What happens when the Killer Krew has a non-show day, after early arrivals, back to back shows in the hot sun and an open bar? A LOT! Understand that even on most of the non-show days, the Krew never really gets down time. During shows they are working and between shows they are usually travelling or at the site prepping and loading in. They are first to arrive, the last to leave. So when Gaddsy,on behalf of Rod and the band, sent the text to them all that everyone was invited to the Orient Hotel at 7pm for a "ripper," it was on. After a particularly arduous or demanding part of a tour they like to give the crew a night out on them as a thanks for all the good work. I personally started the night with beer but somewhere down the line Jagermeister shots started circulating. Now I've never had a Jager shot but when Ash is handing them out and says JUST DRINK, you don't argue.
SHITE. Tasted like cough syrup and my gag reflex was going so I quickly chased it with the rest of my Guinness. At some point Janick and Bruce came in and I remember something about dog race betting?!?!
It was sort of a blur and I do remember dancing going on in the next room with Krew and band. With the pub closing, it came time to pay the tab. There was supposed to be a cap on the bar because, let's face it, with free alcohol we could be there all night. Also, we need the Krew for the next show! So Patrick (Production Manager) goes to settle the bill and pays the tab, as agreed, but then they came back later with a second tab. What they were doing was running a second till and after we paid the original bill, they later hit Patrick for more money. Patrick, in a very civil manner, let them know that we had agreed on a certain cap, which we already paid. After a calm discussion the staff admitted their mistake and, in good faith, Patrick agreed to split the difference. Done. That is until along came the rude manager who stirred the pot up and called the police (6) who were also on the unpleasant side and itching to take someone in. In the end it was either Patrick goes to jail or we pay a second tab we never agreed to open. After given no choice, he ended up paying but the manager's rude and un-called for actions ended up screwing the staff out of a very healthy tip and probably a lot a business as well. When Iron Maiden and Krew come to town they work hard, play hard, drink hard AND spend hard. And they are always generous and respectful to staff but they won't stand for being ripped off! Remember, the band and crew are friends with loads of bands, other crews and fans so you don't want to try and rip them off. It will cost you dearly in the end. WE WILL NEVER GO TO THE ORIENT HOTEL IN SYDNEY AGAIN!
The next night I needed to take a night easy because of promo we had going on so I figured I'd get some work done in the hotel and go across the way and try and find a German restaurant called Lowenbreu one of the crew told me about. As I was crossing, a HUGE bat flew over me and into a tree. I took out my camera and was trying to get a good shot when Steve, his family and Jeff came across. I guess they thought I was drunk at first with my head straight up in the trees trying to get a photo. So there we all were, on a corner in Sydney, looking up at a tree trying to find a bat with fans across the way scratching their heads at us! Here it is!
It actually peed on Jeff!
In the morning I went to check out the Opera House one last time before jumping on Ed Force One for an hour flight to Melbourne. We got to the hotel around 3 or so and immediately threw our stuff in the rooms and Janick, John McM, Jeff and myself went to the Melbourne Aquarium. John had a mate there that sorted us out proper! We even had our own tour guide and got to go up top where Janick got to feed the stingray... and tried to feed me to the sharks!
When we were coming back, we all made the streetcar except John (the one with the longest legs). I couldn't help but laugh as the doors closed with him pounding on the window as it pulled away with nothing any of us could do. Of course I missed money shot of him at the window as we pulled away but got this when he caught up to us.
Later that night we found a pub and drank a few as usual. Some of the IMFC were already there drinking with Janick. After, some of us went to Pie Face for a quick bite when Janick comes walking down the street on the way to a another bar for another drink with the IMFC!
By the time we came to the Melbourne show day I was REALLY getting antsy. It's amazing that after all these shows, I feel lost when it's more than a day without one so I was really looking forward to it. There I was in a t-shirt and shorts and FREEZING my ass off. What happened to the heat we were experiencing earlier? There was also chance of showers that eventually came during one of the songs but quickly passed. The crowd was fantastic, the fest there having been sold out (about 35,000) for weeks. They were just going mad and the band really played off of them. Some of the other artists were even crowding the side of the pit and rocking throughout the set showing that Iron Maiden's music truly crosses all music barriers. I also noticed how many youngsters, AND girls, were lined against the barricade, braving the pushing and shoving that goes with the territory. Props to them.
Some reviews from Soundwave - Brisbane Times | Loud Magazine | Triple M
Later there was a small party in the hotel bar as this was Rod's last show before he went home until he joins us again later in the tour. Rod was even buying this night! The band were all there as well as Ian and Gaddsy and others. It was a great send off and somehow some of the fans managed to sneak their way in (very resourceful bunch) which was a real treat for them sincethey got to hang out and drink with the boys. Funny thing was, we all left and the band stayed and continued to drink with the fans and no doubt, giving each of them a night to remember. The guys are really good about that when not in a rush to get from point A to point B. Fans are really important to band, management and Krew. REALLY good.
A late night for most and off to Adelaide for a show the next day, a place Maiden haven't visited for many years. But more about that later.
Hit page 2 for bonus shots.