12 Mar 2007 - Rod in Athens

ATHENS,GREECE Sunday MAR 11 3PM (1pm GMT)

So watched both rugby matches last night and the Man Utd cup game and saw 3 very exciting close games. This Slingbox is really handy for the sports. You really have to feel for the Welsh -- played 4, lost 4 but played loads of great attacking rugby along the way and scored some superb tries. Hope they don't take it out on us next week and hope l can get slingbox working in Bangalore as not many Irish pubs there l don't think.

After the games watched Bremner, Bird and Fortune -- always great value, included a superb sketch illustrating the supreme stupidity of spending billions on Trident missiles as an "independent nuclear deterrent" when it is really nothing of the kind. Very clever how they did it -- like the Dragons Den. Catch it if you can. Bruce gave me a very interesting book called "The Bomb" by DeGroot -- am just about to finish it. I highly recommend this to any of you with an interest in the reality, politics, history, mechanics and philosophy of the nuclear bomb, which of course is very much at the forefront of the News right now with Iran and N. Korea.

Read this for a while then fell asleep only to be woken from a deep sleep by some effin local journo at 1am in the morning. And l had already told the operator not to put any more calls  to my room as l had had some calls put through earlier with no-one there -- usual nonsense here. The Greek fans are wonderful and intense as no doubt we will see again tonight at the show but a small minority are over the top and can be rude by way of their demands and approach. And when some rock mag journo calls you at one am in the effin morning it really pisses you off. Its very hard to get back to sleep then as you are tired and also now angry. I think l will change my name. There were a number of fans at the airport -- too many to stop and sign autographs for everyone and take the nowadays mandatory pic -- so l politely told them it was neither the time nor place as we wanted to just get to the hotel after a 9 hour journey having got up at 6.30am. A journey made to do a concert for them. Most were totally reasonable but some still had to come up behind the guys as we walked through and grabbing them from behind so their mate in front can take a shot. Its just not very nice to be treated this way. This is certainly not just in Greece and does happen more and more as some fans think they own a piece of you. Difficult as it is now, we do like to accommodate fans as much as we can as you all know but it can get tiresome during journeys on a tough travel week like this is and we really would appreciate reciprocal respect. Its always a tiny minority and by being quite open and friendly we do to some extent invite this but.......

Enough of the bitch -- up about 10 -- great breakfast -- catch up with work and finish diary stuff. Will go down to the gig about 7, we are on at 9. Gold disc presentation before show tonight -- AMOLAD no 1 here for 5 weeks so will thank the label people and Bruce will no doubt thanks the fans. Show has been sold out 10,000 for a while -- sadly a larger hall wasn't available today. I am sure the fans here will make it a belter as usual.

We aren't doing any interviews and media here and Belgrade -- we try to do as little as possible on the road now as we like to concentrate on the shows, unless its somewhere new like Dubai and India. Generally its all big shows nowadays and we have to be on top form so everything is geared to the performance. I think for any major sporting or concert event mental preparation and concentration is important. Press gets in the way and its not fair to do some but not others. Also we have little new to talk about right now and the band have no interest in press (ie. fame in a way) for the sake of press. The important thing is the rock mags to keep fans abreast of what new is happening and what we are trying to do but a lot of this is done via the website now. So we do try to ration it a bit. And if we did everything that was asked of us l think people would get pretty bored seeing us staring out of the pages all the time!

But before going to the gig l am off to a nearby Irish pub to catch England v France. If l was in England l would definitely be there at Twickenham with my rugby mates but not to be. Bad planning -- l love international day with them all and will miss next weeks game v Wales too. They will be in the pub right now probably on their fifth or sixth pint!! As the French say -- C'est La Vie!! Can't really complain, it s my own fault!!!

- Rod

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