TUESDAY, AUGUST 1ST:
Too much coffee to sleep on the bus ride, so I worked instead. We arrived at the Stockholm airport in plenty of time for everyone to get checked in. I gave hugs all around and then went back to the Radisson. I had forgotten which room I was in and was afraid I would never see my clothes again. Of course, they had changed the “key” to my door and I had to go back down to the desk to have mine re-keyed. Worked most of the afternoon and then went to the gym to run on the treadmill for 5 miles. Ate some more horrible airport food and went to bed at 2 am.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 2ND:
Went to the gym and worked out and then got ready to meet the Bellamys. Our drivers – Harri and Thomas – who are dear friends, were already in the terminal waiting for me with a bus driver who – believe it or not – had a large bus! Bellamys arrived on time and we got loaded up and drove 2 hours to Gavle. Lindsey is coming into Stockholm in a couple of hours and Harri waited at the airport for her. Hotel had all our room keys ready for us. Lindsey arrived on time and just had time to take a quick shower before we all met in the lobby to go to dinner. Got a call from the driver that someone had left their passport and wallet on the bus and he was going to pick it up. Turns out to belong to the new guy with the Bellamy Brothers. I have it but haven’t told him that I have it. He has not even missed it yet!!! A special treat at Furuvik (Amusement Park where they perform) is visiting with Inge-Marie and her chimpanzees. We get to go “backstage” and see them. Inge-Marie is one of the only people alive who can “live with the monkeys”. She lived with Santimo – a huge Chimpanzee now with the strength of 4 men – when he was a baby. He thinks that she is the leader of the chimps and will defer to her – but ONLY to her. Last year Inge-Marie had agreed to take another baby chimp and she had to carry it around on her stomach for 18 months! Manda is that one’s name and now Linda – one of the other Chimps – has adopted her and she is living with the chimps. She has certainly grown a lot since I last saw her. We also saw the orangutans and Lindsey and Susan Bellamy had their toes “cleaned” by Santimo. Took them through the snake house but the snakes our out loose and several people decided NOT to go in – including me! Santimo paints and signs his paintings by dipping his thumb in the paint. They sell the paintings to raise money to help save the chimps in Africa. Susan purchased one of the paintings and it is painted on paper that is made out of Elephant poop! Very interesting. Then we went to dinner in the park at a new restaurant. We usually go to a fabulous restaurant about a 45 minute drive away. But, the new restaurant hired the chefs from that restaurant and the food is still just as amazing. Everyone was impressed with how good the meal was! Took a couple of photos out on the Baltic Sea shore and then back to the hotel so everyone (except me) could get in bed early after their long flight today from the U.S. Jude
THURSDAY, AUGUST 3RD:
Got in bed at 2:30 am and up at 6:30 am. Quick breakfast and then off to the venue for sound check. Everything was set up and ready but we had some of the wrong backline because the Bellamys had a change in personnel twice and things got a little confused. But the production company is great and sorted it out quickly. The guy who left his wallet and passport on the bus woke up and freaked out. He told one of the other musicians who didn’t know I had it that the maid came into his room and stole it. LOL!! We let him off the hook and gave it to him a few hours later. We were back at the hotel by 2 pm and I had a quick meeting with Swedish radio and television and then a quick lunch. The hotel has new bikes this year instead of the old red ones with the small front wheels. Lindsey, Noah and I rode into town and I showed them the sights. I also purchased two pairs of shoes — I know, I know! But they were on sale! Back to the hotel to answer emails and then to the venue for the show. Jesse and Noah opened the show and they were GREAT. On the ride to the venue, our two drivers in the two separate vans had walkie-talkies to stay in touch. Our drummer started playing on it, so I got my little translator that speaks in 12 languages and started playing it into the walkie-talkie. No one would respond or answer me. Then, the driver in the other van called our driver on the cell phone and said, “someone else is on our channel. We’ll have to switch channels!” When he found out it was me, the threatened to beat me when we arrived at the venue. Gotta do something to keep it fun. Park is packed tonight with Bellamy fans. They did a great job, too. They were supposed to be paid $10,000 Kroner for the radio and tv taping and I suggested that they donate this to Inge-Marie in her campaign to save the chimps…which they did. Going to be a really short night – back at hotel at about 2 am and then get up and depart by 4 am. OUCH. Flying to Gothenberg for a show tomorrow night. Jude