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It had been a quiet start to 2005 tour-wise, with the band pretty much off the road for three months following the short run of dates in Florida and South Carolina in late December. After a busy 2004, I'm sure that some time at home felt good for both the band and crew, and hopefully the band were able to get some solid work done on new material during this time. When dates started to be added for the spring and summer period, the first "run" of shows to appear on the tour schedule were back on the West Coast at the end of March/early April, and so flights and hotels once again got booked to return to the Golden State!

Mon 28 March - The long journey out

Easter Monday is a Bank Holiday here in the UK, so having to get public transport early in the morning was difficult! I was flying out of Manchester mid-morning, so I needed to get a bus into Leeds centre and then a train to Manchester Airport to get there for about 8.30am. I was up before 5am and out of my house at 6am. It was a cool, grey and drizzly morning as I walked about a mile and a half to a bus stop that had the first bus into Leeds centre. That turned out to be 15 minutes late which made my connection to the train very tight… but by running from the city centre bus stop I got off at to the railway station I just made it! Phew! I hoped the rest of the travel day would be more relaxing!

As usual I flew KLM to Amsterdam to get my Transatlantic connection, and it was very misty and murky there. I didn't have long to layover at Schipol which was good, and when I got to the gate to board my Northwest flight to Detroit, I found I'd been upgraded! That was a nice bonus, and a rare one for Transatlantic flights with Northwest. The 8 hour flight was good, and it was dry and sunny when we landed at Detroit. I had over two hours to kill after passing through Immigration and Customs, but eventually boarded my final flight of the day, to San Francisco.

The flight to the Bay took 4 ¾ hours and it was well after 9pm locally by the time we touched down there. I was met by good friend Tricktoria, my regular travelling companion in California, who had again kindly offered me a seat on her "Trickmobile" for this road trip! With my having such a long travelling day, we'd decided on staying near the airport tonight so it only took a few minutes to reach the hotel. After a 25 hour travelling day, it didn't take me long to fall asleep!

Tues 29 March - To South Lake Tahoe

Well, I'd actually flown in a couple of days early as the first Cheap Trick show wasn't until Thursday night. But with Monday being a Holiday back home, it didn't harm to use an extra vacation day from work and make a slightly longer break of it. Plus, Victoria kindly agreed to my suggestions of where to go for the spare two days. In several trips to California, I had never had the opportunity (within the usually busy tour schedule) to go to either Lake Tahoe or Yosemite. So with two free days planned, I'd gotten the road atlas out and done the calculations!

Tuesday morning saw us set out at 9.15am and briefly head to Berkeley where we stopped to grab some breakfast and coffee to go. A little odd to see groups of Hispanic men at many road junctions, trying to solicit casual work from vehicles driving by, and that was another tiny piece of the interesting jigsaw that is California. We then headed up to Sacramento, driving through showers on the way. Apparently it had been a wet Easter weekend, and these were the remnants of storm clouds that had been passing through for a few days. We worried a little about whether we'd need tyre chains to get to Tahoe, but hoped not. We stopped briefly in Sacramento, to pop into the Hard Rock Café and then go to a cool music store down on 7th called "Beat". A bonus for me as I found an "advance copy" of the CT97 cassette that I'd never seen. Nice to chat CT with a couple of the guys who worked there, including reminiscing about a show I'd been at in 99 at a pool bar called Big Shots in nearby Roseville!

The day was getting on so we pressed ahead to Tahoe. I'd first planned on going up I-80 and then down to and around the Lake to the city of South Lake Tahoe. However, with the likely snowy road conditions, I decided we'd instead head straight there on Route 50. After some easy driving, the road started climbing and twisting and we saw our first small clumps of old snow by the side of the road. The temperature too started dropping, and whilst the scenery was impressive, we started worrying as we saw more and more snow on the trees and to the sides of the road. By the time we reached Echo Summit (over 7,300 ft high), we were surrounded by serious amounts of snow several feet high, and we were relieved to have not required chains. We soon reached South Lake Tahoe, and I was a little surprised to see the main street towards Stateline to be a drag of motels, gift shops and restaurants. We found our Travelodge, dumped bags and got back out to nearby Regan Beach to try to get a view of the Lake. It was very cold (28F, brrrrr!) and dusk was starting to fall. The heavy, grey clouds were still overhead and obscured most of the coastline, so the view was somewhat disappointing :-( We headed back to the casino/resorts of Harveys and Harrahs, wandering around and eventually eating at the rustic Hard Rock Café, which was oddly entirely "within" Harveys. Even more oddly considering it was a midweek evening, it was busy.

