Box News #267 – March 29, 2018


URIAH HEEP NORTH AMERICAN TOUR PART 4

Mick talks about arriving in Milwaukee at the Potawatomi Casino, 3 days and 2 nights in the same place, the soap saga, Christine and the Goats Cheese, Russ losing on the tables, receiving the first mixes of the new album “Living The Dream,’ from Producer Jay Ruston, the Northern Lights venue, overpowering smoke in the Casino, Sickboy T Shirts and Hoodies from Jim Paidas, the Sold Out second show, the drive to Minneapolis, extreme tiredness, Paul Gurtler the Pledge drummer at the Varsity Theatre, the overnight journey to another Sold Out show in St Charles Illinois, Wornstar clothing, the Q&A hosted by the promoter Ron Onesti, the Nick Bell Band, meeting a father who named his son Uriah Heep, the Speakeasy 1920’s club, and an overnighter to Des Moines Indiana and the Social Security numbers at the Tax Office.

Mick also discusses, the English Pub called ‘The Royal Mile,’ Shepherd’s Pie and HP sauce, a busy day on my computer, Alligator Stew, the Robert Plant interview with Dan Rather, The Hoyt Sherman venue, the Mother and her 2 daughters, Jeremy Stewart the Pledge guy who came up and sang ‘Easy Livin’ at the sound check, Ben and his Tattoo, Kansas City and the wonderful ‘Knuckleheads’ venue, Jaren Johnston and the ‘Cadillac 3’ band, the overnight journey to Sioux City IO and the Hard Rock Casino.

Mick also talks about the air-conditioning dome that fell off the top of the bus and the Black Jack Table with our picture on it. The Premium Bar, expensive Red Wine, St Patrick’s Day, the Green River, Guinness, Cold Noisy Wind Nights, the Nick Bell Band, Edgar Winter, Burgettstown PA, the last show of that run in the Pepsi Cola Roadhouse, the Possum, Niagara Falls, the Rainbow and the surprise upgrade on the way home.

Well we arrived in the early hours of the morning in Milwaukee and Allen our driver parked the bus outside the venue at the Potawatomi Casino. Our rooms were not ready, so we had some breakfast until they were. Then we checked in and had some sleep in a quiet non-moving bed.

We were there for 3 days and 2 nights, so it was a luxury to open your suitcase and spread out a bit. I decided to not have lunch that day and wait until dinner so that I could just enjoy my room. I had so many emails to sort out with mails on the Homefront, interviews, business mails and just general email madness that follows you around the world. It was a good opportunity to bring that all up to date and of course it is pretty labour intensive just writing these blogs, and so easy to fall behind with all that happens in our busy lives on the road, so I caught up on that too.

I had a shower before joining everyone for dinner and I can tell you now that on this tour I am getting a dab hand at tossing the soap. Now those of you with dirty minds go to the back of the class. I usually take in the shower with me the soap bar from the sink, and when I have finished I can throw it back out of the shower and into the sink and even most times right back on to the soap dish from whence it came. It is a talent I never knew I had until this tour. If ever there was an Olympic Soap Tossing event, I would surely bring back a gold medal for the UK.

Well we had dinner in what could only be termed as the upmarket restaurant of the Casino. Although it was relatively expensive it did have some really good food and excellent wines. It was a good way to have a relaxing meal and just chill, but the best thing of all was that on checking into the hotel they had given us artist food vouchers, and we could use them against the lovely dinner and wine, so in effect it was free! ‘Appy days!

Christine the waitress knew I liked Goats Cheese, but they did not have any on the menu, so she promised to get me some from her local market. When the crew ate there the following day with Russ, she gave it to them for me. Now how lovely is that, a quality Goats Cheese complete with a packet of water biscuits. Perfect for the bus. What a lovely lady.

After eating we took a bottle of red wine into the Casino in the no smoking betting area and watched Russ lose some money on the Black Jack tables. Then we went to bed.

