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Cheap Trick in Rockford/Chicago - The December 2001 Trip

Four months on from their last shows in California, Cheap Trick were going to be back on stage, for two hometown shows in Rockford, and then headlining a New Years Eve ball in Chicago. A lot had happened since CT last played live, in San Diego, including "9-11" of course and the loss of one of CT's long time friends and crew members, so I really wanted to make it over for these three shows. Plus Bun E was going to back after his back surgery in the summer.

Thursday 27 Dec - The journey out

I'd driven down to Windsor from Leeds during the afternoon of Boxing Day (Dec 26). CT friend Helene had kindly offered to have me stay that night before flying out from London's Heathrow Airport nearby the next morning. After the invite, Helene booked to travel on the same flights as me in order to make the 29-31 Dec shows, so it all worked out well!

We were up early, as we had to get any early bus from Windsor to Heathrow in order to check in 3 hours before the flight. Little did we know what a long day this would be! (Note: remember that the "Gisborne Travel Curse" kicks in for every trip I make!) We caught a bus around 7.25am, and checked in OK soon after 8am for the 11am flight to Boston (connecting on to Chicago O'Hare). Boarding was delayed due to a technical problem. We finally boarded at take off time, and sat in the plane whilst part of the cockpit windscreen was replaced. At times it sounded like the flight might even get cancelled. The job was finally done though, and we took off for Boston 2hrs 20mins late so we were guaranteed to miss our connection to Chicago. The flight was long and somewhat boring as usual, though it was a pleasure to get spectacular views of the New England coastline as we approached Boston's Logan Airport.

Got through Immigration and Customs OK, and we rushed between Terminals (the air outside was very cold!) in order to catch the next Chicago flight. As always, we'd had to collect our luggage before clearing Customs, and rechecked them in to transfer onto the next flight. We passed through tight security and were amongst the last to board the late afternoon flight to O'Hare. Luckily it was only half full, so we were able to relax on the 2 hour flight before having to rush to get a bus up to Rockford. We dashed off the plane and got down to the United luggage carousels… and waited, and waited. Luggage from our flight finally came off… except our cases didn't. They obviously hadn't got loaded onto the plane in Boston. Seeing the rows of unclaimed luggage between all 10 of United's carousels, Helene and I decided to wait the extra hour or so for the next Boston flight to come in, rather than risk not being reunited with our luggage for days. That flight was late in, and there's little more depressing than watching a baggage carousel go round and round with the same unclaimed cases… and not one of them yours. The next Boston flight finally got in, we sighed with relief as our cases finally showed up, and we headed to catch the Van Galder bus up to Rockford. We arrived in Cheap Trick's hometown at 9.50pm, to be met by CT friend Rhiazann. There was a little snow on the ground and it was bitterly cold. We dropped Helene off at her hotel down on State St, before driving up to Madison where I'd be staying as usual. My travelling day, door to door was nearly 23 hours! I was tired!

Friday 28 Dec – The Bodeans in Madison WI

A quiet day, though I got out to do some shopping, before we headed out around 6pm to head to the Barrymore Theatre in Madison. I'd wanted to see the BoDeans (from Milwaukee) again since seeing them second on the bill to Cheap Trick at San Diego's Streetscene in Sep 98, but kept missing them whenever I visited in Wisconsin. We managed to finally park up on a back street, and went to join the line, with probably 50 people ahead of us for the GA show. Although we only had 25 mins to wait until doors opened at 7pm, it was absolutely freezing, the wind chill made it something like minus15-20 degrees… brrrr!! It was considerably warmer last time I'd seen this band! It was nice to finally go in, nicer still to find that almost everyone had chosen to sit in the gentle slope of seats on the main floor instead of standing in the 25 feet of "dance floor" in front of the stage. No Rick tonight of course, but I was where Rick's steps would be if this was a CT show! The BoDeans came on at 9pm, all dressed in black, and played a 2hr 15min show:-

Idaho, Naked, Still The Night, Good Work, Texas Ride Song, True Devotion, Mary Ann, Count On Me, Only Love, Far Far Away From MY Heart, Misery, Wild World, Fadeaway, Good Things /

(encore 1) Paradise (entirely acoustic), Take A Hold Of Me (Na Na Na), Feed The Fire, Closer To Free /

