Rod's Diary -- Feb 1 -- MUMBAI
Woken up by the phone ringing, it was one of our US promoters who I know well so I wasn't too abusive even though it felt like 6 in the morning. He told me it was 12.30pm Mumbai time, which l guess is actually 7 am GMT as we are 5.5 hours ahead of the UK, so I thanked him for waking me up!
Got straight onto laptop to finish off Jan 31 diary, reply to all the emails that had built up, (although I do have a Blackberry so can get rid of a lot when I am out and about, at least those with simple quick answers needed, as typing on Bberry is a pain and quite slow) and sent off a load of my own. By the time this was all done it was past 3. Doesn't time fly when you are having such fun! Realised I was starving so ordered up a ham and jalapeno omelette on room service. Then back to work -- no sun and pool today sadly.
I am leaving at 5.30 with Bruce for the show and have to admit to being very excited indeed. I think these great songs -- especially Rime -- will sound even stronger and heavier with our 3 guitarists now and the show will look great. We packed on the plane everything we could for the show but obviously couldn't get the big mummy on as there is no door big enough for that monster but we always knew that. We had to lose the 2 cats and 2 dogs as we just couldn't fit them in though. But otherwise it's pretty much all there and will look superb. But its hearing some of those songs live again which creates most of the excitement, as I said especially Rime but also Moonchild is very much a favourite of mine.
Its about 4.45 now and am just finishing off to go to show so will complete this tomorrow but just got email from EMI UK with Kerrang 5K review of Live After Death headlined "THE SINGLE GREATEST MOMENT IN HEAVY METAL HISTORY - NOW MADE EVEN BETTER". They certainly got that right -- if I do say it myself this DVD is a masterpiece of content with 2 great concerts and everything else we could pack into it. You may have seen Dave's note that on the packaging it says small at the bottom "concert 90 min, extras 150 min". This is bollox and totally wrong -- the sticker on the front is right, 5 hours of full on Maiden -- it's actually 5 hrs 21 min. you are all gonna love it. Anyway must sign off now before I get anymore email to create more work..
...on plane now to Perth so let's finish this one off.
Took us about 50 min to get to the venue which is not bad by Mumbai standards -- the traffic here really is the worst I have ever seen -- and wandered round our backstage area to check it out and get my bearings. Backstage was very together and apparently an excellent curry was served up but sadly I didn't get time to eat. Checked out what is called "Rod's Room", which is where I put my guests from the record label, promoters, other biz types, friends etc -- I just have a few nibbles in there with beers, wine and a few soft drinks. Talked through various things with various people like Venkat from DNA our promoter, John our agent, Barry from Bravado, my partner Andy, EMI staff who we know from last time in Bangalore, the guys from Parikrama. But most interesting, being a big cricket fan was the gentleman who is head of the world 20/20 series this spring in India, and, as my "regular" readers will know, India is huge on cricket. We had some interesting discussions around this. It was so busy I didn't get to see Lauren and Parikrama properly but both sounded to do well.
At about this time we started hearing from lots of friends at home who had seen us on Sky News -- I saw the piece later on YouTube and thought it was really good, I think Fiona and Matt did us proud and I think they really appreciated the assistance and access we gave them. They were terrific to work with. It was repeated every hour at least and a new one goes hourly on Saturday too.
By the time we were due to go on they were getting very excited with chants of Maiden, Maiden filling the air -- there were about 13,000 less than in Bangalore last year, but Mumbai is a very new market for rock. We were told this was the show of the year for rock fans and that concerts are very limited. But that will hopefully change as we keep plugging away and trying to return almost annually.
I won't go into the details of the shows -- they start with Aces High, end with Hallowed and yes we have Rime in the middle. Don't wish to spoil it for anyone and you all know you will by now be able to get it on the web! For a first show it went pretty well and when I talked to them all later the band were fairly pleased. Obviously playing-wise the first show is a bit "stodgy" as cobwebs get discarded and it will take three or four shows to really gel, but, for a first show, it was good and out-front sound was more than decent. Apparently onstage the sound wasn't great -- the stage was built on bamboo scaffolding and our stage manager Bill told me it was a bit of a bass trap.
Only real cock up was the Rime backdrop stayed put for Powerslave -- apparently they couldn't quite work out where one song finished and the other started. Of course they know now!! Always good to have a minor error though as you can use it to keep everyone on their toes. All in all though a good solid start for what will be I think a stunning show and an amazing experince for the band on this tour, just looking at the places we are going to, how we are getting there and the sheer number of fans waiting for us.
I was as usual on the mixing desk and fully absorbed in the show when, about halfway through the final number Hallowed, I remembered we were doing a runner so I had to fight through the audience and run round the perimeter but made it, panting like a dog. Well it was still quite hot! But made it with seconds to spare and jumped into a van with Bruce and H. As we usually do for big outdoor shows so we can get away from the traffic, the band came straight off stage into the vans, picked up our police escort and headed back to the hotel, experiencing more traffic on the way of course.
After the show EMI threw us a small party at the hotel with their team and a few friends with again some very good curry which this time I was able to consume with relish. It was in a very nice room by the magnificent pool and was used during the day for, appropriately, a children's play area. Which would seem a good time to leave this tale before it gets too sordid!!