The next day was a chill day until it was sound check time. We had received by email two tracks that our Producer Jay Ruston had mixed off the new album, ‘Living the Dream.’ I listened to these a number of times and then made a few notes to send to him. Overall, they were fantastic, and I only made a few suggestions for him to try. It was certainly an amazing start and we would only be dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s at the most. The rest of the boys did the same, so we were all on the same page.

Walking into the Northern Lights venue we were greeted by the staff all saying how great it was to have us back. It did feel good to be back having played 4 shows there before I have to say, and it is a lovely venue and very well run by good people.

The walk through the main body of the Casino to the venue was horrendous for me, as while they are betting, they are allowed to smoke and drink. The smell of smoke was overpowering and not good at all. Working there in that environment would surely take 10 years off of your life. It really made me feel uncomfortable I have to say.

Back at the venue it was filling up and we had to delay the start time by 10 minutes to get everyone in. Jim Paidas http://www.paidasmanagement.com from a T-Shirt company called ‘Sick Boy’ http://www.sickboy.com/ had sent a huge box of T-shirts’ and Hoodies for everyone, so we divvied them up between everybody, which made us all happy as we had some clean shirts to wear and apart from that they looked cool.

As we hit the stage the band were on fire from note one and the audience lapped it up. It was a great night, and everyone enjoyed it, even the crew that worked there congratulated us when we came off the stage and they see everyone.

We met a few people in the dressing room afterwards, but we didn’t stay too long before we went back to our rooms, walking through that fixating smoke to get there.

The following day Phil, Bernie and I met for breakfast and then for dinner we all met again only with Davey this time. Russ was eating with the crew in the fancy restaurant and so he picked up my lovely Goats Cheese for me from Christine.

The second night was a complete ‘Sell Out,’ and it was a fantastic reaction. We had a great time as well as the audience and the atmosphere was electric. It was an amazing night and a good one to end our two shows in the Potawatomi Casino, Northern Lights venue. Once again, the staff all congratulated us and said that they would love to have us back again. We would do that in a heartbeat.

After the show we met some people including a guy who had the D&W and Magicians Birthday albums tattooed on his arms, as well as our signatures. That was pretty amazing, and then I went to my room for a shower as we were leaving overnight to Minneapolis. My hair and clothes stunk of smoke, so I was really happy to have the time to do this and change my clothes, before boarding the bus and climbing into my bunk. I threw all of my Smokey stinky clothes into a plastic laundry bag, so that they did not make the rest of my clean clothes smell in my case.

It was a pretty quiet bus because we had been waiting round since coming off the stage at 9.30pm until the departure time of 1am. We had to wait that long because of Allen the driver’s hours. It wasn’t long before everyone had hit their bunk until we arrived at Minneapolis at 9.30am. This was just enough time to get checked in and have breakfast. Well only Phil, Russ, Alan and myself made the breakfast, as Bernie and Davey went straight to their rooms, and no one was up for lunch either. We had hit a patch of extreme tiredness, so everyone was taking every opportunity to rest.

Well overnight Jay Ruston had sent us the 2 song mixes incorporating our suggestions, so I had a good listen to them many times over even though I was super tired. Then I had some sleep happy in the knowledge that everything was sounding brilliant. It is always exciting hearing the mixes for the first time.

At the sound-check in the Varsity Theatre in Minneapolis we had a Pledger whose name was Paul Gurtler. He was a drummer and requested that we play ‘Stealin’ rather than ‘Easy Livin.’ This was a lot of fun and he had his whole family there who were really lovely and all super ‘Heep’ fans.

The concert was great, and we really had a good time and the audience were right with us from the intro tape. They did us proud but after the show it was another overnight journey to St Charles Illinois.

When we arrived in the morning Bernie had arranged a visit to a Rock n’ Roll clothes shop called ‘Wornstar,’ so both Bernie and Davey took an Uber there. Even though it was Sunday they opened the shop especially for them which was nice. Prior to this tour I had purchased 10 of their T Shirts, so in essence I was all Wornstar-ed up, but I was burnt out from the overnighter, as was Phil and Russ, so we decided on getting some sleep, as that was more important at the time.

