Friday, 4 June 2010

12 days and counting

The weather in the Lake District is beautiful. When the sun is out and the temperature at 27 degrees there is no better place in the world. Unfortunately the backdrop of the dreadful events in West Cumbria only a few miles away have darkened the mood on this pre tour mini vacation.

The train journey tomorrow back to London will start my official countdown to the beginning on the Moody Blues summer tour, and I will be flying to Chicago in twelve days to meet the gang, who will be commuting from all four corners of the globe in order to create some great music, spread good feelings and maybe even a bit of low level mayhem. Graeme and I have closed at least one bar in every state of America, and even though we tend to be less er, adventurous these days, we still put in a sterling effort to keep the flame of drumming behaviour alive.

Our first concert is in South Bend, Indiana; which has a population of around 100,000 and holds the county seat of St. Joseph County, it also has the beautiful St. Joseph River running through it on the south side. And of course is home to the famous University of Notre Dame (which sounds quite comical to this European's ears when pronounced phonetically in the local accent). It's a great place to start a US tour.

One of the benefits of being a touring musician, especially to the extent the Moody Blues do it, is the opportunity to visit places I would otherwise only read about. My love for the US comes initially from watching old black and white hollywood movies as a child such as "A Street Car Named Desire", "Yankee Doodle Dandy", "42nd Street" and "The Benny Goodman Story". Clearly America has changed beyond recognition since those times, but I still get a twinge at the thought of standing on the same soil of these wonderful stories.

The first realisation of fulfilling a childhood dream of traveling extensively around America, came in a small hotel room in New York 1995 after touring for five years. I was watching the tv (before the ubiquitous broadband and 24/7 everything) laying on the bed, channel surfing in that post New-York-day-out-numbness one feels after being hit with every conceivable stimulus, and chanced upon the weather channel. It came to the bit where a series of small randomly obscure towns, a few cities, and the occasional hamlet scrolled down the screen whilst giving the temperature, type of weather and chance of precipitation, and it slowly dawned on me I had been to every single one of them! After twenty years of touring I have visited them so many times I not only know where the best place to get a cappuccino, buy a good book, and where the closest art gallery is (not mention late night jazz club) but I could direct you blindfolded to the nearest gents toilet at the closest airport.

I am yet to get an itinerary for the tour, so I have no idea where we will be staying in South Bend, but I am looking forward to it immensely, and can't wait to get behind the kit, and play some of the best music a contemporary musician can get his hands on. Looking forward to seeing all the folks from "Wagon City".


  1. Hi ya. I shutter to think you were in the Lake District after that terrible event in Cumbria! Egad, and you can muster up enthusiam for the upcoming tour as well. What a guy!!!! I had an old flame who lived in Appleby eons ago and I hoped he hadn't been hurt. I'm sure he personally knew some of those people anyhow. Wow. I'm still shook up about it.

    Anyways, it's always a joy to read your blog - blog on!!!! Hugs!

  2. Cant wait to see you in Connecticut!!

  3. yes it is the greatest music and you are a great drummer. hope there is many more years of touring.

  4. Thanks for posting this Gordy!

  5. Wow.. summer's coming up so fast. Let's hope it's not as hot and humid as they're saying! How do you manage in the heat Plus all the stage lights? I remember a couple of years ago your shirts were soaking wet. I was just playing a gig on Weds in Brooklyn under stage lights, first time on a proper stage with this band, with a sound guy, speakers, monitors, and lights and that was hot and blinding. Check it out for kicks... A benefit for the "other" Stephen Baldwin who happens to be a member of our band, the Meetles.

    Maggie Clarke

    4 June 2010 12:18

  6. hello gordy, I enjoyed reading your blog as always. I love your sense of humor. and yes you will be creating some great music with the moodys soon. I love watching you play the drums you play with so much gusto and I can tell you are into the moment and having fun with it as well. you are one of the best drummers or (percusionists)I have ever seen. you and graeme make a great team on drums. and you never cease to amaze me that you can play so many instruments I have seen you play the flute and keys. its incredible. good luck with the tour and maybe I'll see one of the concerts somewhere,somewhere....somehow somehow..... oh and don't forget save the saviour lol

  7. I meant dont forget don't jostle the saviour lol

  8. ha ha I remember when you tweeted about meeting Renee at starbucks. Do you still drink ginger green tea? maybe you'll run into her again this tour. I think she fancied you ha ha!!!