Box News #265 – February 26, 2018


URIAH HEEP NORTH AMERICAN TOUR PART 2 

Mick talks about landing in Charlotte Carolina, Dan’s Burger Bar, exotic drinks, Orlando, hit weather, hangovers, The `House of Blues,’ Pledge drummer, seeing Colin Hart, Rock Legends Cruise V1, seeing loads of bands, ESTA Forms, windy on deck, the Labyrinth bar, the neon sign, stopping at Cozumel Mexico, Hard Rock Café, the signing/photo session, Passport Control, the emergency stop on the flight to Philadelphia, The Pet Relief Area at the airport and meeting Alan our driver again with the tour bus.

Mick also discusses, Artsquest Centre, another Pledge drummer, meeting Greg Smith bass player with Rainbow, ted Nugent and Alice Cooper, the German super fans Andrea and Claudia, Wyndham Hotels special discount, Sellersville, Uber in the USA, broken Amps, Dunkin Doughnuts, The Gramercy, New York and having some family at the gig. Mick also talks about the Mohegan Casino in Uncasville, Fruit Machines, dinner with David and Lana Vinogradov, The Peekskill Paramount Theatre, 3 Dog Night, Jim Paidas Sickboy T Shirts, Chas & Dave, Annapolis, Football, Bernie’s Throat, Graham Nash and Soya Milk.

We landed in Charlotte Carolina with a couple of hours to wait for the next flight to Orlando Florida. This was spent by most of us in ‘Dan’s Burger Bar,’ which served exotic drinks, but Russ and I went for a quiet Mexican. Then when we joined everybody else in the Burger bar there was much merriment being had as the exotic drinks kicked in.

The flight to Orlando was good and we collected all of our baggage and then caught the bus shuttle to the hotel. I must say that it was nice to be in hotter weather after all of that snow, and when we arrived at the hotel the band went into the restaurant for dinner and the crew hit the bar. The dinner was pricey but excellent, so we were all happy. Phil and I went to our rooms after, but Bernie, Russ and Davey hit the bar with the crew. Evidently this went on quite long and, in the morning, there were a few hangovers in sight. The tell-tale sign was that Phil and I were the only ones at breakfast. We saw Bernie for lunch and we did not see Russ & Davey until sound-check time.

Phil went for a swim and I sat outside at a table by the pool working on my lap top. This was most pleasant after all of that snow of late in Canada I have to say.

We went to the sound-check at ‘The House of Blues’ and it is a good-sized venue, with a big dressing rooms for a change. We had a Pledge guy who came up on stage to sing ‘Easy Livin’ ‘with us at the sound-check, and he was in a wheel chair. He had his wife with him and he had an absolute blast. He was a lovely guy called Mark Stewart.

Then we chilled in the dressing room, where dinner was bought to us, as we had pre-ordered from a menu earlier.

We had a lovely visit from Colin Hart who now lives in Florida. We knew Colin from his tour manager days with ‘Deep Purple’ and ‘Rainbow.’ It was good to catch up with him and I had the chance to tell him how much I enjoyed his autobiography.

Colin was in fact writing the book on tour managing while Heep, Sabbath, Purple and Zeppelin were writing the book on rock music, so we go back a long way.

Well the House of Blues was pretty packed out and when we hit the stage we could see they were well up for it. It became a magic night even though we were on hired equipment, as ours was driving down from Canada to the USA with the tour bus. We had a great time and so did the audience, who were

extremely loud in their appreciation. For the first night of the USA part of our tour we were very happy. We could only stay 30 minutes after the show as we had only a few hours’ sleep back at the hotel before driving 4 1/2hrs to catch the cruise ship. This was loading artists at 11am so we could not be late.

The cruise was the ‘Rock Legends Cruise VI’ and some of the bands that were playing on it were ‘Blue Oyster Cult,’ ‘Bad Company,’ ‘Black Star Riders,’ ‘Vanilla Fudge,’ ‘Pat Travers,’ ‘Quiet Riot,’ ‘Molly Hatchet,’ ‘Steppenwolf, and ‘Sammy Hagar and the Circle’ who he had in the band Michael Anthony on bass and Jason Bonham on drums. Now there’s a rhythm section for you.

We all went through the stringent security checks with ease except for, yes you guessed it, Bernie. He was sent off to another room for questioning. The problem being that he did not have a copy of his ESTA form. He was there for 2 ½ hours while we all went to the artists restaurant for lunch. It eventually all got settled and he was allowed to join us, by which time we had all gone to our rooms and he ate alone.

Our first show was on the deck that night right after ‘Blue Oyster Cult’ who went down really well. This was our third rock cruise, so we knew what to expect on deck as it would be windy. Well it didn’t let us down and I played with a pair of hair curtains in front of my face all night and so did Davey. We went down fantastically well, and it was well attended too, considering ‘Bad Company’ were in the theatre downstairs at the same time we were on, and there was a rumour that Sammy Hagar was going to get up on stage for a number with them.

The scoop is that each band gets to play three shows on the cruise, one on ‘Deck 11, one in the ‘Alhambra Theatre’ on Deck 3 and one in the ‘Studio B’ venue. This way if you miss a band there are another two chances to catch them.

After our show we were allowed to go to the artists bar for an hour for free drinks. This is in a place called the ‘Labyrinth Bar.’ Well the mighty Heep were remembered from the cruises before and they let us stay as long as we liked, which was both cool and dangerous in equal measure.

The following day as I had indulged a little too much the night before, I took as a rest day before we played our show in the Alhambra Theatre at 7.30pm. It was nice catching up on some emails, doing a little work, and bringing this blog up to date. Sitting on the balcony watching the sea roll by and the clear blue skies, I have to say that it is not often I can do that, so I took full advantage of it, and I did not venture out until dinner and show time. It was a calm and peaceful day and just what I needed.

Well that was the lull before the storm as Bad Company were on before us and they were very slow in clearing the stage and coupled with the fact there was only one lift to get their equipment out and ours in, we struggled to get ready for the proposed time of starting at 7.30pm. We ended up being 10 minutes late and so we had to cut 2 songs from the set, which was a shame as the set right now flows great.

Still what can you do. I played a couple of chords on my guitar in the wings as the audience were already arriving and that was my sound check. Talk about flying by the seat of your pants. Still our professionalism took over and it was a great show. The audience loved it and it was nice to be on the big stage.

There was a lady in the audience that had a lit neon sign saying, ‘Hello Mick’ and I had never seen one of those before., so that was very cool.

After this I had a shower, and then I went to the ‘Labyrinth’ Artist bar for a couple of coconut waters and then I saw ‘Molly Hatchet,’ who had toured with us in Europe and ‘Rik Emmet and Resolution 9.’ Rik used to be in a band called ‘Triumph,’ that were known as the biggest support band in the world to us as they supported everyone in the USA tour after tour. Rik as an incredible guitar player and even at speed he has melody at the heart of his playing, and so do most of his songs. He was well worth seeing. After this I went to bed.

The next morning was docking day at 10.30pm where those that want to get off the boat and walk around in Port Cozumel in Mexico, can. It is always a bit of a tourist trap with lots of bars and shops etc. Bernie, Russ, Davey and I went to a Mexican restaurant to sit outside and have a pre-dinner drink.

We were asked for lots of autographs and we had a multitude of pictures taken and there were a bunch of French guys sitting next to our table who had pictures taken with us, and when we left to go to lunch, we found out they had paid our bill which was really nice of them. On leaving we were mobbed there for a little bit as people cottoned on to who we were, but it was all good.

We actually ended up at the Hard Rock Café for lunch which was very sub-standard for a Hard Rock Café and the food and service were awful. Still with the sun shining and the fresh air, there was no room for complaints.

The gangway to the boat went up at 4pm, so you had to be back on the boat by then. We decided to go back earlier and catch ‘Vanilla Fudge.’ They were on at 2pm and I couldn’t miss that. Their drummer Carmine Appice had been taken ill so the drummer from the Pat Travers band stepped in. Saying that it was good to hear all of the classics, but you could tell they were a little understandably on edge. They still have great vocals and Mark Stein is a wiz on the Hammond Organ.

