Friday, November 18, 2005

Workin' In The Land Down Under

Well, I finally have a chance to catch up with the blog. I left my camera at home - for my first and possibly only Australian trip - so unless I buy another one, it's text only for now. Some of the other guys have cameras and may end up being featured photographers in subsequent posts.

It was a long flight to Los Angeles and after a four hour layover, 13.5 hours to Brisbane, Australia. The first show went fine. We then flew to Newcastle to play at a winery. Very beautiful. I saw my first kangaroos - in the wild, no less - at the homestead on the winery property. There are two main species of kangaroos - grays and reds. These were the smaller and more common grays. They reminded me of Wisconsin deer, shy and quick to turn tail and hop. If cornered, they can defend themselves by rearing back on their tails and using their sharp claws to rip open dingos and whoever else might be unlucky enough to threaten them up close. Our driver said Australia is one of the few countries that legally hunts and eats it's national animal. They are considered vermin in many areas. Interesting.

The winery gig was great, since the crowd started partying at about 4:30 and we hit the stage at 8:00. Well-fueld Aussies certainly like their rock and roll.

We drove from Newcastle to Sydney for a day off and two sold out shows at the famous Sydney Opera House. Both shows came off well and the reviews so far have been very positive.

From Sydney we flew to Adelaide. Hooray for Qantas and their American Airlines applicable miles. Last night's show in Adelaide was also went down great. All of the local crews have been excellent, and out traveling Australana crew is top-notch.

The set list has a lot of classics in it in support of the new Best Of career compilation called "The Long Road Home". We flew into Perth this morning for a show tomorrow night. I finally broke down and bought a Vodaphone cell phone for use in Australia. It's cheaper than internet access and the digital roam my Sprint phone is offering. Hotel internet access has been running about $24AUD for 24-hours. Here at the Perth Hilton it's 55 cents a minute.

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