Weds 30 March - Lake Tahoe to Yosemite - Oh Boy!

This road trip made every day a busy travelling day, and we had quite a drive to get to Yosemite (even though on the map they are not too far apart). But the morning was spectacular, bright and clear, so we were out of the hotel by 8.15am and soon back at Regan Beach. This time the vista was stunning, and (for me) worth the trip there. South Lake Tahoe is (as its name suggests!) at the bottom end of the Lake. So from the beach I looked north and the whole of the Lake could be seen, mirror calm and reflecting the deep blue of the clear sky overhead. And the Lake was surrounded on all sides by spectacular, snow covered mountains, reflecting brightly in the sunshine. A magnificent view :-)

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Anyway, we couldn't spend long so were back on the road by 8.45am. We had to go back the way we came, so back up into the snowy mountains and then back down to a level where there was no snow! At Placerville we headed south on 49, driving along quiet roads and green, rolling countryside. We even passed through the small town of San Andreas (slogan - "It's not our Fault"? - Thanks V for that pun!) but I was a tad disappointed not to see any reference to the famous fault line. Route 120 saw us heading towards Yosemite, and we finally reached the Big Oak Flat entrance around 2.30pm. The road continued to climb and again we were in high, snowy terrain before starting to descend, and suddenly getting a spectacular view into the famous valley. Now I know that there is far more to Yosemite than just the valley and this brief visit would barely scratch the surface, but it had still seemed a good idea for just a few hours… and so it proved. The scenery was breathtaking, and monoliths like "El Capitan" were spectacular. Bridalveil Falls were gorgeous, despite getting soaked at the viewpoint at its base, and its hard to describe how magnificent the mountains, trees and views were. The only blip for me was that we got to Yosemite Village near dusk and the top part of Half Dome was obscured by stubborn cloud that just refused to clear. Yosemite is definitely worth a return visit and much, much more time than half an afternoon. Along with the Grand Canyon, it's one of my travel recommendations!

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It was getting dark as we finally left Yosemite Village and climbed up steep, winding roads, again getting ever higher. We were heading south towards tonights hotel, but this drive was a hard slog for Victoria. Although only about 40-50 miles away, it was hard to get much speed on the narrow, winding, climbing roads in the dark, particularly knowing there was often quite a steep drop to one side! It took a tiring two hours to finally reach Oakhurst, and I think we were both happy to get there. But it had been a spectacular sightseeing day, with wonderful views at both Lake Tahoe and Yosemite! But the serious business starts tomorrow… the first of three Cheap Trick shows!

Thurs 31 March - Cheap Trick at Santa Ynez CA

Today was actually (on paper) a pretty easy day, only 250 miles to drive! We left Oakhurst at 9.30am and drove south west on 41 through pretty countryside for a while until it flattened out heading towards Fresno. We continued cross-country on 41, finally reaching 101 at Paso Robles. From there it was fast road south, and we passed a lot of vineyards along the way. Actually we saw a few vineyards up around Sutter Creek (between Placerville and Sonoma) and saw a lot in the Napa Valley later in the week. Hmmm, now I know why there's so much Californian wine around! We finally reached Solvang around 2.15pm and checked into our hotel there. Solvang is a very quaint, pretty but kitsch Danish themed town, complete with windmills, brightly coloured beamed houses and Danish style architecture. It even has a Little Mermaid! Add in local businesses we saw like Nielsens Windows (or something like that) and the Petersen Village and you could almost feel an obscure CT connection!

We had a little walk in Solvang before heading out to Santa Ynez and the Chumash Casino where the band were playing tonight. The casino itself was bland but very busy. The venue within the casino was a large rectangular room with flat flooring and over 30 rows of seating. The walls were cream with maroon curtains and maroon noise-absorbing sponge on the top half of the walls. There were several ornate ballroom light fittings above the main floor, and two video screens high on the walls to the side of the large stage. Bun, Tom and Robin soundchecked just after 4pm, with Rick's tech subbing for him. They played a blistering version of the classic "Its All Over Now" with several endings, before Robin and Bun played "Take Me to the Top".

Doors opened at 7pm for the 8pm show, but I was surprised at how quiet it was for the first half hour. However, the venue was full by the time the band came on at 8.10pm.

