DESIGNS BY ML

2005 All Access

 

10 / 16 / 05 
Las Vegas, Nevada:  VH-1 Celebrity Golf Tournament

Day 1: After 4 hours of sleep a changeover in Texas we arrived in Las Vegas. It was hard to believe that the tour was over and we were back on the west coast. We were to grab our golf clubs and head to the celebrity challenge but there was a snag. My golf clubs did not make the connection so I made us late to the event. By the time we got to the course the challenge was almost over. So Edbass, GT and I played a round and then hooked up with Erik VH-1. We each filmed a short on the spot interview; I was so out of it I do not remember anything I said. We stayed at the Hard Rock that has a happening pool area. That is where the pairing up party was held. I hung out with Stone at the bar it was complimentary so we stayed there until it closed. I met the singer and bass player from Alter Bridge I told them I have their album on my MP3 player, They didn’t believe me. Then I talked with the guys from Alice Cooper. I partied with Jack Blades, Alice Cooper, Meatloaf and a bunch of other people I don’t remember. It started to rain so I was out of there.

 

 

10 / 15 / 05 
Fort Meyers, Florida:  Barbara B Mann PAH

The day started off with a glorious golf game with the radio guys from FM 92.5. It was a beautiful course and very difficult, I was lucky to shoot a 100. The show was amazing for our last show. We had some of the Ryche heads there and they gave me the metal respect on my solo to Speak. Afterwards we gave salutations to a good tour and went to the last M&G. I got quite a few invitations to go party at the hotel but I was dead tired from the golf game. I said hello to some cool Rychers who were outside our bus. I did manage to see some new tattoos of Soulbender and Whip wear. So it was off to sleep for 4 hours and a flight across the country to Las Vegas for some golf with VH-1.

 

10 / 14 / 05 
Lake Buena Vista, Florida:  House of Blues

It was Back to Disney world for some Whip time once again. I hooked up with Revolution Collin to do the much-needed drop off backstage. Just like a professional drug dealer he delivered the goods with an uncanny confidence. My buddy Big Ray stopped by, he said there would be chance Johnny Damon would show up. I basically spent the whole day in the back lounge working my fingers to the bone coming up with ripping double solos for the OM2. This was to be my last day of recording on the road because the next day is a mandatory 18-hole golf game. The show was completely sold out and packed with crazy Floridians. It was a tight show for the fourth in a row and again I had some Rychers that I recognized in the front row Whip section. The after show was definitely a bit intoxicated. I said hello to some friends and a few whiptresses.

 

10 / 13 / 05
North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina:  House of blues

This is the HOB with the alligator park next store. I saw a few gators and some giant turtles doing it. The grunts were pretty hilarious. I spent most of the day going over my writing for OM2 on the tour bus. The show was cool the crowd was all right. I rocked and gave the people their metal.

 

10 / 12 / 05 
Knoxville, Tennesse:  Tennessee Theater

It was nice to play a theater again. I spent the day in pro tools land dealing with latency in my Mbox. The show was a vibe and the crowd was very appreciative. The M&G was great. I met a kick ass guitar player but I can’t remember his name, as well as some fans that were at the Nashville show. Backstage I also met some local musicians that were guest of our manager.

 

10 / 11 / 05 
Cleveland, Ohio:  House of Blues

This is a House of Blues that has a very small stage. It was definitely an intimate show. In fact the night before I went to see a show there. There was a cool band called Porcupine tree that I really liked and the alternative guitar legend Robert Fripp. There was definitely not a lot of room to move. The show was really tight and the crowd was hot! Afterwards I signed some autographs and said hello to some Rychers outside. We had to jet because we had a show 12 hours away in Knoxville.

 

10 / 08 / 05
Portland, Maine:  Maine State Theater

I woke up to torrential rains hitting the top of the bus. Apparently at a truck stop last night our bus driver got clocked in the side of the head by some irate over speed-balling truck driver. Can you say vicodin? The show was kickin but the backstage has had its share of abuse. The bathroom looked like it belonged in a third world country. The sound was great and I had my usual partiers camped out in front of me. The crowed was loud and proud. Afterwards I hung out with some long time friends, it was good to see you all.

 

10 / 07 / 05 
Atlantic City, New Jersey:  Borgata Events Center

Borgata events center is a wailing casino with a music hall for bands to play in. There is such a diverse crowd that comes to party. We had a bit of a hiccup with the video system in the intro. It was a panic fest for our crew to bypass a cable that went bad do to local crew abuse. The show was amazing and the big stage was fun to move on. I was very appreciative to the fans on my side who gave extra Whip energy for my performance. Afterwards, we went to a live on air radio interview in the middle of the casino. It was pandemonium. The crowd was so loud that we could not hear what the interviewer was saying. We signed a lot of autographs and had a drink then we jammed up to our hotel rooms with some big dude security guys to get our luggage and check out. I managed to sneak a toast of vodka with some Ryche heads who were staying on my floor. I bypassed all the hookers and crazies and made it to my bunk in time for some absorbents and passed out.

 

10 / 06 / 05 
New Brunswick, New Jersey:  State Theater

Like in the past New Jersey kicks ass for us, they feel the energy and they respond!  Another flawless show for the Whip. I am so dialed I can play this set in a lounge chair! Before the show I met with some publisher that wants to do a deal. I wined and dined him so stay tuned! Afterwards the M&G was awesome, really cool people!!! Later I hung out with comedian Craig Gass and Saturday night fever dude Jim Breuer. We shared some funny stories and they did some kick ass drunk comedy for us. Rockin!!!

 

10 / 05 / 05 
Reading, Pennsylvania:  Sovereign PAC

The performing arts center was a beautiful place to play. I do not know how many rock shows they have there but the place looks great and the crowd was gracious to us as we blitzkrieg them with our song and video!!! The ushers made people sit down which was not so rock but they gave us a major standing ovation when we finished. The M&G was cool. The infamous DR Rose was there to make us feel better. And I had a pretty damn good cheese steak as well.

 

10 / 04 / 05 
Greensburg Pennsylvania:  Palace Theater

A pretty kick ass show for a Tuesday night!! The crowd cheered us on and I had in front of me the most amazing dramatic dude with sideburns that could kill. He sang every line and air guitared every solo. When GT sang Shadows with him he was jumping up and down with vigor and enthusiasm that much of the older crowd could not even fathom. Still it was a great crowd who got a great show. I hope we can come and play the beautiful Palace Theater once again.

