Tuesday January 26 2010
It seems that writing a daily blog while working is going to be a considerably bigger challenge than I anticipated. For the legions of my blog's fans (jk...lol) I'll do my best but I think 4-5 times a week is more realistic while on tour. After going to the gym, rehearsals, the 2 hour show, picture session, then autograph session all I want to do when I get back to my room is eat, shower, relax for a bit, then sleep. Between dinner and the show we have some free time so I'm going to try very very hard not to procrastinate and to do my writing then, so I can relax when I get back to my room.
A couple of notes and anecdotes from the tour so far: First of all, there is a great chemistry and energy between the guys this tour. Every tour is slightly different because the cast is always slightly different and a departure or new member can have an impact of chemistry in a group of only 10 guys. Everybody in the cast notices it. It makes doing the show so much more fun. Because we're having fun, the audience gets a better show, they give us more energy; it's a positive feedback loop. This is a welcome change from the last tour (Sep-Dec.). For some reason it just wasn't fun; it really felt like work. This tour feels similar to the 6 week run we did in Hamburg last spring...great chemistry and energy on stage. We actually look forward to doing the show every night.
Here are a couple of funny anecdotes from the last few days: During the band set (Chippendales has a live band as part of the show, I play the drums) somehow the cross beam that holds my whole drum kit together fell apart in the middle of the second song in our set which basically caused my whole drum kit to implode. The drum kit is electric so all the drums and cymbals were still plugged in and live. Without missing more than 2 beats I identified amonst the rubble the ride cymbal and the snare and bass tom--the kick pedal and hi hat were buried--and continued to the end of the song hunched over the remains. The other guys, positioned in front of me, had no idea that anything was wrong until after the song because all the girls were pointing and laughing. In between songs the stage hands ran on and helped me resurrect the kit so we could finish the last 2 songs. I got some nice compliments about my drumming after the show....well deserved I should say!
Speaking of great drumming... if I may continue to pat myself on the back, tonight was the first night I executed the stick toss and catch--3 times! Woohoo! Ever since I was a kid and saw Tommy Lee of Motley Crue in concert I've always dreamt of doing this great piece of 80s hair metal drumming flair. A dying art by the by. The way the trick works is you hit the snair with the stick and bounce it off the drum. It goes flying high in the air straight up, end over end, and you catch it and keep playing, all the while never missing a beat. While the stick is in the air (I throw it about 2.5-3 metres) you still play on the bass and snare with your left. Soooooooo many things can go wrong! If you don't toss it just right it will land out of range or even better, it lands on your head or someone else's. In sum, you can go from hero to zero really fast; a high risk, high reward move. So, during the last few days I've been trying it a lot in rehearsal with inconsistent results. Last night I tried it in the show for the first time and just about hit the guitarist. As a matter of practicality, I always have some spare sticks at my feet so I recovered rhythmically but that's it. Anyway, needless to say I was very pleased with my performance tonight!
Last anecdote: In one of numbers there is a fight scene with 1.5m staffs (get your mind out of the gutters people). While twirling his staff (I said OUT!) one of the dancers lost control of his staff (oy!) and it when flying into the audience and took out a couple of girls. Then he went out to recover his staff and in so doing knocked over all their drinks! Good times!
Wait! I forgot one more from tonight. We do a routine called "Officer" and there are four of us dressed in full navy officer whites down to the gloves. It's a very slow routine done to "Hero". The first item of clothing we remove is our white gloves, one finger at a time to the beat of the music, then slowing show the removed glove and put it in our pocket. This is done for the right hand, followed by a half turn, then the left hand. The whole glove sequence takes up a considerable amount of time. Well, somehow both the dancer beside me and I forgot to put our gloves on before going on stage. Two of the four guys were "air" stripping... and this is supposed to be the most serious routine!