While on the road for the Moody Blues USA Fall Tour 2000, Justin jotted down some news exclusively for his Web site. Written on two different occasions during the tour (during the beginning and the middle), they are accounts of some of the things Justin observed and was doing.
What an amazing week this has been. The Society of Distinguished Songwriters dinner at the weekend, two television interviews on Tuesday - one about "progressive rock" which I did with Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. The first question was "What is progressive rock?", to which my reply was "The same as normal rock but longer".
The other interview was with the BBC in the radio studio where we recorded most of "Days of Future Past" for radio shows before the real recording. The interview was about "Nights", as part of a series all about classic songs; the recording, the writing, the day of the session, were we stoned or not, who else was there, how many takes. I think we covered everything. The nice thing about both TV shows (which will be shown in the new year) was that they were both being made by really young kids who love the music.Wednesday was of course really special because it was the day A.S.C.A.P. gave me their Lifetime Achievement Award, the "Golden Note". It was a truly wonderful evening. Phil Collins got an award for Tarzan, and it was great to see him again as we've always got on really well. One of the highlights was a short ten minute performance by Cy Coleman who wrote "Witchcraft", "Big Spender", "If They Could See Me Now", and lots of other great standards. He really loved "Nights" and was the first to congratulate me after I got my award. There was a 12 minute films of our hits that I have written, including a performance, live, of "Question" from 1970 that I had never seen before. I did a little thank you speech and a few bars of "Nights" to close the evening. It was magical for me.
Very early the next day I met Roy at the airport to fly to Phoenix, then on to Reno and the drive to here in Tahoe.
I woke really early this morning and to try and clear my head of the jetlag went for a walk down by the lake. I nearly dislocated my arm skimming stones on the water. If "Question" sounds a bit jimmy this tour, well, that's the reason. It’s great being back together again and we're looking forward to the tour, especially after L.A. We have so much promotion to do there, all day, every day. It’s always crazy there. So many people to meet. Still, if it helps introduce new people to the band, that's fine.
I’ve decided this is the hurry up and wait tour. Everyday is a scramble to be ready; ready to stand or sit and read or talk in some incongruous place, an airport, a dressing room, a van or a hotel lobby. I’m not complaining though, because there’s always something to talk about, like whoever’s not in the room at the time.
We’ve had a great first week and Visalia surprised us all with the enthusiasm of the audience and the beauty of the country. We’ll definitely come back.
The San Diego gig was a bit crazy backstage, no real dressing rooms yet, but when we got on stage, to see all our favourite fans was a real boost and it turned out great.
We were asked to do a short show at Phoenix and keep it under 90 minutes. So in case you’re wondering if we drop a song or two, it’s always because we’ve been asked to. It’s never our decision.
I’ve also decided that this is the no food tour. Breakfast is always to be taken before a “get up and go” deadline, lunch is non-existent and dinner is taken on the run, on the way to the stage. Still, maybe I’ll lose some more weight as the tour goes on. I do try to find time for an hour in the gym though. I love having that time to myself during the day. Chris always finds a good place to work out within a few blocks of the hotel or the gig.
We’re in Vegas now and although it’s good to be here at the Mandalay, we all really miss Caesars. The showroom “Circus Maximus” there was great and backstage the dressing rooms were fabulous. It was always wonderful to know that some of the ‘greats’ in show business had passed that way.
It was also always nice going past Cleopatra’s dressing room. She and her handmaids used to leave the door open. All of the characters you would see on the casino floor had dressing rooms nearby the showroom. I also used the secret backways through the maze of the hotel too, as it was possible to get anywhere in Caesars without going anywhere near the casino floor.
Los Angeles was a crazy time for me, with interviews and T.V. From eight in the morning till nine at night on my only day off so far, as well as a Fox T.V. Interview at 8:30 in the morning, the day we played Visalia.
The “Hall of Fame” project is being received very well. I wish it could have been a double album though. Danilo and I did mix some of the other tracks and hopefully they can be released in time.
Off we go to Palm Springs tomorrow and again no day off for me. More interviews to do. Still, it’s good to know people are interested.