Leave hotel in Montreux at 6am, everyone heads to their bunks. Arrive at Interlaken around 9am, show is on a small airstrip in a valley surrounded by the Alps. Beautiful, maybe Heidi will come to the show :) Have breakfast, load-in, work for about an hour and I'm done. We don't go on till 10pm, lots of waiting around today.

After lunch, spend a few hours helping our carpenter build something for the set, beats being bored. Catch a couple of songs from Fantomas, a supergroup lead by Mike Patton of Faith No More, with Terry Bozzio (Zappa, Missing Persons) and Buzz Osbourne of the Melvins. Pretty cool, but arty and out there. Check out this pic of Terry's drumkit. Insane!! After that its time for a power nap and then catch most of The Hellacopters set (awesome Swedish band) before heading to dinner. It's been raining off and on all day, the storm I saw in Montreux last night apparently caused NIN and others to cancel here last night. Hope it clears up for our show.

Work through Jimmy Eat World's set, as it clears up. Then we're on and the guys play a great show, for just having 5 days off. Load-out and back to Barcelona tonight for an arena show on Monday.

Up at 6am, 7:15 lobby call. Get to the airport and do group check-in. Then walk through the massive amount of shops to get to the gate. Board the bus to take us to the plane, and the driver hits another bus pulling out, but keeps going. We drive forever to get to the plane, we park and sit for 10 minutes, then the driver gets in and starts heading back to the gate, they tell us the plane has 'mechanical difficulties'. We go back into the terminal, then 10 minutes later we board again. Back to the plane, this time we board and are airborne about an hour late.

Arrive in Geneva, Switzerland, collect bags and board our tour busses for a 60 mile drive to Montreux, home of the Montreux Jazz Festival (happening next week). We drive through beautiful wine country (we are on the French side of Switzerland) bordering Lake Geneva on one side and the alps on the other.

Arrive in Montreux, check-in, my room overlooks the lake. Sweet! Drop bags and go walking around town for a few hours. Spot a Thai place, but missed lunch, so I'll return for dinner.

Later, a big thunderstorm rolls in over the lake and I watch it for a while from my covered balcony. Then it's off for Thai, I get the Pad Thai, as the menu is in French and that's my safest bet. It's great, but expensive, over $30 for a single plate and bottled water. As I leave it's pouring rain and I get soaked on the way back, oh well. Off to bed to read and sleep, as we have a 6am lobby call tomorrow for the 95 mile drive to Interlakken for the festival.

Losing Things...

Not only have I lost my digital camera on this trip, but my driver's license and now my SIM card for my phone. I've been using a prepaid Vodaphone SIM here, since it's cheaper than Cingular. But now I can't find my Cingular SIM. I almost never lose anything, I may be messy, but I know where my stuff is. This is really starting to drive me crazy. I don't like to lose stuff...

Walk around this morning, motorcycles don't have to be back till 7pm, but my butt is flat from the last two days and I don't feel like fighting traffic. Spend the afternoon uploading pics and writing the 10 days down for the blog.

Leave at 6pm to return the bikes, we have to ride 40min out of town. It's the getting out of town that's hard. Basically you have to split lanes on the bike, which means you ride on the line between lanes and between cars. Kinda scary, but you'll get no where without doing it, and with all the scooters wizzing past, you'd better join them or get run over. I get blocked by three vans at an intersection and lose the other guys by 10 min or so. Never catch them. The C-32 highway is at a stand still, so I hop on the N-11 seaside road and get near Moto Espana and call Mike to talk me in. Seems I passed the turn, even though I was pretty sure where it was, no problem, I arrive 15-20 min after the other guys. Mike gives us a ride back to the hotel and we thank him and invite him to the show here on Monday.

Out to dinner with my riding buddies. Great little Italian place. Tomorrow is a big holiday here in Catalunya for Sant Joan, everything will be closed, so they start the party tonight. Everywhere people are shooting off fireworks in the street. Kids and adults just walk down the street throwing firecrackers or bottlerockets. At 11pm there is a big fireworks display at the beach, this lasts until after 1am when I go to sleep. Crazy...

Barcelona Day Off - Moto Day #2

Decide to go against my norm and ride in shorts and a t-shirt, it's just too hot and humid otherwise. Get off to a great start by going down a one-way street the wrong way, and right in front of the Policia!! The others follow me and we get turned around, but the guy in the Policia car keeps yelling and pointing in Spanish. I think he's pointing at the one way sign and telling me I'm an idiot, but he wants me to pull over, so I do. He and his partner get out and he keeps yelling at me, I try to tell him I don't understand, but he speaks no English. His partner does a little and tells me to be more careful and go about my business. Whew!! I thought I was getting a ticket or worse. I must explain that there are only small signs on the buildings here telling you the name of the street and with all the roundabouts, it's tough to know where you are. Plus you spend most your energy trying not to get run over. I'm not a complete idiot, just a tourist...

