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ROD'S DIARY FEB 27 SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA
Well I did sleep well -- til about 2am then wide awake again. Getting really fed up with this and feeling tired and when I get tired I can get ratty which unfortunately is not the best of demeanours on tour!! Also really missing Kathy and the kids now -- it's been over three weeks and I have never been away more than that since our kids were born. Anyway life goes on and it was up and down with laptop to pass time and finally got to sleep again at I think about 4 but at least slept through til 11.
Ordered breakfast and with it came the national paper with Ed Force One emblazoned all over the front page! We will try to get a copy back home to scan for the site -- in fact I must check if we have a scanner in the production office at the shows as this would be quicker. Worked until it was time to go
Around this time I found out that the tour almost got cancelled!! Nicko is a fan of dangerous sports as I am sure you know (not)!! Especially golf, the most dangerous of them all!! Well it is if you get hit by a ball going at the speed of light. And he was hit and painfully so, right on the forearm about an inch from the joint of his wrist. A bit further down and it would certainly have broken and that would have been it - on the plane and go home. He immediately went for an X-Ray and thankfully no break, but a lot of bruising and swelling. Apparently someone hit off a tee at a neighbouring hole which was behind trees and the ball somehow managed to weave its way through all that wood to hit Nick!! But he got through OK albeit in some pain. And boy was he sheepish when I saw him, he knew what was at stake and didnt need me to tell him. But what are the chances of this happening, one in millions so couldnt be too hard on him!!! You have to get out and about a bit on tour if you can.
Janick did - he went off into the rainforests in search of volcanic activity, and found it. He even got asked for autographs in the back of beyond. He also took one of the film cameras so he could film a bit of this truly beautiful country for our documentary - but no doubt he will want paying!! Davey would normally be out and about too but he is still under the weather though putting a brave face to it as he always does and improving daily. H was also talking about playing some tennis with steve and the doc guys but I dont know if this happened.
I was going to leave for the show with Bruce at about 4.30 but Gaddsy called to say there was really only one way into the stadium and this was packed with fans so we should go later. Even with the usual Police escort it took Steve 90min to get there. So we were due to go at 5.30...same.....6.30...same...finally got off at 7 -- it took us 20 min as roads were clear as all kids in venue by now. A word here about our Police outriders. These are usually on bikes, anything between 2 and 8 depending on route. We get taken from airport to hotel as traffic is often so bad and of course to and from the show. They always ask for autographs and have been really helpful. They certainly make our lives so much easier by carving a way to our destination -- wish I had them for the morning school run in Brighton. I guess it's a testament to the band's importance in these countries that we are able to acquire them at all.
The stadium, the biggest venue in Costa Rica, was packed to the rafters and made a great sight. Lauren played and went down a storm and then the Maiden Maiden chants got louder and LOUDER as showtime approached
One of the irrefutable Laws of the Universe is that Latin audiences are just the best. Sorry guys, but we North and Eastern Europeans, North Americans, Aussies and the rest just can't match them for sheer passion. We may appreciate the bands equally but our Latin friends are just hot wired genetically to be much more intense and emotional and a full on Latin audience is a joy to behold, whether it's Italy, Spain, Portugal or Mexico or Costa Rica -- or as we shall soon see again Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. As you all know Maiden pour out a lot of intensity and passion from on stage and these audiences return it with huge interest!!
And this audience tonight was every bit as great as any we have ever experienced. Early in the set they stopped the show for 5 minutes chanting for the band and the lights glowing throughout the stadium for FotD was again very moving. Every arm was in the air almost throughout the show -- and many had been standing for hours after camping out nearby for a week to get near the front. There was even a massive Mexican wave involving everyone out there it appeared!
Naturally the band enjoyed it all immensely and, having got offstage quickly and into the vans, we were back at the hotel and soon in the bar very quickly. And a very good night was had by all and sundry!! Chris from Metal Hammer returns to the UK and we are joined by Ben and photographer Chris from Q who are running a major piece on Colombia soon. They had only arrived about 10 so missed the show but are joining us on Ed Force One for the trip to Bogota to experience the arrival in another country in grip of a Maiden fever. But more of that later.