Archive for 1996-07

Athens, Greece

01996-07-29 @ 16:07

maybe the greek language does not translate well in2 english… the fact is that everything a greek person says in english sounds like a command…

instead of would u please sit down it is u sit down now!

+ the women sound even harsher than the men – very strange…

@ 4:30pm the promoter stuffed 4 of us in2 a little taxi + we drove 2 the venue, a modern amphitheater near the acropolis, surrounded by hills that looked like a movie set… the promoter’s sound company had problems w their gear + soundcheck was @ 8pm instead of 6pm… i was assured that the horrible hum from the p.a. speakers would stop as soon as the generator was started + the lights had their seperate power source…

hm, but when that FULL MOON appeared over the hill + we started the show @ 9:30pm everything was fine @ last… the audience was gr8 + dug the music, the younger members standing around the stage + noding their heads as if @ a rock concert… everybody played well + we got in2 some new music, playing w the songs, improvising 2gether…

afterwards we went 2 a restaurant w the promoter + a man from sony + drank uzo, a traditional greek liquor… 1 person claimed it had opiates in it, another said it was like the french absinth, but it seemed like a regular alcoholic drink 2 me… i guess i should ask gary…he had 3 glasses of uzo…

Milan – Palermo

01996-07-27 @ 16:07

i go 2 bed saturday morning @ 2am + wake up @ 5:30am… we are on the bus by 6:30am… we are @ the milan airport a little after 7am… we fly 2 rome… we arrive late… 2 alitalia stewardesses are waiting 4 us + rush us 2 the next flight which is being held 4 us…

once we are in the air we celebrate making the connection, but bondo says: there is no way they transferred our luggage + equipment in that short time… unfortunately he is right… we arrive in palermo around 1:30pm… it’s very hot + dry – like las vegas, nevada… no luggage… some of us leave 4 the hotel, but i wait w jon, kevin + bondo until after 4pm…

still no luggage… on the way out of the airport jon + i are singled out by the carabinieri + taken 2 a room where we are told that nothing will happen (!) if we give them any hashish or weed we have on us, but if we don’t give it 2 them + they find it we will be in big trouble…

so they search my carry-on bag + guitar case + jon’s bag + let us go… we drive 2 the hotel… of the 12 pieces of luggage + equipment we checked in milan, 11 are found + delivered 2 the venue by 8:30pm… my suitcase is missing… i arrive w the band @ 9pm… 3,000 people have taken their seats already… we do a quick soundcheck… i ask the promoter 2 explain 2 the crowd that the delay wasn’t our fault, but he doesn’t think that’s necessary… i do think it is + ask my friend craig, who speaks italian quite well, 2 explain the situation… he does + we begin the concert a little after 9:30pm… the audience is wonderful… after the show, the others choose 2 have a really late dinner after midnight + i go 2 the hotel 2 sleep a full 7 hours 4 the 1st time this week….

Italian Tour

01996-07-25 @ 16:07

the hotel looks like an early 70’s movie… all of the rooms are blue… many shades of blue… blue rugs, blue sheets, blue lights, blue walls… 4 lunch i have a wonderful pizza @ a nearby restaurant w craig + jon… hm, arrugula is the queen of all leafy vegetables – especially the wild arrugula which we can’t get in the united states… in the afternoon a bus takes us 2 the venue, which is a huge villa that is several hundred years old…beautiful, beautiful…we get a tour of the main house…frescos on every wall, amazing glass chandeliers in every room…

TWA Flight #800

01996-07-17 @ 16:07

I am in Milan after 2days of flights: albuquerque – st.louis – nyc – milan… the TWA flight from kennedy airport in new york 2 milan is delayed by 1 1/2 hours…

the flight manager doesn’t want 2 let me bring my guitar onboard: no space in the overhead bins!! i say, i can put it in a closet, but she replies that that is illegal… i reply, that i do it all the time… she says, it’s always illegal… i say, i CANNOT let her have the guitar… i walk 2 the upper deck… she says she will check on me… ah, but the flight attendent on the upper deck likes flamenco + stores the guitar in the little closet… ‘don’t tell the flight manager’, he says… i won’t, i reply… i sit down + pray that the flight manager will 4get all about me…

there are only 2 other people on the upper deck, an american couple flying 2 a wedding in italy… an announcement: we won’t have a lot of cabin space 4 luggage, since TWA purchased this aircraft used from Air France + it hasn’t been changed 2 the specifications of TWA yet… more delay… maybe the pilots cannot read the french manuals 4 the 747 we joke… well, this plane doesn’t even have video, we are told… i point out the overhead video projector… oh, but that never worked… hm, aha, but the engines are supposed 2 work? more delay… a stewardes says, that we will leave soon… i ask, how she knows this + she answers, that the pilots are now pushing a lot of buttons… the steward shows us the safety instructions, but warns us that he hasn’t actually gone through them in a long time, ’cause all other planes show safety instruction videos… now i’m 29,000 feet above the ground in this old 747, formerly owned by Air France + i’m helping the stewardess translate the temperature readings of the stove, which are in centigrade… the next morning i arrive @ the hotel in milan, turn on CNN + find out that flight #800, which couldn’t have left JFK airport more than 5 or 10 minutes b4 or after our flight, had exploded in midair… what a feeling… i saw some of those people waiting in the terminal!!!

I call my friends in the USA. Some of them only knew that I was flying to Italy, and worried that I might have been on Flight 800…

 


© Copyright 2019 Ottmar Liebert • Site by Canton Becker • Diary powered by WordPress