It was WONDERFUL to have a real gym to work out in.  I get bored when I have to jog every day without a break to lift weights..  Darryl went over to AFN for an on-air radio interview and then cut some PSA’s for AFN-TV.  Came back to the hotel for a couple of hours and the maids kept knocking on our doors trying to get us to check out.  One guy was sitting in his room in his underwear and obviously scared the little maid so badly when she “walked in on him” that she didn’t bother him again.  (Photo left:  Darryl doing interviews) We went over to get our ID cards and while we were waiting our turn to have photos made, Scotty (Darryl’s drummer) grabbed his chest and said he was having pains.   Scared us and him pretty bad so we sent him to the emergency room to get checked out.   He’s a really large boy and we’re hoping he’s not having heart problems.    We’re now two hours past our departure time to drive to Camp Walker and no news from him yet.  Not sure if they will let him travel the 4-5 hours to Camp Walker and not sure what we will do if it is his heart.  Hoping for the best! Just got word that he seemed to check out okay but they wanted to keep him for “observation” and do a stress test tomorrow morning.   They put him in ICU and let the other guys visit him.  He says he is fine and is ready to get out!  We decided to spend the night in Seoul and get up and drive to Camp Walker tomorrow in time to set up for the show.  Of course, there were NO rooms left at the Dragon Hill Lodge on base.   Our MWR rep found us rooms right off base at the Capital Hotel (Bebe, I can hear you laughing!).   I’ve stayed there many times in the past and it’s “okay”.   However, the last time I stayed there, prostitution had become an “issue”.  Guys were thrilled about that… We got checked in and I was delighted to see that there weren’t any girls hanging out in the lobby this time.  But, my room is definitely reminiscent of the Red Light District.  Not sure I’ve ever seen furniture this gaudy….well, okay, maybe in Saddam’s palaces!  Good news is they do have a DSL line and it’s only for one night. Jude

Got up early to use the funky little exercise facility at the hotel.  I remember it from years ago.   It’s good equipment but they have those old machines with the “belts” on them that you put around your waist.  The belt vibrates and that’s supposed to get rid of the fat in the particular area where the belt is positioned.   Hate to tell the Koreans, but it’s not working! We were supposed to get the results of the drummer’s stress test by 9 am but of course we didn’t hear anything until almost noon.   The doctors were concerned because they had found some enzymes in his tests from the night before that indicated he may have had a heart attack.  They gave him the stress test but he was not able to finish it, so they told him he needed to “rest” the remainder of the time we are in Korea and when he gets home, he must see his physician and have the dye run to see if he has blockage.    I gave him the option of flying back home today but he wants to just stay and rest.  Says he feels fine.  He won’t be playing drums any time soon though.  (Photo right:  Banner advertising Darryl’s performance) We moved from the hotel back to the base and everyone scattered to find food to take with them on the 5 hour drive up to Taegu. We were sending someone to pick up the drummer from the hospital and got a room for him and Darryl’s road manager at the hotel on base.  Didn’t want to leave him alone and felt like the road manager would be the obvious choice to stay behind since I can do his job for him.   As I was walking back to the bus, I heard someone yell my name and it was the drummer in a van on his way to the hotel.  I jumped in the back seat and noticed that he still had on a hospital gown!  I had this moment of panic that he was going to moon everyone when he exited the vehicle but realized he had his jeans on underneath!  Said he couldn’t find his shirt.  (Photo left:  Darryl signing autographs) Drive up to Taegu was pretty scenic but very LONG.   Boy, do I miss our helicopter rides of the past.  The sound company we hired is excellent and were all set up and waiting for us at Camp Walker.   Because we arrived so late, we had to hold the doors until we finished sound check.   The musician who is filling in on the drums for the regular drummer is great.   Really glad we were able to switch some things around and still make this tour work for the troops.  I did have a phone call from an MWR rep who advised that they had a Filipino band that was excellent and we could use their drummer for the rest of the tour.  J  I had to let him know that it would take a couple of days of rehearsal to use someone else’s drummer and we didn’t have that kind of time.  The General at this base is someone that Chely and I met at the Narita Airport last October as we were leaving from her tour of Korea.  I remember that he had just returned from the States where he had knee surgery.  He had his wife and 2 kids with him at the show and he definitely remembered meeting me.  The show was great – packed gymnasium and a very “lively” crowd.  Much different from shows in Iraq and Kuwait where there is no alcohol allowed.  One guy came up to the stage to shake Darryl’s hand during a song and then tried to yank him off the stage.   Darryl caught himself but felt something tear in his knee.  He called the guy back up and made him get up on the stage.   I was surprised to see so many women and children in the audience.  At the majority of the Camps we have visited in Korea, the soldiers are not allowed to bring their families with them.  I was told that if they agree to serve for 2 years, they get to bring their families.  If it’s only a one year tour of duty, then they cannot bring their families.  LONG autograph line which lasted for a couple of hours, then an interview with AFN, and finally a very late steak dinner for the band.  I had to check email and the computers at the base lodging would not let me log on to AOL.  So at midnight, I had to get a ride downtown off base to a cyber café and check my email.  Be glad to get back to Seoul where I have a DSL line in my room.  Don’t think it will be much longer before everywhere is wireless.  Will definitely be nice!

