10 Nov 2006 - Rod: Aalborg

AALBORG NOV 10 2pm

It seems a while since my last diary which was on Bullet train to Hiroshima l think.

Hiroshima was a terrific little gig. When we booked the tour there we wanted to play Tokyo 2 shows plus Osaka and Nagoya but availabilities of halls left us 3 day in a row off so we wanted to add a show and the band fancied going to see Hiroshima again – we haven’t been there for many years. We thought cap was 2500 but it was actually 1800 and we didn’t even sell it out!! As all Japan venues have fantastic big stages for Kibuki theatre we could put in the whole show and the fans were right on the front of the stage. It was like playing a club gig with an arena show. Band really enjoyed it as it was so different and the smallest gig we have done in years. Very relaxed and a splendid audience. Most to them did some touristing too – and playing Brighter than a 1000 Suns had particular relevance there of course.

We got the bullet train back to Tokyo the following day and in the evening l went out with some friends from JVC who l have done a lot of business with over the years and we ended up back at the Hobgoblin meeting up with Davey.

Next day l flew home and in the evening took my son Ben and rest of family out for dinner, he is 15 on Nov 13 but l will be away on tour so we went out early. It s the first of Ben’s birthdays l have had to miss but he didn’t mind too much now he is older.

The next day it was up to Twickenham for the All Blacks game – no time to get over jet lag!!! I got 4 debentures for me and my boys years ago and try to get to every game touring permitting. Rugby is my great passion after family and Maiden. We were in the pub there by 11 am and hit it pretty hard over lunch at our regular T pub before the game kicked off at 3.30. England were beaten 41-20 – a record loss at Twickenham – but it was somewhat balanced by my winning £100 on our points spread sweep – l chose 20 points NZ. England actually did better than score suggests. Sadly l will miss games over next 3 weekends due to the tour but will find an Irish pub on each Saturday to watch the game live on skysports. And have a couple of beers.

After game went to the Stoop (Harlequins ground) to meet a load of Kiwi mates who manage many of the NZ team inc Daniel Carter and Richie McCaw – a few more beers ensued . They all went off to meet up with the team and asked me along. I have met some of them before but l was just too knackered by now although l am a complete rugby groupie!!! – l had only got back from Japan the day before after all. Plus the beers!! Off home l went and straight to bed at about 11. Slept like a babe!!

Felt like the proverbial S the next day but had to drag myself up to London at 8 the following morning to go to our new Phantom office. You will have seen l have now left Sanctuary after forming it 27 years ago. A bit sad in some ways but great in others – its cool being in Soho and l get to just do what l want – manage Maiden. The time was right.

I felt like death but that evening l had to go to the Classic Rock awards, severely hung over. Great bash and really well organised – well done Scott and Chris at Classic Rock. Loads of faces there – Jeff Beck, Roger and Brian from Queen, Ronnie Dio with Wendy, Dave Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Alice Cooper, my mates Thunder, Roadstar etc – must have missed loads out. An of course Bruce and Adrian who were there to pick up the award for Best Album – rest of guys were all away that day as we had a few days off between Japan and Europe. I also got an award as Rock VIP – very honoured, thanks Classic Rock. Bruce and H presented it to me and we had some pics taken after. As the wine flowed my hangover gradually disappeared so ended out at post awards bash at the Embassy Club finally getting home and literally falling in to bed at about 3 am.

Last Tues and Wed were thankfully quieter then Thurs in the car up to stansted to fly up to Aalborg with the guys. Due to accidents on M25 Bruce, and Janere about 90 mins late which made us a bit late but not a real problem thankfully – we do allow time for mishaps. Really cool new plane for Europe with good room to move. Very exciting as l think this tour is going to be the best we have ever done. All tickets in Continental Europe are completely sold out and most have been for ages – only exception is Barcelona where the original cap of 10,000 has been increased to 18,000 with 16,000 already gone. We are of course playing the whole album still and the album has been hugely successful in Europe and no 1 in many places and the fans have had longer to get into it so hopefully will enjoy hearing the whole album as much as l do.

The first 3 shows were originally smaller warm up shows – Aalborg, Copenhagen and Tempere – as we didn’t originally plan to go to North America and Japan before Europe. I don’t think we have been in Aalborg before – its on the northern tip of Denmark- but it was a really good hall capacity 8500 and sold out some time ago. The fans were terrific and everything went well our end. Band played well despite a week off and on stage sound and production all good. Originally we chose not to have support for the first 2 shows – Trivium join us in Tempere – but Dick then asked for one as they were no longer the first shows so late on we put on Steve’s daughter Lauren with her band and they went down really very well with tremendous support from the fans. As all the beer stands and merch were actually in the hall it was already full when she went on and hands were up in the air at least half way back.

Had a drink with promoter after show then back to room at hotel – didn’t go out – still recovering from jet lag and the rugby. Must be getting too bloody old. Soon we fly down to Copenhagen and after the show we will fly home for a day off before Tempere. So more later
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