After the ‘Fudge’ we went on deck to watch ‘Quiet Riot.’ They are still unmistakeably ‘Quiet Riot,’ with a vocalist with an incredible high range. It was a good time show and the audience were rockin’.

I then went to my room and as they televise some of the acts I managed to see on my TV screen, Sammy Hagar with his ‘An acoustic event with the Hagar family,’ which was cool, and this was followed by Todd Rundgren, who I have been a fan of for a long while. They were both in fine voice and kept me glued to the television for a while there and Todd knows his way around the guitar as well.

I then started to get ready for our signing/photo session at 7pm. There was a long queue, but each of them were very gracious and complimentary which was nice.

After the cruise we are playing 4 weeks of dates in the USA, so when each couple came up they said that they would see us in the city they live in on the tour, which was really cool. We have certainly made some new fans on this cruise.

One lady came up wearing a T Shirt she had made with ‘You Gotta Give One Minute, One Hour, One More Day’ on the front, which was great.

Also, the lady who surprised me with the neon sign on our second show, bought the sign again only this time with ‘Appy Daze on it, and she gave it to me. How cool is that!

Once the signing session was over we went for dinner and then everyone went to the artists ‘Labyrinth’ bar for a few drinks. Then Bernie and I went to the Alhambra Theatre to see ‘Rik Emmett & Resolution 9,’ again. They were on fire and Rik proved once again he is a gifted guitar player.

On walking to my room through the middle of the ship a lady came up to me to ask if I was Dee Snider of ‘Twisted Sister.’ Well that did surprise me as Dee is 6 feet plus tall and I have always been vertically challenged, he has a mop of curly Blond hair, and wears make up. To top it off ‘Twisted Sister’ were not playing on the boat at all, so I do not know if she was a little drunk or had smoked a little wacky baccy, but she was waaaaaay of the mark there.

After this little incident it was time for bed, though not for some, as the bar was filling up with all of the other bands as we left to see Rik, and with free drinks on offer, it had danger written all over it.

Our last show was in ‘Studio B’ at 2.45pm. We met for lunch and then went down to the show at 2pm. It was weird having an early show, but it was heads down and go for it.

It was a good show for us to end on, even though we were playing at the same time as, ‘Sammy Hagar and the Circle’ who were on the deck and ‘John Kay & Steppenwolf,’ who were in the Alhambra Theatre, therefore we all had a smaller audience, as people were spoilt for choice.

‘Black Star Riders’ followed us, and they had the same problem with ‘Todd Rundgren’ in the Alhambra Theatre and ‘Bad Company’ on the deck. Anyway, it was a mighty crowd and they loved it, and so did we. As always, the ‘Heep’ gave 100% no matter what size the audience, and you know what, so did the ‘Black Star Riders,’ as Phil and I saw them. They rocked hard!

I did go with Phil to see ‘Todd Rundgren’ this time live, and he was excellent. He is a real off the wall character, but he is a good singer, songwriter, guitarist and Record Producer, and the man does possess oodles of talent.

Well we had dinner with our managers Adam Parsons and his lady Audrey, Ace Trump and his assistant Sean Baldwin and it was almost a farewell dinner as the Cruise ended, and then some went to the ‘Labyrinth’ free artists bar for a last blow out, but I opted to pack and get an early night, as we were disembarking the ship early in the morning.

It had been a marvellous few days on that floating rock boat, and we have played some great shows, as well as seeing and meeting a lot of really cool musicians and bands. Along with that we have met a whole bunch of lovely people who are true rock music fans, so it has been a wonderful experience and all I can say is ‘Appy days!

We docked in the morning at Fort Lauderdale and we all met at 9pm in the artists section of the ship to disembark. On the way through to Passport Control we ended up running into some of the audience who wanted pictures taken and that was cool.

As we were in line at Passport Control 2 members were in panic mode as they could not find their passports. First up was Russ who found his passport in a pouch we were given by the ship to use when we went rubber necking in Mexico and the other person was…………. you guessed it Bernie.

We were all ushered along leaving Bernie to go through all of his belongings. After the previous events with his Passport you would think that would be the first thing on his mind, but this was not so.

