Roger Waters Tour blog revisited

From 2006 - 2008 I toured with Roger Waters on his "The Dark Side Of The Moon" tour. During this time I kept a blog of my day to day activities. On December the 12th 2012 Roger's "Wall" band plus myself will perform at the hurricane Sandy benefit concert at Madison Square Garden along with Bruce Springsteen, Paul MacCartney, The Who among others. This is a short blog charting my activities during that time.

Thursday, 13th of December : New York / London: Our last day in New York. Only the London contingent left at the hotel. I took the opportunity to do a little last minute shopping and take pictures of street signs in SoHo. ( My forthcoming jazz album 'South Of Houston' features song titles that are street names from that area, so I figured some pics might be useful ). Graham, Dave, Harry, Pompey ( security ) and myself met in the lobby at 4.30 and were bussed through busy surface streets to JFK. The flight was unremarkable apart from the presence of Salman Rushdie on the plane. We landed at 8am and I am currently sitting in my kitchen in Dollis Hill writing the final few words of this all too brief blog.......

Wednesday, 12th of December : New York : We set off for MSG at 2pm. I'm having a relaxing morning chilling and checking out some big band charts of jazzy Christmas songs that I'm going to be playing with Duncan Fraser's band on Sunday at Googlies in Enfield.......... We were bussed to MSG in plenty of time for the 4.30 soundcheck, then headed to catering for a bite, i had a warm up upstairs, then it was onto stage to check everything works and run the set. All went fairly smoothly apart from a video glitch that held us up a bit. It was great to see the kids 'Brick' dance routine for the first time. We all hung around for the next 3 hours waiting for the show to kick off with Bruce Springsteen.

Bruce did a storming set as expected. We were on the turntable as he finished, then were rotated into position ready to go. A bit of a last minute panic from Killer as he had forgotten to bring his in ear monitors, so one of the crew had to rush back to the dressing room and bring his bag onstage. That done and we were off with 'In The Flesh'. I enjoyed every minute of the performance and I know Roger did too. Eddie Vedder was a great addition, as were the kids.

After the show I got a chance to chat briefly with the great Mark Rivera, saxist with the Billy Joel band. Everyone was in their own dressing rooms so it was difficult to see many of the other players, but I did run into Jake Clemons ( nephew of Clarence ) and had a longer talk with Clark Gayton, trombonist in the Springsteen band. I caught a bit of Eric Clapton's set and the Stones, but with the auditorium being full there was nowhere to get a good view of the stage. We saw snippets of most of the acts on monitors backstage. The aftershow party wasn't scheduled to start till 1.30 at a club downtown. By the end of the show jetlag had kicked in so the band headed for the hotel rather than partying all night.

The whole experience was amazing and it was great to be part of the team again for a short while .... and I finally got a photo of Roger and I in the dressing room after our performance!

Tuesday, 11th of December : New York : I got down to the rehearsal room an hour early for a bit of practise and a good reed hunt for tomorrow. The rehearsal went to plan, the highlight being Eddie Vedder joining us for a rip roaring version of 'Comfortably Numb'. Film cameras were in evidence, so I suspect a 'behind the scenes' extra on the inevitable concert DVD. Everyone is looking forward to tomorrow. I am writing this around 5pm. Later this evening Roger called a band dinner at an undislosed location somewhere in Manhattan .......

........Guantanamera is where we ended up. It is a great Cuban restaurant well liked by Roger and featuring the amazing Pedrito Martinez Band. We left reluctantly after a couple of sets so that we are fresh for tomorrows big day.

Monday, 10th of December : New York : The first day of rehearsal went well. The band ran through the half hour set a couple of times before Roger arrived. After warmly greeting the crew and band Roger picked up his bass and we launched into the set once more. Most of the rest of the afternoon was spent honing the backing vocals and tweeking the arrangement of "Money". Harry has some kind of bug ( hopefully 24 hour ) so has retired early. Killer and I plan to have a bite to eat and hopefully catch a set or two of Chris Potter's Underground at the 55 Bar.

dave and I had a nice dinner at an Italian on 7th Avenue then headed to the 55 bar at around 10. The gig was sold out and in spite of the doorman recognising Killer from the Wall tour show in Phillidelphia we couldn't get in. Potter and band sounded amazing though even from outside the club!

Sunday, 9th of December : London / New York : Set off at 7am to go to Hearthrow via Harry's gaff. After a slight hiccup due to lack of an ESTA, we hooked up with Snowy and Dave in the executve lounge. No sign of Graham so far. It turned out he was in another lounge and we all met on the plane. It's great to see the guys again. It is amazing how quickly it feels like we never stopped touring together. We got into a rather rainy NYC at around 3pm and were met by a tanned and enthusiastic Trip at the hotel. I am currently writing this after a relaxing soak in the tub. No plans till tomorrows rehearsal, but I may go to the studio for a bit of a play before seeing who is up for a beer this evening.

Wednesday, 5th of December : London : It is very pleasant afternoon in Dollis Hill. Only a few days to go before I fly to New York. It will be great to see Roger and the band again. I am excited about taking to the stage and playing "Money" and "Us And Them" once more. There are a couple of days rehearsal planned, a run through at MSG on the day, then on with the show! I will go through the solos today so that I am up to speed by Monday. Not much to tell at the moment, but I thought I'd get the blog underway anyway. More soon.....