Well this was a dream come true, thanks to Henning ! My first AAA laminate & i get to travel on the tour bus! Pinch me! Is this really real?!! When the band arrived, i was took to the tour bus where i met Axel. Apparently, this was the first tour where the band traveled separately to the road crew. It was all so different & exciting. I felt truly honored to be allowed into this small circle & i’ll never forget this & all the other amazing times i had with the band & crew.
I’d bought my ticket some time back. Henning said he’d put me on the guest list,but, i still had the ticket in case it fell through. When the band arrived at the venue i was greeted by Henning & then Sandra saw me ” Simon!?!! You’re Crazy Simon, for coming all this way ! Do you have a ticket? I’ll put you on the guest list” Me : ” Actually, yeah i do, but, Henning has already arranged guest list thank you “. Man, i love this rock n roll church called Paradiso! (I’ll go there many times over the coming years) When we went in, Henning showed me some awards for PLAG sales. Didn’t realise, but the show was being filmed for a DVD. Hows that for a bonus ? Anyway, after dropping stuff off, we all went round the corner to Hard Rock Cafe. Ooops, i forgot, i met a couple of cool GA fans outside the venue, Dennis V.P & Jill . I must say, it all felt a little surreal hanging with GA for me! But of course, i was loving every minute of it 🙂 The gig was great. I was in the photo pit for quite a while. When it was over, i went backstage & we had a “Spinal Tap” moment trying to get out the place ! We all then went to Hard rock Cafe again. During the course of the evening i told Henning how much i loved the gig & really wished i could get to more…but of course, the UK was not their highest priority & travel abroad was not cheap etc. Then he just smiled 🙂 ” I think we can help you out ” Huh? ” I think you could travel with us on the tour bus. I need to ask the other guys, but, it shouldn’t be a problem” . Man,my jaw pretty much hit the floor ! Dennis & Jill looked at me in astonishment. So yeah, i was pretty damn high right there. Well, eventually everyone left the party & myself , Dennis V.P. & Jill were the last ones there. Basically, we stayed untill they kicked us out in the early hours. I hadn’t booked a hotel as planned to just go through the night with no sleep ! So we all went to main train station. The others left eventually & i had a VERY tiring journey home. Confession time : It all could have ended before it started on the way home. About an hour into my drive home, at Peterborough, i had a “micro sleep” at a roundabout. It was a very close thing for me to have an accident. Thing is, i didn’t really feel so tired, but, somehow i just dropped off at the wheel for a second or so. I learnt from that mistake to ALWAYS book a hotel or something in future. And so my amazing “Guano Apes journey” was starting off…
Ok, this was a BIG deal for me. I’d been wanting to see these live ever since catching them on satellite tv back in ’97. They just never played the UK though:-( Well, i planned to go see them in Utrecht ,but then they announced a London gig. No contest; London it is. If anyone would have told me how this gig would effect my future gig going, i wouldn’t have believed them. Never in my wildest dreams, could i have prepared myself for the unexpected fun all thanks to my (soon to be) buddy, Henning. I got there early & had took CDs hoping to get them signed. Well, i managed everyone except for Sandra. I told Henning & he said “Go in after her”. I went in with the rest of the band. Got autographs & some nice photos with Sandra & Henning.
I told Henning about being a fan for years & that i had seen live broadcasts via satellite tv & that i’d collected a bunch of live audio recordings as well. He seemed impressed. In fact, there were some that he didn’t have, so, he asked me to send him copies…yes, he gave me his private address 😉 The band & crew were going to find a nearby bar & i was invited to join them. What? Seriously? For sure i’ll join.
The gig was just great. I’d earlier told Henning that “Innocent Greed” was my favourite song (coincidentally, also his at the time) & before they played it, he dedicated it to me 🙂 So, i guess you now think i’m the luckiest SOB out there (& someone may be wildly jealous). I’d agree, i am/was. But as “someone” once said to me, “sometimes you get a feeling that a person is genuine…”
And this started my amazing Guano Apes “journey”.
P.S. I’ll never forget how a couple of times Henning told me his memory of arriving at the Borderline & seeing a guy in a Rock am Ring shirt, thinking it was a German tourist 😉
If you have got here via that link, firstly, thank YOU for checking it out. Please take a look around my blog for other entries from where i’ve seen Guano Apes (& many other bands) & feel free to comment. If you put Guano apes in the search on the left, it will list all the GA shows i’ve seen around the UK/Europe (over 50 shows) including my first time in Amsterdam, where they filmed the live dvd, travelling on their tour bus in 2000 & being interviewed for a tv documentary!, managing to meet Dave Grohl at a German festival, following every date of the “final” tour in 2005. The reunion shows at Portugal & then Sofia,Bulgaria in 2009 (Sofia was THE BEST ever) & of course stories of meeting my old friends i’d met on the road along the way back in the day. I’ve said it before, but will again ; thank you Guano Apes for accepting me into the family & giving me so many unique moments on tour. You rock guys ! Here are a couple of direct links to some of the other shows :