09 Nov 2010 - Rod's Diary - Bergen and Valencia

We flew out of Pori after the show straight to Bergen arriving about 1am local time. Intrepid explorers Harry, Jan, Gaddsy, Ian and I went off immediately in search of a nearby bar as the hotel one was closed -- and of course what do we find -- an Irish Pub a few minutes from the hotel, open til 3am . So very civilised. We had a few beers and got talking to the staff there. We had decided that the brilliant efforts of the crew to get us not only onstage at all in Pori but also through a whole set under pretty difficult circumstances deserved a free night out for the boys and girls. And this seemed to perfect place to do it , leading rise to the legend of Iron Maiden and Slippery Nipples! The crew were arriving the following day -- or rather later that day as it was now after 2am -- with a day off the day after that so an ideal time to tie one on. We arranged for the pub to do a barbecue for them and free booze for as long as they could go one, bearing in mind a 3am closing time. But we are great believers in the saying if you are going to do something, do it PROPERLY !! And that is just what they all did -- leading to a fairly decent size of bill. I thought it would be fun to put a scan of  this in my diary as proof of our generous natures so I asked Gaddsy to get the bill, scan it and send it to me. Now Gaddsy sometimes supplies pics for my diary and sends them to our webmob where they await my final epistle, often for weeks I am loath to say, and sometimes they get confused and put them in Gaddsy's Gallery by mistake -- and this is what happened. So this bill -- listing umpteen Guinness's and lots of manly beverages, plus some stuff for our lady Killer Krew members, including a few of the aforementioned Slippery Nipples -- is just sitting there innocently waiting. Now of course no one actually looks at Gaddsy's Gallery (do they ?!) so you would think this was quite safe, wouldn't you.

But no, next thing I know I get an email from our USA PR lady with the title "Maiden love Slippery Nipples" asking me what it is as it is all over the web there. Of course at the time I have absolutely no idea what the hell this is, where it came from or what it is about. I know nothing at the time of this bill waiting impatiently in Gadd's Gallery. So it apparently appeared to be all over the web with a ludicrous title (Maiden love Slippery Nipples), from a point of obscurity. I do wonder which wiz kid saw this in Gadd's Gallery and thought "I am going to create an international news story!!" -- come on, own up, must be a fan to get into the Gallery. Or are journos now joining on the hunt for stories -- in a world where they need loads as they only last a nano-second, perhaps they are!!

Now isn't that a ridiculous -- but totally true -- story and don't you think people would have better stuff to blog about. No wonder people search celebs dustbins, must be a story in the most obscure places.

The show was in the Bergenhus Festning -- Koengen which is part of a fortress dating back to the 12th century and is a historic landmark. The ground is protected and worthy of preservation and, additionally, certain parts of the fortress are sacred ground. Holds about 20,000. The dressing rooms are along the side of the audience and out of the window there is a fantastic view of the stage, with really good sound too, so a great place to watch from , especially if it is raining , which of course it was yet again for this weekend in the Nordics. So unusual, never happened to us before up there in the summer. Global Watering anybody?  Like all shows to our hosts of Viking mates up there, it was just fantastic. Back to the Irish pub after for most!!

I missed the next few shows in Budapest, Transylvania, Udine and Belgium -- my boss, - Kathy, and my daughter were off on  a summer trip with friends for a week or so and I was made responsible for the home front, mainly to ensure my 18 and 19 year old sons didn't drink all the booze I think. Thankfully they have now gone to Uni, so I don't have to mark the labels anymore !!! Also need to keep an eye on Jake who is just 14 but spends most of his time in his bedroom with his mates rehearsing his band, The Basis. Not metal sadly, more indie, but we all hope he will grow out of it!!

I am reliably informed these shows all went very well so thanks to all you guys who went to any of these for supporting us. Shame to miss them though. I always enjoy Budapest, a beautiful place worthy of many a visit, we were playing the festival again we did in 08. Transylvania, well, what can you say, as soon as we were offered a show there I knew we had to do it -- sorry to miss this as always wanted to go there, and we just had to do a special T-shirt although embarrassingly someone involved in our merch end got the bloody flag wrong (hands up those who noticed). The Villa Mannin nr, Udine was a fascinating place to play with its connections to Napoleonic history (google it) . And apparently our first appearance at Pukkelpop shook Belgium quite a bit, which is always good. There were over 150,000 fans at these 4 shows but I don't think they missed me much -- the band never do either

But despite this I went down to the last show in Valencia to see them and as Bruce Air was doing this l took the 3 boys and we all went on that. I always enjoy going Bruce Air when I get chance and meeting some of the fans. Everyone always seems to have such a good time. The show was in a large flat area next to the marina -- with weirdly the hull of a famous America's Cup winning yacht covered by a tarpaulin backstage  (don't recall the name as not big on sailing) -- and fans were everywhere out front including on top of all the ice cream vans. Its Spain, its always madly exciting there, the fans are nuts and it has to be a great place to finish this section of the tour. So me and my boys had a great time and flew back with the band.

So over the last few months in North America and Europe we have had a lot of highs, a few lows including of course the sadness of Finland, and soon we are preparing to go out again in the early part of next year, just keep an eye on the website and hopefully you won't be disappointed and we will get to somewhere near to you.  We do try you know! If we have already passed your neck of the woods, thanks for coming. This is likely my last diary at least this year so thanks for supporting us and have a fantastic Christmas and all the best for the New Year, even if a bit early.

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