to it than my jaded ass.

Never connected with anyone by the time I'm ready to go out, so I head up towards the main road. The plan: one beer at the Ruckmoor Pub, one beer at the Winking Lizard, then a sushi dinner and back to the hotel.

Walk into the Ruckmoor and spot Eddie Kercher (production manager) sitting on a corner stool, talking to a couple. Grab a beer and hang out with them for a while.

The Ruckmoor is my new favorite bar in Columbus. Bud in the can is $1.75, the jukebox is amazing (more on that in a minute), and I'm one of the youngest people in the joint.

The jukebox is some new-fangled doodad that has an internet connection. You buy credits and either spend 1 credit for something that's already on the box, or spend 2 credits to search and download songs from a server on the internet. That part's kind of a rip-off, but there's four Mott the Hoople records on the server. Yeah!

Needless to say, I spend a bunch of money and download all the shit I wanna hear. No Mother's Finest, no Foghat, but I hit a bunch of favorites – Todd Rundgren, Mott the Hoople, the Outlaws, 10cc, Marshall Tucker Band, Badfinger, etc. Lovin' it!

Nobody knows what to make of my musical selections. I think I'm confusing them somehow...

Start slammin' beers with Eddie. He says a big gang of our guys are next door at the Mexican joint and are coming over when they're done.

Sho' nuff, 30 minutes later, about 10 very drunk guys come in.

Me and Eddie are both hammered by then, too. I haven't eaten since lunch, Eddie hasn't eaten all day and he's been drinking all day.

I order a pizza from a local joint which takes an hour to deliver. Great pie, though, worth the wait.

Carlsen's falling down drunk, so is Sean Bates. They both get escorted back to the hotel (10 minute walk) by a couple of guardian angel crew guys.

Me and Eddie split around 11:15. Had enough. Walk back to the hotel.

I'm blogging until midnight, then I'm out…

Friday, September 23, 2005

Show Day in St. Paul

Ah, finally, back in the US. The border crossing last night went a lot smother than expected. A nice fellow in his 50's came up on the bus, and all he wanted to do was match a face with each one of the passports that the driver was holding. So he stands in the hallway, calling out names. Guys wake up, stick their heads out of their bunks, he says OK, and then it's back to sleep.

Well, except for me. I had to get up and call the tour manager to let him know that we'd gotten through OK. Then I crawled back into my cave.

Arrive at the venue around 10am. JT, our production assistant, is not here today. She went home to her 10-year high school class reunion. I'm hating it, because I'll probably have to do most of her work today. But I’m glad she got a chance to go.

Mark Wise, our head of venue security, usually sits next to, and works closely throughout the day with JT. And he's her roommate back home in St. Louis, so he's doing double duty today covering for her. All I have to do is deal with the runner floats and the aftershow food, in addition to my regular stuff. No sweat.

Got an email yesterday and a phone call today about a potential next gig. System's going down for the count after our October 12th show in Las Vegas. They won't be touring again until May – not good for my income stream if ya know what I mean.

So anyway, I'm in the running for the tour accounting gig with Bon Jovi. Their tour starts November 2nd. I don't really like working that time of year, but hey, it's a good gig. They lost their tour accountant to the Stones tour. He'd been with them for 8 years, I'm told. I got the call from the band's business manager, who is also Clay Aiken's BM. I worked for Clay last year and they liked my work. Needless to say I’m flattered. We'll see how it pans out. Hope I didn't jinx it by mentioning it…

When I go out to watch our first 2 songs, I run into Tekumi, Prince's guitar tech. I met him years ago when he worked for Corrosion of Conformity, our Raleigh metal homeboys. He's hanging out at front of house with a friend. I spend a few minutes getting caught up with him, and then watch my 2 songs and head back to work.

Bus rolls around 2am. 809 miles to go for a day off in Columbus. Thinking about going to see the Stones. They're in our building tomorrow night and we've got the night off.


In my bunk by 2:30.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Show Day in Winnipeg

Trapped in another hockey arena all day today. This time the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Had to take a walk around 3pm. Walked a few blocks one way, then the other. Wound up going to Staples to buy some office supplies. Trying to use up my Canadian cash so I don't lose even more money exchanging it back to USD.

The band's jet had some sort of mechanical problem. They took off waaaay too late from LA to get here on time. They're supposed to be onstage at 9:15, but probably won't even be here until sometime around 10. Oops.

Today is Tom Robb's birthday. He's one of the 3 security dudes who travel with the band – there's also a venue security guy who travels with the crew. At the request of John Dolmayan (drummer), Justen the head caterer made Tom a big ol' PENIS CAKE!

John also had us buy about $100 worth of dildo's and gay porn for Tom. Ha!

I took a few photos tonight. Finally got a decent shot…

Because the band got here so late (9:50), they went on late and they came off very late (11:40, 40 minutes past curfew). We won't get to the border until around 3am, maybe 3:30. This particular crossing is where US Immigrations trains their people to be total assholes. We're all gonna get hauled off the buses and grilled. I've got one total dumbass on my bus who insists on smoking pot up to 5 miles from the border station. Can't do anything about him, he's one of the band's bitches.

Soooo, I hope we get through without Stupid Boy getting us all busted.

I'm gonna crawl in my bunk and pray that some type of miracle happens and they just let pass through.

Yeah, right.

Head out to the bus around 2.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Travel Day to Winnipeg

OK, in bed last night shortly before 2:30 – never did take the Ambien, but I did have 2 Buds.

Wake up at 7:04. Gonna be a long day – we won't get to Winnipeg until at least 5pm.

Hang up front with the bus driver for most of the day. We stop at a truckstop for all the buses to refuel. Our 3 crew buses are travelling with the Mars Volta crew bus and the MV band bus.

Inside the truckstop there's only 2 toilets in the men's room and there are like 12 crew guys jockeying around waiting to drop the kids off at the pool.

Screw that, I walk a block to the McDonald's I spotted coming in. Not a customer in the place, and no one in the men's room.

Morning sabbitical completed, I buy a big bag of Eggamuffins and hash browns for the fools on my bus. Yeah, I know, I'm too fucking nice.

Six hours later, we're at a McD's again for a late lunch. Yuck!

Finally get to the hotel in Winnipeg around 5:30. I get everyone checked in and agree to meet a few guys downstairs around 8 to go to one of the 2 British Pubs I spotted behind the hotel.

