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
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!
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.