(encore 2) Looking For Me Somewhere, Jenny Rae, Angels

They played a fine show, the crowd (particularly the women!) were very enthusiastic! The band are fronted and vocals shared by Sammy Llanas and Kurt Neumann, and it was odd for me, seeing so many CT shows, to watch another band and try "not" to compare. Although a four piece like CT, the dynamic of The BoDeans is very different, with less humour to their show. But musically they are very tight, and it was cool to watch the very serious Kurt almost in front of me. He did start to crack a few smiles towards the end! However, I was amazed that he played the same guitar for almost the whole show! Oh, one very cool part of their show… only Sammy and Kurt came back on stage for the start of the first encore, Kurt with guitar. They stood at the front of the stage, away from any microphones and with Kurt's acoustic guitar unplugged. Sammy asked the crowd to stay silent for 4 minutes, and the two of them performed Paradise truly acoustically. That was very cool to see and hear.

The show finished at 11.15pm and not a moment too soon! Rhia and I left to find it lightly snowing and even colder than before. Once we got through the local traffic we raced down I-90 to Janesville, as we had a V.I.P to collect. 7 months pregnant Trick-fan, "Fainting Lisa" from Texas, was travelling for her last CT fix before the next generation of Trick-fan arrives! She flew up from Texas during the evening, and got the last bus north from O'Hare, which ended at Janesville at midnight. We got there five minutes after Lisa, so she wasn't too cold (I hope!). Drove back to Madison to get a (hopefully) good nights sleep before the start of a busy three nights of Cheap Trick!

Saturday 29 Dec – Cheap Trick in Rockford IL

Rhia, Lisa and I drove down to Rockford during the afternoon, and parked opposite the beautiful Coronado Theatre near the Rock River. We braved the cold to the alley at the rear of the theatre, where soundcheck could "just" be heard, if you stood close to the right ventilation grille! We shivered uncontrollably as we heard "Night Time World", "You're All I Wanna Do" (I'd never heard that done live!), "Words" and part of "Take Me To The Top". The sound was occasionally drowned out by nearby traffic and the Budweiser lorry that turned up, plus we kept being visited by a local resident who was amazed at the crazy fact that we were doing this… Mind you, he was out scavenging in dumpsters for discarded furniture (so he said), so on the crazy scale I felt we were roughly even!

Deciding that we weren't sure how to find the Beef-a-Roo (with the CT booth/shrine) in the dark, we instead headed back up State Street and were pleased to get into the warm and have a fine Mexican meal at the Dos Reales restaurant. Recommended! We got back to the Coronado just before 7pm, and people were already milling about in the lobby and around the merchandise stand. Great to meet up with the first of many friends over the 3 shows.

The theatre was beautiful, having recently been restored, and it was on this stage back in March that Rick had his beard braid cut off. At 8pm the first of two supports acts took to the stage. Local 5-piece, The Snaggs, were fronted by Robin Zander's daughter, Holland, and played a seven song set of original tunes. Next up were Chicago's Zero to Nine, but I'm afraid I didn't see them at all.

The crowd was getting enthusiastic as 9.30pm approached, with sporadic rounds of applause and cheering. The lights went down, and the backdrop, some 20 feet from the front of the stage lifted… to reveal the four members of Cheap Trick standing in front of Bun E's drum kit. They walked forward and took the applause for a couple of minutes before getting ready to work. It was a very dramatic entrance! The stage was both wide and deep, giving them plenty of room (perhaps too much…?). Bun E's kit was on a riser, and the amps/lights to either side were mounted on wheeled shelving. The drums were a dark gold colour, and the large Ludwig drumhead was predominently red and blue, with a cartoon bunny's head on it, with big ears, and wearing shades and a checkerboard bowtie. As usual, there were no box monitors on stage, though there were several portable spotlights on stage, on in front of Robin, two in front of Bun E's riser and two on the amps.

Rick – black t-shirt with "John Candas" (ala the CT x6 logo), black suit, new black & white patterned Nikes, and a small "Piece" badge (advertising the pizza/brewpub in Chicago that he has an interest in)

Bun E – black/white patterned shirt, black pants

Tom – pink shirt, black pants, long mauve velvet jacket

Robin – dark grey suit, rust shirt, dark grey tie

Clock Strikes Ten, Just Got Back, If You Want My Love, Hot Love, Borderline, You’re All Talk, Words, High Roller, Night Time World, You’re All I Wanna Do, Voices, Need Your Love, Stop This Game, I Want You To Want Me, Surrender // Dream Police, (Gonna Raise Hell - was on the setlist, but wasn’t played), Goodnight Now

