THURSDAY, MAY 8 and FRIDAY, MAY 9, 2008
Today I am headed to Lillehammer, Norway with Dickey Betts for the Classic Rock Festival. Dickey was a founding member of The Allman Brothers and penned the song “Rambling Man”.
Things were not looking good for my departure out of Nashville on Thursday due to bad storms all around. Of course my connection was in Newark and they were having high winds. So… my 12:25 departure turned into a 2:30 departure. Thank God I had a long layover in Newark so I did not miss my connection. The flight up to Newark is on a small jet, you know about 20 rows and 1 seat on one side and 2 seats on the other? I think this is what it must feel like to be in a vacuum? Had some pretty gut wrenching turbulence but we made it!
I met up with Dickey and his entourage at the gate in Newark. Very nice guy. They called for everyone to board and Duane, Dickey’s son, could not find his boarding pass. Good thing is he had his passport and the gate agent was able to reprint his boarding pass. Pretty uneventful flight over. Continental has redone some of their plans so we all had extra leg room and a personal touch screen in front of us for movies. I think I got about 2 hours of sleep.
Landed on time, no problems with customs, all gear and luggage was made it. Rolf, our transportation guy with the festival was there to meet us. We have a 1 1/2 hour drive to Lillehammer from Oslo. It is a beautiful drive but about 1/2 way through I think some people.. including me.. .were getting car sick.. Rolf had to pull over so someone could get out and get sick 🙁
Arrived at the hotel and was met by the promoter who had all our room keys and ready to go. Everyone went up to their rooms. I think some crashed out and I saw a few in the restaurant eating lunch. Nothing for the rest of the day so I walked around the hotel and had dinner. Now I am really, really tired and going to bed.
Soundcheck and show tomorrow and then I fly home on Sunday!
SATURDAY, MAY 10, 2008
Woke up Saturday morning at 4:00 AM and could not get back to sleep. It is the time of year in Norway where they only have like 4 hours of dark. It gets dark around midnight and then light again around 4. About 6 I went downstairs and walked around then had breakfast. Load in and soundcheck isn’t until 11 so I had some time to kill.
Load in and soundcheck went just fine and we were done by 1:30. We went and had some lunch then I think some of the guys walked into town. The walk down is great.. it is coming back up that is the hard part. The hotel sits up at the top of a very tall hill! You can also walk behind the hotel and further up the hill to where the Olympic park is. The 1994 Winter Olympics were held here and you can see the ski jump, etc. It is all plastic now so that it can be used year round.
The shows started kicking off around 7 and Dickey did not go on until 10. I went down around 8:30 to catch some of the other acts. The promoter that we work with is great. He has everything very organized and it makes my job a lot easier. Everything was running on schedule and Dickey put on a great show. … and the crowd went wild…. ha ha. Dickey and his entourage were really great to work with. They enjoyed the festival and were very pleased with everything. I left the band around midnight, they were still in the backstage area having a good time and I had to get upstairs and pack for our 6:30 AM lobby call. Just hope everyone shows up!!
SUNDAY, MAY 11, 2008
Well, everyone was downstairs and ready to go by 6:30, except John the monitor guy. Rich called his room and no answer, finally got a key to his room and barged in telling him on so many words to get up and get downstairs. Funny thing is this is his first week working with Dickey so I bet he is going catch a lot of crap for this one.
Got to the airport around 8:30 AM. The band is flying to Germany where they have a show tonight and then to Spain on Monday where they do another show that night and then home where they kick off a couple of weeks of shows. Me, I get to go home! Flight home was fine, no problems. I had a lady sitting next to me who had about a 6 month old baby with her. There was no one in the seat between us so we had some room to spread out. I was really worried that I would have a screaming baby next to me the whole time, but the baby was actually really good. I dozed off and on for a few hours.
Was suppose to have a 2 1/2 hour layover in Newark, which was fine b/c I had do go through customs and over to my next gate. Customs went fine… had to go through security again but once I did I noticed I was in the wrong terminal for my connection. Had to go back out of security, take a train over to terminal A and back through security again! All of this to find out my plane is delayed an hour. So instead of getting home at 6:30 last night, I got home around 8.
I enjoyed the trip, even though it felt like I was in a daze