RN - Black suit, black t-shirt with Ramones names on front in shiny black
RZ - White shirt, black pinstripe pants, shades
TP - Black suit, white shirt
BC - Black t-shirt, black jeans

Hello There, Big Eyes, If You Want My Love, Ain't That a Shame, I Know What I Want, I Want You to Want Me, Southern Girls, Voices, Never Had a Lot to Lose, The Flame, 70's Song, Surrender // Dream Police, RN solo to… California Man, Goodnight Now

The band were sharp from the start and the sound was great. I thought that for the late Dec run of 4 shows in Florida, it took the band a couple of shows to really "get up to speed", but here they started off tight and continued that way for the next two shows too.

After "Big Eyes", Rick announced that it was their first trip to Santa Ynez, though Tom says he was already here in Santa Ynez and ready to testify for the defence in the Michael Jackson trial! With Santa Maria, scene of the big trial only a few miles away, I'd expected that Rick would make a few MJ references! He also pointed out Tom's new signature, baby blue Waterstone bass guitar, though added that he (Rick) had ordered two and not received either yet! It was nice to hear "Ain't That a Shame" after quite a while out of the setlist, and after it Rick looked out for "Fred'n'Elvis" in the crowd, mentioning their animation for "Sorry Boy" was on the official website. He also spotted some folks from Rockford who had a sign saying so… "they must be lost" he announced! He also returned to the subject of Tom's new signature guitars, complaining at not getting his. Tom offered the one he was playing, prompting Rick to ask "Will you sign it?"… "If you sell it to me it'll end up on Ebay!" he added! He also jokingly mentioned that he might sell his old beard braid on Ebay next year!

After "I Know What I Want" Rick handed his guitar to a fan at the front, causing some distress to his tech who was stuck holding his next guitar! As usual, "I Want You to Want Me" got many of the crowd going though many stayed sitting. At the end of the song he announced "I said you were a good audience, but now I say you're a great audience!" He then brought out Uncle Dick and did the finger thing between the twin necks! He said "I brought my boy here… Uncle Dick has never been to Santa Ynez" though I was surprised that he didn't add in some other MJ remark! He then just said "She's Tight..." as if introducing the song, but after a pause added "... we thought that song was non-PC and sexist, so instead its..." and they started up "Southern Girls".

Rick was even more chatty than usual tonight, after "Southern Girls" he mentioned that one of their old producers, Ted Templeton, lives nearby. He also did intro's for the other three band members. Robin got a big ovation though Rick pointed out some people in the front rows (reserved for Casino people and their guests I think) who were not clapping. He then pointed out a few people wearing pink t-shirts in the crowd and he invited a woman at front (who'd waved a pink shirt and pretended to put it on) to come up on stage. She did so, and Rick encouraged her to try on the shirt… presumably first removing the one she already had on! To the disappointment to most of the men in the audience, she just squeezed the pink shirt on top of the existing one! He asked where she was from, and she replied from nearby Lompoc (apparently pronounced "Lom-poke"!) which prompted a somewhat rude reply from Rick which I won't recount!

Rick broke a string on his checkerboard pick guitar towards the end of "Lot to Lose", and afterwards announced the next song as being from 1988. Bun started up the "Don't Be Cruel" intro, prompting Rick to stop him, saying "No Bun E, that was nineteen thirty eight"! They then went into "The Flame", after which Rick commented about Robin, "That boy can sing". Towards the end of "Surrender", cool to hear Rick include "Kevins alright Susans alright" for a couple of long time friends from the Bay area.

The show ended at 9.30pm, and I thought each band member had really performed well. The post-show rush to buy merchandise was very busy, and by the time we'd finished and packed up, the LA friends I'd briefly seen and greeted earlier had left. But good to see people like Kevin and Susan, Danny Saint, Flis, Tony, Mark and Pam earlier. Victoria and I headed to Solvang, and I was happy to fall into my bed by 11.15pm. The next couple of days would be particularly heavy ones for travelling.

Fri 1 April - Cheap Trick in Las Vegas

The Las Vegas show had been a bit of a late add-in to the tour schedule, certainly well after Santa Ynez and Kelseyville were announced. Initially it had looked as if the driving required would make Vegas unfeasible, particularly the 700 miles from Vegas to Kelseyville. But of course I/we couldn't let a show go by without trying for it (regardless of the pain!), so Victoria and I had made a late-ish decision to go for it. We booked a hotel in Barstow, halfway between LA and Vegas to drive back to after the show, in order to save time tomorrow.

