FRIDAY, MARCH 19TH – DENMARK TO SWITZERLAND:
I slept in my clothes for 1 ½ hours….sort of…the nightclubs across the street were rocking and lots of loud, drunk people right outside my window. L
Everyone was on time for the 4:30 am departure. Check in at KLM was a breeze and the airport owner had attended the show last night and gave everyone passes for the lounge. Only a couple of guys went there because we only had about 20 minutes before our flight boarded. Short 1 hour and 25 minute flight to Amsterdam and a 2 hour layover there. Was able to go in the lounge and work but what I really wanted to do was SLEEP!
Flight boarded on time and it was an hour and a half flight to Zurich. We collected all our baggage and equipment and Albi (our promoter) was waiting for us with the driver of a mini-bus and trailer. The driver’s name is Reto and this is the first time this company has been used. Reto is terrific! I rode with Albi to the hotel and since check-in time is 3 pm, they didn’t have our rooms ready. They had certain rooms “assigned” for us all on the same floor and I told the girl working the desk just to give me rooms that were available anywhere in the hotel. She kept insisting that we only needed 2 rooms and I kept insisting that we needed 9 rooms. While I was struggling with the check-in, Albi walked by and said Randy’s bag was left at the airport! When we checked in at KLM in Denmark, the agent didn’t check the pieces under the correct passenger name so we had to match up all the bag tags. I sent Wally to collect Howard’s and David’s and I thought we would have to wait until we got to the venue to get the baggage tags on the equipment. A few minutes later, I learned that Reto was still there so we were able to figure out which piece checked under Randy’s name was missing.
Then the fun began. You can’t call KLM for a lost bag. You can email KLM or send a message via Facebook or Twitter. And they have up to 3 days to respond. Very frustrating. So we waited until 1:45 pm and departed for sound check. There were two guys there from France and one of them had emailed me several weeks ago wanting to record one of the Bellamys songs. I had referred him to the appropriate agency for permission but I guess they thought if they asked in person, we could give them permission. They didn’t speak a lot of English but it sounds like they drove over from France.
Reto drove me and Randy to the airport. The airport has been under construction for years and years and “Lost and Found” was in the middle of the construction area. We hiked quite a ways up to another terminal to check for the bag there and they sent us back down to the construction area and told us to “look for a telephone” and call KLM from there. We eventually figured it out and once we were inside baggage claim, saw his bag sitting there. Leaving the airport without your baggage is what sleep deprivation will do. I’m surprised that’s the only issue we had all day. The guys had to sound check so I went back to the hotel and worked. Again, all I really wanted to do was sleep!
I ordered room service so I could work through dinner and then went downstairs to “fight” with the hotel computer to try and print set lists. Finally had to email the set list to the front desk and have them print it out. Albi picked us up at 9 pm and the Bellamys began the show at 9:40 pm to a completely packed room. We saw Maya for a few minutes and our friend Daniela was also there. The shows tomorrow night and Sunday are also sold out.
The show has to be performed in two 45 minute sets with a 20 minute break between – same as last night. It’s really hard on the artist to have to take a break in the middle of their show but it’s the way lots of promoters demand in Europe. Both sets were awesome and the Bellamys went back out for a couple of encores and even thought the audience was demanding more, the show had to end because of the time. A lot of the fans will come to the shows again Saturday and Sunday.
We were able to see our good friend Markus for a few minutes after the show and then Albi drove us back to the hotel. I was too tired to do anything other than wash my face and fall into bed at 1:30 am. At least I don’t have an early call tomorrow – interview at the hotel at 10:45 am and then we don’t depart to the show until 9 pm. Hoping to get caught up on some work during the day and get in a good workout!
SATURDAY, MARCH 19TH – SECOND SHOW AT ALBISGUETLI:
Six hours of sleep (off and on) and I’m almost a “new” woman. Decided to sleep that extra hour and wait until the afternoon for my workout. Had breakfast with Jim and then met David for the interview with Mario from a radio station in Austria. He interviewed the guys 10 years ago at a festival where they performed on the top of a mountain. I remember it well because vehicles were not allowed and we were supposed to take a cable car up and down. I think I remember getting special permission for us to drive up because it was raining so hard it was almost impossible to see. The audience still attended and it was a great show. I also remember that I was helping Susan sell merchandise and we kept smelling this horrible odor. Turns out all the very drunk men were urinating right behind our table instead of standing in line to use the port-a-potty. Just another festival like one anywhere in the world.
