Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A final word

I confess that the last three weeks of the AC world tour went by in somewhat of a blur, therefore I am not going to be able to itemise the shows. Instead I will post some of the final photographs I was able to take and tell you as much as I remember.

There were 14 shows over a period of about 3 weeks, we started in the Soaring Eagle Casino, Mt Pleasant MI, then criss crossed our way across the mid west, a bit of Canada and finished in Hollywood, Florida.
I remember quite a few 8 hour overnights on the bus right after the show but the worst overnights were the 4 hour drives to the next city after a show, by the time you got to sleep it was time to get up and walk in a daze to the hotel lobby for the room key. (If uncle Toby had not laid the room key envelopes out on the table in the bus)

Can you see that?

On the opening night at the Soaring Eagle Casino, we met up with some friends including Darin, Don,  Ken and Katie Szabo, Katie gave me a fab pair of colorful socks, perfect for spotting in the lost sock dept of my bedroom.

The sky in Ontario

In Cincinati, Ohio we had a visit from our good friends Randy McLaughlin and Robin who brought their rising star Wendell the miniature pig! Wendell was adorable, he had his own transport, a little carriage with a zip up front to stop him leaping out and going off shopping on his own! He simply steals the show wherever he goes.
By all accounts Wendell is more intellegent than the average dog, he is house trained and snuggles up in bed.
Like everybody else who saw his cute face and tail, I wanted to take him home with us.


Steve, Robin and Randy

We had a day off in Cincinati, a good time for our end of tour dinner and some revelry. A few brave souls dared to try their luck on the bucking bull in the restaurant and we played a cool game.
After picking the name of a victim from the band or crew out of a hat, we bought that person something relevant and silly then each named present was opened at the dinner. I got some yummy British biscuits (cookies) from our bus driver Taz, relevant to me because it was a standing joke that I would make an English cuppa for me and Steve as soon as we got on the bus after a show, like the pair of old fuddy duddies that we are!

James the sound desk wizard on the bull

Kyler looking like an expert

Steve got the best present possible for him which made us all roar with laughter, the boss gave him a book called Farts Around The World. Steve has a love of this subject that has never waned since childhood and he uses it to full effect both on and off the stage. 

In Atlanta we were joined by David 'Purple' Hayes, his lovely wife Jenny and their nephew Mike. David makes awesome amps for Steve. Jenny is recovering from a stroke so she was in a wheelchair when we got her in to say hello to the boss, he was so kind to her and said "you could Turbo Charge that"!
Steve and I think Jenny is an Angel.  Here is a link to David's website for the discerning guitar players out there:

We also had a welcome visit from our good friend, guitarist Damon Johnson in Atlanta, he brought his gorgeous family with him and joined the band onstage.

Damon and Steve reunited

'In Hollywood, Florida we were joined by one of Steve's closest friends and supporters. Richard Harold helped Steve when he needed eye surgery for a detatched retina. This was before I was on the scene and I will always be grateful to Richard for being there for him during that difficult time'.

Richard and Steve

Backstage antics on the last show, Chuck and Toby

Here we go, last one.....


Thank you and goodnight

So, just to recap, we made it! Seven months and around the world one and a half times.
I was my husbands eyes, a VIP co ordinator, occasional camera director and occasional Clone! I also gained about 10 pounds in weight!
There are hundreds of Youtube clips of how the year unfolded and of course the new album 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare'.
All this to remind us that The Boss and The Deacon worked together again after 36 years!
My man made it with the help of his specially designed custom Gretsch guitars, glow in the dark tape, Brian his tech, the band, the crew and his awesome determination and talent.
I hope this blog has given you an insight to life on the road. There are so many memories, some good, some bad, I laughed and I cried but every moment was worthwhile.

PS: If you click on a photo you get a bigger version

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Red Square and Clones

We are now back in the US about to do the third show on this the final leg of the 'No More Mr Nice Guy' tour with the amazing tour de force that is Alice Cooper.

But, I need to back track to France, Germany and Russia.

We had a hotel right by the town square in Toulouse and as we wandered around we found a busker playing some really good accordion, (Steve had no idea what the word 'busker' meant). For our American friends it means someone playing or doing something for money on the streets, another useful word that never crossed the great divide.