Get a call from Andy Battye around 7:30. He tells me to turn on CNN. The jet with landing gear problems in LA, the hurricane going Cat 5, the tornedo in Minneapolis – lots to see. We agree to postpone dinner plans until after the plane has crash-landed.

Make it to Bailey's Pub around 8:45 for dinner and a few beers. I'm back in my room shortly after 11.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Show Day in Edmonton

Today we're playing the Rexall Arena in Edmonton, home of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers.

OK, now that you've stopped yawning…

First thing this morning, as I'm setting up my world, I look up to see Janet, our production assistant, doing a table dance on the table next to mine.


Get tired of working late morning and take a walk around the arena. Six trucks can sure hold a lot of crap:

I try to get some shots during the show, too, but they all sucked.

We had 12,636 paid tonight and a couple hundred more in comps. Good strong, loud crowd. The kids here definitely rock!

The band makes a bunch of extra money, their manager in L.A. is happy. I'm done early, so get the blog caught up and websurf for a while

Think I'll have a Bud or 2 tonight. We've got an 825 mile drive to Winnipeg for our day off tomorrow, so a couple of beers and an Ambien sounds about right for some good sleep. We won't leave here before 2am, so no way we're there before 4pm tomorrow, probably more like 5 or 6pm. Sucks!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Show Day in Calgary

Up early, check out early, wind up with 45 minutes of spare time to sit at the Starbucks in the lobby. I enjoy a Tall Decaf Pumpkin Spice Latte, with a Pumpkin Scone, while I'm reading my paper.

The weather here's nice, should be around 65 degrees today.

Today we're playing the Pengrowth Saddledome. And it is one UGLY-ass building. Same architect as Dorton Arena back home in Raleigh. About twice the size as Dorton, but the same stupid Pringles Potato Chip roof. I meant to get a picture of it, but couldn't be bothered.

Get caught up on a bunch of the work I'm behind on. I'm starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Stay in the office after the show, work until about 1:50 before heading out to the bus.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Day Off in Calgary, Alberta

Down last night at 3am, up this morning at 7. Oh, well, that's called East Coast bodyclock.

We're driving through the Canadian Rockies, which are spectacular. Take a look:

On the way into Calgary, we pass the site of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games. Here are the ski jumps:

Two of the clowns who live on my bus are still up from last night, completely wasted. They've been doing blow and smoking dope all night, and they're still pounding Newcastle's. They'd be pretty funny if they weren't so pathetic. They both try to engage me in conversation about our football pool for today, but I can't understand a single thing that comes out of their mouths. I ignore them and they go away. Likely to the back lounge for more consumables…

My beloved Carolina Panthers are playing the New England Patriots this morning at 10am (remember, I'm out west). Unfortunately, we're so deep into the mountains that the satellite reception sucks. The audio/video locks up every 3 seconds or so, and the announcers can't even get a complete sentence out. I consider slamming a few beers for breakfast, thinking it would make watching such a jittery broadcast easier, but decide against that.

We kinda have to follow the scoring and down/yardage graphics on the screen to figure out what's happening. This lasts well into the second half, but I do get to see most of the 4th quarter. They finally kick the shit out of the Patriots. GO PANTHERS!!!

Arrive at our hotel in Calgary around 2. Hot diggity, there a Starbucks right there inside the lobby. Couldn't get much better!

Get everyone checked in quickly, and head to my room for a shower. Turn on the TV long enough to get all the football scores, as I'm responsible for scoring everyone's pool entries. I'm not in the pool this week, but probably could have won it. On one of my (not-entered) sheets, I picked all the home teams. As of the end of the first 13 of the 16 games, I'm 10 and 3.

I head down for a drink at Starbucks and bring my laptop along to do some blogging. A steady parade of crew guys go in and out of the hotel. I eventually have about a half-dozen hanging out with me as we all get caught up on what everyone's been doing and where they've been going today.

Andy Battye shows up – he's wanting to go the one of the Irish Pubs nearby for some fish and chips. I run my laptop to my room and go with him. We wander around for about 30 minutes, checking out all the area restaurants. Lots of she-she places here that we're not dressed for, nor do we want to eat in.

Finally decide on the James Joyce Irish Pub. Every city we go to has a James Joyce Irish Pub, why is that?

They have not only fish and chips, they also have Halibut and chips. An excellent and rare fish to use for this. It's maybe the best I've ever had, and I slap back a couplethree pints of Kilkenny with it.

A couple of dudes come sit around the corner of the bar from us and engage us in conversation. We chat with them for a half-hour or so. Mike Stehr (lighting tech) sticks his head in, spots us, and joins. Andy splits 20 minutes later. The 2 dudes hang out, they're both college students here and are coming to the show tomorrow. They're well travelled guys, one's in a band here, and they have lots of questions about what we do. They're both so nice that Mike and me don't mind talking to them. That, and the fact that they tell us they'd be happy to buy us some beers in trade for stories.

The bartender tells me that Sylvia, one of the waitresses, would be happy to buy us some drinks for tickets to the show tomorrow. I holler at Sylvia to come over to the bar and tell her that I'll hook her up for tickets if she'll get Mike and the 2 dudes double shots of whatever Scotch they'll all drinking.


Nothing for me, thanks.

Two hours later, I'm drunkenly on my way back to the hotel. Mike's off with Gord and David (the dudes) to meet a bunch of our crew guys at Cowboy's, the massive nightclub down the street, where the marquee reads "The Most Beautiful Women In Calgary Pass Through These Doors". No shit!

I do some more blogging and head to bed around 12:30…

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Show Day in Vanvouver

Couldn't sleep worth a crap last night. My leg is killing me. Every time I would move I'd get a sharp jolt of pain. Just having the damn bedsheets touch it would hurt. Hope it scabs up soon.

Finally get out of bed around 6:30. Get caught up on email. Hit the checkout, then walk to Starbucks with Joe Paradis. I'm on Decaf only these days. When I quit caffeine 2 weeks ago, I had a migraine for 3 days. It sucked!

Busy as hell today. First day back on the tour, and when we'd flown home from Toronto 2 weeks ago, I'd given all 4 bus drivers four times their normal amount of float to get them through the break. Meaning that all 4 of them are dumping 4 times the normal amount of receipts on me today.

I step outside during the afternoon to get a couple of photos of the mountains nearby. What a beautiful place this is.

