Roger Waters North America Tour 2017

I will be touring with Roger Waters playing saxophone on his 'Us + Them' tour during the later part of 2017.


My blogs from previous tours during 2006 - 2008, the Sandy Relief Concert in 2012 and Desert Trip / Mexico City 2016 can be found here along with additional tour pics on flickr

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Sunday, 15th of October : Montreal: I spent most of the day wandering around the Parc Du Mont-Royal which overlooks the city. Autumn is very beautiful in Canada and reminds me a lot of Scotland around the same time of year. It started to rain quite heavily later in the day, so I stuck quite close to the hotel and got a bite to eat at a local bar. They had some excellent Latin jazz featuring Domier Gonzales… percussion, Michel Cantero… piano, Nestor Rodriguez… sax and Alex Bellegarde… bass.


Saturday, 14th of October : Montreal: This is my first time in Montreal, so I intend to do as much exploring as possible in the week we are here. I didn't have a particular plan of action. I just set off and soaked in the Montreal atmosphere. Some galleries are on the agenda for the coming days. In the evening I decided to go into a rather authentic looking Indian restaurant. They served me an excellent chicken jalfrezi with pillau rice. I watched the quite entertaining 'Wonder Woman' and had an early night.


Friday, 13th of October : Toronto / Montreal: This will be our last show in Toronto. As it was the first show to go on sale, the arena is packed to the gills. It was great to catch up with Colin Lyon; Roger's right hand man up until this tour. Health issues meant he missed out on this leg, but we hope to see him back in the saddle very soon. The band rocked. So did the audience. We jumped into vans and headed to the airport, where we flew to Montreal.


Thursday, 12th of October : Toronto: There is an up and coming end of tour band and crew party coming up. A bunch of jamming is planned, as many of the crew are talented musicians and singers. A great night out is in prospect. Ski organised a rehearsal for us all to get the best out of the multitude of talent. Some great performances are in prospect. I got adjusted one last time by Shannon who we will see at the show tomorrow. Under advisement, I had a glass of red wine, a hot bath and an early night.


Wednesday, 11th of October : Toronto: A day off in Toronto. I went out to Shannon's office for a chiropractic treatment. It seemed to have beneficial effects, but I overdid the walking about in the evening, so hopefully another adjustment tomorrow will sort me out.


Tuesday, 10th of October : Quebec City / Ottawa / Toronto: Time to leave Quebec City. We passed a bridge very similar in design to the Forth rail bridge on the way to the airport. We fly in and out of Ottowa today. The show was amazing. The Canadian audiences get better and better. There was a delay leaving the airport in Quebec so we were very tight for time. Any later than 12.30am and the Toronto air traffic controllers wouldn't let us land. We arrived with 2 minutes to spare thanks to some hairy flying from our pilot. Biggles was his name I think.


Monday, 9th of October : Quebec City: A very rainy day in Quebec City. I hung out at the hotel a lot and hooked up with most of the rest of the band for pizza in the evening. Good fun as evinced by the pictures.


Sunday, 8th of October : Quebec City: I spent a fair amount of time in the gym with Josh. I am hoping that this will help my back. I used some of the gym machines for the first time ( 2 types of bicycle contraptions ). I felt a bit daft as I always make fun of other members of the band or crew on running machines and the like. In my defence, the weather is a bit rainy today. lol ( this never stops me in London ). Our pizza trip that Jess and Jon have recommended has been postponed till tomorrow. A bit of sightseeing between showers and a beer at the Bar St. Angele.


Saturday, 7th of October : Quebec City: Another show day. Another chance to explore a bit more of this beautiful city, and pick up some supplies ( muesli, milk, cheese, bread ). We head to the venue at 4pm and are onstage soundchecking by 5 as usual. Roger is experimenting with the ending of 'Wish You Were Here' and has almost got it as he wants. The show was another great one, with another fantastic Canadian audience. It is looking like 'Mother' is now a fixture in the set. A bit of carousing in the bar at the hotel, then bed.


Friday, 6th of October : Quebec City: Show day. As I was wondering around the old town I came across a sign in a shop announcing 'musical wooden spoons'. On further investigation, I discovered that making and playing musical spoons was a tradition in Quebec going back to some historic metal shortage. I tried out a few pairs and couldn't resist buying a set to take home. Roger and the band were in ripping form at the show. The audience were even better. The loudest and most enthusiastic crowd on the tour so far by a long chalk! We retired to our hotel bar for a nightcap well satisfied.


Thursday, 5th of October : Quebec City: The second of a couple of days off in Quebec City. I had a great walk around the Citadel. The Citadel is a fort on top of the hill in the centre of Quebec City. It clearly had great military significance at one time. Now it is an excellent day out for the many Chinese visitors to the city arriving on cruise ships. In the evening Jon found us a great restaurant in the old town. Terrific steaks, onion soup and cassoulet.


Wednesday, 4th of October : Quebec City: I decided to put myself in the hands of Josh; Rogers' personal trainer. He thought that connecting me to various electrical devices might help my back issue. He demonstrated on himself, as seen in the movie below. The jury is out on the success or otherwise. He did give me various exercises to do however, which I am sure will help. In the evening I went looking for some jazz, but the gig had finished by the time I got to the venue. Maybe another night.


Tuesday, 3rd of October : Toronto / Quebec City: My back and leg were bothering me a bit at last nights show, so I took up Joey's offer to see his chiropractor who lives in Toronto. I was adjusted and to be honest felt in considerably more pain by the time of the show. A handul of ibuprofen and a couple of tequilas later I was fine and had a great time on stage. It was nice to meet Chris Alexander and kids Ben (6), Elliot (8) and Jack (10). They must be some of the youngest Roger Waters / Pink Floyd fans at the show! This Toronto audience did Canada proud and raised the roof at the end of the show.

Earlier, in the lobby of the hotel the band were ushered aside by security men. Following them and shaking hands with all, came Bill Clinton. We were all given the glad hand and he went on his happy way to some speaking engagement or other. This is the only US president I have met so far. This hotel seems excellent for meeting celebs!

Fly to Quebec right after the show.


Monday, 2nd of October : Toronto: The first of 2 shows at the Air Canada Arena. In the days when I composed music for tv ads, I produced a track for Air Canada. I'm not sure if it ever was shown here, but it was quite popular in the UK. In the lift going to the gym, Dave and I ran into Claudia Schiffer. She seemed to find my gym attire amusing and commented that she thought I had forgotten to wear trousers. If only I had the presence of mind to sing that famous song by Andy Stewart! Canadian audiences are famously enthusiastic, so I was expecting big things of the crowd on this occasion. We were warmly recieved, but the reception didn't exceed the best of the US audiences. We will see what tomorrow holds. The legendary snooker player Cliff Thorburn; he of the first televised 147 maximum break, attended the show. I saw him in hospitality but couldn't put a name to the face. It dawned on me who he was when I saw him having a nice chat to Roger after the show.


Sunday, 1st of October : Toronto: Insanity in the morning. Practise in the park in the afternoon. Pizza and a film at the hotel in the evening. ( the latest King Kong ).


Saturday, 30th of September : Toronto: I had a walk down to the lakeside then meandered through the old town back to the hotel. Trips to Niagra by boat are no longer offered, so the other option is a 2 hour bus trip. I am thinking about it. Had a good hours practise in a nearby park. There is an all night art event called Nuit Blanche. Art installations are on display in the streets all over the city. I spent a fun couple of hours checking things out before calling it a night.


