June 8, 2012
Jet lag is a mofo. Jet lag is a bitch. Jet lag is toooouugh!
I woke up at 5 am today. The messed up thing is that is like 9pm back home. Wow. I am a disaster. I slept the day away yesterday in hopes that would get me on some kind of schedule but to no avail. It seems as always that everyone is affected but Slash. The man has the constitution of a horse. I’ve never seen him complain about being tired, cold or in pain. I’m just not that cool. I don’t really whine about it as so much as unapologetically nod off during conversations like a junkie. I’m hoping to be acclimated to some degree today.
When I last left you we were still in New York City, one of the greatest cities in the world. I’m currently in one of the other greatest cities in the world!
I cannot tell you how excited I was to be doing Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. For several reasons. First of all Late Night is an institution that has been around since I was but a lad. David Letterman ruled back then. Mass props to Carson but Letterman was the Fallon/Conan of his day. Totally subversive and totally punk rock in that he never seemed to give a good damn about anyone. He’s softened a lot in recent years but he still doesn’t seem to care. I suppose he cares just enough.
Of course when Dave left NBC in glorious pomp and circumstance along came a nervous lil’ fella named Conan and it did not look good at first. A little while later Conan had changed the game just as Letterman had years before.
Of course another gigantic NBC upset occurred when Conan briefly took over for Leno and along came our pal, Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy’s show has become super popular. The Roots kill on there nightly.
Sucks that Conan got the shaft but I love his TBS show too. We hope to be on there in the fall. Can’t wait!
For further reasons Fallon is shot at the legendary 30 Rock or 30 Rockefeller Plaza. This building has been home to SNL since the 70s and SNL has been with me since I was a child. I have followed it all my life. Even in the rough years. Fallon is on the 6th floor and SNL is on the 8th. That building is a conduit of magical powers. On top of the fact that I’m a massive fan of Tina Fey’s bulletproof show 30 Rock based on the very building.
As always the Late Night studio is smaller than expected. They are always that way. The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson is downright tiny. We did that show on the first tour. Love Ferguson too. He’s great.
I saw Higgins in the hallway and we all shook hands with Quest Love, The Roots’ amazing drummer. John Lithgow was that night’s guest and he walked by and said something like, ‘Have fun!’ That was a trip. Lithgow is a legend-Harry And The Hendersons, The World According To Garp, that great Shatner scene from the Twilight Zone movie and of course, Season 4 of Dexter. He is the man.
It was an amazing day/night. Got to say a quick hello to Jimmy before and after we played. Can’t say enough about Jimmy. Anyone who watched those years of SNL know how talented he is. He was there with Will Ferrell and Tracy Morgan. Crazy good years. He looks even younger in person which is not the case for some tv celebrities.
Playing the show was super fun. Experience of a lifetime.
To this date I’ve been lucky enough to do Leno, Fallon, Ferguson, Kimmel, Ellen and even George Lopez’s short lived show before it was crushed by Conan. Still on my list-Conan, LETTERMAN and SNLLLLLL! I can’t tell you how rad THAT would be. I’d be tripping!
Directly, and I mean directly, after that we ran to the Sirius radio station to sit in with our good pal, Eddie Trunk to talk some nonsense on his show. Eddie is a great man and has become a genuine friend. That friendship is largely based on KISS trivia and more. We’re a strange breed admittedly.
Always good fun chatting with The Trunk. You can find the interview online. It is the height of silliness. I accept most of the blame for that.
I spent a good chunk of my trip loitering around Trash And Vaudeville in St Marks Place with my good friend, Jimmy Webb. If you ever go in there tell him Todd Dammit sentcha! Big BIG love to Jimmy and everyone there.
On the 22nd we played our cd release show at the legendary Irving Plaza which went out to gazillions via online video. What an amazing night. That morning I went out to Starbucks and stopped by a Best Buy to see if Apocalyptic Love was stocked. Sure enough there it was. Like a good supporter of music I left there with new cds by The Cult, Garbage, The Dandy Warhols and Tenacious D. Who buys cds you may ask? I do. Do I buy iTunes as well? Absolutely but I like to support the cd thing while we have it. Which won’t be for very long, by the way.
Apocalyptic Love is available in multiple formats and they’re all cool. I just got the vinyl which is a trip cuz I have never been on vinyl before. Weird right?
Anywho…Irving Plaza was sweaty, gritty and amazing as a NYC Irving Plaza show should be! We played about 4 songs from the new cd and it was amazing to see people digging it. It had been under wraps for so long it felt good for it to be out there. What an amazing night.
New York is an amazing city with a buzzing, visceral energy that has always spoken to me since I started going there 20 plus years ago. I would love to put roots down there if even just for a few months even. Just soak up the experience as much as possible.
From NYC we went to Rocklahoma! A festival that started with a lot of throw back groups a few years back. It’s unfortunate that it didn’t really retain any of those roots. It’s mostly modern acts now. Woulda been fun to see a little Faster Pussycat, LA Guns, Enuff Znuff etc etc.
Our pal Eddie Trunk was hosting so we caught up with riveting debates like ‘Favorite Non Makeup KISS album’ or ‘KISS Music From The Elder-underrated? Discuss’ We can kill a day with this shit.