Factoid: For any of you who didn't already know it, Vancouver is the Transvestite Prostitute Capital of North America. Just head on down to Granville Street and you can see for yourself.

Here's Crusty, one of our truck drivers:

There's a couch just outside our production office today. Looks like the Internet Café:

Second from the left is my buddy Shawn Sebastian. He's The Mars Volta's monitor engineer, and a fine feller, indeed.

I watch my usual 2 songs during our set, then get back to work. I stay in the production office until about 1:45, coming out just before we depart for Calgary, where we'll have a day off tomorrow.

Finally crash into my bunk a little after 3am…

Friday, September 16, 2005

Travel Day to Vancouver

Finally, time to go back to work.

Up at 6:30, as I could use the extra time this morning. Don’t have time for a walk, but I decide to jump on the bike and pedal my ass up to Bruegger's for breakfast. Decide just to grab a bagel to stuff in my bag (in case the food on the flight sucks), and head off to Starbucks for a scone instead. Sit outside at 'Bucks and read a bit of the paper, enjoy a drink and m' scone.

Start back towards the house around 8:30. On the way there I take a nice tumble off the bike. Nothing extreme, no endo's, no headover's, just a tumble. It was actually kinda cool – it all happened in very slow motion. What a rush!

Fucked my left knee and shin up pretty good. By the time I get home, I've got a river of blood pouring down my leg. Ugh!

Try to clean it up. I'm pulling little bits of gravel out of these wild trench-like cuts that range from 2-4 inches in length. I've also completely taken the skin off of my knee in a spot about the size of a silver dollar.

But the fun part is getting in the shower and having the water hit the open wounds. YOWCH!!! Today's gonna be painful…

White Horse shows up right on time (like always) at 11. I'm off to the airport.

Nobody in the terminal – I'm though check-in and security in no time. Flying American today, terminal C, which means I'm having lunch at Maui Taco inside the terminal. Great food. Wish they'd open one up in Raleigh – for now, you have to be flying to eat there.

So after my love #10 burrito, served wet (with secret sauces and cheese piled on), I'm off to the gate.

Not good – my flight's delayed by an hour, and my layover in Dallas is an hour. Doesn't look like I'm gonna make my connector and it's the last flight out of Dallas heading to Vancouver for the day. Nice agent at the gate double books me on a flight to LAX, where I can take another flight to Vancouver. That would get me there after 11:30, 5 hours late, but hey, whatever.

Even worse, I'm in the back of the plane, so when we get to Dallas, I can't just jump off. After we land, it's excruciating to wait for all these "Carry-On Bag Fools" to get out of my way. Once I'm clear, I have to take the tram to another terminal and do a total OJ through the terminal, all the while hearing "Mr. Robert Davis, paging Mr. Robert Davis" over the intercom system.

The agents spot me running towards them from 2 gates away.

They're holding my luggage in case I don't show. I'm the last person getting on.

As I get on, there's our FOH guy, LD, and production manager all sitting in first class. Lo and behold, there's also an empty seat there. I sweet-talk 2 of the attendants, and they let me sit there. Happy, happy, joy, joy. The flight's almost 4 ½ hours long, and my knee is fucking killing me, so I could use the extra space to stretch out.

The food'll be better here, too.

And the beer'll be free.

Too bad I’m not drinking on the plane.

As we're approaching the airport in Vancouver, the view is spectacular. There's a low-lying cloudbank covering about half of the metropolitan area, with the mountains poking up through the cloud layer. Really hard to describe it, but it blows me away. These photos doesn't really do it justice:

Get through Immigrations and Customs without a hitch. Takes a while to get my bag, but it's soon loaded onto the bus and I'm hanging in the bar with a bunch of crew dudes. Seems we've got time to kill. Several crewmembers are getting hassled by the Immi's. One's accused of being a convicted armed robber. Two others were pointed out to security as having had a conversation about conducting terrorist activities (I kid you not!). The jackasses who pointed them out and said that shit about them did so after telling them they disapproved of the inappropriate language the two crew dudes were using. Needless to say, the two crew dudes told 'em to go fuck themselves, so the loser's DID tell security the bullshit story, after which my guys got jacked for about 2 hours.

We finally get everyone cleared after sitting there for about 4 hours and head to the hotel.

A few of us venture across the street for Chinese, then it's bedtime for my butt…

Thursday, September 15, 2005

At Home...

The car's fucked. Drove it to TAO Auto, my local Honda specialist. No way in hell they'll have a chance to look at it today. I'm leaving tomorrow morning for 4 weeks, so the best I can do is park it at home and deal with it in a month. I'm thinking really ugly shit like "cracked block", due to the location of the coolant leak.

On the way home from TAO (1 mile from my apt.), the temp goes through the roof. Steam coming out from under the hood by the time I get home. Shit! I've got a couple of things I HAVE to do today. Oh, well…

Foy, my accountant, comes by the apartment around 2pm to have me do some paperwork. Bless him, cause I sure as hell didn't think I was gonna get to his office today.

Don't really have any other errands to run, but I've got to meet a bunch of folks for dinner tonight at 7:30. Paige volunteers to come pick me up and drive me to dinner. Yay! Tonight we're going to Torero's Mexican restaurant – me & Paige, Jeff & Kim, Foy & Terry, and Chris & Natasha. Good chow, and after dinner, we sit, drink, and talk for awhile.

Home just before 10. Putz around for a bit, then off to bed. Need a good night's sleep for a long travel day tomorrow. Heading to Vancouver, BC to start the next leg of the tour…

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

At Home...

Hit the ground running at 7am. No time this morning for a walk OR a bike ride. Leave just before 11 to drive to Charlotte. Going to visit Momzilla.

Spend a few hours hanging out with Mom. Just chatting and getting caught up.

Leave late afternoon to come home. Stop in Mebane to gas up. Leaking anti-freeze – this can't be good. Can't really tell where it's coming from. Temp's ok, so I head on home.

When I get to town, I go straight to Mitch's Tavern to grab some dinner, as there's no food in my apartment. Well, except beer. Beer's food, right?

Head home and watch a little TV. In bed early, tomorrow's my last day in town to get stuff done…

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

At Home...

Walk this morning. Decide against the bike ride. Lots of crap to get done today. Going to go see my mom tomorrow in Charlotte, so I'm losing a day of prep time.

