NOTE: I have been HOME since the first week of May — with the exception of a week at Disneyland, Sea World and the San Diego Zoo with my beautiful grandchildren and a quick 3 day trip to DC! But, it’s “travel time” again.
WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY, JUNE 27TH AND 28TH – NASHVILLE TO INTERLAKEN, SWITZERLAND:
Left today to fly from Nashville to Atlanta to Zurich then tour bus to Interlaken, Switzerland. I have 4 artists performing at this fantastic festival this year – Tanya Tucker, Bellamy Brothers, Terri Clark and Burns & Poe. I am on the same flight with Tanya and her group. Penny is flying over and meeting Terri Clark and her tour manager who have been in the UK. Penny will stay with them for the concerts in Interlaken and Italy and then fly back to Nashville. Lindsey will fly over and stay with Terri for shows in Germany and Norway. I stay with the Bellamy Brothers and we go to Denmark and Norway from Switzerland. Then the Bellamys fly home and I meet up with Vince Gill and his musician for two shows in Norway. Tanya and Burns and Poe are only performing in Interlaken and then going back to Nashville.
We had a lot of excess to check in but Delta was great (and so were my Skycaps) and it was an easy enough process. Our flight left Nashville on time and landed on time in Atlanta. I went into the Lounge to check email and learned that Terri Clark’s musicians flight to Chicago had been canceled due to mechanical problems. Evidently United was not being very helpful in trying to find new connections. They finally booked 3 of them via Miami/London/Zurich and the other group through DC/London/Zurich. But they sat in the Nashville airport for 4 & 5 hours waiting for those flights to depart.
My “seat mate” on Delta was pretty strange. She was an “older” lady and when she sat down, she called someone on her cell phone. Her conversation went like this:
“I made it on the plane. I don’t know if they can still come and take me off. If so, I’ll get on the plane to Stuttgart. I’m just going to sit here and be real quiet and see what happens”.
Strange! After takeoff, she started pushing buttons on the seat console. Each time she would push a button, she would look down at her feet. Only problem was, she was pushing the buttons for my seat recline. My seat kept going back and forth and the foot rest kept popping up. I was so intrigued, I didn’t offer to help her for a few minutes. I finally asked her if I need to show her how to use the “remote”. She gladly accepted my assistance with the statement that she had not flown “up here” in quite a while. My guess is she had NEVER flown “up here” (Business/First Class) before.
Flight was very turbulent (not my favorite) for the first few hours. I watched “Act of Valor” and cried through 2/3 of it. Great story about Navy Seals portrayed by real Navy Seals. Got about 3 hours sleep and then it was time to land. Landed on time, immigration and customs was a breeze and all our luggage came. We met Burns & Poe outside baggage claim. Our bus and driver was there but we had to “call” him to bring the bus around because the entire airport is under major construction.
When I landed, I had a message from one of Terri’s musicians who was connecting through DC/London. She (Anita) said their flight was delayed by 5 hours out of DC and they would miss their connection in London. United would not book them on another flight! Anita started going counter to counter trying to find someone to help her. Now, Dulles is a HUGE airport and who does she ask for help – my friend Jon with Global Services who just happened to be standing there. She told him she was going to zurich for a concert and he asked her if she knew me! Small world. He got them booked on another flight and made it possible for them to still arrive on Thursday. The hotel had our rooms ready and waiting for us. Jrene met us and gave us all our “credentials”. Iris came over and we had a quick lunch and “catch up” session”!
I met Penny and Terri Clark and her tour manager around 2:30-3:00 pm when they arrived. Walked Penny down the street to show her where she could change money and buy “groceries”. Then finally had a few minutes to grab a shower. The water pressure at this hotel has definitely increased since last year. There is no way to regulate the “flow” of water – it’s just ballistic or nothing. Let me just say that you do not want to turn around and face the shower head as you risk losing various body parts!
I was supposed to go to the Sponsor Party with Burns & Poe and Terri but instead had to wait for the 3 musicians who were routed through Miami to arrive. They had arrived on time….with no luggage. Trying to track that now. Was able to go to the party about an hour late. They were serving “Mexican” food. I was so hungry, it didn’t matter “what” they were serving. Didn’t stay but a few minutes because I wanted to get back to the hotel in time to meet the final two Terri Clark musicians who would be arriving close to midnight. The hotel was nice enough to keep the restaurant open so they could have dinner. And, all their luggage arrived!
