NYC - Comp'd for FUSE

Downstairs at 9 for our lobby call. Seems there is confusion on the call time as some of the crew don't show up till 9:30. Not their fault, we were given conflicting info yesterday. Van down to the gig, which is across the street from Madison Square Garden. This is the smallest of the TV shows we've done, at least as the audience is concerned, just no room for anyone in front of the stage.

Today's show is 10 or so songs, so out come all the guitars, as there may be some songs played that aren't on the setlist.

Set-up and linecheck. Then walk next door and get some great Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo. Band comes in for a quick soundcheck and then they walk the audience in and it's time to go. Band veers off the setlist only once. It's a small but loud crowd and everyone has a good time.

Loadout takes a while as they hold the crowd to film 'bumpers' (intros/outros) for the show. Finally we're done and I break away from the group to go to Macy's.

Quick look around Macy's, but I guess I'm really not in the shopping mood. Head across 34th Street to hit the Lemongrass Grill, my favorite Thai restaurant in the city. Well, it USED to be my favorite. The soup is terrible and the rice inedible. The Basil Chicken isn't even remotely spicy and full of onions (which I asked NOT be put in the dish). Oh well, I'll find another place next time.

Decide to try and salvage my evening by walking over to 2nd Ave and catching a movie at Kip's Bay. Unfortunately by the time I get there all the 9pm movies are sold out. Guess I'll try my luck in Times Square. Walk back to Park Ave an 33rd and take the 6 train to Grand Central then the 7 train to Times Square. Get off at Times Square/Port Authority, let me tell you if you want to see freaks in NYC go to the Port Authority (Bus Terminal) there are some strange people hanging out there...

Try both of the big theaters on 42nd St between 7th and 8th Ave. Everything I want to see is sold out. Decide to cut my losses and walk back to the hotel. Walk up Broadway and the there are just too many tourists, cut over to 8th and walk the slightly less crowded sidewalk up to 49th and my hotel. Off to bed, as I have a 6:15 lobby call for Newark to fly home.

NYC - Late Night with Conan O'Brien

9:30 lobby call, this time we walk the 4 blocks to NBC. Load in to Conan, the local crew here is great and we're done in no time. Up to the NBC commissary for lunch (corned beef sandwich). Do our camera blocking/soundcheck and then I have an hour or so to kill. Meet my friend Kenny (who is coming to the show) and we grab some food at a deli. Tape the show soon after, in addition to us the guests are Nicole Ritchie and Kiera Knightley. Both need to eat a sandwich, way too skinny. Our performance goes smooth and after some taping of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, we load out and back to the hotel.

There's a party at the bands hotel for my guy (it's his birthday). I take the subway down and join the guys in the basement bar for food and drinks until 11 and then I take Sparky back to the hotel via the subway (something he's never been on). We get back no problem...

New York City -Mtv TRL

Lobby call at 9:30 to take a van to Mtv. It takes 30 min to go 5 blocks down Broadway. We should have walked...

Load in to the TRL studios overlooking Times Square. We were supposed to play outside, but due to the rain yesterday we were moved inside. Good thing too, as it's cold and windy today. Cram all our stuff onstage and grab lunch from the hot bar at a nearby deli. Wait around for the band, camera block, soundcheck and then go live at 5pm. We play 3 songs instead of the planned 1 song. Load out and back to the hotel with Sparky (our lighting director) to get picked up by my friend Ossie to drive to Jersey to see Aerosmith play the Meadowlands!!

You see, while I was looking at the local paper this morning I noticed that Aerosmith was playing tonight. I was going to dinner with my friend Ossie from Blockhead Amps anyway, so we changed the dinner into a rock show. Sparky (who worked for Aero in the late 80's) and a friend Rogers tagged along.

It takes us almost 2 hours to get out of Manhattan due to the traffic, and we get lost in Jersey so Sparky calls NiteBob, the infamous NY soundman and he gives us the correct directions. We finally get there, pick up our passes and go inside.