The rest of us were taken through with the equipment to our ground transportation, while we had to wait for Bernie, who eventually found his passport, after ripping his suitcase apart, in his shorts that he wore to Mexico. He then joined us and off we went to the hotel. We were staying in a hotel in Orlando and then getting up at 4.30am to catch a flight to Bethlehem PA. Our rooms were not ready, so we went to a Diner 10 minutes’ walk away.

After this we all chilled in our respective rooms until dinner time. Although the weather was hot, it was windy, and you could feel a little rain in the air, but for sure it will be better than where we were going to the next day.

On the flight from Orlando to Philadelphia we had an announcement from the Captain that we had to divert for a medical emergency, so we landed in Wilmington North Carolina while 4 medics escorted off a guy who was not looking very well at all. We had 1-hour 15minutes still left to fly and we had to wait a while to get clearance to take off, so it was approximately a 2-hour delay.

Once we had landed, while we were walking the very long walk to the baggage claim area which seemed like it was in another post code, Russ suddenly remembered as it was a full flight they had taken his carry-on bag off him and put it in the hold, so he had to run the very long way back to the plane, only to be told it will come up with the other suitcases. D’oh!

On the way to the baggage claim I saw that Philadelphia Airport was very dog friendly, as they had an Astro Turf grass patch, complete with red hydrant for the dog to pee on, and next to it a poo bag disposal bin on a pole. That is the first time I have ever seen that! My English Setter dog Iggy would have loved that. This dog pee and poo stop was called the ‘Pet Relief Area,’ with 3 rules that were as follows: 1/ Animals must be on a leash and under control at all times, 2/ Please clean up after your animal and 3/ This is not a children’s play area. No kidding!

Well we picked up our bags and met our driver Alan and the sleeper bus, and at last it felt like we were on dry land. We went to our hotel while the crew went to the venue to start setting up for the night’s performance. The venue was in Bethlehem PA at the Artsquest Centre and a really nice venue. It lacked a few bits of equipment, as there were no monitor side fills, but overall it was a really cool place to play. It was a little unusual as there were people in front of you and to both sides. It was seated but by the end of the show they were all standing.

At our sound-check we had a Pledge drummer called Thomas Ference who came to play ‘Easy Livin’ with us, and he was great. He had a really good tempo and seemed to know his way around the drum kit. His lady was taking videos of him all of the time and then he had some pictures taken with the band and he loved it.

Once on stage we quickly hit our stride and slowly the audience began to trickle down to the front. It was a great night and a wonderful reception, and in the audience, I spied David and Lana Vinogradov who are from the Ukraine and now live in New York. We befriended them on the last few USA tours. Also, Bobbi and Lannis were there who we have known for a very long time.

After the show we met everyone, and the dressing room was hopping there for a bit with Greg Smith, who has played with ‘Rainbow.’ ‘Alice Cooper,’ and ‘Ted Nugent.’ He came back to say hi with a few of his friends. Also, super Heep fans Andrea and Claudia Obergfell from Germany joined us as they did not come on the cruise after doing the Canadian shows but are with us now on a few of the USA dates. After the dressing room shenanigans, we went back to the hotel, and it was super lovely to be back in a non-moving bed. ‘Appy days!

While I was getting ready the next morning to go down to breakfast, I had the TV on the Fox news channel and saw that a chain of hotels in the USA called ‘Wyndham’ are offering a discount for families who stay off their mobile phones.

Now that did make me smile! I wonder how many bookings they will get with that discount.

We drove to our next show in Sellersville. Now that would be a good nickname for the QVC channel that my wife Sheila back in England loves. We were playing the Sellersville Theatre that was totally Sold Out.

When we arrived, the band went to a hotel and the crew to the venue to start building the stage. We had an early sound-check due to the demands on the bands time from the sound-check on. We ordered a taxi to take us there at 4pm but it was not due to arrive until 4.30pm. This meant we were running late, so Davey who has the Uber App on his phone ordered one that arrived a little earlier, but it could only take three of us. Phil, Russ and I took the first car and Bernie and Davey the pre-ordered one. Well as Bernie and Davey arrived Scampi had only given them $20 for the cab and it was $45. Luckily the twins were outside, and Davey asked them if they had $25, and they kindly lent him the money so that the cab driver could leave. Then Scampi gave the money back to the twins, which just reinforces one of Russ’s and my favourite sayings which is: ‘Out of debt, out of trouble.’

