09 Mar 2007 - Rod in Dubai

BAI THURS MAR 8 3PM (11AM GMT)

Back on the road. Met the airport yesterday at 11am to get the BA flight to Dubai for the Desert Rock festival on Friday. Felt like shit -- big night out on Tuesday. Gallows played at the 100 Club on Oxford St. My new company Phantom is dedicated to Maiden but l am also working with Craig Jennings in Raw Power Management. I brought Craig into Sanctuary about 4 years ago and we get on really well. Phantom and RP have offices together and its pretty much the old team. We manage Bullet for my Valentine, Fightstar, Funeral for a Friend, Gallows and Your Code Name is: Milo -- excellent bands all. Gallows did a terrific gig -- they are a genuine and very exciting punk band who are creating a major buzz so the club was packed with execs from the labels and publishing along with their rabid fans. We will do a deal soon and have the album out as quickly as possible. Haven't seen so many fans on the stage since the Pistols heyday!! We all went to the Embassy Club Rock Night after til the early hours. Another OTT night out. Stayed in London -- just got a new flat in London to spend more time up there as we are so busy and this was my first night there.

Flight uneventful -- read the newspapers and Private Eye along with cat naps to relieve the hangover. Landed about 11.30 local time. We missed the guy there to meet us off the plane and got into long queues at immigration but fortunately he turned up and took us through VIP channels. Waited ages for the bags -- they took all the tags and went to find them. Would have been quicker if we had got our own -- band are used to that and aren't at all bothered about this vip treatment -- prefer to be quick and get to the hotel and the bar. Took so long we didn't get to hotel til about 1.30 so by the time we got to the bar it was closing. The bars here are only in the hotels and close at 2. Time for a beer with Davey, Jan and Nicko to take the edge off then crashed out.



Up at 9 and went through all the outstanding emails then set off for a recce with Dave P, our photographer John MacMurtrie, Rachel from EMI here and Scott and Sam. Scott and Sam are the Canadian guys behind Metal; A Headbangers Story. If you haven't see it you should check it out -- it's the most intelligent documentary I have see on Metal, made by real fans of the music. It was very successful and also had cinema release in many parts of the world besides being a DVD and won many awards. They are now making a follow up on the international aspects of Metal so we are helping them shooting some livc and interview stuff here and in India. They already took some footage in Japan last October. Many bands new and established are featured and l think it will make very interesting viewing. They were telling me about an interview they did on the Great Wall of China with a Chinese/American guy born in the states who took metal to China for the first time starting a band called the Tung Dynasty there and he now lives (and tours) in China selling loads of records there. A fascinating insight in how metal fans get of their arses to achieve things. Will be well worth seeing when it comes out probably early next year I think.

 Later today we have a press conference at a nearby hotel and may well do some new band shots with the famous "sail" hotel in the background. I wanted to check out the place in advance. In new places there is just not the time to talk to all the media who ask us and the band don't really want to spend a lot of time on the road doing interviews and promo stuff -- better to enjoy themselves touring and concentrate on the show. So the best solution is a press conference and this will be heavily attended by press from the UK, India and all over the middle east, along with about 8 TV news stations. The venue was ideal so after that we went off to have a look at the venue and staging. All put together really well. You never know what to expect in new places but this looks very professional. They are expecting a sell out for the first time of about 15,000. Scott was telling me that fans are coming in from all over the Middle East and he is meeting a whole gang of them tomorrow from Iran, Saudi and the Lebanon to get their local views on what is happening with metal in their countries. Fascinating -- we would love to play those places. We got close on Beirut once but something happened to prevent us going but I forget what. I think it was the government!! Iran would be great wouldn't it!! I spent 6 weeks there in '79 and it's a beautiful country.

Back at the hotel now and leave soon with Steve who is doing an interview with Scott and Sam for their programme on a terrace where the press conference is.

Its good to be back out with the chaps, everyone is in great spirits and looking forward to this short tour -- Dubai, Athens, Belgrade and Bangalore. A lot of flying -- to go Belgade --Bangalore we have to fly via Frankfurt leaving at 5 am so l guess after the show in Belgrade we will just have to find a bar to kill the time before we go to the airport for 4am!!

So that's pretty much it for now -- more later.
- Rod

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