Bless me father for I have sinned, it’s been 7 ½ months since my last “News from the Road.”
I purposely didn’t post anything about the band in the studio because I didn’t feel it was my place plus I left all the inside scoops to Jack Douglas who had more guests coming in and out than freakin’ Graceland. The name tags would have read: R. Lewis, J. Depp, R. Nielsen and J. Lennon to name a few, and I do mean few. Rick Dufay was at the studio hanging around so much you would have thought they were re-recording “Rock in a Hard Place,” folks!
After all the gear was packed up, it was all shipped to Sioux City, Iowa where the crew went through every amp and wardrobe case to get it sea worthy for the next 8 months. They practiced setting up the massive stage and light show and broke it down and put it back in the trucks and then set it up again. Aerosmith have one of the most dedicated crews in all of rock and they take pride in getting things right the first time.
As opening night approached the band had a few private or semi private gigs under their belts but there is nothing like being on your own stage with your own production to make you feel like you are really on the road. The guys were “spot on” in Minneapolis. It wasn’t too long since they were rockin’ in the land of the rising sun, so any rust they may have had quickly disappeared during the opening song.
Cheap Trick is back supporting the guys. I asked Rick Nielsen how many times the 2 bands have shared the same stage and we figure it must be getting to be at least 60-70 times. Hopefully they will break 100 sometime soon. The Trickster’s open the show and lay down the foundation of rock that continues for the next 3.5 hours or more. These days the guys are thinking outside the Bun and have Daxx Nielsen on the traps, Tom Peterssen on the 8 string Bass, The charismatic Mr. Nielsen on guitars and Robin Zander manning the vocals as usual. Robin is the flashiest dresser of the group as he is seen most nights in his famous Sgt. Pepper garb. You better not dress like that in my neighborhood unless you’re a hotel doorman. Backstage at the Toronto show Robin gave Joe one of 2 Dream Police guitars.
|Have you forgotten the magnetism of Robin Zander? Photo by Amanda Ayre |
After a minor hiccup in Bristow Virginia the guys soldiered on to Detroit where they played the Palace of Auburn Hills for the 10th time in their career. This city has always been a second home to Aerosmith starting with the days of the old State Theatre then Michigan Palace and Masonic Temple. These were venues where the band cut their teeth in 1974 kicking ass and taking names in the Paris of the Midwest . The band were talking about the great power outage of 2003 when the guys and KISS were holed up in their Hotel in sweltering heat with no AC. The show was postponed to a later date and proved to be one of that tour’s best. Of course it was because it is the Motor “freakin’” City! Someone could do an Aerosmith book on just their affiliation with Hockeytown even before it was Hockeytown. Besides the streets of Boston and Allston/Brighton this is where it all started kids.
|Aerosmith rock Detroit! Photo by Amanda Ayre |
Next stop is the land of cheese before we head to the land of fromage.
Employee of the Week!
Goes to Frenchman Apple “Mike” Harnois. Apple Mike is no stranger to the band members and most of the crew. He worked in the South Shore of Massachusetts’s Apple store helping everyone affiliated with the band for some 8 years before taking a sabbatical to be the band’s IT guy on the road. IT is a perfect title because he can do “IT” all. Not only will he fix your computer before it breaks he is an accomplished mandolin player and blue grass aficionado. He can play “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” backwards and blindfolded. He is a virgin of the road but getting used to the ins and outs very quickly. If you see him at the show say hi and feel free to ask him to fix any problems you may have with your iphone. You my friend are the Employee of the Week!
|The Man, The Myth, The Legend. Photo by John B. |
See you on the Road!