Hartford, Connecticut-June 26, 1999
How quickly this past month has passed! We finished the Fireman Association shows and bid adieu to the Nelson's (until June 6-7) in Wichita, before heading back for a week of off-road activities at home. This would include reacquainting ourselves with loved ones, keeping dental and medical appointments, servicing vehicles, paying a few bills and...oh yeah, laundry and re-packing for what will be, virtually, a 71 day run!
Gerry and I did have time to sit down with Henry Diltz and Gary Burden to be part of their film project chronicling the many album cover projects we were involved with together. Our segment will be part of a larger program featuring the many artists that Henry and Gary have worked with, and we are pleased and proud to be included. It was nice reminiscing about the great times we had in the 70's shooting photos on location and in studios...particularly the1972/73 projects "Homecoming" and "Hat Trick", when we had first arrived in California. Gary also designed the "official" logo for the "Holiday" album, and Henry continues to shoot shows in L.A. such as the Key Club date back in February.
From there we hit the road to Detroit and Milwaukee for the final 2 Fireman shows. Along with the Nelsons, Leon Russell was added to these shows, which made for an interesting evening of entertainment...something for everyone! We had worked with Leon before, but other than Dr. John, it is as unusual a billing as we get, other than multi-act festivals where anything goes! We loved watching from the wings as this legendary performer rocked the house.
It was then on to the final 2 shows in the U.S. before heading to Spain. These were performed in Las Vegas and Denver...here we played an outdoor stage at a street festival where it rained right up until showtime. Also nice to see Gerry's brother Mike and his sons Beau and Trent in thier home state.
With everyone's passports and luggage in order, we flew out of Denver on June 11, headed for the beautiful island of Majorca, Spain , where we would have a day off to acclimate before our first show on the 13th...or so we thought! Weather being what it is, we were forced to land in Milwaukee rather than Chicago, wait for it to clear, and then miss our connection to Madrid! Set back 24 hours, and waiting for the equipment to arrive and clear customs, we barely even made the show in Majorca. This made everyone very happy...particularly Bill and Pete! But, needless to say, everyone did a terrific job of making sure the show went on...and we even had a pretty good time! The hotel was set on a rocky cliff overlooking the balmy Mediterranean, and we enjoyed the short visit, before the show, in our own ways...shopping, eating or staring at the horizon! The following morning, after I took a plunge into the sea, we were headed for Madrid.
The three shows in Spain were all well received and seemed to be over before they began. We met local fans, did press interviews, as well as an hour long national radio broadcast, and we were surprised by how much the internet has kept listeners aware of our schedule and "Human Nature"!
As usual, everyone tends to spend free time exploring independently (or sleeping!) and sharing experiences before the show. I was excited to see an exhibition in Madrid of work by a painter I have admired for years, the surrealist Roberto Matta...also in the permanent collection was "Guernica", the famous Picasso large scale painting depicting the terrors of war. From my hotel window in Barcelona, I looked down on the tops of palm trees teeming with small green parrots. Eating lots of local shellfish and other seafood was another treat! We had very few language problems, as we are so lucky that most Europeans have a working use of English.
It was then on to Frankfurt and the beginning of our bus tour around the southern part of Germany. We did a national t.v. show in the town of Baden Baden, sharing the bill with Manfred Mann...each performing a 1 hour show in a club-like setting with live audience and fully functioning bar! Other highlights included a show for the European record label which has released "Human Nature". Staff from Holland, Switzerland, France and England were all present. In addition to Jan, our capable bus driver, we were assisted by Stefan (working with Scott) and another Jan (aiding Bill and Pete). Also, Axel, a man we had met in Berlin several years ago after the Wall had come down, joined the tour in an unofficial capacity. They traveled with us on the bus and stayed in the same hotels...contributing to a true cultural exchange program!!
From Frieburg to Munich we had interesting shows and experiences along the way. The "Last Unicorn" was returned to the set, as it is incredibly popular in Germany. Coincidentally, a very successful new version by a German female artist was airing on the music video channels while we were there! The countryside was beautiful, complete with small villages, castles, rivers and farms...there were cuckoo clocks, leder hosen and the world famous Hofbrauhaus and Ratskeller! The roads were great, the Autobahn being very efficient! And we had our share of German food...and t.v.!
Many new friends and experiences were added to our lives on this trip. Our career continues to take us to new places and we marvel at the opportunities our music has provided...and hope the audiences enjoyed the shows as much as we enjoyed performing! Thanks to all who made this trip successful and memorable! From the "moving train" we now see the Dallas skyline and realize we are back in the USA...but that's for the next report! Until then... best wishes from Dewey, Gerry and the gang!!
Last Revised: 29 June 1999