The Sold Out show in St Charles Illinois was a new experience for the mighty Heep as the night was billed as the ‘Ultimate Heep Fan Night’ and it ran like this. First on were the excellent ‘Nick Bell Band,’ http://www.nickbellband.com then directly after that we were brought on to the stage for a Q&A. This was a lot of fun and it was MC’d by the promoter Ron Onesti. As we sat on the 5 chairs on stage,

Behind us, they played a video of all the various line-ups. Each of us were asked questions and it lasted approximately 20 minutes. Then we had 30 minutes backstage to change and warm up for the show.

Well the roar as we took to the stage was immense, and it stayed that way throughout the whole concert. The atmosphere was electric, and it was certainly a night to remember. It was a welcome back to Illinois response that was just wonderful and did the heart good.

We had another overnighter, so we met a lot of people and one special guest before we left. A Father proudly announced his son to us whose name was Uriah Heep. Now how cool was that? We had a lot of pictures taken with him, and it was his first Heep concert. He is now a fan, as well as bearing our name for life.

This venue was amazing on a number of levels as they had another venue on the side of the one we played that was basically a Jazz Club, and upstairs there was a club called ‘The Speakeasy.’ It was a private 1920’s club where the waitresses wore flapper dresses, and there were photos of Al Capone all over the walls. It was an incredible place and we had a quick drink in there before climbing on to the bus for the overnighter to Des Moines Indiana.

We arrived in the morning and luckily the hotel rooms were ready. Only Phil and I had breakfast and only Phil and I had lunch, as we did not see anyone else until the usual 7pm meet up in the bar for dinner.

During the day Scampi our TM, Bernie, Angus and Ben had to go downtown to get their Social Security numbers from the local tax office. This was not without its headache as they would have to go back the following day. These places are always a complete nightmare and a test on one’s patience to the hilt.

As it was a night off, Angus found an English Pub that was close by. The hotel had a courtesy van, so a few of the crew walked, but most of us went in the van. It was a Pub called ‘The Royal Mile,’ and they had a fine array of English beer in bottles and on tap, and the food was the likes of Shepherd’s Pie, and Scotch Eggs. This was topped off beautifully for us by an authentic bottle of brown English HP Sauce. Over there the English HP Sauce had been rarer than a penny black stamp or as some might say ‘Rarer than Rocking Horse Pooh.’ We were super delighted with the relaxed evening, and we were all back in the hotel for 10.30pm for an early night. Each and every one of us needed that, so that we could get our second wind on that leg of the tour.

The next day was another welcome day off but for some they had to go back to the Social Security office downtown which was a pain.

I was hoping for another relaxing day, but I ended up bringing my blog up to date, writing out the new album credits which was pretty extensive and like pulling teeth trying to get information from everyone, BMG wanted me to create a Vinyl running order for ‘Your Turn To Remember, ‘so there was a lot of listening to do, and also, I had more Jay Ruston song mixes to check out from ‘Living The Dream’.

I did escape for lunch and went to Buzzard Billy’s with Phil, Russell and Bernie which was a sports bar. They had Alligator on the menu and Bernie couldn’t help himself and had the Alligator Stew. This was too much for my plain culinary tastes.

On the way to the restaurant we shared a shuttle with this old guy who was bent over double and was walking with a stick. We had to drop him at the hospital first and we assumed he was going there for himself. When he had left the van the lady driver told us that he was in fact going to see his son in hospital who is 60, and that the guy was actually only a few months off being 100 years old. She also told us that he actually built the Hotel we were staying in, which was the Holiday Inn Downtown Mercy Campus, and that he had a room there for life. He built this hotel when all around was wasteland. An amazing story!

We took another shuttle service to dinner that night, as we were in the middle of nowhere. When we left we noticed that Davey was not with us, so I quickly texted him and he said he was coming down, so we turned around and picked him up. We always meet at 7pm and as Dave was not there we assumed he was giving it a miss. One of the rules we have on the road is ‘Stick with the Programme,’ or it will all go pear shaped.

