Musicians going on tour prepare for months. So do their fans. Well, they should, anyway. Obvious preparations for fans are of course buying tickets, looking for hotels and make sure you have enough battery for your camera. I know now that preparing for a tour takes more than that, but back in 1997, on my first concert tour, I was young and unexperienced. It was fun though 🙂
Bobbie Eakes and Jeff Trachta went on tour in Holland during the christmas period. Holland is not that big, so everything could be done from home. Pretty easy. Only the second concert was in Switzerland, so we had to travel for that one. No problem. We wanted to do all the concerts, so no question about if we were going to Geneva. After the first concert in Holland, we got in the car and started driving. Musicians were flying, but we took the car down there. In the middle of the night, from Amsterdam to Geneva. I drove the first hour, getting to Belgium, so my friend could sleep. Then we would switch for an hour and after that sleeping was no longer allowed. We had to keep each other awake. Young and unexperienced, but it worked fine. At a gas station we bought something for breakfast and we drove through France. That was the best way, because we didn’t want to buy the vignette you need to drive on the highways in Switzerland. Geneva is right at the border of France, we would be fine. (young and unexperienced)
By the time we got close to Geneva, it was already the end of the morning and we still had to pick up our concert tickets somewhere in the city. And then we hit traffic. People going skiing holiday over the christmas holiday. On the highway we hardly got very far. So I got out the map and looked for a short cut. (yes, map… it was way before car navigation systems). No problem. I found one. Way shorter and away from this traffic jam. Did I already say it was late December and close to Switzerland? Yeah, so we took the shortcut, which took us over the mountain, instead of around it. My french was not that good, but the big warning signs with ‘dangereux’ were pretty clear. It started snowing and of course we didn’t have snow tires. With no time to get back in the traffic jam, we drove over the mountain. Very very slow.
We got to the hotel in one piece. Too late to pick up our tickets, but fortunately the tour manager told us to just come to the location, he would make sure we would get in. So we showered and went to the location, where we could just stay inside. Everything fine. Well, not everything, because we never had the chance to exchange money (yes, back then we didn’t have euros and even then: Switzerland still has its own currency). And in the location they didn’t take credit cards. Which meant: nothing to drink or eat. After having just a sandwich at breakfast and being up all night, that was not funny.
Again we were saved by the tour manager. Spaghetti and cola backstage. Felt like heaven. Till you take the first bite and Jeff appears next to you: ‘Hurry girls, the concert is about to start’. Spaghetti turned into fast food 🙂
The concert was great. Great duets, christmas spirit and great voices. Enjoyed every minute of it, but afterwards we were just happy to lay down in bed and sleep. It was a very eventful day. We wouldn’t have missed it for the world, but I’m sure glad I’m more experienced with going on tour now, so that things go a bit more smoothly (with of course some exceptions, but that’s what makes life so interesting) 🙂