On the sound-check we encountered a few problems, firstly with Davey’s gear that had an annoying hum on it and then my amplifier blew up. Luckily, I had a spare. After this we ate dinner that was brought in for us at the front of the stage, with tables laid out for us to eat on, before we had to do a meet and greet that was arranged by the venue. This was an unusual one for us, as we firstly had to play 2 songs, so we played ‘The Law,’ and ‘Easy Livin’,’ one old and one new. Then we had to sign autographs and have pictures taken right up to 45 minutes before stage time. There was a face to face interview arranged for me, but the guy was waiting outside for some reason and he missed it, so this will now be done by email. With getting changed and my warm up routine, he wouldn’t have had much time anyway.

My guitar tech Rich Bennett and our stage manager and bass/keys tech Brian West set about mending the broken amp. They pulled it to bits and replaced all of the fuse’s, but once put together again it, it blew again. It was a sterling effort by them to do this, but obviously the problem needs a proper workshop to get it fired up again. Phone calls will be made to the USA branch of Engl Amplifiers to see how we can get this fixed.

On stage it was a very dead studio like sound, but we soon hit our stride and it was rockin’. It was a seated audience, but they were soon standing. It was a really good atmosphere in the theatre and they were very receptive and appreciative. All in all, it was blast and a really good show.

We stayed a short while and said hello to everyone before driving with the crew on the bus to the hotel. The band had a hotel room each, but the crew slept on the bus in the car park. As I was leaving I was given the local newspaper ‘The Morning Call,’ that had a huge picture and article in it from an interview Phil had done, and it even had Phil’s picture on the front page inserted in the title of the paper. That looked very cool!

In the morning Phil, Russ, Davey and I gave up our rooms early so that the crew could all have a shower. While they were doing that Phil, Russ and I went for breakfast and then we joined everybody else on the bus to drive to New York. When we got on the bus there was Davey sitting with a box of 12 doughnuts bought from ‘Dunkin’ Doughnuts,’ next to the hotel. How does he keep so thin is beyond me, unless he only eats the centre’s!

The reason for the crew showering in our hotel, was because the venue in New York which is the ‘Gramercy,’ had no showers. Our bus cannot park up in New York, so it has to park on the outskirts, until we are loading up after the gig and then he can come in. The downside of all of this is that we have to stay down at the gig all day, and I personally hate that, and so do the boys. It was grey and raining hard, so not even nice weather to rubber neck about in.

On arrival there were some fans outside, so we signed a few things and had a couple of photos with them, and the twins were there also. They had strict security and the security guard had our individual names on a sheet of paper that had to be ticked off, and we had to produce our ID’s by way of our passport.

Once inside it did look like rock venue, and it reminded me of the old Astoria Theatre in London UK that no longer exists complete with the sticky floor from beer spillage. The dressing room was at least a good size, so we could chill there, before we went to dinner.

Bernie, Russ & I went for a Thai meal that was average at best and tasted liked it had been dragged across a sugar plantation it was so sweet. Phil and Davey found a pub for a beer and bar snacks. We then all went back to the Gramercy venue for the sound-check. When this was finished I had to do a Russian video interview while the others relaxed.

It was soon show time but before we hit the stage there was an endless stream of people coming through the dressing room to say hi and have pictures taken. Even the ‘Zombies,’ manager who we are working with later in the year popped his head in.

The venue was rammed when we took the stage, and it was a good night of hot, sweaty rock n’ roll. The audience were well up for it, and even after a few numbers they were chanting ‘Heep,’ ‘Heep,’ ‘Heep.’ New York did us proud and it was a glorious night. I even had some family there, so it was great to see them afterwards. It is always good to see friends and family from the UK when we are on tour for so long in another country.

Once the crew had loaded up the equipment into the trailer on the bus, a few of the entourage went to McDonalds to take food on board to eat, as we had a 3-4 hours’ drive to the Mohegan Casino in Uncasville.