 

10 / 02 / 05 
Toledo, Ohio:  Stranahan Theater

Another puzzling hot day when I expected to be blistering cold. As being the 5th show in a row I was starting to feel a bit of drain on my psyche, or could it have been RBV I had last night in Merrillville? There was a sound check gathering of radio winners so we played a few extra tunes for them. The first set was a bit sleepy on the part of the audience but the second set they came alive for OMC. I had a much better show than the other night. Afterwards at the M&G I said goodbye to all the crazed Rychers who had been following us who actually invited me to another party!!! But it was off to Pittsburgh for a day off and a round of golf.

 

10 /01 / 05 
Merrillville, Indiana:  North Star Plaza Theater

The star plaza theater looked the same as the last time we played it. During the show my in ear monitors started going a bit south so I was fighting the show all night. I remember there was a propoundious amount of bass killing me all night. Thank goodness I had a bunch of super energetic Whip fans in front of me. The after show was cool. I hung out with a bunch of cool Rychers that invited me to their private party at the hotel across from the parking lot. I was there only an hour but I was pleased to see so many Rycheheads partying and getting along so well. Thanks for the get together. Lets do it again sometime.

 

09 / 30 / 05 
Louisville, Kentucky: Palace Theater

Another global warming hot day. I ran into long time financial friend Jeff Thomason who discussed with me some opinions in the market these days. I then proceeded to record more much needed guitar parts for OMCII. The first set the crowd was a bit mellow but we played fairly well. The second set they came alive for OMC. It does it every time. I do have to say the palace theater is a beautiful place to play. The M&G was fun. Some fans gave me a Seattle Seahawk cap with my name "Whip" on the back. I am not very good with names but I remember faces fairly well so don’t get down on me if I look a little lost in space sometimes.

 

09 / 29 / 05 
Nashville, Tennessee:  Ryman Auditorium

The Ryman Theater used to be the old opre a converted church that still has its wooded pews. I have to say my clean sound sounded great in there. I had some really cool fans in front of having a great time rockin to the Whip. A funny thing happened to Stone and me on the beginning of Walk In The Shadows. We both went to play our first note and nothing happened!!! So we both walked off stage got our problems taken care of and returned to start the song not missing a beat. The amazing producer Peter Collins was there to greet us and said we hadn’t changed a bit. He loved Mindcrime and was quite pleased with all the additions to the arrangements and theatrics. The after show was cool. I met some fans that hadn’t seen us since 91’ I walked out on the streets of Nashville with Stone and we ended up in a country bar were we met some QR fans. It was quite unusual for me because I usually hang in Irish bars but this place was quite entertaining. "Save a horse…ride a cowboy" Yee Haw.

 

09 / 28 / 05 
Columbus, Ohio:  Promo West Pavilion

The promo west pavilion is where we performed with Dream Theater. We played outside but tonight we played on the inside stage. Before the show we had a QR barbeque so I got my quota of beef. The show was fun and amazing. I had a fun group of people in front of me all night. At one point in the show a bra came up on stage right in front of my pedal board. Then a gracious sweetie displayed her womanhood during the Mindcrime set. I remember Ed Bass tossed her a can of brisk ice tea for her to cool off. The next thing you know she has lifted her shirt and placed the can in between her breast still wearing her black bra. Very cool!!! The after show was cool; there were a pair of hot twins that wanted to got out on the town and party. Sorry, not this time.

 

09 / 25 / 05 
Des Moines, Iowa:   Val Air Ballroom

The day started out very muggy and the Val Air Ballroom smelled a bit moldy. I noticed that they had done some renovations to the place. I set up my recording rig in the corner of the building and proceeded to record some more guitar parts to OMC2. We had a radio contest sound check party before the show with about 50 people. We played fro them the new song I’m American. The crowd was crazy and ready to rock. Some voluptuous honey in the first row kept me amused all through the first set. The Mindcrime set was intense. I had a whole cheering section in front of me. Again, some blonde girl got on some guys shoulders and showed the band her goods. Boy, I sure love this job. Afterwards at the M&G I signed some guitars and took a lot of pictures. Back out on the dressing room deck I hung out with the keyboardist from Slipknot’s wife and sister. They were really cool and diehard Rychefans.

 

09 / 24 / 05 
Saint Paul, Minnesota: Myth

The Myth venue was a new one for us. It had a very nice light system and it actually sounded very good for a trendy nightclub. The place was packed and the show was tight! Except for Silent Lucidity where my acoustic guitar was not working for the first few attempts. I recognized some Ryche heads out there in the audience. The after show was interesting. I met a girl who proceeded to tell me how a Catholic priest raped her and how her real life is so much like Operation: Mindcrime. Onwards to Iowa!

 

09 / 23 / 05 
Winnipeg, MB:  Burton Cummings Theater

The day started off with a round of golf at a local municipal course. Our manager, Geoff and I ripped it up in record time. The Burton Cummings Theater was a nice gig and they had a cute cook. The show was solid and Winnipeggers gave us a great ovation. Afterwards I met some really nice fans. I think the last time we played there was 1991. It was time to get back to the USA.

 

09 / 21 / 05 
Calgary, Alberta: Mac Ewan Hall

MacEwan hall was situated right in the university. The first thing that happened was our hazer machines set off the alarm system for the whole campus. I managed to get some recording done for the next QR disc in one of the many rooms that we had access to. The show was really good and the crowd was great. Afterwards I met some of the Canadian ESP reps. they were coveting my distressed Rory Gallagher guitar. I talked to some fans that had visited Seattle and gone to some of our hometown shows. Then outside I talked to a couple of guys that said they drove to see us play in Las Vegas! That has got to be at least 1500 miles!!! Anyway, Calgary was a cool gig.

 

09 / 20 / 05 
Edmonton, Alberta:  Red’s Entertainment Complex

Reds entertainment center is connected to the mega huge mall. On the ceiling is a giant moose. The stage is very, very small. We went on late because System of the Down were playing that night as well so the promoter gave a discount to anyone who bought a ticket to go to both shows. We were very close to the audience. I had Scott’s kick drum right up my ass; still I rocked every inch of the 2’x 2" stage area that I had. The fans were great considering we had not been to Edmonton since 1991.