We ended up having dinner at an Italian restaurant close by the hotel. This was superb, and it was a great meal along with some excellent wine.

We were all back at the hotel by 9.30pm and Phil, Russ and I went to our rooms while Bernie and Davey hit the bar for a night cap. While I was working there was an interesting programme on TV with an interview between Dan Rather and Robert Plant. It was very insightful and good to watch. His life can certainly be termed as colourful, and he is still being creative on his terms, and that has to be admired. However, I had not completely finished my days’ work, but I had made a good dent in it, so I was happy, but in the early hours of the morning my bed was calling.

The next day was gig day at the Hoyt Sherman Theatre Des Moines IA, and what a beautiful theatre it was. It was all seated with lovely ornate balconies and a wonderful size stage. At the hotel while we were waiting for the transport to take us to the sound check, a lady and her two daughters were checking in. The Mother did a double take and said that we were her passion in her youth and could she have her picture taken with us. Of course we did this, and then when they said they were coming to the concert and had tickets, I took their names and put 3 After Show passes on the door for them. They were delighted.

At the sound check we had a Pledge guy join us called Jeremy Stewart who sang ‘Easy Livin’, and he had a blast. It was good fun and then we had some pictures taken with him. All the time his lady was filming the whole thing, so that he had an amazing memento.

We also found out that Ben our monitor engineer on the day off, had been to a Tattoo Shop and had a Tattoo on his wrist. He had always wanted to tour the USA and this being the first time with the mighty Heep, he had a Tattoo to remember it by.

Before the concert we had a number of things to do, like the band and crew having their pictures taken all wearing their ‘Sickboy’ Clothes, then we had to do a Happy Birthday video for a fan, followed by an ID video for a Spanish festival later in the year. Then we had just 30 minutes to get changed and warm up for the concert.

Well the audience were well up for a good rock show and there were a few ladies down the front totally rockin’ out which was great. It was a really good atmosphere and a lot of fun and it was smiles all around. After the show the Promoter came up to me and said how much he had enjoyed the concert and that he would have us back anytime, so that was cool. We have been hearing that almost every night from our Promoters, so you could say things are going terribly well.

We met a few people 20 minutes after coming off the stage including the Mother and her daughters, and they said they really enjoyed the show. The hotel courtesy bus drove us back to the hotel and there was room for the Mother and daughters, so they joined us for the short ride back, which was cool.

The next morning, we were driving to Kansas City MO to play a show in a venue called ‘Knuckleheads.’ We did not know what to expect, but when we arrived it was a really funky good vibe venue. There was another tour bus there, and as we were wondering who it might be, I received a text from Jaren Johnston from the ‘Cadillac 3,’ saying it looks like we are playing the same gig tonight. In fact, it turned out that they were playing outside on one ticket, and we are in the main venue on another ticket, but at the same time. That was very unusual I have to say, and the downside was that we could not see each other play. As I walked to lunch past their bus Jaren came running out for a hug and hello which was cool.

Lunch was a short walk from the venue in a train carriage that had a little kitchen. It was called ‘Pigwich, ’and you ate outside on well-worn tables and benches. It was very funky, and I had a very tasty Falafel Roll. The weather was sunny and 22 degrees, so it was off with the coats and it felt good.

By the side of the venue were railroad tracks, and every few minutes a train went by sounding off its Air Horn as it approached the crossing. The venue was really cool and the dressings rooms comfortable which was a plus as we had no hotel that day, because we were driving overnight to Sioux City IO.

The ‘Knucklehead’ venue was packed when we took the stage and they were sure up for a rock show. It was rockin’ big time and with people down the front we really had a good gig. The smiles and fists in the air with plenty of ‘Hell Yeahs,’ being yelled created a great atmosphere, and I have to say that ‘Knuckleheads’ was one unique, funky affair, that I wouldn’t mind repeating.

