Aug 30, 2013

DON'T MENTION THE WAR



ALICE IN GERMANY (take 2) ( Or 'He's Back')


AT LAST the time arrives to go to Saarbrucken...seems like bloody ages since I saw The Master, so I am in desperate need of a fix. John and I set off to meet up with Steve halfway to his place, and then Steve and I carried on to Southampton -  I think I had about 3 hours sleep before we set off at midnight or something, for t'other Steve's house in Harlow. Tried to sleep a bit when we got there, but I was far too excited, and anyway, we had to get up at Stoopid o'clock to get to Stanstead for our flight to Frankfurt.


At Frankfurt Hahn airport, we discovered that it's actually nowhere near Frankfurt at all, and that poor old Steve  C had to fork out the entire contents of his bank account as a deposit so we could get the car - note to self, next time book with a credit card - but it was a great car, with plenty of room for me to sleep in the back seat. Not that I did, because none of us really had a clue where we were headed, and I had the only map - a sadly inadequate single page that I'd printed off - which only gave us directions from the other airport...........Still, we arrived at Saarbrucken eventually, despite the lack of signs,  (more notes to self - next time buy a nice paper MAP ). I love travelling with other people, it always seems like less of a problem when you are completely lost. If I'd been on my own, I'd've had a nervous breakdown.
Sandra and Tommy with Finn



 


What a great hotel!! Apart from the fact that it was quite cheap and very nice, the band AND Alice were staying there too! Result!!!
We went out for a wander around the town,  met up with Claire and had lunch al fresco. Claire had been on the tour since Brno, flying to Sweden and back with the band (and James of course). I asked her to get me some kind of plane souvenir and she brought me back a sick bag! How appropriate I thought, just gotta get Alice to sign it  and then I will have the only Sick Things Bag. In The World!
Back at the hotel, we  were in the lobby having a cuppa, when Alice came back from his shopping trip. He was in his usual shopping disguise, sensible clothes and hat with all his hair tucked up in it, so I guess he probably managed to buy a shedload of stuff without getting hassled too much.........and at this point Tommy and Sandra came down with baby Finn - he is so gorgeous!!! Only about 6/8 weeks old, still has lots of hair, and he was asleep in his mum's arms. Alice came over and said, 'wonder what he is dreaming about'.....probably milk I guess' :)


We went off and got ready for the show - meeting Orianthi and Chuck on the way....Chuck is learning to speak with an English accent from Claire, . Not doing too well though from what I can hear. I made him repeat 'The Rain In Spain is Mainly on the Plain'. He's still got a long way to go.
Gig buddies



Arrived at the venue and went to check out the merch stand. I managed to get a Cooper bear and some of the new badges -  many thanks to Magoo! The Steves and I decided we couldn't face all the q'ing, and the ensuing stampede to the front, and anyway we had arrived quite late, so we stayed in the bar until the support band came on and then went to find a decent spot to see them. We did actually make the barrier in the end , but it was WAAAAAAAYYYY off to the right hand side, past the speakers. But they weren't actually too big, so we really  had quite a good view, and I got quite a few good pictures. About 2000. Neon Fly were't too bad really, but, as always at an Alice gig, I get very impatient to see The Master and get fed up with the support long before they've finished...sorry guys....but gotta say Paul you have amazing hair
Paul and his dreadlocks. Doesn't look old enough to have grown them this long


D'you think their mums know where they are?

 
Alice of course was BRILLIANT................didn't get any stage booty, obviously, but hey ho, did any of you cane-catching-bead-snatching- dollar-grabbing guys catch him at his hotel? I don't think so....... *cheesy grin*
Next time put the loo seat down!
Sheryl has the time of her life
 




They've made some changes in the set, Nurse Sheryl ( she told us earlier, that she's having the time of her life) comes on when he's getting into the straight jacket, and after Dwight Frye, he tries to strangle her. She whips out a couple of knives and stabs him back, but he still gets dragged off to the guillotine - great to see it back, btw!- and after Frankenstein, Alice comes back on a gurney, covered in a sheet, to Voice Over Man doing the bit about the Hollywood Vampires. Can't believe I didn't like the covers at first, I think they're great now, specially Revolution. And he also has some smaller gravestones, scattered about, just in case you haven't got the message. Lots more canes and dollars and beads thrown out but not at our end unfortunately.










Tommy
Tommy!
Tommy

 

Got back to the hotel to find a lot of  stalkers hanging outside waiting for Alice to come back...but we were too knackered to do anything but retire to our comfy beds and sleep.......

Morning arrived, and then breakfast....oh the dilemma...what time d'ya think Alice will get up/have breakfast?? Wanna be there at the same time obviously.:)
 In the end we just went down to eat when we were ready, encountering Roxie and Orianthi ( who didn't seem too sure where what country she was in) on the way. Ori later invited us to her gig in UK, to which we said 'Already got tix!!' Chuck and Kyler came in later, also Glen, although he sat separately on the other side of the dining room.......