Friday, 29th of September : Boston / Toronto: Unusually we are travelling to a new city during the day, rather than after a show. This is because we are crossing over to Canada. ( Or 'North o' the border' as Roger likes to call it ). Everything would probably have gone smoothly had Roger not been carrying a hunting rifle. He intended to fly on to an undisclosed location in Canada, directly from the airport. Canadian customs and immigration had other ideas however. Finally Mark Fenwick comandeered a bus and the band all headed into Toronto to our hotel. Hopefully Roger eventually escaped and is happily hunting who knows what somewhere up north. Most of the band went to a nearby Japanese restaurant. I spent a couple of hours exploring, before having an excellent hamburger, fries and milkshake at '5 Guys' on Yonge Street.


Thursday, 28th of September : Boston: The second of two shows at the TD Garden in Boston. I had a final wander round Boston. This time I went over the Charles river past MIT before I realised I better get back to the hotel in time for the bus to the venue. A very enjoyable show. The aftershow get together was also great. It was nice to chat to Keith Maxwell and get a chance to play harmonica along with Andy on a couple of blues.


Wednesday, 27th of September : Boston: The first of two shows at the TD Garden in Boston. Both Dave and I were concious of having our former bandmate, Andy Fairweather Low in the audience. Everything went pretty well however and we both managed to play most of the right notes in most of the right places. Roger decided to take a knee solo on this occasion, choosing to do so at the end of the first set. We had another fun aftershow party back in the hotel, with Andy escaping from leading the community singing this time.


Tuesday, 26th of September : Boston: A very active day! After morning Insanity with Dave, we met in the afternoon to walk down to the Charles river to hire kayaks. I have previously kayaked in Washington and Dave in Mexico during the break. The kayaks were not as stable as the ones I had used before. This proved too much for Dave, who took a little dive whilst trying to board his. Luckily the day was warm and sunny, so he soon dried off. We had a great 3 hours pottering around on the water. In the evening Roger called a band dinner. To my surprise Andy Fairweather Low was there. It was great to catch up. I haven't played with Andy since the Dark Side Of The Moon tour where he was musical director. His own career is going from strength to strength and his band tour constantly in the UK and Europe. We had a nice sing song featuring the inevitable 'Goodnight Irene' and Andy's Amen Corner hit 'If Paradise Is Half As Nice'. Great.


Monday, 25th of September : Boston: Restarting the Insanity workouts in earnest today. Dave is in! Apart from that, a pretty chilled day. I explored Boston a bit on foot. We are staying in a part of town I am not familiar with, so it was nice to get orientated. Not much music happening tonight, so I will probably stay in and watch a movie.


Sunday, 24th of September : Boston / Hartford / Boston: Hartford at 100 miles from Boston is too close to make flying worthwhile, so everyone, including Roger, piled in the bus for the 2 hour ride. Roger whiled away the time by playing cards with Jess, Joey and Bo and complaining vociferously about the US roads and bus suspension. The show was another cracker with 2 variations. The first was playing 'Mother' towards the end of the show. The second was Roger and band taking a knee in place of joining hands and bowing. This gesture was in support of Colin Kaepernick's protest against the killing of African Americans by police officers and against the subsequent outrageous reaction by Donald Trump.


Saturday, 23rd of September : New York / Albany / Boston: A long day starts with checking out of our hotel and Bussing to Newark airport. The flight to Albany took about an hour. A splendid show. A good time was had by all. Straight to Boston after the show. In the bar of the hotel with Roger and the band by 1am. A plan was hatched for the show tomorrow.......


Friday, 22nd of September : New York: Our last day off in New York City before heading to Boston. I decided to have a final trip over to Brooklyn for a practise in the afternoon. As it is a beautiful day I went down onto the riverside and was treated to amazing views of Manhattan. After my practise, I returned the keys of the warehouse to Mary Wagman and took her to dinner at the excellent Chez Ma Tante by way of a thankyou. We said goodnight around 11 and I had an early night in preparation for the following two nights of shows.


Thursday, 21st of September : New York / Cleveland / New York: Back on the 737. Yay! I got to meet my cousin Rich who I haven't seen for 50 years! He had his lovely family along, so we got to hang briefly before the show and at the interval. No real time for a family reunion however as we were back on the plane straight after the show.


Wednesday, 20th of September : New York: A day to relax and catch up with my blog writing.


Tuesday, 19th of September : New York Pittsburg / New York: Show day. For some reason Swiftair decided that we couldn't have our usual 737. Roger rebelled and we ended up travelling on a much smaller jet supplied by another company. I didn't get to see anything of Pittsburg as we went straight to the venue and into soundcheck. I was particularly happy with my contribution to the show on this occasion. We were back in NYC by 1am.


Monday, 18th of September : New York: I took the L train from Union Square across to Bedford Avenue where a friend has loaned me a warehouse to practise in. Much as I enjoyed playing on the Williamsburg bridge on my previous trip, it is nice to have a few hours to play undisturbed and unobserved. Thanks go to Jeff Nilsson for the great pictures from the Nassau Coliseum.


Sunday, 17th of September : New York: We have a couple of days free in NYC. Ran into some kind of cycling event / protest that involved lots of cyclists holding up traffic in the middle of the city. I decided to head for Central Park as the weather is really nice. I took my sax with me and got the opportunity to play with an African drumming ensemble. The leader of ther group spotted my sax case and invited me to play. I spent a happy half hour honking along with the drummers. I have included a short clip taken by a passerby. An interesting day that could only happen in New York.


Saturday, 16th of September : New York / Uniondale / New York: Being Saturday, the bus ride to the venue was much shorter. I took a few photos along the way, including shots of the remnants of the New York World fair, which took place in 1964. Flushing Meadow Park was used famously as a location for part of the movie 'Men In Black'. The Uniondale audience outdid even last nights great crowd in enthusiasm. There was much chanting "Roger, Roger.....' during the introductions. Wow.


Friday, 15th of September : New York / Uniondale / New York: We leave for the gig at 3pm. It takes us two and a half hours to go the 30 miles to Uniondale because of the Friday early rush hour traffic. When we arrive it is straight on to the freezing stage for soundcheck. This accounts for the picture below of Joey in a hoodie! If the venue was cold the audience were anything but. Extended cheering at the end of the show moved Roger deeply. It was apparent to everyone there. Fortunately the ride back to the city was easy and we were back in our hotel rooms by midnight.


Thursday, 14th of September : New York: Another day off in the city. This is the day I agreed to perform with Nora Balaban's group Timbila at an old peoples home on 72nd street. I got there for one 'o' clock and the band were already on stage and being introduced by the director of the entertainments program in the home. I introduced myself to the other members of the band and we were off. The music featured Mbira ( thumb piano ) sequences which were reinterpreted by the guitarist ( Banning Eyre ) and reinforced by the drummer. Additional vocals and violin ( Rima Fand ) were also featured. I eased my way into the picture with some long notes before taking a more active role in the dialogue between violin and guitar. The performances was great fun and well appreciated by the small but attentive audience. Later we headed to the East Village. I had a bite to eat with Nora, then an early night with a good book. In this case Nick Sedgwick's excellent 'In The Pink'. Available for purchase online at Roger Waters Website.