After the show we met some good friends and then I received another text from Jaren saying that they were playing ‘Heep’ on the speakers in their bus and having a blast and would we like to pop over for a beer. We were leaving at 1am and they were leaving at 4am, so we did just that and it was good to catch up.

We pulled out dead on 1am to travel the long overnight journey to Sioux City IO, where we were playing in the ‘Hard Rock Casino.’ Along the journey the air-conditioning dome on the roof of our bus blew off, as it was extremely bad weather conditions. This resulted in the inner heavy wooden panel crashing to the floor inside the bus, so it was a cold old windy journey in those bunks. Luckily no-one was hurt as it happened while we were all in bed.

We arrived at Sioux City and the band checked into a hotel while the crew went to the venue to set up. It was raining so not a good load in. When we went for the sound check, once inside we could see it was a really cool venue with a good size stage. The dressing rooms were comfortable, and we were taken to the Casino to see a surprise something. Well it was indeed a nice surprise, as they had decorated the felt on one of the Black Jack Tables with a picture of us as we were on the poster. We all stood in position ala the poster and had pictures taken. Now how cool is that and definitely a first.

The gig was fantastic and although this all sounds a little like ‘Groundhog Day,’ the reactions we have received since being in Canada and the USA have been immense, and there is a real buzz going on about the mighty Heep. They were a great audience, and they were with us on every note played which was fantastic. Every venue thus far the promoter has said that they want us back, so that is terrific.

Before we travelled overnight to the next destination where we were going back to St Charles Illinois, for a second show, we were taken to the Premium Bar in the Casino. Bernie and Russ were in raptures about the red wine as the barman said it was the most expensive red wine in the USA. As it was close to St Patricks Day the next day both Phil and I had a Guinness each and Davey and Scampi enjoyed the delights of some expensive Bourbon.

We could not stay long as the bus was leaving for another overnighter. Now our driver Allen had covered the missing Air-Conditioning hole with plastic and Gaffa tape as he could not get it fixed until we were back in St Charles. This was about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike and it soon fell down making it another cold and noisy night.

When we arrived, the band went to a hotel for a day room and the crew went to the show. I had lunch with Phil and it was St Patricks Day, so the menu was full of Green St Patricks Day specials and all the waitresses and waiters wore something green. They do take St Patricks day seriously over here to the point that they say over 3 million pints of Guinness would be drunk that day, and even the Chicago River was totally dyed green. Evidently this is environmentally friendly, but it did look very strange with boats floating on it. This was initially executed in 1962 when Richard J. Daley served as Chicago’s Mayor. No half measures there then.

We did not have a sound check that night because there were three bands on. The ‘Nick Bell Band,’ ‘Edgar Winter’s White Trash’,’ and the mighty ‘Heep.’ We ate down at the show as food was brought in, and one guy bought in a tray of meatballs that everybody tucked into along with some chili peppers.

I had to do a video interview and then we did a meet and greet arranged by the venue. This was relatively painless and then we could go and watch the ‘Nick Bell Band’ play. They are a 3-piece band, and Nick holds down the guitar and vocals. They went down really well and I thoroughly enjoyed their set, as did the audience. They are good musicians and good to watch as well as listen too, as they do give out and I like that.

Up next was ‘Edgar Winter,’ who also went down well, but it is not my cup of tea, but his band can sure play.

We were up next and as it was our second show in that venue on this tour, it felt like a homecoming, and we had a blast. It was St Patricks day and still it was a packed venue which was great, and they were rockin’ hard. It was a fantastic show even though we could only play 1hr 15mins, so we kept it rocking.

After the show we said hello to everyone that we could, before we had to leave to drive overnight to Burgettstown PA where we were playing our final show of this tour at the ‘Pepsi Cola Roadhouse.’ Phil and I still managed to have a few Guinness’s to celebrate St Patricks day, so we did our best to help with that 3 million figure.

One guy and his lovely wife gave me a miniature guitar case with a Wizard Belt Buckle inside. Now how cool is that?

