Peeking through the curtains, I noticed it was raining. With Summer in full swing now, we haven’t seen wet streets for a while. As promised yesterday, at 9am sharp, the bags were collected from our rooms by Peter. The early departure caused by a particularly large (500kg) unexploded bomb being discovered in Frankfurt and a subsequent mass evacuation affecting air travel hence our early 11:30am slot. The sad irony is that it is undoubtedly an Allied, device dropped more than 70 years ago, one of 2.7 million tonnes dropped on Europe, half of which were unloaded on German soil. Of those, between 15% and 20% failed to detonate so the long-lasting legacy of conflict continues to stretch across the generations. Upon researching, I learned that some devices detonate of their own accord as the metal in detonators corrodes. A frightening prospect.
Riding with Goran, team ‘A’ lead driver to the airport, we reflected on our super-short stay at one of our favourite hotels. At the airport, we cleared security and were soon bound for Munich. Arriving at the venue for lunch isn’t something we often get to do but as usual, the routine was drop bags in dressing rooms and head to catering. Early for us but some of the crew have been in here since 7:00am, in particular, riggers and caterers. I was hoping to see more of an actual setup re. the back line (on stage equipment) but everything was already in place. However line-check was still to come. This is the process whereby the backline crew, wearing headsets or in-ears, are in communication with Dave Dixon on the FOH sound desk and literally check every instrument ‘line’. Dave will also use this opportunity to adjust any instrument EQ. It is a slick process yet extremely thorough. Even though it was the crew who did the overnight drive and started setup at 7am, it was the band who after lunch, distributed themselves evenly throughout the dressing rooms and promptly fell asleep.
Obviously a fan of the city, Ernest Hemmingway once said of Munich “Everything else is a waste of time in Germany”, I’m not sure I would go that far but he has a point. Statistically, THE most desirable place to live in Germany, Munich is a little gem. When Germans are polled about where they would like to live, Munich finds its way consistently at the top of the list. The city has a philosophy of “leben und leben lassen,” meaning live and let live. The heat in the venue was noticeable but every now and again during the show, I felt a cool blast as the air conditioning did its work. An absolutely stellar crowd, as you would expect in Munich, cheered relentlessly and waved us off, in cars and vans once again to the airport for the after-show trip to Budapest.
Still in stage clothes we arrived at the Munich GAT to find a gathering of fans with various bits and pieces ready to be signed by Mark. “Enjoy the show?” I asked. They sure high-tailed it here fast to beat us. Which brings me neatly to Mark’s updated policy for signing guitars. The official statement reads…Unfortunately Mark will no longer be signing guitars, scratch plates or any other musical instruments. This is a direct result of those people who are not fans, taking the autograph and using it to make money by selling it on Ebay, through autograph companies or privately to fans. There are also various other unauthorised and unofficial items with fake signatures listed for sale on line, such as lyric sheets, posters, photographs, albums etc. As always, we advise you approach such listings with caution. We will try and accommodate autographs for genuine fans where we can, but please be respectful and considerate when asking for them. Thanks for your assistance and co-operation.
The longest day ended with a small Sub bass soiree in my room. Thanks by the way to Frank, a Mannheim fan, who gifted the band a lovely bottle of German Weissburgunder.