 

09 /17 / 05 
Spokane Washington:  The Big Easy

Another Big Easy show. Another crazy crowd and again fights, surfing and GGW in the audience. This time there was a dark haired hottie in a short plaid skirt who took her panties off and threw them at the stage, a security guy in the barricade caught them and through them back at her and told her to put them back on. A cool Ryche fan gave me the gift that makes you smile, a fifth of Grey Goose. The show kicked butt. The M&G was cool. Later, an after hours party with Ryche fans in a hotel suite was visited by yours truly and Stone.

 

09 / 16 / 05 
Boise, Idaho:  The Big Easy

After a glorious day of golf the day before it was back to the Big Easy once again. It is a quaint place to perform but the crowd is always way energetic. This show there had the usual fight in the front area of the stage as well as crowd surfing and college looking girls lifting their tops for us. Afterwards the Meet and Greet was cool. I signed a guitar and talked to a few drummers.

 

09 / 14 / 05
Vancouver, British Columbia: Commodore Ballroom

We caught the 9:00 am ferry to Vancouver and it was a beautiful day. Standing out on the deck in the sunshine was invigorating. The load in was slow so I just bummed around all day and noodled on my guitar in the dressing room. The show was great. We had a lot of energy from the crowd to back us up. Both sets were a lot more together and the playing was more confident. The lights were better and all the stage props worked this time. After the show I hung out with my Soulbender guitarist Dave Groves and his wife as well as long time friend Chris who brought me a few DVD’s of some vintage concert footage of Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull and Riot. I also met the west coast rep for Warner/Rhino who is very excited for OMC2. Also, Kevin the vocalist from the band Damn the Divas stopped by to say hello. Then I hooked up with the owner of Wizard amplifiers and cabinets. He said we are going to work together again. The M&G was cool. I met a Soulbender freak that told me his favorite songs were Samsara and Three Towers. The drive to the border turned into a nightmare. We discovered that our Italian keyboardist was in the USA on a just visiting visa. He argued with the gun carrying fatigued border patrolmen and they yanked him off the bus with all his belongings and shipped him on a bus back to Vancouver to deal with the local consulate to get the proper work visa. There was nothing we could do.

 

 

09 / 13 / 05 
Victoria, British Columbia: Royal Theater

I had a 5:00 am bus call so a few extra hours of sleep on the bus ride helped quite a bit. We arrived around noon then I proceeded to walk down to the waterfront and find a Vietnamese restaurant for some pho ga. It was a beautiful day in a beautiful town. Sound check was smooth. Everything seemed to be working right except my wah. The two evil eye indicators would not turn off. It was ok because I did not need it for tonight. The opening set was a breeze compared to the Priest set. The Mindcrime set was great for me; I had a pretty damn good show. We had some production errors but a pretty good first show. The M&G was small but the fans were really cool.

 

08 / 12 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005
(One Off Show)
Sturgis, South Dakota

It was a long ass bus ride from Seattle to the motorcycle city Sturgis. I walked around the venue for a while and bought some souvenirs. The weather had definitely changed as storm clouds were coming our way. I met some of the Disturbed guys they were really cool. I am a big fan of their music. At sound check the wind started to blow. I knew this was not going to be a bikini-laden event. After sound check we took a group photo with Disturbed then decided what set list to play. The show was very good but the temperature dropped about 10 degrees. The lighting was basic and it was hard to see the crowd. The main thing I remember was during our set between songs motorcycles could be heard revving their engines and it was loud!!! After the show the Tropicana bikini contest girls were freezing and not having much fun. I hung out with some of the guys from TrikDaddy motorcycles and met some band from Sweden. We had to leave early so some of our crew could catch early morning flights so there was no debauchery that night for us. I did manage to watch some of Disturbed’s set. They were tight and sounded good. It started to rain sideways. I was out of there. Next was a long bus ride home.

 

07 / 10 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Phoenix, Arizona:

Last show of the tour and it was the hottest. It got up to 115 degrees, a human sauna. The show was flawless for me as the warm air definitely relaxed me. After the show we took some pictures with the Judas Priest boys and hung out with some friends. I said hello to some cool fan club fans then I went back to the dressing room to celebrate with the guys. After a few cocktails I watched a few priest songs and said my goodbyes to the priest crew guys. I met a couple of fans out by the buses, they were supposed to be to females but I had my suspicion! I said goodbye and I think Stone entertained while I went back to the dressing room. After the show Scott the drummer for Priest invited us to go to a club in Tempe with all the band guys. The next thing I know I am whisked away in a long black limo with Scott and KK and everyone else. We get to the club and I see the 2 androgynous looking two that I left with Stone. I hung out with Dimebags widow Rita. She is a sweetie but I feel a little freaked when I talk with her. I mainly hung out with Glenn Tipton and his 19 year old son Trent. I was trying to tell Glenn without being a geek that in high school Stained Class and Hell Bent for leather were my personal grand alchemic guitar bible studies. I try my best to stay cool, it was hard but I did get Glenn’s email on a napkin, unfortunately it got destroyed in my pocket the next day. All of a sudden some nasty girls started kissing each other and began lifting there mini skirts, Glenn Tipton grabbed me and told me it was time to go before anything incriminating could happen, How cool… a fellow musician looking out for a fellow buddy. I remember getting back to the hotel at a decent hour, which is highly unusual for me. I will miss those Judas Priest guys…. What a great tour!!!

 

07 / 09 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Las Vegas, Nevada:

This was an indoor show at the Mandalay Bay Center. I remember it was blazing hot outside and inside the arena it was frigid cold. The show was fun but it was to cold to feel comfortable. I saw a lot of QR fans out in the audience and I saw some excellent architecture! The after show was fun with our intoxicated fan club members and some guest from ultimate ears. We were then taken up to the foundation room and again our fans had a private room for us. The drinks flowed and a lot of laughs happened. I remember being out on the deck with all the partying people and seeing some interesting things happening. I make it back to the bus by 2 am. Time for some Advil and lots of water.

 

07 / 08 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Irvine, California:

Allen from ESP showed up before the show as well as Paul Muniz from Digitech. We were hanging out back stage when KK downing walked by and telling us that he was hurting pretty bad from the previous evening; he was very hard to understand he reeked of booze and he said something about "From the East coast and recently divorced". I have to say this was my perfect show of the tour. Everything sounded incredible and I played a perfect show. I was definitely in high spirits. The crowd was incredible and incredible looking. After the show some guys from Spocks Beard were hanging out, we had to kick them out of our dressing rooms because they were consuming everything. The M&G was fun, I remember meeting some incredibly built females!!! I am glad I will be home soon!!! Back in our dressing room area there was a huge party going on with all the Judas Priest guys and all the LA industry regulars hanging out. I was lucky to get out of there because some nasty stuff was beginning to happen.