Since the one way was the only straight shot out of town I try to take us down a few blocks and up to try and get to the highway out of town that we want, the A-2. More traffic and small streets and we're lost again. We stop and Joline asks directions, and we get on the B-20, but going the wrong way. After a few miles I realize we are going the wrong direction, so we exit and find a hotel and ask directions again. This time we get going the right way (not easy) and find the A-2, which is marked from one direction, but not the other. We take the A-2 up to Montserrat, a beautiful serrated mountain, with a monestary and one of the highest peaks in Spain (+1000 meters above sea level). We take the Funicular (tram) up to the Sant Joan peak, it only goes part way, we walk the rest. Take as many pictures as I can, it's so hot you can see the haze in the pics.


Back down to the main area we go for some yummy Gelato (ice cream), I get Banana. Mmmmmmmmm.

Since our low fuel lights came on on the way up, we go down the opposite side of the mountain and stop for Petrol immediately. Here we part company with Brian K and his wife, they are headed back to Barcelona and then to the beach. Brian C. and I decide to head south towards Tarragona, but with no particular destination.

The ride from Montserant is beautiful and when we're back on the A-2 highway we get off around Mantorell and head down the N-340 through Spanish wine country. It's beautiful with many small towns and lots of old buildings. Lots of traffic though, and we are finally able to buy a proper map at a truck stop. As soon as we can we head for the coast and end up in Calafell Platja, a small seaside town with a boardwalk and shops/restaurants in front of the beach. We drive around and finally find some parking (which is at a premium her in Spain). We walk down to the beach and decide to grab a small bite as it is 5:30pm, we plan on eating a better meal later. We split a pizza and dine alfresco, watching the people walk by.

After dinner and more walking around, we head back towards Barcelona on the C-32 highway. We exit at Sitges, as everyone has been talking about how cool it is. They were right!! Another seaside town with a boardwalk, many restaurants, bars and shops. Very trendy and very gay (not that there is anything wrong with that). We walk around taking some photos and generally soaking up the atmosphere. Stop for a drink at a bar (agua for me), then start looking for a place to eat. Decide on the 'La Santa Maria', after passing the 'La Nina', guess there's a 'La Pinta' around somewhere (Christopher Columbus would be proud)... Order paella, and meet the couple sitting next to us. They are from California, and both are originally from Central America. Nice people, we talk about the places we have seen, and places to still go to. Food comes, paella is delicious, but some of the seafood I don't recognize...

Well it's almost dark as we leave, but we find the highway easy enough and make it back to the hotel around 10:30pm without getting lost. Wow, a long (almost 230km) but interesting day. Shower and off to bed...

Barcelona Day Off - Moto Day #1

Up at 8 prepare for lobby at 10 for shuttle to pick up rental motorcycles. Meet Brian Collins and Brian Kountz and his wife Jolene in the lobby at 10. Soon Mike from Moto Espana arrives, he's an ex-pat from Glasgow, Scotland. Great guy, he drives us to his shop/house and we pickup three BMW 650's. Awesome little bikes, perfect for what we want to do.

We start out from the shop in Vilassar de Mar and head north up the coast of Costa Brava. We're mainly on a small seaside highway with lots of roundabouts which winds up to the hills and back to the ocean. The beaches here are mixed nude/topless/regular. Very strange. The only people I see nude are fat old European tourists. Ewwww. We lunch in a little town called Calella, at Casa "Carlos" Restaurant. We dine al fresco (outside) and we can almost see the ocean from our table. Almost everyone orders the speciality of the house, Rotisserie Chicken. And it is GOOD. Falls of the bone. Yummy. After lunch we head down to the beach, Brian and Jolene take a swim, while I snap a few photos.

Back on the bikes we head north again, stopping at a few overlooks to snap some pics and marvel at the scenery. We end up just north of Tossa De Mar, where we happen on a small cove and hillside full of colorful tents. It's a campground and we turn in to inspect it. After parking the bikes at the top we walk down towards the water. On the way we pass tents and caravans (campers) from all over Europe: Spain, Netherlands, Poland, Germany, etc. This place has great facilities, a swimming pool, supermarket, snackbar, tennis, etc. When we reach the beach, Brian Collins, having no swimsuit with him, borrows a knife and makes his jeans into shorts and dives in the Mediterranean Sea. I opt to stay in the shade and plan our route back.

