Chris Caffery
Tour Diary

June - July 2001 PT III
  Poets in Europe 2001
2001 Tour Diary by Christopher Caffery


 

Well, we made it thru yet another European Tour. I sit here to write the story with again no notes, but a rather fresh memory. I am about 90% healed from the food poisoning I got in Spain. There will be much more on this later!!!

The rehearsals for the European tour were very harmless. We were in the way too big room at SIR for 2 days. Our gear was already on it’s way to Europe so we made due with what we had left in N.Y.. We played our usual 10 minutes and packed up.

We said goodbye to our friends, families and loved ones for what seemed to be a normal six weeks of touring. This six weeks turned out to be the longest year of our lives!

We all rolled into JFK airport and got ready to go. Singapore Airlines is a bit nicer than most and they have a very cool video game and movie selection. We were all happy about that. I wound up with my own row on the plane when the stewardess who sat her son in my row decided to move him away. Thanks for the favor!!!

We landed in Frankfurt and met up with our NEW Tour Bus. It was brand new. It seriously was the nicest bus I saw all tour. We enjoyed our little safe haven a lot. We had a day off in Frankfurt before we had to get to Austria. Not too thrilling, kinda a calm before the storm.

Austria - Mind Over Matter

We arrived at the festival sight very early. I immediately found the showers and got to them while they were still clean. This is very important when there are tons of bands and crews coming to shower. The day was moving rather slowly. Crowbar was the most exciting band I saw in the early half of the day. A great bunch of guys from New Orleans. We hit the stage after figuring out what set to play. I am sure you all saw that we changed our set list just about as many times as there were shows. It can get frickin boring playing Chance every night. I mean if the frickin father aint heard me by now he never will. However we have to do it. We can at least try to change up what we play around it. I noticed Phil Campbell from Motorhead watching us from my right. These guys are good friends. He dropped me off a shot and watched the whole show. After the show I was honored to be asked by Phil, Mikky and Lemmy to play onstage with them. Phil had not really seen us since Criss had passed away and had told me that he felt his spirit was living in me. 25 years of Motorhead and less than a dozen people had gotten to play with them onstage. I was so nervous. I had some of Lemmy’s Jack Daniels and reviewed “Killed By Death” with Phil. Cradle of Filth played next. We had become good friends with these guys in the month to come. They are actually kinda funny. Very nice. When Motorhead hit the stage I was really nervous. These guys were a band I first saw at age 12. This was way too weird. I am in Europe to start a tour with Priest and before we even hit I am jamming with Motorhead. I love my job. All of the guys in the band watched from the side of the stage as I came out to play. It was so loud, you have no idea!! I never wanted to hear Johnny complain about my stage volume again!!!! Lemmy’s bass went down for 30 seconds so I was Lemmy for a bit. It was so much fun. So dream-like. Oliva was very jealous. I felt like I could die then and be happy! We all loaded into the bus loaded…after some very funny stories by my favorite rock star Phil Campbell and headed to Milan.

Italy - Gods of Metal

I slept kinda late this Saturday. Johnny Lee woke me up and in the distance I could hear the sound of Blackie Lawless and WASP. I stumbled out of the bus to watch a song or 2. It turns out that WASP played too long and screwed up the whole schedule that day. It was not too good for Priest considering the last train back to the city left right before they hit the stage. I dunno what the real story was but headlining these shows always sucks for one reason or another. We were on right after Motorhead today. Right before Al and the Megadeth band. Unlike Austria, this show was indoors. 20,000 people and very hot! I remember seeing Al watch us from the side of the stage. This was kinda strange. I think we had a great show. The tour was just getting started. We ran into the Priest guys. They were sure to see a lot of us in the next month. We said our good-byes to Italy and headed to England.

We had spent the next 2 days traveling to Scotland. The ferry ride was kinda humorous. There were tons of drunken English people taking their clothes off and dancing. Unfortunately they were all fat and old!!! Yuk!

We made it to Scotland and had gotten into a pattern that would exist throughout the tour. Too Many Fucking Days Off!! I hate days off. All you do is spend money and kill brain cells. Granted I was never in Scotland, however one day off was enough, not 3!! We did manage a trip to the Braveheart Castle and another Castle. We also managed to raid the local drinking establishments, however…we were all anxious to get to the Priest Tour! Add the fact that the Hotel elevator was broken and there were 5 flights of stairs every time you wanted to do anything and it was time to get on the road already.