Anyway, got lots of work done today and even had time to walk over to the nice mall next door and grab a couple of gifts for the Z’s. Picked up a salad for lunch and worked the rest of the afternoon. Went downstairs to print out another set list but this time I knew to save it as a PDF. Printed it out with no issues and met the band as they were leaving for dinner. I walked outside the hotel and took a few “night shots” of the area and picked up some Indian food (with no rice or bread L ) for dinner.
Albi picked us up right on time and delivered us backstage. Lukas (Gola’s manager) and Sandro were waiting for us. Always great to see them. George (the manager of the venue) came by to say hello and I finally got another photo of him with the Bellamys. Albi also brought in a journalist from Austria who had written a great piece for a magazine. I brought Mario backstage for a photo with the Bells as well. So, it was a very busy “pre-show”.
Place is packed again tonight and the Bellamys had two great sets. I think it’s even hotter in the venue than last night. Keep in mind that the venue is NOT air conditioned, so the only “breeze” the Bellamys have are a couple of little fans on the stage. Bridget and Markus are her again tonight and brought us chocolate. So sweet of them! Heidy who is one of the Bellamy’s most faithful fans is here tonight and will be here tomorrow. Saw several people I recognize from previous visits over the past couple of decades.
Bellamys went back for 2 encores again tonight. We were back at the hotel at around 12:30 am. Have an 8:45 am Lobby Call with THREE SETS tomorrow. That’s the “brutal” one…but it’s sold out and will be a great show.
SUNDAY, MARCH 20TH – FINAL SHOW IN ZURICH:
Back to my “normal” sleep routing while on tour – 3 hours and good to go. Showered, did my stretches, and met some of the guys for breakfast. Will do a long run this afternoon if the weather is still good.
Albi was asking me what we liked about this hotel. So, here’s my list:
Great, helpful front desk staff
HUGE rooms compared to most European Hotels
Lots of shelf space in the bathroom for my “toiletries”
Hair dryer that is not mounted to the wall
Make up mirror in bathroom
Huge separate shower stall with lots of water pressure
Wash cloths (those don’t happen often in Europe!)
Full length mirror
Coffee maker with lots of supplies
Mini bar refrigerator that doesn’t charge you if you “move” a drink around
Iron and Ironing Board
Lights – lots of lights
Windows that open
Multiple channels in English on the big screen TV
Desk with multiple outlets
Two trash cans – one in bathroom and one by desk
Great restaurant with amazing food and COFFEE
Mall next door with every kind of shop imaginable
Great Fitness Club in the hotel with a fantastic Spa
Great place to run right outside the back door
Hotel directory in the room.
Heat and air conditioning with a thermostat that YOU control
Restaurants next door with every kind of food from Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, American – you name it and reasonably priced
Starbucks next door for those who like Starbucks
Amazing little “cakes” that they leave every day when they clean the room (I asked if I could buy some to take to Zac and Zoe and the front desk gave them to me FREE)
AND TOP OF THE LIST: FREE, SLAMMIN’ WIFI!!! J
All the “comforts” of home. I know many of you are reading this and thinking some of these things should just be a “given” but trust me, they are not in a lot of European hotels. And I know I’m leaving off something that I will think of later.
We left for the show at 8:45 am and again, packed out. Only this time there were huge buffet tables serving “brunch” and lots of kids in the audience. The waffles smelled incredible and I was really glad I had already eaten “healthy” at the hotel. Heidy and Yvonne came backstage to see the Bellamys and then the show started right on time. Schampu and his wife Michele (Our promoter for the Rock and Blues Cruise in September) arrived during the second set and I took them backstage during the second break. George brought his wife by so I could take a photo of her with the Bellamys as well.
It’s really, really hard on the guys to sing so early in the morning and then to do three 50 minute sets with 30 minute breaks between is even more difficult. But Howard, David and the musicians and tech are “pros” and never missed a beat.
We met Markus and Bridget downstairs after the show and took photos with them, Bridget’s parents, and Markus’s cousins. Markus and Bridget and Heidy have all booked cabins to go on the cruise in September as well.
