22 Jul 2008 - Rod's Diary - Filling some gaps, Montreal to Twickenham via Italy and France and of course Hove

So lets catch up. At least the first bit anyway...

We flew back from Montreal on June 22 arriving early hours of 23rd of course. Car home and boy was it good to be home and see the family. It's a long time 5 weeks, and I could swear Jake had grown a couple more inches!! We had a quiet day. They hadn't broken up from school yet but as exams were finished some were around which was great, and the rest home at a reasonable time. Caught up on all the recent activities and everyone was looking forward to Twickenham and going on holiday a couple of days later. A quiet evening, an early night as feeling a bit lagged. Tuesday was a catch up day on personal stuff -- and opening all that mail -- then Wednesday back into London to the office for meetings with my team plus various meets with agents and promoters, EMI etc to catch up on as much as possible. In the evening was a party at the Roof Top Gardens in Kensington, a fantastic place for a party. It was a lawyer mate whose company was celebrating 25 years in the business and a great turnout for them. Kathy was in London with a couple of the kids going to the theatre so I had a car pick them up in the West End and then pick me up from the party -- though of course Kathy called in for a while -- then we all went home together in the car. Thursday was more catch up work in my home office and then Friday we were off again, this time Italy. The plane was going from Luton so had a couple of hour rail journey up there but not too bad.

We arrived at the show in Bologna latish afternoon in plenty of time to go on at about 9.30. We have played Gods of Metal a couple of times before and, although backstage is a bit primitive compared to the larger festivals, its always a good vibe and of course the Italian audiences are always terrific. See past diaries, last time in the arena in Milan they put out a higher dB level than the band. There were around 25,000 so made quite a racket. All went well, all the production worked fine which is always pleasing at a first show when you change continents. The only minor mishap was that Nicko's snare broke after 3 songs. Its an old snare and his favourite as it has a great snappy sound to it. Charlie fixed it, for now anyway. It happened again in Paris, was the reason for my comment on 10 inch nails in the Twickenham part 2 diary, and happened again last night in Tempere. We obviously need more ten inch nails!  Or Nick sadly may need a new snare, but its hard to part with an old loved friend.

We flew back to Luton after the show, so it was quite a long drive back to Hove and I was by now pretty knackered and tried to kip on the back seat. A lie in Saturday, some rugby on TV (start of Tri Nations, Kiwis v Springbox, Kiwis won a close game just about deservedly) and in the evening a good friends birthday party which was a good chance to see and catch up with a lot of friends from our area. They know how to have a good time in Hove so it went on til the early hours -- not quite what I needed all things considered -- but you have to keep up with the pace and it was an excellent bash!!

Sunday lay in and then the forgotten luxury of Sunday papers at home! Followed by some work and then in the evening we took the kids out for a curry -- they all of course like curry!! I didn't go to the show in Belgium, Graspop. We played it in 05 and 07 and I figured the guys could manage perfectly well without me and I needed the break as I knew the party would be a good one! It went very well I hear with their biggest crowd there yet on the Sunday, 35,000.  Graspop is a very established and well run festival and the crowd there have a great time.

It was Kathy's birthday on the Tuesday July 1 and originally we planned to go to Paris together for the show there. However with things to take care of at home she suggested we go to London instead for the day and could I miss the Paris show, the band owed me a day off for her birthday. It was rather tough to explain that no I couldn't really do that as we had the modifications to make to Eddie (Twick diary pt 2) and I really had to be there to supervise it. Thankfully I am blessed with an understanding wife and we went to London for the day on Monday, an afternoon of birthday shopping in the west end followed by good food and wine and a stay in a nice hotel. All but the shopping was great -- it had to be the hottest day of the year to walk around Oxford St and the rest. We had fun though and it was great to spend time together away from the kids for a change!!

So the following morning Kathy set off back to Hove and I was on the way to Waterloo to catch the Eurostar to Paris, going straight to Bercy to arrive by 3pm to check out our modified mummy Eddie. It is the first time we have played two nights at Bercy since the late eighties and both were sold out, about 33,000 in total. Also by placing them right before Twickenham we had a chance to make any last minute adjustments to the show before Twickenham and for the screens team to get some practise as I mentioned before. Bercy is an excellent venue to see a band with really good sight lines and despite its huge capacity it still seems quite intimate. We had given Eddie new arms and a tidy up and we were all much happier with him after the improvements. Has to be right doesn't it??!! Everything went well, both shows were terrific -- the second if anything even a bit better audience wise than the first, which is surprising as this was added after the first one was close to sell out so you would expect this to be the newer fans. After the first show most of us went to the usual nearby bar and partied with team, family, friends and fans and after the second show we flew home. Andy was also in Paris and came back on the plane with us and we took the car into London and stayed at his flat. The next couple of days -- meetings in town Thurs and going to UEA with Tom on Friday, were covered in Twickenham diary part one so I wont repeat so I guess filling the gaps takes us to going on stage at Twickenham which I guess is part 4 of Twickenham Tale so I will leave this for now and continue with that tomorrow.

- Rod
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