It’s after 1 am now and I’m definitely “dragging”. Going to sleep for a couple of hours after I check the Bellamy’s flights and the lost luggage once more. Tomorrow Burns & Poe are going up the Jungfrau (Top of Europe) and Terri and Tanya have sound check and performances.
FRIDAY, JUNE 29TH – TANYA TUCKER AND TERRI CLARK PERFORM IN INTERLAKEN, SWTIZERLAND.
So as you probably know from previous year’s Road Reports, Europe is a huge “soccer” supporter. And the playoffs for the World Cup are taking place now. Italy beat Germany last night and the streets were filled with screaming fans. Took us twice as long to get back to the hotel. If that happened in the U.S., the riot squad would be on hand. But nothing bad happened…just very, very noisy.
I got up at 6:00 and went for my jog. Had bought a new heart monitor wristwatch because I need to “slow down” and burn fat. Was really looking forward to my “monitored” run but it wasn’t working. The watch worked but not the monitor! I ran for about 45 minutes but couldn’t go along the river on my usual path. I had sent Jack that way yesterday and he returned to report that the path was closed off. Construction is everywhere!
Had a very quick breakfast with about 200 Japanese tourists. Then showered and got ready to go to sound check with Tanya’s group. I did read my heart monitor instruction book and found that I needed a battery. Easy in “Switzerland” to find a battery, right? Nope! They don’t deal with “digital” watches (said in a very snobby tone by the shopkeepers!). I finally found one shop that would replace the battery for me.
When we arrive at the venue, the production company did not have the stage set up and ready for Tanya’s musicians to sound check. We had gone over this numerous times with them and to say I was a little perturbed would be an understatement. Tanya’s guys had to work for 1 ½ hours getting everything set and ready to play. So, of course, they ran over on the sound check time, but not their fault.
I came back to the hotel to work on finding the missing luggage. Good news is, two of the three bags were found in London and were due to arrive at 12:30 pm at the Zurich Airport. I called and made arrangements for them to be delivered before 7 pm so that the guys would have what they needed for the show. Of course, they lied to me. The bags didn’t arrive until after 11 pm tonight, but at least they got here before they left for Italy. They finally located the 3rd bag at the London airport and it arrived at the Zurich airport late today. It will go on a plane to Milan tomorrow morning and I’m praying we see that bag again!
Walked down the street for a few minutes to get some things for the room. Burns and Poe group spent the day at the “Top of Europe” and loved the trip. So glad they were able to do this.
Had dinner at 5 pm because we have to go to a press conference at 6:45 pm. Dinner was good except for the main course – a very “fishy” tasting fish! Had a quick shower and dressed for the show. I discovered that not only will the high pressure amputate body parts, but the shower is a “wand” and it will fly off the handle and chase you! Not a pretty sight.
Press Conference was very well attended and lasted for about 1 hour. Terri stayed over for her performance, Bellamys went back to hotel, and I went to the radio station with Burns & Poe. They had a great interview with Radio Bernese Oberland. Burns & Poe were fascinated with the outdoor urinals. It’s just this “column” with urinals around all 4 sides. The guys all just stand there and use them in plain sight of everyone at the festival. Pretty remarkable the first time you witness it.
Came back to the hotel with a little time to call on the missing bags again. It was 10 pm and they had still not been delivered. Tanya was supposed to leave the hotel for the venue at 10:30 pm and I was riding over with her. Everything was going go great UNTIL…..
Susan came running into the lobby and said “Tanya needs help. She blew up something in her room and the power was out. The hotel didn’t have any flashlights and only the night manager — who wouldn’t be in for another 20 minutes – could flip the breaker and turn the power back on. Tanya moved into Jodi’s room but still needed her clothes. So we were about 10 minutes late going on stage]…but not her fault!
Terri and Tanya both did great shows. The tent was packed and I think the audience really loved the performances. Marcel from Gstaad was there with his staff and I enjoyed chatting with him backstage. Tanya performed at his event 20 years ago and he came back to say hello to her.
We got out of the tent at around 12:30 am. It’s 2:30 am now and time for bed!
SATURDAY, JUNE 30TH – LAST PERFORMANCES IN INTERLAKEN:
Forgot to mention what happened when I went to Iris’s office last night. It’s in a building but is fenced off from the festival attendees because of the amount of cash being counted in there. There’s lots of security surrounding it too. I always get thoroughly quizzed when I go see her. From year’s past, I knew to pick one end of the large heavy fence up and lift the pole out of the cement block. I did that last night but didn’t realize that the other end of the fence had a big “wheel” on it so I could have just rolled the fence open! The entire fence fell down with a loud CLANG! Security came running over and all the festival attendees turned to stare at me. Very smooth!