We stopped and listened for about ten minutes and the little chap in his old raincoat was clearly very happy with his audience, beaming from ear to ear he played his socks off!  Steve recorded a few minutes of his great playing as he is intending to put a blog up on his new website called 'My Blind Blog' where he will talk and even 'sound off' on any subject that he feels like plus upload sounds of things and places for other sight impaired people to savor.

We went for a coffee across the street from the hotel but that was not so good, they looked at us like we just dropped in from another planet. We got two cups of coffee that we could have used to lay a road, sat for about ten uncomfortable minutes then left.

I don't remember much about Lyon but I do remember Paris! Paris feels like the New York of Europe to me, it's crowded, bustling and irresistible. The man and I went to the Notre Dame which was awesome, I had been there when I was about 14 but a lot of water has gone under my bridge since then so it felt like I was there for the first time.
A rather interesting thing happened inside the Notre Dame. We were sat in the centre stalls silently contemplating when we heard a cracking noise high above then a few seconds later a piece of glass splattered to the ground a few stalls in front of us, narrowly missing another couple also sat contemplating, it shattered like the glass from a car windscreen...... considering that it fell over 100 feet it could have killed someone but it missed everybody!

An old friend of Steve's came to the show in Paris, Henry Padovani was the original guitarist for The Police and he has the sexiest French voice ever! Steve played on a few tracks of Henry's last album.
He was with another friend of ours called Mark St John and it was great to catch up with them again.

Here is a pic of Steve and Henry Padovani taken that night:

Notre Dame in Paris

The next German city I remember was Bremen, it was really beautiful plus that is the city we had our end of tour dinner with all our German crew and the support act for that leg 'The Treatment' who were all so cool and did such a great job warming up the audiences in Europe.


Some of the crew and band enjoying some down time in Bremen.

The guys from 'Treatment' and some of catering crew for Germany

In Mulheim the boss had the most amazing cake given to him as a gift by John Loui, a British chef working in Germany, I put a pic in for you but it really doesn't do it justice, it was simply fantastic and yes, it tasted wonderful!!!! Thank you!

 I was snap happy at the Berlin show, the light was perfect and I got quite a few good shots from the side of the stage.

Here is a selection

Tommy decided to cover a sleeping Steve in sweets backstage.......

From Berlin we flew to Russia for two shows. Steve was surprised to discover how many fans he had  in Russia, there were people waiting to have various albums signed,  the new Alice album 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' the original 'Welcome To My Nightmare, but also other albums like Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, David Lee Roth and even his own album 'The Deacon', all on vinyl which Steve maintains still sounds the best!

We did manage to get to Red Square, how could we have not done that! It was a mile long walk (we needed the exercise) and it was very cool indeed............... actually it was darned well freezing (:
My man hates being cold even more than he hates politics and it took determination for us to get there but it was one of the most historical places on the planet when we were growing up. We recalled how we used to hear about the 'Cold War' when we were kids and being afraid that we would end up in a third world war.
Ironically there is now a huge high end shopping mall down one side, so Chanel and Gucci have replaced Khrushchev, Capitalism has replaced Communism! I still cannot believe I was lucky enough to be there, who would have ever thought it!  Not me that's for sure!

Red Square

The red wall in Red Square

Red Square Coats!

My man makes a stupid face in Paris

The other noteworthy event from Moscow was that Steve fell over on stage during Schools Out! He wanted to venture out to the front on a stage extension and had plotted his path during sound check.
All was well initially, the boss and the band were happily surprised to see him out there and he was having a ball being so close to the fans. But, he moved position slightly and when he turned to walk back to his pedal board he walked right into his monitor....wham!!! Over he went, I didn't see it as I was organizing the balloon winner on the far side.  He got up and carried on playing and later said it was worth it as he had such a good time the rest of the night. Luckily neither he nor his guitar was damaged.

After Moscow we flew home for four days, more about that next time.

Oh, I nearly forgot! There was a extra short clone onstage for about five shows....... here is a vid. Keep a watch out for Chuck giving 'short clone' a bit of a hard time at the end of the song.....whoever could that confused clone be? 

The video was removed....sorry. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Jason Becker Story

This documentary needs to be finished, it will be amazing as you will see from the trailer.
Jason is kind, smart, funny and strong, stronger than anyone we know and he is like a brother to Steve.
Jason and Steve were working together on the David Lee Roth album  'Little Aint Enough' in 1991 when Steve noticed Jason was walking with a limp. The limp turned into ALS.