Go to dinner with Paige tonight at the Rockford.

Home early…

Monday, September 12, 2005

At Home...

The countdown clock's ticking. I'm leaving Friday to fly out to Vancouver – last 4 weeks of the tour.

Go for a walk and a bike ride. The bike's starting to come to me. Figures, just in time to leave town.

Spend most of the afternoon working. Crack a beer at the stroke of 6. Head over to the Ale House around 6:30 for the usual gang dinner. Tonight's it's me, Paige, Jeff & Kim, Chris & Brandy, Ian & Amy, and Jen & Tom. Good crowd, lots of good intellect and some funny fuckers, to boot!

Home before 9:30. Fall asleep watching the football game…

Sunday, September 11, 2005

At Home...

Ouch…who hit me? And who put dirty sock in my mouth? Ugh!

Wake up around 7:40, not feeling my best. Gotta get it in gear, busy morning ahead. Panthers first home game today…

Well, that sucked. They lost. Fuckin' New Orleans.

After the game, go meet Paige for a movie. We see "The 40 Year-Old Virgin". Damn funny movie. After that, we head out to Brier Creek to find a place to dine outdoors.

Settle on Champs, a combo Thai/Sushi joint. Holy Shit!!!!! I've never paid more that $8.95 for Pad Thai – it's $14.95 here. I get it anyway and it's damn good. Not sure it's worth 6 bucks more, but it's great to sit outside and watch the world go by…

Saturday, September 10, 2005

At Home...

Walked and rode my bike this morning. Mostly laid around the rest of the day. Watched last night's Busch race (tivo'ed last night).

Went to dinner with Paige, Jeff & Kim. We went to Tavola Rossa. After dinner, I let Jeff & Kim take Paige home – I went straight to Northside to meet the Beals around 9:15 and to watch the rest of tonight's Nextel Cup race.

Got tore up from the floor up.

Decided to play "Beat The Cops", so I left just after 1am. In bed shortly after…

Friday, September 9, 2005

At Home...

Took Paige to see 3 Doors Down, Staind, and Alter Bridge. Chris and Natasha go with us.

My friends Herman the German (security) and Tom Willhelm from Charlotte (drum tech) work for 3DD. I also know their production manager Conrad - he's the guy who hooked me up with passes.

We run into Bert and Leslie back in the private VIP bar. Love the VIP bar – free food and FREE DRINKS!!! Ya gotta be connected to get in there, but once you are, everything's free. You can watch the show on the TV's inside, or step outside to watch on a giant wall screen.

Left during the encore to beat the traffic…

Thursday, September 8, 2005

At Home...

Update from last night – didn’t do anything with Paige, so I went to Mitch's for dinner and a couple of brews…

Today: After my walk, I did an hour and a half on the bike. Damn, damn, damn, my butt hurts.

Worked during the afternoon, then went to a cookout at Chris Sheridan's house. Drove Paige up there – Chris lives in Wake Forest, about half an hour north of Raleigh. Buncha folks there. Split by 10, home before 11.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

At Home...

Get up and walk 3 miles. No bike ride this morning – 1) Sore legs, 2) Dentist appointment. Gotta get a cracked filling replaced. I've got the best dentist in town. Always tells me dirty jokes, and I can NEVER feel the needle when he gives it.

Sit outside and read the paper afterwards. Beautiful weather. A Volvo pulls over nearby and a lady walks over to ask if she can use my phone, as she has no mobile. Her car's badly overheating. I go have a look and find a shredded hose in the coolant system. She's not driving this thing anywhere. Babysit her until the flatbed comes to take the car. Nice lady – plays the harp!

Spend the early evening hours sitting outside, websurfing and catching up on the blog.

Waiting for Paige to call to tell me if we're going to dinner. If not, it'll be a peanut butter & raisin sandwich in front of the TV…

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

At Home...

Get up and walk 3 miles. After that I jump my bike and go riding. Haven't ridden in over 5 weeks, so my ass starts getting big-time sore 30 minutes in. No matter, stand on the pedals for a while. Legs get good and sore. Tomorrow morning should be lovely.

Rent "Be Cool" to watch tonight. It was OK. Greg Howard was in it, during the backstage scene at the Aerosmith show. Greg is Brad Whitford's tech, and is married to Paige, the girl I have mentioned here before.

Monday, September 5, 2005

Day at Home

Do a little work for an hour or two. Call a few folks to say "Howdy!" and then met Paige, Mac, Kim, Foy and Terry at the Ale House for beers & dinner.

Sunday, September 4, 2005

Travel Day - Going Home!!!!!

Up at 6am – UGH!!! 9am flight, need to be there at 7am. Good thing the hotel's connected to the airport.

Mistake #1: Taking a goddamn early flight to begin with.

Mistake #2: Ask the hotel's desk clerk about Air Canada flights. He asks what my destination is. I tell him. He tells me the terminal right through the lobby doors is mine. OK.


After asking airport staff, I'm directed to Terminal 2. They tell me to jump onto one of the blue buses right outside the downstairs doors.

Mistake #3: Jumping onto one of the blue buses.

I wind up in the (very) distant employee parking lots. Turns out 95% of the blue buses are "Link" buses, linking the terminals. But the blue bus I jumped on is the employee shuttle. Shit! Ask the policeman/security guard/whateverthefuckheis guy standing in front of me where this damn thing is going just as we pull into the employee lot. He 'splains to me that I gotta to the yonder kiosk and wait for a bus that will take me to Terminal 2. Points it out to me – I confirm.

Mistake #4: Listening to that fucker.

Stand by the kiosk for about 20 minutes. Getting nervous. Left the hotel at the 2 hour mark for my international flight. It's now 9:30 and there are no goddamn buses in sight. A flight attendant parks her car nearby and walks over to my kiosk (that's right, I've been here 20 minutes, I've claimed it as my property). I politely inquire, she politely answers. I'm at the wrong kiosk. Gotta go………………………………there, to a Term 2 kiosk. OK, thanks

Make it 500 feet across the parking lot to the Term 2 kiosk. 3 minutes later a bus approaches, but it has an "Out of Service" message on the marquee. WTF???? The bus is empty. I confirm with the driver that the bus is, in fact, out of service. The dumb bitch has no idea when the next operational bus will be coming.


Another bus shows up. 10 minutes later I’m at my terminal.