Wednesday, 13th of September : New York: A day to recuperate after the two shows in Brooklyn. A friend managed to snag a couple of tickets to see Adam Ant at the Beacon Theatre. Adam was signed to CBS records at the same time as my New Romanitic / Electropop group Miro Miroe. I had seen him perform, pre record contract, at the legendary Marquee club in London. In those days his group was more or less a punk band, with a charismatic lead singer. His performance at the Beacon harked back to those earlier times, interspersed by his later pop hits; 'Stand And Deliver', 'Prince Charming' etc. Jolly good fun.


Tuesday, 12th of September : New York / Brooklyn / New York: Another splendid show. There was a band get together in a nice Mexican bar in Brooklyn afterward. Excellent tequila and conversation.


Monday, 11th of September : New York / Brooklyn / New York: I had a wander down to the Hudson before heading to Brooklyn for the show. The band is back in the groove. The show was great. I met Nora Balaban backstage and was invited to play at a gig her band Timbala is playing in a couple of days.


Sunday, 10th of September : New York: Bo decided to give the Insanity workout a go. He did really well and we hope to see him as a regular. I took the subway up to 110th street and spent a very pleasant couple of hours walking back through Central Park. I saw a mysterious wood complete with chipmunks ( although I didn't realise that was what they were at the time ). I saw the lake / reservoir in the middle of the park. I saw a number of very good jazz groups ( sax, bass and drums ) entertaining the Sunday crowds. In the evening I tried to get some of the band to see some jazz. No takers, so I headed to the 55 Bar where the excellent Adam Larson was playing. Good funky compositions which the band played the hell out of. Ari Hoenig on drums was in particularly good form.


Saturday, 9th of September : New York / Buffalo / New York: Today we take a day trip to Buffalo for a show. The bus took us to Newark airport where we boarded Roger's private jet. Everything went smoothly and we arrived at the venue in plenty of time for the show. The Buffalo audience were great. The band rocked. We were back in New York City in no time.


Friday, 8th of September : New York: A free day in New York City. I walked uptown to Roberto's wind, a great saxophone emporium on 46th street. Deiter kindly showed me their collection of vintage Selmer MkVI tenors. I will go back and compare them with my own Selmer Super Balanced Action on another day. Later in the day I met a friend at the historic Bowery Hotel bar. After a few beers headed I to Fanelli's for some spaghetti and meatballs, followed by a leisurely stroll through the streets back to the hotel.


Thursday, 7th of September : New York / Newark / New York: The first show in this leg. It is always exciting to play the first show after a break. Will we remember all the bits? How will our new keyboardist fit in? Answers yes and yes. Bo did excellently. The concert was great fun and well appreciated by the Newark crowd. The kids did well in spite of missing their run through due to traffic. We were all ready to retire to our rooms when we got back to the hotel due to the various jetlags still kicking in. The all night drunken partying will have to wait for another occasion.


Wednesday, 6th of September : New York: I woke up at 5am. This is the usual jetlag effect of the trip from London to New York. It comes in handy for making calls to the UK however, as they are 5 hours ahead. I had a walk along the East river after a coffee in the late morning. At 3.30 the band all got re aquainted in the hotel lobby, before heading to the venue in Newark for a soundcheck and run through. Today is Rogers' birthday, so the new members of the band had to be told not to mention the B word to Roger. Definitely no gifts or cards. This is an attitude to celebrating birthdays that I share with him. Bah Humbug!


Tuesday, 5th of September : London / New York: The band reconvene in New York from various locations. I travelled with Simon Slater, the tour manager. Apart from an inordinately long wait to get through US immigration and a rush hour journey into the city, everything went smoothly. Tomorrow we have a rehearsal at the venue in Newark where we will do a show on Thursday. Our new keyboardist Bo will take over from the still injured Drew for the rest of this leg. I am excited to be on the road again and in the Big Apple.


Monday, 28th of August : London: Even more fantastic photographs by the very talented Kate Izor.


Thursday, 24th of August : London: Some more fantastic photographs by the very talented Kate Izor.


Monday, 21st of August : London: Some fantastic photographs by the very talented Kate Izor.


Sunday, 20th of August : London: I will be posting random pictures from the tour in the interim, so keep popping by to see what's up!


Monday, 14th of August : Nashville / London: By the time I got up, many of the band had headed home to Los Angeles, New York and Tulsa. Simon, Pompey and myself were the only London contingent, as Dave had decided to head to Mexico for a three week holiday. The flight back was via JFK and passed without incident. By 7.00 nam Tuesday we were in London heading home. It will be great to be back for a few weeks. We will be starting up again on September the 7th in Newark, so I will resume my blog just before then.


Sunday, 13th of August : Nashville: Our final show of this leg. I had a last look around town before heading to the venue. Kate sat in for Drew for the last time. The show was great. Roger headed off immediately afterwards to New York, so the remaining band members headed for the rooftop bar of the hotel for a farewell drink.


Saturday, 12th of August : Nashville: Our only free day in Nashville, so I immediately headed into town. Broadway is lined with bars, which on Saturday afternoon all had bands playing Country and Western music. It would seem to be a popular destination for hen parties, whose favoured mode of transport was pedal driven four wheeled bars on wheels. Having seen this, I headed out of town again and explored the Music Row area. This is two streets filled with recording studios, song publishers and record companies. Just round the corner from my hotel I noticed Rudy's Jazz Club. I returned in the evening not knowing what to expect. The club was small and atmospheric and the Bottom 40 band that were playing that evening were fantastic. On this occasion they featured the amazing Keith Carlock ( Steely Dan ) on drums. All the players were great and the writing and arrangements, by leader Michael Whittaker, were interesting and flexible enough to show off the considerable musical talents of all the band members.


Friday, 11th of August : Philadelphia / Nashville: We woke up to a rather sinister alarm going off in the hotel, accompanied by the message 'Do not use the elaevators or the staircases'. A bit worrying when you are on the ninth floor and no parachute. It was a false alarm in fact, as these things usually are. More drama later in the day when we were told that Drew Erikson was in the hospital with some broken bones and would be unable to play the last Philly show. Fortunately, Kate Izor was able to sit in for him and will appear in his stead for the next concerts. Erykah Badu popped by to say hi in the dressing room before the gig.


Thursday, 10th of August : Philadelphia: I found out about the amazing Barnes Collection on the Atlas Obsura website, so headed over there expecting to see a couple of interesting paintings. The gallery is unbelievable. A private collection by the incredible Dr Albert Barnes, a succesful chemist who sunk his money into art rather than stocks and bonds and has left as a legacy this amazing collection of paintings. Matisse, Rouseau, Modigliani, Picasso, Renoir, Monet are all represented. The paintings are never loaned to other galleries, so you have to travel to Philly to view them. I was lucky enough to visit on a day when photography was allowed, so have put up a personal selection of my favourites on Flickr. In the evening I went to Chris' Jazz Cafe and saw a set from the South Philly Big Band who played bsome interesting Thad jones tunes.


Wednesday, 9th of August : Philadelphia: Morning workout. Swim. Off to show. Play. Return. Drinks in the bar. Another hard day at the office. lol


Tuesday, 8th of August : Washington / Philadelphia: We fly into Philly and perform the first of three shows at the Wells Fargo Arena. I look forward to checking out Philadelphia as I don't know it very well. Another cracking show. A few members of Yes are at the show as they have concerts in town also. I recall enjoying 'Close To The Edge' quite a lot at the time, but have lost track of their music since.


Monday, 7th of August : Washington: A rather wet and windy day in Washington, so planned sightseeing and kayaking didn't happen. Not much to report or show, so have posted a couple of excellent photos by Kate Izor that happen to feature me.


Sunday, 6th of August : Washington: Since we have had 2 consecutive shows in Washington, we have 2 days off before moving on to Philadelphia. I walked round most of the historic buildings in Washington proper and had a nice penne arrabiata at Flavio in the evening.


Saturday, 5th of August : Washington: Our second show day in Washington. I tried to find somewhere to buy postcards, to no avail. I think the internet has killed the art of postcard sending. In many ways today is an exact repeat of yesterday. Bus to venue at 4pm. Soundcheck. Dinner. About an hour hanging, then on with the show. Since I don't have to go on stage till 'Brick' I have the opportunity to warm up properly and even get a bit of practise done. As this blog continues and I run out of things to talk about, I may start to outline my practise regime! Great show. Back to the bar. Glass of wine. Bed.


Friday, 4th of August : Washington: Our first show day in Washington. Earlier in the day I took a walk down to the Lincoln Memorial. Very impressive and the location of many memorable scenes from films. Since we are within spitting distance of Donald Trumps headquarters I wondered if the atmosphere at the gig would be different on this occasion. If anything, the crowd was more with Roger than ever. A fun show with good playing from everyone in the band. A quiet drink back at the hotel before bed.


Thursday, 3rd of August : Washington: A free day in Washington. I found a place to rent canoes and kayaks close by our hotel. Back at the hotel I messaged around for potential sailors, but no one was up for it on this occasion. I hired a kayak and spent a pleasant couple of hours paddling around. The weather was glorious till the last 10 minutes or so. I missed the rainstorm that followed luckily. A chicken burrito and a glass of Merlot for dinner. An episode of Star Trek then bed.


Wednesday, 2nd of August : Chicago / Detroit / Washington: We leave Chicago today. On the way to the airport Kate finds out that Roger and the girls are stranded in New York due to bad weather. At one point there is a strong possibility that the show will have to be cancelled. luckily by the time we arrive at Detroit we hear that they got a plane to fly, despite the weather, and will arrive just before the start. The show must go on! As the band and Roger go on stage the house lights are switched on which wrong foots everyone. It feels like we are doing our very first show again. A few mistakes but a very good vibe. Into the vans after 'Comfortably Numb' and off to Washington in no time.


Tuesday, 1st of August : Chicago: This is the day I finally went up the Sears Tower ( although it has been renamed the Willis Tour. Something to do with Bruce Willis I think. You all saw 'Die Hard' ). The queue wasn't too long as the weather was a bit changeable, so you could end up seeing nothing but clouds from the top. It takes a minute in the elavator to get to the skydeck. The view is spectacular. I took a Lot of pictures. Chicago has many interesting buildings, including the very high church, which you can see from above in one of the shots. The Ledge is a perspex box that juts out the side of the building.


Monday, 31st of July : Chicago: Another very chilled day for me. Joey sent me an interesting picture from Louisville, Kentuky. Some of the differences between the USA and Europe are amazing.


Sunday, 30th of July : Chicago: Everyone was a little tired from yesterday's gig. Dave, Simon and I still managed the Insanity workout, which thankfully for my back, was mainly streching. I walked a lot and had a little play in one of the hotels back rooms. In the evening Jon Lemon had arranged a dinner at the GT Fish and Oyster bar. Roger and the girls were absent on this occasion as they are at the Newport Folk Festival performing with the legendary John Prine.


Saturday, 29th of July : Chicago / Milwaukee / Chicago: We travel to Wisconson today for a show. Unusually, the band will go by bus. The drive is about 2 and a half hours so I guess it would probably take as long to fly. We are spoiled!! lol I signed a few albums that I have produced or played on for Albumman Compton ( real name on driver license ). I haven't seen some of those records for a Long time! 'The Beach Boys' by The Beach Boys, 'Swimmer' by the Big Dish and even a GI Orange album. All vinyl. Another hugely enjoyable show then back to Chicago on the bus.


Friday, 28th of July : Chicago: The last Chicago show is today. The United Arena is starting to feel like a residency! No Eddie Vedder tonight, I met up with Alexis and Wally Danczak in the break. Alexis cut my hair a few days ago and as she was clearly a music fan, I invited her and her dad to the show. They seemed to quite enjoy it. I was knackered by the time I got back to the hotel, so headed to bed for an early night.


Thursday, 27th of July : Chicago: Another day wandering the streets of Chicago. I saw some interesting things, but it was too cloudy to go up the Sears Tower. In the evening I headed to the Jazz Showcase. The club has been going since 1947 and is a haven for Bebop. The Wallace Roney Quintet were exellent with Ben Soloman in Coltrane mode on both tenor and soprano.


Wednesday, 26th of July : Chicago / St Paul / Chicago: A day trip to St Paul for a show. We flew in. Had a fantastic show. The kids were splendid. I had a good night. Flew back to Chicago.


Tuesday, 25th of July : Chicago: I missed the workout again today. The band has been invited to the Cubs versus White Sox baseball game by John Cusack. Yay! We headed to Wrigley Field and were treated royally. Two boxes had been set aside for us, as everyone in the band wanted to go. A great day was had by all, with the Cubs prevailing over their home town rivals by 7 goals to 2. I had another wander around town in aid of my back and found a suitable barber shop for a quick trim. St. Paul tomorrow.


Monday, 24th of July : Chicago: Spent most of the day wandering round Chicago. Watched the dodgy 'Wolverine' in the evening.


Sunday, 23rd of July : Chicago: The second Chicago show today. I managed to injure my back moving furniture, so no Insanity for a bit. At the soundcheck we were pleasantly surprised to find Eddie Vedder onstage. I met him in 2012 at the Sandy Relief Concert at Madison Square Garden, so I knew he would be letting rip on 'Comfortably Numb'. He killed it! The whole show was amazing. We repaired to the bar at the hotel after the performance. There were many Rock 'N' Roll anecdotes and exchanges of guitar picks. A fine day.


Saturday, 22nd of July : Chicago: The first Chicago show is today. After a coffee and some toast and jam I headed to the Untied centre early to get some playing in. The show was excellent with the band and Roger playing their socks off. I met Congroy and his film star friend Geretta Geratta in the break. I will have to watch 'Demons' and 'Rats: Night Of Terror' now !! Back to the hotel for a quiet drink in the bar with Pompey, Kate and Dave before heading to bed.


Friday, 21st of July : Chicago: Another chance to see a bit of Chicago, but the weather decides to go all unpredictable again. I saw an excellent exhibit at the Museum for Contempory Art. It was by Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg. It featured a gigantic new work along with some old favourites. Dinner at the very good Vietnamese restaurant Le Colonial.


Thursday, 20th of July : Chicago / Columbus / Chicago: Early insanity to give us plenty of time for the trip to Columbus. Drew joined us for the first time today and did very well. We flew to Columbus and got to the Nationwide Arena around 4pm. Soundcheck as usual. Chicken Rogan Josh for dinner. A great show, with some dissent during Dogs, but overall a wonderful reception from the Columbus crowd. Roger introduced me with a slightly less thick Scottish accent tonight, so I got a nice cheer. lol


Wednesday, 19th of July : Chicago: A rest day in Chicago started predictably with a wander round the locale. Once I got my bearings I headed along the riverside and picked up some supplies on the way back to the hotel. Jonathan mentioned the beach, which I had to check out. It was quite crowded and the water temparature reminded me too much of Scotland to venture in. No need to go into Lake Michigan to get all wet however. After a nice hamburger at a riverside retaurant with a good view of the evening fireworks, the heavens opened. I waited in a doorway for twenty minutes without the downpour letting up, so I braved the storm and was soaked to the skin within a dozen steps. As I reached the hotel the rain abruptly stopped. Oh well.