Scotland - Barrowlands

Lemmy and Mikkey said this was a cool gig. We arrived to the expected first day of an opening tour lack of attention from the promoters. We were obviously not in Germany. I just left and went to find my own food and wait for the smoke to clear. We were fairly well represented in the crowd and had a great reception right til the end. Of course when Priest hit the stage it was a whole new ball game. They are just too cool. Ripper rules. He is definitely one of the best out there. I watched their whole wet and went to say hello to the band. KK sat me down to talk, we became good friends as the weeks went on. There was our daily discussion of tech talk…going over the shows disasters onstage!! The guys were so cool. They said if I needed anything to ask. Even if it was there dressing room if our sucked. They were so cool. You see, this tour was a very special thing for me. When I was 12 years old I had won a contest to see and meet Judas Priest. This was the British Steel Tour. For the next 4 or 5 tours they always gave me and my brother tickets and passes. I remember KK asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said that I wanted to be like him. He remembers all of this and it was special for me to be opening for him, but also special for him to see a direct product of himself opening for them. There was an instant bond. Tim Owens - Ripper is a good friend too. He was psyched to watch us every night. As were we to see him. His wife was out on the road with him thru England. She is very nice. Apart from the normal opening band - headlining band crew soap opera shit…this tour was to run very well.

Manchester - England

This show was bizarre because it was a theatre and the seats were very far from the stage. Everyone was sitting down watching us. I really felt like the opening band. I was! By the end of the set we had a standing ovation. It just seemed to take forever to get to this point! Priest was giving us almost every light and added smoke to our show. They were being very nice. We actually sold 100 shirts this night. We were kinda unknown in Manchester before the show, not after! I met Ian Hill’s son today, he was a cool kid. I also stole a bottle of wine from Priest and retreated to the bus. Next stop London.

London

This day was very hectic. After driving around in circles like Clarke Griswald looking for the Astoria we finally arrived. We had to load in and leave the bus. So it was rush rush. Our dressing room was the size of a small closet. Funny how all of the crew decided to hang out there all day. We are 6 to start off with guys! I was bummed because the traveling caterers could not get water to cook today. These ladies made amazing food. Something I would definitely miss in the weeks to come. We had some photo shoots and interviews to add to the confusion. The crew was running late. Plus Ed, our drum tech had forgotten to put up the drum riser. It is weird with Jeff on the floor. The problem was it was a sold out show. The line was very long and there was not enough time to get them all in before we had finished. Two guys from Brasil were crying to me on the street that they had flown here to see us and missed it. I had many similar complaints. People knew who we were in London. This was for sure. There were banners in the audience and the crowd was great. I just wish that they all could have seen us. I have to remember that we are the opener. It had been so long since we had been in this position. I think we added “Of Rage and War” to the set tonite. I was happy. This is such a fun live song. Of course Priest invited us out to dinner and drinks after and we had to leave for Birmingham. Typical!!! We were asked this night to come back to London in the fall! Cool!

Birmingham

Yet another day off. This city is where it all began. Priest, Sabbath. I felt the vibe. I also did laundry with Jon. We went to this laundry mat and it was so odd. Out of the 15 washers and 8 dryers only 5 worked. A little Indian guy helped us out and we finished quite painlessly. However it was very funny. This was also the day I walked in the rain to the mall and got on-line. Then proceeded to delete all of my e-mail. A very funny thing was that there was a film crew here. I had met them in Scotland at the Braveheart Castle. They were filming for a kids TV station. It was 2 times in 2 countries in one week. They were as shocked as I was. Nice people whoever they were. We all met up later for Indian food. Indian food in England rocks. This place was amazing. We went out to the local roack bar and sat there til about 4 AM listening to all of your favorite and not so favorite metal songs from the last 20 years. I was happy to hear the Sabbath songs! I did write a song in the hotel this day. I had to. Now I just have to find it on my tapes! Taz and I stumbled back to the hotel last. He had stopped and gotten a Daddy Fucker Hamburger. 4 patties of meat. I think he got 2. He eats a lot. Yes, Daddy Fucker was the name. Birmingham was a cool city. Just too many stores. Never bring your wife or girlfriend here to vacation! You will go broke!

