The Swede life

I stumble into a truckstop bathroom, it’s Luxembourg: 5am.

They’ve got me trained, the Germans, to fumble for .70 euro every time I need to answer the call.

And there’s been plenty of close calls at the WC turnstile, brother, as I pat every pocket and go through backpack, desperately searching for suitable coinage, clenching orifice tight against the threat of messy disaster.

But it’s a rich country, this Luxembourg, as the luxury of a toilet and sink is free!
And soon I am brushing my teeth next to a portly Belgian trucker, he naked from waist up and lathering his furry body at the sink.
His attention shifts from his underarms inversely reflected in the mirror to my bleary eyes and he gives me a sly wink.
We’ve shared this same dawn stretch of road and both have a long day ahead of us.

IMG_0391

Brussels Zaventem airport at 8am.
It’s a bittersweet goodbye to Frank ‘le Tank, as fine a gent and handler as we’ve met over here.

We’ve bonded these last few days, and the long stretches of road allow for the ease of brotherhood that allows for both tearful confession and competitive farting, the true payoff of traveling in a box.

Goodbye Frankie---see ya on the other side!

Goodbye Frankie—see ya on the other side!

We’re through security with an hour to spare, and it’s time to consider the Belgian version of sausage for breakfast.

IMG_0394

Hmmmm...shall we?

Hmmmm…shall we?

We change flights in Copenhagen, and our heads are swimming at the currency change when we hit the lounge bar.

Euros can be used, yes, but change given in Danish Krone.
Shall we exchange some Euros at the desk, since they use these Kronen in Sweden, right?
Well no, as they use a Swedish Krona, worth slightly less.

Alf’s delirium tremors start to kick in as I thrust handfuls of dollars and euros and pounds at the bemused bartender, all the while pointing at the taps and making the universal drinky-drinky sign.

Listen pal, all we want is a goddamn pint of beer, not a lesson on global economics.
Next time we vow to get paid in only Krugerrand and hollow point bullets, the only currencies that know no border!

Touchdown Göteborg, and this is where the tourbook gets a little hazy.
Benny the booker only gives us a few cryptic notes about venue and hotel, and we see a festival poster that baffles us:

..it's about time you can see Neil Young, Alicia Keys and CH3 all at  the same venue!

..it’s about time you can see Neil Young, Alicia Keys and CH3 all at the same venue!

There’s little info about transportation and, well, what the hell we’re doing here—but there is a cheerful driver waiting for us at the gate with our names on chalkboard, and soon we are rolling through a beautiful countryside in a whispery quiet Volvo efficiency van.

IMG_0173

IMG_0174

And soon we are checked into the swanky Scandic Crown, and the hospitality and kindness of the en-blazered reception staff baffles us–what’s the catch?

Beers and chips on arrival--the dream comes true!

Beers and chips on arrival–the dream comes true!

It feels, for lack of a better term, really expensive here.
But the promoters have handled every single thing, and we’re soon in cheerful blonde bedrooms that are ripped straight out of an Ikea catalog.

IMG_0400

A catnap and it’s back to the lobby and another smiling, impeccably groomed driver.
They take guitars out of our hands and hand us water bottles for the drive to the venue along the lovely evening streets.

We think perhaps we died on that last bumpy flight out of Copenhagen and we’re experiencing that Twilight Zone episode where the dead hood gets everything he wants without question.

...ah, but Mr. Valentine--who ever said this was heaven? Bwahahahah!

…ah, but Mr. Valentine–who ever said this was heaven?
Bwahahahah!

IMG_0405

IMG_0404

IMG_0403

We meet up with TSOL, and they are all fresh and chipper as this is their tour start date.
It’s a quiet backstage and even quieter onstage, as they have a 100db sound limit—in the club!!

Hey!   We eat fruit too ya know....

Hey! We eat fruit too ya know….

I finally get to meet up with our internet pal Pete, maybe the only guy here who knows who we are!

IMG_0410

IMG_0411

We don’t know what to expect, what with our loopy lack of sleep, the library-hush of the place, the bizareness of us getting onto the tiny stage.

But guess what? It turns out to be a rockin night, we do an encore, and they call out for more, but it is a tight schedule and this place is nothing but on time!

970341_10151587808709562_802514131_n

Jack come out in his latest breezy summer ensemble from Olvera Street, and the TSOL fellas rip it up for their night one:

IMG_0425
IMG_0424

IMG_0421

We have time for the usual laughs and drinks with the locals.
The polite chaps come up and tell us the show was great, struggling with the Nordic reserve they admit to–
really, I am very excited right now! they tell us with straight faces.

IMG_0414

IMG_0036

And soon it is back into another van, with another cheerful, prompt driver, who lets us know his replacement will be back in 90 minutes.

IMG_0443

There is a brief debate on sleep or power through, but soon enough it is back in a van, back to the airport.

The tiny Scandinavian Air mini jet is struggling for liftoff, with all of TSOL and CH3 aboard, not a man under six foot one, only a couple of us admitting to being under the 200lb mark.

Onward!

IMG_0448

IMG_0450

Layover Copenhagen, version 2.1

Layover Copenhagen, version 2.1

We hurdle back towards Brussels, where it’s going to be a tight touchdown and 90 minute drive out to Ieper for a 12:40–pm!!!! —–downbeat.

And as we skid across the fourth tarmac in 18 hours, Anthony’s luggage rests comfortably back in Copenhagen, refusing to go on any further.

Advertisements

~ by CH3 on August 12, 2013.

2 Responses to “The Swede life”

  1. Oh no, his DOA shirt left behind? What to do? What to do.

  2. I finally get to meet up with our internet pal Pete, maybe the only guy here who knows who we are!

    Hahaha Mike, I live in Stockholm and wished to hell you all would have played here, man. Last time I saw CH3 was when my band opened for you in Ottawa, Canada in July of 1983. Still have a picture of you and Kim outside the venue in the van with a bunch of spikes that Jerry and Doyle made you guys. Jay was cracking wise about where those spikes were going. Ouch!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: