20 Sep 2000 - Nicko In Texas

20 September
On board the Goose.
San Antonio to El Paso.
4:15pm.

Well, well, well,
Where do I begin?
Oh yes, how are you all, boys and girls?

I have had an amazing few days I can tell you.

It all started on the Friday [see diary#19] I arrived on time into Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and on disembarking the plane I was met by a guy holding up a sign with me name on it, funny I thought, what's going on 'ere then. I had made plans to walk over to the gate that me misses and little boy were due in at. There flight was due to arrive twenty minutes prior to mine.

So where were they?

It turns out that the flight out of Florida had a three-hour delay in leaving. So that meant that they weren't due in until six fifteen or there about's, 'Kin great.

So that was why the guy was standing they're waiting for me.

I decided to take the ride into town and check us into the hotel. I went down to the florist in the atrium of the hotel and bought a whole bunch of flowers and got them to put a fridge in the room. I stocked up on some sodas and snacks and then had a little time to relax.

I went down to the bar at around five and brought me self a glass of wine. The rest of the band, less Harry, were due in at any time. I had planned to take their van and go meet the wife at the airport. They arrived at five twenty and I immediately jumped in the van and headed over to meet the family. We arrived at the airport with ten minutes to spare.

They finally arrived and they were both very annoyed at all the delays, I don't blame them. Apparently there was a really bad storm front that was over the Fort Lauderdale area and their plane could not make the landing. It was diverted to Tampa hence making the three-hour delay.

I was very happy to see them both I can tell you. We made the trip into town and me misses was very happy with the room and the flowers and stuff. After we had settled in we decided that we would go down to the hotel restaurant for dinner. We had a nice meal and decided to have a fairly early night. It was just after ten when we headed up to our room.

The next day [Saturday the 2nd] was me misses birthday. I had been out with Justin in the morning and brought her a gift for him to give to his mummy. He brought her a Dallas tee shirt, a new novel and a card. She loved both the presents and the card. I had got her a gift certificate from The Broadmore resort for a day in the spa. She was over the moon.

That evening we had a show at the, Smirnoff music centre. It was a real blast. Me little one came and gave me a hand with me drinks and stuff while I was on stage. It's great to turn around and see me little one sitting on me drum riser, a real treat.

A couple of me families friends were at the show. Their names are Debbie, she used to be married to me best mate, Jeffrey Hammer, her daughter Susan, her little one Katelan and Joey, Katelan's daddy. We had a fun evening. After the show we headed back to the hotel and crashed out. It must have been at least a hundred plus degrees on stage that night. Texas has been in a drought for the last ninety days. Man it was hot and I was 'Kin pooped I can tell you!!!!!!!

The next day we went to Houston.

Me misses went straight to Tapatio Springs. She had a twelve-thirty flight. Tapatio Springs is thirty miles outside of San Antonio. Me little one and I had arranged to meet with Jay Parker, [he owns Tapatio] in Houston. He was scheduled to arrive into Houston Hobby airport at midday.

Jeffrey was meeting him and taking him over to meet with us at our hotel in the Woodlands, that's right next door to the gig. We flew up on the Goose. On board were, Johnny 'look at that, Milwaukee', B, Justin ' how many bugaboos' did you see? McBrain, First officer Jim I found some of me dabloom's in the rats' pocket' Silvia, Captain Bruce 'e bailed out four times' Dickinson and me good self.

We left Dallas at eleven-thirty and flew into an airfield just up the road from the Woodlands. We arrived at the hotel. Justin and I met Jay and Jeff in the restaurant and made arrangements to meet with Jeff at the show. He left to go back to his house, which was a good hours drive from the hotel. He had to pick up his misses and their daughter, Amy.

After we said goodbye to Jeff, Jay, Justin and me self went over to the TPC golf course at the Woodlands. Jay had arranged to play nine holes with a friend of his called Bill Tanner. He's the Ezee go golf cart rep for Texas. Man he sure could play golf. I said to him that I thought he was a ringer as he was two under par for the nine. It was really great to play with a truly good player such as Billy.

This golf course is where they hold the Shell Houston Open each year and it is very difficult to get on this fine championship track. Me little one wasn't playing although he had his sticks with him on the cart, he hit one hole, which was a par three, and he actually bogeyed the hole beating Jays' five I might add. Anyway he drove the cart and caddied for me for a tenner, that's dollars by the way. He did a most splendid job too.

We finished the nine holes and headed back to the hotel to shower and change. After that was done we called for a courtesy van to take us to the show. It was only a five-minute ride to the venue, lovely jubbly. When we got there we had a bite to eat and Jay went and watched Robs' band. He really enjoyed them and also Queensryche.