The show was a good one. Great city for metal. Priest still have family here. They had a party afterwards and we all hung out and had a blast. KK gave me 3 of Rob Halford’s old belts that he had in a road case someone brought there. This little boy was living one of his biggest dreams and loving every second. KK was very complimentary to my guitar playing. He would always make jokes about how I could fill in for him and noone would notice! We were very similar onstage!

Portsmouth - Last day in England

It seemed like we were gone for a month already. There is just too much time off when you are an opener. You only have to play for 50 minutes and the rest of the time is spent waiting. The guys had bought a new video game. A snow boarding one for Playstation 2. This would be all I would see for the next month on TV. It got ridiculous. I got my last meal with the catering ladies from London. It was sad to see them go. It was funny to get into catering. Everyone was freaking out. This was a cool town, so I left to shop and when I returned I found out that our microphones were lost in Birmingham. I was not stressing, although everyone else was. I just sat and ate. I was like…Well what can I do? KK cam in to eat with Ian and told us, me and Jeff, that the mics were found by his crew and were being held hostage. I though this was so funny. In a little while everyone knew the truth and we had to pay a ransom to get them back. It was time for the crew to figure out what the heck was being loaded and unloaded. I stayed out of it like usual. I was happy to finally be getting out of England. I enjoyed it. But I wanted to get into serious Savatage land. Priest had a day off in Munich. We were headed to Z7 in Switzerland.

Pratteln - Switzerland

This place we always seem to get to. I make sure I awaken early because there is laundry here. Oliva always beats me to it. We were trying to get things done quickly today because we were to play about 2 hours and we wanted to review some songs. We had a very extensive sound check. All was well. Like riding a bike. AC/DC was playing down the road about 40 miles. I was amazed that we had as many people in the building as we did. It was a great show. Stupid promoters at times…great show nonetheless. We played just about every song we knew as a band. The cook here is amazing too. The whole day was a breath of fresh air. I had missed headlining. Everyone told me I had a great night. I thought I did OK. After watching Johnny’s video, I was surprised at how well we all did. Right on!! Next stop Munich. I was excited to get to the real Sava-heads in Germany. Opening would be more fun when people knew who the fuck we were!

Munich - Germany

This was a cool area for a venue. I forget what it was called exactly. It was a warehouse district with about 30 bars and clubs. The promoter was much friendlier than the one in England from the get go. I don’t usually pay attention to that stuff. But, it is nice to eat and not feel like you are doing something wrong. We hit the stage and there was that familiar German roar of the crowd. I saw nothing but hands in the air from front to back. It was great to be in Germany!! I can’t wait ‘til the fall headline tour now. I want to play for this audience for hours! I think our show even went a bit smoother than Priest’s. It was obvious to everyone that we were Special Guests and not just openers now. I just liked being able to get onstage and see the Sava-shirts. It is an extra boost when you are in a tough situation. Priest is so killer live and it is nice to have your fans there. Nothing too thrilling happened this day. We just got in the bus and got ready to go to East Germany for Full Force.

Full Force

I woke up being dragged to a hotel room to shower. I managed to get down to breakfast and had the pleasure of hearing all of Mikkey Dee’s adventures from the night before. I also got some more very interesting Phil Cambell stories. He is a classic. I soon left for the bus.

We were experiencing a lot of bullshit throughout some of these festivals because we were a no show a few years back. We slipped down a few slots on the billing. Along with this came the attitudes from the bands that thought they were bigger than us. All we had to do was keep going up onstage and reminding people that we are Savatage and we are going to kick your ass. In the immortal words of Lemmy. It was raining on and off all day. During our show it poured. By the time the thunder roared in Mountain King it was really bad. Kinda fitting for the day. It was a dark one all around. We saw Al and Megadeth once more. Dave Mustaine was being very nice to everyone. Any supposed bad blood was non-existent. I was happy to see this. I do like Megadeth a lot. We could not wait to load up and get the heck out of dodge. We did not even stay to see Motorhead. We had a long drive to Belgium.

