March 18-21, 2012
We rolled into Vigo (a beautiful city, like San Francisco) and had to do this song-and-dance at a parking facility 5-10 minutes from the gig. They brought a couple vehicles and we did the infernal cross-load – 4 trips altogether. We later discovered this was not necessary. Naturally.
Pretty much the same Spanish routine: ham sandwiches, intense boredom. Once we went on, we played well, but the crowd was stony-faced at best. Very odd, as nowhere else on the tour did we get this reaction. Oh well, you can’t win them all. Tony and band played well, but it took Tony three or four to find the groove. Then it locked in. Load-out was not too bad, we had a lot of help. I’d gotten some bad news that day, so we stayed up and squeezed our livers heavily. We went to bed around 4.
I woke up at 11:30 and the bus was parked. I soon learned that one of the trailer wheels had fused it’s bearings. We weren’t going anywhere. We were about halfway from Vigo to San Sebastian, about 6 hours away. Tony’s girl Begonia helped translate with the locals and after WAY too much deliberation, opted to rent a van. The nearest rental location was 100 km away back towards Vigo. We unhooked the bus, and Doug, Mike and I stayed with the gear (for 4 hours) at this gas station on a windswept hill in the Spanish countryside. It was cold, but pretty. We were mostly pissed. In the end, we missed the show (which we could have made) AND lost our day off in Paris, as the drivers were out of driving hours, since they had to do double duty (van and bus.) We made it to San Sebastian just shy of 11 pm, and spent the night. We hit the road at 10 am next day for Paris, another 11 hours.
We rolled into Paris at 9 or 10 pm. It was right on the hour, and Gary took pity on us and took the scenic route through the city, letting us jump out for a minute and take pictures of the Eiffel Tower, which was doing it’s sparkling thing. It was breathtaking. We trolled through the city, eventually settling in a bus park on the Seine under Parc de Bercy, by the stadium, which had outer walls covered in grass, I kid you not.
We jumped out, and all the musicians on the bus descended on this little cafe’ close by to dine together one last time. It was a really wonderful hang, many toasts and promises to stay in touch. Aquiles has been super-cool and hooked me up with Paiste, and just been very supportive in every way. It really has been an honor working with him – his work ethic is staggering. At the end of the meal, Doug snuck up and took the check, which was not small. Before we knew what was happening, he’d bought dinner for all 10 of us – classy, brother!
The bus had no power, so we all went to bed early, like 12:30 or 1. We got up by 9 am and had breakfast in the same cafe’ (Nili, Eric and I.) Then Eric and I just wandered around Parc de Bercy, a really cool section in the southeast of Paris, but north of the river. Then it was back to the bus, sort the gear one last time, and on to the venue, where I am now, sitting next to Aquiles. We’ll play our set and leave immediately to take the Chunnel back to London for tomorrow’s flight home. Load out is gonna suck for Tony and crew, but some of the other bands will probably help.
Next stop: London, UK.