23 Sep 1999 - Johnny B - Gothenburg

Gothenburg, Essen absolutely fantastic. The crowds were some of the best so far. I will always remember Fear of the Dark in Essen, the crowd sung so loud and so responsively. Well done to you all and thanks for a brilliant evening, great footage and concerts to always remember.

We travelled Bruce Airways yesterday (Tuesday) we had a full plane so space was a premium. There was Nicko, Steve, Val, Rod, Bruce, Jim and myself. Rod had asked Bruce to take a low flight along the river as it was very picturesque. The view was stunning but ...... I didn¹t see much of it as I had my eyes shut most of the time. Val, Steve and myself all felt like shouting 'Europe' because of the turbulence. Boy did we get shaken about. The lads in the front, Nicko and Rod didn't seem affected at all. Rod spent a lot of time on the phone and Nicko was listening on the headset to all the air traffic control lingo and the verbal download they continually gush. Boy, it is amazing how Bruce deals with all the instructions, controls, route and million bits of info so calmly. He really is a great pilot and so thorough. I stopped trying to write my report on the plane in case I put the contents of my stomach all over my lovely keyboard. So I am writing this to you in the lobby in Stuttgart (Wednesday) as I await Captain Bruce and the rest of the crew as we prepare to leave for the airport. I was so glad to land yesterday. Hours later Steve, Val and myself were STILL feeling queasy. It is amazing how a small bit of turbulence can upset your whole system.

I tried so hard last night to upload the latest news and pictures from the gig but in the end it beat me. The infamous Dicky Bell (Production Manager and 'Thumper' to his friends) couldn¹t even get on. Normally if there is any way of getting on line then he can do it. EVERYONE had trouble. I was going to upload from the hotel when we got back but I didn¹t get back from the gig to 1.30am and I had to get up at 7.30 as the 'Tennis Match 'Til Death' was taking part at 9am and it would take us 40 minutes to get there. Between who ?....... 'Arry the Hammer V Adrian the Avenger. The two of them have already played once on the tour (it an extremely close game). It was a draw, 1 set each in the time they had. Both of therefore desperately wanted to win today. Both had a late night so it was always going to be a test of mind over body anyway. When we arrived the lads found that they were playing on a strange astro turf, come sand type indoor court. All the outside courts were clay and they both hate clay. We feel that this is the type of court they tried to recreate inside. Anyway the surface meant the ball died in patches. However ..... if they hadn't put some sand on it it would have been amazingly fast. The match took a few twists and turns. Steve won the first two games and Adrian caught up as the match ping ponged back and forth with service. Adrian broke 'Arry's serve to win the first set 6-4. Then the second set went more in 'Arry's favour as he powered his way to a 4- 0 lead. He was really firing on all guns. However ...... the heat was getting to them both as it was uncomfortably hot on the court. Adrian dug in really deep and pulled the game back to 4 - 2. Then it all went wrong for 'Arry. He just seemed to lose it. ..... his words, not mine! He hates that. He just couldn¹t hit his shots, his serves even the drop shots etc. were going Adrian's way. The big game arrived as Adrian pulled it back to 4 - 4. The next game would be so important. If you asked Steve he would tell you he threw the game away. A double fault and two missed cross shots gave Adrian the upper hand for the first time in the set. Adrian won the next game to win the game 2 sets to nil. You can bet your life that this battle of wits and cunning is not over yet. 'Arry is already planning his revenge. Well done to them both so early in the morning but especially to Adrian for a magnificent comeback.

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