Looking back at that European tour, the tour that I ended up with a black X on my passport (http://justtryingtohangout.blogspot.com/2012/11/deceiver.html) makes me remember so many funny things that happened. I ‘ve decided that I need to go back and remember them on paper so that I won’t forget. It’s a shame I’m not better at journaling as things are happening…but I really like to “be” in the moment. Anyway…. The flight to Graz was another Ryan Air extravaganza. This time we would be leaving from Torp outside of Oslo somewhere, flying back into England (with the black X) for a stopover and then on to Graz.
The Ryan Air employees at the Torp airport were very unfriendly and it seemed as though they hated their jobs. From my own personal experience, Norwegians aren’t the best at customer service in general, but these people really took the cake. Even though our flights were cheap we had to haggle each flight with our baggage because we had some guitars with us, which make you WAY over the weight limit. In most places we were able to talk them into waiving the over limit fee if the flight wasn’t completely booked. Not at Torp. No way. These people wouldn’t budge and they were mean about it to boot. Well, we ended up having to call our booking agent very early that morning to tell him that we had to pay the full fee and that he was going to have to give a credit card. He was super unhappy, making strange, unintelligible sounds of confusion, groaning with stress on the other end from his warm Swedish apartment. The flight itself was fine and we arrived in London without a hitch until we went through the customs line.
Here we were, back in London but this time at a different airport. Going through customs, this time we were able to say that we were just in London to make a connection to Graz. Hold on, hold on, hold on…. The customs agent gathered us all to the side and went over our passports, asked us about our “deception,” and told us that we were allowed to be here in London, but if we try to step foot outside of the airport and sneak into England they would hunt us down… possibly kill us. Well, he didn’t say kill us but he did say hunt us down. We assured him we didn’t want to be in London. I may have even said that Graz is probably a lot nicer…hehehe. After over 45 minutes at customs they finally allowed us to pass. We went to the gate area and had delicious Guinness on tap while waiting.
The flight to Graz was unbelievably beautiful, flying over the Alps. The Alps made the flight attendants that constantly walk the aisles hawking items disappear and all that I could see were beautiful, jagged, snowcapped mountains, stretching out in every direction. As we landed in Graz, the incredible tour manager, Klaus was waiting for us. We liked him right away. He drove us into town and took us to a restaurant. It was so beautiful, the weather was warm even though it was February, so we ate outside. The restaurant had signed pictures of Arnold Schwarzenegger hanging up inside in which he wrote stupid things like; “I’ll be back.”
Our show was to be right around the corner and Klaus took us to the club where we found our rental gear. We got everything set up and did a sound check. Everything was super chill and relaxed. There was lots of booze flowing and we had a feeling of relief that Klaus was there to take care of everything and we could finally slack off a little bit. The show was pretty early since, like most clubs we played at, this club would host a DJ, drinking, and dancing after the show. We were opening up for a super nice band from London, who we thought really sucked musically, but they were super nice people. We went on stage and played a really tipsy, but solid set, and when we were finished, we hung out more, talked with people, and drank a lot. I went back to work at the merchandise table, and after awhile, the headlining band came back to sell their stuff next to ours. They had played a good set and people really seemed to like them. After a bit, my husband staggered up, pretty drunk and started talking about how shitty the headlining band was. I tried to stop him but I couldn’t, he kept going, and since I was standing there with said band, I grabbed his arm and dragged him off across the room. He asked me what the hell I was so upset about. I told him that he was berating the headlining band while standing right next to the headlining band. It took him a couple of minutes to understand what I was saying. Once it sunk in and I said that I was going to have to go back there and get our stuff, and I thought he should apologize, he promptly found that to be a great time to go limp and just pretty much give up. Instead of going back to the merch, I asked my band-mates to go pack the stuff up as I walked my drunk and incoherent husband to Klaus’ car, stuck him in the backseat where he slumped over and immediately began to snore.