THURSDAY, AUGUST 7TH:
My Road Report said “Sweden Again”. That’s what happens when you travel for 2 months – different countries every few days. I don’t even know what day of the week or date it is much less what country I am in! Actually I am in Silkeborg, DENMARK – not Sweden.
Slept for one hour, had breakfast, and rode with the bus driver back to the Billund Airport to pick up Hal Ketchum and his band and Becky Hobbs. I tried calling Flybe Airlines in the U.K. to see if they knew where Stonewall was but they didn’t open until 8 am UK time. I tried talking to Cimber Air at the airport when I arrived but they were absolutely no help.
Becky, Hal and the musicians were on time and they got all their luggage. Got them checked in before noon and I think everyone “crashed” until their band rehearsal at 6 pm. I have spent the last 24 hours just trying to find Stonewall. Called and threatened every airline I knew. One finally told me that he was in Leeds-Bradford! Not true as far as we can tell.
The promoter came to the hotel at around 3 pm and while I was talking to her, my cell phone rang. Some man whose voice I didn’t recognize started talking about Stonewall. I didn’t care WHO it was since he seemed to have info on Stonewall, so I talked to him as though I did know him. After about a 10 minute conversation, I realized it was my ex-husband! He’s been in touch with Stonewall’s agent and is trying to help locate him. He did find out the name of the travel agent from Stonewall’s wife and we THINK Stonewall has been sitting in the Manchester Airport all day. He has reservations on a 6 pm direct flight from Manchester to Billund arriving at 9:05 pm.
His wife said he called her from the airport this morning and said “they were going to watch him take a nap”! So we are thinking he arrived at the airport this morning and sat there all day waiting for his fight to Billund. She also said that he “lost his underwear”. I thought she meant that the airline lost his luggage but she said that he had his underwear in an outside pocket and it came open or unzipped on the only flight he’s been on and all his underwear must have fallen out somewhere!
Becky and Hal’s band departed to a “rehearsal”. I rode over to make sure everything was set up and ready for them. It was, so I returned to the hotel to take a taxi to the airport. It is pouring down rain here with lots of lightning, too. But, the flight we “thought” he was on landed. I was SO happy to see him walk out of customs – with his suitcase! He talked all the way to the hotel where he got a standing ovation from Becky, Hal, the musicians, and the promoter. They had some pizza leftover and he ate a slice of that. I got him in his room and hopefully he’ll get some sleep tonight. Obviously more than I’ll get since I’m still up answering emails! Going to bed very soon, I hope.
We have sound check tomorrow but since Stonewall missed his rehearsal with the band, he will do that at sound check instead. Have John Adam Murph and his band arriving tomorrow morning too – I hope!
FRIDAY, AUGUST 8TH – 08/08/08!!!!
Was just too tired to type a road report last night. It is really hard to have four artists on one festival and I’m the only one from my company taking care of things here. So….
Got up early and went for the perfect run…except, of course, for having to pay diligent attention to cyclists. Last night when we went to rehearsal, we passed the spot where I had the bike wreck last night and it was eerie to say the least. But when I jogged past it, it was even worse. Not a good feeling at all. But, it definitely made me pay attention to all the cyclists zipping past me.
Had a very quick breakfast and then went downstairs to get Becky, Stonewall, Hal and the musicians over for sound check. The weather had cleared up and it was a beautiful day. The production company and staff at this festival are top notch so sound check went smoothly. Hal ran a couple of songs and then Becky did a couple. Since Stonewall did not get a rehearsal with the musicians last night, he ran the beginning and ending of all his songs. Everyone sounded great.
I tried to get back to the hotel in time to meet John and his group as they were checking in. But the bus driver must have broken a speed record because they made it from the airport to the hotel in about 45 minutes. But, everyone got checked in and they had all their luggage and equipment.
After sound check, we had a press conference in the hotel. Had a large crowd of press from several magazines and lots of radio shows. One guy showed up with a box full of old Stonewall albums for him to sign. He signed every one of them for him and I know his hand must have hurt afterwards.
