ROD'S DIARY FEB 24 MEXICO CITY
After a while on tour it all starts to blur and you forget what happened on which day, even a couple of days before. Did we really do that then, it seems like weeks ago. Travel numbs the memory -- time and relative dimension in space!! But here I am in Costa Rica now recalling the amazing time in Mexico City.
We left us last in Monterrey and I had another of those nights. Brain buzzing and got no sleep at all, feeling really "speedy" but not because I had done anything I shouldn't! Didn't get up to hit the laptop though but did have a pad by side of bed to make notes of the dumb ideas I had. All very annoying this far into a tour.
Dragged myself out of bed about 9 to go to airport. Bruce, as he is flying again today, had gone down earlier and also did an in-cockpit interview with MTV Mexico who were a good team and well up on the band. They came with us to Mexico City. Uneventful short flight.
Got to hotel and immediately went to bed to try to get some sleep, which I quickly did. Is it a dream, a door bell keeps going? It was. Got up to answer and asked through my door (which had a DO NOT DISTURB sign) who is it and what do you want. They said they had a message for me so Isaid put it under the door -- why hadn't they done that anyway I thought -- must be important. It was one of those standard notes from hotel manager hoping I had a nice stay. Well, not a very good start... Pathetic isn't it.
Back to sleep til about 3, did a few emails (lovely it's a Saturday so not much) then went downstairs to meet up with our EMI UK PR William who had been working with us well for a few years now who was over with Chris Ingham from Metal Hammer UK. We always do a lot on the road with Chris and the Hammer guys as they report as it is and it's a good way for our fans in the UK to get a detailed insight into what we are up to -- unless they read my diaries of course!! Our photographer the very excellent John Mc is a Metal Hammer guy too and has loads of great shots for them so look out for this detailed feature on Mexico and Costa Rica in a couple of months time. Also the cover will be something very close to my heart -- any guesses??
At 5.45 met up with the entire band except Davey, who is quite ill at the moment with a bug, for a big press conference. About 12 news and music TV cameras, 30 or so photographers and about 60 media all packed into the room. Band came in and it was mayhem with photographers trying to get in position for a shot with the 5 of them. I gave them about 3 min then started press conference. Not too bad -- you always get a few stupid questions but those are usually from ill-informed major national newspapers but it at least shows they are there which is of course good from my point of view. The funniest one was the guy from Reuters who asked what our plans were for Australia -- I thinks he was an (ill informed) Aussie. He didn't know we had just been! You would think a prestigious news agency like Reuters would do a bit of research, maybe go on the website to see what we had currently been up to -- but not this one. Very unprofessional. I let it go on about 30 min then called a halt and some of the guys did a couple of interviews with key national papers and then we went off for dinner in a fine Italian restaurant in the hotel courtesy of those good people at EMI Mexico (thanks Alfredo and Nole).
We didn't need any media to sell any tickets as all 51,438 had sold out weeks before but we consider it impolite to go through a country and not talk to anyone especially as there is such massive interest in the band on a national level so a press conference is the best way for the band to be available to a lot of people albeit briefly.(Also I would love to build up to play the 100,000 capacity Aztec Stadium next time round!!)
I was still feeling a bit knackered so headed for bed fairly soon after. Steve and Bruce went down the Hard Rock to see Lauren play and also the Iron Maidens in pre gig warm up shows, which they also did in LA. Of course the clubs (Key Club LA and Hard Rock, MC) go out of the way making it sound like they are our parties when they what they want is to get our fans in and take money off them. The Key Club even advertised it as the OFFICIAL warm up party implying, I think, that we would be there. Some nerve. The Maidens girls aren't party to this I am sure, it s a fun gig to them, but the clubs piss me off as they misrepresent us to our fans. And the Hard Rock was a disgrace. Various members of our team were there including some of our flight crew who told me when they paid cash for drinks the barman was pocketing the cash. So when they all left, thinking there was no bill, they were surrounded by bouncers demanding $600. Now it is quite possible that band or others on our side thought someone else had picked up part of the tab but not that amount. Anyway would you believe the club called the police!!! Talk about an overreaction. With Steve there too -- Bruce had already gone. You would think the p***k manager of the club would have let a bit go by considering he had packed his club off our back. This is I think part of the official Hard Rock franchises and you can bet when I get home I will be contacting the owners. This sort of behaviour is just not on. Generally in the past we have liked Hard Rocks all round the world but something like this does piss you off. Good job I wasn't there -- they would probably have locked me up!!
Missing all this adventure I slept well!!!!
So the day of the show. There have been fans around everywhere for autographs and a general feeling of excitement around the place. I got up late and caught up with LA and first Mexican shows diaries and by then it was time to go to the show. A big show like this I go early -- about 4pm for an earlier than usual onstage at 8. Magnificent baseball stadium, massive, must be 25,000 on the floor -- this will be incredible with these great audiences.
Stalked around talking to various people. Met up with the promoter and had a chat about the future. Ocessa is a well established and experienced company here and did a good job.
There was a bit of wind which would affect the sound a bit but Dougie was confident of a good sound out front. The wind was blowing the hung huge screens so asked them put 2 stage crew on each rope to damp them down a bit. During Lauren I went out front to cue our lighting guy to put on the audience beams when our chopper passed overhead -- yes we are taking aerial shots of some of the big shows for the documentary. I think Lauren's band were well chuffed with this.
Anyway the gig was a blinder, the band played great and all the lighters and mobile phones around the whole arena for Fear of the Dark was a sight I will carry with me for some time. Thanks Mexico City for a magnificent reception and atmosphere at the show.
Afterwards most of us went to the bar opposite the hotel and everyone was in great spirits after a special show. Bed late, Costa Rica tomorrow. And now there's a tale to tell................
ps. Can you believe l forgot that the rugby was on - and it could have watched it at 3pm here on my slingbox! Shows just how much my brain must be addled. But we beat France and apparently we played well. Brilliant - had my boys tape all the rugby while I am away though in case I missed it so will watch it next month. On a minor note West Ham won too but I cant think who would be concerned about that.