After "Just Got Back" Rick mentioned that he'd been in a head-on car crash shortly before the show, but that everyone was all right. Rick intro'd "Hot Love" with a few bars of "Stiff Competition". Before "You're All Talk", Rick noted his t-shirt, and said that merchandise man and long time friend of the band, John Candas, was in Cheap Trick Heaven. Rick intro'd "Words" by mentioning George Harrison, 9-11 etc, and they played the song for just 30 seconds before stopping for a minute or so for some technical problem with Tom's bass to be fixed before starting it over. Before "Night Time World" Rick brought on a sheaf of papers, and said that Bun E had produced a list of every recording session and show they'd ever played in Rockford, and proceeded to read every sheet. There was literally one venue and date per sheet, so Rick was reading for about 5 minutes, and various shows brought cheers from those audience members who'd been at those shows. They included such shows as Waterfront 1987 by Beattie Park, The Moose Club 1974, Pecatonica Fairgrounds 1979, The Verdi Club 1973 and 1979 and the Waverly Beach Ball Room 1975/76/77! Rick dropped each sheet on stage as he read it, so the paper obliterated the setlist and lyric sheets pasted by Robins mic! Robins tech had to quickly clear those after Rick had finished! "Night Time World" featured Tom on vocals, and he played a beautiful red Chandler bass, apparently one of three new guitars he's recently bought. During "Surrender", Rick got the signed CT97 flat to fly up into the front rows of the balcony, where it landed on somebody who just didn't see it coming! I watched its trajectory, and the guy was watching the band and oblivious to the highly desirable flat that was flying towards him! Someone else got hold of it before he could realise what hit him! Rick was having problems with his in-ear monitor late in the show. "Goodnight Now" featured a big Bun E ending, and the show ended at 11pm.

The band, and Bun E in particular, looked pleased to be back on stage. Musically I thought they performed well, though were perhaps a touch stage rusty. However, this was the first show in four months, and whilst hometown shows are special, I'd guess they were almost warming up for both New Years Eve and then the 7 date Aerosmith support slot in January. It was certainly a nice show, "Borderline" was a nice surprise to hear, "Night Time World" sounded great, and it was cool for me to see "You're All I Wanna Do" performed live at last.

After milling around for awhile after the show, we said our goodbyes and headed back up to Madison. A digital billboard showed it to be 3 degrees F (very cold in Celcius!) as we reached Madison around 1.15am, brrrr!

Sunday Dec 30 – Cheap Trick in Rockford IL

After doing a few chores late in the morning, we all left Madison just after 3pm, and drove back to Rockford. Checked into the Fairfield Inn (near the Clock Tower) before heading out to the Comfort Suites and Cliffbreakers Restaurant on the north side of Rockford by the river. In fact, I'd been here for a CT fan wedding/reception back in the summer! This time it was colder, but a warm reception awaited Lisa J, as we took her into a surprise baby shower! About ten CT friends were in a small side room, cake on table and baby gifts at the ready! Her face was a picture as she walked in! An honourable mention to Cheryl K for organising the event! We had a fun time before having to leave for the Coronado Theatre and show #2!

Got into the theatre around 7.20pm, again good to see many friends, including a few who hadn't made the night before. The Snaggs opened again at 8pm, this time starting their set with "High Roller". I liked their set more tonight, not sure why. Again Holland Z looked very much at home on stage, and to be enjoying herself. Zero to Nine then played, and again I missed them…

Cheap Trick were on again at 9.30pm. This time the curtain went up, but the band members were pretty much already in their places.

Rick – black shiny suit, John Candas logo t-shirt

Bun E – plain black t-shirt, black pants

Tom – beige shirt, long black jacket, black pants

Robin – black suit, the jacket had fine pale piping, black roll neck sweater

Dream Police, I Can’t Take It, She’s Tight, Lookout, Oh Candy, TV Violence, Special One, Anytime, Tonight Its You, I Want You To Want Me, I Know What I Want, She’s So Bad, On Top Of The World, California Man, Surrender // Scent Of A Woman, He’s A Whore, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodnight Now

