THURSDAY, JUNE 24TH – INTERLAKEN, SWITZERLAND – HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO LINDSEY:
Bomshel’s flight was arriving on time, so I had to shower and get over to the airport before 8:30 am. All their luggage and equipment arrived as well. Had a “surprise” though because one of the musicians brought his wife. Hotel rooms have one tiny twin bed in each room and the hotel is sold out. Wasn’t sure what they could do for him, if anything.
Our driver this year is “Mike” as opposed to “Spitz” who we have had for years. Definitely an improvement. We made the trip in about 2 hours with one stop for gasoline and “snacks”. Hotel had the room keys waiting for us and I went up and started answering emails….for hours and hours! Finally took a break at about 5 pm and went for a short 30 minute jog. Need to better than that tomorrow. Had too many problems with flights for upcoming festivals to be out any longer than that though.
Met Bomshel in the lobby at 7:30 pm and we went over to the venue for the Sponsor Party. It was a “traditional” Swiss meal with lots of unidentifiable meats. The best part of the meal was the desert bar. I had several friends there from other festivals and the staff working for this event, so it was a very nice evening. Bomshel was “fading” fast by 10 pm, so we left for the hotel. I’ve been sitting in here answering emails again for about 2 hours.
Lindsey is in Germany today with Aaron Tippin and it’s her birthday. Know they will take good care of her over there. I think the most exciting thing that has happened to her is she said she went into the bathroom and the door locked behind her. She was trapped in there for about 45 minutes trying to figure out how to get out. Better her than me!
Very, very busy day tomorrow with Bomshel, Aaron and Bellamys. Going to bed real soon, I hope. Jude
FRIDAY, JUNE 25TH – FIRST SHOWS IN INTERLAKEN:
WHEW! I earned my money today. Taking care of three artists and making sure everything runs smoothly is a challenge. Really glad I had Lindsey there to help me!
I forgot to tell you about the cows in the road yesterday. Was driving with Bomshel out to the venue for the Sponsor Dinner and the entire street was blocked off and being directed by security cops. There were about a dozen cows all wearing huge bells around their necks and flowers on their heads walking down the street. A couple of men and women who were dressed exactly like what you think a Swiss farmer would wear were “herding” them. It was amazing. Turns out each Spring the cows are “walked” to their pastures on the Alps and then each Fall, they are “walked” back down. Trucking them just isn’t a concept here. So cool. If you are on Facebook, I’m posting my Road Reports there WITH photos. Check it out.
Anyway, back to today. Woke up at something around 4 or 5 am because the Skype was ringing on my computer. Since it was a handsome Texan fighter pilot calling, I was very forgiving. J Went back to bed at around 6 and slept until 8 am. Got in a little “weight” exercise in my room this morning then had breakfast. Kenny with the Bellamys isn’t feeling well so I shared my Mucinex with him. Worked until I got a text from Lindsey saying Aaron’s group was arriving. Met everyone in the lobby and gave them their room keys. Then I went out to the venue with Bomshel for sound check. Everything was set up and ready for them and took them less than an hour to finish up. By that time, Aaron’s musicians were on their way over with Lindsey. I went back to the hotel for about 30 minutes and then rode back out with Aaron for sound check. We all went back to the hotel for an hour but had to eat dinner during that time period. This is the first time I’ve eaten in the hotel restaurant. In the past, it’s been great food but not so this time. Some of Aaron’s group were already seated when we walked in so Susan, Jenny, Lindsey and I were going to sit at a table near them. The waitress wanted to know what group we were with. I told her Lindsey and I were with every group and Susan and Jenny were with the Bellamys. She insisted that we sit all the way across the room where the Bellamy’s band had been sitting all week for dinner. Like I said, there was no one else in the restaurant so I told her we were sitting by Aaron’s group. We all have coupons for our meals so it’s not like she needs to keep an eye on us. Howard and David walked in a few minutes later and she refused to let them sit with their wives! David just sat down anyway and told her he WAS sitting with his wife. Usually don’t encounter rudeness like that in Switzerland. The only good part of the meal was the chocolate mousse dessert. Service was slow, so I barely got to eat even part of the meal before leaving for the Press Conference. Bellamys had a video interview at 6:45 pm and all the other artists were joining them at 7 pm. Bill from Germany, Bill and Susann from Switzerland, and Ernie from Zurich were all there and I got to talk to them for a few minutes. Our dear friend Jurg who has had some serious medical challenges had planned to join us. However, I did not know that he was 3 ½ hours drive from where we were and he had not reserved a hotel room. All the hotels in the entire town were sold out. So disappointed that we didn’t get to see him. L Hopefully we will see him when we do the 2 week tour of Switzerland with Gola in December.
