Before the days of the intro-net, people kept dairies of pen to paper about the going-ons of daily occurrences. I guess I was one of them folks back in 1996. Yesterday while looking through piles of lyrics to old songs I found these ramblings about The Yayhoos first trip abroad. Mostly unfunny and general in nature, they still provide some insight to life on the road with The ‘Hoos. Had I the foresight to see the days of blogging coming, I might would have kept better and more detailed notes. Some of my memories did come back to me while writing this however and are injected in parentheses.
1996 Euro Tour
Got to Copenhagen, Nils picked us up and took us to the hotel. I slept until 4-ish Copenhagen time. Got up and took a hot-ass bath then called Dan to go eat. We had Thai food then came back for more sleep. I woke up at 11pm and stayed up till 5am just flipping channels. After passing out for a couple more hours I got up and had the breakfast buffet, showered and was ready for the trip to Malmo.
We had an hour drive to catch the 30 minute ferry ride and soon got to the club which was real cool. The rental equipment was just OK but we had a pretty great gig considering our rust. We played for 2 hours and enjoyed some shitty food after the gig, but the people we real nice to us so that counted for something.
We left our beautiful, quiet and posh hotel in Malmo around 10:30am. We drove back through Copenhagen (I remember we stopped at Nils’ girlfriend’s house for some reason) and on to the next ferry, our second of the day. It was some kinda super “Lear” ferry that seemed to travel at about twice the speed of our other one. I smoked a small cigar (huh? I did?) and mostly hung out on deck staring at the water. We got to the gig and realized that the PA was smaller than our guitar amps. Needless to say the gig sucked! Weird crowd of a-holes and such. Basically, we “phoned it in” and got the hell out. We just weren’t “clicking” because of some kind of time delay thing that was going on with the room. The dressing room was up about 1000 steps, in the dark. Arhus..to hell with it!
We left our shitty little hotel rooms at noon to sit and wait an hour and a half for the ferry back to Copenhagen. We got to the outdoor gig in Copenhagen and it was another timelessly beautiful, almost Fall-like day. Guys and girls were everywhere pissing in the woods along the dirt road we entered on. We saw a lot of drunk folks among this crowd of an estimated 10,000. The gig went well and we did a 3 song encore ending with Roscoe “mooning” the crowd. We left afterwards and hung out in downtown Copenhagen just eating and drinking wine. I had an awesome falafel and walked back to the hotel alone about 2am.
We left the hotel after waiting for our “designated last guy” Keith. We drove by some topless beaches on the way to the ferry at Hamlet’s castle. It was about 10pm before we got to Stockholm, seeing other beautiful castles, farmland and even a moose or two along the way.
It was a dreary day and we just hung out in our rooms until soundcheck. The Diamond Dogs opened and didn’t suck. They were quite rockin’ actually. It was a very hot stage but we played a great 2 hour set right up to closing time which was 11pm.
We hung out all day on Stockholm’s shopping strassa. Everything was really expensive so I mostly just hung around and drank coffee. There wasn’t really anything there that I couldn’t get at home for half the price anyway. We later departed on the “Love Boat” Silja Line to Finland. At about 9 we sprung for the super buffet which was way too much food and way too much money. We hung out in the boat’s disco, drank and watched some pretty girl in a see-through dress dancing and falling off of a dance riser.
We woke up about 7am to maids sweeping us off the boat and then suffered the 2 hour drive from Turku to Helsinki. We checked in about 10:30 and I slept until about 1:30. I walked through the rain around the corner for a $7 piece of quiche and a cup of coffee. I came back and wrote post cards until soundcheck. The club was only about 600 meters. They had an awesome monitor set up and we loved it. On stage that night we took our time and played a great 2 and a half hour show. We can say that we literally played ALL NIGHT because the sun was going down when we took the stage and coming up as we left it at 2:30am.
We drove to Tampare and went straight to the club. We were very disappointed at the promoter’s cheapness and lack of respect. He tried to put us into 2 different “rat’s nest” hotels that we refused to stay in. The PA and monitors both sucked! (I think this was the gig that the promoter’s band opened and we laughed as he sang “road runny, road runny..” and was ALSO the gig that Roscoe played the last few songs in his underwear).