I had set my alarm for 8 am after going to bed at 3:30 am. I woke up at 6:30 and thought about going downstairs to make sure Penny and Terri Clark’s group got off on time. But, I felt “drugged” (combination of no sleep and jet lag) and just couldn’t do it. Went back to sleep and didn’t wake up until 9 am….I set the alarms but forgot to turn them on! L Was still able to get in a workout and quick lunch before going to the venue with Burns & Poe.
Penny and Terri’s group got stuck in traffic going to Italy and arrived 2 hours late. Also, Penny got thrown down the aise of the bus when the driver had to slam on breaks unexpectedly. Thankfully, she didn’t break anything.
Once again, the stage wasn’t set up and ready for them to sound check. What should have been a 30 minute sound check turned into 1 ½ hours. And to make it worse, right in the middle of Burns and Poe getting their levels, the Country Sisters came on stage in their leopard print mini-skirts and started their show in front of the band. I have no clue what that was about! I didn’t go over for sound check earlier this morning with the Bellamy Brothers. They have performed at this festival so many times, they really don’t need any “babysitting”.
We got back to the hotel and had an early dinner. Again, the food was really bad. It was supposed to be veal, but it looked and tasted like some kind of “canned” meat. Howard and I sent ours back and they brought us a steak. Only mine was still bleeding and cold in the center. I gave up at that point and gave mine to Wally.
Burns and Poe had a great, high energy show. Had something strange happen tonight too. At one point in the show, Keith puts his guitar down and goes out into the audience and sings. Well all the stars certainly liked up for someone tonight. A drunk man climbed over the fence that is around the festtent. The security guard at the back door had left her post to go to the toilet (definitely a no-no). The drunk ran into the tent, up on the stage and grabbed Keith’s guitar! The band had no idea what was going on but kept playing. He was apprehended pretty quickly and suddenly there were about 30 “security” officers on the back door.
Bellamys had a really fantastic show tonight. It was fun watching Keith Burns watch their show. He is such a HUGE fan. They went back for 6 encores and still the crowd wanted more. They signed autographs for about an hour and then we went back to the hotel. It’s almost 3 am now and I have to get up and walk with Susan at 8 pm so, good-night!
SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012 – PARTY AT GOLA’S!
Have I mentioned that ever since we arrived in Switzerland, it has been miserably hot? Before we arrived, they were having unseasonably cool weather. We checked the weather on the internet and packed accordingly. The big Festtent where we perform hold 5,000 people and it’s like a huge sauna. The humidity is at 100%, too. And only a few rooms in the hotel have air conditioning. Teach me to brag about working in Europe all Summer where it’s cooler. Of course, I heard it was 108 in Nashville yesterday – supposedly the hottest day in history for them.
Talked to my Z’s last night on video before I went to bed. Lindsey has to leave them for a week today and I’m stressing out over it. She’ll be fine but I’ll be a wreck the entire time we’re both away.
Right before I crawled into bed at 3:30 am, I heard someone talking really loud in Japanese and it sounded like they were standing right outside my door. This went on for several minutes, so I opened the door to see what was going on. The door across the hall from me was open and there were 3 young men in there with the window open as well. The room was filled with smoke and they were very drunk. I politely told them that people were trying to sleep and they should either go down to the lobby or close their door and talk quieter. They were still sober enough that I scared the heck out of them and they apologized profusely. J
Got up and “power walked” with Susan this morning. I wore my new “heart monitor” so I could control my “speed”. I am so accustomed to jogging that walking is a real challenge. We walked for an hour and the weather was beautiful. Had breakfast with her and David and by the time we finished, the temperature had dropped significantly. Doesn’t that just figure? I spend two of the hottest days they have had sweltering in a huge festtent and then when the festival is over, it cools off to the 50’s!
We were supposed to go to Gola’s for dinner but he moved it to lunch because the heavy rains were supposed to roll in later in the day. It was the first time I had visited his home because I had to leave early with Aaron Tippin when he had the barbecue for everyone a couple of years ago. It’s a beautiful place! Evidently, he took an old “barn” and renovated it and did an amazing job! And the food was delicious. Gola was the “cook”. We met his new girlfriend Heidi who seems to be real nice although she doesn’t speak much English. Gola seems to be very happy and that’s what’s important.
