november 5, 2002 strasbourg, la laiterie far in dijon, the good folks at la vapeur have helped me fix my bass pedal, helped us push our van, talked to the garage guy about our van, arranged to have it towed to the mercedes dealership, rented a new van for us, driven us to the mercedes dealership and given us whiskey. i'm going to petition the vatican to see if la vapeur can be canonized. preggo, il pape? i bet marco and marcal (?) had a lot of fun when girls against boys came to town! gvsb motto: take take take!!!

we arrive at la laiterie late as usual and interpol is already on stage doing soundcheck. we missed ours again-nice going tour manager dude. well, ok, our van broke down and we are lucky to even be at the show, but still- I see no champagne, no caviar, no masseuse, no spankings. what the hell is going on here?

our friend gijs drives from amsterdam with a new old van and he has the pleasure of driving the rental van back to dijon. it was so expensive I had to sell my villa in st. tropez. we cry when we leave our rental van with it's powerful NEW engine and good ventilator and heat and safety. it's for the better-especially since the new van has stickers all over it with pot and various drug references. hello? english customs? here we come...

november 6, 2002   paris, le trabendo

today was looking good. we have our new old van and we are good to go. we are up early and all systems are go. as you can see from the picture, it's daylight and we have 483 km to go to get to paris. there are two things we hadn't considered: 1) paris has a lot of traffic 2) our van goes about 40 kmp/h up hills. a hill for the van is anything that is more than 1 degree upwards. so after driving all day we get to paris right in the middle of rush hour and arrive at the trabendo late with a million things to do. we do a bunch of photo shoots and prove that their flashshutterbug problem is nothing compared to mine. when i am back in the states i will check into rehab for camera addicts.

we see a bunch of old friends in paris and the show is sold out AND it is scott's birthday. he is 17 and doesn't look a day younger. not bad, birthday in paris-we get the audience to sing him happy birthday spontaneously and discover that paris has quite a nice singing voice. well done, paris! and thank you! vive la france!

there is big after show party which we half heartedly attend because we know we have to get up in about 3 hours to get over to london. we have some drinks with interpol and trip over drunks loading out in the rain. v-lux lifestyle indeed. by the way, i hear paris is pretty nice. i wouldn't know because i saw a lot of rain, couldn't see out of our van, it was dark and i saw mostly the inside of this club. people spoke french though and of course they were damn sexy, so i must have been in france. or quebec. or africa. or louisiana. or in a french class.

by the way, my bass pedal is broken again. nice going, mcguyver.

november 7, 2002   london, scala

well today really sucked. we woke up at 6:30 to get ourselves over to the hovercraft by 12:30 to get to england. no problem, except that whole part about our van going 40 kmp/h up hills. so when we were 40 km from the ferry and we had an hour to go we were sweating heavily. normally this would be no problem unless you have a van powered by hamsters running on rubber bands. scott has determined that we should get rid of all the equipment and excess drummers and bass players and just travel with a painted sheet (we in the biz call this a scrim). that way he could have a band painted on it and just cut out the head of the singer and stick his own head through. this would reduce overhead and be a whole lot less of a hassle than having squabbling bass players and drummers with no IQ whatsoever.

where was i? ah yes, the hovercraft-well we barely make it and the ride is like sitting inside one of those paint can shakers in the hardware store. we arrive in dover and the cliffs loom over us and it's, gasp, could it be...sunny! it's beautiful here and even more beautiful because the customs people let us through without hassle and we are on our merry 40 kmp/h way. everything is looking good until we get to london, hit massive traffic and are late as usual because our van goes...well, you know.

the scala looks great, tons of staircases everywhere, making loading in a complete nightmare. on top of it, there is tons of concrete and every surface is nice and shiny and polished so it sounds like a roomful of barking dogs. did i mention it looks good? we see a bunch of old friends and play with the mighty enon from nyc and swearing at motorists from dayton. irvine welsh shows up! oops, did i just drop a name? no one can hear anything including us-scott turns his monitor around for the audience but i'm afraid it's a lost cause-time to get out the painted sheet and the cd.

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