We arrive just at set change (missing Lenny Kravitz unfortunately). I say hello to my Aero crew buddies, who are surprised to see me. Also see a few friends from NY and NJ and even Denzel Washington. Watch the show from stage right and a few songs from out front. The show looks great, a big production, and sounds great.

Afterwards, hang with the backline guys and then say my goodbyes and back to NYC.

London to NYC -Travel Day

Early lobby call for our flight to NYC. It takes us forever to get out of London due to traffic. Arrive at Heathrow with plenty of time to check in and we'll need it since we chartered into the country and our passport info isn't in the computers.

Get checked in and proceed to the mall/waiting area to await our gate announcement. Stop at the magazine store and Starbucks and spend the last of my British Pounds, then off to the gate. Board the flight and find my aisle seat. Uneventful flight, sleep some, read some, watch a DVD on my powerbook, etc.

Land at JFK around 4pm, retrieve our bags, clear customs, and off to Manhattan. It's of course cold and raining. We're staying at The Time hotel off of Times Square. Typical NYC hotel room, open the door and hit the bed... But, it's nice enough.

Call my friends Steve and his wife Morgan and we agree to meet for our traditional Indian meal on 6th street. We have been doing this for years now. I take the subway down to Astor Place and walk a couple of blocks down. We pick a new place from the numerous Indian establishments on the street. Turns out to be a good one, the Banana Pakora, vegetable Samosas, and Shrimp Vindaloo are outstanding. Back on the subway uptown to the hotel.

London -Jonathan Ross Show BBC

Up at 9 for our 10am lobby call. I'm the first one down, eventually everyone else shows up, some looking like the never went to bed.

We arrive at the BBC and load in to the studio. Set-up with the bulk of the gear (including me) behind the set. Line check and then wait a few hours for the show to begin. It's a taped show, but runs like a live show. The guests today are a UK soap star, a comedian, and Toni Collette and Cameron Diaz (who are promoting their new movie 'In Her Shoes'). The shows host is very funny and a little less PC than his American counterparts.

Band plays one song at the end of the show and kill as usual. Load out and back to the hotel, looks like the partying will be kept to a minimum after last night. I'm off to sleep by 11pm.

London -DVD Premiere

Arrive at the VUE theater for the band's DVD screening. Our security guy Arturo escorts us past the punters and into the Champagne Reception room.

Order a Coke and hang with assorted crew and eat some fabulous finger food. Get introduced by our production manager to a familiar looking chap, turns out to be Robert Fripp of the band King Crimson. WOW!! If you don't know, this man is a legendary guitar player and the inventor of his own style Frippertronics. I spend a good amount of time chatting with him and when we're called for the movie he's says he'll follow me in.

We have two rows reserved in the back for band and crew. Mr. Fripp and I sit on the end and he buys me an ice cream from the nice ladies roaming the theater. The band enters just after everyone sits down. They say a few words. Our singer thanks all of us on the crew for our hard work, always nice to be recognized.

Film begins, it was filmed from our two Milton Keynes, UK shows in June. The songs are bumpered by band interviews and backstage footage. The show looks amazing and sounds great. Mr. Fripp cheers the loudest of anyone during the film.

After the premiere we head back to the hotel, deciding to grab some food at a nearby Italian restaurant. Properly nourished we meet up with the band and others in the hotel bar and eventually end up in various rooms, I call it a night around 4:30am.

London, Top of the Pops -Show Day

Lobby call at 10am. It's pouring rain outside. Welcome to England. Head down to the BBC Studio lot, where we're playing outside (?) What? Who's idea was it to play outside in November in the UK? Duh? To make it worse the stage is too small by 4 to 8 feet. We cut the gear down drastically to make it work. It's freezing outside too. Oh well, we go live at 8pm again.

Band comes down for camera blocking and rehearsal. It's still pouring, but nary a complaint from the guys. These guys are pros. Grab a quick gyro dinner on stage, and it's time for the show. Luckily it stops raining just before we go on, the band plays one song for live TV, then we record two additional songs and also end up playing another 6 or so for the crowd. Load out and back to the hotel around 10pm.

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