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Friday June 13 – Day 44 We landed at Sydney at 7:05am and had to catch a flight on Tiger air the leaves at 9:45. Now that wouldn’t have been a problem except for the fact that the plane to Sydney left an hour later and now we had a lot less time to catch the flight to Melbourne. I will say Delta Airlines is a good airline and we will definitely fly with them again. Exiting the plane was quick and going through customs was just as quick. Getting the baggage also took no time but we had a bit of a wait for our guitars to come from oversize baggage. After a bit of a kafuffle with the busses and where to catch one we decided to get a cab to the domestic terminal about fifteen minutes from international. What a dumb layout at Sydney airport. They should have a quick train to the domestic terminal. We made it to the baggage check in at Tiger Air with five minutes to spare before they closed the counter! Got through security and got on the plane to Melbourne; an hour and fifteen minute flight. Our friend Nathan kindly picked us up and took us to his place where we will stay until Monday I think. Well, that’s the USA RECORD AND PLAY diary. It was a great trip and the recording was fantastic. We also had some fun gigs to play in each state we visited and met some great people along the way. We will miss our friends and family till next time. This IS rock and roll life. Many photos will be posted on reverbnation.com and our website thesign.com. Hope you enjoyed reading our adventures and please come back for more in the future. )(
Thursday June 12 – Day 43 35000 ft, 700 mph tossing and turning, watching many movies, eating food, drinking Bloody Marys and Gin and tonics, playing video games and having no luck sleeping for fifteen hours. Are we there yet?
Wednesday June 11 – Day 42 We got up at 10:00am and we are packed and ready for the trip to Jack & Stacie’s house before going to LAX for the trip home. HOME! Yay! We left 29 Palms at about 11:00am and it was a good trip on the US10 till we got near to LA. We always wonder; where the hell are all these people coming and going to? Five lanes on one side and five lanes on the other totally full and slow moving! We made it to Jacks just a shade over three hours. It was a nice break to see him and his family again before going to LAX. We had a chat at home for awhile then he took us out for some Chinese dinner. After dinner we left for the airport and made it with no dramas or heavy traffic. I (Paul) dropped Jo off at the terminal and returned the car to FOX then got the shuttle back to LAX. We checked in and got on the 10:15pm flight to Sydney with no problems except it left an hour later due to a late arrival from JFK that had 26 passengers who needed to get on. Woo Hoo! On our way home.....
Tuesday June 10 – Day 41 Well, the car is not back yet so I don’t know what the problem is but my bro will let me know. We play at 29 Palms Inn tonight 6:00pm till 9:00. We arrived at the gig at around 5:30pm because it is an acoustic only gig. No PA or amps. It was quite pleasant to play totally unplugged. As it was way too hot outside by the pool we played in the restaurant and had a great time. Made heaps of $$ in tips, got food, drink and got paid. What more could you want? At about 9:45pm we were winding down to finish the owners came in because they heard all about us from their customers and staff and wanted to hear us play. We played for them till about 9:15pm and they thoroughly enjoyed it. They shouted us a Bloody Mary each and they asked us to come back again and next time they will give us a free room at their hotel! Cool.... We visited the new casino in 29 Palms where my brother Russ works as a card dealer and it may be possible next time we come to the desert we could play there. We have to fill out a job application as if we are going to be employed by the casino and they do a police check on us. Could be interesting.. 2:00am and it’s time to pack and get ready for the trip back home.
Monday June 9 - Day 40 Russ woke me up at 9:00am to help him push our Chevy Malibu on the mechanics tow truck ramp. Apparently there is another problem with the new (used) engine he put in last week. When Russ was driving the car it over heated and when he tried to start it again it would not start. The mechanic guaranteed it for four months so all is good. He took it away and is going to fix it (again). Today will be another day just to relax before we play the gig at 29 Palms Inn tomorrow.