We were there from around 12:30-5:30 and had a great time visiting with all our Swiss friends from the duet project. When we came back to the hotel, we ran into Tanya in the hotel gift shop and the Bellamys and her started re-living their “pasts”. There were some hilarious tales told!
Susan and I grabbed umbrellas and took another 60 minute walk along the river. Then we went to a great Indian restaurant outside our hotel. I’m trying to finish up emails and pack some of my things. Tanya was leaving with her assistant and daughters to go into Zurich and spent the night at the Radisson attached to the airport Her band and crew have to leave the hotel at 4 am tomorrow to drive to the airport. All 1,500 trucks pull out of the festival site early tomorrow morning, so they have to leave before those do!
Tomorrow, I’m down to only one artist – The Bellamy Brothers. We are having dinner tomorrow night with our promoters and friends here and then it’s off to Denmark for us!
MONDAY, JULY 2ND – LAST DAY IN SWITZERLAND:
A very loud thunderstorm complete with hail and a light show passed through about 4:30 am. It was still raining at 8 am when Susan and I were going for our walk, so we delayed until around 9:15 am. Walked for an hour and it started thundering and raining on us before we got back to the hotel.
Showered and then David went for a massage and Susan and I went for a spray tan. Spray tan salons don’t really exist over here. But I found one in a lady’s house. It was pretty interesting….as it usually is for Susan and I. J She spoke not one word of English. I tried to tell her that I use that particular type of booth in the U.S. but couldn’t get through to her. She insisted on telling us everything in Swiss-German and using lots of hand gestures. Finally, she went downstairs and had her husband come up to translate. Then, her husband asked me if I could contact the company that makes the booths when I get back to the U.S. because he has a lot of trouble with his and there is no repair shop in Switzerland. I told him I really don’t deal directly with the manufacturer but will see what I can find out for him.
It was very “uncomfortable” because the lady would not leave the room and let us have any privacy for the spray tan process. Plus she was beautiful with a perfect body and Susan and I were intimidated! Not much we could do but proceed at that point. I went first and she stood and gave instructions the entire time I was in there. It was a little different from the one in the states as far as when you turn around and when the “dryer” comes on.
Came back to the hotel and went “shopping” for the Z’s. Really didn’t find anything except a couple of little cars. Bought those and then Susan and I packed a box to ship home regular mail because we can’t add any weight to our bags or we’ll have to pay really high excess weight charges on all the “internal” flights! Sure hope I don’t get stuck with another $500 charge on one of the little airlines. L
We dressed and were ready to go to dinner with Iris and Lorenz (our promoters and dear friends) and Jean Marie (from Universal Records). We’re planning another project with him this year and have lots of things to discuss. We really love working with him and Universal Switzerland. We had dinner at a traditional Swiss restaurant where we ate two years ago. I sent Tanya and her daughters there last night and they loved it. We had cheese fondue and meat fondue and it was amazing.
Back at the hotel and packing up for the trip to Denmark tomorrow. We have to leave the hotel at 7:30 am and it’s a 2 hour drive (minimum) to the Zurich airport. We depart at noon to Amsterdam arriving at 1:30 pm. Then we don’t depart Amsterdam until 4:40 pm and arrive Billund, Denmark at 5:45 pm. It’s a 1 ½ hour drive to Holstebro where the concert will be held on Wednesday night. Should arrive the hotel at around 9 pm. So, basically 13 ½ hours of travel for two flights that are less than 2 hours each!