Well we jumped on to the bus and by 1am most everyone had gone to bed. The Air-conditioning dome had been fixed so it was at last a nice quite ride to the next city. Well except for the animal farm noises, but we were used to that by now.

We arrived outside the venue and there was a double house trailer that we could go in and have some Tea & Coffee, and some doughnuts served up by the lovely Rita. This was at the side of the venue and would be our dressing room. We looked in the venue and it was a huge place with a big wooden stage but in front of it were laid out tables all with numbers on giving it a wedding reception vibe.

We were served some chilli and sandwiches back in the trailer before the band were taken to the hotel while the crew set the stage. While we were waiting we saw a huge Possum scavenging about, which at first, we took to be a rat on steroids.

We had a few hours at the hotel before being picked up by Big Jim, who lived up to his name, to drive us to the venue.

However, Bernie had not accounted for the time change and was still relaxing in his room expecting another hour to chill.
He went into panic mode, but we said relax and Big Jim would go back to pick him up.

Rita looked after us well, and she handmade all of the food which was great. It was pretty basic with Chicken, Fish and Pasta but all very nice.

There were two Acoustic Guitars that we all signed that the promoter had given as prizes, but I was unclear how anyone won one of them.

The support band were a ‘Rush’ tribute band, although there were 4 of them. This kinda missed the point of Rush being a 3 piece. I thought that the minimum you could expect from a Rush tribute band would be to have the same amount of band members, but there you go.

We took to the stage and it was strange as everyone was seated at the tables ala a wedding. When they did let loose and get up, they were told to sit down again. Still we could see that they were well into it and singing the words and clapping along at all the relevant points.

I did get a standing ovation for my guitar work on ‘Magicians Birthday,’ ‘Between Two Worlds’ and ‘July Morning,’ and at the end we had them all standing and singing along big time.

The promoter was very happy with the reaction, and once again we heard those magic words that he would love to book us back again. It was our last show of this run and I thanked the Crew, Caitlin our Merchandiser and Allen our driver and they received a good cheer.

After the show we had a few drinks and signed a number of items that Scampi bought to the dressing room, before we all loaded on to the bus for the short drive back to the hotel. As it was the last night everyone had a hotel room, which was cool.

The next day we had an 11am lobby call, so we had time to finish packing, have a shower, have breakfast and then travel on the bus to Toronto Canada, to catch a BA flight back to London. Well I went down to breakfast with our driver Allen and it was all closed by 9.30am. This was disappointing, but Allen had spied a McDonalds up the road from the hotel, so we made that our first stop on the way to the airport. I had made it all through the 6-week tour without hitting one of these, but I had no choice but to join in with everyone else. The Roaties (Roadies/Technicians) as we call them, loved it.

We had the usual Customs to go through from the USA to Canada, but this was relatively easy. We had to get off the bus and they went on with a sniffer dog, but all was cool, so we could leave.

On the way we stopped at Niagara Falls which was stunning even though I had seen it many times. It was made even better with a beautiful Rainbow over the whole falls that looked magical.

Well Allen dropped us off at Toronto Airport and we said our goodbyes to both him and Caitlin before we checked in for the flight home. However, we did have a 4 hour wait before the flight took off, that some spent at a burger bar drinking and eating, and some of us sat in the Priority Pass lounge that was very comfortable, but it did get a tad boring.

As we were boarding the BA flight, Bernie, Brian and I were pulled to one side and were upgraded to Business Class which was great. We already had Premium Economy, but the upgrade was marvellous. Once we had landed we all picked up our suitcases and hugged and went our different ways, safe in the knowledge that we would be back there again in under 2 weeks to start another leg of the USA/Canadian tour, as the Rock n’ Roll Circus that is Heep just keeps on rolling.

It was so lovely being home, and so lovely to see my wife Sheila and my son Romeo, and our dog Iggy went mental for a while. Even my cat Biscuit was purring at my leg for attention, so Home Sweet Home it was, and I loved it.