Created by Indie GoGo (Jesse Vile and his team in London, San Francisco and LA)

You can help get this project through post production and out to the public where it needs to be!

Here are the links for more information:

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Homeland

I wanted to write about the UK part of the tour as we went through the cities but got too darned tired! So here is a synopsis of our time in my homeland.

We actually went to London from the Netherlands first because the boss was recording some TV shows, this meant that we had time to get to Camden Market and buy some cool hats. I got two and the man got three, add them to the others and we now have a fine collection of hats between us, as the Queen might well say "One can never have enough hats"....oh well maybe she never said that but you know what I mean.

There was a snack bar there with the coolest seating arrangement....see below

Sheffield was the first show, the place was heaving and all went well. I took a couple of silly pics backstage (see below).  I was excited at the thought we would be going to Bristol the next day, I would get to see some of my closest friends and my children Holly and Mathew.

Tommy and Chuck backstage in Sheffield, look at those tatts!

Me and the man, and no I do not have my fingers up his nose! I was trying to stop him making a silly face.

I wanted to get as much time with my kids as possible so the idea was for them to get to Bristol from Torquay around the same time as we got there from Sheffield which was supposed to be 2pm.
In fact we got there at 1pm, giving more time for the boss and Ori to shop and time to get acquainted with the venue and find catering which is always the priority for me and my man.

It goes without saying that the reunion with my children and old mates was the best part of the day for me, we spent some time talking and laughing then going for something to eat whilst Steve got some rest before the show. My small circle of close friends in England are very special to me, they put up with me living in a far off land and I always feel relaxed and at home in their company.

Dan, Holly, Deborah, Steve , Colin, Tim and Mathew:

The band and the boss were fab as always that night and my friends were impressed despite not being huge followers of AC before the show they were firm fans after the show....of course!!!!!

Steve's self adopted nick name is Skoop Doggy Do and Holly has started calling him 'Old step skoop' which is hilarious. Saying goodbye to everybody was horrible but I start working towards being in one place with them again as soon as the last one is over.

Next up Birmingham,  it was a bit grey and wet there although the show that night would warm everybody up. We were joined by the New York Dolls or as my mum called them "The New York Dollies", (and were they all girls she wondered).  They stayed with us until Glasgow and were brill. Guitarist Earl Slick is an old friend of Steve's and both players decided to make sure they keep in closer touch next year.
My good friend Tony Brinsley drove up from Devon to see us here, Steve and I spent some relaxed time with him before the show. He was another friend who was not sure if he would enjoy the show and ended up loving it.....of course!!!!!

A view of a damp Birmingham from our hotel room.

We saw a great deal of the AC fans from 'SickthingsUK' on all these shows, they never cease to amaze me with their loyalty to Alice and the band and I eagerly looked forward to spotting them in the front rows of every show and meeting up afterwards.
I have gained new friends on this tour through both Sickthings from all over the world and Facebook and now we have left for the rest of Europe I will miss their happy 'Sickthings' company.

London was next, Alexandra Palace is amazing with it's history both grand and eventful.
It was Halloween and we were joined by Arthur Brown who at 70 years of age was simply fantastic. Steve had done a great arrangement of Arthur's big hit 'Fire', a three guitar assault on a great song, Arthur himself jumped and rolled about like a teenager. 
Arriving on stage with his hat on fire, he and the boss were clearly having fun along with the band.

Manchester was a great show, they really know how to rock there.
I was back on old stomping ground for a lot of these venues as I had done them as a backing singer with Gary Numan in the 80's. For some reason they seemed a lot smaller, especially Manchester which had been the closing gig of the tour with Gary in 1984.
Fun memories all round for those times and it was good to be back again with my gorgeous man and the AC band.

Last but not least was Glasgow before we left my homeland for Brussels and beyond.
Goodbye England but only for now, I will be back!

Pics from the Glasgow show below.....

There's a chicken on the loose!

Chicken meets the boss!

Oh oh Chicken in trouble!

Steve with the lovely Tanja, our friend and helper on the European leg of the tour. We will all miss you, xx

Tanja with Tommy