Anyway, today was another bright and sunny one, and after a slow checkout from the hotel we left Solvang at 9.30am. We headed down familiar 101 to Ventura before heading inland on 126. Well, the logic was to try to take smaller roads across the top of LA rather than driving into the busy sprawl and drive on the busy freeways through places like Glendale and Pasadena. Well, I'm not sure if we saved any time, but the route we took was a little prettier, before highway 18 joined I-15 at Victorville. The drive across the Mojave was much as ever, and we reached Vegas a little after 4.10pm. The Silverton Casino is off to the left, about 3 miles before you reach the southern end of the Strip, and I'd driven past it before without really noticing it. Anyway, we came off I-15, then spent nearly 15 minutes in a frustratingly slow line of traffic waiting to turn left at the traffic lights into the Silverton. The lights stupidly allowed 4 seconds of green for left turning before changing back to red. Grrrr!

We finally got in and parked, and went inside to find a few fans already in line near the venue doors. Annoyingly we heard we'd just missed the band leaving from soundcheck… thanks Las Vegas traffic signals. Apparently they'd only played "On Top of the World". Anyway, good to see old friends like Daria, Clare and Lily, as well as a few new friends including a couple of Japanese women who live in the US.

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The venue was nice and intimate, with a large, low stage. The smallish room (probably the size of an average club) was mainly brown and grey in colour, and had rows of chairs set up though it was a GA show. Towards the back was a slightly raised standing area. Doors opened at 7pm and there was brisk business on merchandise before the show. The show was a sell out, so the atmosphere should be good.

The band came on at 8pm, and security allowed fans to rush to the stage and stand from the start, so that was cool. I think all the diehard fans who'd been in line got a front stage spot. The crowd behind were nearly all standing too from the start of the show.

RN - Black suit, black t-shirt
RZ - Black pinstripe suit, white shirt, shades
TP - Black suit with long jacket, dark shirt
BC - Black t-shirt, black jeans

Hello There, Big Eyes, If You Want My Love, Ain't That a Shame, I Know What I Want, I Want You to Want Me, Southern Girls, Voices, Never Had a Lot to Lose, Love Comes, The Flame, 70's Song, Surrender // Dream Police, RN solo to… California Man, Goodnight Now

After "Ain't That a Shame" Rick introduced Bun E, which prompted a brief "Bun E chant" from the crowd. He also pointed out Tom with his new "seafoam green… or is that Gretsch anniversary green?" bass. That led into introducing Tom to sing "I Know What I Want". After "Southern Girls" there was then a brief "Take Me to the Top" start and then false intro to "Voices" before the band started that properly. At this point I should note that I was still helping on the merch table during the show, and surprisingly, people still came and bought stuff during the show! So at times my note taking was somewhat curtailed, particularly when I was serving whilst Rick was talking to the audience!

During "Lot to Lose" it was cool to see Robin crouch down and put his shades on a young boy at stage front on Tom's side… but he came and got them back about 30 seconds later! After "Lot to Lose" I was serving somebody, and suddenly heard Robin starting to sing "Love Comes" (from the "Standing on the Edge" LP), and he was soon joined by Rick for an impromptu acoustic version of the song. They got about 3/4 of the way through before Rick said "I can't remember the rest" and it stopped! But that was cool and not on the setlist. I believe Robin had been listening to some older CT material before coming out to California, so maybe that song (that was principally one of his) had stuck in his mind? Anyway, Robin answered Rick with "Good song though", to which Rick replied "It touches a part of you… I'm not sure if it’s a part you want touched though… a part Michael Jackson has touched a lot!" which brought a big groan from the crowd! Certainly being close to Santa Maria yesterday had kept the MJ trial uppermost in Rick's mind!

Anyway, not much else to report from the show which ended at 9.15pm. The sound had again been great and the band were again very tight and looked to be enjoying themselves. We had a busy half hour doing after-show sales and then quickly packing up, as the crew and merchandise needed to get away pretty quickly for the long overnight drive up to Kelseyville (some 700 miles). After we'd done, it was nice to see a few friends out near the venue entrance, so I got to spend a few minutes with them. Good friends from LA, Tony and Robyn, had suggested a quick catch-up before Victoria and I drove back to Barstow, so we ended up in their car and went to Fremont Street. As always, it was warm and crowded, and on one of the stages was a band playing covers of songs by Styx and the like! Ouch! Anyway, we wandered around a bit, even tried a deep fried Twinkie (unbelievably bad, but good!) and watched the 11pm light show overhead. We soon headed back to the Silverton and Victoria and I left at midnight. It was a two hour drive back down I-15 to Barstow, and I was stunned to see how much traffic was coming from LA to Vegas at well after midnight. Good job Vegas is a city that never sleeps as all those people would be checking into hotels throughout the night! Luckily Victoria stayed awake throughout our drive, as I'm afraid I dozed a bit. We reached the Best Western at Barstow at 2.15am to thankfully find our room had still been held. Lucky because the sign on the window said they were full, and at that time in the morning all I wanted to do was fall into a bed and not have to try to find another room somewhere. I was in bed by 2.30am. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Sat 2 April - Cheap Trick in Kelseyville CA