 

07 / 07 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)

Travel Day

 

07 / 06 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Seattle, Washington: White River Amphitheater

The day started out as whip the dad in reality at home. Yes…confusion…. many responsibilities…scream, joy…help!!! I drive to the gig in my BMW with my son who is kickin’ on the bass for a 12 year old. We get to the White river amphitheater and park and immediately the JP merch guy gives my son a new JP shirt. I run into my friend Troy, then I take my son to go get something to eat. We grab our grub and head into the tables and run into Rob Halford and some of his friends, he shakes my hand then grabs my son Jazz’s hand and says "cool t-shirt" my son is frozen in terror. We sit down at an adjacent table and my son is star struck, he can’t even eat anything. He keeps saying to me "I just met Rob Halford…. I’m shaking!!!" The show was actually cold in temperature and the crowd was great, my son and his best friend were on my side giving me the signs of metal. Then my wife showed up and fixed my hair during a break in the set. The show ends and we head back to the dressing room and they put all our after show guests out side the dressing rooms. I go out to say hello to my family and friends and it is a madhouse. Some fan asks me to sign her shirt then my wife chimes in for her to lift her shirt!!! My eye wide open the girl looks at my wife and says that "she is not that kind of girl" Anyway more craziness happens and I manage to say hello to all my friends and some fans. I go to the soundboard with my son and his friend and we watch together a kick ass Judas Priest show, Definitely a memorable moment. Afterwards we all head back to the dressing room. I am partying with my family and friends. Some girl in our dressing room is getting tanked when my wife realizes that she has completely fallen out of her top, my friends are enjoying the show when my wife goes over and fixes that honeys top. Meanwhile my son and his friend manage to get into the Judas dressing room and have their shirts signed. Then my daughter shows up with her friends and I take her back to Rob’s dressing room and he signs her jean jacket. That was the end of that evening!!!

 

07 / 05 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)

Travel Day

 

07 / 04 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Portland, Oregon:

For the 4th of July this was a pretty calm day and show, in fact this was the quietest show of the tour with the decibel limit being very low for a hard and heavy show. The turn out was very disappointing probably due to the fact that it was a Monday and the 4th of July. The show went with out any problems and my playing was fine. After the show I did the M&G and then grabbed my luggage and got a ride from some of my friends back to Seattle.

 

07 / 03 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)

Travel Day

 

07 / 02 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
San Francisco, California:

This show was called the Bone Bash, there were 4 bands total, and the other 2 were Testament and Cardboard Vampyres. There were a lot of new and old faces to say hello to. Some of them were Jason Newsted, Jerry Cantrell, and Patrick Lachman. Also there was our producer Jason Slater and his assistant Ash. The show was pretty fun for me knowing that all those musicians were there; I kind of hammed it up a bit. There was a sign in the audience for me that read "Welcome home Whip" That was very cool…Thanks. The M&G was huge and crazy; I saw a few intoxicated fans that I recognized from past QR shows. I hooked up with my aunt from Walnut Creek who came all by herself to this crazy event. We stayed and partied with some interesting looking fans until the fireworks went off and then we got on the bus and got out of there before any trouble could start.

 

07 / 01 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Reno, Nevada:

The wind was blowing all day and it was very hot. We went on stage and the blazing sun was facing right at us not to mention the 35-mile per hour winds that were blowing us away. I wore my skiing sunglasses until Walk in the Shadows. I had a tough time because the wind was drying everything up. It actually made it difficult to bend strings. After the show we did the M&G then I went and had a cocktail with the guys. We saw Gene Simmons, He did not say hello. He was with his daughter and walked right past us.

 

06 / 31 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)

Travel Day

 

06 / 30 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)

Travel Day

 

06 / 29 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)

Denver, Colorado:

This was an early show for us 7:00 to be exact. So when we started the show people hurried to get to there seats. This venue has an early curfew and sound decibel limit. I do have to say the Denver crowd loves give it all. I had smoking show and saw a few friends looking very hot out in the audience. The M&G was small and the Rychers were cool especially the one from Bulgaria what a surprise!!! A few cocktails later and we were off to Reno.

 

06 / 28 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Albuquerque, New Mexico:

After a mellow day off I was ready for a fun show. The crowd was a little laid back in the beginning but they came alive by the end of the show. During pre sound check GT, stone and I did a 2 song live on air performance for about 20 people, we played Last Time In Paris and Sign Of the Times acoustically. While in the catering tent a windstorm came swiftly through and nearly lift the tent off the ground. The M&G was really cool; it was good to see some long time Rychers. Afterwards I hung with some of the Priesters and some of their families.

 

06 / 27 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)

Travel Day

 

06 / 26 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Dallas, Texas:

The day was insanely hot, I think close to 100 degrees. The sun sets into the stage so the crowd was shadowed to us. I had a great show, on the song NM156 I had a small passenger land on my arm for a whole verse. At first I was startled but when I saw the long legs I laughed, some people in the front row were amazed. We did a ridiculous interview with these guys that are doing an Internet viewable 100 concerts in a row for Google. After the show I hung out with my cousins from Dallas then I went the M&G and talked to some enthusiastic fans. When I went back to the dressing room Vinnie Paul, Dimebags Wife and their friends came in to hang out, drink some tequila and exchange info. It was good to see the two in happy spirits.

 

06 / 25 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
San Antonio,  Texas:

Over 11,000 people were there to be metal for a day. The show was going great for me until The Needle Lies. My guitar jack came loose and shorted out until Mikey V found the sweet spot, I came back in on the first solo after the first verse. After that it was smooth until the end. At the M&G I signed another Soulbender CD and took a few pictures. During the Priest set I met Ian Hill’s daughter and son. They were very polite and friendly. After there show Scott Travis invited me into their dressing room for hors d’oeuvres. I talked with Ian for a while then KK came in and we talked about golf then KK informed me that he is building a 27-hole golf course on his property in England. He said the next time we are over there we have a personal invite to play some golf.

