05 Feb 2008 - Rod - Arriving in Perth

Rod's Diary Sat & Sun Feb 2-3 -- a very long day!!

So having been up very late again at the EMI party last night we were up and packing by 9am to get to the airport for the long flight to Perth. Everyone was on time for a change and I guess we got to the airport about 11am and got through passport control quickly and joined a queue for the security scans -- and this is where everything went awry. They had one machine working for a lot of people so the queue was moving very slowly. As the band party got nearer to the front they decided to open another machine and so have another queue which came into the security area by the same door. Anyway we finally got through and on a bus to the plane and I realised I had left my precious Blackberry in the tray at security so went running back and fortunately it was there. Really cant afford to lose that, its a real work lifeline.

So the band was on the plane by about 1pm but.....no bloody crew!!! Well, at least 20 were missing in action and, with the slowness of everything, it was in the end 2pm that we set off. It's only our second departure and we have to get into routine yet and they have promised this won't occur again but we will see......Next time most severe reprisals!!

I settled down on my laptop to get some work done including the Feb 1 diary and a load of emails to send when I got plugged in in Perth. After about three hours my battery was running out but, despite carrying 2 spare batteries for it, I just couldn't get the used battery to disconnect so had to stop work which wasn't such a bad thing as I was pretty tired. Started watching a DVD my kids had given me called "Flight of the Concords", an HBO TV series now out as double DVD. Watched a couple of episodes -- very clever and amusing program, you may wish to check it out -- then read for a while -- The Emerald City, about what went on behind the scenes in the Green Zone with the US Military and civilian advisers in Baghdad. It's a fascinating and in parts truly mind -- boggling story of what went on during this crucial time for the people of Iraq. Most definitely worth reading, highly recommended.
By this time and after five and a half hours in the air we landed for refuelling in Bataan, Malaysia. A delayed transaction on refuelling made us even later in our schedule. The next flight time of 5 hours or so to Perth was spent reading and napping. Our crew were enjoying their day off with a bit of a party in the back and as time went on got louder and more boisterous!!

Must have been about 7am when we finally got to Perth but even then many fans, who expected us in at about 3am, were waiting for us, watching the plane land then going to the arrival area to see if they could get autographs. Apparently there were about 300 kids there at 2am but due to the delay and the fact they would have had to pay $15 parking a lot had gone home -- sorry chaps! Of course the band couldn't let down the devoted ones left and, despite everyone by now being a bit knackered, they signed for everyone. Bruce couldn't as he was still with the air crew and was delayed with formalities. He was originally going to take this leg off as a passenger but one of the other pilots (we have 3 Captains on board including Bruce) went down with Mumbai tummy. Half the band also have this but seem to be coping ok -- could be tough for Nicko on the drum stool tomorrow!!

Good hotel, beautiful room again with a view out to sea. Perth is a very pretty place. Got to the room about 8am I guess and connected up the laptop to send off all the emails I had written on the plane -- 43 of the bloody things. Did some more stuff then had some breakfast and laid down for a couple of hours.

12,30 and it was down to the lobby to meet Nicko and Dave along with our merch man Barry to go off for our first round of tour golf. Joondalup is a very fine course about half an hour from the hotel and there were lots ok kangaroos wandering around trying to avoid our (many) mis-fires!  Nicko and I took on Dave and Barry and the fierce competition was decided on the last hole. Mr Murray was hitting the ball very sweetly and has obviously been practicing for this in Maui and he and Barry took the money - $15!! Nicko shot 12 over par, 2 more than his handicap, but wasn't at his best though he drove off beautifully. Barry and I had rather a tougher time of it but revenge hopefully in Melbourne!

Had a quick beer after then back to hotel to shower before going out to a terrific seafood restaurant as guests of the promoter. Excellent crayfish and many bottles of fine wine were consumed then back to hotel bar til about 2am. Exhausted and off to bed -- show day tomorrow at the Burswood Arena, Perth.

- Rod

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