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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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.