Graspop - Belgium

This was another one of those shows where I did not really agree with our placement on the bill. However, we did kick maximus buttimus!!! I asked Raymie right before we went on how much time we had. He said 7 minutes. I ran to the bus which was right behind the stage to use the rest room. I come out of the bus and hear the beginning of City Beneath The Surface. Raymie did not look to see if I was there and started to introduce us without me. I got there right in time to start the song. This was not enough…I broke a string like 30 seconds later. Very Spinal Tap. This was a huge crowd and they were very much into every note we played. I have a feeling that the next time we play here it will not be in the afternoon! Jack and I ran into the Metalium guys. They played the Campfest the night before. We spent most of the night partying with Motorhead. I was actually talking a lot to Ian Hill and to Lemmy. Lemmy is a true legend. A real Star. He was very encouraging to me in our talks. Phil Campbell was again out of his mind and so were John and Damond. Actually we all were a little. Graspop Rocked!

Koln - Germany

Day Off, HELP…..That Fucking word again. McDonald’s…bar…McDonald’s another bar. Yuk. This city is cool. But, we had a half of a day here last week and Sunday everything is closed. I must have walked about 20 miles trying to pass the time. Too Much Time On My Hands!!!

Show Day.

Still too much time. I did not even have to get to the venue til 5. Jack and I wandered about another 15 miles and wound up at the show in time for dinner. TIME….this was the key word tonite. Johnny Lee managed to lose track of time and during our show thought we were running late. Meanwhile we were 8 minutes early. So we played for 30 minutes instead of 50. This was the first time I ever was onstage with Savatage and did not play Mountain King. Not too surprising because our set sheet in the dressing room said we were going on an hour later and noone knew what the hell was going on. I also had a very interesting tuning in “Wake” tonite. I think we owe Koln a really great show in the fall!!!!! Afterwards we just sat in the beer garden and listened to Oliva tell time jokes. Johnny was a bit embarrassed. Oh well, always leave ‘em wanting more! Priest thought we were very amusing.

Hamburg - Germany

This is one of my favorite cities ever. I did get to live here for a while recording and rehearsing with Metalium. We got in and went shopping. I had to take a walk and look in the windows if you know what I mean. It is a tradition. There were all kinda of parties planned for later. I think we all wanted the next day off!!! I could feel the heat from the venue in the dressing room. This show, like Koln, was sold out. It was so hot onstage. I remember my contacts almost falling out of my eyes from the sweat. This show kicked maximus butt too. I remember Oliva walking offstage and past Priest’s dressing room and he said something so funny. He said that Europe was not designed for fat guys. This meaning there was a serious lack of air conditioning!!! I just remember the Priest guys busting out laughing. Afterwards I took Jeff and Johnny to the Backstage Club. This was the first bar I ever drank at in Europe. Hamburg was the first city I ever played in 1990 with Savatage/King Diamond. There were photos of us there from 1990. I think I mentioned this already in a past diary. Johnny and Jeff signed the guest book and read our old entries. We had a few drinks and tried to go and find everyone else. We kinda got separated but all wound up at some bar. I forget the name. Everyone was hammered. Jack, Jon, Damond. It is bad when I am the most sober. We all left to go back to the bus and I remember Taz riding in a shopping cart with his pants down. Him and Damond playing patty cake in the street and eventually the police arriving. Tomorrow, a much needed day off!!!

Geilsenkirchen

The hotel was very nice. I do remember a bunch of grouchy, hungover guys complaining about laundry or something. Jack and I went into town to find McDonald’s. Jack had become my roommate in England. This was due to guitar work and similar eating, health and sleeping habits. This town was kinda nice. They all start to look the same after a while. Funny thing is that Jack was trying to find a pair of Nike’s. Everywhere we went in Koln they were out of his size. Finally we find a Foot Locker with his size and the power goes out. They could not run the credit card machine! He decided to go for a hair conditioning and wait. I went back to nap. Later we found a Mexican Restaurant, well a German equivalent, and ate. For the most part, we all rested and slept off Hamburg.

Fishing in Germany

We were playing an amphitheater along the Rhine River Canal. Johnny and I immediately thought of fishing. I saw a huge fish come up and hit a piece of bread that Raymie threw into the river. We had to make a fishing pole. Johnny, being a hick extroadinairre, took a beer tab and cut it into a hook. We got dental floss and a wine cork and were good to go. We made some bread balls and began to fish. Everyone thought we were nuts. It did pass the time very well. Although we got nothing but a few nibbles. We missed home. It was so light out when we played. It was definitely an odd venue. This was it for the Priest shows in Germany. Next up Bang Your Head!!!