‘Appy days!

Mick

 

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6 Responses to “Box News #267 – March 29, 2018”

  1. Egil Heepaholic Says:

    Damn good to hear that you guys are doing it so well in Canada & USA. Thanks a lot for sharing with us Mick.

  2. Dougie walsh Says:

    Mick what another fab read mcdonalds is better over ther than here well am gonna have to decide what am gonna pledge for .good luck for the rest of the tour cant wait to see you guys again
    Dougie

  3. Ed Heepfan1 Says:

    Best read yet! …..Rat on steroids…. Hilarious! I laughed for a good two minutes after reading that. Thanks. Mick. Keep it up.

  4. Attorney Paul Gurtler Says:

    Hi Mick!!

    Me & my entire Gurtler Family sincerely thank you, your great band mates and TM Scampi for the GREATEST TIME OF MY LIFE as your Pledge drummer on “Stealin'” at The Varsity Theater in Minneapolis earlier this month!!! You and all of your mates treated me, my wife Michelle, our daughter Lieutenant Junior Grade Victoria Gurtler (Commander of USCG Cutter Pike – San Francisco) & son Ensign Phil Gurtler (Deck Watch Officer of USCG Cutter Douglas Munro – Kodiak, Alaska) to the time of our lives at your “Meet & Greet” and our sound check performance! Michelle and I traveled from Central Wisconsin to pick up our “kids” who flew in specially to the Minneapolis International Airport for this very special UH concert.

    I have dreamed of playing with you fellows since I was 10 years old and heard “Uriah Heep Live” for the first time. You and your mates are ALL consummate gentlemen who, even though you all were understandably a bit tired at that time during your exhaustive N.A. Tour, were absolutely lovely to us and (as ALWAYS!) put on the most energetic and very best live rock band act in the world!! We could see the magic in all of your eyes with just how well your new album “Livin’ the Dream” is coming along and we cannot wait until it is released!!!

    Your Tour Manager Scampi is such a super chap and was most accommodating to us. Mick – many, many thanks again to you personally for your undeniable charm and great grace, along with the huge bear hug and cheery “Paul! ‘ow are yer?!?” Thanks to Russell for graciously allowing me the GREAT HONOR to play his incredible drum kit and for his wonderful encouragement when I needed it the very most. Thanks to Phil for his great kindness, exceptional artistry, keen wit and charm. Thanks to Bernie who is, simply put, an absolute marvel of humanity + cool. And a very special thank you to Davy for his professionalism and absolutely “carrying me on his back” while I was trying hard to recreate on the drums what I had last played 30+ years ago!

    The pictures and tape of our performance of Stealin’ is a family heirloom now. You chaps put on a fantastic show that evening to a very happy and very pleased crowd!! If anyone is thinking of supporting UH with a Pledge Performance, DO IT!!!!!! All one can say is that although your other great fans may be as nervous as I was, I solemnly assure them all that the raw excitement of performing with the MOST TALENTED, FAN-FRIENDLY & APPRECIATIVE BAND IN THE WORLD will exceed any and all expectations they may have!

    Michelle and the Family took a number of great photos and tape that we would really enjoy sharing with you and all fellow Heepsters!!! Just send me the word and we’ll promptly relay them to you.

    Cheers and all the very best to you and your mates, Mr. Box!!!

    Paul Gurtler

  5. Gerry D. Says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for bringing this tour to St. Charles, IL. From seeing my first Heep show at Biddy Mulligan’s in Chicago soon after Bernie and Phil joined the band, to the “Monsters of Rock” tour with Wishbone Ash and Blue Oyster Cult, I have to say that you are at your peak right now. The band is on fire. Heep has been my one shining light since 1975. Thank you. Please come back soon!!

  6. Mark Novicki Says:

    For those who don’t know, “Look At Yourself” is being released on Record Store Day April 21st. It is an extremely limited “splatter” vinyl version. So go visit your local independent record store that is participating in this special event and pick up a copy!

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