Did I ever tell you? I HATE EARLY MORNING FLIGHTS!!!!!

OK. Rockstar hissy fit's over.

It wasn't all bad - the good news is that US Immigrations is all done here, which means that when I get to Raleigh I'll go straight off the plane to the baggage pickup area. Cool!

Land early in Raleigh at 10:30am. Great! Go home to dust, sweep and clean up. Hit the grocery store, have lunch, and then a nap.

I have a terrible headache all afternoon and evening. Have to cancel dinner/drinking plans with Paige. Don't know if it's residual caffeine-withdrawal headache or dehydration from flying on short sleep, but it SUCKS! Feel like crap.

Watch the NASCAR race. First ever Sunday night race. It's in Cali, and tomorrow's Labor Day, which 'splains that.

No shows until the 17th, so I probably won't have anything to write about until then.

Translation: I'll be doing shit you don't wanna know about…

Hell, check back anyway, maybe something'll be worth writing about.

Saturday, September 3, 2005

Show Day in Hamilton

Boring day.

After the show, we drive to the Toronto airport. After I check everyone in, I finally get to bed around 3:30…

Friday, September 2, 2005

Day Off in Hamilton

Cool! The hotel's attached to a MASSIVE underground mall. Lots to do – shopping, eating, and MOVIES! YAY!

Repack my stuff – gotta make room for some stupid (work-related) stuff I've gotta take home with me.

Find a really cool grocery store in the underground. Buy some cheese, a loaf of bread, and an apple strudel. This'll be my lunch and dinner both today, and of course POPCORN at the movies.

I catch 2 today. Four Brothers, and Red Eye. Neither one's gonna win any awards, but it was a great way to waste a few hours. Never set foot outdoors today – strange – but everything I need is either in the hotel or in the mall.

End the night reading for a couple of hours and then websurfing. The situation in New Orleans is insane!

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Show Day in Toronto

Great crowd – too bad I missed the show tonight. I usually only see a couple of songs anyway, but it's the first two songs of our set, when the crowd is at fever pitch. No such luck tonight – too much work to do before our break. Flying home Sunday.

After the show, we drive to Hamilton, about 45 miles away, where we'll have a day off tomorrow. Get everyone checked in, and crash into my bed about 4am…

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Show Day in Quebec City (second of two)

Don't know how I did it, but I managed to sleep until 9 this morning. That's 7.5 hours, which is the most I've had in months. Throw back the curtains to some miserable weather. Evidently the leading edge of the storm that was Hurricane Katrina has arrived, and will be dumping rain on us for a couple of days.

Sit by the window and try to get caught up on newspapers. Still have half of a USA Today from the 26th, along with comics from 2 days ago, yesterday's entire paper, and this morning's.

Finish all that by noon, so I work for a while, then grab a shower and head down to start the check out around 2:15. Our bus call time to go to the venue is 3:00. The rain is blowing completely sideways as we make our way out of the hotel and load up the buses. Man, this weather sucks. One good thing, though, is that we're so far north that the temperature is to my liking.

I love it when we play 2 in a row at the same venue. I'll only be here today from 3:30pm until about 1:30am. Unfortunately, since we added this second date in Q.C., we've got hell to pay to get to Toronto on time tomorrow morning. It's a 500 mile drive and we've got about 7 hours to do it, which means we'll be late.

I'm done early, so I get caught up on all my blogging and websurfing. Heading to the bus around 1:40.

I'll be on the plane in 79 hours, 24 minutes…


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Show Day in Quebec City (first of two)

First of two show days here. We're at the Colisee Pepsi. That's French – if you can't figure out what it means, stop reading now and just kill yourself.

That's a joke.

Lighten up.

Yes, I've been drinking…

Not much to report today. But since we're doing two-in-a-row here, the crew doesn't have to load out, and I don't have to settle tonight. We order a bunch of pizzas, and get a couple of cases of beer on ice for the production office. I watch my now customary first 2 songs of our set, even drag Janet out of the office to see 'em for the first time, then it's back to the office for the funk music fest and a few beers.

Show's over just before 11, we're on the bus heading to the hotel by 11:40. Head down to the bar with a shitload of crew folks, but I’m just not into hanging out tonight. I have a couple of beers, and I'm back in my room by 1am.

I'll be on my flight home in 104 hours. Time's just not moving fast enough for me.


Monday, August 29, 2005

Show Day in Montreal

Good news! We've moved our load-in times an hour later for the remainder of the tour. Which means that my bus doesn't leave the hotel on the morning following a day off until 10:30am. I can get an extra hour of sleep, or, like I did this morning, get and extra hour of piddling about done.

Get caught up on the blog, and make it downstairs by 9:45 to start the check out procedure. Richard at the desk does a great job and I'm on the bus by 10:15.

We're playing the Bell Centre today in downtown Montreal. About 12,500 crazy French-Canadian kids here tonight. I go out to watch my customary 2 songs, the first of our set. I guess I just like watching the kabuki drop.

Settlement is quick and easy with Sergio, so I get to go back out and watch the last 5 songs from the side of the stage.

Back to the office for phone calls, blog work, and conversation.

Head out to the bus around 1:30. I want to start the new book. Looking forward to my extra hour of sleep. Nine AM load-in indeed!

P.S. I'll be on the plane and homeward bound in 127.5 hours…

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Day Off in Montreal

Wake up at 8:15, just as the driver is stopping the bus at the border. Time to do the old song & dance routine to get into Canada (not that any of us wants to…).

Once we get through, it's about another hour or so to downtown Montreal. We're staying at the Marriott Chateau Champlain. I get everyone into their rooms within an hour of our arrival – not bad for a Sunday morning around 11am.

After dropping my stuff in my room, I ask about a Starbucks location and head out. Should known it would be up on Saint Catherine's, which is 3 blocks north of us, in the mega-shopping area. There's actually 2 'Bucks – I go to the one inside a bookstore called "Chapters" because I need a new book today.

A drink and a scone for lunch, buy a book and a magazine, and head back out to rediscover the neighborhood. It's been a couple of years since I wandered around up here. There's a helluva lot of people shopping today, the sidewalks are all jammed. Pass the occasional crew guy, and a few ask questions – "Seen any pubs?", "Radio Shack?", etc. They know I always like to wander around to see where everything is.