Bang Your Head Festival

Edna, this is your tent!

We were a very special guest at this show. We had 70 minutes to play and were going on right before Judas Priest, who were the headliners. So…our dressing cube was larger than the puppet show. We had arrived very early. Again getting the clean showers. I had played here a few years back with Metalium. I remember I had no time to shower and we were on at like noon. It is good to be back with Savatage. I was very excited to see Armored Saint and Joey Vera. They rocked. I slept thru Vicious Rumors by accident although I did not tell Jeff. OOPS. I think one or both of these bands may do some dates with us in the future. Uriah Heep went on just before us. They made me feel very young. Rose Tatoo were there too. Some cool old bands. We hit the stage and the crowd was insane. This was a very triumphant night for us. We definitely had a huge Legion in the crowd. Getting to hear 20,000people sing Believe is always an experience. However I think one of my concert hightlights of my life happened before Mountain King. After I played my solo, which I did on this piece of stage extending into the audience. It was located right in the middle. Well, after the solo, I just raised my hands in this sea of Metal Heads and had an incredible roar arise that I had never seen or heard before. Jon Oliva said it was the most intense concert moment he had seen since Black Sabbath played War Pigs at his very first concert. I then started the song and it was so magical. The crowd was just so amazing. I will never forget it. Germany is Savatage’s unofficial home base away from home and this confirmed it. Bang your head Ruled. Except for the concert security. They were a bunch of fucking wankers. In 2 days we did find yet another home!

Athens - Greece

We flew into Athens on Saturday night. This did not leave us time to see much other than some fans at the bar and John Stavroulakis, my landlord’s brother/ You know, the one who lives in my basement in NYCity. He was our guest for the next few days. Of course the schedule was all screwed up and I had to get to the venue way too early to check the Amps out. We left ours on the bus which was headed for Spain. I did manage to get blisters at the venue on my feet. It was being held in an Olympic track stadium. Athens is hosting the Olympics in 2004. I jogged the track with no shoes. DUH! Everyone at this festival was so nice. I love Greece. We were very excited to do our first show here in over 5 years. Another festival where the billing in no way shape or form represented our following. I did some TV interviews before the show and got stuck in the crowd signing autographs. This would happen again in an Ouzo induced Coma later on. This show again was highlighted by the chants of Savatage, Savatage as we awaited our time on stage. From note one ‘til the end this crowd was absolutely beautiful. Singing and jumping and smiling and screaming. Yes, another unofficial home away from home here in Greece! Afterwards I was given 2 bottles of Ouzo, a very dangerous Greek liquor. I was dumb enough to drink both very quickly. By the end of Megadeth’s set. They played after Cradle after us…I was blinded. I do remember signing about 1000 autographs and slightly remember Jon Oliva on a Police scooter. Other than that I think I had Cradle of Filth singing the Flintstones on the bus ride to the hotel and asked Danny what the fuck was wrong with his eyes. I was put to sleep. I think everyone else had remained awake. I just hear stories of Damond in the Hotel fountain and of Cradle throwing furniture in the fountain and something about Scott Travis’ girls from the show winding up at our hotel. I dunno, I was passed out in Raymies room. I did manage, against all odds, to wake up at 9 AM and go to the TV studio for the Greek Today show. I had promised to do it the night before. Actually I think if I had not passed out I would have missed it. I was on live for 30 minutes. Jon Oliva had John S. in his room and I was on TV. Oliva said that there was no way I was live. John insisted I was. I was. I actually think I was still hammered. The TV people said that Greece liked Savatage the best at the show. I will take their word for it!

I know we are coming back here for a few shows in October, rumor has it that it may be the DVD, Live CD location!!! Shhh,…..

I got all of everyone’s stories from the night before and we left for the airport for Spain. I was feeling a bit SLOW!!! Bye for now Greece.

Spain

OUCH!!!

The Pain in Spain is mainly in my stomache!!!

We flew into Barcelona to meet our bus. One problem however. Our guitars got left in Greece. Not only did we see what luggage that did make it get soaked in a rain storm. Which actually cancelled the rest of the Rockwave festival. But the rest never made it. So…our day off on the beach here was gone so we could go to Vittoria to await the gear. Once in Vittoria we were told it was in Madrid, however Gary and Raymie missed the last train to Madrid just in time to find out that the gear flew to Vittoria. KK had also lost his luggage. Good old Iberia Airlines. So, we never needed to lose our day in Barcelona, but we did and I may have got my food poisoning at an Indian place in Vittoria. This we ate at on our FUCKING DAY OFF. Afterwards Jon Oliva overtook the piano bar at the Hotel as it turned Jack’s birthday and sang all of your favorite lounge hits. Like War Pigs and Living After Midnight alla Oliva for the Priest guys. You had to see it to believe it.

Vittoria Show Day

This was kinda like going to England and starting all over again. Other than the coffee, Spain was a pain so far. I love the Café Con Leche. There were more quarrels about catering and show times and I again ran away. The show itself was fine, we definitely will return to Spain, I think we have a lot of potential to do very well here. As long as I don’t eat!!

Madrid

Now, I am pretty sure that the food here got me. We had finally had a nice day. I was getting lots of sun. I played badminton with Raymie. It was a cool day so far. We were playing a new Bull Fighting arena. The promoters were very nice to us after the first show. Then they took us to dinner. I really was not hungry. I just thought I would try a little fish. Bad move. I took a bite and it was not cooked too well. I think that bite got me. It wasn’t for 2 days, but it did. The bullfighting arena was cool. The marks from the bull’s horns were on the walls. It was very Metal!!! We had a lot of fans here. This show was a good sign of an even better future in Spain. We all hung out at a bar attached to the arena and signed things later. Madrid, nice place to play, not eat!

On the Beach Finally!

I forget the name of this town. You guys have it on the tour dates, fill it in. We all woke up to hear that the beach was ½ mile away. Raymie, Jeff, Jack, Gary, Ed and I bolted to the beach! I wound up staying there 5 hours. Mostly walking and noticing how many fat people there were. Kinda surprising. There were some intense sand sculptures and it was a very scenic beach front. I kept returning. I stayed away from dinner ‘cuz I heard horror stories. It was a few of these nights that we actually let Clay Marshall travel on the bus. I remember one night. I believe it was in between Full Force and Graspop that I actually got him hammered. This day he was a guest once more and accompanied me to get some photos on the beach. We snuck in the front door and got ready for the show. I like these out door Spanish shows. The fans are so festive. I watched Priest from the side of the stage and tried to speak to the fans. Not too many people speak English in Spain. I need to work on my Spanish. I definitely liked this town, wherever I was.

Cadiz = Still on the Beach

Today we were literally one block from the beach. We all headed for the sunshine. We found sun, fun and naked chicks! It was a very scenic beach. A lot less fat people and way more breasts!!! America is way too stiff on certain policies. I feel the need to vote for more nude beaches! I stayed in the sun all day today. Ed got sun poisoning. Clay was red. So was Jack. I was just tan, but not feeling right. I got a Happy Meal from McDonald’s and it did not stay down. Something was going wrong inside me. The stage was not too sturdy at this show so they held doors for about 2 hours to strengthen the supports. We were very cautious with our jumping onstage. I just was not feeling right. The show was great. I just got weaker and weaker as the night went on. By the time Priest was over I was not well at all. I had a bad fever and chills. I just sat in the bus shaking. Johnny thought it was the sun, wrong my friend! I was in fear of the long bus ride, which wound up being hell as I began to experience this in full swing. I hated this ride, I had the bus stop a lot. We made it to our hotel for the day off and I locked myself in my room for a day and came out once. I ate a half of Jack’s sandwich which did not stay down either. It had been almost 4 days since I ate. I was in and out of the bathroom at least every half hour. I was miserable. Everyone just told me to sleep it off. The next morning I took an anti-biotic I had as an experiment. I felt too sick as in flu sick. My fever broke in an hour and I felt much better. I still did not eat this day, but I thought I would be ok. I did not continue with the anti-biotics. Duh!!! I made it thru the show. It went well. I was very cautious not too eat. I went to sleep and woke up in Barcelona feeling kinda ok.

Not only did we have the pleasure of Mr. Clay Marshall riding with us the night before, we had kidnapped Ripper. I cleared out a bunk for Mr. Owens and he got his first experience with Savatage on wheels. It was funny 'cuz the Priest guys were afraid that we were going to return him all damaged. He was very responsible and even put himself to bed when he thought he had enough. Tim Owens is just about the coolest guy on the planet. If you have ever seen him with Priest you also know that he sings his ass off. What a killer voice. He was always right on too.

Damond and I went exploring a little. This was a beautiful city. Kinda like San Francisco meets Paris meets Orlando. I hit the Hard Rock for T-Shirts and was back for soundcheck. All seemed well. This was our last night with Priest. We said our good-byes. Damond, Raymie and I got to bow with the Priest guys at the end of their show. This tour was a blast. I even ate and it stayed down. My Mom just got me and I had to shoot a rabid Possum. For those of you eating the shot went thru it’s back out it’s head and thru a water dish. Ouch. Anyway, I was feeling fine. We said good-bye to Clay Marshall too who was reigning King Nomad. From there we headed to France. That night, my stomach felt weird once more. Kinda like it did on Saturday. We arrived in France and took a day off in a quaint French town. Johnny and I went sight seeing, it was a nice place. We all ate Italian food and got ready to go thru to our show with Megadeth in Paris. That night I still did not feel right. I had the bus stop a few times also.

Paris - France - Holland - Hospital

We arrived in the morning. Mountain King and I got early showers and we soon left for lunch at the Hard Rock Café’. Raymie came with us. I had a salad, but something was wrong. When we returned to the venue the bleeding started. Not from the mouth either. Yuk. I told Johnny and he wanted me in the hospital. I was afraid to go here ‘cuz I knew we had a long drive to Holland and the tour was almost over. The show with Megadeth ran very smooth, I was just not all there. The doctor came to the gig and said I needed anti-biotics, which I had. The bus ride that night was fucking torture. I was dying. I got to the hotel in Holland and soda cans of blood were coming out of me. I called the front desk and set up an appointment at the hospital. Gary and Jack went with me. I was admitted right away, unlike the U.S.A.. They took my blood and my vitals. I was running about a 102 degree temperature. I know I was way hotter in Spain. I am surprised I was not worse now. The doctors checked my blood and it was not good. My kidneys were barely working, I had no minerals in the blood I had eaten 2 times in the past week. They did not think that I would play Bospop. I was determined. They soon stuck an IV in my arm and put me in a room. My 2 room mates were about a combined age of 230. One did not speak, the other spoke only Dutch. Obviously not too much talking was going to go on. I just wanted to get better. They put anti-biotics in my IV and within 3 hours the fever broke. The doctor told me that I would have my fate determined by my blood in the morning. Of course I could not eat and had lost about 15 pounds in a week. By 3 or 4 in the morning I was feeling much better. I was rolling myself down the hallways bored. Noone thought I was leaving the next day. You can’t keep Biff down!!I had my blood taken at 6. By 10:30 the doctor came in and said my blood improved by hundreds of percents. I was to be released with pills to take. I did lie about the bleeding. It continued. I said it stopped.

Bospop = Holland

I showed up with my bandages and slept for a few more hours. I woke up to watch a little of Living Color. I visited the bathroom every 15 minutes until showtime and knew I was to be bleeding onstage. We had a 70 minute set, OH JOY! The one time that 45 would be fine. Luckily it was cool out. I carefully made my way thru the show. Afterwards everyone was partying like it was the end of the tour. I sat in a ball near the bathroom. I said goodbye to Al and Dave from Megadeth and went to sleep. The bus ride was not fun to Frankfurt. But I made it. I managed to hold down a real meal and went to sleep. At 5 AM we went to the airport and got ready to go home. When we got to the JFK Airport in NYI just wanted to go to bed. Taz lost a bag, the S I R equiptment van got impounded and I did not care. I was close to home. Jeff got a rental car to drive upstate and dropped me off at the Tage-Majal. I was home and alive. We had kicked Europe’s ass for 6 weeks that seemed like a year. I think you all should watch what you eat. If it is bread, it is dead!!!

Chris Out ‘Til Next Time!!!!

Peace