Soon it starts clouding up and we decide we better head back to Barcelona in case it rains. We drive back on the same road we came up on, catching the scenery once more, then find the main highway C-32 which is 6 lanes and we make it to the outskirts of Barcelona in under an hour. The bummer about this road is the toll booths every few miles, which have no set toll, it could be 58euros, or 1.67euros, who knows. Also, it is quite a pain to dig change out of your pocket while riding a motorcycle.

We make it into downtown Barcelona and even though we are on the right road Kountz thinks we're not and turns right on another road and somehow we end up at the Temple de la Sagrada Familia (Temple of the Sacred Family), one of the most famous churches and architectural marvels in the world. Designed by Antoni Gaudi with construction starting in 1882, and it's still not finished. Wow!! We pay our admission fee and go in, meeting about 10 of our fellow crew members who were already inside. Collins and I pay the 2euros and ride up in the elevator almost to the top of one of the towers, we walk up the rest of the way. Those of you who know me, know I don't like heights, and this one was pretty bad. Narrow staircases and small balconies to look out on. It was amazing and I'm glad I did it, but it was a little unnerving.

After the church we decide to try and find a restaurant near where the others had dined last night. To make a long story short, we got hopelessly lost and in the worst traffic I have ever seen. People here are crazy, with all the scooters splitting lanes and the roundabouts, it's a wonder people are not killed hourly. We got the heck out of there and parked on a side street and ate at the first place we saw, a pizzeria!! It wasn't bad, I had tortellini and the others had pizza. Wish I had gotten pizza as it looked great!! Back to the hotel now and we park the bikes outside one block from the hotel. Normally we would have been apprehensive about parking on the street, but it was in front of the police station, so I think we're OK.

***Look for photos and links to be uploaded later***

Travel Day, London to Barcelona

Arrive at Heathrow Airport at 8am using the cramped and hot airport shuttle bus. Heathrow is loathed by many, including me. We're flying British Airways, so we get in line and wait 30min to be told to get in another line at group check-in. At least they are fast her and I get through in under 5min. Go through security and they want to look through my laptop bag, which is OK, but the guy in front of me looks like he's sumuggling out a giant bag of camera gear, so it takes FOREVER for them to deal with him. Finally, it's my turn and it only takes them a few minutes with my bag.

Off through the Duty-Free shops towards the gates. They don't tell you which gate till 5min to boarding. Guess it gives you more time to shop, I think Heathrow invented the 'Airport as a Mall' concept. Board the flight around 9:30, our poor venue security guy is in a middle seat in my row and I'm on the aisle. He's a big guy, no way he should be in a center seat. Luckily the plane is not full, and one of the caterer's gives up the window so he can move over. Nice.

Arrive Barcelona around 12:30pm. We taxi for what seems like and hour then arrive at the gate. Our luggage is at baggage claim B, which happens to be on the other side of the airport, so we walk, and walk, and walk. Claim our bags, then look for the bus which is waiting outside baggage claim A, so we walk, and walk, and walk...

We will have 5 days off here in beautiful Barcelona, so don't think that I'm complaining, it's cheaper than the UK...

We get to the hotel around 2pm, it's the one I stayed at 6 years ago (last time I was here). At least I know the neighborhood. Go for lunch with Pyro Kevin and Brenda to a little place called Basillico. Nice place, good food. Back at the hotel, have a nap since there wasn't much sleeping the night before.

Up around 8pm, go out for a walk, still light outside. Back in the room I watch a DVD of 'Long Way Round', about Ewan McGregor taking a 3.5 month motorcycle trip, to get psyched for tomorrow...

Day 1
I've had writer's block this week, or rather I've been working alot (6 days) to do two shows. As expected 65,000 kids show up to see the band on Saturday, and this is with U2 playing across town. During the day we set up a Tiki Bar in the stage right guitar world. Everyone seems more interested in the bar than the massive show production around us. It gets much use by the band guests who are on a platform above us.

Jason W. gives me a beautiful Merc suit (the kind the Beatles wore), it's black with white pinstripes. I love it!! It's exactly like the rest of the band wears, I just don't have a shirt or tie to wear it with out here, will have to wait till the next leg. Thanks Jason, you're the best.

Shows go great with 10x the pyro, lights, and sound. Also 4 added giant video screens and a film crew. This is the biggest show GD has played ever. Kids are nuts for it.

Day 2
More of the same today, although they may have squeezed in more than 65,000. Again, the show goes great, we play a variation of the regular set, I like doing 'Homecoming' alot. Load out takes forever, there's just too much stuff. Also, we have to send off another truck of stuff to do Live8 in Berlin in a week. After loadout, collapse in my bunk around 1am. We don't finish loading out the show till 4am. We roll to the Heathrow hotel, arriving at 5:30am with a 7:30am lobby call to fly to Barcelona. Basically I check-in, drink coffee and shower, then off to the airport...

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