It’s 6 pm Wednesday evening, I’m at Manchester airport about to board a flight in an hour’s time to Brussels. I know I said at the beginning of the year that I wasn't going to do many shows this time around. However, flight prices are at their lowest ever for the budget airlines in Europe, and fortunately my good friend Philippe offered me “a place to stay and enough to eat” and a ride up to Arnhem for the first show tomorrow—then a ride back to his place in Belgium and then to the show on Saturday! I then fly home on Sunday for a few days. The round trip flight cost me the total sum of £37.50!! How could I not go?
A lot of the fun for me is not only seeing the shows—these are just the icing on the cake—but meeting up with friends and seeing a few sights is fantastic. My friends Kevin, Kees, Ray, Philippe, Matt, Marc Oliver, and a few others are all going to opening night of the tour, and I can’t wait to see everyone again and hang out. I swore never to go back to the venue in Arnhem! I saw the Dark Side show there, and the size of the venue was just way too big for that size show. The people in Holland are very tall, too, and to be honest, it wasn't a great show for me at all because of this. However, it’s hard not to go to the opening night of a tour, and The Wall production is a lot bigger than the Dark Side show was. I'm just hoping that the Dutch have shrunk in size a little, and all will be well.
As I was waiting for the train to Manchester airport, I noticed a rack of leaflets in the train station. One of them caught my eye right away. Sadly, I think this is true. Once these shows in Europe are finished, I can’t see Roger going out on any more tours. Looking at the picture below from yesterday’s rehearsals, it looks like GE has taken Roger’s beard!
When I return on Sunday, I'm home for a few days before flying back out to Padova, Italy, for the show there and then getting the train down with a few friends to Rome for the second show in Italy. My friend Frank and his partner are flying into Padova from Hawaii for the two shows, and I'm also meeting up and sharing a room with Ole from Norway and Stuart from Malta. Stuart and I toured around Europe on the 2002 “In The Flesh” tour, and the last time we were together in Europe was in Rome. It will have come full circle with the passing by of 11 years!! Although, we have met up a couple of times at other shows around the world.