Back to the hotel, finish the old book, take a nap, grab a shower. The audio guys have invited me to go to the strip club around the corner tonight. I appreciate it guys, but I have a sudden bout of anal glaucoma – I can't see my ass doing that. I'll probably crack the new book and I wanna watch the MTV Video Awards. Might see whoever I'll be working for next year or the year after.

Oh, yeah, here's a shot of the crazy sculpture a block away from the hotel. It makes me think of the SouthPark Anal Space Probe or something. Very phallic, indeed…

Take another walk, gotta find some chow to bring back for dinner. Walk for about 45-50 minutes before deciding to just grab a Subway back by the hotel. Forty feet before I reach the Subway, I come across 4 of our guys (Steve, Andy, Shawn and Jesse) sitting in the open air section of McLean's Pub and they invite me to join them. I get a great people-watching seat by the sidewalk and order a Boddington's and a sandwich. Get some jalapeno poppers, too, which for reasons known only to French-Canadians, are served with strawberry jam.


I try it. Not too bad. A little strange, but not bad.

While sitting in the window seat, I spot Joe & Geddy, and give them a shout out. They join us. Two minutes later, here comes Janet, Mark and Robb. Suddenly we've got a gang of 10. Drinking, eating and storytelling ensues. Several people inform me that I won't be able to see the MTV VMA's because the hotel only has Much Music, the Canadian equivalent to MTV, not the real deal.

Fuckin' Canucks!

Joe and I walk back to the hotel around 10:30 or so. I want to crack the new book and check to see what's going on with the hurricane that's about to trash New Orleans. Never make it to the book. Looks like the hurricane's gonna be BAD. I fall asleep watching pre-strike coverage…

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Show Day in Worcester, MA

Today we're playing the Centrum in Worcester, Massachusetts. Worcester's about 45 miles west of Boston, and is a much cheaper place to do a show. We've got about 9,000 ticket sold for tonight's show. Today's also the last US show until September 23rd in St. Paul, MN. Gotta deal with foreign currency for awhile…

I wanted to watch the NASCAR race from Bristol tonight, but didn't really get the chance. Saw about 50 laps, but settlement prevented me from seeing any more. What moron had the bright idea to schedule a damn rock concert on a race night?!? Oh, well.

Big fight out on the street by our buses tonight. Two assholes were talking shit about some kid's girlfriend, so he took his man pill and started swinging. A few of our crew guys saw the whole thing – at one point Asshole #1 got the guy in a headlock and dropped him to the ground, slamming his skull into the curb. I had it described to me as making a sickening, hollow sound when it hit, not unlike the sound you get when you thump a fresh melon. Poor guy got his nose broken and his eye fucked up, too. I heard about all this after the fact, but walked outside to see the cops UN-handcuffing the 2 jackasses who started the whole thing and sending them on their way. There was blood on the side of my bus, on the sidewalk, in the road, you name it. The kid was being treated in an ambulance, but wasn't sent to the hospital – I know this because some crew dudes spotted him after the show. Ugh!

The driver's show up just before 2am. We head north around 2:30…

Friday, August 26, 2005

Show Day in Philadelphia

Up bright and early at 6:40, at the Starbucks at 7, back in my room reading the paper by 7:10…

Our show today is at the old and famous Spectrum in Philadelphia. It's now called the Wachovia Spectrum, but fuck 'em, it's the Spectrum. This venue shares a parking lot with the Phillies baseball stadium, the Eagles football stadium (where there's a game tonight), and the Wachovia Center (which is the building that replaced this one, and is where the Flyers play).

Take a walk around 4pm to get a picture or 2. I find some statues on display out front. Oh, shit, there's a statue of Sylvester Stallone as Rocky! Unbelievable – that is just so corny and these idiots have a fucking statue of him right out in front of the main entrance of the building:

There's also a statue of Julius Erving, also known as Dr. J. Now THAT one I get. He was an incredible athlete in his time, and some people will always consider him to be the best player ever in the NBA.

But a statue of fucking Rocky Balboa? What a joke.

Here's Dr. J…

It's official now – I've been offered the tour accounting gig on the upcoming Audioslave tour. Can't do it though, because that tour is 18 days in by the time I finish this tour. Oh, well, maybe next time.

Not much else to comment on today. Head to the bus around 1am…

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Day Off #2 in Philadelphia

Up at 8am, work until 9, head to Starbucks. Crazy lady with the action figure is there again. I guess this is her spot to get money from suckers like me. Get my scone & drink and head back to my room. Read the Enquirer, the WSJ and USA Today. Why don't they call it USA Yesterday? That would be more accurate.

Around 2, I head to the mall a block away. Hit the record store (they still have those in malls?) to buy a copy of System's latest – my brother needs an autographed copy for a co-worker. Wander the area for a while. Find a cool marketplace/restaurant area kinda like Pike Place Market in Seattle. Lots of lunch options.

I sit down at a place called Delilah's Country Cooking. I'm gonna have Cajun Catfish, with Candied Yams and Mac & Cheese. According to the sign up front, no less a Mac & Cheese authority than Oprah Winfrey has declared Delilah's to have the "BEST MACARONI AND CHEESE IN THE U.S.A." We'll see…

Shit!!! They're out of catfish. Nothing else on the menu is really pushing my buttons, so I head to Pearl's Oyster Bar because it seems to be very popular. No "R" in August, so I'm sure there won't be any oysters, but I'm sure they'll have something I can eat.

Sho'nuff, no oysters. I settle for a combo plate – flounder, shrimp, deviled crab, clams, etc., along with fries and coleslaw.

It's fucking awful. Really. What the hell is wrong with these people? I can't believe they're even in business. And these stupid fuckers lined up to eat here? They don't know shit about fried seafood. Really. I suffer through about 5 bites and leave it. I think if these people ever had real Calabash-style seafood, they'd think they'd died and gone to Heaven.

Pooch calls mid/late afternoon to remind me about having dinner with the audio crew tonight. We're meeting in the lobby at 6:30, not sure yet where we're going.

I read for awhile, then grab a shower and a 20 minute power nap. Meet the guys downstairs at 6:30. Just Pooch, David Coyle, Brett Stec and me are going. Jesse went home for the days off – so did Dan. Pooch has a line on a "killer" Chinese place. We walk about 4 blocks to the entrance of Philly's Chinatown, and another half-block to the place the concierge told him about.

