Date: Friday, June 22, 2007 10:22 AM Topic:
6/18 Ah, one of these wonderful “hit and run” shows today. It makes for a very trying and long day, but it’s no doubt best to get to Barcelona as soon as possible. After sending the bags on their way, I putzed around the room and did emails and such until time to check out and get on the bus with the rest of the gang. Then we made our way to the airport, through security (even though we have a private plane, we have to do the usual screening process…and it’s a drag. After that ordeal, we finally got off the ground and made the one hour flight to Lyon….then the half hour bus ride to the gig. It’s been since 1982 since we’ve played here…which was really surprising to me, but that’s what the records show. I barely remember that ‘82 show….that was my first tour with the band. It’s too bad that we can’t stay a night so we could try some of the famous “Lyonase” cooking…but of course being in Barcelona right on the beach for the upcoming two days off is an excellent idea! I did the set list with Mick, and then went to see about my guests. Along with Rose, Bill had brought his niece Alice Kate and her boyfriend ?? with him. ?? is a talented young violin player, and he gave me his CD to listen to. I also saw John and Mike there and sat with them a while. Keith wanted to run over a couple of songs…“You Got The Silver” was one…and we got that in for the night for the first time on this leg. Finally it was Showtime….and we hit the stage feeling more confident having the other five shows under our belt. It turned out to be the best one so far. Then we had the rest of the travel to do…on the bus to the plane, on to Barcelona and finally to the great Arts Hotel there. Of course we were some tired puppies when we finally got to our rooms at about 3am…and I powered down my engines for the night.
6/19, 20 Now we’re talking! Beautiful Barcelona on the beach and a sunny day to boot. We’re staying at the Arts hotel…a great place right on the beach. It has a fantastic pool and rest area…as well as an outdoor restaurant all on the second floor. The view from my window up on the 29th floor offers the sites of the Marina next door, the pool area, and a long shot of the beach. There are usually sailboats and other vessels floating out in the Mediterranean. Beautiful! I made it a point to get to the gym soon after my wake up routine. It’s a fairly small facility there, but with good equipment and it wasn’t very crowded. I’ve continued to try and do more cardio in the workout and did about 45 minutes of walking and running on the treadmill before pushing some weights. Afterwards I inquired about a massage, and arranged for one at 7 that evening. Then I put together a small bag with my iPod, headphones, a couple of books, sunglasses and made my way down to the fab pool they have there. Man, was it great to just chill and listen to some Bill Evans and soak up the rays! I took a break to have a light lunch and then laid out for another hour or so, loving every second. Finally came the massage…which erased all the travel and any other stress that was hanging on. At some point during the day I had a call from Scott Jones, who had come over to catch some shows. Scott is great people, and has always been very kind to support our scholarship fund at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia. I’ve mentioned him several times before in this diary. He brought his girlfriend Shelia with him, and they invited me to dinner. He had made reservations at a place just outside the hotel, and we went down about 9:30. It was nice, if not amazing. I had a pizza with anchovies and a salad, trying not to overdo it. I’ve made a promise to myself to try and drop a few pounds. All that good food in the Rattlesnake and the nice restaurants have been taking their toll. We had good conversation and afterwards hung out in Scott’s room for a little while, and about 2am I called it and went to bed. Another glorious day off with the sun shining…today I decided to run outside, along the promenade that parallels the beach. I used to run quite a lot in the “old days”, and it feels good to get back into it…especially when you have such a great setting to do it in. I walked/ran for an hour and did a quick hit in the gym. Back in the room I had some communications with Christian Raupach about my solo tour…we had been successful in confirming all the musicians for the dates we need a band…so that was great. Now the challenge is finding a day we can all rehearse…but we’re working on that. I also had some things to deal with back home with the “destruction” phase of our renovation. It seems to be coming along…and I suppose it’s a good thing not to have to see all of the mess…but still part of me wants to see it first hand. Bobby and Skoots have continued to send me photos though…and that helps. I had also promised John and Mike (they are coming to their third show here, then head back to the States) that I’d make a dinner reservation for us for tonight, and took care of that. Then of course it was back down to the pool for more R&R. After another dose of sun I cleaned up and got ready to meet the guys. The concierge had recommended a place on the Marina called Cangrejo Loco. It was the last of several restaurants out towards the end of the Marina. Great choice….we had some Iberian ham to start (much like country ham back home, but not so salty) and some fried calamari. The waiter had suggested we all have sea bream…and brought the fresh catch to our table to show us. We agreed, and the presentation was done baked with spices and then de-boned and served with some vegetables. Oh yeah. We chose a good Spanish chardonnay to go along with it. After dinner we walked back to the Arts where they hopped a cab back to their hotel. I went up and channel surfed for a while and read some of The Alchemist before nodding out. 6/21 I think this will be the third time we’ve played at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona. After my morning routine (which of course included some more pool time!) and the usual communications via email and phone, I got ready to go to the gig. We didn’t leave until 5:30, so I could take my time, and did. We all met down front and loaded up in vans to get to the stadium. It’s in a very beautiful setting, up high on a hill that overlooks the city. This would be the first show that we started in darkness. The sun has been setting around 9:30 pm or so in general here in Europe, and our sets have been starting around 8:30, so the first hour is in late evening light. But here in Spain things usually go later overall, and our set didn’t start until 10pm. But before the show, I went to see John and Mike at the Rattlesnake…this would be their last show before heading back home. I had told them that I’d try to walk them around backstage…and found an opportunity to do so. I was able to get photos of them with Ronnie, Keith, Charlie, and me and Darryl…which pleased them no end. Then we did a little rehearsal in Keith’s room…Mick had wanted to do Streets Of Love this night, as apparently it got a good bit of radio play here, and we all needed to go over it. It sounded fine, and we all broke up into our respective dressing rooms. But as we were leaving, we sang “Happy Birthday” to Bill Richards, who is Keith’s step dad. Bill was married to Keith’s mom Doris for many years…and Doris just passed away not long before this tour started. Keith was sweet to make sure that Bill stayed close to the family….and has had him out a couple of times on this leg. The first time was for Isle Of Wight, and now here in Barcelona. We all had fun singing to him, and I accompanied on the piano. Then it was time to hit the stage….another strong show…and that wonderful Latin spirit came through from the Spanish fans. It’s soooo much fun to play to these audiences…they really lift you up and make it a special event. We all celebrated in the van on the way back to the hotel… I thought about going down to the bar, but it was late and I needed to pack. I did have a couple of glasses of wine from a bottle that I had in the fridge in my room…and sipped them as I packed. I put all my bags out for morning pickup and put it between the sheets.
Date: Friday, June 22, 2007 10:22 AM Topic: