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ROD'S DIARY - CONCORD MAY 28-30
It’s about 2pm Friday 30th, the day of the first of the big shows in LA at Irvine Meadows. As you can see on the pics from my balcony we get to stay in a real holiday hotel with pool and palm trees – thanks Ian! We moved down yesterday from our previous LA base to be nearer to the show as traffic down to Irvine from LA can be murder with huge delays especially on a Friday evening. Nice to be by the sea for a change of pace. We get 4 nights here before we head off for Seattle. It will be good to lounge by the pool over the weekend when incoming email of course slackens off. A deserved bit of R and R.
As our plane is still out of commission all they could find us for the trip from LAX to and from Concord a couple of days ago was a G4, a bigger plane. I hope the band didn’t get too used to it as they would be very expensive to use for a whole tour! We got there in plenty of time to finally, after 2 aborted attempts, get a photo session so as to have a few band line up shots on hand for future requirements. We had time, it was a nice day so all went off with no complaints for a change and took less than an hour for John to get about 4 different locations.
Wow - a bigger plane!
...and some trucks
At last, some pics!
The show in Concord was again fantastic with around 12,000 there. Concord is another shed surrounded by beautiful scenery and rolling hills. It works really well as it has a big pit and front section so many fans are right up to the stage. I took a few pics around there of real interesting stuff like trucks, buses, our outside catering (which is great on a nice day like this was), loading docks to show how easy the load in and out is for our crew, with gear straight in and out of the trucks onto the stage area. This is pretty standard and hence easy at all the sheds. Just thought you might be interested to see how it all looks back there.
An empty shed... not for long
Charlie - Nicko's tech
Easy load in and out.
Some of the par cans
Monitor genius Gonzo
Soundcheck with Shaun the mummy.
Steve's tech, Michael.
That night one of my preshow guests was John Lassiter, the genius behind and head of Pixar. He seemed to be a big fan but here was no doubt his kids were. One of his five sons (yes five, we have 3 and that’s tough enough!!) PJ had a recent birthday and attending the show was one of his presents, and he was along with a couple of brothers and friends. I have seen a load of Pixar movies as my kids grew up and what John has done with graphic animation is truly spectacular and it was a pleasure to meet him and thank him on behalf of my kids!! Maybe he will do a Pixar Eddie movie one day – Fantasia 3 with Maiden music and Eddie would be some fun (no I didn’t suggest this to him, much too polite to hassle my guests!)
The audience again were excellent – the only downside was a number of people smoking dope at the front of the crowd. Now we have no problem with this per se - as Bruce's old mate Aleister Crowley often repeated; "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law"! But it’s bloody hard to sing well if you are perpetually getting a lungful of first grade marijuana – it is northern California after all so l am sure the quality was top notch. So if any of you guys want to smoke this or anything else at our shows please drop back away from the stage so we can give you a full on show without Bruce falling asleep on stage after an hour of inhalation!! If you are singing you have to take in great gulps of air and definitely will fully inhale unlike of course some politicians! And if you see anyone else ask them nicely.
A runner after the show and on to the plane and back to LA. Nicko and I got a car down to this hotel late morning so we could get in a round of golf. I hadn’t played since Perth in early February and Nicko was out every day on the wonderful courses in Phoenix, he even stayed an extra day there. He is such a golf maniac and getting pretty good with handicap of around 8, or ten if he is playing for money!!. He recently met Nick Faldo and is swapping drum lessons for golf ones so watch out. Of course, even though rust was falling off me on the swing for lack of use, I still beat him!! I have to say though that he gave me a stroke a hole which is quite a bit. I was however pleased and surprised to be hitting the ball quite decently after the lay off so maybe I will get out again soon for another round.
Nicko with caddy (and Maiden fan!) Steve.
Have to thank everyone at the Big Canyon course in Newport Beach, wonderful course, for their friendliness and hospitality. We stayed after for a couple of beers and to watch the beginning of the Lakers v Spurs match. Of course being a Lakers fan from my days in LA, and after the Forum show earlier this year perhaps a notorious one, I was rooting for the Lakers. We got a cab back to our hotel and watched the end of the game there and pleased to see the Lakers win comfortably in the end after being about 14 points behind at one stage. So they are in the final. I am not sure whether Celtics V Pistols is decided yet but it would be truly ironic if it were to be Lakers v Celtics as these were the top teams in the mid eighties and of course this tour is also based on that period – synchronicity!!!. Which is where we started so goodbye for now and catch you after LA (Lakers in 6).
How can they ignore such a pretty stewardess? Must be the beer.
Nicko - best looking member - with the lovely Kat - best looking crew.
Time for lunch for some of the team.
Very dodgy card school!
Gaddsy losing so much money he contemplates self-suffocation