Tuesday, 18th of July : Atlanta / Greensboro / Chicago: Early Insanity to accomodate a midday departure. We arrived in Greensboro around 3pm, which gave me plenty of time to get some practise in. I also recorded a bit of sax for the forthcoming Deaf School album which I will post off to Clive ( Langer ) shortly. I would tell you if we had a bad show. Tonight was a great show. Straight to the airport afterwards and on to Chicago, where we will be for a couple of weeks!


Monday, 17th of July : Atlanta: We are in a hotel in the outskirts of Atlanta, so not much happening. A day to recuperate.


Sunday, 16th of July : Miami / Atlanta: I woke up to the start of the Wimbledon men's final. It was great seeing Roger Federer having a historic eighth win. Done and dusted long before we had to leave for Atlanta. The other Roger was in great form for the show. Another fab audience. Back to the hotel for a quiet drink before bed.


Saturday, 15th of July : Miami: I felt something in my left calf during today's Insanity training. It didn't stop me wandering around Miami, though I did take the monorail part of the way back from Miami Beach later in the afternoon. Had a nice swim in the hotel pool before getting changed for Azniv's birthday dinner. It was at the excellent Full Bloom; a vegan restaurant on the Miami Beach. We had a lot of fun and ended the evening at a guitar shop close by at around 1.30am. Gus failed to buy Azniv a birthday guitar, but did manage to add a new bass to his collection!


Friday, 14th of July : Miami: Got my washing back from the cleaners. Explored a bit more. Had a swim.


Thursday, 13th of July : Miami: Watched some tennis before heading down to the American Airlines Arena. Spent a bit of time hunting for a reed that works. During soundcheck we discovered that the Miami mayor had banned the kids who were to perform on 'Brick' from appearing with Roger. This was due to pressure from christian evangelists and pro Israel groups. Replacements were found and Roger made an excellent speech which can be heard here. The Miami audience were probably the loudest so far. The band and Roger rocked.


Wednesday, 12th of July : Miami: The wet and windy weather seems to have followed us from New Orleans. Working out and watching Andy Murray get knocked out of the tournament occupied me till the rain eased off. I need to top up my supply of oats and pick up some milk so I headed downtown. I also need to get some washing done, so took it with me and found a 'Fluff and Fold' that should have everything clean by tomorrow. ( My Scottish blood won't let me pay the exorbitant hotel prices for the same lol ). A very relaxing day and still have little clue what Miami is all about.


Tuesday, 11th of July : New Orleans / Tampa / Miami: Straight to the airport for our flight to Tampa. Arrived around 4pm and onstage for soundcheck. I had a couple of guests this evening who had flown in from Orlando. I got to chat with them briefly before the show and at half time. One of them was Sheila Gehlbach, my cousin, who I haven't seen for 45 years!! It was fun talking to Sheila and friend Rita, who seemed to be enjoying Tampa and had a blast at the show. Rita gave me her 8 ball medal she won at the state tournament the day before. ( see below ). Great show. Off to the airport and Miami by 1am.


Monday, 9th of July : New Orleans: My last day in New Orleans. The weather stopped me doing as much exploring as I would have liked. Luckily, Wimbledon is in full swing so I followed a couple of games. Back to Frenchmen Street for more jazzing


Sunday, 9th of July : New Orleans: Another wet and windy day. Luckily it cleared up later in the day, so I was able to go walkabout once again. I made it to Frenchmen Street, where there are a lot of bars with live music. If I have the energy, I am going back later with my horn.......

........ We had an excellent birthday dinner for Jon Lemon at Josephine Estelle. In spite of being stuffed I went back to the Spotted Cat where there was a great band playing. I sat in for an extended Reggae version of 'Softly As In A Morning Sunrise', which was great fun. Home by 2am.


Saturday, 8th of July : New Orleans: We play at the Smoothie King Centre tonight. It is great to be playing in New Orleans; a first for me. The audience were lively. The show was good fun. Onward and upward.


Friday, 7th of July : New Orleans: I have never been to New Orleans, so I am looking forward to exploring. The weather has followed us from Dallas, so I watched Andy Murray win his match at Wimbledon to get to the second week. By afternoon it was hot and sticky but dry enough for a wander. The historic French Quarter was fascinating with names from the birth of jazz everywhere. I found a carpark by the Mississippi for an hours practise. In the evening I had a look around for sitting in opportunities. Being Friday night Blues, Rock and Zydeco were more in evidence than jazz, so I settled for a couple of beers listening to a traditional band on Bourbon street.


Thursday, 6th of July : Dallas / Houston / New Orleans: The overnight thunderstorms had calmed down by the time we had to leave for Houston. Roger's jet was ready for us when we arrived at the private airfield. Apparently we have been sharing the plane with Neil Diamond, who is also on tour. From now on it is all ours. We arrived in Houston in good time. The show went very well. New Orleans here we come!


Wednesday, 5th of July : Dallas: Our last day off in Dallas. Insanity at 11 as usual. In the afternoon I went down to the creek for a couple of hours practise on the saxophone. No turtles in evidence, but a few herons and a carp or 2. I felt like an early night, so returned to my favourite Dallas Thai restaurant and was in bed by 11.


Tuesday, 4th of July : Dallas: Independence Day. I had a wander downtown to see if anything was happening. Not a lot is the answer. There will mbe fireworks this evening, so we plan to have a band dinner, then find a rooftop somewhere to see the show.........

........ Stirr on Main is the place we ended up. It is in the trendy Deep Ellum area of Dallas. Good hamburgers. Simon, Dave and I walked the 2 and a half miles back to our hotel in the very pleasant evening warmth.


Monday, 3rd of July : Dallas: Show day in Dallas. Had a nice lunch with Jess, Holly, Pompey and Simon. We got to the venue around 5, in time for a soundcheck and dinner. Just as well I am working out every day! lol A fun show with a great Texan crowd.


Sunday, 2nd of July : Dallas: A sleepy Sunday in Texas. Pompey, Simon, Dave, Jess, Holly, Sean, Kate and myself all started the 'Insanity' workout from the beginning again today. We will see who stays the course! I had a wander along the Katy trail; a disused railway repurposed as a walk and cycleway across North Dallas. Very pleasant. It reminded me of the Amtrak cycleways to be found all over the UK. Picked up some milk for my homemade muesli back at the hotel. Not sure what plans for the evening the rest of the band have. I will see if anyone fancies a stroll to the local Thai place.........

.............. No takers on the Thai trip. Just as well as the walk was a bit further than I imagined and I chose to sit outside in the considerable heat rather than catching a cold from the Arctic air conditioning inside. Nice yellow curry though.


Saturday, 1st of July : Los Angeles / San Antonio / Dallas: We have an early start since we are travelling east and it is 3 hours on the plane to San Antonio. Soundcheck at 4.30. It is hot, humid and windy here in Texas..........

................Another great show in spite of the early morning start. ( If we have a bad one I will tell you! ). I was half expecting an adverse reaction to the Trump bashing in 'Pigs', but the San Antonio audience seemed to be of the same opinion as Roger. In Dallas in time for a margarita in the bar.


