THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13TH:
What a day! Got in one last jog along the river before eating breakfast, showering, and packing up. I froze again all night. Really glad to be leaving this hotel.
Opie was up and eating a little breakfast. He’s going to try to make the flight to the Faroes and then just “rest once he gets there. It was a 2 hour drive to the airport in Billund and about halfway there, I got a call from the promoter in the Faroes. He said that our flight was going to be two hours late leaving Billund! He was right.
When we arrived at the airport, we had the usual “fight” with the ticket agents in convincing them that we were allowed the international weight allowance per piece. I think they just get tired of hearing me argue with them and give in. But, I know I’m right on this because we always check with the airlines before we depart. Opie was able to walk into the airport but I had requested wheelchair assistance for him. The lady at the ticket counter refused to give him a wheelchair because he walked in! I couldn’t believe it. One of our guys found him one though. Our 3 pm flight didn’t depart until 5:45 pm. I checked the weather several times and it said that it was rainy and very windy.
We boarded the flight and Opie wasn’t able to sit in the seat. They allowed him to lay in the floor in the first row until time for take-off. Then they gave him a row of 3 seats to lay across. Flight was fine until we started landing and hit the “wind”. Not fun.
But! The Faroes are beautiful. All islands surrounded by the ocean. There are actually several small islands all connected by some means. For 10 years I’ve been hearing horror stories from the Bellamys about their visit here. Things have certainly changed. When they were here before, the promoter picked them up in a school bus with a kerosene heater sitting in the middle of the aisle with flames shooting out of it! It was an hour drive from the airport to the hotel and they had to take a ferry. We had a beautiful 56 passenger bus and they have built a tunnel under the sea so we didn’t have to take a ferry. There are NO trees…NONE. But everything is very green and craggy. There are dozens of waterfalls and the ocean breaks against the cliffs. We stayed in the same hotel where the Bellamys stayed but it has been “upgraded” to a four-star. They said when they stayed here last time, sheep would poke their heads in the window in their room.
We had a fabulous dinner in the hotel restaurant. Again, when the Bellamys were here last time, the food was horrible. They said everything was heavily salted and they even ate Puffin! The only glitch was the fact that the hotel said there was wireless internet in each room. I made SURE this was true several times. Got to my room – late – after dinner. No wireless. I called the front desk and they said I would have to come to the lobby and use their computer. That was NOT going to happen. So, of course, I sort of caused a scene at the front desk. Then, one of the guys said that he had a DSL line in his room. We went to my room but couldn’t find one. I was trying to find the control for the heater because someone had left my window open all day and it was freezing (again!) in my room. Stuffed down inside the radiator on the wall was the DSL line! So, my internet is obviously up and running.
Tomorrow we “sail” on a ferry to another island and perform in Suduroy. Hopefully the ocean will be calm because I’ve heard it can be really turbulent trying to cross. Just watched President Bush’s speech and now I’m going to sleep. J
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14TH, 2007
You would not believe the weather here. Bellamys had warned me but you have to see it to understand. The sun can be shining and 5 minutes later, it will be pouring rain with no warning. The rain can change to hail just as quickly or to SNOW! They get every season and every type of weather once an hour it seems. Very hard to know what to wear. I was going to get up and try to jog but the weather kept changing too quickly. If you don’t like the weather here, wait a minute. It WILL change.
Last night was the first time I had ever met our promoter – Allan. He has been extremely organized (which you KNOW I like) and easy to work with. He is just as nice in person and definitely trying to make everything comfortable and perfect for our visit here. He attended their shows here years ago and said he was one of the first ones to buy his ticket. He had dinner with us last night and it was good to get to know him in person. Now that we know how much the islands have progressed into this century, I’m sure we’d like to come back here for more performances.
This is the first hotel we have had that has a bathtub. Usually, there is just a shower stall or should I say a shower head with a curtain and a drain in the middle of the floor. But, I noticed that the shower head is one of the “wands” and it is not hanging from the hook on the wall. It is laying in the bathtub. Not a good sign. Usually that means it’s one of those that is going to fly off the hook, whack you in the head, and fly around the room soaking everything in site. So, I am prepared! Lindsey just returned from producing an event in Athens, Greece with Ty Herndon for me. I laughed when I read her road report because she had her first experience with the “attacking shower head”. She finally put the wand under her foot and held it down while she soaped up….same thing I did there. Like Mother, like daughter obviously. J
The ferry to Suduroy was huge and very nice. It seemed like hundreds of cars and big trucks drove on. Our large tour bus went on last so we could be first off. The promoter had reserved a private dining room for us and we had a nice lunch. There were lots of whitecaps and I was worried about getting seasick, but it was fine – as long as we were going down the coast beside the islands. Then for about 30 minutes we hit open sea and it started pitching pretty bad. But, at least I didn’t get sick. Just nervous. I tried to go up on deck to take some photos once it calmed down but the wind was blowing so hard, I could barely get the door open. Was afraid I wouldn’t be ale to get back inside because I still don’t have any strength in the left hand. Settled for taking photos out the window until we almost made it to port. Then the wind died down and we went up top and got some great shots.