Gola was in fine form at the Press Conference and you can tell he is a “super star” in Switzerland. Going to be fun to tour with him. Sorry I’ll miss his performance on stage tonight with the Bellamys. After the press conference, Lindsey stayed with Bomshel, Bellamys went back to the hotel (and ate Indian food at the restaurant across the alley which is one of my favorite places to eat!) and I went with Aaron to do a radio interview. As we were exiting the festival, there was a line of port-a-potties and right beside them a long line of urinals. The urinals were not enclosed and there were several men standing their utilizing them! We all wanted to take a photo but thought better of it. LOL!
After the interview, Aaron went to the hotel and I went to the venue with his musicians. Bomshel performed first and had a great show. Audience was lighter than normal because Switzerland was playing for the World Cup in Soccer. Right before Aaron took the stage, the score was zero to zero and Switzerland lost because that game had to be a “win” for them. At least the crowd tomorrow night will be bigger since there’s no game to compete. I walked over and picked up the payment for Bomshel and Aaron while Bomshel was finishing their set. Kristy climbed about 20 feet off the stage on one of the lighting trusses and played her fiddle during the encore. Audience went wild. Bomshel signed autographs while Aaron’s guy got set up and then I got them back to the hotel.
Aaron also had a great show. Since this is a “trucker” festival and Aaron has a “trucker” cd, it worked out really well. Aaron brings this huge truck horn with him and the venues provide an air compressor so that he can blow it during the show. It is so loud, seems like it blows the audience back 10 feet. Problem is, the “connector” between the compressor and the horn are never the same size and his guys spend a lot of time trying to find a hose that will work. They did get it working for this show and it was a big hit.
After Aaron signed autographs, they were all hungry and we couldn’t find even a gas station open. Our driver – Mike – who was great, by the way – found a little café that was open until 2:30 am. The hotel was only a few blocks away so I walked back to the room so I could pack and get up at 5:30 am. Was 3 am before I laid down. Having lots of problems with sneezing, coughing, and congestion here because of the smoke. I don’t think Americans realize how much we have gotten away from smoky atmospheres until they come to Europe. Even with smoking being banned in most European countries, they still seem to find ways to smoke and blow it in my face. L
Off to Italy tomorrow morning. First time I’ve worked with this event. Should be fun!
LINDSEY’S ROAD REPORT
Friday, June 25, 2010
Woke up at 5 AM and have to give a few wake up calls. I actually had Bill call me at 5 to make sure I was up! Went down to get a quick breakfast before leaving. Was surprised to see all of Aaron’s band already down there eating. I think of them stayed up all night. The bus came and picked us all up at 6:30. Bill is riding with us over to Switzerland and will go to the show tonight and then take a train back tomorrow.
Bus ride is suppose to be 5 hours, however after 3 hours the driver has to take a mandatory 30 min break, so instead of arriving at noon we got in a little closer to 1. Most of the band crashed out during the drive over. Once we started getting close to Interlaken the scenery was beautiful with the Alps in the background and lakes below. Mom met us at the hotel and had us all checked in and gave us our passes for the venue. Threw my stuff in my room and headed over to grab a quick bite to eat. Noticed the chocolate shop across the street and went in to get some truffles and candy to bring home to friends.
Took Aaron’s band over to do load in while mom went back to get Aaron for sound check. The festival is a big Trucker and Bike festival and reminds me a lot of a fair back home. After soundcheck we had a quick dinner at the hotel which was pretty bad… food was ok, but the waitress sucked! Oh well.. left to take all the Artists over for a Press Conference. Ernie, the guy that drives us around when we are in Zurich came over for the show and got to talk to him a little bit. Stayed at the venue with Bomshel while Mom went back to get Aarons guys. Bomshel did a great show.. Kristy climbed the lighting tress and played fiddle while “hanging off”.. mom got a great picture of this. Aaron went on next and the crowd loved him. Aaron does a lot of “trucking” songs so he was very well received. I walked out into the crowd to take a few pictures and ran into Thomas and his wife Sonja. Thomas is the promoter in Grindelwald that we work with. He has a country festival in Oct and last year I took Ray Scott over for it. Was able to talk to them for awhile when Aaron was signing autographs. Had to say good bye to Bill afterwards as I wouldn’t be able to see him tomorrow.
