SATURDAY, JULY 9TH;
Well, I didn’t get to go to bed quite a soon as planned. BR549 called and their flight was canceled due to bad weather. So, they are not arriving until Sunday morning, which is SHOW DAY. Sure makes me nervous but nothing I can do about it now.
So, this room is definitely the “jungle” room, but the hotel in Norway was the “jungle” hotel. There were stuffed animals everywhere – including a huge polar bear and a mother duck with little baby ducks following behind her. Very bizarre. All I could think of was “The Shining”!!!
Lindsey went to the airport at 6 am today and spent the day out there meeting everyone. I took care of getting their rooms booked and keys ready. Everyone arrived on time and some even arrived early.
I did make it to the gym. Almost never found it because it was in a part of the hotel that is under construction. But the gym was AWESOME. All new, state-of-the art equipment and I was the only one in there at the time. Of course, I tried to do way too much to make up for all the days I’ve missed.
Went to sound check with Heather and Asleep at the Wheel. The venue is totally awesome. First class production event company and first class sound system. The dressing rooms are extremely nice and even the portable toilets are better than anything I’ve ever seen. There are 900 people attending a “Line Dancing” festival right behind our event. But, probably 800 of them will come to our concert.. There are people here for our concert who are from the Soviet Union, Latvia, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and several other countries. Very impressive!
After sound check, we came back to the hotel and had a really nice dinner with the Asleep at the Wheel guys. Food in the restaurant is unbelievable good.
After dinner, I had to distribute new itinerary pages since the show schedule has changed for tomorrow. It’s supposed to be beautiful weather for our event. More about that tomorrow!
SUNDAY, JULY 10TH:
Got up all excited about working out in the great gym again. Stopped by the front desk at 7 am for a “pass” only to be told it doesn’t open until 9 AM. I hate the “European” work hour! So, it was rubber bands in the room once again.
Went over to the festival with Dwight’s guys for sound check. The weather is absolutely perfect today. Lindsey and I walked into the little town of Emmen after sound check but nothing was open but a Gelato Shoppe – which was just fine with us.
Concert started on time with Heather Myles opening up, then BR549, Asleep at the Wheel and finally Dwight Yoakam. The place was packed – probably around 3,500 total and the entire day ran without one “hitch”. Dwight had a ball performing again and played for more than 2 hours. The Production Company and the Sound Company are absolutely first class and it has been a real pleasure working with them. I was afraid they would not want to do the event again in 2006 because they lost so much money on this year’s show. But, afterwards, they said that they expected to lose money the first year and knew that they had to build their reputation (sounds like my company) and they want to do it again next year!
Think the funniest moment of the day was when I rounded the corner backstage to find a really drunk fan picking up the fence and letting him into the backstage area. Then he proceeded to unzip his pants and relieve himself right in front of me. I went and got security and it took them quite a while to get him out of the area because he was so drunk.
With these two festivals out of the way, I can “relax” because the other events are all so easy. Tomorrow Lindsey and I are going into Amsterdam for a couple of days. A friend of mine from Germany is driving over to meet us and Asleep at the Wheel and BR549 will also be in Amsterdam. We’re all going to be tourists for a couple of days.
MONDAY, JULY 11TH:
Today, we all “depart” Emmen. BR549 and Heather are staying in Amsterdam for one night and Asleep at the Wheel, me and Lindsey are staying for two nights.
We had a really “lame” bus driver. We had to drop 2 of Heather’s musicians off at the airport and then drive into town to our two hotels. He wanted to drop us off about 6 blocks from the hotel and have us walk to the hotel with all our luggage, equipment, and a STAND UP BASS!. I had to call the promoter in Emmen and have him get on the phone with the bus driver and make him drop us off in front of the hotel. The driver was arguing with me that he couldn’t drive down the street because it was one way. I tried to tell him to “go around the block” but he was too lazy.
When we got to our hotel, one of Asleep at the Wheel’s musicians realized he had left his suitcase on the bus. I tried to reach him before he left BR549’s hotel, but missed him. Then one of BR549’s guys called and said they found the suitcase and had it for us. Then, BR549 called back and one of their guys had left his cowboy hat on the bus! Wasn’t able to retrieve it and it will have to be shipped to Nashville.
My friend from Germany met Lindsey and I at our hotel and we went out for lunch. We had this HUGE crepe with tomatoes, cheese, mushrooms and artichokes. Like a pizza only better. It was wonderful. The people next to us had the dessert crepe – a crepe with ice cream, strawberries, and sauce on it. We were just too full or I’m sure we would have indulged, too!