We arrived at 3am and checked into our rooms, that were so far from the reception, we were definitely in another postcode. I found out later why, as this Casino was huge. The betting machines, gambling tables, restaurants & shops went on for miles in every direction.

Needless to say, none of us went to breakfast, though I found out that Phil was the only one that did, as he could not sleep.

On arrival, we were given a welcome pack that included a meal allowance of $100 that also included beverages. We all met for lunch and on the way to the restaurant you have to walk through the Casinos. There was a constant droning of bell ringing as literally hundreds of fruit machines are being played on machines that were huge. They look space age compared to the ones in England. The shame is though, they are allowed to smoke. There are no-smoking areas, but they are so small in comparison to the smoking areas.

After lunch and having a walk around taking it all in, we just had enough time to go back to our rooms and prepare for the sound-check. To give you some idea of what an expanse this Casino was, we got lost on our way back to the rooms and it took us 20 minutes to just get ourselves back in the right direction.

It was an odd venue as it was in the open and in the middle of the Casino with machines to the front, back and sides of the stage. It did have a cool dressing room, so after our sound-check which we kept to a minimum, we all went for dinner after I had done a Podcast interview.

We met up with David and Lana and 2 of their friends, to find somewhere eat, but every restaurant was full, so we decided to book a table for after the show in the ‘Michael Jordon Restaurant.’

Russ and I took our gig bag and stage clothes down to the sound-check, while the other three had to do the trek to and from their rooms.

The gig was terrific with the audience up really close, and it was packed out on all sides. We had a great sound on the stage and evidently by all accounts it was excellent out front too. We were rockin,’ and it was good to see so many young faces down the front of the stage and they knew all of the words. That really did do the heart good.

After the show we headed to the restaurant where we met David, Lana and their two friends. The crew joined us too, so it was the full contingent. Well we had a lot of laughs at our end of the table with David and Lana and the food and drink was excellent. After some people had their deserts and the last drinks were ordered, it was time for bed. David and Lana paid the entire bill, which was so generous of them, and then it was hugs and thanks all round, while most of us went to bed, but a few hit the tables to gamble.

The following morning Russ and I were the only ones down for breakfast, but we met everyone else on the tour bus ready to drive to Hudson Valley New York where we were playing the ‘Peekskill Paramount.’

We arrived at Peekskill and outside the theatre they had our name written, along with the other artists who were also playing there like ‘3 Dog Night.’ Now our first tour in the USA was supporting ‘Three Dog Night,’ as that was how their name was written then, and they were the biggest band in the USA. It was an amazing introduction into the USA and one I will never forget. They had three excellent singers being Danny Hutton, Corey Wells and Chuck Negron. Now Danny adopted us, and he introduced us to the full rock n’ roll lifestyle, that we had never experienced before. I have to mention their band too, as they were a brilliant tight band that allowed the three vocalists to soar.

We had no hotel as we were travelling overnight to Annapolis, so it was a bit of a hang about day. We arrived for lunch and after that we tried to find a Music Shop that sold instruments. It was pouring with rain which wasn’t pleasant, but we found it, and it only had very old guitars, amplifiers, one drum kit and even an antiquated mixing desk. They were not the type of antique guitars that you would want, so there wasn’t much to see to be honest, but at least we found it. We then went back for the sound-check. The inside of the theatre was wonderful and all seated, with worn red velvet seats. I must say I do love those old theatres as they are full of atmosphere, good vibes and musical history. They did look after us very well and the dressing room area was adequate.

As my tech Rich Bennett was testing my equipment my spare Engl amp blew up. It seems like a power surge is blowing the fuses. That is 2 Engl Amps down so Scampi our tour manager made some calls, and when we get to Annapolis the next day he found a shop that could mend them, even though it was a Sunday. That was a comforting thought indeed as we still are only half way through the tour.

When we hit the stage, it took a few minutes to adjust to my sound, with a different amp, but we were soon rockin’ out big time. They were a mighty audience and they were well into the concert, and it was nice to see some younger people down the front too. Mostly females, which was extra cool, as they were lovin’ it.