Friday, 30th of June : Los Angeles: A quiet day. Some swimming. A trip to The Grove farmers market. A bit of shopping. In the evening Jon, Jon, Andrew, Simon and myself reprised our dinner outing to the excellent Ago. On this occasion we were treated to a sumptious meal by Abel, the manager of Ago. Many thanks Abel.


Thursday, 29th of June : Los Angeles: Another beautiful day in LA. Last Insanity workout. Some swimming. Some playing at my favourite car park. Off to see Azniz perform at the Bootleg Theatre. More to follow.............

..............Bedouine were excellent. Azniv's performance was fantastic and her band with Gus on bass and guests Holly, Jess and Jonathan sounded great. Their support from Chimney was also solid.


Wednesday, 28th of June : Los Angeles: A rest day in LA. Gina popped over to join in with one of the last of this cycle of Insanity workouts. We went over to the farmers market before she headed back to SF. A very relaxing day.


Tuesday, 27th of June : Los Angeles: The day of the last LA show. My friend Gina had driven up from San Francisco and we had a pleasant lunch up on the Strip. A very enjoyable show with Roger and the band performing really well. I had a drink with Gina and her sister Lisa after the concert, then headed back to the hotel. It was nice to catch up with Robbie ( Wyckoff ) and Victoria who I got to know during Desert Trip.


Monday, 26th of June : Los Angeles: I woke up late and pottered around Melrose and Sunset. No luck in finding a 'travel' ukelele from either the Guitar Centre or Sam Ash music stores. I got back to a message from Andrew inviting us to the Queen gig that evening. At 7.30 Jon, Brie, Andrew, Dave and myself headed to the Hollywood Bowl. I enjoyed the show and stayed behind with Dave to lig and get a shot of him with one of his idols; Brian May.


Sunday, 25th of June : Portland / Los Angeles: After our regular arduous morning workout, Dave and I headed out for coffee. I had been told by Jon Lemon that Stumptown Coffee Roasters had great brews, so that is where we went. He was right. We then headed down to the river, where all manner of happenings were happening. The highlight was the quartet of extremely young rockers banging out metal tunes mainly in 7/4 ( a time signature ). 'Keep Portland Weird' was being taken very seriously this particular Sunday. The show was great. The lasers failed to ignite during 'Eclipse', so Roger stopped the show and had us repeat a section of the song to give the audience a chance of seeing the spectacular effect. Thankfully, on second firing all went to plan with the usual impressive result. Back home to LA after the show.


Saturday, 24th of June : Los Angeles / Tacoma / Portland: Back to work! After exercising ( Pompey, Simon, Dave and myself ) we jumped in the van and headed for Burbank airport ( now called Bob Hope airport ). Our plane was waiting and 150 minutes later we were in Seattle...........A bit of drama as we arrived. The girls had forgotten to bring their wigs, so had to make a quick dash to a local wig emporium to pick up substitutes for tonights show. Luckily something similar was in stock, so the Seattle audience were none the wiser. Tacoma was the biggest audience so far. The Dome was big and echoey, but that didn't stop everyone having a very good time. Straight to Portland after the show for us.


Friday, 23rd of June : Los Angeles: Another day off in the glorious sunshine. Time to pick up my laundry from Holloway Laundry, cleaners to the stars. Later I headed down to the Cedar Sinai carpark for my afternoon practise. In the evening we were all invited to attend Azniv's ( Gus' girlfriend ) album launch party. It was at their very cool house / studio near downtown. Much fun was had. More info about the album can be had at the Azniv Korkejian website.


Thursday, 22nd of June : Los Angeles: A free day in LA. I headed to the Beverly Centre to pick up a new computer, then spent most of the rest of the day setting it up. It is working well now and my blog is up and running again as you can see. lol I took a break and went to Barney's Beanery for a beer and chilli. On return I watched a dodgy Japanese B movie that was clearly a precursor to the Hunger Games, but with more killing and blood!


Wednesday, 21st of June : Los Angeles: The day of the second LA gig. If anything the show was even better than last night. Less nerves and more energy. Roger was in good voice in spite of giving a powerful performance the previous night. I managed to meet up with Rowan Wheeler, daughter of my good friend Peter Williams. We headed back to the hotel bar after the show where Roger went through details of the show with Jon Lemon, our new sound man. The great sax player Mel Collins was there with band mates from King Crimson who also had a show that night. We chewed the fat into the early hours.


Tuesday, 20th of June : Los Angeles: The day of the first LA gig. After the usual morning insanity, I took an Uber over to Melrose Mac, where they had managed to install a new hard drive in my Mac. When i got the computer back to the hotel all seemed well. Unfortunately before I left for the show I had a crash similar to the issue I had before. I suspect a visit to the Apple store is in the near future.............. Soundcheck at five. Show at eight. It was great to meet up with my friend Kevin Laffey who said nice things about the show on Facebook. The Los Angeles residents in the band were particularly pumped up and maybe a little nervous. No need. It was a great show, with lots of energy and spirit. It was nice to hang in the bar with Kevin after the show rather than the usual ‘runner’.


Monday, 19th of June : Los Angeles: My computer is still out of action, so hanging by the pool seemed like a good idea.


Sunday, 18th of June : Los Angeles: A lovely day in La La land. In the evening I got together with Jon, Jon, Andrew, Brie and Dave for some Italian food at the excellent Ago, part owned by Robert De Niro.


Saturday, 17th of June : Los Angeles: The first of three days of in Los Angeles. My first port of call is the Apple store in the Beverley Centre. I got the bad news that my hard drive was corrupt but was directed to Melrose Mac to have a solid state drive installed. I miscalculated the distance from La Cienega to Highland, so one hour later I rolled up at the Melrose store to drop off my computer.


Friday, 16th of June : Phoenix / Las Vegas / Los Angeles: Off to Vegas today for a flying visit! What a great show. Still having Mac problems, so hoping the good people at Apple will help me out x A great show in Vegas. I just got my Macbook back from MelroseMac and so far it is looking good!!


Thursday, 15th of June : Phoenix: I am having a few problems with my trusty Macbook Pro, so there may be a day or two with no updates. Hopefully Apple at the Beverly Centre, LA will be able to sort it out! Fingers crossed. Aside from that, another gorgeous day in Phoenix.


Wednesday, 14th of June : Phoenix: I went down to the venue a bit earlier with the girls, so that I could get a bit of playing in before the soundcheck. The band had the usual 'huddle' before going onstage. I then returned to the dressing room for more playing before my bass feature lol. Disconcertingly, I was unable to hear the band from backstage so made sure I got to the stage in plenty of time before 'Money' in the second set. Another fab concert and great audience. Drinks in the hotel bar after the show.


Tuesday, 13th of June : Phoenix: A rest day in sunny ( very ) Phoenix. We are in a resort hotel outside town, so lots of chilling by the pool. In the evening we went to an excellent and unusual Japanese restaurant called Nobuo. Whole deep fried minature crabs was first on the menu. Interesting.


Monday, 12th of June : San Francisco / Sacramento / Phoenix: We bussed over to Oakland airport for a quick hop in the jet to Sacramento. Another memorable show which featured particularly talented kids during 'Brick'. Straight to Phoenix after the show.