Morning came all too soon, and I was awakened at 7am by vehicles outside. A hot shower helped, and hot coffee and toast helped even more. As usual we had the TV on early, and this week had been somewhat odd. For the first 2-3 days of the trip, the morning TV had been giving non-stop coverage to the Terri Schiavo situation, leading up to and following her death in Florida. And then it switched to non-stop coverage of the frail and dying Pope. So literally all the American TV I saw this trip was of either waiting for people to die or the aftermath of their deaths. Somewhat weird.

Anyway, we had a long driving day ahead, and it was another fine and warm day as we pulled out onto a little of historic Route 66 before rejoining I-15 and then quickly onto route 58 towards Mojave and Bakersfield. At Mojave we passed by the commercial aircraft storage area/graveyard, though sadly we were quite a way away. But I did recognise one peacock blue 747, which would have once been part of KLM's fleet. Damn my brand loyalty! We continued on through the hills before dropping down to the flat land of Central California. We got onto I-5 and just drove north for hours. And hours. Or maybe it just felt like all day? At nearly 4pm, we finally left I-5 and turned off at Williams to head into the hills towards Clear Lake and the Konocti Resort near Kelseyville. We drove up into the hills, with the scenery getting greener and the road rising and winding around the mountainous terrain.

We finally reached Konocti (by the lake) at 5.30pm, and went to check in. The merchandise table was already set up in the lobby right opposite the desk that served both the hotel and the music venue. Good to run into several friends in the lobby, such as Cheryl, Shoandra and Rick, Teresa, Sayuri and Mike, and later Jen. Victoria and I had to drive up a steep hill to the block that had our room, to quickly unload the car and then drive back down again to the main building. Luckily we found a parking spot again. It was by now 6.10pm, so Victoria joined the line to be seated for dinner whilst I spent a little time by the merchandise table.

I did soon pop into the venue to see how it was set up. It was an all seated dinner venue, with the entire main floor given over to tables. With the exception of tables to the rear, everyone had had to buy a dinner reservation to get onto a table nearer the stage. Dinner was a hot buffet served at the rear of the room. There was a small balcony to the rear and a partial balcony to Rick's side, and the décor of the room was mostly wood panelling.

I heard from friends we'd met earlier in the lobby that the band had soundchecked around 4pm. From the lobby area the fans had been able to make out some cover song, before "Stiff Competition" and then "Love Comes".

There was an opening band this evening, but I didn't see or hear them so I'm afraid I can't report on them at all. People streamed through the lobby as the time approached for Cheap Trick to take the stage, and the venue was full at 9.30pm when the show started.

RN - Black suit, black R's plectrum t-shirt
RZ - Black pinstripe suit, white shirt, shades
TP - Black suit, white shirt
BC - Black t-shirt, black jeans

Hello There, Big Eyes, If You Want My Love, My Obsession, Best Friend, I Want You to Want Me, I Know What I Want, Voices, Never Had a Lot to Lose, The Flame, 70's Song, Surrender // Dream Police, RN solo to… California Man, Goodnight Now

"If You Want My Love" saw Rick introducing it as being from a movie soundtrack and that "the movie had needed a bit of help…" sarcastically finishing "so this is from the end credits of the movie "Joe Dirt!" After that song Rick mentioned that they hadn't played at this venue for over 5 years, "maybe they were waiting for you all to turn up at the same time?" Two songs from the last CD then came back into the setlist, the first being a great sounding "My Obsession". During the song Rick took a brief drink of water from a fan seated at the front. Afterwards and as the band members were changing guitars, I noticed that the stage backdrop was backlit with small pinpricks on a dark blue background, giving the impression of a clear night sky. After a little chat from Rick, the band went into "Best Friend" which rocked as it always does! This one really gives the band members the chance to let their hair down and let it go for a few minutes!