Nice gym at this rather remote base.  We’re traveling back to Yongsan today but making a stop in Osan for some “power shopping”.  (Photo left:  Darryl performing for the troops at the DMZ) All of the guys except two wanted to stop and shop, so we split up and sent a couple of them back to the hotel.  Even guys who never shop, turn into shopaholics on my tours.  We’re going to have suits and boots made on Monday – our day off.  Got some great bargains today at Osan.  Back at the hotel on base which is just the best!  Darryl’s drummer is doing much better and wants to go with us tomorrow.  I’m against it because it’s going to be our “hardest” day.  We depart early for the DMZ and Darryl does an acoustic performance and meet and greet.  We take a tour of the DMZ and then we have a show at Camp Casey tomorrow night and won’t be home until around 2 am.   I’m also concerned because there would not be any quality medical assistance readily available should something happen to him. It’s after 2 am and the electricity keeps going off in the hotel!  Guess I’ll just go to bed!  (Photo right:  Darryl and some of his band at the DMZ) Jude

Oh, almost forgot!   On Tuesday when we were getting ready to depart for our first show, our coordinator called and said, “I have some more bad news for you”.  I thought it was something to do with our drummer but it wasn’t.  She said that she had a family emergency and had to fly back to the states!  So, I’m pretty much on my own which is fine.  If I can take tours through Iraq on my own, I’m sure I can handle Korea solo!  We do have a very nice Korean man from her office – Mr. Wong – accompanying us. Got off to a late start today….another casualty from too much fun the night before.  But it was a “non-essential” person.  We had a fabulous Air Force Protocol Officer on the bus ride up to the DMZ.   I’ve been doing these DMZ tours once or twice a year since 1992 and I learned things today that I had never heard before.  He has really researched the history and was a wealth of knowledge.  The one thing that disturbs me the most is the fact that Kim Jong Il appears to be as horrid as Saddam was to his people.  Hard to believe the conditions the people of North Korea are living under.  (Photo left:  Darryl w/ the ROK Soldier) The guys were able to go into the building at the DMZ where they can cross over into North Korea and take photos with our ROK soldiers.  I’m beginning to recognize the ROK soldiers that are stationed up there.  I wonder if they talk amongst themselves after I leave and say, “There’s that woman again!  Do you think she’s a spy?”  J They performed a short acoustic set for the guys stationed at Camp Bonifas at the DMZ.  Every thing is being closed at that Camp in preparation for moving the forces farther away from North Korea.  No dining facility any more and the troops have to eat MRE’s.  But today was a special treat as they brought in hamburgers in our honor.  Not sure if the soldiers were more excited about the entertainment or the real food.   (Photo right:  Darryl on the tank) Also took the guys to play the “World’s Most Dangerous Golf Course”.  It’s only one hole and located right on the border.  The “danger” is the fact that it is surrounded by mine fields.  Once you hit a ball towards the green, you certainly don’t ever go pick it up! Drove on to Camp Casey where I’ve done numerous shows and have some great friends over there.  Everything is always first class and we had a huge crowd in a gymnasium.   The guys were able to go look at and ride in the tanks prior to the show.  A real treat for them because they have never been on a military tour before.   Our drummer insisted on coming on the trip today and insisted on performing – against doctor’s orders.   We had an ambulance and paramedic standing by but he did just fine. Long autograph line and late arrival back at the hotel….12:30 am…not as late as I expected though.  Don’t have to depart to Camp Humphreys until 1 pm tomorrow.  Yea!! Jude

Drove up to Area 1 today and knew that the show was going to be outside and COLD!  I called the coordinator yesterday to go over everything and make sure he didn’t have any questions. Didn’t get much out of him and he didn’t ask any questions which concerned me.  Had a phone call this morning from someone else at the base saying they never received a stage plot and didn’t have any risers.  By the time the hotel gave me the message and I called him back, they had built the risers.   But, this show was the most unorganized of any we have played.  I’ve had entertainers play at this Camp many, many times, and never had a problem. (Photo left:  Crown dancing during the show)  There was absolute NO security for the stage and the audience had a lot to drink.  Enough said?  One guy with a huge flag jumped up on the stage in the middle of the show and almost hit Darryl in the head with the flag pole.   Several people got too close to the lights and almost pulled them off the stage.  Then a group decided to put their cowboy hats on the stage and stop Darryl’s performance and ask him to sign them!  I begged the coordinator for some MP’s but he said they were all “off-duty”.    He finally gave me one for the stage but we might as well not have had anyone.  He stood way back away from the stage and never once stepped forward to control the crowd.   Darryl’s road manager and I ended up working as “security”.  I knew the autograph line would be a nightmare but it wasn’t as bad as we expected.  Did see something unusual on this base that I don’t normally see in the Military.  There were two very large, very, very unattractive women in the line – not to be rude, but these women were pretty frightening.  It was freezing cold and one had on shorts and sandals, too.   Really long, greasy looking hair that had bad dye jobs.  After they got their autographs, we were told that 2 years ago, they were men.  They had gone to Bangkok for a sex change.  One of them was retired Air Force.  And, at last night’s show, there were two guys dancing together.   I mean, doing spins and dips.  Never have seen that on a base…have seen lots of girls dancing together but never two guys. We had an hour to kill between sound check and dinner and we went over to the Base Exchange.  That’s where I realized that I had left my passport and ID card in my little holder in the room.  I jogged this morning and had slipped it on so just in case I ran off the base.  Thankfully, they didn’t check it when we came onto the base.  I was thinking about hiding in the luggage compartment of the van when we went back to the base in Seoul! There was this little gadget in the Exchange that took still photos, videos, was a voice recorder, and an MP3 player.  It was the size of a small cell phone and the price was only $280.    I think we’re all going to buy one at the Exchange in Seoul on Monday – our day off. The show was great even with all the security problems.  I sat in the van to watch most of it because my feet were frozen.  Borrowed a big coat from one of the musicians on stage, but was still freezing.  The autograph line lasted about 2 hours and I was definitely frozen by the time it ended.  Tomorrow we drive up to Camp Red Cloud.  Know that one is organized because it’s the same people who handled last night’s performance. Jude

Went to the great gym in this hotel today.  Sure is nice to be back on “schedule” with my jogging and working out.   Makes a huge difference in how I feel all day long.  We had two Protocol Officers accompany us today and one was a female navigator for a C-130.  Very cool talking to her about all my trips on C-130’s.   It was supposed to be an hour and one-half bus ride to Camp Red Cloud but we hit “traffic” and it took over two hours.  The base had a great lunch waiting for us and there were these cool black cloth placemats with the Commanding General logo on them.  I knew everyone was going to try and sneak one out, so I just asked if we could each have one and the base was nice enough to comply.  We went to a flag football game for a few minutes to watch the soldiers from that Camp playing against another Camp.  Then we were given the “bunker” tour.  Civilians are rarely allowed inside the bunkers because of security concerns.  We were given a really interesting briefing and allowed to look at a couple of areas that reminded me of the “War Room” at the Pentagon.  After sound check and just prior to the show, we met with a Major General and his wife and a Brigadier General.  They all attended the show, which was held outside.  Today’s event was very well-organized because it was handled by the same people who handled our show at Camp Casey.  I have been working with them for almost ten years now and know that everything will be first class when they are involved.   There was a huge, very appreciative audience and I think that because of the “presence” of the two Generals, no one drank too much or got loud an obnoxious.  Because it was getting cold and dark, the autograph session was held inside at a Sports Bar on base.   The Camp is trying to “upgrade” the bar and make it more appealing to the local soldiers.  Their biggest competition is prostitution outside the gate in the local nightclubs.  I’ve been helping them secure some autographed items to hang on the walls.  At the end of the show, they had purchased a guitar and wanted Darryl to play one song on it and then autograph it for them to put in the club.  Instead Darryl gave them the guitar he was playing on this tour!  (Photo right:  Darryl and a fan) The guys had started drinking Shoju very early on in the afternoon.  They kept talking about how it didn’t have hardly any alcohol in it and they couldn’t even tell they were drinking.  Some of the soldiers kept warning them that the effects would sneak up on them.  It did and it was not a pretty sight.  I have no problem with them having a few drinks and having a good time.  But when it gets out of hand and someone I’ve been working with for 10 years is offended and my chances of bringing more entertainment to the troops over here is jeopardized, then I am not happy.  To make matters worse, the Sargeant Major of the base was drunker than anyone else and kept encouraging everyone to drink more.   Not a very good “role model” for his troops.  Several of his guys came up and apologized to me! Had a very hard time getting everyone on the bus and back to the hotel.  Hopefully, they are sleeping it off now but somehow I doubt it.  I have a feeling I’ll be getting a phone call soon about the “noise”. Going to bed because I have a lot of shopping to do tomorrow…our only day off. Jude