The hotel is TINY but very clean. My room is furnished in Red and White — white furniture with red bedspread, carpet curtains. Different. Internet does not work in the room but works find in the lobby. Had to make a deal with the promoter to open the lobby area back up after the show because normally he closes everything down. Our rooms are outside in a separate building from the main lobby.
Hall is more like a gymnasium but is supposed to be packed. Problems with our backline and sound system. Evidently the sound company they used did not show up with the equipment they promised and what equipment they did bring had broken pieces. Wally was still trying to make things works right up until show time.
The show was great – crowd was very drunk but probably not as drunk as they were last time the guys were here. Security guards were BIG but not very aggressive. After one drunk lady leaned across the table and tried to take my chair and a drunk man fell on the table and knocked the corner through my rib, I KNEW the Bellamys could not come out and sign autographs. The tops of the tables were not attached, so any time someone touched them, the slid. Too dangerous to put the guys in that situation. Everyone was smoking and drinking. The smoke was so heavy, it looked like they had used a smoke machine in the hall. The hall was set up with chairs but I think most of the people stood and sang the entire time. True Bellamy Brothers fans here! They even saw one guy who had bought a hat from them when they performed here 10 years ago. The promoter was very happy. Supposedly, tomorrow night’s show will be a little more civilized in Thorshavn.
By the way, we saw a few trees today! Of course, they were in a cemetery but still…..
It’s almost 2 am and we have to leave for the ferry at 9 am. At least we are going to have breakfast on the ferry.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15TH, 2007
We left the hotel at 9 am for the ferry back to Thorshavn. It was very cold and raining. Had breakfast on the ferry and then it was “rock and roll”. One of our guys had to go out on the deck to keep from getting sick. Thankfully it was only about an hour and a half trip.
Internet is down at the hotel and the brilliant desk clerks didn’t even bother to call anyone to repair it. Evidently, it’s been out since Friday. Our promoter had a “chat” with them and someone came out and repaired it within the hour.
I went over to check out the venue when the guys left for sound check. Much better set-up tonight. There will be a barricade around the front of the stage and the security guards will stand there. I was worried about one of the drunks pulling the amps or power plugs or one of the Bellamys off the stage last night.
When I came back from the venue last night, I went into the restaurant area to answer email on their internet connection. It was about 1:30 am when I walked back to my room. There was a car in the parking lot with it’s lights on and someone sitting in it. I started walking fast because I assumed it was “drunks” from the show. Then I heard a female voice yelling “Hey”. Some blonde chick was on her knees behind the car. She yelled someone in the local language and I replied that I only spoke English and walked faster. Then she wanted to know where “Tucker” was (our drummer). Told her I had no idea but that I felt sure he was asleep. About 5 minutes after I got into my room. I heard him come into the hallway (all our rooms are in a separate building). By the time I got my shirt back on, she had already stumbled back out of the building.
We “pre-ordered” our dinner in the restaurant tonight so it wouldn’t take 2 hours to eat. The food is excellent but I don’t think I’ll eat any fish for a very long time once I leave this area! I’m looking forward to some great Italian food in Zurich. Tomorrow is David Bellamy’s birthday.
Susan brought her aerobics video but she has been sick since the first day of the tour. She is feeling better, so we thought we would do it together tomorrow morning – our day off. Only our rooms are too small. So, I asked the front desk clerk if he had just an empty room that we could do aerobics in. He said, “of course” and took me over to a little broom closet stuffed full of junk. Language problem. I said, “No. Aerobics.” Then I started doing jumping jacks. He got it immediately. J
Show was really good. Crowd was great. All huge Bellamy fans, of course. They were very drunk but the barrier in front of the stage helped and our security guys were much better tonight. We were going to have the emcee call David back on after the encore and have everyone sing Happy Birthday to him, since it would be after midnight when the show ended. I told the musicians about this but didn’t tell Howard. So, before the encore, Howard announced that it was David’s birthday. Next time I’ll know to let Howard in on the secret. Everyone sang Happy Birthday in Faroese and then they broke into “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”…also in Faroese. Definitely a “first” for David.
Tomorrow we will go to a nice restaurant in town and then we leave very early on Monday morning. Checked the weather in Zurich and it is beautiful now – in the 70’s! But temperatures will drop and it is supposed to rain the entire time we are there. Bummer.