I'm kinda in a drinking mood after not having anything last night, so the first beer goes down real easy. Me and Brett are the only ones drinking tonight. Seems everyone had a big night last night while I was laying low. Brett's still nursing a hangover, but he says he doesn't wanna make me drink alone. Hey, I've used that one before, too!

The food's good, but no better than the two places I get Chinese from in Raleigh. After dinner, we walk back to the hotel. Just before crossing the last street, I beg off. I've only had 2 beers and still have work to do. David and Brett's eyes light up, and decide to join me at the Independence Pub, near the hotel. We're only there for a round though, before we all decide to head back. Fours beers in, I call it quits for the night.

I'm in my room, in my PJ's, and reading by 9pm. Stop to work on the blog for a bit, then finish my evening with the book…

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Day Off #1 in Philadelphia

The alarm screams my name at 11. I drag my butt outta bed. Starbucks 50 feet from the hotel entrance. Get a drink and a scone. Give 10 bucks to a crazy woman sitting on the sidewalk playing with an action figure. Even if she's faking, it's seems to be money well spent.

Back up to my room to read yesterday's USA Today, today's USA Today, Philly Enquirer, and the Wall Street Journal.

Try to check email – the damn ethernet cable's too short to reach the far side of my laptop (where the damn port it. Walk to Staples to buy an inline coupler so I can use my cable as an extension. Also hit the CVS for some stuff.

Spend about 4-5 hours working, finally leaving the hotel around 9pm to find some dinner (never had lunch, just the Starbucks). Don’t really feel like a sitdown, so I grab a sandwich at the Wa-Wa. That's a Philly Circle K, and they have made-to-order sandwiches on site. I'd like a couple of beers to take back to the room, but you can't buy beer in convenience stores in Pennsylvania. Oh, well, no biggie. Back in my room, I eat, watch the 11:00 news, read, and then fall asleep on the chaise lounge. Wake up around 1am and crawl into bed…

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Show Day in E. Rutherford, NJ

Up around 7:45, in the building a few minutes after 8. Shebetka's leading the load-in charge, says Eddie and Steve are still asleep. I go back out to Eddie's bus to wake him up.

I've got a private office today. After I shuffle the table around sideways in the room, it's even better, because 1) now I can look directly out the door into the hallway and into the production office across the hall from me, and 2) now there's not a shred of room for anyone else to come set up in here with me. Happy, happy, joy, joy…

New York shows are always a pain in the ass. Hope this one turns out OK. Ticket sales are around 15,000 for the show tonight, and we should have a decent walk-up.

Familiar faces abound. Lisa and Scotty, 2 of my favorite NY runners, are here today. Good folks. Although with the band having hired Janet (our production assistant), I no longer have to deal with runners.

Jimmy Archey calls, he's not gonna make it out to visit today. He always comes to hang out with me during the afternoon, anytime I'm in the New York City area. He's about to leave to spend 3 weeks at the family house in Spain, so he won't have time to drive out here today. We're playing at the Continental Airlines Arena, which is in the Meadowlands Complex in New Jersey, across the river from Manhattan. Giants Stadium is also a part of the complex.

My phone is ringing off the hook today. I have a lot of tickets and passes to coordinate today for my guests and my friends' guests. Did I mention that NY shows are a pain? The requests keep coming until well after doors are open. We're out of tickets, because the band used all the comps, so what I'm having to do is leave sticky passes in envelopes at the box office for them, have them walk around back to the top of the backstage ramp, then I walk all the way out there to meet them and escort them in. I'll do this about a million times today…

And I do.

Can't wait to play cities where I don’t know anyone and no one I know knows anyone.

After the show, I take Sarah & Alex up to my bus for a beer. Sarah's my buddy from the BBMak tour (2000). A bit later, Jerry (King's X's drummer) and his 2 friends come join us. Other crew dudes are bringing their friends onto the bus, so I move all my peeps out into the parking lot. The weather is absolute perfect – the temp's around 78 and the humidity is low.

Shortly after Jerry and his friends split, Sarah & Alex take off. Me and Za go grab a shitload of chairs from the KROQ tent about 40 yards away and start a circle party. The drivers show up around 1:45 and we're off to Philly.

I watch T3 most of the way there, falling in and out of a catnap. We arrive at the hotel just before 4am. I get everyone checked in and make it to my room around 4:30. Of course the damn air conditioner's been turned off, so the room's hot. Takes about 30 minutes to cool it off to where I can go to sleep…


Monday, August 22, 2005

Show Day in Baltimore

In my bunk around 2:15am, jolted awake by the driver jockeying the bus around in the parking lot of the venue at 6:20. Back and forth, left and right, rinse and repeat. Try to go back to sleep. Fuck it, not gonna just lay here. Get up, and ask a venue security guy for directions to the Starbucks. I know there's one nearby, but can't remember exactly where it is. It's on the street level of the Radisson Hotel 1 block away. Starbucks here I come…

Back at the venue and bored out of my mind by 8:00. Not a stick of furniture in the production office yet, so no way I can set my shit up. Head out again to go find some newspapers. You'd think in downtown you'd find paper boxes on every corner. Not here – I actually spend a few minutes chasing 'em down. Back at the venue and have my world set up and rocking by 9:30. Shower Time!!!

Today is Saint PD's Day (I distribute per diems on Monday), so I'm everybody's favorite guy today. Money always makes people happy.

I take another walk over to Starbucks around 4:30 to reload. Gotta ween myself offa this shit.

Eddie's old friend Walt shows up around 5:30. Walt always comes out to visit us whenever we're playing in the DC/Baltimore area. As usual, he's brought a BUNCH of steamed shrimp and three of the most awesome baseball-sized crabcakes I've ever had. Me, Eddie, Andy and Walt retire to a table in the catering room to attack the goods. Walt's also brought along about a gallon and a half of his mother's shrimp soup. It smells amazing, but I'm not gonna have any because he tells me there's a couple of big old chunks of ham in it, too. I do eat about ½ of one of the crabcakes. Heavenly! One thing I miss about living in Maryland is the seafood here.

My buddy Ivan surprises me by walking into the production office. He's married to my travel agent Debra Copelan. He's out tour managing the band Seether (from South Africa). They've got a gig here in Baltimore tomorrow, and are staying at the hotel on the corner across the street from our gig today. We hook the band and crew up to come to our show – all they have to do is flash their laminates to get in.

