SUNDAY, AUGUST 2ND – GRAFENWOEHR, GERMANY TO NORDLINGEN, GERMANY:
Got 3 hours sleep and then showered and packed for the departure to Nuremberg Airport with Craig’s group. A couple of the guys overslept and we were later leaving than anticipated. Fortunately, we had planned on departing in plenty of time to reach the airport to have more than adequate time to check in.
There was a long line for check in, but I had everyone get in the Priority Lane since 3 or 4 of the guys had priority status. The lady checking everyone in was unfamiliar with “military orders” but finally called someone and agreed to allow us to check in all the excess at no charge. Craig and Karen are going to Scotland for a few days and the rest of the guys are headed home to Nashville. It was a bit of a rush getting everyone checked in and off to the gate so I didn’t get to say a “proper” good-bye to everyone. Had intended to thank everyone again and let them know what a super group of guys they are! Even with all the challenges, it was a wonderful trip and great performances at the festivals in Norway and France and for our military in Germany. Craig and all his guys are so supportive of our military and always willing to give of their time and talents to entertain and thank them.
I had time to change some dollars to Euros so I can pay the Bellamys group their “buy out” money, grab a cup of coffee and walk to arrivals to meet my “taxi” to Nordlingen. The driver was there with a sign with my name on it and had a really nice car. It was about an hour and a half drive. We had a little bit of an issue finding the hotel because half of the streets are “walking streets” and unable to access with a vehicle. It’s a beautiful little village on the “Romantic Road”. The hotel looked nice but when I got into my room, there was a problem. It had one little twin bed and not enough room to open both suitcases. Since our contract specified “king” rooms, I went back down to have a chat with the front desk. There were no other rooms available at that time, so I decided to keep that room until some became available. I made sure they knew that we absolutely could not put the Bellamys group in rooms that size. I tried to sign on to the internet and had an issue with that, so took another run down the stairs and back up again to sort that out.
The bus that was picking up the Bellamys in Flumserberg, Switzerland was on time and they were en route to the hotel. They had 18,000 people attend the festival where they performed on Friday evening!
Sundays in Europe means NOTHING is open. The front desk told me the hotel restaurant was open for lunch but that wasn’t the case. I walked a couple of blocks from the hotel and found a nice restaurant in another hotel and had a really good salad.
Had a text from Wally as I was walking back to the hotel saying they were almost there. I asked the front desk for the keys and they told me to take them and check every room. I did and all the rooms except one other one besides the one they gave me were good – much bigger with a double bed and “space” to walk around. I had them switch out those two rooms and had everything ready when they walked in. Howard and David had not had lunch and it was already 2 pm so I walked with them to try to find a restaurant. We ran into some of the guys and they said none of the restaurants that were open were serving “meals” again until 5 pm…again typical in Europe. I took them back down to the restaurant where I had eaten and they had steak, potatoes, and salad.
I was able to get fans for their rooms but the hotel didn’t have enough for the other rooms. I walked around the town for a while taking photos and ran into Wally. Came back to the hotel and worked for a while and then went in search for a restaurant that was open for dinner. Wally and Frank were sitting at a restaurant near the hotel and had met the owner. It’s a really nice restaurant and has a small stage where the owner – who is from Egypt – has live music at times. I had a great salad and Currywurst and an incredible cappuccino.
Have a lot of work to catch up on and thought I would have time to do that over the next couple but things quickly changed as far as having “time off”. Bellamys have been invited to meet with the Mayor and “sign the Golden Book” at a press conference tomorrow mid-day. Then Tuesday will be sound check and the performance and Wednesday we are off to Denmark.
Lindsey sent me a text to let me know she is back in Nashville. Know she is glad to see Zac and Zoe. Sure wish I could! Hopefully, there will be Facetime with them tomorrow. They start school this week! Hard to believe the summer break is over and I’ve only been home with them for a few days.
MONDAY, AUGUST 3RD – DAY OFF IN NORDLINGEN, GERMANY:
Did I mention that it is HOT again in Europe? After freezing and having to wear socks to bed last week in Germany, it is now 95 degrees inside my hotel room each day. I’m sure it will turn cold again when we get to Norway but maybe Denmark will be “pleasant”.
I got up early and had a quick breakfast. The hotel has a GREAT breakfast buffet. Then I went for a run and decided to run all the way around the “wall” of the city. It was beautiful weather and a great run. There are places in the wall where you can walk up steps and go on top of the wall. I didn’t have time to stop and investigate but will try to do that tomorrow before sound check.