"I Want You to Want Me" got a huge ovation as always as the band started up, though a lot of people remained seated throughout this and the rest of the show. One reason not to like dinner venue shows, it's hard to get the crowd standing. After the song Rick talked a bit of guitar stuff before moving onto some spiel about George Lucas making Star Trek movies… spot the error! The crowd reaction was flat, causing Rick to jokingly ask "Can you get any more pissed off at us?" There was then a drum intro and interesting to see Robin, Rick and Tom literally all posed watching Bun to cue the intro to "I Know What I Want". After this song Rick gave his guitar to a fan at the front, and then said he'd been asked to mention some guy in the crowd. The person at one of the dinner tables stood up and Rick asked why he was mentioning the guy, what had he done? I didn't hear whatever the person said, and maybe Rick didn't either! But Rick then said "Maybe I had to mention you because you're buying drinks for everyone in the room!", which brought a big cheer from the crowd! Rick then mentioned people from San Francisco before introducing Bun as "the holder of many world records". After "The Flame" Rick highlighted Robin, stating "Mr Robin Zander… a product of clean living and perseverance!"

The show ended at 10.50pm, the venue soon emptied and the remaining t-shirts were counted, boxed and put on the van. I then joined a number of friends, including those I'd met in reception earlier as well as Lisa and Elsa in the bar to chat and catch up a bit. I finally got to bed around 1am.

Sun 3 & Mon 4 April - The journey home

And so the end of 3 nice shows and a long trip… but the work wasn't quite over yet. Accompanied by wall-to-wall TV coverage this morning of the Pope's death, I had to repack and fit in the shopping I'd done in the past 6 days! No mean feat I can tell you! Also, the TV reminded me that the clocks had gone forward overnight too, so we'd lost an hour. We left Konocti just after 10am (or was that 11am?) and drove back along narrow and winding mountain roads. It was also very cloudy and wet too, so driving was definitely slow. We finally got down from the mountains to the dry but overcast Napa Valley, and drove through miles of vineyards and Wine Houses. The scenery was certainly very pretty. We got over to 101 and briefly stopped for lunch before heading across the Golden Gate Bridge and aiming south towards the airport. Lucky that my flight was at 4pm as the traffic in downtown San Francisco really held us up. The traffic was stop-start for maybe two miles before we finally rejoined the fast stretch of 101 to the airport. I was getting worried but we finally made it there at 2.40pm, but I had no problems checking in. I said Goodbyes and Thank You's to Victoria before joining the long line of people waiting to pass through security screening. I then walked to the gate and literally straight onto the KLM plane as they were already boarding. I'd already used airline points to upgrade on this 9½ hour flight back to Amsterdam, so I was able to find my seat quickly and try to get comfortable for the night ahead.

This was my first time on one of KLM's new Boeing 777's… I was impressed with the video system (about 100 movies on demand!), but the seat wasn't as comfortable for sleeping as I'd hoped. So as usual, I didn't really get much sleep overnight, despite being in a Business Class seat. Oh well, c'est la vie. We'd taken off in rain showers, but Amsterdam was bright and sunny on Monday morning when we landed. I had over 3 hours to kill as my Manchester flight was delayed, but I was really too tired to do much. I tried to doze in one of the KLM lounges, but the only seat I could get was near the TV, on which CNN were recounting every last detail about the Pope's life and death. I finally got back to overcast Manchester, got a train back to Leeds, waited 40 minutes for a bus home, and got to my house at about 5.45pm on Monday afternoon. No going straight into work for me this time, I'd have a night to get some sleep before going back to earn my wage.


And so ended another long, intense and tiring trip, but it had been fun! I'd had good company, seen some wonderful sights, seen three great shows (not to mention 4 great guys and 3 great chords!) and had been pleased to see many old and new friends, albeit briefly.

As always, thanks are due to various people for helping make it another memorable trip. First and foremost, THANKS to Tricktoria for her kindness, generosity, for driving the whole trip (despite my offering to help… and I can safely drive on the right… errr, wrong side of the road, honest!) and for putting up with me for 6 days! She put up with my request to fit in short (but long on mileage) trips to Tahoe and Yosemite before heading south for the first of the 3 shows, and also didn't complain when I suggested (fairly late on) that we try to fit in the Vegas show despite the insane and tiring travelling schedule it would create. Thanks also to the many friends I saw at the three shows, many old friends and a few new ones who searched me out! Always good to see you all, and I'm sorry that I didn't have more time to spend with most of you. And last but never least, thanks are always due to Cheap Trick, Carla, Jon and the crew, always good to see you all as ever - thanks for the great shows!

Kim Gisborne, Leeds, England 10 April 2005


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