Sunday, August 26, 2007

from london to paris to germany to spain

day off in london, we assembled at the k-west hotel with crews from many other tours in town for this that and the other. a serious high school reunion of roadies.... i saw miss Abby, the wardrobe geisha here with Prince & tour manager
Marguerite in town w/ the Used. Scuba Steve as here with the rolling stones---nothing like seeing your friends when you are out of the country.
2 show nights in Brixton and one night in
manchester—i was enchanted by the comment to me from one of the local crew: i could listen to your accent all day. i stopped, me? and of course, had to smile. guess it is true, we sound as charming as they do to us...!

we picked up 3 lighting guys, Ben, Ross & young Darragh from Ireland. also added three caterers, Mike, Sean & Jolene, our blond dining goddess, who completely stole my heart. how they got out of town without being photographed by me, i will never know...all i can say "mistakes were made"...
our buses were crowded to the hilt, but we were fine with it.
the food was delicious and we had excellent company, someone to ask for the right kind of tea or to toast your bread when the toaster was put down for lunch.
that is one big reason why you take catering with you, when you can, it means that it is a familiar face in the dining area, someone who knows you don’t like tomatoes but that you do like a certain kind of wine..

Lola and i went thriftshopping in london and found some great little off-the-map places. I wanted to buy this typewriter, but really i couldn’t carry it. there are many orphan machines in the US that i can adopt.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucketwe also tried mushy peas (my verdict was definitely a no) Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket and i bought some PG Tips for 95 p. just because it was only 95 p. I also learned i can’t count British pounds fast, like i can american dollars. they are too big and incidentally, they spend way too fast,
our dollar is puny compared.... on to paris, we took a ferry across from the white cliffs of Dover.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket I always think of the Dumas story of the 3 musketeers, ferrying in through Calais—
we watched Frank Miller’s300 going across the countryside of france, captain roberts ran it into the ground, but i loved it. still had a problem with the narration but again, i thought it was so beautifully done.... “tonight...! we dine...! in hell...!”other Boss is in China & i hope all is going well for him.

last night, we got into Paris, just in time for me to put the daysheets under the doors of the crew and then i jumped on the metro to get out to my cousin's home. She picked me up at the station with her two tiny sons who laughed at my weak attempts at french. they are just beautiful.
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we ordered pizza and had wine, and talked. it was so good to be in a real home, not a hotel or a restaurant –wish i had more time there, it is so easy to be with Maura, the companion of my childhood.

so just when you think your red velvet heart is going to break in half from wanting to be home,
i got to watch the jesus and mary chain play “just like honey” and go transported back to another time. they still had the magic. winehouse again a no-show, and we have to leave before bjork, boo!
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tomorrow area 4 festival. things to look forward to? two nights off in Biarritz. we are staying at a beautiful coastal hotel under the watch of Viking ghosts that settled (conquered) in this whaling town centuries ago.
here is a view from our hotel in Paris:
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here is a view from the venue in Brixton:
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tonight the boys did a trial run of the pack for the Antonov, the cargo plane that will carry our gear from Belgrade, Serbia on into Athens. many of the crew are extending their tickets to stay in Istanbul but not me. I want to see Batman.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

home of mozart, onto to swiss alps

the postcard scenery of salzburg is a true phenomenon.
every time i looked into the aqua blue-green of the river,
i couldn't help but mentally photoshop in a floating drowned body, to balance the pure serenity of the scene.

morticia addams, that's me.

we walked along the water & ate at the nordsee, which was an all seafood place--prices were skyhigh, but the shrimps were perfect. the swiss franc & the euro are dancing on the grave of the dollar...
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we went to a marionnette show of "hansel & gretel" and i was enchanted by the puppetry, but had to leave, as our show cancellation was just going down during that time, so i was too distracted to watch the whole show. sad but true, as metallica says.

the birthplace of mozart is a bit like the georgetown of my youth, shops and restaurants along the water.
my first time in austria...
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we pushed on to switzerland for the gampel festival, where every direction you could look was solid gold breathtaking view.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucketone of the bands playing was a group of bag-piping vikings who played all manner of homemade industrial instruments & sported runes on their costumes...i watched from sidestage & made little movies.
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we stopped at the truck stop and i phootographed the swiss chocolate offerings.
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eric said the dining area in catering was like a mad mash-up of christmas and halloween, and damn if he wasn't right. bright red tablecloths with orange orange candleabras and scattered sprays of greens...what? eric is doing the reporting on the tool army website,
he will set the record straight....
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i am now in belguim, on the last night of the pukelpop festival,
we just shared the bill with NIN and kings of leon, trail of the dead & sparta. LaCuna coil cancelled but they are playing on our stage tomorrow...motorhead is down at another stage, we will all dash over to see lemmy (but who is playing keno at the rainbow??) Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket tomorrow we hit Holland, and i am working on 3 hours of sleep. still haven't mentioned more than a sliver of what has been happening...tomorrow?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

budapest, darling

an open love letter to Budapest. I have always wanted to go there, my friend Andras is Hungarian and he has painted a magic picture of the place...he is right, to be sure.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket you can see one of our buses in the photo...
Boss has been trekking here to the Hellboy film set to observe the mastery of Guillermo del Toro... we invited those kitty cats to come to the show. Sadly, they had early calls for make up so couldn't make it.
We rolled in through the town toward the festival site and met a car about 40 minutes out to guide us in to the Obuda Island point. Our bus has non-sheer windows, we can see out but they can't see in. So as we slowly made our way in, all manner of fan was primping in the mirror surfaces of our bus and/or drawing through the dirt collected on our sides. The site was covered in real tents & those makeshifted from garbage bags. a filthy bunch, but good spirited, they were really having a good time.
When we did arrive, it was a paradise, with open bar & huge fancy Hungarian spread. I tried real goulash. We met so many wonderful people, i will return. Our bartender was Greek/Jewish blend, he told me he had never met a Greek/Irish blend and that i may be even more of a special case than he thought he was... here is the Harry Potter film ad in Hungarian (note to AMF: i bought the UK edition of HP)
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I didn't say much about Poland, but not because I didn't have much to say. Au contraire. Things were much like a faded Kodachrome there. it was a ghost city, and the people were so beautiful. words are not coming to me easily tonight, have ahd a long day...our bass player hung out and signed autographs for the kids way after his bus should have rolled, they were so excited and grateful.

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some typical Polish products...
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here is a photo i took in the rain while our bus got gas:
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we had to cancel a show in Salzburg & i will post photos of that gorgeous gem of a city, but not yet. On our long drive to Switzterland, we watched the entire series of "Funland", we got so hooked. British dark comedy, we didn't want to move out of our seats....Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Sunday, August 12, 2007

goth galore @ m'era luna

the last time I was in Copenhagen, i stayed at a hostel that was a converted, off-season hockey rink. This visit was a layover in an airport, where i bought a cut up apple in a bag & had yogurt & meusli in my travel partner Anne’s honor....

We flew into Hannover & got on our tour bus. It is a beauitful double decker bus, that feels more like a ship. My bunk has a window (porthole?) in it, through which i watched the German countryside roll by.
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Crashed for a couple of hours, since we had had no sleep the night before (and i mean, none—planes, trains & bus) When we arrived at the hotel in Hildesheim, the most efficient hotel lady greeted me with all the keys ready & even a demo on how to open a room door. *sigh of relief. The German trains really do run on time.
Opened my window to look out over a beautiful square w/ buildings full of character & spirit. Made me so happy.
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We had Chinese (again) and the next morning, ready for lobby call... when i awoke, the square, if possible, had grown more charming, now an open-air flower market...
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Oh, and everybody smokes in Germany. Forgot this about Europe. I admired this cigarette machine in the hotel lobby.
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Joe Paul & I met out in the square and people-watched. We sat in front of the most beautiful carved stone statue. The M’era Luna Festival is a big goth magnet, so the kids are out in full force.
Me, i am looking forward to the Skinny Puppy set.
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the next day: yes, Skinny Puppy is not until Sunday, & we are in Poland, so we missed it. They came to our show though. “Gin-CO-ya” is thank you in Polish.
Our show here in Katowice was to be a bill with Chris Cornell, ex-Soundgarden, i was really looking forward to that set. unfortunately, he has canceled his shows for the beginning of his Euro tour. boo!
I had the best cabbage tonight in catering, and now it is time for load out. Drew is going into two shows with Timberlake @ madison square garden, doing an HBO filming...ugh.
poor darlin’. more soon. tomorrow I got to Budapest for the first time. Andras, where are you? “Ko-sA-nome” is thank you in Hungarian...that is the best word to know in any language....

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Norway, home.

i have never been here before. Yes, Sweden, Denmark & Iceland. Norway, never.
but i have been here. I lived here. when i got off the plane, I was home.

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We had our first show tonight, under the sunshine & the rain of the northern sky.