 

06 / 24 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
New Orleans, Louisiana:

Ed bass and I took a walk down to a very cool store called Gargoyles. I bought some cool new clothes then walked through the French Market and saw the thousands of hot sauces available. It was strange to be on a small stage again and also the noise from the old dimmer packs reminded of me of the previous tour. Ed bass had some problems otherwise I think we played very good. Our curfew was 11:00 pm and we ended exactly on the mark. There was an opening band called Invain, they were very young and energetic. After the show we went to a bar that had a terrible duo playing, I could not bear it so I grabbed some of the crew and walked to Pat O’Brien’s for a thirst quenching hurricane.

 

06 / 23 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
West Palm Beach, Florida:

Today was the golf press day with Big Joe from the The Buzz. We played a game with 2 winners and also played with 2 jocks. Ed bass and I played with the 2 jocks Nick and Meatpacker. Nick crashed their cart into the bridge and broke the axle of the right wheel. Then later in the game Meatpacker through one of his clubs into a pond. I shot 95 and Ed bass shot 91. During the game some red ants got on my hand and bit me, they really hurt. I also got a nasty sunburn. Before the show we did a photo shoot with Larry Munroe then it started to rain. The air was very thick on stage; I had to pace myself because I started to see white spots. After the show I hung out with my brother and my father who were doing business in Miami. I also spoke to my brother in law who called me during a biopsy he was performing to say he was coming to see me, later he called to congratulate me on the show.

 

06 / 22 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Tampa, Florida:

Trik Daddy’s motorcycle gang showed up with their trailer and Winnebago and brought out about 500,000 dollars worth of custom bikes for everyone to ride. We joked with the guys and they gave us some of their shirts. The show was kick ass. I had a cousin show up and my friends Big Ray and Matt were there. The M&G was enthusiastic. It was sure hot and muggy.

 

06 / 21 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Day Off: Atlanta, Georgia:

The day started out with a round of 18 holes of golf, I shot a 91 and Ed bass shot an 87. The show was a hot kick ass performance. I was a little sore from the golf but was full force by song 3. After the show the M&G was small but lively. Later we hung out with Morgan the drummer from Sevendust.

 

06 / 20 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Day Off: Atlanta, Georgia:

Day Off. Our bus driver Ron lives about 45 minutes out of the city and invited the whole band and crew for a barbeque. We also played golf at this course in Dawson County. This was my first game of the year, I played pretty good but I lost a few balls. We went back to Ron’s house and all the local neighbors showed up, lets say it was very interesting.

 

06 / 19 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Bristow, Virginia:

A perfect night to rock the weather was great, I had a great show. I am locked into the set playing wise so I can lay the shapes down easier. The M&G was great. I hung out with Revolution Collin and friends. He is leading the way for the Soulbender Fan club and setting up chapters in various cities. He showed the prototype for the Soulbender decal, which looks very cool. I took pictures with some young kids. It is always great to see the future metal bastion.

 

06 / 18 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Camden, New Jersey:

Another intense NJ crowd These people give so much back to you that it makes you perform just a little bit better. The M&G was cool. We had some repeaters including doctor Rose and Monica the pharmacist. They told us of a story when in the emergency room a packer was arrested coming into the country smuggling heroin. Apparently he had swallowed 80 balloons of heroin. The authorities had to wait until the balloons flushed out, once they had the evidence they cuffed the guy and began dragging him down the corridor. Monica happened to see this as she was passing buy then much to her amazement she saw that the guy was wearing an Operation Mindcrime shirt. That was pretty creepy!!!!

 

06 / 17 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Wantagh, New York:

This time the drive from NY City was not so bad. We made it to Jones Beach with no problem. Before the show I ran into Steve and Rob from Planet Waves and D’addario strings. The show was really good, there was a nice breeze coming across the stage, I barely broke a sweat. The M&G was small I met some cool people. Back in the dressing room Fingers the radio DJ did an interview with someone, then the crew from the Howard Stern Show showed up and a crazy time definitely happened. They wanted to kidnap Stone and me and take us to this premier strip club but my will was good.

 

06 / 16 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)

Travel Day

 

06 / 15 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Hershey, Pennsylvania:

This was an indoor gig on a blazing hot day, which normally reeks havoc on my guitar necks, but today they were just doing fine. There was a lot of sitting around and waiting today, I was not sure why there was a slow set up. In any case we did not get a sound check so we were to wing it and do the best with what comes at us. For me the first song of the set I noticed that my mix was all screwed up, I figured I would fix it by next song, but Scott broke his snare and we had to delay the next song, which was Enforce. Well he replaced his meaty thick snare with a piccolo snare, which is very bright sounding. Needless to say my mix was all screwed up for the first few tunes but eventually I made a kick ass recovery. Even without a sound check and against technical problems we still managed to pull it off.

 

06 / 14 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Scranton, Pennsylvania:

The place was Montage Mountain, which we have played before a few times before. I think it was like 100 degrees with the heat index. The crowd was very reserved probably do to the heat. Thank goodness the JP lighting guys put a couple of fans out for us. I had a slaying good night. M&G was the smallest of the tour.

 

06 / 13 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)

Travel Day

 

06 / 12 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Boston, Massachusetts: Tweeter Center

The last time we played here it was with Dream Theater, I think. Holy F%#& was it humid. Mikey V my tech had to wipe down the guitar necks with alcohol. I got the JP lighting guys to put a couple fans on the side of the stage. That made the show bearable. I thought our double solos were kicking; Stone is really making improvements on the fast intricate parts. GT had one of his better performances; I think the humidity helps his voice. Afterwards, The M&G was quaint. A couple of Stones’ friends gave me a Boston Red sox hat. I was touched but I showed my loyalty to the Mariners.

 

06 / 11 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Uncasville, Connecticut: Mohegan Sun

This place The Mohegan sun Casino is a first for us. A lot of tickets were sold so that must have made JP happy. For the majority we have been playing outdoor places with deathly humidity. This arena was air conditioned heavily. Fortunately my guitars did not go out of whack. The show was fun, I actually got the nerve to jump up on the PA and go all the way to the edge and lay waste. Normally my leather pants get so sweaty that it is hard to jump up on things. After the Show we had a Small M&G, I met the editor for Braveword magazine that is based up in Toronto. He is going to do a feature with Soulbender in the future. Afterwards we hung with Frank of Fates Warning and his wife. We hung out with some of the Judas Priest dudes and Stone did his levitation trick on some of the non-believers. We then went out to the casino and explored the bars but unlike New York they do not stay open very late. We hooked up with my friend Eric from VH-1 and went out to our tour bus and partied. I heard from others that he did not leave until daylight.

 

06 / 10 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Holmdel, New Jersey: PNC Bank Arts Center

Finally a show were we got to go on at 8:00 pm. It got dark enough to actually have a decent light show. I had a great performance considering the 80% humidity. I do have to say that the New Jersey crowd was excellent. Afterwards I hung out with the rep for Floyd Rose guitars. Then 2 guys from our old record label showed up as well as VH-1 Eric and his friends. I met a guy from Cyberstorm Internet radio; another killer contact for Soulbender.

 

06 / 09 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)

Travel Day

 

06 / 08 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Manchester, New Hampshire: Verizon

We took an extra long sound check to work on songs we are going to perform at the New Orleans show. I switched from the Mesa power amp to the Marshall amp and it seems to work in the mix better. The show was the best so far technically speaking, the stage sounded very good and the crowd was great. After the show I met a couple of guys from Godsmack, the singer and the drummer. I watched the remaining Judas Priest show from the soundboard then afterwards we partied a bit in the dressing room with K K Downing.

 

06 / 07 / 05
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Buffalo, New York: Darien Lake

We were back at the Darien Lake outdoor shed. I noticed white fuzzy cotton flying in the air; they make me sneeze. I had a great time on stage except the wind was crossing the stage blowing my hair in my mouth all night. The M&G was small but enthusiastic. We had some drinks with some old friends then off we go.

 

06 / 06 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)

Travel Day

 

06 / 05 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Toronto, Ontario Canada: Molson Amphitheatre

This time into Canada was smooth sailing; there were no hang-ups with immigration. Toronto weather was perfect for a metal show of epic proportions. The only snag I had was my Sabine wireless system was getting hit hard by the big tower, which was in close view. During the performance I saw in the audience many QR t-shirts as well as a flag from Hungry. I thought we rocked and I thought the audience was very appreciative. The M&G was small, I took a picture of some banner that is going to all the shows, I also said hello to some Sanctuary record label people as well as a girl from Australia. I watched the whole Judas Priest show and hung out with some of the crew. On the bus we watched the last episode of Deadwood.

 

06 / 04 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Detroit, Michigan: DTE Energy Music Theatre

Another blistering hot show, it is amazing how muggy the weather can get in a few hours. The performance was quite good although there were plenty of annoying RF hits throughout the night. KK Downing came over to my side with his Tech Andy to check out some Whip mania on stage right. The M&G was small but everyone was really pleased with show. One of the fans brought a couple of pictures of Eddie’s old tech Franklin Felder who tragically died back in 99’. A little later on Stone and I had some frosty sierra pale ales with the Gwar guitarist "Beefcake the Mighty" He invited us to there show in Seattle in late July, this I’ve got to see. Some more beer drinking entertainment for you, a drunk out his mind fan was trying to scale the barbwire fence to get back stage. He kept falling down and rolling down the hill. It was like watching an animal in the zoo. Eventually, security tried to shoo him away in there golf carts, he eventually disappeared into the forest.

 

06 / 03 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Chicago, Illinois: Tweeter Center

The Tweeter Center was the venue of choice, a massive outdoor amphitheater. I ran into our promoter Gary Buck and midget wrestling champion Meatball before the show. This time the show happened with no major hiccups. I thought I played fairly good for a hot muggy night. I saw a couple of Soulbender shirts out in the audience, which made me rock a little harder. Afterwards In the M&G I hooked up with the Soulbender fans. They were asking when the release would be. I said "patience. We have 14 ideas brewing and we will post on Myspace any demos that are ready," They also asked about my signature guitar line. I told them the Skull strat will be available for the Fall line, the Les Paul series will have to be a custom order from ESP directly. My friend Jim Harwood was there with his lovely wife. He was gracious enough to tend to our ever ending laptop computer problems. Just before the bus was about to pull away KK Downing came on the bus and told us what a pleasure it is to have us on the tour and stop by anytime on their bus for a beer. Pretty damn Cool!!!!!!

 

06 / 02 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)

Travel Day

 

06 / 01 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Xcel Energy Center

We were lucky to have a sound check do to the fact that there was a late load in, still the Priest held the doors for us to get an adequate sound check. The beginning of the show was a bit sketchy due to a switch of an intro song to signify Stone and I to get out and start the set. The problem was there was no intro song. I heard our machine intro while I was still back stage and bolted like lightning to get out to the stage, but to my dismay, I found that Stone did not even have his guitar on, so I just started the intro riff of "The Whisper" by myself and figured Stone would come in on the second time around. The crowd looked confused, then I figured out that I was not even on in the mains, so when Stone finally got on stage we both came in together through the mains on the second time around. After that the set went really well for me. Afterwards I met some guy from Cranesong who make hi-end audio gear, he will hopefully hook us up with some toys when MC2 is mixed. I listened to some of the Priest show, they sounded incredible.

 

05 / 31 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)

Travel Day

 

05 / 30 / 05 
SUMMER  U.S.A.   2005  (Judas Priest)
Cleveland, Ohio: Blossom Music Center

For the first show it was a scorcher of a set. We are contracted to play 60 minutes as the opener for Judas Priest. The show started at 7:30 pm so we were in full daylight. It was strange at first because the crowd was not all in there seats. Then after the first riff in the song "The whisper" thousands came from the beer gardens and parking lots. It was fairly comfortable with no breeze and a mild temperature in the lower 70’s. I made it to the second to the last song before I broke a string. Right after the last melodic lead line I popped the high e string. After the last song we headed to the back stage, we were surprised to hear such a loud ovation coming from the crowd. We could of easily done an encore but we were out of time. When we were heading to the dressing room Glen Tipton was there waiting and congratulated us. Afterwards I hung out with my photographer friend Amir. You can see a lot of his pictures on my web site.

 

02 / 19 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Los Angeles, California: Universal Amphitheater

The day started out with ESP guitar rep Allen Steelgrave taking Stone and me out for breakfast or lunch. We were met by a friend of his named Mike Stone. So I had lunch with 2 Mike Stones. We sound checked with the orchestra, there were some wireless problems that kind of put a kink in my performance including three second audio drop outs during the set. I also broke my first string of the tour. It was a great sold out audience with some unusual people getting busted for smoking pot. After the show it was a zoo backstage. There were a lot of industry people to meet and hang with. Also the fan club had an after show which included 2 kegs of beer; it got a little too crazy so I did not hang to long. I also did a photo session with ESP for my up and coming signature skull guitar with Gene Kirkland. I remember getting about 2 hours of sleep before I had to catch my flight back home. Now to sunny Sun Peaks Canada for some intense fast skiing. Metal!!!!

 

02 / 18 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
San Diego, California:  Viejas

The day started out with Stone and I meeting with the Taylor guitar rep Bob. He picked us up at the hotel and took us to lunch, actually breakfast for us, which was sushi. We then went to the Taylor guitar factory and did the tour and picked up some swag and then got a nice ride to the Viejas Casino. I can tell you everyone is feeling fatigued, most everyone has had this shity cold and cough for 3 weeks now. The stage was bigger than last night so we weren’t bumping into each other as much. The first half of the show went well,  I had a very nice looking front row to keep me company. The second half of the show I was a bit knackered and I think the crowd was too. The room sounded quite good.

 

02 / 17 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Anaheim, California: House of Blues

This is the smallest of the House of blues, there is no room to rock on that stage so you just half to get into the music and stand there and lay slabs of rock. Paul Gargano showed up from metal edge magazine. We had a meeting about scheduling the next album, recording and writing and the future tour with Judas Priest. The crowd was energetic as usual. It was especially nice to see the two females in the front row who shed there tops and watched the show in their black bras. Very metal!

 

02 / 16 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Las Vegas, Nevada:  House of Blues

Before the show I had a great lunch with my cousin and his girlfriend. The show was extra sold out. I had a great time after the show. I met comedian Craig Gass and Porn star Tabatha. Some cool fans rented a room up in the foundation room. We partied till 2:30 am then it was off to Anaheim.

 

02 / 15 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Phoenix, Arizona:  Celebrity Theater

This time at the celebrity theater we did not set up for the 360 degree round stage but they sold tickets way around the perimeter. The show was inspiring having to play to so many people at different angles. I hooked up with Dave Ellefson (ex Megadeath) who works with Peavey on the side. We did some photos for their upcoming catalog with Stone and me posing next to their new JSX amp. I also hooked up after the show with our old wardrobe person Alie Amato and I met the California Angels tour manager.

 

02 / 14 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Tucson, Arizona:  TCC Music Hall

The day started out with an acoustic performance at the rock radio station. We had an interesting ride from the station person named Wendy. The hall was nice to play in. The crowd was the usual great rock crowd. Tucson is a great town for metal. Afterwards we met Spyder from KNAC; we hung and had some laughs.

 

02 / 13 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005

Travel Day

 

02 / 12 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005

Stateline, Nevada::  Harrah's     

I wish I could have gone skiing, my mouth was salivating seeing ski runs but with a beautiful day and being a Saturday the lines were way too crowded. The show was a work out and a half, the air was so thin I almost passed out in the Mindcrime set. This was much more intense than Denver. After the show I hung out with my relatives and some cool fans. I abstained from gambling.

 

02 / 11 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Kelseyville, California:  Konocti

This was a very interesting gig. It looked like we were playing a wedding. I have never played a show were the audience was having dinner. I was very unenthused the first set, I would try and throw my picks in peoples drinks to stay amused. The Mindcrime set was much better, the crowd actually stood up even though I am sure they were discouraged to sit down by security. In fact one dude got popped for lighting up during the show. Even if the crowd has to sit down there is so much energy in playing Mindcrime that I can disappear into a guitar coma. All in all I think the band played very tight.

 

02 / 10 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
San Francisco, California: Warfield

The day started out with a 1:00 pm drive to the rock station the Bone 107.7 for an exclusive acoustic performance. There were about 40 winners that got to sit in and ask questions. Stone and I decided the night before after hitting 4 Irish bars and the Gold Dust saloon that we should work out another Mindcrime tune acoustically. I suggested The Mission and we worked it out in my hotel room before we left for the Bone. The performance went off very well, thank goodness since it was beamed across the country. The Warfield is a great place to perform, before the show Ed Bass was not feeling to well so we acquired a mobile doctor to administer some good drugs for my partner. The beginning of the show was a bit funky; Stone was having problems with his guitar cutting in and out subsequently messing everybody’s mix up. I played the first 2 songs almost as a single guitar player. After that problem was fixed the rest of the show kicked ass. Afterwards the meet and greet was pretty cool. San Francisco is my home town so it was good to be back.

 

02 / 09 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Day Off

 

02 / 08 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005

Day Off

 

02 / 07 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005

Day Off

 

02 / 06 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005

Day Off

 

02 / 05 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:  Electric Factory

I had a great show at the Electric Factory. My sickness basically gone I had a good amount of energy for a very energetic crowd. Mindcrime was ferocious. The place was packed. The after show was good. I had a kick ass Philly cheese steak.

 

02 / 04 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Hartford, Connecticut: Webster

Backstage at the Webster Theater It was cold and damp in the dressing room. I spent most of my pre show moments in the bus where it was nice and warm. The first note of the show hit as a rush of that warm smoky alcoholic air. The place was packed all the way back to the front door. The set went smooth until Silent Lucidity, after the solo my sound started to fizzle, my clean sound started to gristle like chicken on the barbeque. My trusty Mesa Boogie 100/100 power amp torched! How ironic, on the guest list were 2 guys from Mesa Boogie! I was lucky that was the last song of the set! I had Mikey V hook up my back up Marshall 100 watt for the Mindcrime set. When I hit the first chord of Anarchy X it was blistering loud, it almost took Ed bass’s head off. After everybody adjusted their mix the show rocked. We had a little film glitch but all in all it kicked ass! Afterwards I met some cool fans and a couple of girls from Turkey. Frank of Fates Warning and his wife showed up for some stories and laughs.

 

02 / 03 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
New York, New York: Beacon Theater

After a quick van ride to the Beacon we ascended up the stairs to the dressing rooms then back down for sound check with Tim Truman and the local NY orchestra string section. Things went semi smooth due to the fact that there are stage black outs for the local union. I did not worry because with orchestra you just have to wing it. I felt pretty good just coming off a nasty cold that had made its way through our entourage. The first song Whisper started off powerful but I think I threw a very heavy slab of metal because I popped my ear monitors out of my wireless pack. Mikey V was there to pack me in and wrap me back up as well as catch a little of my spot light glory. The Mindcrime set was magical. Having a sold out standing room event at the Beacon is to cool. Everything was so intense, in fact on Breaking the Silence a power chord threw my right arm into a spasm that hurt like a Mutha! I shook it off and had a triumphant ending. After the show we said hello to some of the record label people and some people from VH-1. Then James and Mike from Dream Theater Stopped by. I was back in my bunk by 1:00am. That is quite different then what happened the last time we were here.