This was the longest day of the year and it REALLY was in Scandinavia because it never DID get dark. The sun was coming up when we finished the gig at 1:30. the promoter dude was still pissed about the hotels thing even though that was most people EVER in that club. He was just gonna have to get over it cuz we ain’t staying in no damn rat’s nest! I woke up about 2:30 local time and after finally getting to talk to Grace I went with a couple of fans to see the town. We had “brunch” at a gas station, open-faced egg salad, sweet roll and coffee. It was about 30 Finish marks, or about 7 or 8 bucks. They took Keith and I up into a tower at a local amusement park. At about 500 ft. up we could see for kilometers and kilometers. We came back, got ready and had dinner at the club because of something called “Mid-Summer”, a day of festivals and drinking and drowning (from trying to piss out of a boat). There was no sunset. We did a gig that night that was part genius and part crap. Abba’s “Dancing Queen” (first time ever) and Glen Cambell’s “Gentle on my Mind” were among the highlights.
We got up and drove back to Turku. We spent a chilly afternoon by a muddy river getting sloppy drunk. We finally boarded the “Love boat” back to Sweden and once again it never got totally dark. Again I sprung for the buffet and then made an early night of it, passing out about 1am. I slept great in the hull of the boat listening to the spashing noises.
I woke up to stories Keith told of being in love again. I think this made the fourth time this trip. We got off of the boat and drove about 6 hours to Oslo. We laid around a bit at the hotel and then Dave (who?), Keith and I went to eat. We walked about 20 blocks down the street to the waterfront. I ate at McDonalds because I HAD to have the salmon burger or “Norsk McLaks” as it was called there. I kinda sucked, much like the fish sandwiches at McDonald’s, it was half toast. They also sold beer and wine.
I walked back by myself and later had great pizza with Nils and Dan just a few doors down from the hotel.
After breakfast, about 9:30 we went and did laundry at a nearby Laundromat.
Dan and I later walked down and had Greek food down by the waterfront again.
I walked back through the King’s yard and just hung out watching stupid movies in languages that I couldn’t understand all night.
Had breakfast at 8:30 (Damn! We did a lot of eating!) and then went back to bed, getting up for good at 11:30. Dan and I got together and wrote a song and then we all went down to the Cruise Club and kicked everybody’s asses for 2 hours and 40 minutes. It was the best “Dancing Queen” ever and a really great version of Prince’s “Never Take the Place of Your Man”. We left there with a warm and fuzzy feeling. (I also seem to remember that this was Roscoe’s infamous “Butterfly” gig. His guitar hanging, feeding back a lot and him with arms out “flying” nearly every song!)
After a boring drive from Olso to Copenhagen, seeing nary a moose, we again ate at McDonald’s and passed out at our shitty hotel rooms.
We left for our gig at the Roskilde Festival about 12:30. There were lines of cars full of hippies and hipsters and thousands of them walking up to what almost looked like Woodstock. We checked in, did a quick line check and then rocked the hell out of about 10,000 adoring fans in side of a huge circus tent. I opened the show with “Jesus in the Alley” and as I took my spot behind the drums Dan began with the feedback that became “Younger Face”. We jumped on’m and never let’m up.
We had a really nice dinner afterwards of seafood skewers and pasta and wine. We then went to the “Orange” stage (donated by The Stones from their ’75 tour of Europe..as seen on the cover of “Love You Live”) and saw a very surreal Neil Young and Crazy Horse show. Once again the sun just touched the horizon before returning to the sky. Roscoe and I watched from the comforts of the spotlight tower (and Dan from the side of the stage). We sat on a couch and “partook’” HIGH above the 90,000 or so fans and enjoyed a really great show. There were bonfires burning all around and (probably 50-60 ft.) below us which added to the surreal and dreamlike experience. We had pie and left.
Sleeping only about 2 to 3 hours, we had to get up at 5am to catch our flight home.
We left Copenhagen at 7:10am for Brussels and from there it was on to NYC.
From THERE it was back to RDU and on to BED!