We had a really nice dinner in the hotel restaurant and then headed back to the hotel. By the time we got back, it was after 3:00 pm. My “plan” was to work for about an hour and then take a long run and work some more. I worked for about 30 minutes and then just passed out. Slept until I got a text message at 6:30 pm. Very unusual for me but guess my body needed it. Worked for a few minutes and then walked next door to find some more Indian food for dinner. Unfortunately, the only restaurant open was the Italian one. I was going to get it to go but David showed up just as I was about to order, so we stayed and had dinner there. As we were leaving, we saw Wally leaving. He had been sitting on the other side of the restaurant eating while we were there. When we went to check out, I dropped my wallet and money went everywhere. I had about 25 dollars in one dollar bills and lots of five’s and ten’s so it looked like a small fortune. LOL
When back to the hotel and have been working for hours just trying to get caught up. Will have most of the day tomorrow to work as well but will definitely “start” my day with a long run or the Fitness Club in the hotel (which is excellent). If I exercise first thing, then I won’t find an excuse not to later on. Howard, David, Randy and I are having dinner “meeting” with Lukas and Sandro “somewhere” tomorrow night. I suggested my favorite restaurant in Zurich – Contrapunto – but not sure where we are going. The guys are having dinner at the venue one last time. Then it’s off to Stockholm on Tuesday-Friday and HOME on Saturday just in time for Easter.
It’s been one of the best tours ever. Howard, David, Wally, Randy, Jim, Rocky, Tim and and they “newby” – Galen – are great to tour with and know how to roll with the “unexpected punches” we always have when touring internationally. Stig (Denmark) had everything coordinated perfectly and Albi always takes great care of us in Zurich. Now Sweden just has to live up to the standard set on this tour and I have every confidence it will. We are working with Jason there for the first time. But, he is the agent for Smokie and does a great job for them.
MONDAY, MARCH 21ST – DAY OFF IN BEAUTIFUL ZURICH, SWITERLAND:
Even with that long nap, I had no problem sleeping last night. I was up at 7 am and in the fitness room by 7:30 am. I was so guilt ridden from not working out yesterday that I did a 2 hour work-out. I am going to be so “sore” later today but it felt great at the time. It’s a really GOOD fitness club especially for a hotel. I stopped by the desk at the Spa just to see if they might possibly offer Thai massages. I couldn’t find anyone who did when we were in Zurich at this time last year. Surprised to learn that they do and had openings all afternoon. I sent Howard and David a text to let them know.
Had breakfast with a lot of the guys and they were planning to go to “Old Town” today. I had to work a little – printing out boarding passes on the downstairs computer which is still a challenge. I hate bringing an extra suitcase just to bring my computer and office supplies but it may be necessary in the future.
I knew I would forget something on my “things I love about this hotel list” and I did. The “tram” that goes to the venue and also to downtown Zurich is right outside the hotel. Takes about 2 minutes to get to the venue and 5 minutes to get downtown. I went downstairs to buy a tram ticket and most of the other guys were doing the same. We all rode in together but they got off first to walk to Old Town and I stayed on to go “shopping”. Was only there a couple of hours. It was really, really cold when I left the hotel but warmed up quickly.
Was able to work for several hours before getting dressed for dinner with the guys and Sandro and Lukas. They picked an Italian restaurant a couple of blocks from our hotel. Only one of our guys who was supposed to know “where it was” took us the “scenic route” and we ended up making a complete circle before going the correct way. J
It was nice to relax and spend time with Sandro and Lukas and the food was excellent. I left earlier than the others to come back to the room and work some more.
We have an 8:45 am lobby call tomorrow and will basically be flying all day to Stockholm via Amsterdam on KLM. We have Wednesday off except for a luncheon with a Swedish duet partner. Then we board the cruise ship on Thursday afternoon, perform one show Thursday night, stop for 15 minutes in Finland to let passengers off and on the ship, then cruise back to Stockholm – basically a 24 hour trip. The Europeans take the cruise so they can purchase alcohol and cigarettes because they are duty free and much cheaper. Vehicles are driven onto the cruise ship and travel with the passengers! Should be a fun, interesting trip.