 

02 / 02 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Albany, New York: Northern Lights

I was feeling about 50 % due to the cold I had contracted. The Northern lights club was packed and the crowd was venomous for some Ryche. The stage was very small so there was not any room to rock out but I feel I played extremely well as well as the rest of the band. There was a guy in the front row that had a fetish for piercings, his whole face had pins in it, definitely a man of discipline!

 

02 / 01 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Verona, New York: Turning Stone

I am a man beaten into throws of submission. There will be no drinking for me tonight as I have caught the dreaded lergy of the Turning Stone casino. I spent the whole day in my boring room feeling ill. I did manage to write a killer new tune in my dreary state. The show was surprisingly good for me; I guess my last drops of adrenalin kicked in. After the show I just wanted to drop dead but I did manage to say hello to some friends and some overly friendly fans.

 

01 / 31 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005

Travel Day

 

01 / 30 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Cleveland Ohio:  House of Blues

This is the first time we have played this house of blues which just opened 2 months ago. It was great to give them a sell out show. The first set went smooth; the crowd was a little laid back. Then when Mindcrime hit they went crazy. Eddie and I got our first brassier of the tour thanks to some full figured lady. I was definitely on my mark though I did consume a bit too much of the red bull.

 

01 / 29 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Chicago, Illinois:  House of Blues

This was Eddie’s birthday and he decided to celebrate a little bit early. We actually had to delay the show to sober him up. The first set was a bit rough though we all played a bit harder to make up for our birthday boy. After Jet city Woman we sung happy birthday and brought out a cake with candles for Eddie to blow out. He did that with no problem then he did a stage dive into some pour fans in the front row. After security helped Ed back on stage, Geoff told Eddie to make a wish so Eddie got on the microphone and told the audience to "Blow Him". All I have to say is that it was a memorable night indeed.

 

01 / 28 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Chicago, Illinois:  House of Blues

A cruel 6:00 am wake up for a drive across town to do some acoustic performances for WGN TV. We played 30 second clips of Sign of the times and the lady wore Black and about 3 minutes of Eyes of a stranger. We met Carrot Top and Vanilla Ice who were also at the station. The show was great. I had a great time. Afterwards we hung out in the foundation room then went to a local bar to unwind.

 

01 / 27 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Chicago, Illinois:  House of Blues

With 4 hours of sleep we were off to visit the Mancow radio show for a live electric performance. Our crew set up our back up rigs and we played I don’t believe in love, Breaking the silence and modified version of Eyes of a stranger. Everyone loved the performance at the radio station. Next was an acoustic performance for Loop radio station and about 25 contest winners. Then back to the hotel for some fragmented sleep which is hard to do when you’re full of caffeine and adrenaline. The show was a bit sleepy but the crowd was intense. I had some great fans in front of me to spur on the Mindcrime performance.

 

01 / 26 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Detroit, Michigan:  Emerald Theater

It was blistering cold outside of the Emerald theater. It was a big stage that placed Scott way in the back. It was so fun to have lots of stage room. I played very aggressively but right around "Love" I kind of went brain dead so I had to go ingest some Red Bull on the side of the stage to pick me up for the rest of the set. The audience was great.

 

01 / 25 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Milwaukee, Wisconsin:  Eagles Club

Back again to the Rave. A great crowd and sloppy sounding stage but a good rockin’ time. We had to break in Pamela Moore to do some acting due to the sudden disappearance of Roxy. The guitar necks are starting to straighten out a little too much do to the cold dry air, so a ¼ turn is needed in the truss rod. My tech Mikey V is on the case.

 

01 / 24 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005

Travel Day

 

01 / 23 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005:
Madison, Wisconsin: Barrymoore Theater

A glorious Sunday in Madison started out with lunch with my good friend JH. I watched some playoff football, sad to say my buddy Jim Mora’s Team did not win. The gig was at an old theater called the Bellamy. I have to say it was the best sounding stage of the tour so far. The show flowed like butter for me especially the infinite sustain that was godlike. After the show met some cool fans then it was off to Milwaukee for a much needed day off.

 

01 / 22 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Minneapolis, Minnesota: First Avenue

Half way from Kansas City we were hit by a nasty snow storm. Visibility was almost zero with 50 mile per hour winds. We had to pull of the highway and wait out the storm at a truck stop. The inside windows of the bus began to freeze. We finally left around 12:30 with a 3 hour drive to Minneapolis. We arrived at 3:30 and were told they still wanted to do a 7:00 pm show, so there crew and our crew worked diligently to get the show to set up in time. We actually hit the stage at 7:20 with no sound check. The first set went ok but the smoke was taking its toll on our singer. It was really kind of a long sound check. The Mindcrime set was smoking. After the show Stone and I hit the bar and talked to the locals..

 

01 / 21 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Kansas City, Missouri: Up Town Theater

This show was a good quality big stage rocker. It’s all come back to me, my stage sound is mammoth and I am ready for battle.

 

01 / 20 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
St. Louis, Missouri: Pop's

Across the Mississippi and into the bad part of town is where we were taken. Amidst Strip bars and strange buildings is where the place called Pops resides. A strange smoky event that that turned out to be a lot of fun. The stage was quite small so I had Scott’s kick drum practically up my ass. I had the pleasure of viewing some nice architecture out in the audience though.

 

01 / 19 / 05 
WINTER  U.S.A.   2005
Chicago, Illinois: House of Blues

Our gear was frozen when the truck finally arrived to the house of blues. Scott’s cymbal stands were completely frozen inside their case. Our computers were frozen and would not boot up. It was 5 degrees outside and that does not include the wind chill. All the necks on my guitars were bowed and had to be tweaked. I'm glad we had an extra day to get all the kinks worked out. My new guitars played beautifully through the show. My new skull guitar with the Floyd Rose is punchy as hell; it's made out of swamp ash. My new signature Les Paul’s have infinite sustain. This will be a great tour to break them in. The performance was pretty damn good considering we had not played together in 2 ½ months. The crowd was great as expected; they really came alive for the Mindcrime set. Afterwards we met up in the Foundry room with our booking agent and had a much needed cocktail. They kicked us out around 2:00 am I think?