PENNY’S ROAD REPORT
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012: Today I leave for Switzerland, Italy and Germany. Judy left on an earlier flight with Tanya Tucker, and we will all meet up later in Interlaken for the festival. Burns and Poe are on a different flight and will meet Judy when they land in Zurich. The Bellamys will arrive on Friday. I met Terri Clarks band at Customs, registered their gear and left for the airport. Everyone got checked in and we decided to have lunch before our flights left. Just after we ordered, Clay got a call from United Airlines saying their flight was canceled. Clay and I went to the gate and found out it was mechanical problems. We started checking on other flight options, which American would have been perfect, but it was canceled due to mechanical as well. NOT a good sign. The lady told me they would put them on the same flight tomorrow. I explained that was not an option because they had a show to do in Switzerland. They ended up finding flights, but they would have to separate into 2 groups – Clay, Chris and Jason will go Miami, London, Zurich; and Anita and Tommy will go Dulles, London, Zurich. They should all meet up in London and arrive Zurich around 4:30. Terri and Jeff, her road manager, are already in the UK doing a songwriters tour, and I will meet them when they land in Zurich. I am flying on Delta. My flight was uneventful, which is good since the band had enough problems to worry about. Unfortunately my tv monitor did not work, even after several attempts to reboot the system. L I ended up with no movies, no music, no light. I could not read and even had to eat in the dark. Penny
THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 2012: Landed in Amsterdam for my connection with no problems. The connecting terminal was half way across the airport. Made it with plenty of time, and had a short flight on to Zurich. As I check my messages, I find out that Anita and Tommy’s flight from Dulles was delayed another 4 hours. They will miss the “group flight” in London so they are being put on a later flight. Picked up my luggage, found a charging station for my phone and waited for Terri and Jeff to arrive. Once they arrived, we found our driver and headed out for the 2 hour drive to Interlaken. This is my first time in Interlaken. I have always thought Zurich was beautiful, but the drive to Interlaken was breathtaking. The mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls – absolutely beautiful. Jrene and Judy met us when we arrived, had our room keys ready. Terri and Jeff went to crash for a bit before the Sponsor Party tonight, I took a quick stroll around town with Judy. Back to the room to get showered and ready for the Sponsor Party. I left with Burns & Poe and Terri & Jeff, while Judy stayed at the hotel to meet the first half of Terri’s band. When Judy got to the Sponsor Party she said the 3 guys arrived, but their bags didn’t. Good thing they carried on their guitars. Stayed at the party for a bit, Iris introduced / welcomed all of the artist’s that were there. Headed back to the hotel, and there were people EVERY where. Italy and Germany were competing in the soccer finals and Italy won. There were people yelling, partying, honking their horns, crowding the streets – crazy!! Anita and Tommy arrived shortly after we did, and luckily their bags did too! Skyped back home to my boys and then to bed about 1 AM. Not sure what has been turned off on the computer, but my camera is not working. I can see the boys when we skype, but they can’t see me. L It worked in Zurich last time I used it……
FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012: Slept in this morning, up about 8 and had a quick breakfast. I saw Terri’s band at breakfast and Burns & Poe. Burns & Poe were all going up to Jungfrau – Top of Europe – this morning. It takes almost the whole day so Terri’s band won’t have a chance to go. L Tanya’s band had sound check first and the stage was not ready when they got there so things were running a little late. Terri and her band went on over for sound check. We got there in time to hear Presley, Tanya’s oldest daughter, sing a couple of songs. We all could not believe how much she sounded like Tanya, every little annunciation was spot on! Both of Tanya’s daughters, Presley and Layla, perform during the show….too bad we will miss it. We had a pretty easy sound check, Terri is great. I am really looking forward to her show. She has been so wonderful and very down to earth. Back to the hotel to freshen up, just to leave again. All of the artists are attending the Press Conference this evening. The Bellamys arrived today and they are going to join us before they “crash”! Press Conference is in the same building as the Sponsor Party, and boy was it HOT in there. They don’t have a/c in many hotels in Europe, not even many fans, so we were all sweating like crazy. It is unseasonably warm here compared to years past….same in Nashville, record 100’s for the last few days. Terri, Jeff and I left the Press Conference and head straight to the venue for the show. I was able to get the stage person to put a fan in Terri’s (and Tanya’s) dressing area to try and help cool them down. Was next to impossible when you are in a tent with 3000+ people and no air stirring. L Terri’s show was great, the crowd seemed to really love her. She does this acoustic set during her show, just her, and sings “Smile”, a song she wrote about her mom and her passing. OMG!! I tried my best to hold back the tears, but they just streamed down my face. I cannot imagine what Terri has gone through, nor do I want to, and the strength she has to have to make it through that song every night. WOW!! Terri and Jeff headed back to the hotel immediately after Terri’s show. I stayed with the band while they loaded up their gear and we all headed back. Got back to the hotel and luckily 2 of the 3 bags arrived. Poor Jason, his bag is still missing. I had to wait on Judy to get back from Tanya’s show to get some things from her. Wasn’t sure I would make it. I kept dozing off, and I would look at my watch and it would have been 3 minutes. I finally text Judy and said “call me” when you get here. In bed by 1:30 only to get up at 5 AM! Judy said that Jason’s bag is supposed to be sent to Milan…Early morning, and a short night. Penny