I went downtown with Stonewall and Becky so they could get something to eat. The hotel restaurant had closed for the day at 2 pm! So, nothing to eat there. While they were waiting on their food to be prepared to take away with them, I went in search of a souvenir shop. There is NOTHING in the Billund Airport and I couldn’t find anywhere in this town that sold anything that said “Denmark” on it. Hopefully there will be a shop after security tomorrow that has “something” in it I can purchase for my daughter’s nursery. Denmark is the last country that I need to make a purchase from for her.
Went back to the hotel for a couple of hours and then I went with John’s group downtown to eat Mongolian Bar-be-que. We had heard it was excellent and we heard right.
Back to the hotel to get ready for the show. Stonewall was on first and the audience loved him. Looks like a huge crowd this year. After his set, he went up to the merch table to sign autographs. John and his band came over to watch the show and right before Becky took the stage, the promoter called John out to sing Happy Birthday to him. I had asked her to get a cake made for him and she presented him with a huge Danish Pastry cake shaped like a guitar. Not only was it beautiful but it tasted terrific. Basically, it was Danish apple filled pastry topped with marzipan. Yum! Everyone was teasing him about his birthday being on 08/08/08 so I made sure I put him in room 8 at the hotel!
Becky’s show was awesome and since this is her 5th performance at this festival, she has lots of fans here. Hal took the stage last and did a great show. Right in the middle of his set, it started raining and a lot of the audience left. But it was still a wonderful festival.
I got everyone back to the hotel at around midnight and I had hundreds of emails to go through before going to bed. Finally got in bed at around 2 am. That’s why I didn’t write the Road Report until now.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 9TH:
Got up early again for another jog. Sun was actually out today and it was so nice. Not nearly as many cyclists out early this morning either. Back to the hotel for breakfast and a shower. NONE of my group was having breakfast that early today. Guess it’s good that they can have a “rest” this morning.
Met John and his musicians in the lobby and we went over for sound check. Again, everything was set up and ready for us. I walked out front to listen to the “sound” and it was as close to perfect as I could have wanted. The Danish FOH engineer came up to me and asked me if “he was the next new big thing in country music”. I told him I certainly hope so. He said, “I KNEW it. He’s f…ing incredible!”. Now that’s a compliment.
After sound check, a few of us went into town so John could buy a sweatshirt because it has turned COLD. He found a nice fleece on sale for 150 KR (about $35.00 U..S.). I asked them if he could pay with a credit card that doesn’t have a PIN and they said yes. Then when he tried to run the card through, it wouldn’t work without a PIN. I didn’t have my Kroner with me and he didn’t have enough on him to purchase it. He finally used one of his musician’s credit cards that did have be PIN number and just paid him back in U.S. dollars. Such a pain in Denmark as 90% of the stores require a PIN for use of a credit card.
We walked around for a few minutes and then found an Asian Restaurant for lunch. Had a “lively” discussion about the Presidential Election, the Iraq War, and finally Nashville Music Politics. John’s players are very young, so it’s interesting to hear their “take” on thingsl
Back to the hotel to write these darn road reports and pay some bills. Have to leave for the show at 6 pm.
There was a fairly large crowd when JAM started singing but by the time he was about 3 songs into the set, it was packed. The person selling his merch came running down to ask me if we had any more cds. He had already sold out. Now we won’t have any to sell in Holland which isn’t good because they have been playing his music there for months. He had a really great show and I was very proud of him and his young musicians. And I do mean “young” but SUPER talented guys.
This festival allows the audience to shoot guns with blanks after each performer. It always gives me a heart attack but it’s their way of showing their appreciation. JAM had quite the “gunfight” going on after his set.
He signed autographs for a very long line of folks and then said his goodbyes to all the festival organizers. It was a really great weekend with wonderful, nice entertainers to work with.
We depart the hotel at 7:30 am tomorrow for Holland. Everyone is on the same flight to Amsterdam and then JAM stays over to perform at the big Floralia Festival. I’ve been there once before with the Bellamy Brothers and will get to see my dear friend Rineke who “is” the festival. Warned the “youngsters” not to stay out late drinking because we basically land, go straight to the festival and they go on stage! We’ll see if they listened and if they really are “scared” of me. J