Meet up with Ivan at FOH when it's time for System to go on. Watch my usual 2 songs, then back to production. Ivan comes to hang out for a few minutes, then heads back to his hotel. Says he has work to catch up on, and just dropped by to see me and watch a couple of songs.

Janet, our production assistant, sits in on settlement with me tonight. She wants to learn how to do it, and I don’t mind showing her the ropes.

I quit working around 11:15, write a bit in the blog, then start in on the 2 newspapers (USA Today, Baltimore Sun) I bought this morning that I haven't even touched yet.

Out to the bus and in my bunk by 2am…

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Show Day in Hampton

The alarm's set for 7. I'm up at 6:25. I can't sleep more than 6 hours to save my life. Oh, well. Guess I could use the extra time today – I have more guests coming to tonight's show.

Up and at 'em, Atom Ant!

I always hit the front desk 45 minutes before bus call, to give plenty of time to get the checkout done. Checking out of this many rooms can be a complete pain in the ass if you don't set it up correctly while checking in. Allen, the manager on duty yesterday when I checked everyone in, is back today. He is totally prepared for what I need, so the entire process is under 10 minutes. What a great way to start my day. On top of that, there's a Starbucks in the lobby. One Venti Caramel Macchiato later, I'm sitting on the bus reading the morning paper with 25-30 minutes to kill. I could walk to the venue – it's less than ¼ mile from where I'm sitting – but I think I'll just sit here and enjoy the downtime.

Hotter 'n hell here in Hampton today. Glad my fat ass will be sitting in A/C all day.

Nikki Knott's husband is driving up from Raleigh to see the show tonight with a buddy, so I leave them a couple of VIP laminates at the box office. They come back to the production office to visit about 30 minutes before System's gonna go on. I walk them out to the Front-of-House position and up onto the 2-foot riser that the lighting console and the LD are perched on. It's the best spot to see the show. As we're up there chatting, we're kinda watching the crowd milling about. My jaw drops at something I see and I have to run back to the production office to get my camera. It takes me about 10 minutes to find her again on the arena floor, but finally I spot her to one side of the stage. I ask if I can take her picture and she's more than happy to pose. Ya just don't see outfits like these every day, ya know?


She says she's coming to the show in Baltimore tomorrow. Ha! Can't wait to see what she'll be wearing then.

When the band hits the stage, I join Jim and his buddy for a few songs, then head back to work.

After the show comes down, Jim and his buddy come to say goodbye. They're heading back to Raleigh. I pack my crap and finish the newspaper.

I'll wake up in Baltimore…

Follow the Bobzilla's Photos link at the right to see photos from my travels.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Day Off in Hampton, VA

Wake up around 7:30. Not enough sleep, so I roll over and catch another hour. Get up to enjoy the last 30 miles of I-85 in NC. I'm less than 50 miles from home right now, but I can't talk the bus driver into dropping me off in Raleigh. Asshole!

We make it to Hampton around 10:30. The hotel's not quite ready for us, but I get everyone in their rooms within an hour.

I go chill out in my room for a bit. Start working, knock out all my email, then decide to go shopping at the Target ½ block from the hotel. Don't really need anything from there, but I'm not quite ready to hit the mall. Buy some personal stuff (new PJ pants, Yay!) and a paperback – James Patterson's "The Big Bad Wolf". From there I walk down the street to scare up some lunch. Hmmm, Outback, Hooters, McD's, Golden Corral, yadda, yadda, yadda.

DING DING DING, we have a winner. Waffle House! One dude at the counter, and 3 crew guys in a booth. I enjoy a wonderful lunch of 3 scrambled, bowl of grits, and raisin toast. Mmmmmm. Sit by myself at the counter because 1) the lighting dudes were smoking and 2) I wanna start my book. Knock out about 25 pages while I'm there eating, then walk back to the hotel with the crew dudes.

Head up to my, finish reading my paper, work some, watch the NASCAR Busch race, falling asleep during the last 30 minutes. I hate that damn Michigan track – it is so fucking boring to watch them race there.

Grab a shower and meet Joe Paradis (our LD) and Geddy (his tech) downstairs for some dinner. Geddy's from Hamilton, Ontario, about 40 miles from Toronto. He's really skinny and when he was younger he had hair down to his ass. He sorta kinda resembles Geddy Lee (from the band Rush), so everyone started calling him Geddy. His real name is Anthony Kordyjaka.

Anyway, this hotel has only been open for 15 days, so it's great. Everything's brand new as hell, and the staff couldn't be more polite and accomodating. There are 2 restaurants in the lobby and we decide to dine at the finer dining establishment, the Cypress Grill.

I have the Fried Goat Cheese Salad and all 3 of us order Crème Brulee for dessert. It might be the best I've ever had.

Back in my room by 10:30. Talk to Terry Beal - she's at the family beach house 25 miles from here (Virginia Beach). She's there with 4 or 5 female friends, sounds like they're having quite a big time. She tries her best to get me to come join the party, but it would be a $50 cab ride there, another $50 back, and I'd feel like shit tomorrow morning. I finally convince her that it wouldn't be in my best interest to participate tonight. So I catch the 11 o'clock news and I'm in bed reading by 11:30. Snoozing by midnight.

Follow the Bobzilla's Photos link at the right to see photos from my travels.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Show Day in Atlanta

Today's show is in Duluth, GA, a suburb of Atlanta. I stick my head into the promoter's office during the early afternoon and am shocked by who I find there. It's Chris Hendley, my old physical trainer from Raleigh. I started going to Chris back in '97 or '98 when he was a trainer at Phase II Fitness downtown. He kicked my ass into probably the best shape of my life and became a friend as well. Sure wish he was kicking my ass NOW.

Anyway, he's the Marketing and Media Manager for the building here these days, having lived in Atlanta for about 4 years now. We get caught up on what's going on in each other's lives. It's great to see him and I really enjoyed the visit.

The rest of the day is pretty much routine. My old friend Jen Tressler and her buddy Patricia come visit tonight. I squeeze them into the meet & greet after the show so they can meet the band. After some hang time with them, I walk them out to their car about 1am, then head to my bus.

Day off in Hampton, VA tomorrow. Mall across the street with a Barnes & Noble. I need a new book.

2:00 = Snnnnzzzzzzz…

Follow the Bobzilla's Photos link at the right to see photos from my travels.