Then we went to Madame Toussard’s Wax Museum. The figures weren’t very “good”. There was one room that was the “scream” room where there were real actors – like a haunted house. We skipped that part! Had a very late dinner at a little restaurant near the hotel. Got back to the hotel and I stayed up most of the night working. Gym doesn’t open until 9 am, so it’s rubber bands in the room again tomorrow!
TUESDAY, JULY 12TH:
Up early to meet with some of the Asleep at the Wheel guys for some sightseeing. We took the trolley to the Van Gogh Museum. Then we took the “water bus” to the Anne Frank House. The water bus is definitely the way to see Amsterdam. They have a little commentary that points out the places of interest and the ride itself is so relaxing. There was a pretty long line for the Anne Frank house but it was definitely worth the wait. Such a sad, sad story. Really means so much more to me now that I have witnessed the atrocities in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Korea.
We went to the main “square” and had lunch at another outdoor café. It’s a pretty wild place. And, I learned that “coffee shops” are not for “coffee”. That’s where you can buy pot and hash. Sure glad someone told me or I would have been going in for a latte! Did a little shopping then went back to the hotel for me to catch up on some emails.
My toe is definitely NOT healing. I’m walking on it too much. Walking around at the festivals all day is not helping. Guess I’ll be wearing this walking cast for more than 6 weeks if I don’t stop walking so much.
We weren’t going to eat any dinner but Lindsey and my friend from Germany both had a craving for that “dessert crepe”. We found the little café again but they were closed. By that time, we were determined to have one, so we went back to the wild town square and found a restaurant that was open. It was DELICIOUS!
Not being able to exercise if really affecting my “energy level”. That and only getting about 3 hours of sleep a night! But, I can do that when I exercise and I’m fine. Working out with the bands is just not the same as a gym or jogging.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 13TH:
Today, Lindsey flies back to the U.S., and I fly to Sweden to meet up with Becky Hobbs, Elizabeth Cook and Jett Williams. Heather Myles flew to London for a show tonight but will also be in Sweden with us.
Got checked in and said goodbye to Lindsey and Asleep at the Wheel. They are all on the same flight back to the U.S. I was sitting in my terminal waiting for the plane when there was a huge explosion and the room “shook”. Everyone was scared to death, especially after the bombings in London. We all rushed to the windows. There was no broken glass, so we knew it wasn’t our building that had been “hit”. My heart was in my throat because I was afraid something had happened where my daughter was. I was calling her on the cell phone when the ticket agent made an announcement. He apologized because his “colleague” had run into the building with a set of stairs. Said the stairs were too tall and he had crashed into the building! Good grief….
The flight was on KLM and I was in business class….which was exactly the same seats as coach class. There was a partition between the two classes but exactly the same seat configuration. They had 3 of us squeezed into each section with 2 or 3 empty rows of seats. I got up and moved as soon as the doors were shut. “Lunch” was two pieces of burnt toast with burnt cheese on top. My water glass was cracked and when she brought me a new one, she dropped the tray in my lap! Ironically, they asked me to fill out a “survey”. Don’t think they will like my “rating” of that flight.
When I checked in, they told me my bags were checked all the way to Ostersund. I had to connect in Stockholm and as we were getting off the plane, we were informed that EVERYONE had to go pick up their bags and clear customs. I had to pick up the bags, take the elevator to the 2nd floor, “hike” with the luggage cart from Terminal One to Terminal Five, take the elevator back down, go to the check in counter and “recheck my bags”, clear security again, and go to the gate. Sure didn’t have any time to sit around.
Met up with two of Heather’s musicians and we flew on a PACKED SAS flight from Stockholm to Ostersund.
Promoters were waiting for us and we drove an hour to the hotel. Hotel is beautiful and the area is, too. Ski resort in the wintertime. Heather’s two musicians who were driving over with her mech sales people arrived about 2 hours after us. We had a nice dinner in the restaurant and looked at the venue. Shows were supposed to be outside but because rain is being predicted, we have moved everything inside the hotel.
Got a call from my office that all the artists flying in from Nashville were delayed due to weather in NYC. So, I got to stay up most of the night dealing with that. They finally flew out of Nashville at around 9 pm to Newark….knowing that there would not be any flights out of Newark to Europe at that time of night! Trying to figure out what we will do if they don’t arrive until Friday morning – SHOW DAY!