Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Show Day in Lyon, France

Strange venue today – used to be an abbatoir. Huge airplane hanger of sorts. Sounds like ass. The catering today is the best of the tour. Love 'em or hate 'em, the French caterers always throw out a spread.

Get news during our set that someone in the crowd has died. So sad. First word was that it was probably a drug overdose, but later it comes to light that the young man (who was 23) had a heart condition and just collapsed. The EMT's couldn't do anything to save him.

After the show, I manage to take a tumble getting off the bus. The driver sets a step down outside the bus door every day because the first step is so high off the ground - unlike American tour buses, Euro buses can't be lowered via the air shocks. I misstep the extra step somehow, and screw up my left foot bigtime. My left wrist, too. I have a very painful limp. This should be fun for a few days...

Monday, May 30, 2005

Monday in Milan

Arrived at the Milan hotel at 4:45am. I got up to check everyone in, then had to wake everyone on Eddie's bus at 6 and the guys on my bus at 8. Instead of getting a good night's rest, we get a shit/shower/shave and straight off to the gig.

Unbelievable. Today's production office is just as hot as Madrid's. Indoors, no A/C at all. I get to sit in this miserable shit for 16 hours. Screw Milan…

No photos today – no time…

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Dining Companions

Dining Companions
Originally uploaded by bd58.
Sunday On The Bus, Part II

Because the crew got brutalized by the ultra late show, Eddie and I decided to treat everyone to dinner at a restaurant my driver suggested – Buffalo Grill, somewhere off the motorway in France. We stopped and ate and drank and laughed. And pissed off every French person within earshot of us. The restaurant had a great patio, and it was a beautiful day, so we dined al fresco.

The photo above is the dog that was hanging out at the restaurant with us. It just appeared as we were being seated. We assumed it belonged to someone at the restaurant, they assumed it belonged to us. Great pup. Several folks said they would have taken her home if we'd been in the States and she hadn't been wearing a collar.

FYI, the dog is on the left. On the right is Shawn Shebetka, our set carpenter.

Follow the Bobzilla's Photos link at the right to see more photos.

Along The Mediterranean Coast

Mediterranean Coast
Originally uploaded by bd58.
Sunday On The Bus, Part I

We left Madrid around 9am, to begin our 1000 mile journey to Milan. I'd finally gotten into my bunk around 7:45am – out cold immediately. Wake up just before noon and was bored as hell in an hour. All but one other guy slept until at least 4:00 and one slept until 8pm. Dan (monitor engineer) and I watched The Return Of The Pink Panther.

The shot above is as close as I've ever gotten to the Mediterranean Sea – shooting by at 100km an hour.

Follow the Bobzilla's Photos link at the right to see more photos.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Show Day In Madrid

To Madrid
Originally uploaded by bd58.
Saturday in Madrid. It couldn't suck worse. We're playing Festimad, a huge festival. We have a hard time getting onto the festival grounds. Directions were wrong and none of the police or workers at the perimeter know how to get to the backstage area. Typical third world country crap. The production office is about 100 degrees and stays that way until around midnight. Catering's good (for a festival). The biggest problem today is the fine sand that flies through the air all day and all night. I've got every door and window in the office open hoping for a breeze, but that just brings more grit in. Have to keep the computers covered when not working and even have to clean them twice during the day.

The band is bored at their hotel and want to come to the show early. Bad idea. Conditions couldn''t be worse for them to come hang out. Eddie, the production manager, quickly talks them out of that.

Before sundown, the wind starts to pick up big time. No problems until around 9pm, when a huge gust lifts the roof above the stage just enough to pull some of the truss apart. It hadn't been pinned together properly when built, and after the wind lifted it, it dropped about 6 feet in the front. Scared the hell out of a few folks. The show was stopped for HOURS while our production manager and the festival people tried to sort out all the safety issues. Finally after the wind settled down, the roof was brought down and repaired, then raised back into place. It took 4 hours to get the show going again. As time wore on, the punters (kids) starting throwing rocks, bottles, pretty much anything that wasn't nailed down at the stage. It was covered by the time Incubus started playing at 2am. System didn't go on until 3:30am. Off at 4:50am. The crew buses finally left at 9am for our 1000 mile drive to Milan for a day off, which won't be a day off because we'll be on the damn bus all day getting there. We were gonna get there around 10pm, but now who knows…

Friday, May 27, 2005

Lisbon Train Station

Lisbon Train Station
Originally uploaded by bd58.
This shot was taken late Thursday night, after we had loaded out of the rehearsal venue. I was walking back to the hotel (=fat boy needs excercise) and had to walk right by the train station. Amazing is the only word to describe the way it looked. I'm no photographer, and maybe no picture could do it justice. Ya just had to be there.

