the new tour diary
AUGUST 21, 2002 --
WAAAAAZUP!! Hey everyone!
I know, I know, another very long overdue tour diary is finally here. What a crazy ride this tour was! We're on our way home now, finally, for almost a month which will be quite a treat for us tour veterans. There are lots of exciting things to tell you all. The last few weeks have been full of insanity, so let's just jump right in to where we left off.
The final week of July was to be a week overrun by flights back and forth from home to the tour for me and it was sure to be jam packed with lots of airport searches. After a quick trip home for 24 hours on 7-22 for an important party I had to go to, I flew back out to Salt Lake City for our show. I swear I've never gotten on a plane without getting stripped searched a million times, so I was expecting it. There was this cute old couple ahead of me getting harassed just as we were about to get on our flight. I know 80 year old Americans are the prime suspects for terrorism and all, but come on! So this bone head security guy is making them take their shoes off and proceeded to go through the grandpa's backpack. As the meat head opened it, the bag overflowed with diapers and the old man looked horrified in embarrassment. So the security guy was, like, "Where's the baby?! HUH, Where's the baby?!" O.K. either this guy was a f*cking prick or a complete idiot. Either way, these searches are an invasion of privacy on the highest level but obviously in our world completely, unfortunately necessary.
I heard in the news this lady was getting on her flight and had bottles of her breast milk with her baby. The security guy as they commonly do, said she couldn't get on unless she takes a sip from each bottle ensuring it's not hazardous material. So this lady was forced to drink her OWN BREAST MILK! Yuck! I know this yuckiness from experience because once when I was younger growing up in a house with two baby brothers, I accidentally put breast milk on my cereal and lets just say it didn't end up pretty!
Anyway, moving right along to our Salt Lake experience. It was great to go back there again after doing that Olympics show earlier this year. The venue was small but packed with anticipating fans ready to rock. The show was kick ass and we actually got our first stage crasher. This fan jumped on stage to dance with me in the middle of the show and I was like "Yah, you rock!". Needless to say she was thrown off by security, but it was good fun.
I had to fly back home the next day again for this Gap shoot. That's right, it's very unlikely, but you will see my face in Gap ads later this year. I was really proud to be a part of it even though I've never stepped foot into Gap in my life.
The following day I flew yet again, out to Hillsboro, Oregon for a fair show. Dino told me the night before on their day off in Hillsborough him and Billy and Nate went to Borders Bookstore and just set up shop and played a jazz gig. When people started to realize who they were, they were asked to play Calling songs. So they played "Wherever You Will Go" and "Adrienne" jazz style. Needless to say, no one was happy with that, but they had a lot of fun. The following day, right before we sound checked, I was hanging out and noticed a motorcycle and more store next door (I didn't mean to rhyme). I was like, "You know what I need? A child size ATV for all these fair shows." So me and all my crew went over there and I bought this f*cking four wheeling mini death machine to go on tour with us. It's red of course and it fits right under our bus in the luggage bays. To some of you this might not sound exciting, but for someone who grew up in a big city like Hollywood, ATV's just aren't a common household item. We were like freaks on this thing. Billy went flying through the audience before the show screaming and causing commotion on it.
The show was a lot of fun until I said in my too-much-flying, brain dead, state of mind: "Well it's good to be playing in our home state of California." DUH! STOOOPID! You're in Oregon shithead! I'm a mumbler so hopefully no one heard....of course now you all know, so...
Later that night, when I was signing, this fan was, like, "My ex-girlfriend's name is Adrienne and she sucks". So I said let me call her up and tell her how you feel. So I left this girl a funny message saying she sucks and she should listen to track six on our record to know how her ex feels about her. It was mean but just devilishly lovely.
Before we left I noticed this huge lit up sign at the front of the fair that said "The Calling at 8 and Truck pull at 7". No, I thought, this wouldn't do, I must drive my newly acquired ATV for no reason and change this sign. So as we drove away I admired my work and took some video of the sign that now said in giant letters: "THE CALLING PIMP'S AND HO'S". Don't ask.
It was on to California then, starting in Santa Rosa. A true fan and one of the first ever came to the next few shows and it was really nice to see her after over a year. Shannon, your gifts rocked and Alex Land is a master piece! The show was great and I even put on a disguise and enjoyed walking through the fair to indulge in funnel cakes and corn dogs (guaranteed stomach ache).
Fresno was an odd show but still a lot of fun. It was a radio show with a few other bands and us headlining in this big outdoor shed. The only problem was the size of the crowd compared to the venue. I got a lot of good items thrown on stage that night and even got another stage crasher who was really cute so we tried desperately to keep her up there. When security went to grab her, Billy and Aaron would block them from getting across the stage. It didn't work, but we tried!
San Fran rocked. It was a little club, but it was sold out. Like a block away from the bus and the venue, there was a huge gay parade called "Up Your Alley" going on all day. So, like, all these shaven head half-naked men with their ass cheeks literally hanging out of their pants were walking by the bus. It was pretty wicked, but they were having fun, so whatever!
A fan from Asia won a contest and was flown out to see that show. My peeps looked for her afterwards forever but couldn't find her so we never met. I'm sorry! You came all that way and I was dying to see you! We'll make it up to you when we come to your country!
San Fran was the only night on this whole tour that I couldn't come out and sign for everyone afterwards because I had to jump on yet another flight back to LA. This time it was for the Cosmo Girl Calendar that sponsored a charity against drugs. I really wanted to be a part of that and help out, so it was my pleasure. I got to see Enrique Iglesias again and a bunch of other stars. One of the most famous photographers in the world shot it named Herb Ritts. He's shot just about every huge star on the planet so I was really nervous to be in his presence. I think the pictures should turn out great though.
The following day I flew to Boulder, CO to play at the Fox Theater. Why we played a college town when college isn't in session is beyond me. The show was fun even though we were greatly disliked by the street people. Billy walked out of the bus and these skater kids were like "Fuck you, fuckin' boy band." Billy went off on them like a scene right out of a movie and challenged them to a skate off. He said he'd do any of their tricks ten times better and if he wins then they would have to leave immediately, feeling really stupid. Of course Billy murdered them on the board and they walked away with their heads hung low.
There was a bad review in the record store about us and we got heckled by the store workers. Who the hell thinks we're a boy band? Who can write an article ripping us apart if they've never heard our record or seen us live? Because we're on TRL? F*cking Linkin Park was on TRL! What are they? It just makes me mad.
Anyway, Sidney, NE was a blast. We found jumps for the ATV but they were in the middle of a huge cow corral covered in sh*t. So, I was like hanging on to the back of the vehicle wearing a bandana across my nose and mouth with Billy driving, his legs flung over the handle bars while sh*t was flying up in the air as we drove. WARNING: Don't go off jumps on a kiddy ATV with two people on it and sh*t covering the ground unless you want cow pie all over your face for dinner... Yes! That's right, I ate it, in more ways than one. But I'm alive! Thank sweet Jesus!
This old man had a little stand at the fair selling his own home brewed root beer. We're all fans of the root beer, so we cleaned him out. Now our tour bus fridge if full of "Grandpa's old-timer root beer." We headed back to CO the next day to play the Ogden in Denver. All went smoothly. The following day we traveled to good old Rock Springs, Wyoming, or "wohmin" as Billy pronounces it. His Mom was born there, so he became one with the locals. That was a really fun day. We went to this crazy huge hunting store the size of a mall. It was really creepy with dead animal heads on the walls and fake duck costumes and guns guns guns. Do you need a AK47 to shoot a duck? I don't know.
The boys got Wyoming hats and wore them proudly that night. Billy and I found a motocross track and practically killed ourselves again doing jumps while Billy would scream "I love Gold!! Isn't dat vierd!?!" We drove through the course at like 5 miles an hour though...like a roller coaster taking it's slow clicking accent we would drive up these giant jumps and just peak at the top and role down to our death. We were like right out of the movie "Dumb and Dumber." I thought we were all bad ass until this four year old motorcyclist came and was, no shit, jumping over us.
There was a slimy pond next to the stage at this fair and Aaron decided he wanted to fish. He went and bought this aptly named "Dino the Dinosaur" purple kiddy fishing pole and actually caught a stinky fish. He didn't eat it though, which was probably a smart decision.
The show that night was so good. That crowd kicked major ass! There were even girls flashing us in the crowed... but, uh, I didn't look :) We got over six bras thrown on stage that night and there was a moment when I turned around to find Nate wearing one across his chest and a leopard one on his head. Aaron had one hanging from the neck of his guitar, as did Billy and Dino. What goofs!
Anyway, we flew yet again back to Los Angeles for three days to shoot our third video and go to the super-lame Teen Choice Awards. What a big load of sh*t that was, I'm sorry to say. We were up for more awards than practically anyone, but guess what happens when we win for Rock song of the year?...nothing. No "and the winner is.." No "I'd like to thank.." Just, "oh by the way, The Calling won for best rock song,.. and moving right along..." I'm sorry but that's crap. But hey, we still won, and I have no one else to thank but you guys. Thank you so much for voting for us! Even though the show itself made me want to vomit, I am proud to have won. Honestly we were tadpoles in a sea of big fish that day, so I'm not surprised.
It was funny, Aaron and I started to notice that the winners of each category were the only ones there from that category, so when our first award came up for best love song Aaron grabbed my shoulder and was like, "It's all ours man!" So, they were like, "And the runners up are...The Calling! (Big applause and some screams)...and Enrique Iglesias! (Stupidly loud screams, giant applause, sense of defeat)..and Ashanti! (deafening ear piercing screams, nose bleeding, hands red with applause, strong sense of complete destruction, smile to frown)... So, needless to say, I'm amazed we got as far as we did. It was an entertaining evening.
The video shoot was a blast and surprisingly very easy. We only shot one day and all the story line was the following day without us, so it went pretty quick. I think it will turn out really beautiful. Our performance takes place at the recording studio and it revolves around a story about this girl and hardships in her life. You see her growing up at different ages and she suffers a loss at the end that isn't going to be very apparent but you will understand. There's more to the story, but I don't want to tell it all. It will be a very deep video to go with my favorite and darkest song on the record. Although I think like a lot of our music it is uplifting as well. I can't wait to see it! Oh, and Aaron wrote the whole story line so we definitely we're involved in this one.
We left to Lawrence, KS to play a show the next night. That's right, another college town... What the hell? I really like that town though. Nice people, it's clean, good thrift stores, and good food. The show was fun, but the stage was so small I was just trying not to fall into the crowd. But you guys would treat me good if I did, right?
Sioux Falls, SD was a good stop on the tour. Lots of fairs on this tour... and hot hot hot sun baking shows. We played Grand Island, NE and, like, minutes after our show, a tornado came through the town. So we were locked up inside for a few hours to let the storm pass...and the only thing to eat all day was Wendy's... NO!!!!
Actually this tour has been Subway all the way, every day
listen to what I say, or you'll pay
why don't I eat some hay?
I just may, what do you say?
Columbia, MO was interesting. Another college town. All I can say is thank God you fans were there to help us out. My life-long friend Jethro came that day to spend the rest of the tour with us. He's an amazing photographer and filmed like every hilarious second of every day for a future DVD or something. He even interviewed a lot of fans and, let me tell you, there are some of the most ridiculously funny moments on tape...you guys rock!
We made our way to Adrian, Michigan the next day to play another fair. This was a fantastic show although the rain threatened to almost shut it down. The crowd was great that night but the security wouldn't let them come to the front of the stage, so I jumped down in the mud to get to them and caused a little craziness. Some girl ripped one of my bracelets off and took it. Later that night another girl happened to bring me the same exact bracelet so it was all good. It was cool to play a city the same name as one of our songs, although after I dedicated it to them I realized the words aren't very nice pertaining to a town: "Adrienne, I should have left you... etc." It's all good though.
It was so nice to go back to Pittsburgh after all this time and we actually got a day off there which was a plus. Metro and I saw the biggest piece of she*t movie called "XXX." It was like a crappy Mission Impossible, I don't recommend it. Pittsburgh is a beautiful city and we had a lot of fans from all over the country that day. Unfortunately I was a little under the weather and it was the cursed technical problem night. I still tried to come out and sign for people even though I wasn't feeling well, so sorry to anyone that got sick of waiting around. Oh yeah, earlier that night we went to a little sushi restaurant nearby to eat dinner and we were spotted by a table of people in from Taiwan. I mean, we get approached all the time, but never before from the Taiwanese! So Metro got them all to sing WYWG really loud, right there in the restaurant for the video camera. "So ratery, been rondrin." They were so cute and sweet and did a great job. I know I would suck trying to sing anything in their language.
Louisville, KY was a trip. We played on this Astroturf football field and the stage was like a hundred feet away from the bleachers where the audience was. I had a really long catwalk that went out towards them, but there was a staircase down 15 feet and then another staircase up to the bleachers. It was like 100+ degrees and 100% humidity and that was the killer. I take back all the times I said it was the hottest show ever cause this night was deadly and it blows all the others away. I was dripping from head to toe and just trying not to hyperventilate and pass out. At the end of the show I decided I should run down and then back up into the crowd and then run across through all the fans and go down the other side and then go back up to the cat walk to get back to the stage. Sound easy? Well, it would have been if there was a staircase on the other end of the audience but there wasn't. So I just jumped. Like 15 feet, over the gate and over the baseball dugout and onto the dirt. I almost broke my back but I'm alive to tell the tale.
Our final headlining show took place in Oxford, Ohio. We played in the middle of this college in a park at night for the welcome back to school show. Lots of drinking, yelling, and cute sorority girls. Dino unveiled his fake fur jacket with no shirt on and became "The Dino", an Italian stallion. Next time you see him, ask to talk to The Dino. You won't regret it.
We didn't sleep that night and went directly to the airport to fly to our final show of the tour, but our first show ever in Seattle, WA. Other than being run down beyond repair, having not slept for two days, and only eating some beef-substance filled pita called the "fun clam," this show went remarkably well. It was a huge radio show with all the regulars we've played with so many times...Michelle Branch, O-Town, Shaggy, Avril Lavine(HOT!), and...P. Diddy! HEY! Everyone SING! "It's Diddy, it's Diddy." How he fits in I don't know. Nick Carter hosted it and was a surprisingly nice guy, contrary to what I've heard through the bullshit gossip grapevine.
Well, so here we are. I'm on the plane flying home yet again. We almost didn't make it, let me tell ya. This morning's flight became a nightmare because of security, blah blah blah. All these random new rules spring up out of nowhere.
"Sorry sir you can't bring your guitar as carry-on today."
"Oh yeah what about tomorrow?"
"Don't get fresh with me."
Without going into detail we were almost thrown out of the airport for arguing and being...fresh? So now, on this flight home, our fucking thresholds and pain-in-the-ass meters were tested once again when they said Aaron had one to many carry-ons. To make a long story short after arguing heavily, we got the idea of putting two of his large carry-ons in a giant plastic Alaska Airlines bag to create, ONE CARRYON! Can you believe this worked?
I was in a lack of sleep/laughter/sillyness/anger/dysfuncti
onal behavior mode and the words "this is bullshit" crept from under my breath as we finally passed through.
"UH AH! No you didn't! You come right back here! No one curses at me white boy! Security! I want him removed from the airport!"
I said, "Miss, if you want to get technical, I was cursing at the situation, not you, and that is my free right, thank you very much." And continued on my way.
I am not a jerk, nor do I have any problem with the extra security checks, cause again we all know we need them, but things are just getting stupid and unorganized. I mean minutes before, Billy was brushing his teeth out on the curb while we were checking our bags, just like any normal person(?) and practically got his head chewed off from a cop and almost given a ticket. Can't a man have clean teeth? God knows how much fur have accumulated on those bad boys. Thankfully it's all over, for now and we made it.
So I've been noticing there's fans from all over the world now visiting this site and all your devoted fan sites like every second (congrats Joy on winning best fan site! It was nice to see you!). You guys are doing a great job of keeping them informed of everything even if they're on the other side of the planet. The award goes to Katie Raskin for sure as the #1
Calling informer and fan. When I saw her the other night in Pittsburgh and she asked all the questions everyone's been dying to know and gave me 20+ pages of "hug requests" from you guys, that really made my day. To be perfectly honest, some of this tour has been bleak with audience attendance because of A) we have no hit song on the radio at the moment so there is no show promotion and B) the whole touring industry is sucking these days. However, the people that are coming are some of the most amazing fans we've seen so far. I mean really really devoted people that come and fill up the sometimes half empty clubs with so much love that it doesn't even matter that they're a little sparse. I mean this group of 7 girls have been to 26 shows in the last few months! These have been some of the most exciting and fulfilling shows The Calling has done so far.
I've also received some awesome gifts in the last month. Many books with letters, poems, and pictures (no porn!), of course more random hamsters, a framed collage from my New York Street Team peeps (thanks guys!), fantastic drawings, and lots more bracelets. I even got this very unique gift that was a chain at least 30 feet long made out of paper and each link had one of the fans name and info on it from all over the world. It was a really cool present. Thanks!
Oh yeah, I also got a lot of toothbrushes and dental hygiene products and at first I was like, what are you trying to tell me? Maybe I should give them to Billy? But you loyal Tour Diary readers explained you were replacing my toothbrush that took a swim in the toilette a little while back. Thank you all!
So, like I said earlier, we're practically home and boy will it be nice. I can actually eat real food which is a good idea. I can see my cats that practically hate me now. I can spend time with my family and my chick. I can drive my real vehicles which is a joy after being driven around forever and cruising on a 6 year old's ATV. Aaron and I can get some new songs together. And we can rest!
I won't give it all away yet, but on September 14 we head to Germany and six other countries in Europe including England. Right from there we go to Mexico and Brazil for a week and I'm so excited to see those countries! After that three and a half week tour, we will of course be.... drum roll please.... touring! In the US that is.
"Could It Be Any Harder" is released this week to Adult radio (the first step) all over the country so please call your local stations and request it! I know most of you have had this record for, like, ever now but this is our final chance to make an impact and I think we can do it with this tune... But not without your help. Our career and future in music rests in your hands and we need your support! You'll see the video hopefully on TRL next month, but I promise I'll let you guys see it before anyone else soon enough.
Anyway, it's home free now. 28 days of nothing. Well, there's always something, as you all know. Always something on the horizon or something popping up. Some show here, some TV appearance there... Yeah, it's a hard life :) Well in some ways it is. But you know what? I'm eating it up and I could use a little extra weight.
Until next time guys! Stay Safe and don't succumb to the powers of "American Idol!!!" We love you guys! Thanks for another great tour and we'll see you soon!
'Lil Al Current Mood: good