Interesting day as all of Alter Bridge was present in 2 different bands. Myles with us and the other 3 behind Scott Stapp in Creed. Mini family reunion!
Rocklahoma was amazing. It was one of my favorite US festival shows of the summer.
From there we were at our final day of the tour in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Interesting fact-did you know Johnny Depp is shooting The Lone Ranger there RIGHT NOW!?! How cool is that? The city was abuzz with it.
Slash had remarked that day that Albuquerque was one of the toughest crowds in America but not this night. It was such an amazing last night of the opening leg of the tour. It was really an amazing show. Good people. Good Rock N Roll people! We had a blast. It looked like they had a blast, too!
Thanx Albuquerque! Thanx America. That was a great tour.
Before you knew it I was back in MY house on MY couch watching MY tv! Wow! What a trip. I have to admit that I have slowly returned to being an animal of the road.
There is something funny that happens. I have been a stray cat my whole life. A dirty, Alley cat. I had a place I called home where my stuff was but I was a gypsy/troubadour/outlaw/cowboy/time traveller/space invader/pirate. When I found myself in Vegas I put some roots down. I stayed in the same city and slept in the same bed. I had become a somewhat domesticated house cat. It happens slowly much to my horror. Since going around the world a couple of times I have got my sea legs back. Or space legs. Whichever. Rock legs ultimately.
I go home and after a couple of days get that antsy feeling like I gotta get outta here! A lot of that feeling was quelled before by playing all week long. Those doses of nightly Rock N Roll like morphine keeps those rambling urges at bay.
So I go home, get caught on ‘my stories’-Game Of Thrones (season over-amazing), Mad Men (always loved that show), then I sit and wait for Friday with the Sin City Sinners return to Ovation at Green Valley Ranch.
In the interim I got up to some pretty cool business. Fitz and I went to see Van Halen within hours of touching down in Vegas from Albuquerque. Very cool. I only realized while standing there watching that this was my first time seeing Van Halen. How could this be?
It be because I was never a Van Hagar guy. I have mad respect for that line up but it never spoke to me. I never had a chance to see the original Van Halen. That was kinda before my time. I did see Dave solo years back when The Flairs (love The Flairs) opened for him at the Orpheum in Vancouver. That was an amazing show. Dave was on fire back then. Still Diamond Dave. Now he’s on a different trip.
VH was a lot of fun and I have to admit that Wolfie is great. Plays great, sings great. I was impressed. That said, I still miss Michael Anthony and it will never be the same for me but, hey, still great.
Another night I found myself at a top secret (until now) recording session for Jake E Lee’s brand new solo album! I’m totally serious. Jake is the unsung hero of Ozzy Osbourne. He played on Bark At The Moon and The Ultimate Sin before the world had heard of Zakk Wylde.
Mr Fitz and I play on a song from the forthcoming album. You can say you heard it here first.
Anyone who knows anything is as excited about this album as I am! Gonna be rad.
The Boy (Frank Sidoris) and I made a night out to see my friend Greg in his killer band The Bloody Villains plus my friend Luke’s The Lucky Cheats. Great night. Nice to see original bands in Vegas. Support your local original bands!
Finally the night came to bring the Sinners back to Green Valley Ranch Casino onstage at Ovation. A fantastic night and a blast for all! Jimmy Crespo and Louie Merlino were along for the ride and it made for a great night. I hope to be back in late June early July for some Sinners shows. Stay tuned.
Then it was OFF TO LONDON! A cozy 7-8 hours in the air. Relatively painless for the movie guy. I watched that new Mission Impossible that I was meaning to see. I have a soft spot for those. Cruise kinda irks me but I like the MI movies. Kinda James Bondy, know what I’m sayin? It was pretty cool. Lotsa stuff blowing up with attempted twisty plot lines. You know the drill.
Then I watched Young Adult with the lovely Charlize Theron which was entertaining enough. She plays one of the most unlikeable characters imaginable. The best part was Patton Oswalt getting it on with Charlize Theron giving hope to nerds everywhere! Go Patton! Patton rules by the way. Check out his stand up. He’s one of the best out there right now.
I also watched a Star Trek documentary done by Gene Rodenberry’s son Eugene. Very interesting. I met Eugene once at the Revolution lounge in the Mirage. Cool guy.
Yes-I’m a nerd. And what of it?
Yea pretty exciting flight to London. No getting caught smoking in the bathroom or urinating in the aisles. I’m not a very good rock star. I dislike that term anyway. I’m a musician. Blue collar musician.
Upon arriving in London we found ourselves at an English bbq hosted by Roadrunner Records’ own Morgan Thomas. She is lovely and amazing and the most gracious of hostesses.
From there she took us all out to see Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s new Alien prequel. To be fair I was in a jet lagged haze by this point. They could have lit kittens on fire on the stage and I’d have been in no shape to react to it. Some of the guys from Machine Head joined us too. Rock N Roll movie night.
I have to admit that I had been bubbling with anticipation for this film since it was announced. Ridley Scott’s Alien was and is one of my all-time favorite films. I believe it to be picture perfect and flawless.
It was the most visceral movie going experience of my life. As a young boy I convinced my mother to let me go to this cool looking sci fi film called Alien. I was a big sci fi kid-Star Wars, Star Trek etc etc
We lived in a town of 1500 people. The idea of a kid going to a movie by himself on a school night was far from weird. I often go to films alone. That way I do not have to deal with the terrible manners of people who know nothing of proper theater going etiquette. Stop talking! Shut your phone off! Texting? Really? Come on.
Anyway, I went right to the very front row with my soda and my popcorn ready for this futuristic adventure a la Lucas or Spielberg.
When the face hugger jumped out of that egg onto John Hurt’s face my mind was BLOWN! I picked up my refreshments and moved back to the middle of the theater. I’m not embarrassed to admit how much that freaked me out!
For some reason this theater was gigantic. For such a small town it was shockingly big. There were only like 20 people there that night if that. Maybe 15.
Then the Alien came bursting out of John Hurt’s chest cavity! My mind was removed from my head, blown and then replaced never to be the same again.
I swear to God I found a small group of guys I kinda knew from school over on the left and I went to sit with them. All of us bonded by this experienced we had just collectively been through. I never hung out with those guys in any capacity again. Funny that.
That night is the only night I woke from a nightmare due to a film. Thanks Mr Scott! I’m totally serious. Cold sweat, the whole thing. That movie changed my life.
I suppose in its own way Jaws messed me up too. As a kid I was both terrified and fascinated by the great white shark. I’m more fascinated now than terrified. I swear I’m going out to see them in person someday.
See-I can confront that fear. I will never ever be able to confront my fear of an alien sprung from the minds of Ridley Scott and HR Giger.
In the years that followed Alien the myth got knocked around a bit. James Cameron did an amazing job in the sequel with a completely different tone. After that it started to jump the shark ultimately landing in the franchise to kill two great franchises-Alien VS Predator. Oh boy.
Prometheus is great for what it is. Ridley is an amazing filmmaker, without question. I was just hoping to see it tie into the first Alien a little more. It kinda did but it didn’t answer any questions I had. If anything it only raised more and perhaps that’s what it was about all along.
I plan to see it without having to fight jet lag next time. Then I’ll give a more concise review!
We played our first overseas show just two nights ago at the legendary Hammersmith Apollo. Countless legendary shows have been held there. It is humbling to even stand on it’s stage.
It was such an amazing night. It was our first time doing Anastasia from the new album and it was nothing short of epic. The most exciting thing was to see and hear the whole audience sing all of the new songs that had only been released less than 2 weeks before. Epic, epic evening. Great to see my old friends from my first trip here from Nottingham and to see newer friends as well. Funny how places like London and Paris and Copenhagen become all familiar territory. So far from home that is very strange indeed.
Last night we attended the Kerrang awards. Kerrang Magazing has always been a staple for anyone who loves hard music. I’ve been reading it for a looong time.
What an amazing night. At the next table were Jack Black and Kyle Gass from Tenacious D. I am a gigantic D fan. I mean an embarrassing amount. It was a trip to see Jack just sitting there chilling. After they accepted their award Jack stopped by and gave Slash a hug and props. What a trip. The guy is a massive star and he’s showing the boss some respect. Awesome.
Even more mind blowing was the fact that 3 out of 4 of the original members of Black Sabbath were barely a table away as well! Whaaaat? Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Ozzy Osbourne? Whaaat? Totally insane. Tony is playing with the Ozzy and friends version of Sabbath at Download but not doing the tour as he is fighting cancer. So sad. I was so excited about a new Sabbath album only to have Tony fall ill. I’m praying for him and I hope you are too. Also sad to see Bill Ward pulling out altogether. Just really disappointing.
Slash is playing with Ozzy and pals as well. Zakk and Gus are both a part of that with Tommy, Adam and Blasko from Ozzy’s solo band. Ozzy’s band were all at the next table and it was nice to say hi since we toured with them last year.
Quite a night. We have been in London 3 days and it feels like a month of good memories already.
We are about to make some new memories today as we head out to play the Download Festival. It is a beautiful but rainy London day so I’m sure that’s going to make for an interesting day of rock. Last time we did Download in ’10 it was sunny for us then the skies opened up on Billy Idol who directly followed us. It remained that way for the rest of the day. I’m assuming by looking out my window that we’re in for a pretty wet day over all. Doesn’t seem to affect rock fans here. They love rock n roll whether wet and steamy or hot and sunny. God bless ‘em.
Speaking of looking out my window. I’m looking out at world famous Hyde Park. We played there in ’10. My reference to Hyde Park was that’s where the Stones played their first show after Brian Jones died. Most of my references are like that. I love London. I love England. It was the Queen’s Jubilee just before we got here. And here we thought all the parades and such were for us.
Well it’s now almost 10 am so I’ll sign off and get ready for a long day of camping in the rain with hundreds of thousands of my closest English friends.
From here we’re off to Amsterdam. Got friends there too! The world gets smaller every day!
BIG BIG LOVE
Your loyal and humble servant,