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The Sign / Blog

Tokyo Golden Week Tour - May 2016

Tokyo Tour – Wednesday - Day 1

Up at sparrows fart and decided to go back to sleep till 10:00am. Running around making sure we have everything we need (phone and iphone including chargers, laptop) studio is locked down etc., pack the wagon and bye to number 1 son and mother. Almost left without passports... duh.

Got to Jules’ place with plenty of time, packed his gear in and then off to pick up Nigel. Got to him with no worries and then off to Hobart airport. Bass guitar and backpack; easy. Paul dropped everyone off at the gate then took the car to parking lot and caught the shuttle back to airport where a Chai latte was waiting. Yummmm. Luggage checked, tickets to Melbourne acquired and waiting for the 4:15pm flight.

Hmmmm.. where do I start? Well, when I took the car to the parking lot the girl who was working there told me what kind of day she was having. First she said, she slept through her alarm. Then she burnt her toast, and then her car wouldn’t start. After she got her car started she got into a small bang up on her way to work. How this fits into our day.... We get to Melbourne airport and find out (someone, I won’t say who (Jo)) booked our flight to Tokyo 0015 today. That was 0015am this morning. WTF? There was no flight tonight to Tokyo from Melbourne. Anyway, Jetstar was brilliant and booked us on a flight to the Gold Coast at 0600 Thursday, then on to Tokyo at 1000 to arrive at 6:00pm and DID NOT charge us! Yay... so now what.. After looking for a hotel to stay at and found everyone booked, Paul went to see if he could rent a car to drive to Kev’s place (Guruland Studio) for the night but the girl from Budget Rental suggested we check out Gladstone Park Hotel as they had no car big enough. She was nice enough to call the hotel and a room was booked. They had a good rate so we caught a cab there. We get to the hotel and the door where the cab dropped us off was locked so we had to go around to the front through the pokies to the desk where the door was locked. We get the key and find it doesn’t work! WTF again. So.. Paul goes around again to the desk and gets the attendant to check out the key. He tries to open the door and the same happens. After using the master key we finally get in. It appears that whoever was in the room last locked the door from the inside. So hopefully we will get some rest and be at the airport at 0500 tomorrow. Bugga.... our day ended as the parking lot girl’s day began!

Hey Hey It's USA Day 21

Saturday, August 29 Early morning start to get ready to drive to Palm Desert to be a part of a benefit concert for folks at Musicians Outlet who's business burned down. There were 20 acts on the day and music was from 1200 till 2am. We were invited to play a few songs and were priveledged to share the stage with such talented performers. We had a nice chat with a guy named Andy Cahan who was the keyboard player for the Turtles. He told us of his adventures in Australia with them. He plays with Lisa Lynn Morgan who shared her set with us. She has a fantastic voice, check her out on Reverbnation. We stayed till 3:00pm and all the acts were really good. As I said, there were a heap of acts and it would have been good to stay but we were beat. Made a lot of new friends and look forward to catching up next year.

Hey Hey It's USA Day 19

Thursday, August 27 Flew to LA tonight. Arrived at around 2130 and after gathering our luggage rented a car and drove around 3.5 hours east to the desert at 29 Palms just outside Joshua Tree. We stay with Pauls brother Russ when we are there. Long day.... another time zone...

Hey Hey It's USA Day 14

Saturday, August 22 Flew to Atlanta today. Pauls best mate Pierre (Chappy) picked us up from the airport. He works for Delta Airlines and gets us "buddy passes" to fly around on. It's basically half price tickets and we fly stand by. Most of the time we make our flights and once we flew first class. This time we got Delta preferred seats with extra leg room and free booze! Woo hoo! We had a great time in Atlanta as always and time flew by. We took the time we were there to suss out our TC Voicelives through a PA at Pierres house. Great sound and looking forward to using them at our next gig.

Hey Hey It's USA Day 12

Thursday, August 20

We had a visit with Paul's childhood mate Louis Lavilla and his wife Chris tonight. It was great to catch up with them again. He is an excellent drummer and was in a band with Paul when they were teenagers. Had the best canolis and custard eclair we ever tasted! He told us he was getting his band back together called Big Roots. If you can find them on the net, have a listen. They are fantastic. Like a regae version of Chicago Transit Authority. So that was good news. Talked till the wee hours of the morning with great friends. Another great day in Rochester and the weather was fine.

Hey Hey It's USA Day 9

Monday, August 17 We drove to Niagara Falls in the early afternoon to catch up with in-laws. Pauls brother drove so we felt like we were being chauffeured as he has a Lincoln. It was another family affair with brothers, sisters in-law, niece and nephew. They went to the casino on the US side and we went over to Canada to meet Joel and Rose (the in-laws). We went to lunch at a nice restaurant in a little community called Niagara on the Lake then we went to see the falls. Niagara Falls is a spectacular sight from the Canadian side. An amazing amount of water and a beautiful green/blue color pouring over this horse shoe shaped falls hundred of feet down. There is a boat ride you can do called Maid of the Mist that goes almost right up to falls from the bottom but we didn't have time to do it as we had to leave to meet the family on the other side. Niagara Falls powers most of New York State via a huge hydro electric plant. We found a few new places to play while we were there and look forward to next year!

Hey Hey It's USA Day 8

Sunday, August 16 Well, the biggest reason we came to the US this time was for Paul's mothers 90th birthday. Family and friends arrived at around 1:30 pm and it was held at the function room in the apartment building where she lives. A built in audience of around forty people showed up and mom was stoked! Again, people who haven't caught up for years had a great time chatting away and catching up. The catered food was great and everyone had a wonderful time. Mom lasted the whole time (a couple of hours) and headed off to her apartment after she gave a wonderful speech thanking everyone for the gifts and attending the party. We went back to Paul's brothers house and continued the party... woot!

Hey Hey It's USA Day 7

Saturday, August 15 Had a fun day at my brothers place reminiscing with relatives we haven't seen in years. Starry Nites Cafe gig was a really cool place to play. Great to have support from family and old friends. We played totally acoustic outside at first and after a few songs the bugs attacked! Not that they were big bugs but they were annoying so we went inside where it was much cooler and NO BUGS! The acoustics were great and we didn't need amps or PA. A large long black coffee each got us through the night then home to relax.

Hey Hey It's USA Day 5

Thursday, August 13 Still getting up at 0600 and only sleeping a few hours. Jet lag anyone? We went to House of Guitars today to get a couple of mic stands. While we were there we ran into Dave Amato (guitarist with REO Speedwagon). Both he and Bruce from House of Guitars remembered me from my shop Voltage Guitars. Didn't know I was so famous.. lol It has been at least 35 years since I've been to the House of Guitars (I bought my first guitar there) and its still the same! With the same people working there! Huge store with everything from records, CDs, drums, guitars, keyboards, recording studio, clothing.... amazing place. If you ever get to Rochester, make sure you go there! I didn't realize that REO was playing that night or we could have gotten back stage passes... bugga.

Hey Hey It's USA Day 4

Wednesday, August 12 As we had no sleep on the flights we did manage to get a few hours at my brothers place (where we are staying while in Rochester) at around 0130. Woke up at 0400, 0600 and then just got up for the day. Our toys arrived today! We ordered two TC Voice Live 3's from Sweetwater Music. Sweeeet.... got a sim for the phone from AT&T and spent the rest of the day playing with our toys... I forgot to say, the weather is fine and will be for the time we are here in Rochester.