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Monday, September 29, 2014

Whitley Bay Daily Photo 273


A Day Off In LA

So today is the first day off since I arrived here on September 8th. What is a day off when you're touring with a band? A day off is not traveling. Traveling, especially in a group, is hard work and the ennui of mileage, though subtle, leaves its mark.

The view from the office this morning...


I was joined by Adrian, merchandise guru and all-round good guy...


Then by Trev, and eventually by Biff. The Biff breakfast plate is a thing of utter bafflement on this tour...

OK so the plan was that I would spend the day off writing and editing some video for uploading. So, not really a day off but that's OK. I tend not to have a day off when I'm at home so why change the habit of a life time. Then Adrian mentioned he was cabbing up to Amoeba Records - a large store on Sunset Boulevard. About a nano-second later I blurted hey, can I come?  

Hey presto...


 

At breakfast, Biff and I were talking about how much we loved MAD magazine, in particular I recalled reading a paperback anthology of MAD strips when away in Spain with my parents in the mid-60s.  About three minutes in Amoeba I chanced upon this...

 

Adrian got me in position to take what is arguably the definitive edition of The View From The Office series...

A couple of hours later (maybe longer), and still in Amoeba Records, we bumped into Bill Rieflin. Bill heard tell of a great place to get root beer and ice cream floaters. Within a nano-second I blurted, hey, can I come?



 We hopped into Bill's car and drove back along Sunset Boulevard...


and back to the hotel...



A great day out and a fab day off. Later on, alone in my hotel room, listening to the swag from Amoeba, enjoying a sneaky snifter and doing a little writing, I don't mind admitting it was sheer bliss...



Sunday, September 28, 2014

Whitley Bay Daily Photo 272


Leaving Chicago

Leaving The Peninsula this morning. I'll miss the surreal touches of housekeeping that included wrapping anything left about the room in hotel-branded ribbon.

As I was packing I put on Mid-Air by Paul Buchanan. Not a good idea. Tears everywhere. Not sure there's a better artist when it comes to mapping out the distances and geography of heartache...



Lobby call 10.00 a.m.

Bags on the bus 10.20  a.m.

Bus departs 10.30 a.m. 


There had been some worries about our flight being either delayed or even cancelled following the incident at the airport. Dave, the unflappable tour manager calmly told each person who voiced such concerns (ie 99% of the folks on the bus) that our flight was unaffected and we would be leaving on time.

At O'Hare the great unbagging of the Crim got underway...




and then the great rebagging of the Crim crew...



With 16 people in the party the only way to do this is as a group booking and Dave handles it all while the rest of the team wait about for their boarding cards...



We were then ushered through the Gold Class security channel. This was my first time. As I sauntered towards the desk, an older and a very important man passed by me. I know he was very important because he actually shouldered me out of the way to get in front of me. He might be filthy rich but he's also just filthy rude. The actually Gold channel security check experience was fascinating; no need to take anything out of my bag, no need to take my shoes off - in fact the only thing I needed to do was to walk through the metal detector and that was me done. I'm guessing it took less than a minute from start to finish.

As I boarded the flight my boarding pass flashed up red. Uh-oh I thought. The staff member handed me another pass - emergency exit! I was indeed a happy camper.

The view from the office somewhere over America between Chicago and Los Angeles...



My attempt to look wistful during the flight...


Close encounters? For a second I thought I was seeing something strange. Closer inspection revealed it to the sun reflecting off some huge metal structures in the middle of the desert. Grain silos?


Four and a half hours later we were on the bus and hotel bound...



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