Random excerpts from Craigums European travelogue:
Devon and I had avoided touring Europe for 10 years. It always seemed so cliché. There were always so many other more adventurous, exotic and exciting destinations to tour – Philippines, New Zealand, Brasil, Thailand, Israel, etc. "Why go to Europe? Everybody goes there, let’s try something different." It wasn’t that we didn’t want to go to Europe, it was that we wanted to go other places first. Eventually though, the four of us ended up accumulating too many Euro-penpals to put it off any longer. We knew enough people that could keep a tour well-oiled that we finally just said, "Let’s do it." And so we did.
ARTIMUS PYLE spent the two months previous to our trip already touring Europe. They learned many valuable and economical lessons that Robert then applied to the WHN? Tour. For instance, Robert assured us hiring a driver was unnecessary (he is, after all, a driving machine) and he made it clear I should bring my own amp. Apparently the ones they rented lacked any real power or gotdamn-kickass distortion. So, thanks to their financial and logistic disasters we were already a leg up.
I bought a $200 flight case so I could bring my amp and showed up at the airport with my backpack, my guitar, and a 77-pound green box containing pure rock amplitude. Kate and Roxy dropped me off and were long gone by the time the lady behind the counter informed me that my green box was going to cost $330 to fly with me. I couldn’t really throw it in a cab and send it home so I pulled out ye old Visa and gave the green box a you’d-better-be-worth-it look as it slid down the conveyor belt and into that unseen part of the airport where luggage is treated like discarded pistachio shells.
First road sign we saw upon driving through Germany – an exit sign at the airport reading "Ausfaurt." It seemed there was an ‘assfart’ sign every few miles, a source of comedy that never seemed to lose value. Other signs: Weinerwald, Grossebutte War, Gutte Fart.
Ralf was our key point person for this tour. He spearheaded most of the booking and we are sharing the bill with his band, MY OWN LIES, for the first couple weeks. He is a big, likeable German with a likeable family despite his 7 year old son giving me open wounds with a wooden sword 20 minutes after we arrived at his house.
Devon slept most of our flight. In the first two days of being here he has continued to sleep two hours for every one that he is awake. Max and I, on the other hand, have slept no more than 40 minutes since the day before we left.
We are relocated to Martin’s (MY OWN LIES bassist) house in the big bad city of Mannheim. Devon continues to sleep and I spend all day hungry because there is a chocolate factory in town and that is all one can smell (unless one is using the shelf-style German toilet).
Eventually Robert shows up. After his ARTIMUS tour ended Robert's wife, Karoline, flew out and the two of them spent a couple weeks on their own little tour, no doubt doing dirty married things in every semi-private place they could find. He dropped her off at the airport, drove to the Netherlands to pick up our shirts, got pulled over for driving into and out of the Netherlands so quickly (a standard procedure for drug runners since the Netherlands are so lax with narcotics laws), and drove to Martin’s house where we all got to see each other for the first time in 3 months. It was a happy occasion celebrated by a big garlic-laden feast and our first band practice in who-knows-how-long.
The local church must be having problems with its bells. It chimes every 30 minutes but instead of a series of gongs indicative of the time it just seems to go on for minutes. If I didn’t know any better I’d say it was about 13,425 o’clock.
This morning we were awoken by dueling Fiats. Meep meep. Eet. Eet eet. Meep meep meep. Eet eet eet eet. Eet. Meep. Eet eet. Meep meep meep. Eet Meep Eet Meep Eet Meep…. By about the fifth minute of this we finally started laugh but I was sure some gunshots would ring out at any minute by someone with no appreciation for the absurd.
Devon brought with him a 12-page list of random items he will not die until he finds. Among these items are: Suske en Wiske comics (Belgium), Death SS records (Italy), floaty pens (Denmark), über strong sun screen for his girlfriend (?), Thunderbirds toys (UK), Commando and Battle comics (UK), Airfix HO Scale Military Figures (UK), French Foreign Legion militaria (France), Lemmy's White Line Fever bio (found it in English in Sweden on sale), Diabolik parapehanlia (Italy)…
He also brought a large blue duffel bag with costumes, including his outfit for Wez of the Road Warrior movie. I can imagine us packing up each night: Cymbal bag? Check. Green amp box? Check. Bass? Check. Three-foot wide chrome shoulder pads? Check.
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