After the gig we had a quick shower and headed out to the airfield. We had decided to fly straight over to San Antonio. We were airborne at just after two o clock. The journey was only an hour and so we were on the ground at just after three in the morning. Jay had brought his van to the airport earlier and so we had a ride out to the resort. We got there at a little before four o clock.

Me little one was spark out and I had to carry him to his bed bless him. He's a real trooper he is.

Later that day we had planned to go and have a few holes of golf on the resort. Tapatio is a very beautiful place. There are twenty-nine holes of championship golf set in a most idyllic setting. There are mountains and valleys and ridges all around you and it is very serene. I would thoroughly recommend that you find some time and visit this gem of a place boys and girls.

So we kicked of at around three o clock in the afternoon. There was Jay, Bruce, yes Bruce and me self. I couldn't believe that Bruce actually wanted to try his hand out on the course. I had given him a couple of lessons way back last year when we were down at the Algarve in Portugal but he hasn't ever been out on a golf course before.

He had a blast but struggled in places. We had a great time. I was very proud at his determination to get things right, but this game takes a long time to master and even then we don't really find the time to take that all the way.

After the game I headed back and met with the misses and me little one. He had spent some time up at the Clubhouse pool with Jays' daughters Alex and Jackie. Justin and I got ready to leave for the show. Rebecca wasn't sure whether she was going to make it. She just likes to hang out and relax sometimes. We had a hire car so if she was going to change here mind she could jump in it and be there in next to no time.

We had a great time on stage. Except it just happened to be the evening of the HOTTEST DAY EVER since recorded time. Just our luck AAHHEE boys and girls. We were feeling pretty 'Kin shagged after the gig I can tell you. Me little one was once again sitting on me old riser helping Rusty do the gig. I am really proud of him.

As there aren't any showers at The Sunken Gardens we decided to do the old runner. We were back at the resort just after eleven-thirty in the evening. Jay had arranged to keep the bar open for us. It would normally be closed at ten o clock in the evening. I got to me condo and got me little one ready for his bed and by the time I had done that I decided to go to mine. I was feeling rather tired I can tell you. Also me misses was already tucked up in bed as well, nudge nudge say no more!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh yes I nearly forgot to tell you. This place right, is really wonderful. I had been looking forwards so much to being out in the country in a very, very, very QUIET part of the world. I've been to Tapatio on a number of occasions you see; so I knew what to expect QUIET, QUIET, and QUIET. No noisy 'Kin electric motors or 'Kin ice machines or 'Kin lifts making 'Kin Noise right just peace and QUIET!!!!!

Yes that's what I thought.

So, get this, in the 'Kin morning, Sunday morning I might add, Labour day weekend I might add, [for you boys and girls that may not know, Labour day is a public holiday in the states,] Sunday 'Kin morning right, there are these two geezers, right, that decided that they are going to work overtime at the job that they're on.

I must add that on the way back from the show in Houston Jay had told me about the, New Condos, that he was having built and that the condo I had was right next door to the construction of said 'Kin condos. 'Don't 'Kin worry though' he said 'there wont be anybody working over Labour Day weekend'.

'There better not be' I said. I really don't want to be woken up by a 'Kin whole lotta NOISE thank you Jay, what 'Kin genius put me right next door to a 'Kin building site anyway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well you've guessed it by now haven't you boys and girls.

Yes they started making all kinds of building site 'Kin NOISES and get this at 'Kin seven o clock in the 'Kin morning. I hadn't even had me peepers shut for three 'Kin hours before they 'Kin started. Me misses was really mad about it as well I can tell you.

So I get on the old dog and bone to Jays' place and started to get a little crazy to his misses, Sharon. She was very sympathetic and said she would wake Jay up and get him to go and have a word. I informed her that the damage was done and not to wake Jay right then. No point in us both losing sleep over it.

She did wake him and he went down and gave the two guys a 'Kin roasting and told them to work over on the opposite side where they wouldn't be heard then he went back to his bed.

Just before these two guys changed their location I went out on the old veranda that backed on to the site and said 'What's the deal with you guys, It's Labour Day weekend and it's 'Kin Sunday'

'Oh' came the reply; ' we have to work cause we want to go to the concert tomorrow'

I said 'you've got to be joking, there wont be a 'Kin concert tomorrow cause the 'Kin drummer will be in his 'Kin bed trying to get some 'Kin sleep you moron'.

Well that's all for this diary.
God bless you all
Take care.
Love Nicko.
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