Came back and showered and got dressed for the visit with the Mayor to “sign the Golden Book”. We were scheduled to be picked up at the hotel at 11:15 am. We waited and waited and when no one came for us, I started trying to reach the promoter. I finally got him at 11:45 am and he said he had sent Penny in my office an email telling her the Mayor had contacted him and was sick and had to cancel the meeting. I know Penny would have forwarded that message and when I checked with her, she said she hadn’t received anything. The promoter emailed later in the day saying the message was still in his “Mail to Send” box. L
David, Wally, Jim and I walked up to a little restaurant and had lunch. I had a bratwurst with mustard and nothing else. Wally and David had a roast chicken that looked delicious. We walked by a little “market” to buy water on the way back to the hotel. I’ve spent all afternoon and evening working on emails and upcoming tours. Stopped for one hour to have dinner in the hotel restaurant. Had a great Coconut Curry Soup there.
Tomorrow is sound check and performance. Then we fly to Denmark on Wednesday!
TUESDAY, AUGUST 4TH – PERFORMANCE FOR BR RADL BIKE TOUR IN WEMDING, GERMANY:
Sat with Howard at breakfast and then went to the “Fitness Room” to see if they were finished “renovating” it. It was available and had a surprisingly good selection of free weights, one nautilus machine and lots of cardio options. I got in my first work out with actual “dumb bells” on this tour. It has all been with “bands” up until today. Felt great.
Showered and met the guys to go over for sound check. Was very surprised to learn that the person who booked the date was not going to be here to attend the event and take care of things. Also was surprised to learn that the event coordinators thought we had our “own transportation” and would “bring our own stage towels”! We were being told that taxis would have to be rented to transport us back and forth to sound check and performance. Not at all happy with that situation and was able to work out a much better plan. Also miscommunication regarding “load in and sound check”. The production company and backline company were supposed to have the stage set when the musicians arrived for sound check. Instead, all the backline was in the van that took our guys guitars to the venue. So, nothing was set up on the stage and no reason for the guys to be there for at least another hour.
I came back to the hotel after about an hour and left the guys to do their sound check. They said they finished just as the bikers were coming in. Good things because the roads would have been closed.
Walked over and ate at an Italian restaurant where the guys were eating and David ate earlier today. My pasta was terrible but at least the Caprice Salad was good. It had rained for a few minutes and was much, much cooler outside. When the maid cleaned my room today, I had put a sign on my fan telling her not to touch it! She didn’t but guess what – she closed both my windows!
We left for the show at 8 pm and Tom Jeier and his wife were there to see us. There was a short “meet and greet” with the fans prior to them taking the stage. The group had printed up t-shirts with Bellamy’s photos and cd cover on it and were wearing them. They also had lots of really old cds and albums.
This is a HUGE event – 7,000 people attending tonight. I was very impressed with the coordination. The bikers have to ride 80 KM per day so towns have to be carefully selected for their “stop overs”. The towns must have adequate “lodging” (a sports hall where all the bikers sleep on sleeping bags or air mattresses and shows facilities) and a large open area to set up the two stages for entertainment. There is a main stage where the Bellamy’s performed and then another smaller stage where they had disco music after the Bellamy’s performance.
For some reason, the sound was MUCH better off the side of the stage than at the front of the stage. I had walked pretty far away from the stage attempting to get cell phone service. Once I got service, I was talking and walking and not paying attention to where I was going. I saw a low “wall” and sat on top of it to finish my call. Only I looked to my right and saw that I was sitting on the wall to a cemetary – in the dark! I jumped up so quickly, I dropped my phone but fortunately, it landed on the grass.
The Bellamys had another great show. There was a curfew, so they were oly allowed to since one encore but the crowd definitely wanted more. One of the DJ’s from the BR Radl Tour was complimenting them after their performance saying he recognized every song and most of the lyrics!
We had a taxi back to the hotel because the van had to stay and wait for the Bellamys band to load out their equipment. The taxi driver said there had been a bad wreck on the road between the hotel and the venue and someone on a motorcycle was killed. We took a “scenic” route home on a small, winding road.
David had told me yesterday that someone had knocked on his door at 3:30 am but no one was there when he went to the door. Howard said the same thing happened to him last night again at 3:30 am. Frank said he woke up at exactly 3:30 am, too, and felt like someone was in the room with him. When we got back to the hotel, I took the stairs up to the 3rd floor for my room. When I rounded the corner, there was a very old man walking alone in the corridor. He was all bent over and just sort of shuffling down the hallway. No idea where he went but it was pretty bizarre. I’m sleeping with the lights on again tonight!
It’s already almost 2 am. Have to get in bed for a few hours before going to the Munich Airport for the flight to Billund, Denmark.