Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tales From The Abyss Pt. 3 "Madness In The Euro-Sheds, Damned By The Arch Bishop and The Flight From Hitler's Airport"

The ground rules were now set! Godspeed were going to do whatever they wanted, hijack our tour bus and our right to privacy. In such close quarters it's hard not to step on someone's toes occasionally but these guys took that concept to the moon. It was inevitable that some shit was going to go down!

Our tour bus made it to Dover for the morning crossing over to Belgium. It was a welcome break from the insanity that had ensued all the way from our final show in the U.K.. We were able to split up and get away by ourselves on the ferry and for me and old English breakfast was in order! Fried bread, eggs, beans and that incredible sausage all topped with a little side of mushrooms and a dab of H.P. Sauce. Man, I was in heaven even though my arteries were in the hospital!

I made it back to the lounge only to find Asbury Park's finest once again drinking it up. Godspeed were obviously binge drinkers and somehow they thought it made them more rock and roll but in reality it made them look like hooligans. Their insecurity about their own musical talent was telling. Their leader "Tommy" was like one of those kids that spent his entire youth in reform school for skinning all the neighborhood cats and hanging their pelts in the branches of their owners trees.

We finally got to the coast of continental Europe and got back on board the bus. We then made our way to Brussels. This is when we finally broke the ice with Godspeed and Gaz was the first to stand up to their madness as they had taken control of the tape player with their entire collections of Flipper, M.D.C. and Dead Kennedy's tapes. They were a walking frat house party and it was time to stop them! Of course amongst great protest, Gaz just simply ejected their hard core punk tapes and gave them back. He then slipped in Amon Duul II. What a master stroke!

Those guys looked like someone had just pissed in their cornflakes! This just didn't go with their plans of usurping! They thought that they were going to call all the shots for 3 f**king months. At this point we ramped it up and we all got our tapes and CD's out. We were listening to High Tide, Clear Blue Sky, Blue Cheer, Quartz, Kiss you name it! The Godspeed camp all of a sudden went very quiet! I hated it but we were going to have to raise these guys like little children and educate them a bit about being on tour and learning to share.

The show in Brussels went well but unfortunately for me my nerves were shot from traveling with people that never slept and continuously partied. I was not in my right mind and susceptible to my own bad judgment. I was outside of the venue when Black Sabbath was doing their last number. I was right at the end of the front walk out to the street from the main entrance when I saw this guy crouched down on the sidewalk rummaging through a bag in desperation and then he said "Ah Ha!". He had pulled out a huge bag of crystal meth and asked me if I would like a snort? I said to him that I didn't do "crank" but that at one time in my life I had occasionally dabbled in cocaine. He said, "Coke?" "I've got lot's of coke!" "You want some?" I said well maybe a little bump. At that he put out a line 12 inches long heaping on the concrete and said hurry up and do it the doors are opening and the audience is heading this way! Like an idiot, I'm on the sidewalk snorting this gigantic rail fit for an elephant with the fans and the concert goers who had just seen me on stage in all my glory now walking around me as I was on my knees on the ground reduced to life in the gutter snorting drugs! Some of them even commented as they walked by, "Isn't that the drummer for Cathedral?" "Man, that's disgusting". They were so right!

After all that, it was time to hit the road towards our next show in Paris. I was totally tweaked and confessed it all to the guys and apologized for my stupidity. I think after my confessions of sin everyone kind of blended together better as we were all misfits in one way or another.

Our gig in Paris was at an old theater located at the bottom of the hill from where Jim Morrison was buried. I had played there once before with Raven on our tour with Kreator in 1989. I remember them having a strict noise ordinance that turned a lot of bands away from performing there. So what were they going to do with 2 of the world's loudest bands in the house?