Up early to work out in the great gym here and then hit the shops.  Took a taxi over and since the fare was only $1.50, I gave the taxi driver $4.00.   He looked at me and said, “Oh, you very photogenic.  Like a model”.   How about that for a cheap way to get a compliment? Met up with some of the guys and showed them where to have suits made and purchase copy bags and watches, etc.  I know my tailor friend was happy to see me.  I had a long list of items to pick up for other people, so I spent most of the day shopping.    My copy bag shop had moved to a new, hidden location!   Had to follow a little man down a couple of streets, then up some stairs and behind a solid black glass door.  The bags were awesome…very good quality…but much higher than last year.    None were under $100 this time. I took all my purchases including a new, large coin rack for all my military coins  to a little stand and a man “made” boxes for me and wrapped everything.  I took everything to the base post office and shipped it back to myself via regular U.S. postage…..great way to avoid the high cost of paying excess baggage fees to fly it home.  The tailor even gave me a ride from his shop back to the base with my two large boxes! Darryl and some of his guys were going to a traditional Korean restaurant for dinner but I didn’t go because I needed to work.   We all met at the tailor shop and Darryl then decided to have a suit made as well!  Now I’m doing laundry, answering emails and trying to get packed.   Last show tomorrow.  Jude

Last “jogging” day in Korea and it was beautiful weather…just a bit cold! Our Protocol Officer took the guys out to a local restaurant last night and then on to a nightclub.  Some of them were still up partying at 8 am this morning!  I took a couple of the guys over to Itaewon for one last hour of shopping.  I made one mad dash for “copy bags” but was disappointed because the “underground shopping” is closed on Tuesdays!    I was also disappointed that Darryl hadn’t taken full advantage of the “shopping”.  But I saw him in Itaewon and he had ordered 2 suits, some shirts, and a full-length cashmere coat plus was ordering a tuxedo from my tailor.  Felt much better.  I met him in a store with the coolest shoes I’ve seen since Switzerland.   He was buying for his family and I wasn’t able to find ONE pair in my size.  Hate all these small feet on the little Korean women! Took a couple of the guys to Pack and Wrap and then to the Post Office to ship things home.  Darryl had several plaques that had to be shipped and we were hoping he wouldn’t get another really large one at tonight’s show!  Sound check went smoothly and we finished early for once.  Then went to dinner and I met up with my dear friends – John and Yong Kyun Downie.  Have worked with John since the early 90’s!  He mentioned that they need an artist who is willing to perform on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve and, of course, I can’t say “no”, so I’ve begun the search.  (Photo right:  Darryl with John and Kyun Downie) Last show was just as awesome as the first.  The most amazing part of the show for me is watching the faces of the men and women in the audience when Darryl sings “Have You Forgotten”.   Keep in mind that the average age of the soldiers serving here is between 19 and 26!  You can see in their faces and expressions that they know exactly why they are serving in Korea and why we are fighting in Iraq.  It’s a very moving experience to see these young people with such firm convictions about our need to fight the war on terrorism. It’s after midnight and I have to get up at 4 am.  Flying back home in just a few hours! Jude

Glad I changed the departure time to one hour earlier.  Had another “casualty” this morning, so we actually left 30 minutes later than I anticipated.   No problem checking in as a “group” at the airport but a long line to get through security.   Food on the flight from Korea was HORRIBLE, as usual.  Never eat anything when LEAVING Korea on an airplane.  Learned that a long time ago. Landed in Narita and was a little concerned about all the recent earthquakes, but no problems.  When we boarded the flight for Detroit, we were upstairs again.   My computer case doesn’t fit in the tiny overhead compartments upstairs and the flight attendants always allow me to store it in the closet in the back. When I asked, the flight attendant was rude and argumentative…is it just ME???   She said NO ONE was ever allowed to put any items back there.   Boy, I must really be getting senile!   Seems to me I have been doing this for 10 years.   But, I didn’t want to cause problems, so I improvised.  Darryl got on and said that he overheard a man talking to the flight attendant downstairs telling her to watch “him” because he had flown over with us and he had “caused problems”.   Thought it was going to be a LONG flight.  Wasn’t too bad.  The flight attendant that was rude to me was nice to Darryl and the one that was rude to Darryl was nice to me.  I didn’t give them any “goodies” though…they weren’t that nice. Landed in Detroit and it took forever to collect the luggage/gear, clear customs, and get to our departure gate….only to learn that there was a mechanical problem and the flight was delayed at least an hour.  Every time I think I’m going to get home in the early afternoon, something happens and I never get home until late evening.   We did depart about an hour and a half after the scheduled time.    Arrived Nashville with all our luggage and equipment.   Home for about 3 weeks.  Yippeee! Jude