Along The Lisbon Boardwalk

Originally uploaded by bd58.

OK, so I'm starting to figure out how to post photos to this blog. Yeah, yeah, I'm old and slow, but I'm trying. I took this shot yesterday outside the rehearsal venue, along the "boardwalk". It was a national holiday in Portugal, so there were people everywhere. Except in this picture, of course.

Never made it to the bar last night. Didn't leave the venue until 1am - too late.

Rehearsal Day 2 - Lisbon, Portugal

Up early to meet some crew guys for the free breakfast at the hotel. Do some work in my room, and then off to the venue to sit on my ass for 14 hours, other than meals and a few trips outside. Sunny and 85 degrees here today - felt hotter.

My bus has 10 guys on it, counting me. Here in Europe we usually have double-decker buses, with one lounge downstairs, another upstairs and anywhere from 12 to 16 bunks upstairs. This one is a single-decker, with a large front lounge, a medium sized rear lounge, and 15 bunks. I'm the designated "adult" on my bus, also known as the bus mom. In other words, I'm pretty much the guy in charge of it. I don't give a rat's ass about that, other than the fact that it allows me to have first pick of bunks. If you've never spent time in a tiny bunk on a 45-foot submarine with a dozen other guys on it, that'll mean nothing to you. If you have, you KNOW how important a good bunk can be. The bunks on this bus are stacked up three high - I take a middle bunk so I don't have to get on the floor to crawl in OR climb up into a top bunk. I've seen guys fall out of the top bunks and it's not a pretty sight.

I got some cool photos outside the venue, but I haven't figured out how to post them here yet. Maybe I'll get some time tomorrow.

Our catering for the last couple of days has been great. I always enjoy the food in Europe. I can never understand why anyone would go to McDonald's over here. Hell, I can't figure out why they do it back home either.

Tomorrow's the first show of the tour. It's a festival with a capacity of 40,000 and we're headlining. SOAD isn't on until 11pm, so it's gonna be a long day.

Heading to the bar...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Check, 1, 2... Check, 1, 2... Hey, is this thing on?

Well, considering how big my ego is, doesn't it surprise you that it took this long for me to start a blog? Yeah. Me, too. We'll see how it goes and how often I can actually put something of interest up here. If nothing else, it'll be therapeutic

I arrived here in Lisbon, Portugal yesterday. Took 3 flights on 3 different airlines to get here, and I just KNEW my luggage would be in another country. Lo and behold, both my bags were among the first 10 on the belt. Straight to the hotel for a 2 hour nap, then off to the rehearsal venue to start working. Didn't get back to the hotel until after 11pm. Met some crew folks in the bar for a couple of beers and then off to bed.

I hope to get a couple of photos tomorrow to show you how beautiful it is here. This venue sits on the water in an area filled with great bars and restaurants. Too bad I won't have time to go experience them for myself - the first few days of a tour are always very busy for me.

I'm on the road doing tour accounting for System Of A Down. The band's rehearsing today and tomorrow. First show of our European tour is Friday here in Lisbon, headlining the Super Bock Super Rock Festival. Super Bock is the local equivalent to our Budweiser. If they had NASCAR here, Little E would drive the Super Bock car.

Just got word that the band's new album "Mesmerize", which was released on May 17th, sold about 453,000 copies in its first week in the U.S., meaning it debuted at #1. It also debuted at #1 in Canada, Germany, France, Sweden, Mexico, Brazil, Austria and New Zealand, selling over 800,000 for the week worldwide. It was #1 in 12 countries total, but these are the only ones I can confirm right now.

That's it, BD outta here.

(Gotta give props to my buddy Greg Howard for showing me how easy this blogging stuff really is...)