Wednesday, April 5th & Thursday, April 6th:
This is my very 1st Road Report, and I am sure it will not even compare to Judy’s. 🙂
My flight departed on Wednesday around 4:30pm out of Nashville. I’m flying via Memphis, Amsterdam and then to Oslo. I chose this route because I hate the Newark airport. I am going to Lillehammer, Norway for a Blues Festival. I will be meeting The Blasters and Eric Burdon. I arrived in Oslo on time, only to find out that SAS is on strike and The Blasters flight will be delayed. Luckily they are flying BA, but the strike is causing delays for every airline.
The guys arrive, all of their gear arrives, and just as we are about to leave the airport, Keith mentions how cold it’s going to be outside. He opens his suitcase and puts on about 3 more layers of clothes. (I have on a blouse and a thin suede jacket). We depart the Oslo airport for Lillehammer, a 2 hour drive. There is A LOT of snow on the ground and about 30 degrees outside, but it is so beautiful. The winter I didn’t have in Nashville. I wish I had known that Keith was hinting to me about just how cold it was going to be. Phil, the lead singer of the Blasters, must be very hot blooded, as we drove the entire 2 hours with the window down. I thought I would be a popsicle by the time we arrived in Lillehammer. Even Rolf, who lives in Lillehammer, said he was “cold”, so you know it must have been cold!!
The ride to Lillehammer was beautiful. Mountains covered with snow and the lake frozen solid. As we neared Lillehammer, there were kids out on the ice playing.
Arrived at the hotel, everyone got settled in, and had dinner. The guys went to hang out in the bar and socialize. I went to check out the venue, dressing rooms, green rooms, etc.; then went off to bed.
Friday, April 7th:
After breakfast The Blasters and I went out to the ski slopes to site see. The 1994 Winter Olympics were held here so we went to see the slopes. They were absolutely amazing. A fresh layer of snow fell over night and the trees are covered. After the ski slopes we went into town and visited the museum.
After our sightseeing trip, we returned to the hotel and had a quick lunch and went to sound check. The Blasters are such pros; they did their sound check in about 20 minutes. We had the rest of the day free. However, I was busy checking email and worry about the SAS strike. Eric Burdon is supposed to fly in from Copenhagen on SAS. It seems as though the strike will be over and nothing to worry about. I sure hope so. The show did not begin until 11:30pm. They played for 90 minutes to a packed house. The Blasters put on a great show and the Norwegians had so much fun.
Saturday, April 8th:
We had a very late night and a very early morning. I think I got about 3 hours of sleep. (Doesn’t that sound like a Judy Seale Report?? 🙂) I rode to the airport with the Blasters, but this time I better prepared. I wore a fleece pullover and was comfortable during the ride in. Another fresh snow this morning, but it does not even affect the Norwegians. They continue with their normal routine, not like in Nashville. If we had this much snow we would be shut down for days, maybe even weeks!
The Blasters got checked-in in about 5 minutes. The line for SAS was extremely long from all of the cancellations from the last couple of days. Luckily the strike IS over and Eric should arrive on time.
Eric and his band arrived on time. Jeff Healey was on his flight, he is performing at the festival too. Red, the keyboard player, is missing a piece of luggage with some gear in it, but says they can survive with out it. It’s a good thing because it doesn’t show up. Unfortunately for us, we had to take the “scenic route” back to the hotel. Easter weekend is next week, and the Norwegians are already celebrating. We had noticed the traffic on the way in to the airport and it’s only gotten worse. The scenic route is country back roads, very curvy and very bumpy. It took a little while longer, but we could have been stuck in traffic for hours.
Arrived at the hotel about 4:00pm, about an hour later than we had planned. Jeff Healey was scheduled for sound check at 3pm, but he missed his time slot because we were all in route to the hotel. Eric’s band was scheduled for 4pm, so they did their sound check as soon as we arrived. It took them just over 2 hours to get everything set up and complete. The promoter had to keep the doors closed longer than expected in order or Jeff to get a short sound check. Luckily, there were other bands playing in the bar in the hotel which kept everyone entertained.
Jeff Healey went on at 9:30pm. What an awesome musician and singer! I remember his from “Road House” with Patrick Swayze and his hit single “Angel Eyes” from the 80’s. He was fabulous. Eric went on at 11:30pm and performed for a capacity crowd. Eric Burdon and the Animals – their big hit was “House of the Rising Sun”. This was way before my day, but I knew the song and they rocked!!! What a great show, great people to work with, great festival – very well organized. Another late night……got to bed about 2:30AM.
Sunday, April 9th:
Up early, finished packing, had breakfast and we left for the airport by 8:30AM. What a beautiful ride in to the airport. No problem getting checked in for my flights. All of my flights were on time and I finally made it back home at 9PM. I was met at the airport by my little boy, Andrew, with a big bouquet of flowers. I think he missed me almost as much as I missed him. 🙂