15 Oct 2006 - Nicko: Long Island & New Jersey
On board flight from New York to Toronto
Sunday 15th October
Well, well, well here we are on our way to Canada.
On board today we have: Ian, ‘mines a large glass of red’ Day, Rod. ‘I’ll have a beer’, Smallwood, Steve, ‘give us a wee dram of scotch’ Gadd, Janick, ‘make it a large one’, Gers, Dave, ‘you deserve it’, Murray, Bruce, ‘will it do Mach one’, Dickinson, Adrian, ‘where’s the nearest river’, Smith, Steve ‘He gets it in the end’, Harris, Kevin, ‘It’s not as big as a G200’, Godlewski, (he is our flight booker) and me good self.
We have two great shows under our belt and boy were they fun.
The first was Nassau Coliseum in Hemp ‘kin stead Long Island.
A place not unfamiliar to me self.
(Rod has kept you up to speed with his diary from the road for the first five shows).
We hit the stage running at 9:05pm and had a blast. The intro tape started and then we were off. Sound was a wee bit strange at first but settled down nicely. The new material is great to play live. I have to pay special attention to the metering of the songs, so I use two metronomes and program each one to the next song down the list. It has been going great. We are still making a few errors here and there but each show just gets stronger and stronger. The vibe is immense on stage; the drama of the new stuff is magical.
There are a few problems that we have encountered so far. The main one being the temperature inside the venues. As the weather is changing the ambient temp has dropped so we are feeling it more on stage. Bruce needs to have it hot. The hotter the better, I have to agree. I like it toasty. The sound for me is a lot better when it’s hot. The reaction to the new material has been in the main very strong, a few of the fans are still being rude and shouting out for the older stuff but we carry on and do the set as is.
What a stage set we have for this tour. Eddie is all over it He pops up at the end of Maiden and then he comes out in ETMD and shoots the audience, what’s he like? We are having a great time and love this new record as I said before, it’s great to play live.
My beautiful wife Rebecca, came to the show but she has a very sore knee and had to spend most of her time in the dressing room. But what she did get to see she really enjoyed. She had some friends with her and they all had a great time.
Thanks to my mates Carey and Kurt and their chum John for coming up from Florida to see us and my band mates from ‘VOX’, Davey, Donny, Nick, Johnny Mac, and Bobby, you rule guys and of course their ladies.
After the show we headed back to the hotel and I had an early night. Me misses went for a wee drink with her pal Norma Jean to celebrate her birthday. I was tucked up in bed by 2am.
The second show was at the Meadowland arena in New Jersey.
What a great night.
We played a little better, I thought, than the previous night but again we seem to get stronger as we go. I had a great night on the tubs and really enjoyed this evening the best so far. Again it was very cold inside the venue and we had the same trouble at first with the sound on stage. It didn’t take Dougie very long to sort it and we were off again.
A few errors crept in here and there but what a great show.
I do keep saying it but we are having a blast.
I have a great new drum kit for this tour it is a Premier series Premier kit.
I had them do a special camouflage finish on the shell, it has come out beautiful. Paiste made some very special cymbals for me they are all reflected finish Signature series with the exception of the 17” rude. They sound great. Also got a ‘kin 40: symphonic gong that gets a good thump a couple of times on this tour. I’m using ‘The Beast snare drum, the same one I used on the record. It’s my 402 6/12 x 14” Vintage Ludwig Supraphonic. Beautiful sounding drum. I bought this drum in 1975 when I was in New York with a band called Streewalkers. A big thank you to all my friends at Premier/Paiste.
It was at this time that I met the one and only Rod Smallwood. He was tour manager for Cockney Rebel.
Well, I’m signing of now.
Stay safe and well.
God bless you.