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Published: February 14th 2010
14th May ‘09:
Well, the first outdoor show went swimmingly, I thought. The lighting was superb, a veritable feast for the eyes, and the crowd were buzzing. Daylight began to fade over Leipzig's Central Stadium as AC/DC entered from stage left. The train - two truck's worth, remember - crashed onto the stage, accompanying a cartoon crash on the big screens; the stage looked as though it was exploding (pyrotechnics) as the band ploughed straight into solid, heavy rock.
All round the stadium, many of the 50,000 fans sported flashing horns on their heads, casting a devilish, pulsating red glow. Angus still takes his shirt off - a slow, low-lighted strip during 'The Jack' - which never fails to drive 'em wild. The guitar solos were - mercifully - a little shorter than they used to be but there's still a big showcase at the end where we get ten minutes of brilliant, ostentatiously executed technique. Then 'Highway to Hell' and 'We Salute You' - with cannons upsetting the local birdlife - and it's all over.
Or rather, for rock n roll truckers, it is just beginning. Before loading trucks, though, my pictured colleagues Alice and Davey discover
a lovely souvenir on stage: A Whole Lotta Rosie. Three-and-a-half hours later, the 29th truck pulls out of the gate, heading for Munich. Haven't we just been there? Don't ask - there'll be a reason I'm sure.
En route, at about 5am - I like to remind you of these horrendous hours in case you think I'm on holiday - I radio Namibian, faithfully following as usual. We even have matching registration plates: 701 and 702. Guess who is in which. Yes, he is in the latter. Anyway, radio silence is maintained, leaving me wondering whether he can't hear me over his Chris de Burgh CD. Then a splutter, and a gluttonous Namibian says, ‘sorry Barny, I was filling my face with biscuits.’ That is, indeed, one way of staying awake. While we're on the subject of food, I made a fundamental mistake with my scone at 4pm today - crème fraiche is just not the same as cream.
15th May: ("Like, oh my god, famous..")
Every now and again, one needn't stumble far to get a scoop; right on our doorstep - in Munich's Olympia Park, built for the 1972 games - is a multitude of
attractions. Adrenalin-junkies can abseil forty metres down the stadium pylons, or take an 'expedition on the roof', climbing to the very top of the Olympic Stadium. And footie fans can take an 'exciting' tour of the stadium - yawn. No, to be fair, there are people that think football is a game worth playing, and I'm sure that the tour would be of value to some of them.
Why is it that fans get so cross - vitriolic, even - when they lose. What is it about the game that rouses a normal sort of chap into a fury, wanting to bop a rival fan on the nose? Maybe it's that odd seventeen pints of lager. You have perceived my disinterest in football now, I think. So, if none of these attractions arouses a twinge of enthusiasm, then tag along with me, for free, along the Olympic Walk Of Stars. Here, one can feed the ducks while looking at palm prints of Tom Jones, Bryan Adams, Lenny Kravitz etc. Also a vapid use of time, I would say, but I notice that the nation - certainly in the UK - is obsessed with celebrities.
Why are we so
preoccupied with the famous? Goodness knows. I, for one, am fogged to the core. Celebrities are just people, so what's all the fuss about? However, my heartbeat did quicken, years ago, when I walked down Australia's Ramsay Street - keep up please, it's the infamous cul-de-sac in TV's 'Neighbours' - and who was walking in the other direction? Oh my god, it's like, Madge and Harold. (While I'm stamping out football and erroneous apostrophes, I'd also rid the planet of 'like', a word that is now used, like, meaninglessly.)
I mean, what on earth would a member of the British nobility - not necessarily a stuffy old earl, but perhaps a viscount, still able to pour scorn on that lowly of characters, the baron - think of ‘it's like, oh my god’? Sadly, it's the way of the world now - there are those that blame television, I'm sure. Oh, by the way, I did a tour for Bon Jovi in 2006, and my favourite gag about Jon being gay was exactly that - a little gag, simply to upset swooning girls. Nor does he wear a wig.
Erm, I've digressed again it seems, so let's wrap things
up with Munich’s piece-de resistance of rock and roll memorabilia: the highest rock museum known to the world, housing ‘...a large number of autographed guitars, original stage outfits and rare tickets, all at an altitude of approximately 200 metres...’ Phlegmatic pedant that I am, it is incumbent on me to mention that the height is, in fact, only 185 metres. Right, that's it, no more verbose, inane ramblings.
The tower weighs 40,000 tons and there's a revolving restaurant serving tea which, of course, is no good because this is Germany where one should always opt for coffee instead. In the small museum here, there are combat fatigues that Madonna wore for a video shoot; a piano used in 1973 by Sir Elton John; and black and white photographs of The Rolling Stones, to name just a few items. It's like, awesome, man..
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