Sunday, 11th of June : San Francisco: Our last day off in San Francisco. After an hour or so in a local car park practising, I took BART over to Orinda to check out the Penfield family home. In the evening it was off To El Charro in Lafayette for some excellent Mexican and margarita's. My favourite is the jalapeno chicken enchilada! Back to SF and a quick visit to the Specs dive bar where Holly sat in with the band and sung a couple of songs.


Saturday, 10th of June : San Francisco / Oakland / San Francisco: I had a relaxing day before setting off to Oakland Coliseum on the bus around 4. I managed to meet up with Len and Leslie Ofiana, Jim and Gina and Susie and Dave in hospitality at the interval. It was a fun show and the band had a warm reception by the Oakland crowd. Back to SF for a night cap.


Friday, 9th of June : San Francisco: Another beautiful day in the city by the bay. I managed to organise a bike ride with Holly and Andrew. Holly and I hired bicycles and Andrew rode his trusty Brompton. We cycled from Fisherman's Wharf, along the bay to the Golden Gate. We then cycled across the bridge and got as far as Sausalito before taking the ferry back via Tiberon. We stopped frequently for Andrew to take pictures of his Brompton. These will appear in due course on the Brompton website alongside shots of his bike in exotic locations across the globe. I had so many pics that I have linked below to flickr. In the evening I had pizza at the world famous North Beach pizza.


Thursday, 8th of June : San Francisco: I had a practise on the roof of a nearby car park, then explored the Mission district with Gina and Holly. In the evening we went out of town to visit Peter and Clare Williams and family. Peter cooked some excellent food and as usual had fantastic wine to go with. It was nice to see Ruth, who was visiting from Australia. A great time was had by all.


Wednesday, 7th of June : San Francisco / San Jose / San Francisco: A gig day. It took us about 90 minutes to get to San Jose in the bus. I got to watch Roger routine the local kids for their performance during 'Brick'. He is great with them. The show was great fun with another fanatastic audience. I got to hang briefly with old friend Peter Williams and family in the break. Back to SF after the show and a quiet drink in the bar with Roger and the band.


Tuesday, 6th of June : San Francisco: I had a practise in a local car garage before trying to organise a bicycle trip to the Golden Gate bridge. Holly was the only taker and we had a nice ride, but didn't make it over the bridge on this occasion. A great little band was playing at Castognoli's, so we hung out for a while before heading back to the hotel. On the way we ran into Gus and Joey in a record store. In the evening it was back to North beach for pizza. Nearby a great blues band was playing in a bar in Green Street. We hung out for a few tunes before calling it a night.


Monday, 5th of June : San Francisco: A beautiful day in San Francisco. I wandered round Chinatown, North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf with Holly. We had a liitle lunch on the Wharf then retired to our glamorous hotel. In the evening, after some excellent spagetti and meatballs at the Stinking Rose, we had a nightcap at Tupelo's, where a jam was in progress. Sans horn I was unable to sit in. Next time.


Sunday, 4th of June : Denver / San Francisco: Another show at the Denver Pepsi centre today. I spent some time in a hot bath recovering from todays workout lol Another great Denver audience who made us feel very appreciated. The dancing kids during 'Brick' were particularily good value today! After the show, straight to the airport and off to San Francisco.


Saturday, 3rd of June : Denver: A gig day. Insanity, a swim then off to the Pepsi Centre to do some laundry. Oh, and also a rock 'n roll show!! lol The Denver crowd were fantastic. The band was in good form. Jon Lemon, Trip's replacement had a chance to hear the show, before he takes over in a few days.


Friday, 2nd of June : Denver: A rest day for the band. I explored Denver, then wandered down to the Pepsi centre for a play. In the evening Andrew, Jon and I had some excellent Mexican food. At dinner I found out the distressing news that James ( Trip ) Khalaf has decided to leave the tour. I will not go into the reason benhind his decision. Suffice it to say that losing the front of house sound engineer that has worked on Roger's most successful tours of the last 20 years is tragic. Trip's other credits include massive tours for Queen, Steely Dan, Madonna and many more. He will be sorely missed.


Thursday, 1st of June : Tulsa / Denver: Insanity as usual in the morining. The group is growing and now includes Sean, Kate, Holly, Simon, Dave and myself. Tulsa is the town the band rehearsed in for Desert Trip last year. Everything feels very familiar. Soundcheck at five as usual. Another splendid show. Some particularly eccentric dancing by some of the kids on 'Brick'. Denver is next on the agenda!


Wednesday, 31st of May : Tulsa: We have a free day in Tulsa. The BOK centre is very close to our hotel, so I wandered over in the afternoon and spent a couple of hours playing. In the evening I headed to the Cellar Dweller bar in hope of hearing some music. Unfortunately the regular band was out of town, so I had a chat to some of the locals before Dave and Victor turned up.


Tuesday, 30th of May : St Louis / Tulsa: Roger called a band meeting to go over some improvements to the show. All very positive. We arrived at the venue around 4pm to the news that the screens that normally descend in the auditorium were malfunctioning and could not be used. Sean organised some footage of the power station that will be used on the back screens to give an impression of the effect. It didn't seem to make any difference to the St Louis audience who were great and very appreciative. Into the vans and off to the airport. Tulsa by 1am.


Monday, 29th of May : St Louis: Memorial day, so St Louis is very quiet ( apart from at the ballpark ). I wandered around town a bit, visiting the river Mississippi, the Gateway Arch and the museum. Later I had a play down by the river and spotted Matt having a run along the shoreline path. Mexican food at Rosalita's then off to bed.


Sunday, 28th of May : Louisville / St Louis: We had an early ( relatively ) check out from the hotel so ended up at the venue around 2.30pm. Did a lot of hanging around, then a quick soundcheck at 5. Another splendid show. It is starting to feel like a tour! Straight to the airport after the show and we were in St Louis in no time.


Saturday, 27th of May : Louisville: Got up late. It is warm but wet in Louisville. One better than London, that tends to favour cold and wet. I had a couple of hours practise at the venue in the late afternoon. In the evening we had a band dinner provided by the promoters John and Craig. The restaurant was the Butchertown Grocery. I had a gigantic chicken and waffles, which was excellent. We had a fun evening and retired relatively early.


Friday, 26th of May : Kansas City / Louisville: Showtime !!!! After a swim we headed to the venue for soundcheck around 4. Onstage at 8.15. A great audience and a warm reception for the band on their debut. Straight to the vans after 'Comfortably Numb'. The jet was waiting for us and we were in Louisville by2am local time. A good start!


Thursday, 25th of May : Kansas City: Insanity followed by a swim in the rooftop pool and a nice chat with Jon. I am currently reading the excellent and thought provoking 'Sapiens", so have plenty to talk about lol. We arrived at the venue in the mid afternoon. After a bite and some ping pong with Gus and Jonathon we rehearsed, then ran the entire show without an audience for the last time. Tomorrow is officially the first date of the tour and I for one am really looking forward to it.


Wednesday, 24th of May : New York / Kansas City: Heading to Kansas City, Mo. We meet our private plane for the first time at Newark airport and in just over 2 hours arrive at KC. We all had a wander round town in the sunshine then met up for a great dinner with Roger in the evening.

 


Tuesday, 23rd of May : New York : A second day off in NYC before heading to Kansas City tomorrow. Insanity at 11am, then a hunt to find a place to have a bit of sax practise. I eventually ended up on the High Line; a disused railway that has been turned into an ariel garden and walkway. No one seemed to mind me playing through a few tunes for an hour or so. Thanks to the young lady that gave me 2 bucks for coffee lol. I then headed to Fanelli's in SoHo to catch up with Mary Lee Kortes; an excellent singer songwriter that I have known since the late 80's!