Lee Dorian and Gaz were now detaching themselves from the rest of the band as they had now become the only Brit musicians on the bus since Godspeed arrived and they decidedly didn't like our American sense of humor. As rough around the edges as Godspeed were, they were trying their New Jersey best to fit in with Victor, Scott and I. So on this night of the Paris show we slipped out during Sabbath's set and checked out the Parisian night life with them. They were cool and we started getting along. This definitely brought the anxiety level down, at least for a while. Still, Lee and Gaz wanted no part of them and now us. At some point I lost the Godspeed guys in a disco and went looking for them in every bar and pub that I could which led me in to a bar that was actually a brothel. This place was dripping with red crushed velvet and old ornate golden hanging chandeliers. There were these chicks right out of Moulin Rouge on the laps of every guy with a 3 piece suit on. Some at the bar and some in little private booths with scarlet curtains. You just knew for these guys, that there was a wife and kids at home waiting for them all! As soon as I approached the bar to ask if my new found pals had come through for a drink I was told to, "Get out!" "We don't let your kind in here!" yelled the 300 pound Madam! She was a poor imitation of Divine in John Water's "Pink Flamingos"I yelled back"I'm glad I'm not your kind you sleaze bags!" All of a sudden the french bastards with suits on and messed up hair and ties are outside threatening me as I'm throwing one of them in to a parked Renault on the street! I took off running as they were yelling for the Jon Dam! You would have thought Jack The Ripper had come calling the way they were making such a fuss!

Beds,brothels and a bevy of brie eating babes!

I managed to get back to the gig before Black Sabbath's last encore and just hung out in the dressing room with Gaz and Lee telling them of my little adventure. We heard Sabbath come in to their dressing room next to ours and some harsh words were being exchanged over the set that they had just played. We kind of slipped out of there before anything else happened and prepared to spend the night in town.

The next day Cathedral's manager, Paul Loasby met us at the bus with a car and took us to The Louvre and the Eifel Tower. Unfortunately Victor ran off with Godspeed to another watering hole and missed out on this once in a life time opportunity. This was great fun and it took us away from the rock and roll madness for a day. It was also good to do something together as a band besides playing and talking about music as we were still trying to get to know each other.

Seeing the "Mona Lisa" at close range was indescribable as was seeing a mammoth painting of a coronation that needed a warehouse to contain it! When you got close to it you could actually see woven threads in the clothes of these giant people in the painting. Magnificent! This was something I will never forget for the rest of my life as I'm a painter and illustrator also. This was the grail of fine art.

Paul Loasby took all of us in Cathedral to the Louvre as a special treat for a job well done. Seeing the exquisite art in the Louvre will stay with me the rest of my life!

After our trip into the world of fine art we headed to the Eifle Tower and got a ride up to the top in the worlds scariest elevator! We stopped half way up and realised the enormity of the structure. We were wondering if we should continue any higher as we were already high above the city. We chose to proceed. It was becoming windy out by the time we got to the top and the huge World's Fair relic started swaying in the breeze and was most felt in the top section. We all got one good Kronenburg down our necks when we decided that it was time to get back down to the street.
We said goodbye to the beautiful city of Paris with a trip up the Eifel Tower and a quick beer!

Our next gigs were in Germany and we were to spend a day and night in Cologne for our days off. I remember seeing the giant cathedral set in the center of town from almost 11 miles away as it was so massive!
We parked our tour bus down by the waterfront along with all the tourists visiting that lovely city! We decided the best plan of action was to find a pub that sold Guinness. This time Lee and Gaz decided to come along for some adventure. Our road crew consisted of 2 guys, Rudy from Scotland and Lug from Newcastle. Lug had been a life long friend to Cronos of Venom and was one of the people responsible for smuggling in black powder in his carry on luggage to the states for the pyro show at Venom's infamous 1981 show at the Paramount Theater in Staten Island, N.Y. . Nowadays he would have been a candidate for "Gitmo"!

Lug and Rudy decided to come with us for the festivities. After the first 3 beers the day became a fog as we rolled in and out of every bar and pub in Cologne. Around 9:00 pm I staggered back to the bus only to find Godspeed's manager Mick totally shit-faced drunk. Scott Carlson was also on the bus and had also decided enough was enough as he was as broke as I. Everyone of us had blown their food money on booze.

Mick the tour manager suddenly started acting crazy and shouted out to the bus driver to leave! I asked him, "What the hell are you thinking?" "The rest of the guys from both bands are still out and about in the city!" Mick wouldn't have any of it and shouted even louder for the bus driver to leave and then suddenly the engine kicked on! This guy was fast becoming Captain Bligh from "Mutiny On The Bounty"! Those of us who were in the bus managed to wrestle his drunken ass to the ground but it was too late as the bus started moving! Next thing we knew we were out of town and missing 11 people. We had already crossed the bridge out of town and it would be very difficult now to double back much less find the place where we had parked the bus earlier.

Mick the road manager lost his mind and had the bus driver depart Cologne leaving behind most of Cathedral and Godspeed! We had to wrestle him to the floor and threaten the bus driver with an ass beating if he didn't go back for them!

I told the bus driver that I would personally throttle him if he didn't turn around and wait for the rest of the guys to return! I finally talked sense in to him and we returned to find all of the lost orphans of our entourage waiting in the parking lot where we had been earlier. It seemed to me that one person after another was falling victim to some kind of unseen panic syndrome. This , I later found out was true and it wasn't just exclusive to the Cathedral/Godspeed camp either!

Our next few gigs were kind of a blur as the entire group of us were partying all night every night after our gigs and I had to purchase a couple of small Jager Meisters from the freezer of a vendor every night and down them in order to get any sleep through the madness!

I remember playing in Berlin and it was very cold. It was also the first chance that I had to call home since I had arrived in Germany. Victor was becoming depressed over some personal issues and Lee and Gaz were playing head games with him a lot when they should have been backing off. This always seemed to happen on our days off as well. I couldn't wait for days "on" as everyone had something important to do other than drinking themselves to death.

We set out over night for the city of Erfurt. All night I was tossing and turning with a sharp pain in my back. I figured that a piece of luggage or something to do with the bus had poked through to my ground bunk. That morning I found the culprit! It was a high heeled woman's shoe belonging to one of 2 Japanese girls who had stowed away on the bus right before we had left Berln! It seems that Gaz from Cathedral had found these girls and while they were in the toilet he snagged one of their shoes and stuck it directly under my mattress heel up. Finding Japanese female fans on your bus is a very common thing on tours. You will glance up to the front of the bus and see 2 or three dark haired little girls hiding in the front like mice. They are so quiet and sneaky about it that you can harldly tell them to get off the bus when they've been so clever about it and haven't bothered anyone! Anyway, that morning when I awoke with that shoe in my back I yelled out "I've been impaled!!!!" Everyone on the bus died laughing.

We were headed to the town of Erfurt when we were informed about this particular show and 2 others in the near future. It seems that the Arch Bishop of Fulda, Germany had officially damned the Black Sabbath tour and that if we played the three towns of Erfurt, Offenbach or Fulda that all of us would be cast in to the pit! Apparently the Arch Bishop himself had been on the radio for weeks protesting our arrival in Germany. He had even managed to have the concert posters censured and new ones had to be put up with Godzilla jaws in place of the burning wings of the angel on the original poster.

I do understand someone's concern about a show or idea attempting to discredit our Lord as I and other Americans are witness to atheists and scientologists doing this blasphemous act every day! I, being a Chritstian have an aversion to inverted crosses, satanic imagery and satan worship. This however, does not give me the right or the power to damn someone! That lies exclusively with God the Father and not any one human including the mistaken Arch Bishop of Fulda! If anyone was committing blasphemy it was him! For him to curse us would be tantamount to voodoo. There were several of us Christians on that tour who knew the difference between reality and show business. Apparently he didn't.

We arrived in Erfurt for our concert on an unusually warm day for that time of year and we all went about our day's business. The caterer went to market as usual to buy food for the bands and crew. We all tended to the things we needed to make the show go on and then took a break to eat our meals. Suddenly none of us felt very good after dinner. In fact all of us had felt strangely all through the day. I remember it being extremely hard to breath anywhere in the venue. Could this have been the Arch Bishops curse? I sensed worry from the Sabbath camp about this show and the threats made against us all. Tony Iommi was even hanging around our dressing room door kind of feeling out how we were dealing with it. On my way to the stage I waved hello to him and prodded the other guys with "Hey , let's go do this f**king thing! " We played our hearts out and totally entertained the audience. Black Sabbath then later did the same. The trifecta of the damned was now one third over with and as we were loading out, we found the 2 little Japanese girls in the company of Godspeed and I spotted the girl with one shoe. I told her where she could find the other one and that was the last I saw of them for the rest of the tour.

Erfurt, Germany was the first stop on the "gigs of the damned" trio self described and ordained by the Arch Bishop of Fulda! Funny though, how difficult it was to play that gig and the other 2 to follow as well!

We next arrived in Hannover at a circus tent venue that fit inside of a massive old factory building that once pumped out Nazi U boats in WW II. The allies never discovered it's location and it was never bombed. It had catwalks all the way up to the ceiling. You just knew that Das Fuhror had at one time walked these steel catwalks with his cronies. Now in 1994 it was Tony Martin walking the steel path overlooking the proceedings in the factory now turned concert venue/cable warehouse. I had also played this venue before with Raven on the Running Wild tour in 1990. To give you an idea about the size of this place , when you got to the top of the catwalk and looked down at the giant circus tent that was the gig, it appeared to be the size of a small coin held at arms length tucked in a corner of this behemoth of a structure!

Black Sabbath as I said earlier were having their own disagreements about things but on this night everything was running smoothly and all of us were laying back and just enjoying the event. Our guitar roadie "Lug" was testing the guitars on stage and each one he picked up he would plug in to the amp and play his horrible rendition of "Symptom Of The Universe" in front of the waiting crowd. In fact he had been doing this every night on the tour. Sabbath's road manager Bob Ward pulled him aside and politely asked him to not to do this anymore as it was upsetting to the guys in Sabbath. Lug was one of those guys that can't leave well enough alone and stuck his head inside Sabbath's dressing room to appologize. They were cool about it and just told him to lay off sound checking with Sabbath songs as it was unprofessional to do so. Lug in his child like way then asked, "Well if you don't want me to play your stuff do you have any requests?" Needless to say they broke out into uncontrolable laughter. Lug was an one of a kind!

"Lug" taking time out for a snapshot with Victor. Lug was a classic Geordie from North Shields and had a great sense of humor . He died a few years later from grief over having his child taken away from him in a custody battle. It made the British papers with a clip saying "Sabbath Roadie Dies From Grief"Rock and Roll tends to cut some of it's finest people down like dogs! You'll be missed "Brother"!

Tony Iommi came by our our dressing room to say hello and have a few quick laughs with us before he went on stage as did Geoff Nichols and Tony Martin. All the bands went down well and this is when the members of Black Sabbath began speaking with the other bands a little more. The ice seemed to break for a short time but this was also a volatile mixture of people and situations that would soon come to an uncomfortable impass! But for now, things were good.

Over the next 2 weeks we played a few identical sports hall gigs that all look the same and are no big deal. Godspeed trashed the dressing rooms night after night leaving wet towels all over the floor and leaving water running and trash heeping in their wake! Their fearless roadmanager Mick once again lost his mind and blamed all the carnage in the dressing rooms on Cathedral. He went to Gloria Butler and Bob Ward from Sabbath about it and also told the people promoting the rest of our shows in Germany and Switzerland that Cathedral was at the root of all the problems on the tour and that we should be kicked off! This guy was a real "prat" and unfortunately for him, the truth always prevails as you will see later on the story!

Suddenly all kinds of privelages were cut off from us. We were denied dressing rooms, phone calls and guests in our dressing rooms. Sabbath's crew and especially their light man/stage manager Keith went out of their way to distance themselves from us. I remember Keith screaming at us during our soundchecks to "Stop playing that shit and get off the stage"! When we were going up the ramp to play our set he was standing there on the side of the safety rail with his maglight telling us if we didn't hurry up that he would stop our show all together! That's when I got in his Irish face and told him that I would rip every limb off hs body and flog him with the bloody ends if he ever entertained that thought again! I never heard another peep out of him. Besides he was just pissed off along with the rest of Sabbath's crew that none of them had yet recieved pay through their bank accounts and the tour was now close to half way through.

Victor Griffin was having a very hard time with the fact that Pentagram wasn't on this tour and that he would have to suffer the indignity of supporting his childhood heroes, Black Sabbath in a sub-par doom metal band like Cathedral. I continued reminding him that for now we were in Cathedral and that this was their gig and that we would have to do our professional best for them. We were after all, very lucky that they had invited us along. I also thought that Cathedral were pretty damn good for young guys. Victor had also gotten news that his father had been diagnosed with cancer and it didn't look good for him. I was also saddened as Mr. Griffin was like family to me. I think Lee and Gaz knew down deep how Victor felt about Cathedral and offered to feature a Pentagram song in the set that Victor had written. We were now going to add "Evil Seed" to the set list. This cheered Victor up for awhile but his drinking got evermore out of
Victor had problems back home and was stuck on a major European tour with others equally troubled. Unfortunately his only outlet for his frustrations were found in a bottle which ultimately made everyone nervous.

We once again arrived in a town in Germany that I'd never heard of to play yet another identical sports hall gig. It was a beautiful spring morning. I got up at 8:00am and had the bus driver come with me for a scotch whiskey breakfast. When I arrived back at the bus Victor's girlfriend Anne had flown in to be with him as he was going through troubled times. I was glad for him but knew that once she had to fly back that he would snap under the pressure he had been going through.

Our roadies Lug and Rudy were outside on blankets with some cute young German girls that they had met and they were smoking a little hash and having a picnic while listening to The Black Crowes. Cathedral's manager Paul Loasby had also flown in to be with Lee and Gaz. He took them to a hotel to get away from the rest of us. They obviously didn't say anything good about the tour to him and sighted Victor and I as the problem. That came as no surprise to me as that's the way they operate no matter who is in their band. It's always been Lee and Gaz against those guys!

Word got out that Victor was drinking Black Sabbath's crew's beer and tension started developing once again between the bands and Paul Loasby found out that Cathedral were now playing a Pentagram song in the set and that we hadn't rehearsed any new material for the upcoming headline shows in Ireland after the Sabbath tour was over. Paul blew his top and started setting up our gear in the middle of the hall while the crew were trying to set up the staging. He wanted us to start rehearsing now! We all knew that this would go down terrible with Sabbath and Sabbath's crew. We were between a rock and a hard place. Finally it took Scott Carlson to speak up for all of us and he told Paul that it would be an impossibility to do what he wanted as there were others in the hall that wouldn't be happy and that it wouldn't look good on the band!
This was equivilant to telling the master of the workhouse in Olliver Twist that we wanted more
Pourage. Paul snapped like a twig and walked off. We didn't see him again until end of tour.

After getting through a tough gig and a tough day we headed for Stutghart with Victor's girl Anne in tow. We found out when we got there that MTV was filming 3 songs from each band and that there would be an interview after the show. We had a few hours to kill and Lee Dorian had been going on about a killer used record shop in the downtown area so we went. It had all kinds of goodies for people like me who love 1970's heavy blues rock. I remember buying the gatefold version of "Jane 2" by the krautrock band of the same name. I also found a copy of Slade's rarest and heaviest album. "What Ever Happened To Slade". When we got back to the venue Geezer Butler was blocking our way in to our dressing room and asked me what records I had on me so I showed him the Slade album. I knew that he certainly must know who they were as both Sabbath and Slade were from Birmingham. He said, "Do you really like them?" I told him, "Man, this album is the holy grail". He just shook his head.

I think Cathedral's show went down good and we got decent reviews for it as well. The interview with MTV was also cool as they mentioned Pentagram for the first time in their history! They filmed 3 songs from the band, "Ride", "Midnight Mountain" and "Autumn Twilight".

MTV filmed 3 songs from each band in Stuttgart and Kerrang Magazine also documented the event with favorible reviews for Cathedral.

Later after Black Sabbath's set Bob Ward and then Geezer got in a shouting match with the caterer of the tour about a sandwich that was usually provided after the show for Geezer with his name written on the plastic rap that had seemingly gone missing and the caterer had locked up her kit for the night. She got so wound up by all of this that she now was threatening to pull out of the Eastern Block section of the tour and leave all 40 of us to finding our own food and preparing it ourselves . This would have been tragic as everyone knows they boil rocks for soup where we were going!

Somebody from Kerrang Magazine happened to be present and the problem in progress became leaked to him. The next article written in Kerrang about the tour was entitled "Sandwich Bloody Sandwich" ! It featured all the problems and tribulations facing the tour and posed the question , would we be able to finish it before a Chernobyl type meltdown occurred?

The next day we were headed to Docks in Hamburg but not before Victor dropped off his girlfriend, Anne at the airport to return to the states. Victor was poised and ready to have an emotional breakdown. His little bit of safe time from the tour with Anne was now over and he was going to have to face the rest of the grueling schedule without her. The next 2 nights were going to be in Hamburg set in the notorious Reeperbahn.

The venue in Hamburg was Docks, situated along the notorious Reeperbahn next to strip clubs, peepshows and brothels. Disneyland it was not! We spent 4 days of debautury in this slime hole along with U.S. sailors, pimps and heroin addicts !

After our first night I headed to some bars I knew of from past tours through Hamburg. I mistakenly brought 2 guys from Godspeed with me which set the tone for a dangerous night out!
We went to a bar that had been the actual site of The Star Club's stage. The original club where the Beatles and Jerry Lee Lewis had played was long since burned down in a fire and only the stage area was left. The club owner always took good care of me in my times at his bar and requested an autograph from any touring bands in town on one of his ceiling tiles. I had already done this years before and now Tommy from Godspeed was doing it. After that it was free drinks!

The owner of the bar decided to take the guys and me out to one of his favorite bars in town but the Godspeed boys were starting to get out of hand when we got there so after some funny looks from my old friend, I grabbed the Godspeed guys who had not stopped picking on each other and wrestling since we started having drinks and headed on foot back to the tour bus.

When we finally got back we found the rest of our 2 bands and the crew wanting to hit the town also. They were planning to take taxi's to another bar I was familiar with that catered exclusively to the touring bands. All you had to do to drink for free was to give up a stick on backstage pass! We had hundresds of them!

I got in the taxi with Victor, Lug, Lee and Gaz. Mick, Ian, and Scott Carlson jumped in the other and off we went. Victor was acting really strange since Anne had left and had already been trying to drink it off. I tried to tell him that he should relax and enjoy the tour because this was a big one and that these opportunities rarely come more than a few times in a musician's life! He kept saying "I know, I know, but you just don't understand! I'm trying but I just can't keep it together." I said to Victor, "This is the third European tour I've been on and you will learn to love this if you only give it a chance!" It seemed that no matter what I said to him, he was going to make our special time out to be a doomed effort.

We arrived at the club and there was my old friend Jurgen who owned the bar and it was a triumphant return home for me and him! Everyone gave him their passes and or drum sticks, guitar picks and anyththing else considered as tour paraphenalia to be promptly displayed behind the bar so that the free drinking could commense!

Black Sabbath's guitar techs were there and some local Hamburg recording stars. We were all having a blast and unwinding from the gruelling schedule of the tour with some much needed laughs about the whole situaiton.

I recognized the guitar player from Helloween sitting in a booth and sat down for a chat with him. I had met his other band mates through members of Running Wild when I was editing a Raven video in Hamburg a few years earlier. He was nice enough until I mentioned that I had trouble getting paid by Cathedral earlier on in the tour and now it was time for my next paymrnt and it too was late! The guy turned to me and in his best Jeckyl and Hyde, said, "That's the trouble with you Americans, you only play music for money! Us Germans do it for honor!"
I turned to that guy and said, "Hey Mack, that's the biggest line of horse shit I've ever heard in my life!" You just knew by looking at him that he would be the first person to cry "Uncle" if he wasn't paid properly. This guy was a true "Jerk Off"looking for trouble! Well, he got it!

Helloween's guitarist and resident big mouth, Michael Weikath decided to have a go at me for my philosophy on getting paid for my services as a musician! I later spotted him being chased down the street like a little girl in Hamburg by a pissed off Victor Griffin! That one was on the house!

The second before throttling this Helloween idiot, Victor comes to our table and he doesn't look amused. I said, "Hey man, this is my friend Victor. He's a huge fan of your band and I'm sure you both have a lot to talk about!" Then I sat Victor down with him knowing that he was now going to converse with a time bomb! I full well knew that their friendship was going to last half a second! Out of nowhere, Wham! Victor was chasing that guy down the streets of Hamburg in horror! It was beautiful!

Victor came back and told me what had happened but the incident left him wrung out and disoriented more than he should have been. He asked me where the toilet was and I pointed him in the right direction. I started talking with Tony Iommi's guitar tech about Tony's stage gear when everybody in the bar was interrupted by loud banging in the toilet and a lot of yelling. This continued for some time until they dragged out the culprit and it was Victor! He had pulled the toilet out of the wall with his bare hands and destroyed the partition among other things. Geezer Butler's bass tech, Charlie, managed to get him outside and calm him down. I came out and asked if he was OK and Charlie said "I've seen this before with Zack Wylde in Budapest. He destroyed a whole club and came back the next day to help clean up his carnage." "Victor", he said, "was just suffering from touring pressures especially since it was his his first!" Charlie was an understanding guy and got my respect immediately for seeing the problem for what it was. Jurgen, the club owner also invited Victor back in the club if he could control himself and all would be forgotten. We later found out that he had done $2000.00 worth of damage.

The next 2 days were spent in the streets of Hamburg. For me, there was no place to go but my bunk as I was severely broke and hungover. Everyone else was out an about at the peep shows and strip bars of the Reeperbahn. It became incredibly hot out for that time of year and we had no showers so when we showed up in Offenbach 2 days later with hair of grease and stage clothes of death we were informed that there were no showers and no dressing rooms as the available space was now being used for yet another f**king Sabbath production room! After all, they needed that space to house more photo copiers and laptops! I finally exploded in the venue in front of everyone and said "This is the biggest Mickey Mouse tour I've ever been on if you can't provide a dressing room for these tired people who need to get out of the bus for a while! What would you guys do if we refused to play your f**king show? Suddenly with the help of the caterer and my regretful outburst, we got a dressing room! Apparently the caterer promised to stay on with the rest of the tour if they turned over the extra room to Cathedral and Godspeed. This was totally unexpected and she was a real peach for doing it!

With all that being said, the hall had major power problems and every time you would play with the lights there would be a loud crackle over the P.A. system and the amps. We now had to wait for generators to be delivered from the adjacent town of Frankfurt that the lights would be plugged in to. The show was 2 hours late and the crowd outside was getting pissed off! It suddenly dawned on me that this was the Arch Bishop's second cursed show!

The show finally went on, and to our surprise it was a great one for Cathedral! Gaz had managed to get someone to video the show with his camera. The footage we later saw on the bus was killer!

The next day we headed for Munich to play Terminal One which was Hitler's airport in WW II.
It was also the site of his last speech. When we got there we saw the giant art deco clocks that all of us have seen on the walls in old newsreels about Hitler's last speech. They were now turned into tables for the patrons of the massive club. Quite frankly after exploring this hall I was left with a creepy feeling! Cathedral did a photo shoot out on the old runway in very foggy conditions. Nothing about this gig was pleasant. I remember watching Black Sabbath"s set from the back of the room and them playing their namesake song and thinking , how fitting for such a miserable place!
Terminal One was the creepiest destination on the 'Cross Purposes" tour as it was the location of Hitler's last speech! From there we departed into the eastern block for the next week.

Don't miss the next and final installment of the story in "Tales From The Abyss Pt. 4 Dishonorable Discharge, Chernobyl Chickens At Wounded Knee and There Is A God!"


El rock chingón said...

Cant wait to read the end. By the way: I meet Weickat ones and think too that he is and asshole.

Woody said...

12 inch rails off the sidewalk - incredible!

earthdog said...

Wow what a great story,i am amazed you can remember all this.My head would be in a spin being on a tour like this.

Devil Dick said...

man those godspeed guys sound like fun!

Paulie said...

Riveting reading!!! More! Author!

Scott C said...

Wow, Joe! You're taking me right back into the thick of it! I'm glad someone remembers what happened to us! Can't wait to read the rest!

Scott C said...

Wow, Joe! You're taking me right back into the thick of it. I'm glad someone remembers all of this madness! It was an honor to share the stage with you, friend. Can't wait to read the rest!