Going to bed now.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16TH, 2007:
Susan and I went into the empty conference room and did 30 minutes of aerobics (which I suck at – just not coordinated enough. I should stick to jogging) and then Pilates. I felt 100 times better after working out. Took a shower and then went with Susan to the bank to change the Faroese currency into U.S. Dollars. You can tell this is a “really small place” when the President of the bank will open up for you on a Sunday afternoon. There were only 2 ladies in the bank and they came in just to change the money for us. We depart too early tomorrow to change it and no other countries will accept “Faroese”.
Susan made a mistake in the calculation of how much she had to change and we decided to use that to our advantage.
So….I lied about not having anything “special” planned for David’s birthday. We were all going out to dinner at a nice restaurant at 6:30 pm. At about 6 pm, I went to Susan’s room and asked her if she was ready to go because Allan (our promoter) was in the lobby. I told her that there was a “problem” with the transaction we did at the bank today and we needed to go back down there. Susan was in on the plan but no one else knew what we were doing. Susan and I went to the Police Station (again – only in the Faroes could this happen) and they put us in a jail cell in their holding tank. I asked the Police Chief what kind of “crime” they had here and he said mostly just drunks and sometimes some petty theft. They had to find a clean cell because most of the cells smelled like where drunks had spent the night. Susan and I got a little nervous when we saw the size of it…very tiny with one mattress on the floor and a huge metal door. We asked them not to shut the door all the way!
The bus went to the hotel to pick up the musicians and two policemen went to get David and tell him that there was a problem with his wife and Judy and he needed to come with them. We were afraid he would catch on and he said that for a minute he thought, “Judy is up to something for my birthday”. But he went along with it because he remembered us saying that there had been a problem with the “amount” when we went to the bank earlier. Wally was standing in the lobby and asked David if he wanted him to go with him. David told him to come along but said that first he was going back to his room because Susan had given him a receipt. He dug through all their trash to find the receipt!
The band got on the bus and they let them in on the joke. One of the musicians did not come down, so they left a driver there to bring him over later. The policemen called into the station and talked in Faroese and said that they had the “package” and were making delivery. I told him to ask them if it was “one package” or “two packages” because I knew if he was bringing Wally with him, then he believed something really was wrong. They told us there were “two packages” and we knew the plan had worked.
Since they needed to get the musicians there and “in place” for the surprise, the policeman drove Wally and David around the island a couple of times. Wally made the comment to David that he didn’t remember the island being that big! J They brought David down to our cell and when he looked in and saw us sitting on the mattress on the floor, Susan managed to tear up and say, “you have to get us out of here”. David started talking to the policeman and handed him the receipt and we were trying to explain. Wally called Allan’s cell phone (our promoter) and told him there was a problem and that Susan and I were in jail. The policeman was great with the receipt. He would study it and shake his head and say something in Faroese. David was trying to get details from me and Susan and then the entire band walks in singing Happy Birthday. It was great! Gary – the one person who didn’t come over on the bus – was there and I asked him what happened. He said he went into the lobby to meet the others and get on the bus. But, when he saw the two policeman, he turned around and headed back to his room. Don’t know what he had to be afraid of them for, but you never know with this group! Could have been that 15 year old girl they picked up on the other island before they knew she was only 15. LOL.
We all went to a nice restaurant – at a bowling alley of all places. Great food. I swallowed wrong and thought I was going to have to go to the emergency room but it finally went down. Probably payback for the joke I pulled on David. I had asked the promoter to have a cake made and you would not believe what they did. It was a huge sheet cake covered with Marzipan and half of it was a U.S. flag with the Bellamys’ logo in the center. The other half was a photo of David and said “Only 57 years old”. What a special birthday for him.
After dinner, I went with the promoter to his mother’s house. Some of the musicians had tried to have laundry done at the hotel but they don’t accept laundry on weekends. So, the promoter’s mom volunteered to wash, dry and iron it! Me – I sent mine out on Friday and picked it up when we got back yesterday and paid $325.00 to have it done!!! His mom is a sweetheart and I am so glad I got to see her. Her home is beautiful, too. All wood and stone. I got to look through a photo album that had photos of both Allan and his brother and their families. Allan is “engaged” to a lovely woman and they have a small child. In Scandinavia, things are “different” regarding marriage. Couples will become engaged and have children and live together for years and years (sometimes 10-15 years!). Then they will eventually marry OR they will split up. Talk about long engagements. They feel it is important to really get to know the person first. Have to say, I agree with that philosophy!
When we got back to the hotel, Opie was much, much worse. We have no idea what we are going to do about getting him on a fight tomorrow. As I type this, they have brought an ambulance and taken him to the emergency room. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see what the doctor says. We have to depart for the airport at 6 am and make one connection in Copenhagen before arriving Zurich. That’s our last flight until we fly home as we will travel between Switzerland and Austria in a bus. We thought he would be better by now but it doesn’t look good.