The next stop on my personal Gus G/Marty Friedman tour, is Munich and Hannover, Germany.
After that, London. And the London show will, funny enough, be the last date for me on this tour and the 50th time in 3 years that I see this guitar “wonder child” do his thing.
I remember pretty much every single gig and the details surrounding it. The trips, the people, the disasters, the adventures, the trips, hotels, venues, cities, shows….
I looked at the list of shows yesterday just to see if there was anything I might have forgotten. I’m probably lucky because I’ve been blogging about everything, so I tend to remember for that reason.
I have pics, stories and videos from every single place. Except for the Madison Square Garden gig with Ozzy because I didn’t want to risk getting my camera confiscated, so I never brought one.
[THIS was the first thing I saw, and here I am now, shitloads of shows and thousands of travelled miles later…!]
I did get a few clips on my bad mobile phone but those serve only as a memory, not as YouTube-material (I hate clicking on a live video on Youtube only to find that the audio sucks and that it’s been recorded by some drunk, jumping person in the crowd, with his/her BAD phone. Don’t upload it unless it’s at LEAST decent quality…!)
That gig got the ball rolling. The dude with the guitar left me absolutely speechless. I remember sitting at JFK on my way home, killing time, browsing the web for info about the new Ozzy-guitarist. Then I saw a video of The Fire And The Fury and that sealed the deal.
There I was at the airport, running that video multiple times, because I couldn’t believe how anyone could play like that! Just watching that pinky finger move like it was made out of rubber, was fascinating!
On New Year’s Day 2011, I was once again out there on the web checking out more stuff, when I came across info about a one-off gig for Firewind in London, at the Relentless Garage. Within five minutes, I had clicked my way through buying a ticket to the show and a flight ticket to London. :) Didn’t require a lot of thinking.
I remember that day in London as being grey, rainy and cold and I hadn’t booked a hotel. I just flew over, saw the show and went straight back to the airport and back to work.
But the show, once again, blew me away – and the minute I got home, I started checking for more gigs.
The journey has taken me all across Europe for the past 3 years. I’ve flown to places I barely knew existed, I’ve rented cars, driven in all kinds of weather, from one club to another, in the middle of the night, early in the mornings, getting lost… Or using the car as my “hotel” on a few occasions just to be able to afford the trips.
Sleeping in the car is not a comfortable thing usually. It always gets cold and damp in there at night, but I’ve done it because it meant being able to see yet another show instead of spending the dough on hotels.
I’ve visited several cities/towns/villages in the UK, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Luxembourg, Greece, Denmark, Scotland, Ireland, Netherlands, Finland, a few states in the US to catch a few of the US shows and last year I took that trip of a lifetime to Australia for the Australian tour. I had a blast in every possible way and it’s a journey I’ll never forget.
And the highlights with all these gigs? The reason why I started doing this was because I was totally blown away by the live performances and the high level of musicianship. But I’m also hooked on the travelling itself, just being on the go to anywhere. I’ve never been much of a stay-at-home kind of person. Hanging in front of a TV works for maybe a few weeks in the winter, but after that I get bored and restless and I need to get on the first flight, train or bus to wherever. It’s usually been to a Firewind/Ozzy/Gus G-show because they simply tour a lot. :) Suits me perfectly.
I’ve gotten to know the guys in the band and their crew, and I love these guys. They are awesome. If I had had to deal with a bunch of assholes it wouldn’t have mattered HOW good Gus or the band was, I would have found some other band or artist to go and check out. I’m lucky that the whole “package deal” has been perfect. :)
As for the highlights from the gigs, I guess I could easily pick a few to put on my Top 10-list:
1. Ozzy – Madison Square Garden – New York City – December 1, 2010
2. Firewind – Relentless Garage – London – UK – January 7, 2011
3. Firewind – Fuzz Club – Athens – Greece – January 14, 2012
4. Ozzy – Malmö Stadium – Malmö – Sweden – June 2, 2012
5. Ozzy – Westfalenhalle – Dortmund – Germany – June 4, 2012
[Steel Panther opening, had a great time with my friend from Germany, Su]
6. Firewind – Mylos – Thessaloniki – Greece – July 18, 2012
[I presented the band with a gold record for their sales of Wall Of Sound, in Sweden]
7. Firewind – Knust – Hamburg – Germany – September 28, 2012
8. Firewind – 8Ball Club – Thessaloniki – Greece – December 15 & 16, 2012
9. Firewind – Rock In Den Ruinen – Dortmund – Germany – April 27, 2013
10. Firwewind – Corner Hotel – Melbourne – Australia – November 3, 2013
There are many more, such as Ozzy at Sweden Rock and Graspop festival, Firewind at Sonisphere, and Kaftanzoglio stadium / Stop That Sound 2310 festival in Thessaloniki, many of the club gigs…. It’s hard to pick just a few but those did stick out for sure.
And now another page is being written, with the solo gigs across Europe.
So, on May 21st, in London, UK, I celebrate that 50th Gus G-gig since that Madison Square Garden gig. Will that mark the end of this journey or will I add another 50 shows to the list? I don’t know. I guess time will tell, but one thing is for certain, it’s left memories that will stay with me for a very long time.
Here are some of those highlights:
Ozzy & Friends – Graspop:
Gus G – my first interview , from Sweden Rock:
Gus G – second interview, from Thessaloniki, Greece:
Stop That Sound Festival in Thessaloniki, with Whitesnake and Judas Priest – a VERY very veryyy hot day in Greece. I almost passed out from the heat.