A little after midnight we all left to go back to the hotel but Aaron and his guys were starving so Mike found a restaurant that served until 2:30. Bingo! We were not far from the hotel so mom walked on back while Mike (our driver) found a parking spot and the guys went in to eat. A few of us that weren’t really hungry just sat outside and talked for an hour. Nothing like just sitting outside at 1 AM in Interlaken Switzerland. Got back to the hotel and I think I finally feel asleep around 3. Told mom I would meet her at 6:30 for breakfast and see her and Aaron off as they head to Italy for a show there tomorrow night. Yeah.. famous last words…
Saturday, June 26, 2010
My alarm went off at 6 and I called mom and just told her I would see her back in Nashville. Was just so tired! I didn’t even go up to the top of Jungfrau with Bomshel! Instead I slept in, got ready and then had some downtime with Susan Bellamy. We walked around and took some pics, got some more truffles and sat out at the park and just people watched and talked. It is a beautiful day! We have a VIP meet and greet with The Bellamy’s at 5 back at the venue. There are 300 people that we have to get pictures taken with in less than an hour.. however we pulled it off with 5 mins to spare! Have a little downtime at the hotel before having to go back for the show.
Got the band and Susan over to the venue then ran back to the hotel to get The Bellamy’s. The crowd was the biggest yet. The Bellamy’s have teamed up with Gola, who is a huge star here in Switzerland. They have a duet album coming out and are coming back in Dec for a small tour with him. Gola came out and did a few songs with them and the crowd went crazy! It was awesome. Funny thing.. had to walk the grounds from the stage to the promoter’s office and during that walk I passed a bunch of men lined up against a fence, with them all facing the fence. It took me a minute to figure it out but then I realized they were peeing into these huge “trough’s” of course right next to their line was the line of port of potties.. wish I could have gotten a picture of that! LOL.
It is 1:30 and am back at the hotel to pack, sleep for about 3 hours then leave for the airport with Bomshel. Have had a wonderful time, but missing my babies immensely Can’t wait to get back to them!!
Oh.. and I think the blister on my finger is finally gone.. reminisce of my time stuck in the bathroom in Germany and trying to work to lock!
Sunday, June 27, 2010
My alarm didn’t go off!! Was suppose to wake up at 5:00 AM to leave at 6 for the airport. I shot out of bed at 10 till 6! Kristy with Bomshel called my room to see if they should go ahead and go and I told her “No” I would be there in 5 minutes. We left about 10 mins later than planned but arrived at the airport at the scheduled time. Bomshel flies home on US Air and I am on Delta so I had to make sure they were checked in before I went to DL. Thank God I am in Business Class and was able to use the “Priority” check in as the line was very long. It takes 25 mins to get to the International Terminal, you go through passport control, then a shuttle to E terminal then down 2 levels. Arrived at the gate in time for boarding. I was able to watch Valentines Day while they served dinner and then promptly crashed out for 5 hours, woke up when they started serving the pre landing snack. We still had about an hour and a half before landing so I started watching another movie.. which got terminated b/c of landing with 30 mins left in the movie.. will have to go rent it just to see then ending.. oh well. Oh.. I was sitting on the aisle and some gentleman had the window seat. Didn’t talk much and he went to sleep also right after dinner and woke up as they were serving a snack. Of course he need to go to the bathroom, so I had to rearrange all my food, foot rest, etc for him to get by and has he stood up in the aisle, he was buttoning up his pants… hmmm.. nice!
No problems in Atlanta or on the flight back to Nashville. Dad and The Z’s met me at the airport and it was so good to see Zac and Zoe smiling and waving at me when they pulled up curbside to pick me up.
Oh.. and this lady at Four Corners in Germany gave me a really huge candy bar and had wrapped a wood nymph statue with it. They nymph is from the Black Forest there in Bavaria, Germany and it has special powers so now I have special powers J