After "She's Tight", Rick mentioned people from various places, including pointing out probably the two youngest Trick fans in the crowd - 2 babies, one of which was Japanese. There was a projected backdrop of two moving white/purple circles during "Special One", which was the only projection used during either Rockford show. Before "Anytime" Rick mentioned John Candas again, and passed on a message of thanks from Mindy and Jenny Candas for the donations made by Trick fans to Jenny's college fund. Apparently she hopes to go to SMU, and Rick mentioned he'd gone to the Sam Houston Institute of Technology… (spell it out for yourself!). There was a short band conference on stage before "I Know What I Want", no idea what that was about. Two songs later, Bun E got down from behind his drum kit and said "I'm f***ed"… to which Rick told the crowd "Ooh, Bun E said the F word!". Again, no idea what happened, but I guess it must have been a drum problem as nothing changed from the setlist. "California Man" saw a long intro, but then a mix up between Rick and Robin - Robin approached the mic just as Rick started the big chords of Brontosaurus, so his "Going To A Party" line was somewhat lost. They did get it right a minute or so later. Rick broke a string halfway through "He's A Whore", and the band finished dead on 11pm again.

There were less technical problems tonight, and the show flowed better than last nights. It was nice that the set was different apart from the three core songs of course. Songs like "Lookout", "Oh Candy", "Special One" and "Anytime" sounded particularly good, and "Scent Of A Woman" was the highlight for me. The hometown crowd were again enthusiastic, and the band again seemed relaxed and in good spirits.

We later caught up with Lisa J and Ron from Milwaukee, and headed back to our hotel room for a couple of quiet drinks. As it was now after midnight I couldn't see any fast food places open. Lisa and Ron got to the room about 15 minutes after we did, having stopped at the nearby Steak'n'Shake to pick up some takeout. Great idea, so Rhia and I drove over there to get some late food too. After ordering, we sat down to wait for our order to be cooked, and in walked a couple of the crew who'd worked tonight's show. These weren't the stage tech's, but people who are occasionally with the band in the Midwest. We chatted as we awaited our orders, and were told that well over 4,000 tickets had been sold for the New Years Eve show in Chicago. After getting our food, we headed back to the Fairfield, had about 90 minutes sleep before getting up to drive Lisa to the nearby Van Galder bus terminal to catch the 4.10am (ouch!) bus down to O'Hare for her early morning flight home to Texas.

Monday Dec 31 – Cheap Trick in Chicago

Left the hotel around noon, heading down State Street to pick up CT fan Helene and stopping off nearby for lunch, before heading down I-90 for Chicago. It was still very cold but with lots of bright sunshine, and the city skyline looked spectacular as we approached our ramp to downtown. Drove our way through the busy traffic, and eventually managed to get Helene to her hotel and get parked nearby our Red Roof Inn downtown.

Rhia and I left the hotel at 5pm, and walked the 6 blocks to Navy Pier, and then along what seemed like the never-ending Pier itself! At least we were indoors, we'd worried beforehand about having to wait in line outside in the freezing cold. We eventually reached Willcall where I breathed a sigh of relief to get the two tickets I'd ordered through (before that ticket booking mess happened). I was amazed to find that we were the first people at the Grand Ballroom entrance, at 5.35pm. Doors were at 8pm and of course it would be a long night, but I'd expected more folks to be here already, both the regular CT diehards, plus some Poi Dog fans who I'd heard had quite a local following. Security conferred and did say that this was the only entrance, and that a few women were waiting elsewhere, so someone went to get them. Some 5 minutes later Security brought along those fans who are always early (!), like Rhonda, Carolyn, Deana and Dawn! The line stayed very short until around 7pm when it started to lengthen considerably. Around 7.15, a crew from WGN TV came along and interviewed a couple of people in the line, though I'm pretty sure they didn't use their 15 seconds with me on the 9pm news! We got let in at 7.50pm, and it was a slow process to first have photo ID checked, then further along, have your ticket checked and be given tickets for food/drink. After getting through that, we raced through a very long lounge/bar area, picking up party favours along the way (hats, noise makers, streamers), down the stairs and into the ballroom itself. As it was, the getting in was so slow that we might as well have walked! There wasn't exactly the rush for stage front like at most GA shows.

The Ballroom was a large dome, with a huge floor space, plenty enough for 4,000. Around the outside were drinks booths. The area for those with VIP tickets was one level up, and all around the outside of the dome. It looked like they had comfortable lounge seating and a great view of the stage, but were all quite a way away from the action. However, they had windows looking out onto the Lake, so would have a great view of the fireworks. There were cream coloured light bulbs all along the roof spars, which gave a nice effect. The stage was fairly large, and fairly high too, around 5ft off floor level. It had its own domed backdrop, which reminded me of the stage at the Hollywood Bowl. There were two large screens, one either side of the stage, though those of us at the front could barely see these side on. Finally, there was a camera boom being operated from Tom's side of the stage, as local ABC were going to cover a short part of CT's show near midnight. The evening was hosted by the local WXRT radio station.

