28 Jun 2005 - Nicko - Norway

On board jet flying from Stansted to Oslo Norway
Time: 2:20pm

Well, well, well,
How’s everyone doing today?
I’m very well thank you.
Well-rested and raring to go.

On board today we have Rod ‘didn’t they do well’ Smallwood, Ian ‘he’s late again’ Day, Steve ‘he’s a geezer’ Gadd, Steve ‘How much’ Harris, Dave ‘I was in bed by eight’ Murray, H ‘They’ve been on there for years’ Smith, Jan ‘Did ya tell’im’ Gers, Bruce ‘It’s the Stansted express’ fault’ Dickinson and me good self.

Well, we have had a great couple of days and an even better weekend. We had a show in Paris on Saturday the 25th. It was a great night.
We all made our own ways too Paris. I took the Euro Star over with my son Nick and his fiancée Charlotte, my sister Ann and my brother in law Geoffrey. We left on the 12:09pm out of Waterloo.
Nice trip it was as well. You get fed and offered a drink, all very civilized. The journey took a little under 3 hours.

When we arrived into Gard de Nord station where we were met and whisked off to our hotel. After checking in we all decided to go look for a nice place for an early supper. I was desperate for some Escargot. We were recommended a restaurant named De Alsace. It is on the promenade of the Champs Elysee just around the corner from our hotel. Very convenient. We had a lovely meal and then it was about that time again to leave for the gig.

We had a van booked for 7:30pm. After a wee freshen up we all met in the lobby ready to make the journey to the Parc de Princes. It is a very big stadium right in the heart of Paris. Saint Germain one of France’s football teams play there, as did the French rugby team up until four years ago. Big gig. We had around 35,000 billies in that evening and what a ‘Kin great gig it was as well.

There were a lot of friends from all over Europe turn up for this one. My old pal Lionel, he used to race motorcycles at the Le Mans 24 hour race, was there, as was Nono, my old guitarist from Trust. He was there with a couple of his chums. Irish Pat was there with a couple of his mates and a whole bunch of folks from our London office. All in all a party atmosphere back stage before the show.
We hit the stage at 9:15pm after a great set from Dream Theater. We got going and it was a fantastic gig. I played well that night and most of the guys had a blast. Steve was a little upset with his on stage sound early on in the show but he really got into after a short while.

After the show I stayed behind to unwind and see my friends. The rest of the guys went straight back to their hotel. I had a shower and then met with everybody for a wee glass of wine. I left the show at 12:30pm and went straight back to my hotel. After we were dropped off we made our way over to the English pub that is, as it happens, just a stones throw from the hotel. It was heaving in there I can tell you. Lots of mates there and a few of the band.
I had a couple of drinks and then decided to visit the other hotel where the rest of the band were staying. You see, when I visit Paris I prefer to stay in this one particular hotel, hence I’m in a different hotel. Nice thing is they are only a hundred metres apart from each other. After we got slung out of the hotel bar.

No boys and girls it closed and we were asked to leave. What did you think I meant?

I went back to the English pub and carried on drinking until the early hours. It got to around 3:30pm when my sister, quite rightly, shepherds me homeward bound. I awoke at about 6am with all the lights on and all of my clothes. What a night.
I got undressed and closed the window blinds and went back to sleep.

Nick called me at 10:30am and asked if I’d like to have breakfast. I had to pass on that as I was feeling a wee bit under the weather. He came up to my room at a little after 1pm to say goodbye and also to drop off my sister’s tee shirts and program. He and Charlotte had to go back to blighty for work on Monday. We said our farewells and then I went back to bed.

I got back up at 3:30pm and had to break down and get something to eat. I checked out of the hotel at 5pm. My sister met me in the lobby and we said goodbye to one another. She and Geoff were staying for an extra couple of days.

We made our way to the airport for the short flight over to Belgium. We played the Grasspop festival on the Sunday night. It was a beautiful evening. When we arrived I popped into see Ronnie James Dio and his band. They had their dressing rooms right next to ours. I had a nice chat with him and his ex-misses Wendy. I love this man he is always very nice to me and we have a great time together. After that I went up on stage and ran into Simon Wright and me old pal Rudi Sarzo. We had a wee chat and then I saw me mate from Florida, Pat Johannson. He plays drums for Yngwie. Then I ran into another mate Mike Terrano.
We all had a chat and a laugh and then I watched the last part of Dream's set. This was the last gig that we would be playing together on this tour. They sounded great as usual.
This time Mike P threw a stick at me, which I managed to catch, and I tossed it back to him and he caught it. Well done that man. What a great drummer he is. Didn’t miss a beat. We managed to see each other and John P, before Maiden went on stage and had a chance to say our farewells.

Well, it was that time. We got up on stage at a little after 10pm and man what a gig. I was, as you can imagine, not feeling 100% but I got into it and had a fine gig. I did however play a couple of songs a wee bit on the fast side but all in all it went very well. That will teach me, wont it boys and girls.

Well, after the show we did a runner and made it back to Brussels airport for a 1am departure. We were back in London for 1am local time.
I didn’t have anything to drink this evening, as I needed a wee break. When we arrived would you Adam and Eve it, my car had not turned up. I had an hour wait, ‘Kin marvellous. I eventually got home at 2:45am. I had a shower and then to bed.

Monday I stayed home and watched the tennis on the box. Nice relaxing afternoon.
In the evening Geezer Gadd came over and, yes, we went to Toff’s. Had a great meal and then we went and found a new pub that sells real ale and had a nice pint of Abbotts. BEAUTIFUL!!!! Great night.

When I got home it was a little after 9:30pm. Watched Tv and spoke with my family back home in Florida.
My friend Jeff Hammer called me just as I was getting ready to go to me kip. He was still in Arizona. I’ll be seeing him in a couple of weeks when we hit the States.

Well, I’m going now, as it is time to land.
Have a splendid day.

God bless you all
Stay safe and well.
Love
^Nicko^.
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