Vancouver, British Columbia
As you've no doubt noticed, the last few entries have been fairly short and to the point. The point being there's not been much to tell and the wind has been coming out of my sails for the last week. I did manage a good work out yesterday morning but that was about all. When I finally got to bed last night, 6 months' worth of memories came calling and I just couldn't shut my brain off. I drifted off for a couple of hours as the sun was coming up but not much more. And so this last tour day was spent cat napping, practicing and reorganizing my suitcase for tomorrow's departure. About midday I walked to Tim Hortons for a large cup of their great coffee and a muffin. Nothing fancy, just a plain old cuppa joe and like Harvey's burger chain, Hortons is everywhere here in Canada. Don't mess around, just go there.
Tonight's final show was at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for a capacity crowd of 2,900 wonderful fans. Of course it was a day of "lasts", last cup of Adrian Fitzpatrick's tea and Robert Collin's jibes at soundcheck, a last dinner together, and a last meet and greet with the Hawaiian group. Sorry we never did get round to making that record and I'll have to be content with those couple of sound clips Guy posted on his site as proof of it's existence. It was a blue day, nobody wanted to talk about folding up the tent and going home but it was on everyones mind. So many heartfelt goodbyes to the finest crew and fellows one will ever know. At the risk of being long winded I want to mention them all; David Wright-production manager, Colin Barton-stage manager, Robert Collins-front of house sound engineer, Kerry Lewis-monitor engineer, David Dixon-sound system engineer, Adrian Fitzpatrick-stage and mains, Matt Fitzgerald and Bob Windel-PA riggers, Simon Tutchener-lighting designer, Mike Humenuik-lighting crew chief, Mike Stehr and Dan Scher-lighting crew, John Ashton-rigger, Glen Saggers-Mark's guitar tech, Tim Myer-Glenn Worf's and my guitar tech, Lawrence Adams-keyboard tech, Lance Miles-drum tech, Darren Wey-caterer, Paul (Cod) Tallowin-merchandise, Chris Chester, Maurie Hutch Hutchens, TJ Locastro, Dennis White and Charlie Hudson-truck drivers. These guys are the real heros of this story, I can't begin to describe how hard they've worked, to the breaking point, often under appauling conditions so we can walk in at 5 o'clock every day and have a show that night. I must say it again, there is no show without these guys. Bless 'em all. To the management team, Paul Crockford-MK's manager, Stever Rayment and Tim Hook-tour managers, my sincerest thanks for making our lives easy for the last 6 months as we played 105 shows in 28 countries. And finally, to the greatest musicians I've ever had the honour of working with who just happen to be my best pals, Guy Fletcher, Glenn Worf, Danny Cummings, Matt Rollings and Chad Cromwell, a man in every corner. To Mark, the finest songwriter, guitar player and leader to come down the pike, any situation is only as good as the guy in charge and that's why this tour has been so brilliant. It's never anything short of a pleasure and honour to share a stage or studio floor with you and I'll be there, anytime, anyplace for you pallie. My thanks and love to you all.
It's been six months of the most fun I've had, going to places like India for the first time and returning to Australia and New Zealand after 29 years, all the great food from Lagana in Rome to Harvery's burgers in Canada. Meeting up with so many old friends again this trip has been rewarding. The late night hangs with Guy and Danny listening to music so diverse it would make your head spin with musical whiplash. I'll be missing those late night sessions and the healing vitamin G. The audiences around the world have given as much to us as we have to them and I can honestly say after 105 shows there was never a night that we weren't itching to get out on the boards and play as good as we possibly could. Thanks to all of you who came out to the shows, sometimes traveling long distances from other countries to attend. Like the crew, without you there is no show.
Regarding these 'notes from the road', I've always kept a daily journal while on tour but when I got my website going I thought it would be cool to post it and see if anyone would salute. The response has been overwhelming and I thank you for taking the time to read and keep up with our comings and goings. A couple of days ago Guy make me aware of a website that's been set up to thank us both for our on-line journals. We're touched by the comments that have been posted there. That site is www.efreeguestbooks.com.
And so we've come to the end. I'm heading to the Gulf of Mexico for a couple of weeks holiday with my family after which I'll return to session work in Nashville beginning with Vince Gill's new album that gets under way the end of August. Also, I'll start recording a new album of guitar instrumentals for myself, some of which I've written while on this tour. I don't know how long that will take as I tend to be very lazy about my own things, but whenever it's done I'll let you know through my website. Speaking of websites, sometime in the next couple of weeks I will move all six months of 'notes from the road' to a link at the top of the page, probably title it 'tour 2005' and go back to the usual updating method on the home page.
This has rattled on too long and I hate goodbyes so I'll simply thank you again for your readership and kind comments. Until the next time............