Monday, 22nd of May : New York : We have a day off in NYC. It is quite wet, so I don't think I will be doing much gallavanting around the city. I decided against getting soaked to the skin on the Williamsburg bridge also. In the evening Gus, Oz, Drew and myself went to see the Mingus Big Band at Jazz Standard on 27th street. A great band with exellent arrangements of some Mingus classics. Seamus Blake rocked on 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat' and I really enjoyed Abraham Burton's solo on 'Jump Monk'. Frank Lacy ( who I sat in with at a jam during the DSOTM tour ) was great as both vocalist and trombonist. ( In spite of some daft 'after the fact' lyrics written by the likes of Elvis Costello and Joni Mitchell ). A very entertaining evening.


Sunday, 21th of May : New York : The day of the dress rehearsal in front of an invited audience. We got to the venue early for last minute clothes fitting by Mimi. There was a definite buzz in the building. Roger routined the kids for 'Brick'. At 6pm we were off! The first set flashed by. It was fun to be onstage with bass in hand for the last tune. I was surprised at how many people had been invited. The new band members clearly have a lot of friends! The second set featured me on 'Money', 'Us And Them' and 'Eclipse'. It is great to be playing those memorable sax solos once again. The show went well and after some mingling with friends backstage we headed back to the hotel for a quiet drink with chips (french fries ) at the bar.


Saturday, 20th of May : New York : Insanity at 12. In the afternoon I took my horn down to the Williamsburg bridge and practised at the same spot frequented by Sonny Rollins all those years ago. In the evening I headed to Smalls to catch the 10.30 set. When I arrived at the door, having queued for 15 minutes, I was told the club was full and to come back for the midnight show. I wandered up the street to the Village Vanguard and as fate would have it, was let in for the second set of Steve Coleman and Five Elements. This was the club where Rollins recorded his seminal "Live at the Village Vanguard" album.


Friday, 19th of May : New York : We rolled into the venue in the afternoon and fine tuned a few songs. Trip and Pompey went over the various routines and procedures for the shows and travelling that make the logistic part of touring run so smoothly. Dav,e Jon and I know how it works, but it was all useful information for the new band members. In the evening I walked down to the Williamsburg Bridge and went half way across. This was the bridge that Sonny Rollins chose to practise on during his three years 'woodshedding' before returning to the jazz scene in 1962 with his classic album 'The Bridge'.


Thursday, 18th of May : New York : The last full run through before our dress rehearsal on Sunday. Friday will be spent tightening up various details in the songs. In the evening I retired to the Perfect Pint in Midtown and had a very pleasant jar or two with Jason Kaufman, Dan Brown's publisher.


Wednesday, 17th of May : New York : Tweaking and refining at the rehearsal, then a complete run through of the set. New York is swelltering now.


Tuesday, 16th of May : New York : Another hard day at the office.....not! My bass part in 'Brick' has been re-instated. Yay! We played the set from top to bottom with all the bells and whistles. Sounds pretty good. The temparature has gone up into the ninties, so a stroll in the warm evening is called for.


Monday, 15th of May : New York : Insanity at 9am. Rehearsal at 11.30am. Finish at 8pm. Bed by midnight. Rock 'n Roll.


Sunday, 14th of May : New York : Back to rehearsing. The new songs are taking shape well. Got to see some of the spectacular special effects, which you will have to wait for the shows to see. Back at the hotel Trip, Pompey, Dave and myself put the world to rights in the bar later that evening. lol


Saturday, 13th of May : New York : Our day off and New York is cold and very wet! I decided to catch the afternoon jam at Smalls. The house band were fantastic, so I was looking forward to sitting in. As happens at jams however, when I got up the rhythm section changed personnel entirely. To put it politely, these players made me appreciate even more the fantastic jazz musicians I play with in London and the Czech Republic. lol In jazz, the wrong rhythm section can make even the best horn player sound like a rank amateur. On this occasion I did! I hope for better luck next time!! My consolation prize was a couple of slices of excellent New York pizza from Joe's.


Friday, 12th of May : New York : Ran the set. Some good improvements to the new songs made. Heard we have a day off on Saturday!


Thursday, 11th of May : New York : After an early morning insanity workout with Pompey and Joey we headed to the rehearsal venue, which is set up more like the full show. It felt good to be on a full size stage with lights etc. The show is going to be amazing.


Wednesday, 10th of May : Southampton / New York : The band travel to New York City to begin production rehearsals. Dave headed off in the evening to see Yngwie Malmsteen. I headed to greenwich Village to catch some jazz. neither of us had any takers from other members of the band.


Tuesday, 9th of May : Southampton : Our final day in Southampton. Roger invited us to his house for lunch. A good time was had by all.


Monday, 8th of May : Southampton : We ran the entire set from top to bottom.


Saturday, 6th of May : Southampton : The last few days of rehearsing in the Hamptons. Pompey has persuaded myself, Joey, Jess and Holly to join him in a daily ‘Insanity’ workout. It is a bit more strenuous than my London regimen of gardening and cycling.


Friday, 5th of May : New York : Arrived at the Late Show studios at 12 for soundcheck. Roger will perform ‘Déjà Vu’ from the new album with band and strings. I wasn’t able to persuade Nigel that the tune needed sax, so I will be spectating. The appearance went well. The audiences reacted very warmly to Roger and his new song and band. We had some sushi in midtown before heading back to Southampton.


Thursday, 4th of May : Southampton : Rehearsed as usual then bussed into New York City in preparation for tomorrows appearance on The Late Show.


Wednesday, 3rd of May : Southampton : Met Mimi who has sorted out our stage clothes. I have stopped having a play in the nearby forest having been warned of the dangers of ticks and lyme disease. Much safer in the studio sound booth but not as pretty.

Monday, 1st of May : Southampton : Another good day rehearsing. We have played all the tunes in the set at least once. I may have an unexpected sax solo during the extended end to ‘Eclipse’. Roger will make the final decision in the coming week.


Sunday, 30th of April : Southampton : We are getting through the set pretty quickly. I have a keyboard part on ‘WYWH” to learn before tomorrow. I lost my bass part on ‘Brick’ to Gus Seyffert. Drat!


Saturday, 29th of April 2017 : Southampton : Roger arrives! Everything went smoothly at the rehearsal. The band celebrated with some lobster at a local restaurant. In the evening Mark Fenwick took the band to a nice local fish place and fun was had by all.

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Friday, 28th of April 2017 : Southampton : Another day getting set up and running a few tunes with Nigel at the helm. Definite indications that the band is going to rock!


Thursday, 27th of April 2017 : Southampton : Met most of the rest of the new band members. I drove to the rehearsal space with Drew Erikson, the new keyboardist. Some unfamiliar faces in the crew along with the old hands ( Alfie, Tim, Matt and Rich ) .


Wednesday, 26th April 2017 : London/NY/Southampton : Met up with Dave Kilminster in the Virgin lounge at Heathrow around midday. The start of another big adventure. Nigel Godrich, the producer of Roger’s new album was also flying with us. We arrived at the hotel in the early evening and had a pleasant meal with Trip Khalaf who is tour managing, doing out front sound, tour accounting. Jet lag kicked in around 11pm.