Sadly, it was the twins last show as they had to fly back to Germany and get back to work. They came back after the show, as did David and Lana Vinogradov, as they had driven up from New York City. Also, Jim Paidas came back, and he kindly gave us some T Shirts that were called ‘Sick Boy.” Check out their website http://www.sickboy.com/

There was an old Hammond Organ with internal speakers in the dressing room and after a few wines Phil started playing ‘Chas & Dave’ songs which was a bit of a laugh. The dressing room was rockin’ there for a while before we all went on the bus for an overnight journey to Annapolis.

The bus was reasonably quiet considering, but I guess we all let our steam off in the dressing room. Once we arrived early in the morning our driver Alan parked outside a Diner, so we could go in for breakfast as we could not check in the hotel until midday.

Scampi had got out of his bunk early to see the Manchester United game against Chelsea in England, and he was delighted they won 1-0. My team Spurs had won another local derby against Crystal Palace while I was sleeping, and Dave’s team Liverpool beat West Ham 4-1, so we were all happy pups. This was all topped off by Manchester City winning the Carabao Cup Final over Arsenal. Arsenal are local rivals to my team Tottenham Hotspurs.

We then all went into the Diner for breakfast. Now the portions you got in this restaurant were enormous. Russ had a Cobb Salad that was so big he was eating it for 20 minutes, and he was sitting in front of me, and it looked like he was still on the first layer. Most people in the restaurant were eating only half of their meal and taking away the other half. Trust me these were the biggest portions we have seen since we have been over here.

Once we checked into the hotel we got to work on getting our laundry done as we were just half way through the tour.

Well I looked at the cost on the laundry list in the room and you would have to get a small mortgage out to pay for it, so we decided to just do some essentials to get us through for a few days, until we have 3 days stay at the Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee.

Well Bernie was having trouble with his throat, so he went to the doctors to get fixed up but after spending 2 hours he was told top ring at 8.30am in the morning. He is pretty durable as a singer, so he will be fine.

After being on the bus all night I wanted to get some fresh air, so I went for a walk around Annapolis. It was a Sunday, so most things were shut, but just down the street was the Rams Head venue we will be playing the following night and it was good to see both ‘3 Dog Night’ are playing there and Graham Nash. Graham Nash’s first album ‘Songs for Beginners’ is one of my favourite albums.

After the walk, I found a little coffee shop open and I went in for a coffee. It was here I found out that the British Accent sometimes gives people a little trouble in the USA, as I was asking for a Soya Latte, but the waitress could not get it, even when I spelt it out, then suddenly she says, ‘ Oh Soya,’ and I politely said yes. I was losing the will to live by this point, but the coffee did revive me.

As I was walking in the hotel Davey was coming out for some air too, so I gave him the run-down of activities and off he went. That night was a night off, which for some became a night on!

‘Appy days!

Mick

 

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4 Responses to “Box News #265 – February 26, 2018”

  1. David Learmonth Says:

    Still sounds like hard work but does seem the US has completely re-awakened to Heep! That cruise sounds like heaven, so many excellent bands in the one place. I live in Thailand & regarding the Thai meal -a lot of Thai food can be sweet, on the other hand some of it can be very spicy – with varying consequences to some stomachs………….

  2. Billy Moncrieff Says:

    Hi Mick ,
    Great read once again about all the tour details and life on the road with Heep . Hope you are having better luck with these Engl amps ! . Well , thats my pledgemusic orders in for the new album ( vinyl & cd ) . Looking forward to hearing the new material.
    Another album to add to the Heep collection !! Hope the rest of the current tour goes well .
    Rock On…………………………….. Billy .

  3. HeepFirst Says:

    Mick: A great read as always! Looking forward to the show in St Charles (Chicago) on 11 March. Did you see that the show starts at 5pm? And did you see that it’s SOLD OUT? See you there.

  4. Gerry D. Says:

    Thanks for the great tour update. Will be at the Arcada in St. Charles, IL on 3/11. Show is SOLD OUT!! Can’t wait. Arcada owner, Ron Onesti is a great guy. Hope he cooks you guys one of his famous Italian dinners.

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