Having eaten more breakfast that I normally have in about a week,  (it's what you do, right?) we retired to our rooms for a while and then met up later in the lobby to regroup and discuss plans for the day. All of which went completely out the window, when Alice and Sheryl appeared from the breakfast room - stopping on the way so that Sheryl could remove the tags from Alice's new T shirt, he'd clearly fogotten to cut 'em off before putting it on. And then he came into the lobby to chat to us, take photos and sign stuff, just like he always does bless him. Before he arrived,  I was actually asking Steve whether or not we should leave, and then he quietly said  "He's coming up the corridor behind you"..............Now, I've met Alice quite a few times now, but it still makes me into a quivering idiot......
Can't tell I'm quivering, can you?

Bezzie mates

 We watched them get on the bus, Alice stopping to chat and take pics with the stalkers, who were still outside having been there all night, and then we gathered our stuff together and set off for Hanau in the trusty car, accompanied by, um no maps, or sat nav or anything useful. About halfway there,we discovered we could use our phones to help us navigate. Revelation!!! If only we hadn't all run out of batteries 10 mins from Hanau.......

Amazingly we still found our hotel, although we did go past the Kentucky Fried Chicken a number of times. The road to the hotel had been closed off which didn't help. It was in that part of town where every other shop was actually a bar with dodgy women's photos in the windows, but the hotel turned out to be quite nice really, with decent sized rooms, and not one of those shoe boxes with windows on to a small dingy courtyard that I was afraid of. No toenails in the bed either, but that's another story. It was hot. We opened the windows and watched the world go by for ages, before deciding to check out the venue and how far away it was. I thought it would be quite nearby, but it turned out to be a 10 minute taxi ride, and it was kind of deserted.. Well, except for the German twins, Claudia and Andrea of course.


Claire had come in on the tour bus, so we met up with her and James and went back to it for a look see and a beer. It's extremely comfortable looking, bunks and a sitting room on the top floor and kitchen and storage downstairs. And this is just the crew bus! Also we managed to get our VIP passes, saving all that agro later. You'd think that out of 6 VIP's one of us three woulda got the balloon gig - Steve C has never done it and he is almost up to his 100th show FFS. But no. Turns out there was us, a married couple and a young girl and guess who got it? Yup. Young Girl. Surprise surprise. But I am getting ahead of myself.

We had to walk halfway back as there didn't seem to be many taxis around, and had a look at affluent suburban Hanau on the way. All the houses seem to be kit houses, like the Huf house I saw on Grand Designs once, except for the odd old wooden one with balconies. And there was an enormous Buckingham Palace type mansion on the far side of the Arena. Eventually hailed a taxi and he got lost too, going past the Kentucky Fried Chicken more times than we had. But we didn't mention the war.
Our props

Just put on my make up....

 
typical  downtown Hanau

Steve Lewis waits for yet more coffee

Time to change, dress up, put on our make up and get to the show (there's a song in there somewhere). As Steve's personal make up artist, I'd like to claim all the responsibility for him causing so much attention as we walked down to the square to get a taxi. Like to, but I can't really, as he's been doing it for years and is probably used to all the attention. Thousands of people must have pictures with him on their walls.
'Is that Alice Cooper?' more than one dim German asked me on the four minute walk. Yes, because he always walks around fully made up  a couple of hours before a show, duh.

At the venue, there was now more of a queue, including our old friend Jean-Yves. We hassled the guy at the gate and he let us in early., never even looked at our tickets! Bumped in Caesar on the way who said - 'better get to your spot, I'm letting them in now' . So we did and what a spot!! Front central, right on the barrier - which wasn't even a proper barrier, just one of those makeshift things for temp use. And the stage and auditorium was so small! Outdoors but with a kind of tent thing over to keep us dry! Absolutely perfect, the stage was about 4 feet away, not very much higher than we were, with those 4 larger speakers or whatever than he runs across. I'm sure he would've come down to the barrier if it hadn't been for 2 pesky photographers who insisted on sitting on the floor right in front of us for the entire show.


 Neon Fly were better tonight, guess it was the venue size it seemed to suit them much better. They all have a lot of hair but look about 15. They had to share the stage with Frankenstein and the guillotine, both covered up in blankets, and a load of other stuff , cos it was a very small stage.....
We made some friends in the audience, Regina and her daughter Carlotta right behind me - Carlotta is only 13, and this was her first Alice show. I love it that he still attracts younger folk, and she was clearly mad about him - she had done a beautiful drawing of him which I offered to take in to the M&G to get signed.


 







    




Alice burst on thru the pyro, and proceeded to blow the place apart. I thought, as I was so close, I would end up with some kind of stage booty, but although I got both hands on a cane, some bloke and his girlfriend were on the other end, so I let them have it.Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Not doing that again, next time I'm gonna fight dirty........
No beads, or dollar bills either, but I got about 5000 great photos!! And an intact balloon. Not sure how I'm gonna get that home - I couldn't loosen the tie...........
Another excellent show, and the audience were really friendly (except for one drunk guy, Steve L. threatened him and he went thank god. Got bloody hot as usual, but it's all worth it.