First on stage at 8.30pm were Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise from Detroit, fronted by a blind, grey haired black singer who I presume was Robert Bradley. They played a nice 45 minute blues set, and got a good reaction from the crowd, particularly for the last song, for which Bradley donned a stars and stripes scarf, and the song was a patriotic one.

The crowd was filling up on the main floor, and XRT DJ Lin Brehmer (who did the DJ piece during "On The Radio" at the 1998 Metro shows) introduced Poi Dog Pondering onto the stage at 9.45. They were a funky and eclectic 12 piece band, including flute/sax, cello, violin and bongo's. They played long and funky songs, and were very good at what they did. However, after the first couple of songs, it all sounded "much of a muchness" to me… and the fact that those songs each seemed to last about 10 minutes, and their setlist looked to be about 15 songs long… <sigh>. They played, and they played, and they played… in total, for an hour and twenty five minutes (though it seemed much longer!). Their fans loved them, but I'm afraid I couldn't wait for them to end! The next 35-40 minutes were a frenzy on stage, as so much had to be cleared in time for CT to take the stage before midnight to be televised. Unusually, and possibly because of problems with his in-ear monitor on the last two nights, Rick had a box monitor on stage in front of his mic.

Cheap Trick were finally introduced on stage at 11.50pm, and ABC TV were broadcasting them as they proceeded to play "Hello There" and "California Man". At the end of the second song, Robin spoke briefly to Rick, possibly to remind him that they only had one more song before midnight, and they went straight into "Surrender". Towards the end, Rick went to get the CT97 flat as usual from his amps, to find it not there, which looked to perplex him. He got it at the end of the song and finally threw it out. As the song ended at almost midnight, I looked back to see it raining red, white and blue confetti, it truly looked wonderful and made it feel like New Years Eve. There was so much confetti, it looked like a 5th Avenue tickertape parade! The timing was slightly off, as "Surrender" finished perhaps 45 seconds before midnight. But someone from the radio station came back on stage and led a countdown from 10 to "Happy New Year!" and I believe ABC were still televising. Rick came along and shook hands along the front row, and outside the spectacular firework display started over the lakeside. I could just see one of the giant screens side stage, and also saw some of the colours through the windows, and it looked truly amazing. Off stage, Cheap Trick were apparently collecting awards for the "In Color" album recently going platinum, though no mention of this was made at the time, at least not that I heard or saw. The fireworks lasted until 12.15pm, and the band came back and resumed their set at 12.20pm with "High Roller".

Rick – black shiny suit, "Piece" t-shirt, multi coloured socks (I noticed as he leaned over to shake hands!)

Bun E – tropical patterned shirt, black jeans

Tom – pink shirt, black pants, long purple jacket

Robin – black suit, dark plum coloured shirt, and wore shades throughout

Hello There, California Man, (Southern Girls – on set list but not played), (Clock Strikes Ten – on set list but not played), Surrender


High Roller, On Top Of The World, Waiting For The Man, Voices, I Can’t Take It, My Obsession, (Matter Of Time – was on the setlist, but scrubbed shortly before the show), If You want My Love, Borderline, Tonight Its You, I Want You To Want Me, Ain’t That A Shame, She’s Tight (wasn’t listed on the setlist) // Dream Police, Gonna Raise Hell, Goodnight Now

Rick broke a string during "High Roller" and had to make a quick guitar change right before the guitar break. During the intro to "On Top of the World", Robin was leaning back against the speaker way off at the front of the stage on Tom's side watching Rick and Tom, before strolling back to start singing right on cue! "Waiting for the Man" was outstanding, it really cooked. Tom had problems with his bass pickup halfway through "Voices", and before "If You Want My Love" Rick mentioned pregnant fan Lisa from Texas… unfortunately Lisa wasn't at this show! CT friend Flis later said that Rick said something like " "Lisa told me that she and her husband conceived their baby after they listened to this next song, so if you're feeling fertile, sing along!" Rick started the crowd swaying with arms aloft at the start of "If You Want My Love". Rick broke a string again towards the end of "Tonight Its You" and changed guitar quickly. Bun E's drumbeat during this song was also different to how it is usually, which I noticed in Rockford too. Robins mic wasn't working at the start of "Gonna Raise Hell" since he noticed that his "Gonna Raise Hell"' lines weren't coming through, so he had to get a spare which at first also failed to work. However, it soon came on and they proceeded into a blistering version of the song. More confetti came down at the end of the song, though not as much as at midnight.