Sunday June 8 – Day 39 As usual we only got a couple of hours sleep and we were off to the Rochester airport at 4:30am to catch the flight to Atlanta. We have to arrive early at the airports because we are on buddy passes (standby). It is a bit tense because we never know if we are going to make the flights at the time. We did make the 6:00 flight to Atlanta and we got First Class! After we landed in Atlanta (2 hour flight) we made it to the gate to catch the 8:50 flight to LAX. That flight was very close to being full but we did manage to get on the flight. All the other flights leaving for LAX that day were full so we were lucky. We had seats right at the end of the plane! From the front of the bus to the back of the bus LOL. It was about a four hour flight to LAX and we had to turn our watches back three hours because of the time difference, so we arrived and hour after we left. I did manage to get an hour sleep on the plane. After we landed we got our luggage the off to the car rental office at the Sheraton hotel on Airport Rd by the shuttle. NU Car rentals, DO NOT rent from them. They offer a price on the internet but when you go to get the car, all of a sudden there are hidden insurance prices you have to pay making the REAL rental price almost THREE times the price you were offered. Needles to say I was pissed! We were really tired and wasted from no sleep and travel and the WiFi at the hotel was trouble and the iPad battery died and this and that happened but I managed to call FOX car rentals who I hired a car from a few trips back. They gave me a good price so we had to take the shuttle back to the airport then get another shuttle to where they are on Century Blvd. We waited at the airport for their shuttle for about fifteen minutes but no on came around. Another car hire bus driver told us that Thrifty car rental was right next door to FOX so we jumped on the next Thrifty bus and we were there! I got a small car and when I went to get it the person who doles out the cars saw me trying to pack everything into this little car laughed and he gave us a full size car upgrade for nothing! FOX is in my good books for car rentals in LAX! We drove to 29 Palms in a couple of hours with no dramas and settled into Russ and Kathy’s house for the stay till Wednesday, when we go home. A word to the wise... any foreigner who rents a car in the US has to have liability insurance of some kind. So the prices you see for the car rentals DO NOT include insurance. NU Car rentals said it was MANDATORY but it is not and makes you pay for it. FOX said I did not have to have it but the ramifications of not having it is $$$$$$$$$ in lawsuits. So it is advisable to pay the extra $20.00 or $25.00/day for insurance especially when the car rental is $13.00 or $17.00/day.
Saturday June 7 - Day 38 The Volta reunion party started about 2:00pm. It is always great to see relatives and friends we love so dearly but don’t get to see for years. Nieces and nephews are getting older as well as great nieces and nephews! It was great to see my (Paul) mom who is going to be 89 years old this August. She is in good health and getting around with no problems. It all wound up about 9:30pm and it was time to get packed and ready for the 6:00am flight out of Rochester to Atlanta, and then off to LAX.
Friday June 6 – Day 37
Friday afternoon is here and nothing exiting to report. We got to take Sandy’s Lincoln Town car to the gig in Medina. It was nice to be chauffeured around. Phil and Sandy treated us like kings and queens for the whole week. We love them both heaps! We got to the gig about 8:45pm and started to set up for playing at 10:00pm. It always seems that there is going to be one problem or another with the house PA especially when it is not a good one. It wasn’t horrible; JBL speakers and some kind of Peavey mixer with the power amp built in. But the problem arises when one side of the powered mixer is used for the monitor so you have to bridge the connections and there are switches on the front and back to deal with. Then there is the other thing when one of the channels doesn’t work and it takes ages to figure out what the problem is. But, I did manage to get the PA working in stereo and all was good. It was a bit slow after 10:00 but as the night went on it got packed! So around 1:00am the joint was cooking and we were into our open C tuning set. We got a lot of compliments and made some new fans. We finished playing around 1:45am and it was about 2:30am when we finally had the car packed, last drinks with the owner and ready to go home. We kept Phil and Sandy up till 3:15pm, the latest they stood up for about 30 years! Very funny... Oh, did I mention free drinks the whole night as well as paid?! And one thing I like about the bars here in the US is the endless pretzels and snacks they put on the bar for the punters to eat. Aussie pub owners take note. The more they eat the more they drink! SALT..
Thursday June 5 – Day 36
Remind me not to eat pizza and Buffalo wings... paying for it this morning. Digestive system ain’t what it used to be. I (Paul) got a call this afternoon from an old mate Louis LaVilla. He used to be my drummer from the 1960’s band The Blues Union. He is a great drummer and friend still. So, we will visit him tonight. We got to Lou’s about 7:00pm. He lives in a suburb of Rochester called Webster. What a night! It was like all those years never passed. We chatted for hours about the various bands we were in and the past friends we used to know and drank coffee and had plenty of treats to eat (as Italians always do when there are visitors). We met his lovely wife Chris and got to know her. As the night went on we had a little something to alter our states at about 11:30pm and at around 12:00am, feeling anxious to play, we went up to his recording studio and played and recorded a song Jo had written before we left Australia. He had his drums set up and some guitars and a bass available to play along with some vocal mics set up. What a buzz! We could have stayed all night (and morning long) but we did have to go when it got to 4:00am. I did have my brothers Lincoln MKZ so I had to get it back to him. Before we left Chris gave us an old Italian family recipe book that they had made into hard cover. It’s always about food in an Italian family and a fantastic recipe book! We didn't hit any deer on the way home (the drive was through the country) and it was home and off to sleep then get ready for the gig tomorrow night.
Wednesday June 4 – Day 35
Cousin Glenn came over for a visit. We had a nice long chat and he brought over a couple of mic stands and cables for the gig on Friday. Pizza and Buffalo wings for dinner. Relax....