Wednesday, July 4th:
Today I leave for Vinstra, Norway and will meet up with Hayes Carll (Tx Artist), Nanci Griffith and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in Norway. The flight was uneventful, thank goodness. J I did sit with a really nice young man you had just graduated college and was going to Zurich to visit his mother. I also got to watch some fireworks out the window from up in the air. It was pretty cool to see so many neighborhood fireworks. My TV monitor did not want to work on the flight. I could not get the Oriental language to disappear from the middle of the screen. The flight attendants even tried resetting it. Oh well, didn’t need to watch a movie anyway. On my last trip over here in May, we had John Kay and Steppenwolf perform in Lillehammer. I received a copy of the autobiography on John Kay and had planned to read his book on this flight; guess it was meant to be. John Kay had a very interesting childhood. He was born in Germany, what soon became East Germany. His father was killed in WWII before he was born. JK and his mother ended up having to escape East Germany. Very interesting read…..it also talks about his career in the music industry and the drug use of the 70’s.
Thursday, July 5th:
Arrived Oslo with no problems. The driver was waiting for me with Hayes Carll and his band. They are all really nice. They flew into the other Oslo airport about 2 hours from the one I flew into, so they have a 5 hour drive to the hotel. L Arrived at the hotel around 9PM, and they were kind enough that they kept us some “leftovers” from the buffet. We all dropped our bags in our rooms and headed down for dinner. Got back to the room about 11PM. It looks like it’s about 8:30 PM, not very dark out. Really nice view outside my window, beautiful lake, mountains, horses and sheep. This hotel is a hunting lodge. It’s almost like being at Bass Pro with all of the animals everywhere!
Friday, July 6th:
Went down and had breakfast about 10AM, checked email, met Nanci’s group as they were arriving, got them checked in and their gear stored away. I left with Hayes to go down for sound check. Apparently there was some confusion on the times, and another band was on. We checked out the dressing rooms, the festival, Hayes did an interview and then soundcheck. I rode over with the promoter to check out where John McEuen (NGDB) will be having his workshop tomorrow. Nanci’s band / crew came down to the venue for their soundcheck and Hayes headed back to the hotel. I rode back to the hotel to pick up Nanci as the band was still doing their soundcheck. Nanci did a great show and was a pleasure to work with. Hayes arrived at the venue for his show, he performed after Nanci. Hayes has a great show as well. He lives in Texas, which is full of talented musicians. Jimmy, Bob and Jeff of NGDB hitched a ride on a bus and came down to the event to catch the shows and hang out. Got back to the hotel about 1 AM, bed about 2AM. However, Hayes and his band have to depart at 7AM for that 5 hour drive back to the smaller Oslo airport and fly out. :
Saturday, July 7th:
Headed out today about 11:30 AM for soundcheck with NGDB. John McEuen brought his wife, Marilyn. I hung out with Marilyn quite a bit today. She’s such a sweet person and really fun to be around. After soundcheck, we headed over for John to do the very first “work shop”. The sound guy had everything set up, but was NO WHERE to be found when we arrived. The promoter had to get another sound guy to come up from the festival. In the meantime, John had everyone move in close to the stage so they could hear. We had about 40 people attend and had a few questions from the audience. John gave out a few pointers to potential songwriters. Overall, I think it was a success for a first time event. John really enjoyed himself. I rode back to the hotel with John and Marilyn. They came over to Norway a couple of days early and have been out “sightseeing”, and are having a great time. Headed back to the show about 9PM. John wanted to get there a little early so that we could “warm up his fingers”. Marilyn and I went out from to watch the show. A Norwegian band, Sie Gubba, was performing – Man, what a great show! It was all in Norwegian, but some was country covers. You could tell by the beat of the song, but still in Norwegian, really cool. They are going to be huge in Norway. NGDB went on at midnight and played until 1:30 AM! They are a great bunch of guys. I’ve always been a fan of their music. Bed about 3AM.
Sunday, July 8th:
Went down to load up and head to the airport hotel to find out there was some commotion about 5AM. Seems this really drunk Norwegian was banging on Nanci’s door looking for his girlfriend. He then went downstairs and ended up breaking out the window in a door to his friend’s room, still looking for his girlfriend. The guy ended up being cut and bled everywhere. He also broke into 2 rooms and stole a cell phone, leather jacket and car keys. Luckily everything was found and returned (eventually) to the owner. I slept through all of this, as my room was on the other side of the hotel. J It took us 5 ½ hours to get to the Oslo Radisson Hotel, which is normally 3 hours. There was apparently a wreck somewhere, but by the time we got through the traffic, there was absolutely no sign of anything. While we were sitting in traffic, all of a sudden our driver darted out into the oncoming traffic lane. Luckily that lane was clear too because of the wreck. He jumps back in the correct lane, and then darted out again. Jeff and I are freaking a little bit….thinking “what in the heck is he doing – trying to kill us??” He looks over at Billy and says “What time is your flight?” We tell him we are not flying out today, but going to the Radisson. He says “oh, we have plenty of time”. Got to the hotel about 6:30 PM, got everyone checked in and all of the gear stored away. I went down and had dinner with Annette from Nanci’s band. Turned in early tonight……10 PM.
Monday, July 9th
Was getting ready to go down for breakfast and Jeff called me. There was some confusion when he went down to pay for his phone calls. The front desk told him that all of the rooms were being charged to his credit card. LOL Went down to the front desk and got that taken care of, although I did tell Jeff that I told the front desk to keep everything on his card. Nanci’s group left this morning for Amsterdam. They are in Europe for 4 more weeks doing shows. Loved meeting them all….Pat, Thomm, Bruce, Annette, Alana and Jim. Bruce and Thomm live in Mt. Juliet, near me; maybe I’ll run into them sometime! NGDB and I headed over to check-in. They were on Continental and I was on NW. I love it when you can walk straight up to the counter with having to wait in line. Security asked them questions for 15-20 minutes, in the meantime, I went and checked in for my flight. Went back over to the Continental counter and they were just tagging their gear. My flight from Oslo was delayed by an hour. We missed our “slot” to take off and had to wait for another one to open up. Landed in Amsterdam, and made it to next flight with about 10 minutes to spare. Didn’t even get to shop in the airport! Was really looking forward to some of those Waffles. L Made it home about 9PM and am so exhausted. This was a really great trip; the artists was great, great show, great weather – couldn’t have been better.