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i want to live here. Spent over an hour & a half, just wandering the local grocery store, picking up items, trying to read the labels. Marvelling at how expensive everything, but strangely, not at all disturbed by paying so much. Almost like this city deserves the higher price. It does. Oslo. Even your candy is elegant.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Mary Jo, our tour manager and i went out the first night for Norwegian Chinese food, followed by some Viking adventures in the underground Rock Bar.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWe met so many people,
and then she gave me the the cell phones we are to use on the tour & i gave her some pumkin in a can & mac & cheese box---she asked for it.
meanwhile we paid 285 Kr for a lunch buffet of salmon, cheese & crackers...again, it is ok. You deserve it, beautiful.
The show tonight was huge, Gogol Bordello was there & Eagles of Death Metal. Amy Winehouse's FOH case was turning around on the airport carousel while i was getting my luggage, but they were very disappointed that she cancelled.
Hope that kid is ok. It is almost 4:30, at 4:45 am we get a pick up to fly to Copenhagen & then on to Hannover.
The tour is lovely, but Oslo, you are the shining jewel in the crown of Scandanavia.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

ComicCon survivor

My first ComicCon...ever.
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Was guided through the ropes by the ever-amazing Pam who is a blend of Elektra, Wonder Woman & Harriet Tubman.
She was able to get us from point A to point B with precision accuracy. I have an official non-gay crush on her.
It was a wonderful blur of hotel rooms, the ComicCon panels, the showroom floor, the escalator, the green room, the screenings, the panels, room service, cocktails by the pool, cell-phone-ear & juggling meetings like a flamethrower....deep breath!

Malena, Drew, Ethan & Lauren were manning the Neverwear booth, as we debuted the Neil merch--i only wish i had more time in the booth, but the cloning experiment failed (again). Maddy was full support team with her Maddy TV spots and her sparkling smile. I love that one.
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The high points? oh so many......
meeting Lida & Kostas from Greece, his drawings were stunning. check him out @ See you in Athens @ the Tool show, you two!!Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Boss had two signings at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund booth, both run with marshalled spartan accuracy by Charles & Greg. These two are going to be in my movie, finer men, i have not met.
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Running into Kevin Smith. (yes, i just jumped right in, sometimes one simply must)
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Meeting Matt Selman, a sweetheart & big talent behind the Simpsons. (& yes, we saw the movie, best part is the Flanders hot choc scene--but where were the aliens!?)
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Hanging on the balcony of the hotel overlooking the marina. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketEnjoying the razor wit being traded back & forth between Neil & Jonathan Ross. (not to mention THE kiss)
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Flamehaired Jane Goldman, telling the story of how she came to write screenplay for Stardust.
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the Paramount screening of some footage of Beowulf, meeting the delightful couple Roger & Gretchen Avary.
the footage in 3-D no less left me sitting in my theatre seat, unable to move. I now have a crush on an animated character, brought to life by the forcefully understated Ray Winstone. yeah, the sexy beast guy. this is the event of the holiday movie season, and i am not kidding. must not forget to mention La Jolie with her flexible spine-for-tail.
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watching Jill Thompson win her Eisner w/grace & style.
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Todd Klein, the comic letterer to aspire to, came by our booth & had one of his prints available, this being my one & only purchase @ ComicCon, and i went home happy.
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went to the premiere of STARDUST, it was even better than i remembered, the ghost brothers being my very favorite bits.
De Niro was there & Coop & Ruth & miss Danes & more people than i can think to mention right now. our author looked so handsome in his tux. Red carpet ready!

the cherry on the sundae?
sharing dinner @ velvet margarita with my guy for Red's birthday, after we returned to LA. He is gone already for his Timberlake tour. i miss him so.
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Now i am looking at a whirlwind tour with Tool of the European summer festival circuit. I will try TRY to be better at keeping up with this journal. So much to do. I miss everyone. Flying to Norway on Monday & then we begin a run of outdoor festvals. Looking at the schedule I see we are sharing bills with NIN (hello ! PAM!) and Arcade Fire & Jesus/Mary Chain...etc.. Will post my dates again. In doing my advances, I also see that we end with a four in a row, going from Serbia to Croatia to Athens to Istanbul. ...what!?!?
Here is my Tool boss' method for cell phone repair. This one never fails to make me laugh. When i heard him over the radio calling for a claw hammer, I had to drop what I was doing and run to the production office. Too late! So i post this battered cellular device at every venue to show them how we roll on the Tool tour. hahahahAHAHAHAHA

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