The show ended at 1.30am, and afterwards I milled around, hugging and wishing "Happy New Year" to every friend I could find! Some more than once… ah, any excuse! A large group of us managed to get security to take a big group photo on the stairs just outside the main ballroom, and soon afterwards Rusty informed me that he'd got "laid" twice tonight. I didn't quite know how to answer that startling revelation, before he pointed to the two leii garlands around his neck! He beat me by one! We slowly and eventually made out way out. Many were planning to go and continue partying, but I was exhausted so we made our goodbyes and caught a free trolley bus to close to our hotel. I got to bed at 3.15am, but of course there was plenty of noise out in the corrider long after that!

Weds 2/Thurs 3 Jan - The journey home…

I took a walk back down to Navy Pier at around 10am the next (same!) morning (Tues Jan 1st), and it was beautiful. It was sunny and crisp, though there was no biting wind, and the Chicago skyline was definitely photogenic that morning.

We drove back up to Madison early in the afternoon of New Years Day, deciding to go visit the "Piece restaurant (at 1927 W North Ave) another time, and my main task that evening was to pack to leave the next day!

Took a coach down to O'Hare mid morning on Weds 2nd, checking in at 11am for the 1.30pm flight to Boston and overnight connection back to London. Soon met up with Helene, who again was on the same flights back to England. Bought an individual Pizzeria Uno pizza to eat on board the plain, which reminded me that one day I "must" get to either the Pizzeria Uno or Pizzeria Duo restaurants in downtown Chi! Took off 45 minutes late, and after passing over a bank of cloud as we crossed Lake Michigan, I realised how lucky we'd been with the weather during the trip. It had been bitterly cold in Wisconsin and Illinois, though mostly clear and with no falling snow. However, the cloud bank broke as we flew over the State of Michigan and all I could sea was a blanket of snow covering the land.

Boston was cold but clear, and Helene and I had plenty of time to get to the gate for the London flight. That journey was uneventful, until we'd just got to the gate at Heathrow (Thursday morning, 3rd) at 6.40am and waiting to disembark. The announcement was made for 3 passengers, including me, to go to the United Airlines baggage desk after immigration <sigh>… Yep, that damn curse again. No problems with immigration, and as Helene and I got to the baggage claim area, bags from the Boston flight were just coming off, talk about quick! And one of the first off was Helene's! At the United desk, I discovered that whilst I had flown without problem from Chicago to Boston to London, my suitcase had gone to New York <big sigh>. They said it would arrive late in the evening, they'd get it sent up to Leeds/Bradford Airport and delivered to me.

Helene and I took a bus back to Windsor, and we had coffee and toast before I left her apartment at 10am, to drive the 200 miles to Leeds and straight to my office. About 80 miles into the drive, I had to slow down and stop for a traffic jam on the M1 motorway, and the gears SCREAMED as I changed down, and I saw smoke from underneath my car's bonnet. I quickly managed to get onto the hard shoulder and switch off. I called the rescue services, and waited by my car for 45 minutes in a very cold wind, before the breakdown man arrived. The problem was seemingly unconnected to the problems for which my car was in the Garage for most of Dec, and it was only the accelerator cable stuck, probably due to grit from the road. The smoke was probably from the clutch. By now I was tired and irritable, but I still got to work mid afternoon to at least show my face for an hour.

Getting my suitcase was a mess, I finally got it on Saturday morning, 48 hours after I'd landed in London. I should be glad it arrived safely at all!


As always, many thanks to give. Firstly, to Rhiazann as ever for her hospitality in Madison. Thanks to Helene for her hospitality in Windsor and for being an excellent travelling companion! Thanks also to Carla and Cheap Trick. And thanks to those people who gave me gifts, such as the Dec 28th Chicago Tribune article on CT.

It was wonderful to see so many friends at those three shows, it almost felt like another Trickfest! Seeing so many great friends was honestly one of the highlights of the shows for me, the others being the amazing show opening on Dec 29, seeing Rick wear the John Candas t-shirt at the Rockford shows, seeing Bun E back drumming again, "Scent of a Woman" at Rockford, "Waiting For The Man" at Chicago, and the wonderful confetti/tickertape raining down in the Ballroom at midnight on NYE! Some great memories of another great trip, despite the cold weather and United Airlines!

Kim Gisborne – 6 January 2002


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