23 Feb 2009 - Rod's Diary - Brits, Bali and Birthdays

As dictated on 21st Feb...

In my diaries from Dubai and Bangalore, I had to miss out one of the activities we were up to at that time. About ten days before the broadcast of the Brit Awards on Feb 18, they advise the winners of the different categories (if they're not going to be at the show and playing which we of course wouldn't be) that they've won and ask you to keep it very secret and also to record an acceptance speech for Best Live Band. These speeches are often done in boring hotel rooms but we wanted to do something a bit different, like we always do, because we think it's more fun for us and the fans. Having gone to the trouble of voting for us you fans deserved something a bit more interesting than reading off a cue card in a hotel! The idea we came up with all started off with the acceptance piece for Metal Hammer's Icon award for Eddie last year which we did when we were touring America. We filmed a short piece (which you probably saw on the web) of Eddie having Nicko as a puppet and ending with Nicko getting blown up, which proved very popular with everybody including the band and myself. Nicko survived it to carry on so this time around we thought instead of just Nicko we might as well blow up the whole band and see if they survived. We had only a day or two to do it to get it back to England on time -- which proved a task in itself as we were on tour in far flung parts of the world. And its not all that easy on the road but same as Metal Hammer we did it all within our team with no outside assistance.

We came up with a plan and Johnny shot the band acceptance bit onstage in Dubai before the doors opened - with something like this they send you over a replica Brit to use in the shooting, and we received that the day before the Dubai show. It's really important that you have what the film industry call a 'closed set', because you don't want too many people knowing about it as you're honour-bound to keep the secret so that everyone's surprised about it on the day. And let's face it it's more of a surprise on the night if you don't know the result. So we had to keep it quiet which meant clearing the stage and the whole area in front, basically the whole outdoor arena. For the film we needed the pyro guys, our stage managers and the people who look after Eddie and feed and clothe him. In total about eight people, though the rest of the crew probably found out anyway cos anytime there's activity like this on a tour our crew sniff it out and word gets around, but we know we can trust our crew anyway so it wasn't that big a deal. I felt confident that none of those guys would go calling The Sun and letting 'Bizarre' know or do anything like that!. They are all too tight to pay for the international call!! So we shot the band in Dubai and we had to do it pretty quickly cos the doors had to open at a reasonable time and the band had been late getting there -- the driver for some reason took them to the airport miles away!!

Then Johnny Burke, on the way over to India, started to edit it on the plane and we went back to it in Bangalore - the shoe shots were filmed on the stage there, which was great fun. We were limited by what we could use as pyro is unreliable in India and we weren't able to use it for the show so we had to make do with CO2. You can't have flames on the marley flooring as it ruins it. Not ideal but it got the idea across. So basically the whole thing was done on the plane, in Dubai and in Bangalore - completely in-house, completely by our team. Johnny was filming and editing, myself and Bruce were directing - it was an amalgam of different people's ideas and I think it came out quite well actually! We certainly enjoyed making it. I don't know what you guys thought but certainly to me it was a little bit of fun in the midst of what was all really rather show biz. I'm not much of  a fan of much of that music and that sort of poppy vibe, so I like to think that we gave the whole programme a bit of a rock and roll edge at least! Various opinions have been voiced on it since and it seems most of them are very favourable, certainly more favorable than the view on the presenters. Not that the band care. As long as the fans have a laugh. Can you believe the guy who presented our award saying he didn't think music should be played live. Was he trying to be funny? And I won't even mention those 2 guys after who "never thunk it"!! oh dear! They should ask Nicko to present next year! But credit where it is due, at least the current Brits committee are  trying to open it up a bit musically and not before time. I never thought I would see the day when a metal band was nominated for Best Live Band, let alone win it ... but then we have you guys to thank for that

And by the way the shot we did with the Brit outside the plane on the way out of India was set up by Steve. He used his camera, lined up the band, got the frame and got in with the band giving his mate Jeff the camera saying "press this when I tell you"!!! came out well though! If you want a job doing........

Following on from Bangalore and the last diary, we flew on to Bali the next day arriving there early evening. We had three days to get to New Zealand which didn't give us time to put in a show - we'd have liked to play Singapore on the way down, or initially we were really trying to get to Bangkok but because of the political situation at the end of last year, no promoter was willing to put on a concert at that time. But the way it panned out we only had the three days to get down there and because of the distance and the weight of the plane and all the equipment onboard we had to have two refuelling stops - one in Bali, one in Sydney and then onward to Auckland. So we thought it would be a great idea, seeing as we'd never been there before, to stop off for a day in Bali, which we did. It's a beautiful island, we had a fantastic hotel and it just happened that this day off there happened to be on my birthday! So the band very kindly took me out for dinner that evening on arrival (which was actually the 16th which is the day before my birthday) because they wanted to keep the full day clear and have a day to get over the hangovers which we knew would ensue. We had a very good meal of Indonesian food and the wine flowed immensely freely. Everyone was on great form, we are really enjoying the continent hopping on Ed Force One again. The crew were all in the same hotel as well, so the dinner was myself and the band along with Gaddsy and Iain, the usual band party, but we joined the crew as well for drinks in the bar before and after... it got to the point where the mental powers of myself and Bruce combined weren't sufficient to find my room where we thought we'd have another drink after the bar closed. Fortunately we were found by the crew and guided back to our respective rooms. Just as well!!

Woke up in the morning with a splitting hangover. Tried to get out of bed, did, went down for some breakfast, went back up, went back to bed. Got up again about one and thought 'I'll have a day off, I won't do any work today - I'll get some sun instead'. But it was waaay too hot, you know what it's like when you've got a hangover and it's really hot, so I couldn't do that. So believe it or not I ended up working on my birthday since I couldn't focus on anything else anyway. Later in the day I treated myself to a couple of hours of pampering at the spa which was mighty fine, then did some more work in the evening and crashed out early feeling slightly more human than I had that morning.

The next day we flew down to Auckland with a 6am wake up call -- it was still a long way away -- stopping to refuel in Sydney and arriving in Auckland about 11pm. A full day on the plane.  I'll pick up from there in the next diary.

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