Afterwards we made our way to wherever the VIP was, taking Carlotta's pic,and her hat, and ended up, (as usual) in the canteen. Thankfully there was water/drinks in the fridge so we raided it. The married couple had brought a kind of scrapbook, which Alice had signed before 'All my Blood, Alice' and then the next time, 'All your Blood'. Couldn't wait to see what he put this time! The bloke also had a large bug with him, kind of like a NZ weta bug I think. It was about 3 inches long, with waving feelers..........okaaaaaaayyyy. The girl had a pretty good picture she'd painted, and I had some more album covers (which were actually Steve's as I'd forgotten to bring mine) a T shirt, poster, and a dollar bill.
When the guy got the bug out for Alice, I said 'Jesus Christ' in a very loud voice without thinking..... Steve kicked me, and I wanted the ground to swallow me up.......Alice took absolutely no notice thankfully, but I did feel a complete idiot for saying it in front of him.....*hangs head*





Sorry Sheryl, I couldn't resist

Carlotta's beautiful drawing







He signed all my stuff, except my sick bag which I'd forgotten to bring, duh. And I made a birthday card for Steve L, which he forgot too. Alice signed my other arm, hope I can keep it til I can get to the tattooist. I showed him Carlotta's picture and he was very impressed - he wrote on it 'you are a master'. Kyler was taking loads of pic as usual, bless him (can't have too many photos with Alice now can you?!). I was looking at Alice as he was looking forwards, and thinking what a lovely guy he is and how much joy he's brought into my life over the years and I suddenly couldn't resist kissing him on the cheek. I know it looks like I've got my tongue down his ear, but I only kissed him, honest..............Kyler said, oohh better watch out for Sheryl!!

Bug man got his beetle signed and 'All your wife's blood' written in his book. Alice signed the girl's picture and I asked him what he did with all the pics and photos people give him - 'We put them up in Cooperstown,'  he said, I hope mine made it there, but I doubt it very much! Managed to forget my balloon in the ensuing departure.....oh well, I already have one at home.


We hung around for a bit waiting for Claire - saw Ryan and apologised for not being able to get to his M&G before the show - once you get your place on the barrier, that's it, you don't move. He gave me a big hug bless him!.
Afterwards we went  to the outdoor bar which unusually hadn't shut the minute the show ended - which was brilliant as we got to hang out with all our new friends and chat! It was a lovely warm evening, and a really nice way to end the day. Except that it wasn't ended yet, oh no.

We spent quite a while hanging about, and there were no taxis by the time we were ready to move, but luckily Jean-Yves had his car so he drove us back to our hotel. Except that the boys had decided that they should investigate the 'shops' with dodgy windows around the neighbourhood. So we went into one, and there was 2 bored looking young (ish) women sitting at the bar and a miserable hag behind it. We sat near a corner, and the two women proceeded to muscle in on the conversation, trying to rustle up some business- it was very funny to watch, as the boys retreated more and more, saying, no no no no thanks - I swear they all ended up in the corner hiding behind me! One of the girls then introduced herself to me!!  We did discover that the price was, how much was it Jean-Yves??? oh yeah, 60 Euros......nuff said. Miserable hag kicked us out at 2 oclock, so we went round the corner to another one. Slightly different here, more people for a start, including a loudmouth woman from Brum who insisted on telling us how effing awful Hanau was to live in, and why the hell were we here? We mentioned Alice, and she said 'Bloody hell is he still alive?' There was also at least one HeShe, with a really dreadful wig and clothes that it was hard to stop laughing at....

Anyway, they kicked us out at 3, and we were all starving. Now, Hanau isn't exactly a bustling metropolis at 3 am, so when we came across a lone burger wagon it was like manna from heaven! Not keen on burgers generally, but I'm sure these would've been pretty good even if I hadn't been starving and slightly drunk - I've never enjoyed a burger more!

Jean-Yves had to go at this point, having a 10 hour drive to Poland for the next gig - I'm sure he must've had far too many Jack Daniels/beers/etc, but he insisted he was ok. We made him promise to text us at regular intervals, and waved him off, wishing we were all going with him.


Eventually we retired to bed, and then got up not much later for breakfast. I know you gotta eat loads, cos it's a hotel, but all I wanted was about 3 gallons of orange juice, had the mother and father of all hangovers....... I did manage to eat something in the end, then we had to pack and get out of town, passing the Kentucky Fried Chicken twice again on the way out. lol. We managed to get to the right airport in time without too much trouble and even got seats together on the plane. We quizzed each other on Alice all the way home and discovered that none of us could name a track off Zipper Catches Skin, and that Lace And Whiskey wasn't anybody's favourite album. Love it that I can spend hours talking about Alice with like minded people.

Back home all too soon. Good job there's another tour next week! Cropredy coming soon, watch this space!!



1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a post - what a trip - love the photos!! Take care, hope to see you again soon.,

    ReplyDelete

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